If time is money and you have more time, Do you need more money?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Taking a Break from Projects and TS Arlene

I have been working on boat projects as fast as Island Time allows.  Trying to multi-task allowing for drying time and patience.  The rewire is very time consuming in hot, humid contortional causing nooks creating a need for patience recuperation.  Things like the saw being two miles away also hamper the continuation (2 miles by bird, 7 miles by car, and 2 1/2 hours by bus).  But, with a now decided deadline for departure south the tasks are eminent.  So the next thing on the list is Take A Break Have Some Fun...

"Daddy!  The spear has fish yuck on it!"
That is my little brother behind me, he is annoying!
Girl Power, Mom and I both caught Sea Bass.
I'm still not eating it and don't let it touch me!
Another typical Gemini Dreams dinner, Blackened Red Snapper.
Followed by Blackened Sheep Head and Sea Bass Almondine.

TS Arlene formed last night!  The true beginning of the Storm Season!  I have found and use this site: Storm Pulse to keep up to date.  It has the official NOAA alerts, tracks by NHC, imagery from NASA and details from the NAVY fly-bys and a host of viewable on and off buttons.  Arlene is destined for Mexico but who know what the season will bring. 

Time for ice cream!  Tin keeps checking his ice cream donations and still has hope! 

What is next on the agenda?  Here is a hint.  I just tested a spot on the hull for a through hull dual frequency transducer. I am narrowing the GPS location.  Does anyone have Lowrance Radome or Navionics Platinum+ (632, 699 and 630) they want to donate?

All fun and no work makes Tin a spoiled boy!  Boat School.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Project 25: Winds of Change...Ventilation 101

I still have some photos to add and will remove this note when I do...

Time for some of those impending projects.  The project list is now at 60 items and time is ticking until we depart for the islands again.  So with the heat of summer already here I chose to tackle the Dorades and Cowls to increase the ventilation in the V-birth.  This will also be a big help during those now daily hit or miss thunder storms.  Some times 3 times a day.

Remains of the original head vent

In theory the water goes overboard and the air inboard

I bought the Cowls and Dorades last fall before embarking on my adventure but due to the amount of items I took to a 27 foot sailboat (15 grey tubs, 7 bags of groceries, and several boxes) I left them in storage.   I moved them on board about 3 weeks ago and placed them on deck in roughly the mounting spot.  After a few days of kicking them around I finally found a spot of compromise.

Sitting and waiting for final decision.

The next step was to actually cut the deck taper into the teak dorades since the deck is not flat in this area and I hate the splayed out look.  Of course the saw blade was too dull for the hard dense teak.  Ca-ching more money in the project.  After letting them sit for a couple more days before cutting holes in the deck, I found that the 4 inch vents needed a 4 3/8 hole saw.  Of course the hole saw I had didn't work. Ca-ching, more money in the project.  At  this time I installed the cowl that came with an adapter ring and a new ring for the one that didn't.  This is where I found out the new ring (sea dog) wouldn't fit the cowl (ABI ).  I called Bacon Sails in Annapolis and ordered a slightly used ring to fit the cowl.  Ca-ching  Once it arrived (incorrect as it was a cap and not a ring) I found out thee are at least 3 different thread sizes in stainless steel deck plates.  Still waiting on a refund.  I have found a source for the NLA ABI cowls and rings (who happens to be out of stock at the moment).  When they do become available it will be ... YES OF COURSE... CA-CHING!

"Hand rubbed" dorade on right and naked teak on left,  Old aged teak handrail.

"Epifanes" dorade finished 

So after placing and kicking them for a couple more days I cut the holes in the teak boxes.  It was now time to "finish" the teak.  Ca-ching more money.

"Finished" and bolted down for test-.

After the Dorades were ready to be fitted it was time to prep the deck.  Drill oversize holes and fill with epoxy to protect the core.  Ch-ching.  Drill the correct hole size in both the deck and the teak boxes.  Then seal the mounting hardware through the deck.

The original hole now epoxied into place awaiting painting.  Ca-ching.

The newest hole for the solar vent for the head. Why doesn't every thing that is 4" use the same mounting hole size?  There goes another hole saw blade (4 3/4" size needed but there are none at HD so a 5" hole and more epoxy to protect the core.) and more epoxy!  Ca-ching!

The new Stainless Solar Vent from Nicro to vent the head.

Completed Project!  Whew!

note: s/v Whisper used a vinyl cowl for a hause pipe,  I am still considering this option.

Price to add two vents to the fore peak and relocate and replace the head vent.

Project Items
Teak Dorades    
ABI Cowl Vents  
Nicro Stainless Steel Solar Vent 
Teak finish  (hand rub)
3m 5200   
3m 4200    
West Systems Epoxy
Stainless Harware
Finish Deck Plates / below
Epifanes Clear UV High gloss finish
3m sandpaper, brushes and other supplies
4 3/8" hole saw
5 " hole saw
4" hole saw

Items remaining: Stainless Steel  hoop dorade guards @ $XXX.XX
                         A second NICRO for the v-birth @159.00
                         Two NICRO vents for the main cabin.@ $159.00 ea

Stainless dorade guards

Total for completed ventilation with all 4 NICRO vents $1950+-
Stay tuned for more projects..

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Die Hard Persistance

Die Hard Fisherman!
A little reel maintenance while the fishing is slow.

Well the little man can be very persistent!  The charts, tides and moons say the fishing sucks this week but that everyday high at daybreak, noon and sunset may pay off.  Earlier today Tin hooked a trout and lost it between the water and the dock!  While grumbling over loosing the trout he hooked a flounder behind one of the other sailboats and lost it between the water and the dock!

The next day we had a few things to do off the boat and when we came back the cooler had a surprise in it!

Cooking on the Lazerette to avoid the cabin heat

Margaritas and Coconut Snapper.

another sunset away from the islands, :(!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The cooler is a waste land...

Currently the cooler is barren!  No Fish! We have only caught Oyster fish, Toad fish, Sea Robins, Pin fish, hard heads and Lizard fish for the last couple days!  The last good fish was a Sheep Head I speared near Gemini Dreams 3 days ago.  Seams his companion (a smaller sheep head) at the time has told all the other Sheep Heads to stay low in the water that there is a scary monster with long sharp claws on the surface.  We have not seen any on the top since that day.  I may have to go in after them.

First fish with the pole spear, Wee Happy did much better in the Bahamas with theirs

He sure was good lightly breaded with flour and cajun seasonings.  We made sautee'd sheep head a simple dinner since it was just Tin and Myself.  Kind of cheating by buying fries from Scuttlebutts here in the marina.

But a couple nights back we had crab crunch topped with red snapper and lemon butter  (sautee'd broccoli as a side).

Happy and soon to be full Family

Lemon butter
In a sautee' pan add the following and reduce:

  • 1/2 minced yellow onion
  • 3 tbs minced garlic
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1 cup Chardonnay
  • 2 cups lemon juice
  • Zest of 3 lemons
 It is good to do this long before dinner as it will need to be boat temp when you add 1/2 pound of salted butter cubes.  Bring reduction and butter cubes to warm stirring constantly.  Do not over head the butter solids will separate.

Capers, sautee'd red peppers, sun dried tomatoes, diced tomatoes, or even goat cheese and any other item you like can be added between the seafood and the lemon butter for an extra twist.  This is equally good on grilled, baked, sautee'd, and even poached seafood.  This is also great on chicken.  Beware this is not a boring over the counter lemon butter.

Lemon Crab Crunch
In a sautee' pan add the following and warm
  • 1 pound Jumbo lump crab  rinsed, then soaked in lemon juice and drained)
  • 1 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • Lemon zest to taste
This is a crab crunch not a soggy crab cake so drain well and take it easy on the crumbs.  As made it is great for under seafood (or beside) especially with lemon butter or lime toping.  You can add Green onions, celery, or other items to make it a main course.  Keep it light and refreshing if you do.  This recipe will not hold together nor is it supposed to, just make a pile.

With no fish for dinner tonight we suffered through boat  (hot) cakes and blueberry syrup.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Thanks Cindy!

I'd like to thank Cindy for her email to Vega Spares.  Somehow way back in February I emailed Vega Spares and used the Vega email list trying to get new Spreader Hounds for the ends.  Mine were shot!

40% of the inner most end was  corroded away!

With the trip to Los Tortugas held up waiting on a possible repair I was stalled out in Boot Key Harbor.  Wanting to move on to Los Tortugas and/or the Bahamas while sitting in Boot Key Harbor isn't really all that bad. After several days of trying to email Steve and no response (guess my email was going to the trash bin or something) I had a local machine shop make me some to keep sailing.  Well time has come for me to try the original style parts again.  Still no response from Vega Spares!  It is now June and I want all that can be fixed before November cruising season.  A quick email to Cindy in GA asking her to contact Vega Spares for me (she has a Vega also, and by the way Cindy, have you named that boat yet?) provided me with results the next day!  I guess it was time to play the pretty face card from the deck.  Just for reference they are currently 35£ each and 7£ shipping to the USA.  I now have a second email for Steve incase I need other spares.

Today they arrived by Royal Mail!  So it wont be long before I have to go back up the mast.  I need to get the mast head light working anyway.   I installed a brand new LED Tri-light while doing the Bad Boy Xtreme WiFi*  but got so ticked over the spreader hound issue and trying to get a cable through the mast that I gave up when it was time to set sail on the adventure again.

Left: Old original Spreader Hound
Left Center: New Original style 
Right Center: New custom made
Right Other new original from Vega Spares

I also received my ACTIVE CAPTAIN hat today!  Wooo Hooo!

*There is a known glitch in the Google Chrome with Bad Boy Xtreme WiFi!  You always have to set up Bad Boy X with IE and then use Chrome!  Every time you manually select a hot spot you have to do it in IE!  Other than that BBX has worked great.  You can choose first available and let it roll but a lot of the strongest signals have no connectivity to the internet or are pay now $9.95 a day or $34.95 a month types.

Hasta Luego

Sunday, June 12, 2011

One day closer to death...Thought I's something more to say.

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day 
You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way 
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town 
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way 

Tired of lying in the sunshine 
Staying home to watch the rain 
And you are young and life is long 
And there is time to kill today 
And then one day you find 
Ten years have got behind you 
No one told you when to run 
You missed the starting gun 

And you run, and you run to catch up with the sun, but it's sinking 
Racing around to come up behind you again 
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you're older 
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death 

Every year is getting shorter 
Never seem to find the time 
Plans that either come to nought 
Or half a page of scribbled lines 
Hanging on in quiet desparation is the English way 
The time is gone 
The song is over 
Thought I'd something more to say 

Home, home again 
I like to be here when I can 
When I come home cold and tired 
It's good to warm my bones beside the fire 
Far away across the field 
The tolling of the iron bell 
Calls the faithful to their knees 
To hear the softly spoken magic spells 

So if you haven't figured out by now it is my birthday.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

97° and feels like 104° AGAIN! and Shelter from Pigs on the Wing

Here I sit typing away on the blog with Gemini Dreams rocking in a storm.  There was an earlier wave that set off the "Mommy radar" that I kind of blew off.  No that didn't go over well but the kids sat in the cabin and made  her happy as I sat in the cockpit eating sushi and melons and watching the lightning.
Pink Floyd Animals 

When the kids movie was over it was time for bed.  I guess Tin was tired as he is still to wake up from the current wave of the storm.  This one was worth the time to get back up out of bed, lash the tarps, hatch, companion boards and all loose items.  I felt it coming.  Kind of like in the movie twister when the yard chimes started to "ting".  Well in a tight anchorage or in a marina the same sounds go off:  The wind whistles in the rigging, the halyards "ting" against the masts, the lines start to slap the cabin roof, and if you don't hurry the increasing wind brings mist rushing through the cabin.  Checking the radar this is a pretty good cell and will last long enough to post on the blog I have been neglecting.  After all I have done so far in this little journey 40 knot winds tied to the dock is nothing.  The main concern is for possible hail and two big solar panels.  I didn't cover them so fingers are crossed.

It has been in the mid 90's for a couple weeks with a heat index of over 100° everyday.

... WTF  that was some thunder, around 20 seconds long.  I had to get up and check.  There is a magical light show over PCB at the moment.  lightening all around.  Some of it right near of off of the TV tower. (the one with the beach cam on WJHG's web site).  Who knows if I can finish this post before the power goes out (no not on board but the internet WIFI connection).  I have yet to plug into shore power since I left Indiantown!

These above record HIGHS are getting old!  I could be in Marathon or Bahia Honda and be cooler.  It is too hot to work on projects, too hot to sleep (no midnight breezes most of the days),  it is almost too hot to fish!  Well almost.  I think I'll take the kids to the beach nearby tomorrow to cool off.
Most of the storm has passed now.  I am going to open up some ventilation and try to sleep. 

Hey it cools down later in the week only 90°

If there are any good pics tomorrow I will just add them to this entry.

Thanks for hanging out in a storm with nothing else to do,
Battersea power station from Nanny McPhee @ 1:00:18

Oh and by the way, an Animals cover variation was also seen on the new Nanny McPhee returns movie.  One of the dirigibles (blimps) was shaped like a pig.  Boo thought I was crazy for stopping it when I saw the scene. 

You know that I care what happens to you,
And I know that you care for me.
So I don't feel alone,
Or the weight of the stone,
Now that I've found somewhere safe
To bury my bone.
And any fool knows a dog needs a home,
A shelter from pigs on the wing.
                                            Roger Waters