-E.B. White

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Projects continue.....and friends happen.

Yup, still here and now kicking around the idea of spending the rest of our winter at Atlantic Yacht Basin  and then leaving the boat here for the summer.  The temps are warming up a bit, there is a promise of spring in the air, we are checking things off our "to do list" and we are actually enjoying it here.  Thinking about our next bucket list adventure - might be Cherry Blossoms in DC (originally was not on the list, but we are here so why not, our bucket list is also flexible).

Monday night - red sky at night sailor's delight (non rain day)

Tuesday Morning - Red sky in morning - sailor's take warning.  
(Doesn't really matter we are not going anywhere - and yes, it poured buckets on Tuesday - holding true to the red morning sky thing).

Wednesday - No rain means laundry day!  Yup looking like Trawler trash, once again.

We took a few days off from making new cushion covers in the saloon, to work on covers for all the fenders - nine of them to be exact.
Even the big balls got new covers.

Please, Please -  can I sit on the new cushions?

 The new re-upholstered cushion covers.  Unfortunately, having a dog on board means we  normally have them covered with sheets and towels - mostly due to that big puddle thing going on outside.  We sneak the towels off while she is napping in her kennel or if it doesn't rain - unfortunately we have had rain just about every other day.  I guess we should have not allowed Izzy to be on the furniture when she was a puppy - but not our style so I guess sheets and towels it is.
 We both can use a break from this togetherness "projects" thing we have going on and are planning to take a few days off before starting the cushions on the starboard side.  It's that Mars and Venus thing - some days we need a translator, or maybe a mediator would be better or, maybe both.

   Drove over to Virginia Beach yesterday to check out a Sunbrella source (Mike's Canvas) because we are also thinking about doing skirting around the top rail (that is if we survive the re-upholstery project).    

It feels like we are starting to settle in, we have free WiFi and TV reception.  Izzy is loving the not so hot temps - easy on her black fur.  There are lots of great restaurants all within walking distance of the marina.  Two of our favorites are El Toro Loco - for great Mexican food and Kagura Japanese - serving up great Japanese dishes and all you can eat Sushi.  Also a Farm Fresh grocery store, hair and nails, lots of fast food joints - Subway, KFC, Wendys, Taco Bell (to name a few) dry cleaners,Hancock Fabrics, Radio Shack, Do It Hardware store, Tuesday Mornings (my personal favorite), The Dollar Store, Walgreens, RiteAid and much more all within a couple of blocks of here.  We fortunately have our car with which makes Lowes, Home Depot, West Marine and the Bier Garden Restaurant within reach.  So we are surviving - but missing all our boater friends, but then because of this lifestyle also making new friends.

We saw this the other day  - crazy way to advertise your profession.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

It is what it is and we are where we are

Another great week - mostly because we are on the boat .  It is mostly good when we are on the boat.  We seem to be here, during what I would consider to be a Minnesota spring.  A couple of days warming up into the 60's and then bam slam - another cold front and temps dropping quickly with snow/sleet/rain.  We have a couple of dry sunny days, then, spring rain showers and cool temps..  It's still good, Izzy has a big yard to play in and we are continuing to work on projects.  Now working on re-upholstering the cushions in the saloon and new fender covers (pics to follow).

Valentines Day eve - we cheat a little and jump start the big day and dine out the night before.   Valentines day eve - assured of a seat in our favorite restaurant without reservations.  Great dinner at the Bier Garden in Portsmouth, VA then home for a glass of champagne - it couldn't get any better - no pressure, no crowds.  P.S. Izzy does not understand the concept of hold still for a pic, actually Izzy does not understand hold still.

67 degrees Friday and morning temps on Saturday in the 50's - however, temps continue to drop all day. 

 and no wind - enjoy this moment - by evening things will be different.

It was so nice out, we decided to get the dinghy down and test drive to assure all systems where a go.

It appears everything is as it should be, however, Izzy has now decided she should ride in the first mates seat.

By 3:00 pm on Saturday - the temps dropped and the snow started flying - predicting 2 inches of snow in the area and temps into the teens - not feeling so bad as it is also cold in Florida.

  Gotta say, this is a first for me - snow and boating - awesome!!  Really it is awesome.

Sunday morning - not as much snow as predicted, but icy decks and brutal cold winds.  

Monday (Presidents Day) - as soon as the skim of ice was off the river the rowers were out - Elizabeth river is a major rowing club hub - this is the local high school kids.  Definitely a double hoodie kind of day.

Still not sure of our plans/intentions - will keep you posted.

Special shout out to our niece Erin, nephew-in-law Loren and their beautiful baby Edgar.

Extra special thanks to niece Shana for your beautiful birthday wishes - you are amazing!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

It was a flip flop kind of day...

temps in the mid 60's today, but, not expected to last thru the weekend.  Felt good to stretch out the toes.

Thanks to everyone for my Birthday wishes and support - I think 60 is going to be ok.  

Monday, February 11, 2013

Still not wearing flip flops!

Not much to report since last week.  Maintenance,cleaning and provisioning have been our priorities, but not over doing it.  Still no firm plans as to a departure date and not even sure yet where we are heading.  Hoping that the temps start to warm up a bit before disconnecting from our power source.  We have been using a couple of ceramic heaters to keep things nice and toasty and occasionally using the reverse cycle heat when temps drop below 30 (hoping that won't happen again).

 Last Friday, buckets of  rain and strong winds moved thru the area (the stuff that headed to New England).  The wind blew the water out of the river into Abermarle Sound - for most of the day we sat about two feet lower than normal, which made getting from the boat to the dock a bit of a challenge.

 Amazed at how many boats are still heading south - we see one or two a day, passing by or stopping here for a night.

 The heat exchange issue seems to have been resolved.  Rick decided to take it to a radiator shop just up the street from the marina, have it flushed, and pressure tested and everything appears to be fine.  We will see, once underway.    

Izzy is enjoying the big grassy yard to play ball and we have found a good place to take a daily walk.  Temps warming up this week, daffodils and tulips are blooming, all is good here.

      Izzy downtime.  Amazing what a little exercise does for her or perhaps she is growing out of the puppy stage (yah right).

Celebrating my big 60th birthday on the 7th.  Not sure how I feel about it yet - I'm adjusting.
My sister told me, 60 is the new 40.  Easy for her to say - she's just turning 59.
Thank you, Rick and Izzy for my new iPad.  

Dreamin of warm sunny places.

"Dream as if you'll live forever. 
Live as if you'll die today."
James Dean

Sunday, February 3, 2013

On the road again.....

We departed on schedule, leaving Minnesota on Thursday, January 30th just ahead of another cold front bursting thru the door from Canada.  Predictions were for wind chills into the 25-30 below zero range and we wanted to be ahead of that front.  We did have some serious wind, gusting out of the west to 30mph, but didn't see temps lower than 6 degrees.  Did hit snow off and on thru West Virginia - as soon as we hit the Virginia border the sun appeared and nice dry roads all the way to Chesapeake. Thankfull to our kids for taking care of the homestead in Minnesota, allowing us to return to Broulee. 

      Next stop - the carwash.  Up top - our pilot house cushions  returning to the boat after their reupholstery job.

Fending off the chill - barricade of pillows and blankets - Friday night in the 20's and woke to ice outside of the boat in the morning.  Not exactly wearing flip flops and needing sunscreen, but hey, we are back on the boat and it feels good.

Well, maybe not so good. On the trip to Maine we had to keep adding water to the cooling system. Not good! So time to check it out. Possible problems? Rusted cast housing, leaking tube stack, faulty boot housing (not pictured), or ? head gasket ?

OK here is the challenge. Get the tube stack out after 19 years of running. Push, pull, rubber mallet, more muscle, more rubber mallet and success! After the cooling tube stack was out inspection of the cast housing showed no significant rusting. Rule that out.

So, here's the tube stack out, cleaned and under pressure test. 

Good news ! Pressure held! So far anyway. Maybe saving a boat unit in cost (1,000.00). Held under 10 lbs pressure so we'll see if it works under engine temps and the 11-12 psi in the system. Now the flush of the systems, no pictures but 3 hours of work. Filling, adding Cascade dishwasher soap (really?), running, draining, filling, flushing, etc, etc,. Did not want to use acids or other flushing solutions at this point, but wanted to completely flush and "wash" the system for a change in anti-freeze product. Here's hopping this works. 

The new re-upholstered (ultra suede) pilothouse cushions.  We know, not perfect, but satisfied with our new upholstery job.

We are boating!  We know its just moving out of the shed. That was Broulee's spot for the last five months.  We did notice alot of wood shavings on the deck and companionway - probably from the dock and pilings during Hurricane Sandy.

Back on the dock after filling water tanks at the fuel dock - the downside of boating, when temps are in the 30's - the marina shuts the water off on the docks.  Luckily we are our own little city so all systems are a go.

Our Queen Isabella,  kicking back, head on pillow (seriously that is how she sleeps) and glad to be back on Broulee.

It doesn't matter what the temp is - we love being on the boat and the feel of being on the water again.  We are used to bringing the boat south from Minnesota mid October, so we know about cooler boating temps (we just thought we got smarter).  Temps expected to be in the mid to high 50's next week, a few maintenance issues (as always) to deal with then moving south - where to, not sure, but moving south.

I am a  California girl - born in Oxnard, California (Port Hueneme) while my dad was in the Air Force.  A part of my heart was left in San Francisco, my favorite city.