-E.B. White

Monday, April 22, 2013

Waiting on a weather window

Our original departure was to be the 15th of April, but decided it would not be best to arrive home in time for 8 more inches of snow.  So now we are sitting her waiting for a weather window.  We have done this many times on the boat, but can't say the same for the car.  The next front that brings more snow to Minnesota will also be bringing rain, tornadoes and strong winds thru the area we need to drive to get home, so we wait.

In the meantime we have gotten a few more unexpected projects completed.  A couple of weeks ago we started to smell mold in the chain locker.  First everything had to be cleared out of the storage locker in front of the chain locker, turning into a great opportunity to get rid of more crap.  Then the 400 ft of chain had to be hoisted out of the locker, handed down over the rail onto the dock and then carried off the dock to a couple of pallets so the chain could get scrubbed and repainted.

After cleaning the chain and storage lockers with a mix of vinegar, water and dish soap - Rick decided to repaint the chain locker. Yes, that is white paint on his elbow (projects do not come without their mess). 


OK, what's with Rustoleum paint on the chain? It's the last or bitter end of the chain and will seldom, if ever, get to see the light of day. And with most of the galvanizing worn off the paint might keep the rust at bay. We had 400 feet, but the last 80 feet were badly rusted, so Rick removed it.

The remainder of the chain had only surface rust, so after flushing it with phosphoric acid Rick is applying Rustoleum's Cold Galvanizing Compound. Which he admits won't last that long, but buy at least some added life to the chain. (Note: We apply this spray paint to the prop at every haul out and, except for wearing off at the blade tips, it stays on and keeps the barnacles off. Can't beat the $6.00 per can to keep the prop clean!)

Applying paint markings which we have found wears off after a few uses so there are also vinyl inserts in the links we picked up in Trinidad. They can be hard to see as the chain plays out so Rick also wrapped some colored duck tape and stitched on colored webbing. (Sorry we didn't get a picture of him sewing webbing onto the chain links as it brought some interesting comments from the dock.) We'll see how all these different markings work.

"Restored" chain in port locker side and rope/chain in starboard.

Varnishing has stopped due to the daily dose of tree pollen.

 So it is back to the teak bench seat repair.

  Here's the prep for the backer board. Applying a slightly thickened epoxy mix and then setting a treated plywood board.

The larger hatch after backer board primed and filler applied.

Finish coat of Interlux Perfection, a two part polyurethane paint.

Lots of tools available to remove the old caulk, a Fine oscilating tool, or similar, works great. But, still one of the best is a flat file and slotted screw driver bent to "pull" and scrape the side of the channel.

After sanding the top, aah the fun of taping off in prep for the black "stuff", polysulfide caulk.

Apply a little, spread a little before it skims over. Then remove the tape a just the right time. 

The finish products. Ok, the sides now need some sanding.
Future project!

The vent hatch open (a hinge stop hardware yet to be applied)

Things to do when you have too much time on your hands.  We have storage space under our queen island berth.  Needless to say after 12 years of  cruising we have accumulated a few spare things and out of sight is out of mind... 

Spare microwave, scuba gear, a SuperMax anchor, a window air conditioner (used in Trinidad when Broulee was on the hard) fans, cockpit window screens (two sets) and several other spare parts. 

The Captain has decided to bring the anchor back to Minnesota to modify it.  He has never been happy with it's performance. Rick says too much of the weight is at the shank, not enough at the blade/toe,  causing it to lay on its side and not always burying itself. It was sent to the hidey-hole quite sometime ago, during the Caribbean trip, where it just dragged along the hard sand bottoms. We replaced it with a Bruce anchor. The microwave I'm not ready to give up yet, but the air conditioner has found a new home.

 A young couple that we have "happy houred" with several times, will be spending the summer at AYB refurbishing their boat - they are without AC.  Couldn't think of a better home for it.  

The Boat Parade continues. Another purtty boat.

Spring time in Great Bridge brings out, among other things, the thistles. Some big ones! (Oh, did we say there are lots of water snakes that like the warmer, sunny weather?)

Guess they like to hang around together in the trees. Maybe the water's still too cold for them.

Thursday, April 18, 2013


We keep telling our friends and family back home we are not coming home till all the snow is gone!  Normally we are home by now enjoying the springtime tulips. It seems winter is holding Minnesota hostage this year.  Deb's sister just sent us this update. 

Come on - potential for 6+ inches.  

Well anyway, we are wrapping up projects here and once again, have our sights on the barn. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Outdoor projects begin

Yup it's hot here.  Went from temps in the mid 60's to 90 degrees for the past three days.  So outdoor projects have now begun - Friday a front will be pushing thru and returning temps to their normal spring like comfortable sleeping weather(high 60's to mid 70's and 40-50 at night).

The never ending varnishing has now begun. Stopped last year with maybe 8-9 coats. Will still need to add several more.

And once again the cockpit has become a dangerous "construction zone". Remember this project - we brought it back to Minnesota last fall (it's the cover seat to the front bench/storage.  It was completely rotted underneath and is now getting a new underbelly. Could not complete it in Minnesota due to "out of square" pieces and no way to confirm what was reality on the boat. So,... brought it back partially ready for fitting.

Here the "top" side with all caulking removed and applying some epoxy filler after securing a new back board. See next picture.

 Measuring, cutting, epoxy gluing, temporarily screwing  the new treated plywood backing board.  

Here's the new treated backer board with epoxy setting up. This will be sanded and epoxy/multi-part painted in lieu of the laminate over plywood used before.

  Unfortunately - these kind of projects grow.  The adjacent hatch to the one being worked on (above) and over our stateroom (guess it hasn't been opened for a few years) is going to require the same TLC. Now how'd the water get into the plywood core?
What appeared to be fine on top was completely rotted underneath -

We may be here all summer - NOT!!

Boats are now starting to come north in droves.  But a few nights ago "something wicked" came south thru the bridge - I'm sure during the day it would have been fine, but at night an eerie, not so friendly looking structure. It's an assortment of dredge barges, tug in the lead, pumping barge and work barge/station following.

Fun and interesting stuff heading north. Guessing it's a  Romsdahl, canoe stern, North Sea trawler . Got'a love it, if it wasn't wood hull!

Not guessing on this one! But looks roomy.

Most nights we are lucky to have this sunset view, but some nights.....

the sunset is blocked.  A 64 ft Nordhaven blocking out the daylight. Nice boat.  Luckily they didn't stay long.

But the boats come and go - meeting lots of new people and running into some people we have met before - crazy and wonderful this life style.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Are you kidding me??????

So we just called home to our neighbors in Minnesota.  First off, they are having another blizzard!!! Secondly we found out within days of Izzy's injury to her foot - a split toenail (trying to dig out a mole) - her sister Kelly, also split her nail digging in the snow.   Strange coincidence. 

I also wanted to call this blog - Izzy Smith goes to Washington.

Yes, we all went to Washington.  The chamber of commerce lied to us.  We should have known better. "They" claimed the peek time to see the blossoms on the Cherry trees would be April 3rd to the 6th (revised date due to the cold temps).  The actual Cherry Blossom Festival started March 23rd  and would be ending on the 11th of April. So on the 3rd of April (after confirming the trees were blooming) we trekked north 200 plus miles to the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC.  

 Wayne and Carol stopped by for a visit and also  a side trip to Washington DC for the Cherry Blossoms.  They recently sold their boat "TakeTime" and are heading north to New Hampshire to finish building their dream home in the woods.

 Hauling the final "stuff" from the boat - behind their new Ford Flex.  We wish them well on their next adventure.  However, we will miss them alot on the waterways. 

We have been hoodwinked!!!!!  Well at least it was easy to get a parking space.

Almost -

Oh well - let's just enjoy the sights.

Alot of us were hoodwinked.

One of the fun things to do is rent a paddle boat on the Tidal Basin to see the Cherry Blossoms.  Maybe not so fun in 30MPH winds and 50 degree temps and no Cherry Blossoms.  

All quiet at the Capitol - our tax dollars at work????

and of course, the White House -  just noticed the guy on the roof

Perfect picture hiding the scaffolding - too bad the blossoms are not out.

OMG - we found one - ok so not the entire experience, but, we get the idea.

"Take Time" to smell the Cherry Blossoms.