-E.B. White

Sunday, April 17, 2022



Easter morning Bald Eagle Lake 2022.  Looks like a good day for us (although as I write this, the evening weather has taken a turn for the worse - snowing!!!!!)  Welcome to Minnesota spring. Thankyou Shana for hosting an amazing Easter Brunch, very nice to be with my family - Izzy and I are seriously missing Rick, still hoping to meet him & Broulee soon.

Izzy and I out for our morning walk got a good laugh, this was posted on the telephone pole near our driveway.  The McVeigh's have 4 young children.  What a brilliant mother.   Hope everyone had a good day!!!

Flashback Easter 2007 on Broulee in the BVI's.  Coloring easter eggs with sharpie pens.

Nice job Smiths, amazingly the Easter bunny found us.

Nothing better than Easter on the beach in the BVI's

Will post shenanigans of the Broulee crew  in next day or so.  

Thursday, April 14, 2022



Well we started off February celebrating Debs birthday appropriately at Smith House restaurant in Old San Marco with Doug, Robbie & Jane & Dean.

Then the fun continued next day with Wayne & Carol at the Speak Easy for twin lobster tails from Maine.

and, of course Carrot Birthday cake!!!!

These two showed up for the birthday party!!!

Some of our back home friends asked for pics of our boat, so here are a few.
Our saloon (living room)

Our Galley

Master Stateroom

Washer & Dryer

and the captain at the helm.

Deb home in February for Brother-In-Law David's funeral, hugs from these two greats made her day!!!!!

March is the prettiest time of year here -

and lots of threats for storms.

Red Sky in the morning.....

Also time for the burrowing owls to appear, sorry not a very good pic.

Oh, geez,  another project - Captain decided to rewire the anchor/windlass battery, and of course, its in the compartment under our bed.

Yikes, new battery in place and lots of wiring to follow.

Izzy's toys patiently waiting for attention, but for some reason she has been ignoring them, until...

Happy Hippo showed up (thanks Jane & Dean)

She's now back to greeting everyone on the dock with Happy Hippy.

Sadly, we are winding down our Marco Island 2021/2022 season.  Final celebration at one of our favorite spots, the Smith House restaurant with Jane & Dean, Doug & Robbie and Richie. 

Stay tuned for our next adventure.

SO MUCH FOR THAT PLAN.  We had decided to for-go our normal storage plans at River Forest ( prices in Florida have tripled) and  we wanted to do some much needed cruising. In preparation for our 3 week trip up the east coast to Norfolk, Virginia, lots of maintenance was happening, requiring engine and generator running.  Our 13 year old + dog started to have lots of anxiety (she's never enjoyed the boat thing, that goes way back, too many rough passages, right Big Run?).  The day before we were heading out for our big adventure, she decided she was not coming back on boat, combined with our son calling to tell us our furnace was out - we decided to drive home.  Temps were ok back home so house would not freeze, but wanted to get Izzy home to our vet (major diarrhea and vomiting, sorry for that TMI).  Plus side, she's doing good, happy to be home and enjoying chilly Minnesota.  Sad for me, Rick headed back to Florida and has asked a couple of friends to  help him move the boat and I'm here taking care of our girl. Hopefully I can join him on the east coast somewhere, for a few days of cruising.  Plans made in jello, the cruisers life.

"Great things are not done by impulse, but they are a series of small things brought together."
Vincent Van Gogh

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Maserator toilet install 101 - Let the fun begin!

 OK, so the new toilet arrived in one piece and the old Dometic/Sealand VacuFlush toilet and lines have been removed.

Sorry we missed pics of the removal. That was the ugly part as the original sanitary hose from the old toilet to the vacuum tank (part of the vacuflush system) went from the vanity area under the shower stall emerging in the forward holy place where you can almost reach. 

And of course it wouldn't budge. This was after trying to release it from the vacuum tank as it, the hose, was secured with 5200. OMG, only way the get it out was to cut/saw the tube. Mind you the toilet and hose were still full of "product", so cutting the hose was met with a fair amount of trepidation. OK, a fear of a face wash!?

   From the previous blog post here's the vacuum tank showing the remains of the black sanitation hose connected to the tank with 5200.

Well the cutting had no fluids or even drips because it was totally blocked with calcified material hard as a rock. Prodding it with a long thin stick opened up a 3/4 inch opening for all the fluid to drain out. As I said the hose would not budge so in came a come-along winch ratcheting it and stretching it 6 inches before it let go with a snap, which then separated it from the new hose attached to pull thru the confined area.

                            Almost able to reach where the hose comes forward under the shower stall

View of the holy place from the master stateroom and some of the pieces needed for the project with Rick in his "pretzel" mode!

With the old hose out a new hole in the boat was needed to fish in the new hose. This was in a void behind the shower stall seat and revealed  where the old hose has been secured with a heavy tie strap. Maybe good idea for install but horrible for replacement. But hey, it lasted 28 years!

New hose above my head in pic

Note the coupling to connect the new flex hose with the PVC piping. This let me make the barbed hose connection where I could reach it while then using the threaded connection to mate the lines. Thinking better for replacement as needed. The dark marks on the hull are where the old vacuum tank was installed behind the water maker pump and filters (removed to get access for this project).

                                                       Hoses and some wiring under the vanity


Hose and new water line under platform on which the toilet sits to make the plumbing connection. The fitting at hose end connects at the back of the new toilet

So with the new hose installed and connected to a new hard PVC line to the holding tank, the toilet install fun was ready to begin.

 Here she sits on her side to pre-wire the electrical in the back and prep the plumbing connections

Now, how to set the toilet and make the connection in the back. How about a mirror and flashlight and nut driver to tighten the hoses in place.

Installed in place


                                                             and ready for service !

This is a Dometic model MF 8120 vitreous china electric macerator toilet with specifications saying it will deliver the "product" some 98 feet horizontally. Our holding tank is 15 feet away on a level run so thinking the product should easily make it to the tank.

To answer an anticipated question; why not keep the vacuflush system with the new sanitary hose installation? Well first it's a 1994 system making it 28 years old and second, kept in service by numerous replacement parts and repair work over the years. And third, the needed replacement parts now needed added up to nearly half the new toilet cost with fewer parts and a straight line to the holding tank. Kind of a no-brainer for us. And it is amazingly quieter. Now lets hope for trouble free service.

Now to re-install all the items and wiring removed to make the install possible. Picture from last post with the water maker pump and filter

Oh, one last note on this install. The vent for the holding tank was a 3/4 inch; line that goes through a charcoal filter and then exists the boat through a hull vent connection restricting the air flow to a 3/8 inch fitting. That never made sense to me, so while working on this project installed a 1 inch line venting to the exterior through a 1 inch through hull fitting and then covered with a Vetus UFO deck vent as shown below.

This will help in the pump out and proper venting / air flow from the holding tank.

Thursday, February 3, 2022

Key West or Bust!!! also Roh Roh ! (and the rest of January)


The first week of January found us back at our favorite anchorage at Keewaydin Island. We ended up spending 3 beautiful nights.

Izzy enjoyed lots of beach time - she is a labrador after all.

This poor guy got caught high and dry when the tide went out😢

and, once again, we were escorted back to our marina by this fun group.  Check out the big guy doing his famous spin move.

Our original plan was to take Broulee to Key West and spend a month in a marina there.  We started back in late July early August to get a reservation for January or February, they would kinda  chuckle, then tell us they would  put us on a list. After listening to other boaters here experiencing the same "we will put you on a list" situation, we have all figured out it's not going to happen.  So the second week in January we loaded Izzy in the car and drove the five hours and stayed in a pricey hotel.  Just letting you know, Key West is still Key West! However, this trip is all about visiting our friends Vince and Mary who locked into City Marina, well over two years ago.  

Out for a walk with Izzy the next morning, we had jackets on with winds blowing 10-20 miles an hour, this guy blew by us.  Found out later, he does this every day.

We've been to Key West a few times and have done the stuff,  so this was a fun find for us, The Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory.  They have 50-60 varieties of butterflies from around the world.  It was magical.

This guy/girl tried to hitchhike out of here with Rick

Thanks, Vince & Mary - very fun experience @ butterfly museum!  

Our last night there, of course, we had to do Mallory Square and sunset.  

As always, too many people! 

Had dessert and decadent drinks at a place called Better Than Sex, well it's close!

Sadly, these guys are taking over the island, and trust me hens and chicks don't have a chance

Rick, you asked, what projects Rick is working on.  I wish it was something fun, but sadly, our crapper took a crap.  She held in there for 28 years ( with some minor repairs) but, she had to go.

It wasn't really the toilets fault, and this guy also not the culprit, but was clogged with calcium deposits where the inch and a half sanitary hose connected to it. It was actually the hoses fault.  We just decided it was time to shit can this old system.  After research, decided to switch to a maserator toilet. 

Of, course, any of you boaters know, the toilet and sewer system on the boat is probably the worst repair job that you ever have to deal with (well maybe also fuel tanks). Pretzel Man (aka Rick) down in the shit hole place.  

As always, projects mean the boat becomes a construction zone.  Yep, this is our bedroom, step carefully.

New toilet is here, so exciting -

Unfortunately, it arrived in a hundred little busted pieces.

On a sad note, Debs brother-in-law who had been managing cancer for many years, was told in December he had 3-6 months to live (he found this out 4 days after he retired). Deb got the call on January 19th, that he had a seizure and was admitted to the hospital.  She flew home the next day. Very lucky to be with him in his final hours. Upon arrival back in Florida on the evening of January 23rd, we got the call he passed.

April 29, 1955 - January 23, 2022

Rick has been golfing a lot. Guessing he will take a drop on this one?

On a happy note, our new, all in one piece toilet arrived today.  She's a beauty. I have never been so excited to see a toilet.  Rick will fill in all the details on this "fun" project.