Friday, September 26, 2014

Project Refuge Continues

It has been almost a year since we acquired this sailboat. Since that time, there has been some element of work constantly being done to her. 

Currently, skilled contractors are replacing all seacocks and thru hulls. Once the thru hulls were removed they determined that the caulking used 35 years ago had long since passed its servicable life span, and water had seeped into the fiberglass core surrounding these holes. During removal of these thru hulls, some of them basically fell out once unbolted. Fortunately we decided to go ahead with this project. 

Right now these holes in our boat are being cut larger to remove any softened glass, new mat is being epoxied in, and brand new holes, drilled. Some of them, since there were 9 total, have been left glassed over to reduce the number of holes in the boat. Our third bathroom was converted into a walk in closet space so the holes for that are no longer needed. And while writing this I sent a text to our boat guy to check our transducers as well. Probably have to replace those to be safe. 

But this is the final stage of the critical refit. From this point on, all work on the boat will be either for cosmetics or comfort. We plan to return to Florida soon, paint the topside hull real quick (9 days of labor), and then drop her back in the water. By that point our mast should be ready to be stepped with all new stainless wire stays and furling systems. Then, we set sail. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Green Bike

Two years ago, we cruised down to Key West and set up shop for the year. 

Backtracking a bit, the kids were not two wheel capable on a bike a few years before that.  They were just four and under.  It did not stop me, however, from picking up a free green bmx style bike on the side of the road as we drove by it.   Yes, it would take years before the kids would be tall enough to ride it, but it was a perfectly good bike and it was free.  I hauled said bike around for a very long time and eventually brought it to Key West.   Sadly, it became apparent that some work would need to be done on the bike and I was not the girl to make it happen.  Into the dumpster it went.  

We had many neighbors in the Stock Island Village Marina.  One couple four boats down had actually constructed their vessel from ferro cement with their own hands in Russia and sailed her to our southernmost point.  Her mast resembled a telephone pole post and her hull had a personal touch.  They accomplished a major ocean crossing with their own handiwork; we were awestruck.  Yes we had a language barrier, but nothing a smile couldn't overcome. 

We were the youngest marina crew in the vacinty.  One day after the bike dump, the captain on the Russian vessel waved the kids down.  He graciously presented them with a shiny green two wheel bike complete with a new (and lowered) seat, new tires, and a sparkle that only a through detail would reveal.  He was so proud and the kids were beyond thrilled.  He muttered something along the lines of "Someone didn't know what they were throwing away- thought you could use this"...  laden thick with a Russian dialect.   He never knew that he took our dumper bike and regifted it to us after some tlc.  The kids from that day on spent hours taking that bike up and down the marina drive much to the delight of our neighbors: entertainment for all.  

When cruising, you cross paths of many, and most go out of there way with wonderful acts of kindness.  The act of being neighborly is strong and true amongst us.  We appreciate all of our amazing friends out there and look foreword to meeting many more.   

Yes, the pic is not pertinent to the story, but this is how we spend our free time as of late... Constructing amazing forts only to take them down and rebuild them again... Plus we ride bikes or roller blade...  And we go beach combing for beach glass... Etc etc.  

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


We have spent the past two days witnessing the most beautiful character traits imaginable.  Our Dayma finally siezed the oppertunity to replace a worn knee after putting off a much needed surgery for more than a year.  She just coped until the timing felt right.  She went in yesterday morning and the procedure was executed perfectly.  There was bone on bone in places both expected and not, but fortunately no spurring.

  She was out of the OR for not much more than an hour when she started requesting to get up.  She was focused on healing. Though physical therapy was slow to give her clearance to be up in the hours following the surgery, just one day after, she was walking the halls like a champion.  

Amidst an itchy allergic reaction to meds, a popped staple from compression, issues with ivs, and multiple pokes to find new veins, she never once complained.  She is a fighter, not a whiner.  She creates her circumstances instead of letting her circumstances create her.   She does it all with silent grace.  We are in awe.