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

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Cruise Four

Well here we lie tied to two pieces of metal dug into the floor of the bay, three EIGHT days into our cruising season.  This will be s/v Gemini Dreams FOURTH cruising season!  Over the last three years so much as come to pass.  New friends selling the boat and moving to Costa Rica, friends opening Restaurants, friends exchanging boats, crossing paths with now old friends during Super Bowl blackouts, loosing touch with older friends and gaining contacts of ancient friends from long times past and all the other friends we have made along the way.  All of this consumed in a cloud of wonder, new places, new adventures and new dreams.  The greatest of the great is that Ayrton sails away into the sunset with me for the moment.  The saddest of the sad is Amy is left waving at the dock as the horizon vanishes.

So what is keeping here this time?  Like always the motor.   We sold the troublesome (way abnormally so) Mercury 9.9 last year and made a cruise to the Keys last year on a wimpy little 3.5 dinghy motor with a short shaft.  Our steep learning curve with it in choppy bays approaching 3 feet meant no shaft in the water.  Creating a stand still followed by the back step two step retreat against a head wind.  So this year we purchased a used 5 hp Honda to make the journey.  We haven't even hooked the fuel line up yet and are learning so much about Honda's. LOL Grrrrr!

  • Moeller says that the Mercury, Yamaha fitting will fit the Honda...  Leaks like hell
  • Sierra says the Yamaha connector, that they have different from the Mercury will fit.  Leaks like hell.
  • Atwood ditto
  • Seachoice's Yamaha leaks like hell too.
At this point it is time to rethink the issues that we and others on the internet have found out about the REALITY of the round locating pin Hondas.  Nothing works but the factory female $25 a piece, that takes a week for the dealers to get, will work!  Plan B  for $15 we purchased a new Honda factory male for the BF5A off eBay in the NEW style with the square pin.  To which we can mate to the two connectors we bought when we bought the motor (one for a spare of course).  This should be here tomorrow and hopefully all will be good and we can head off against a soft south wind Tuesday followed by two days of north to push us south.   Wouldn't it be so simple if there was just a "Marine fuel fitting" instead of 3 or 4 different ones for each manufacturer?

By staying here for a few extra days we met other cruisers as the migration has started.  For months no one passed south on the ICW.  Now everyday there are Trawlers, Searays (damn Searays!), and Sailboats.  Often they use our little anchorage for a nights sleep before continuing on south as we feel the pull to go with them.  When we returned from a day at the library for internet and Boatschool we found a very interesting boat in our anchorage.  The solar powered Arc'himedes, you can find their blog here http://www.shipofimagination.blogspot.com/.  This would be one of the 5 boats you remember from your cruise, perhaps the ONE you remember.  From 3/4 a mile away we could see the hull and expected a mast.  From 1/2 mile away you realize the black silhouette is not on the shore but atop the boat.  Everyone in Boot Key Harbor will not forget them too soon.  

Through out the months trying to file photos of past adventures they have made it into three folders,
  1. Cruise One - The Beginning
  2. Cruise Two - The Fisher King Cruise 
  3. Cruise Three - The End Of The World (as it started in December 2012)
And now our new folder: Cruise Four - ?  awaits it's identifying theme.  So perhaps sometime in the next few months spontaneous combustion within the brain cells will create a witty tittle or dreaded circumstances will name it for us.  

I am without a doubt the happiest and most peaceful within during the cruises. My wayward, vagabond, gypsy inner spirit is free.  At anchor in a fresh gale and poor holding is more peaceful than any day at work.

Possible destinations:

Snorkel Deans Blue Hole

Walk Pink Beaches, Eluthera

 Photograph driftwood left by Huricane Andrew

Perhaps crash a party at Musha Cay, "the most  luxurious private island resort in the world" LOL

Bye Bye baby girl love you see you in the Summer.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Free WiFi

Okay, I'm posting this here for the live aboards and cruisers.

On a bill board in ST Pete I saw that Brighthouse.com/freeinternet is offering 30 days of free Wifi. You do not have to be a customer. You must initiate the connection before 10-31-13. 

I do not know about the other markets but here in Tampa Bay area (where the bill board is at) the above address will not work. You must use brighthouse.com/tamp-bay/wifi-trial

Hope this helps some others.  If you will not be in the Brighthouse area until early November go ahead and use Zip 33708 (or a zip for the area you will be in) and get your code and initialize before the end of October.  If you are doing the loop, Florida or in California here is a Brighthouse link for coverage areas.  http://brighthouse.com/tampa-bay/about/service-areas  


Monday, September 9, 2013

Lightning And Sunsets

 Welcome to happy hour in Mad Beach

 Lens flare or close call?

Must have been a camera malfunction, 
as it was shot between the original and the dissipating remnants of the flash

But they do get close!  Same cell as the phantom flash.
This bay offers several intense electrical storms a week.

This one has a little orange compared to our gray sunset a couple days ago.

Sometimes it is good to just sit in the cockpit and go, WOW!


Sunblock and Genoas

Obi wan Vega once commented about protection of a furled head sail.  He wondered why more people didn't just paint the exposed surfaces instead of sewing a heavy piece of fabric over the exposed edge.  The justification of if it didn't work you wouldn't do it again made sense.  Although this process may have a long incubation period, perhaps years before you decide if the outcome was to your satisfaction.  Most likely the decision will never be fully made until you replace the sail you just protected.

All rolled up waiting on a sunburn

The first decision you have to make is "Am I going to do this unorthodox thing to my sail?"  With us it was easy.  We purchased the sail for about $300 on eBay, almost brand new.   We then spent some at Keys Sail Repair getting it re-sized and a tape put on the luff.  With only $600 in a sail that was quoted by Hood at $2200 we figured why not.  Now if we paid $2200 for a sail we would have probably spent the balance for a Sunbrella cover.

During the decision process we visited Google often.  Searching things like "Painting Dacron" quickly gives you the ins and outs of painting Dacron in the sailing, hang gliding, kite, ultralight, and RC plane groups.  If those that soar above us with nothing between them and the ground other than the Dacron on their wings are willing to even entertain the thought of painting it then a boat that will remain afloat with out that Dacron is just past one hurdle.  Fabric Degradation.

 Glidden, flat, exterior, Navy, $9.70

Second we found all extremes of life and adhesion.  Blues break down faster, no reds do, no reds go on a barn not a boat, black absorbs more UV, White reflects more UV, you shouldn't use green on the water, you shouldn't use Killz, You should use Killz, use interior only no use exterior only, you should use flat, you should use gloss.  Then suddenly within it's conglomerated wisdom you realize as a whole the Internet doesn't know for sure.

  • Will it peel?  Who knows time will tell.
  • Will it fade?  Who knows time will tell.
  • What color is best?  Navy blue like the rest of our trim.  But is it better than the red on s/v Soulmate?  Or the Tan on s/v Whisper?  Or the Orange on s/v Sjöjungfru?
  • What will we do if it fails quickly?  Plan B.
Off to Home Depot we went.  Our little Vega with roller furlers have a luff of about 28 and a foot of about 13+-.  At one foot wide and two coats this comes out to 40 square feet a coat.  Easily with in the one quart coverage.  We purchased a quart of Glidden outdoor long life in the closest Navy Blue they had to match the other canvas on the boat for $9.70.  We had an old disposable brush on board and made do without a drop cloth.  The total for the experiment was just over $10 out of pocket today and a couple of hours.   

by the time we got 6 feet painted it was dry at the starting end, mostly.

We did this in the cockpit with a steady 5-7 knot breeze.  It is kind of like trying a sewing project in the cockpit.  Feed it slowly through the "work zone" while protecting the rest of the sail from the wet paint.  While the afternoon sun was still hot everything worked well.  Then as the sun settled on the horizon the afternoon clouds cloaked it and the paint dry time tripled.  If you can tie the corners on the dock you could roll the edge and be done sooner.  

It rolled much tighter than with a Sunbrella cover on the previous sail.

Even without any proof of UV Protection every time we are arriving back to our boat the blue furling is much more calming than the white "I need to take care of that before we loose the sail" impending doom.  

For reference 10" UV Dacron insignia cloth from Sailrite would run about $70 plus shipping for a peel and stick solution.  

The Gray sunset

If there are any issues we will update the blog with "Sunblock and Genoas, part 2, updates" and I will turn the previous quote into a click-able link.  


Moments later

Monday, September 2, 2013

Does anyone know this Vega?

Update:  Thanks to Emil Ekström I have added a link to Warskovi's blog with the others.

Anyone have any information about s/v Warskovi cruising near Tonga?  Photo by s/v Sophie a monster of a catamaran..


Sweden south pacific albin vega 3 guys around the world Tonga kiwi New Zealand great barrier reef Australia men pirates vikings 27

Saturday, August 31, 2013

13 of 13

He is so happy to have a friend

 A walk in the park

Here fishy, fishy, fishy

They are all around us

A walk on the dock
Man it is hot out here

Cat overboard, self rescue training

Making up after the "rescue"

What a day!

walking the sailboat cat 

Monday, August 5, 2013

A Head For 13 For 6 - A Kitty's Got To Do What A Kitty's Got To Do

The first item on 13's list was a new litter box.  After a few emails to other sailors with onboard cats and especially one from our past... s/v Wee Happy.  Kristopher sent back an email with his execution of the litter issue.  Coupled with our inginuity and the information from the emails we set out to get our little boat set up.  We decided we wanted a top entry litter box and set out to make it happen.

Clevercat top entry litterbox

We looked at the current offerings online from the box stores.  Our first look was at Petsmart.  We found the Whisker City box for $35.00 but the top was a full 1/2 of the height.  Making it difficult to remove in the lazerette.  Then we found one that fits perfectly with the Vega.  The Clever Cat Top Entry Litterbox available at Petco (15x15x20).  The issue we ended up having with the box was the price at $41.  Thirty six ninty nine on sale!   For a slightly smaller version than the standard 18 gallon tote you can get at Wal-mart for $4.95.  Of course it has the ribbed top?

We chose to make one out of a translucent $5.99 18 gallon tote from Wal-mart.  They are only 3/4 of an inch taller than the Clevercat but have a foot print that is 4 inches longer and 2 inches wider.  

The location we are placing the litter box.
There is enough room for two of the 27 pound litter tubs

Translucent tub to allow use of all available light in the dark lazerette but adding the liner bag (Large Gladd bags, black with red handles) will curcumvent the lighting ability and create more plastic trash.

Even the translucent tubs have the gray lids.
The smooth surface should make returning litter to the box easy.

Using a styrofoam plate as a measure for the entry hole.

Starting the cut with a box cutter

Using the heavy duty scissors

 And around we go

The completed entry way.  We offset it to the rear for two reasons
First was for more space to allow for tracking of the litter and
Second was the coaming opens up giving 13 more head room for entry and exit.

 Wow that was hard work.  I need a drink!
And it is time for a nap!

With this project we saved 1.55 Cheeseburgers in Paradise ($31.00) for the boat kitty.  Not including the shipping or bus ride to pick up the Clevercat box (Wal-mart is on our normal path)

Through referals we have chosen to start with Tidy Cat for its clumping, dustlessness, and those reusable totes it comes in.

We have found that we want to put a liner around the area to keep any lost litter from making it to the bilge.  We also want to put up a divider between the litter area and the stores.  Not just for the obvious reason but to keep 13 from disapearing into the depths of the lazarette areas.  If he makes it into the deep darkness on a rough passage he could become trapped or worse.


tags: cat aboard a small sailboat albin vega bahamas cruising seasickness sea sick homemade home made litter box