commuterCRUISER.com and The Boat Galley Cookbook hung out at the St Petersburg Boat Show all day today -- Friday. It was busier than we've seen it in the past and lots to see!
First a stop at the Cruisers Outpost booth to visit with Bob & Jody Bitchin! The former Lats & Atts owners have a new magazine and YOU should subscribe to support their efforts! Besides, they're supporting The Boat Galley Cookbook and bought one of my articles, Lemonade from Lemons -- look for it in an upcoming issue!
If you go to the St Pete Boat Show, be SURE to stop by and say hello to John & Libbie at the Hotwire booth - you can't miss it on the left as you wander through the first tent -- they have so many cool alternative energy solutions, that you OWE it to yourself to pay them a visit! Or ask about their port fan that is the best exhaust fan above my stove ever -- and it functions as a regular fan too -- or refrigerator fan, wherever I need it, very cool (hahaha)... or check out svHotwire.com
Thinking that 2013 brand new Grand Banks trawler is you? Check out how good The Boat Galley Cookbook looks in the galley. Oh yeah, you need this book (and this boat!)!
We always enjoy visiting with the people from Zarcor -- the coolest Peek-A-Boo boat blinds in the UNIVERSE! You have to check these out ... either here on commuterCRUISER.com ... or here at Zarcor...
So long for this year, St Pete Boat Show! We'll be back next year ... unless we skip the area & head south where it's warmer in the winter...... ;)
Even Nico, the 7 month old boxer puppy, was less than impressed today as he watched his dad, otherwise known as Mike - Paradise Yacht Service, sanded test spots on Winterlude's bottom.
Mike's theory is that maybe the vibration of the sander will help bring the moisture to the surface ... and if that theory doesn't work, it still should help the bottom dry as much as possible before filling, sanding and painting the last week of December for our return!
The good news is, in the two test patches he sanded, he didn't run into more sappy wet goop. The bad news is they're still moisture testing at max. :(
Heck, it seems to me that the minute we put the boat back in the water, the bottom's going to get wet regardless... so Winterlude is still going to be be sporting a new white Pettit ViVid bottom paint when we return. And then we'll get the bottom even wetter as we enjoy swinging on the hook at sunset somewhere.... :)
Over the years, we've somehow never managed to dis-assemble, clean, lubricate and re-assemble any of our winches ourselves. We've always waited until we were in a boatyard and had it done.
So we're sitting here waiting for Winterlude's bottom to dry and dreaming up new projects. David's project idea this morning was to try to take apart our winches -- he's avoiding trying to figure out how to get the hot water heater out -- just to hit the reset button, we'll have to disconnect and remove the engine exhaust hose and a myriad of other semi-important stuff.
But there is no obvious way they come apart... so we asked Nigel for some help.
Nigel is one of our best friends, and if you're not friends with him and you own a boat, you need to develop the friendship! Here's the most valuable fix-it book aboard ... If you don't own it, get it quick at Amazon...
Sure enough, even though our winches are old Barient winches, Nigel had good enough diagrams that David had ours apart, cleaned, regreased and re-assembled in almost no time! And if there were spare parts left over, he hid them from me. :) WOW!
The rest of our exciting day in the boatyard consisted of me doing laundry ... and we sat in our lawn chairs and watched Winterlude's boat bottom drying ... you think watching PAINT dry is BORING! But all in good time. In the meantime, our winches are in TOP NOTCH shape again! Good job, David! THANKS Nigel!
Winterlude has now been patiently sitting on the hard for almost three weeks -- two weeks since the bottom was sandblasted. Keep in mind if you're curious, the moisture that we're dealing with is UNDERNEATH the barrier coat - hopefully between the gelcoat and barrier coat.
Today's the big day -- Mike's going to check the hull for the second set of moisture readings.
Drumroll please ..... there are a few signs of progress ... the rudder is drying, the keel is drying, random places on the hull are drying, but there are also still places where the moisture content is "pegged" on the meter -- meaning somewhere above 31 percent -- I guess it could be anywhere from 32 percent to 60 percent ... no way to know ... too high.
Mike's going to start sanding tomorrow afternoon, hoping that all the gazillion holes we drilled in the tiny bumps will have released most of the "sap" so that his sandpaper won't immediately gum up with sap. His rationale is if he can get some more of the bumps opened up, there are still three weeks to go before we want him to sand, prime, bottom paint and splash. He's hoping the moisture content will drop further with the forecast dry weather, 80 degree sunny days and low humidity. Ideal would be 15-18 percent or below ... that's probably not realistic, but some spots are showing low 20's already, so we're all keeping our fingers crossed.
In the meantime, we're working on other projects, one of the latest is the hot water heater which hasn't worked for several years. Who needs a hot water heater in the tropics? But now that it's chilly at night, sometimes it might be nice. David thinks we can replace the heating element ... now if I can just find a replacement... :)
But it's SUNDAY -- and that's our beach day! So after moving back aboard last night and snuggling under our toasty electric blanket ... the forecast was for low 40's. It was a bit nippy waking up, but the electric blanket combined with the little space heater that we only turn on when we're in the immediate vicinity, made for a fine morning.... hot coffee never tasted so good! :) Then, just to say we "worked", we drilled out some new blisters that appeared on the bottom while we left for the holiday weekend... :( But then it was off to the beach.
Blind Pass Beach this time, just north of Englewood and south of Venice... reputedly a great place for shark's teeth ...
This is almost ideal, not quite low enough tide, but you want to see the shells in the surf line...
If you look closely, right in the middle of this patch of tiny tiny shell pieces is a triangle shape, shiny black. This is how you find shark's teeth. Most are black, a surprise to us the first time we went looking....
So we're wandering down the beach, looking for shark's teeth when another beachcomber tells us that Bobby Vinton's home is just ahead... Who's Bobby Vinton?
Once billed as the most successful love singer of the rock 'n roll era by Billboard Magazine, Vinton sold more than 75 million records including the hits "Roses are Red" and "Blue Velvet."
Do you think this means he's not inviting us in for lunch? Oh darn!
So the shark's teeth were good, not as many as Englewood Beach, but better quality & size. We didn't get to eat lunch with Bobby Vinton, but we did have a great picnic at the beach....
I'm taking an downloaded photography class from "Fro Knows Photo" I don't consider myself a true beginner with my Canon SLR - I've had it a couple years now & enjoyed some good photos, but I know I don't know how the F-stops work, or the shutter speed or other technical factors that divide the beginners from the intermediate photo buffs. Anyway, Fro has an assignment for each "class" and this week's was shutter speed and movement. SO, I was playing with the water while we were looking for shark's teeth ... and look what happened! :) I can't wait to learn more - this guy explains things so that I actually comprehend them, not just gibberish f-stops/shutter speeds/depth of field/etc. We'll see, hopefully the course will make me a better photographer!
Here's the last photo from today -- a dock washed away by a long ago hurricane in the surf... gotta go! Amazing Race is getting ready to start over in the boatyard Clubhouse & I can't miss my only show! :) Later!
We're spending the holiday weekend with my 91 year old Dad at his apartment home in Lakeland, Florida. Playing lots of cards and dominoes -- Dad & his friend, Kay, even taught us a new version of an old cruiser staple, dominoes -- it's called Chicken Tracks, fast action, lots of changes and we laughed and laughed. Good times with family is always good for a holiday weekend.
But the thing we'll always remember most about my Dad was when we sailed back into US waters after being out cruising for six years. We called him when we sailed in the pass at Boca Grande Pass, just at sunset.
Literally by 9 AM the next morning he was standing on the dock waiting for us to arrive. We tried explaining that we had to go to the airport to clear back into the USA for immigration. (We had our call in customs sticker, but no one told us we needed a "Local Boaters Card" to call in for immigration.) So after he climbed all over the boat, he gave us a ride to the airport and dropped us off for the official clearance procedures.
Since he lives a couple of hours away from where the boat is currently, we get to see him more often than we did when we were out floating around the Western Caribbean.... Altho' David keeps mentioning something about it not being warm enough here in Florida for the boat ... or his shorts! :)
Hope you're having a great holiday weekend whatever you're doing! Cheers! Jan & David
Happy Thanksgiving! Aboard Winterlude we have lots to be thankful for ... family, friends, memories! We hope you have a wonderful day and remember everything you're thankful for, wherever you may be floating around on this big blue ball of a globe we all call home!
We're thankful for our families, represented here by our wonderful grandkids, Gilly & Rowan, plus the two more that will be joining the families next month (December babies!)!
We're also thankful for our cruising friends and the great Thanksgivings we had "out there". Scroll down to see three special Thankgivings!
Cheers & HUGS to all!!!
Jan & David
HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Wherever you are & however you'll celebrate it! :)
We've never stayed at a boatyard quite like this! Tonight was potluck, party time! Somewhere around 70 people attended tonight's fun! Don't worry, they're having a Thanksgiving Feast too, this was just the pre-party! No time to write much, had too much fun feasting, laughing, chicken dancing, then real dancing with a live band at the party!
The evening started off with a BANG ... thanks to Marty from s/v Bullship....
Then some toe tapping fun dancing tunes from the band Tidal Wave -- you can see Smitty busy on the drums in the back of the photo!
Too much fun! We're tired -- good night all!
You know there's light at the end of the tunnel when you can actually sit in more than one spot on a settee and don't have drills/drivers/dremels charging in every electrical outlet, a variety of socket sets open everywhere ... plus sandpaper, varnish, brushes and stuff cluttering the cockpit!
LOOK! We picked up our newly powder coated solar stanchion brackets today. And they look GREAT! Now if we can just remember how to reassemble them to reattach the solar panels - 2 55 watters on each and then attach the brackets to the boat stanchions. Luckily David had me take photos before we took them apart so hopefully re-assembly will go easily.
But before we can reattach the brackets to the stanchions, I needed to clean the stainless... no use putting brand new gleaming powder coating over rusty old yucky stainless. So I started my stainless "POX on Boat Pox" experiment. Over the next few months, I'll be trying a variety of products for stainless and report back on ease of use and long lasting. Watch for the complete report on CommuterCRUISER.com!
This cleat has half Iosso Metal Cleaner & Polish and half Mary Kate Metal Mate Cleaner & Polish. The starboard side solar stainless was done with Mary Kate and the port side with Iosso. Mary Kate might have a negligible edge on ease of getting rust off, but we'll see how they both hold up! Game on!!! BTW, I can also report that someone told me SheilaShine, a stainless spray product made for kitchen appliances in Australia doesn't even begin to get pox off boat stainless, so don't try it! I did put a bit of it over a couple different spots cleaned with Iosso and Mary Kate to see if maybe it affects longevity... In other news.....
As a boat galley cookbook co-author, I'm happy to report that a bottle of rum makes a fine rolling pin for things like crushing vanilla wafers to make no bake holiday booze balls! :) Yet another tidbit of maybe someday useful trivia.
Until tomorrow, it's almost time for happy hour and then dinner! YUM! Pasta Primavera - a new twist, we'll see if it's scrumptious or awful - new recipes aboard Winterlude are rarely in the middle! :)
It's Sunday and after a bit of a cool start, it turned into a beautiful sunny day. So we did a bit of housekeeping, rinsed the bottom (as the sap in the blisters drys it inhibits the hull from drying, but it's extremely water soluble, so we rinse it twice a day to keep the moisture oozing OUT and drying the bottom!), and then loaded up the truck for a picnic at the beach!
The very very best time to find the shark's teeth that David loves to collect (and any kind of shells for that matter) is low low tide. Guess what time we got to the beach today -- lucky happenstance, certainly not pre-planning on our part!
Once again the black skimmers turned up their noses at our activities -- what idiot but a human would bother collecting shark's teeth!
Today was even better than last week's heist of shark's teeth!
They're very cool and take very little space to collect, perfect for a sailboat! One of these days we'll do a bit more research and see if we can't find out more about these fossils! But not today -- tonight Amazing Race is on in 45 minutes and I have to do my daily photography lesson online first. David's over at the cruiser's lounge watching the Colts get walloped by the hated Patriots, so being the fair weather fan that I am, I chose to stay behind and do my lessons... oh, and if you missed it, look at the Margarita Grilled Grouper we had for dinner last night! YUM YUM!!!
The Boat Galley Cookbook, available on Amazon! Click here to order & help support a couple starving authors. :)