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

Thursday, September 29, 2011

s/v Wee Happy is now Way Happy?

For those of you that were following me last spring on this blog you know that Wee Happy (Albin Vega) and Gemini Dreams (Albin Vega) went out to Los Tortugas together.  Capt. K and Lala were awesome cruising buddies and we still keep in touch.  They currently purchase another, BIGGER boat Way up there in New England.  So they are currently faced with the sail all the way back to the keys again.  Wish them luck on their repeat trip down the east coast.

A few months ago the roller furling on Gemini Dreams blew up, actually the new line on the drum took up too much space one day winding all on the top half.  A post on Cruisers Forum asking for info on the furler lead to the typical condescending messages posted on that board by the self appointed experts. Their response was a $750 to $1000 dollar dent in the cruising kitty.  Thanks to Richard one of s/v Gemini Dreams' previous owners I contacted HOOD and had all the replacement parts I needed for only $140.  I have since made a second order for back up parts and a new extrusion to gain about 14 inches on the roller luft.  This project is soon as  I want to finish it before wee head south.

S/v Gemini Dreams now has a new HOOD 150% Genoa and a back up 135% North Sails along with her HOOD Asymmetrical Spinnaker with HOOD snuffer.  After the furler rebuild I will retire the current flogged out Genny.  If the price was right I would still add a drifter after the winds from last year.

HOOD sails

North Sails

Currently I am running the lines aft to the cockpit.  Seems like things take for ever on island time to complete. I completed some teak spacers last week and hope to get it all mounted (or close) this week.  There is also the cockpit sole that has drug out way too far.  Seems the vendor for the teak has 3.75 width boards and 3.875 width boards with the same SKU# on it and they are back ordered.  We found the one we needed to finish the project on our road trip.  Now to fill it with epoxy and drill the mounting holes.

New mainsheet traveler

I have also solved one of our dilemmas.  So for reference if anyone else needs to know... the older ABI stamped stainless cowls and the Mariner's Hardware threads are the same.  There are 6 different available threads on the 4"' cowls!  Also note that while almost everyone knows Mariner's Hardware folded,  the Blue Water Hardware that took over has also folded!  If anyone has a 4" CAST stainless cowl from Mariner's or even just the 6 bolt plate and cap please let me know.

Cast Mariner's Hardware Cowl with 6 bolt flange

I have been shopping for a Sailrite LSZ-1 to do the interior and exterior sewing needs.  Once on board we will be able to supplement the income by doing work and repar for other cruisers.  Remember my ripped sail that cost $200 to repair?  Almost 95% of that was profit.  Somewhere around 20% completion of s/v Gemini Dreams sewing projects it will pay for itself!

I have also started shopping for a wind turbine!  First on the list is an Air-Breeze but that is not concrete.  I am hopping to find a good used one.  Anyone want to get rid of one?  With the Lowrance chart plotter/fish finder and a new upcoming refrigerator we need more energy production.

But "What has the Fisher King been up to?" you ask.

This is "Sergeant Stripes" he was just short of 20"
"Major Stripes" still taunts the Fisher King!

 Damn catfish and a huge 13.5" Sea Bass.  They don't get much bigger here.

The Fisher King continues to earn his keep by supply enough fish for dinner 5 times a week.  After that I make him release the extras.  Sergeant stripes fed us and the girls for dinner.  The sea bass will feed us tonight.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Road Survival

Well Tin Man survived a road trip.  I usually put on 2000 miles in a 3 day trip, this one was small with around 1500.  His last real road trip with me was to Disney. That one was easy, 8.5hrs and 10 days of fun before the return trip.  Long trips are mentally relaxing and soothing for the spirit.  When you go alone.

Man! they grow fast, yes he was a long haired hippie freak two years ago

Tuesday morning I was preparing to go and get documentation for his passport.  About 5 minutes into that I woke him up and said "Get ready!."   Thirty minutes later we were on the road in a rental car headed SOUTH!  Then after 5 hours on the highway and just as we got to I-95 we changed and headed NORTH!  No real reason just the traffic was too slow on that ramp!   We spent the night in Charleston, SC.

About 11am Tin asked if we could stop in and see some of his friends from his old school.  (Another Change in plans).  Recalculations.  Call to friends and family and we had a new plan.  Stop in Asheville to see his friends and his grandparents along with some of my old friends.  We found out on the way that one of his buddies was just arriving at the beach in SC as we left Charleston..  After logging on the net and finding a number and some phone tag later we hooked up with another of his friends for ice cream.  I think we averaged 82 mph from Charleston to Asheville to see his grandparents before they left back to TN.   His grand parents are great, they are kind of wham bamm thank you mamm, types.

Then it was time for him to meet some of my friends from the old work place.  I think his head is two sizes too big now!  They all commented on his star status on the blog!  The fact that people knew of his exploits boosted his ego!  Not like it needed it!.  Thanks guys nice to see you!  Hell I even said "Hi Robert, Bye Robert" as I walked by.  I still owe some of you some souvenirs.  RICK where were you! and thanks for the Honey!
Someone has been eating the Wheaties!

Just in case you are missing the fishing pics here you go!
 Spanish Mackerel caught with a Gotcha
More Flounder

PS.  Dana Smith, my best friend, just started the sale of her first book!  You can pre-order it here...  http://19reasons.com/books.html  for only $11.95 plus S&H.  Look for her at a signing near you!  The crew of s/v Gemini Dreams are so proud of her!  Love Ya!

Princesa de la Sirena and Madre de Piratas

PS.   Matt Rutherford is currently 100 days into a North-South circumnavigation around the world in an Albin Vega just like mine.  NON STOP1  I  have added the link below the heading until the journey is complete in honor of the attempt!  I'll take windy days in Florida any day over Cold Arctic Air and rain. 

You can donate to his cause on his site

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Fisher King

Funny thing happened today...

I was on the dock, I don't really remember what I was doing at the time.  Out of the corner of my eye I saw Tin dancing.  He was whipping his fishing pole in little circles and twisting to the music only he could hear.  I think it was a "fish dance".  My first instinct was to tell him to stop before he fell in but, he wasn't hurting anyone or anything and was having a wonderful time.  So I started to continue with what ever I was doing.... then I noticed... NO TIN!  I called his name! No Answer. I was running to the spot I last saw him when I heard it..."Uh, Dad!"  Seams the edge of the dock was not long enough for his little ritual.  There he was trading water. Flip-Flop in one hand and his rod in the other.   I recovered the Flip -Flop and asked about the other since I didn't see it.  "It's on my toe" he responded.  Once he was free of his gear he calmly swam to the nearest boat with dive platform and lifted himself out of the water. ROTFLMAO!  What a trooper! and wisely found a way out of the water.  Also learned how easy it is to fall off the dock!  This adventure may save me telling him a thousand times "Stop before you fall".  Sorry didn't have the phone on my to take pictures.  He is now the "Fisher King"

Trolling as dad rows!

But in other news...  We (I) rowed out to Birdie Island as Tin calls it fishing yesterday.  On the way to the Hathaway Bridge we had a couple lines out trolling.  Yes while I rowed.  My reel started to sing and Tin asked to reel it in.  Another small shark.  This time it hit a white Calcutta swim shad.  Over by the bridge we caught too many catfish and a couple of lizard fish!  I would love to catch some fish that don't have terra based names!

A Dinghy from no name lounge came to our "rescue".  They saw us doing odd maneuvers and wanted to make sure everything was okay.

Also the night before the girls came over and his mom caught a shark also

We keep missing Jaws! One day the Fisher King will land him!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Labor Day: Intermission during shark week for dock line 101.

Well TS Lee missed us by a 200 miles or more but as he ripped through Louisiana and Mississippi on his way to the Appalachian Mountains he created a vacuum.  Trying to fill that vacuum the winds Saturday were clipping by at 20+ knots all day.  Then Sunday the day was a little calmer.  But yesterday, Monday, was ALL day long at 30-40+ knots!  Thanks to www.windfinder.com I had a good warning several days in advance.  We were having 2-4 foot waves here at this corner of the marina.  There is a 2 mile fetch from the SW to the stern of my boat!  I'm glad the Kiwi was here to block most of it!

A little bit like "Shaken, not stirred, please"
How many kids do you know that don't even flinch that his house is a blender?
But, the salt spray crashing over the 70' Kiwi sends him running. lol

Good thing is the peak 40kt time frame came with almost no rain, just a few drops.  Because for most of the day we "locals" at the dock and the dock staff chased breaking dock lines.  One of the pylons pulled sideways on Randal's boat and he asked to borrow a line from Gemini Dreams to help secure to another pylon.  The Hunter 28.5 broke a stern line and was rubbing a pylon.  Randal and I replaced it with line the owner had on board and put a square knot in the line that broke (the replacement soon broke).  The old Hunter Cherubini broke a line and eventually 3 guys showed up and retied her (Big politics on that boat between the owner and the caretaker!).  The owners of the 25'er were here and I offered another line to them as I could see some chafing on there bow line.

Just a little breezy today,  I disregarded the 90+ but had a few in the 70's

18.4 foot seas and Big gusts

I even added some old anchor line to make another spring line on Gemini Dreams (I have three of my lines out elsewhere and two tying gear down).  With Gemini Dreams taking the brunt of the waves I was worried about the solar panels crashing into the pylon with the right combination of wind and wave.  This pulled the bow too close to the dock.  So Randal and I tried to tighten the bow spring line! LOL First we lost ground then we could only gain it back and not get any further away than we started.  Plan B!  I dropped the anchor from the roller and gained 6".  This is all that I needed.

With all tied and everything done we decided to take a walk and check out the "local's"anchoring over at the "No Name Anchorage".  The barnacles grow so fast here you can not use line to make a mooring.   The barnacles continually "saw" the line making it weaker.  The FWL boat was out by noon the next day to document and tag the grounded boats.

 Turn the volume down!

 3 boats on shore!  3rd time this summer for the one on the right!
I'm glad we have 140' of chain on board!

Today is calm and cool, I think it was down in the upper 50's this morning.  That is a big change from our daily 90's!  It's time to re-camp for now.  Time to put up the rain-sun tarp, reorganize the cockpit and wash the salt off of everything.  Time to reclaim the lines for next time.

Tucked in a bayou just a couple miles away s/v Mini Pearl and s/v Raindrop probably had a peaceful day with only a few leaves falling.

s/v Mini Pearl and s/v Raindrop.

If you are curious what Tin did during most of this you could probably guess.  HE FISHED!  This is George.  He follows Tin all around even before Tin started feeding him.  He didn't fly too well last week when we noticed him stalking us.  We also have a friendly Pelican here, his name is Aristotle.

At least it wasn't a real storm!  The "mommy alarm" didn't even go off!