Saturday, June 30, 2012

It's The Simple Things...

Evidently Bruce and I are easy to entertain... that being said, one of the most fun things we have done on Dos Libras is simply enjoying the passing of a thunderstorm safe and dry (mostly) in the cockpit.  We didn't have a full enclosure on our last boat and it was always one of the things we wished for the most. 

Dos Libras came with a full enclosure that we have come to love.  We were aboard this Saturday morning and were expecting guests.  I peered out the window from the bedroom and found the weather to be very much uncooperative, which would normally have put a "damper" on things.  Bruce and I, however... not so much! 

Bruce emerged first and lured me up into the cockpit to watch as the sky darkened, the big drops began to pap against the isinglass windows and pop the top of our bimini...

We took our morning coffee into the cockpit and giggled like fools as the frenzy grew...

Bruce kept a weather eye on the iPad and we experienced this thunderboomer to the fullest! 

The rest of the weekend turned out to be a study in human behaviour with six people aboard the boat in the slip with intermittent long periods of heavy rain.Thanks you Shinns for providing us with this wonderful boat!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Boat Stuff For Sale - Posession Eradication Phase II

We are going through our stuff and will be posting things as we find them.  Please check back often... we're just getting started.  Click here to send us an email.  Or to to my FaceBook Page and send me a message.

$300  SOLD

Autohelm Auto Pilot ST4000  This Autohelm was on our previous boat.  We replaced it with a newer unit with the intention of offshore cruising.  The fluxgate compass (top left) is from the new unit I bought but didn't install.  I saved this unit as my backup but didn't let it go with the boat when it sold. 

$65 SOLD

West Marine High Back Go-Anywhere Seat We bought this seat to use in offshore cruising on our new boat.  Due to the configuration of the cockpit enclosure, we are unable to use it.  The seat was purchased new and has never been used.

The chair has deep cushions and yet folds to a compact unit for storage and transport.

Adjustable Whisker Pole 10'6" to 15'.  Inner pole 2" diameter/outer pole 2 2/2" diameter.  New, a comparable pole would cost $789. 

This pole was used on both our 33 ft and our 36 ft. sailboats.  It would be good for use on sailboats in the 30-36 ft range.

$35 for all
Zodiac Semi-Recessed Valve Diaphragm Inserts (2) and  Zodiac Valve Inserts (3)

Or individually priced:
Diaphram Inserts - $5 each
Valve Inserts - $10 each

$30 SOLD

Bronze Grounding Plate for SSB

$45 SOLD

Nicro Minivent Solar Vent

Stainless 4 inch. vent. Used with two fan blades (one used one new)


Spinlock  Used four locks (one doesn't work) Includes two inch teak mounting block. 


Sony Marine Speakers Sx-mp1610w Never used, six inch speakers peak watts 140  Rated 40W


Pair of Dahon Mariner Model DA612M, 267-17" Frame, 21 speed folding bicycles. 

These folding bicycles are made for the marine environment but would also be great for anyone with limited space as they are full sized bicycles. Would consider selling individually but would prefer to sell them together.

Jib In Action

Tri-Radial Genoa, 4.2 oz mylar/carbon/diax laminate by Scott.  3/16" Luff Tape for slot.  Leech/Foot lines peel off numbers and draft stripes, spreader reinforcing patches.  Has a few sewn patches up to 5"X 9".  Has a few sticky patches up to 2" X 6".  Red bag. Good condition. 45 lbs.  (Bacon Sails' description)

I purchased this sail from Bacon Sails.  I used it in one race and have since sold the boat I bought it for. 

Luff measures 49'.  Leach measures 47'2".  Foot measures 23'11".


Banks Sails Cruisemate Plus Roller Furling Blade Jib, Sunbrella UV Cover, Dimension Hydra-Net HN-320 (7.3 oz.).  Dacron sail reinforced with Spectra. Very little use.  Purchased new and sold the boat shortly thereafter.  Original price $2,145.00

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Test Week With Cats

Our Master Plan to move aboard Dos Libras currently includes bringing our two cats to live aboard.  We have had many people weigh in from friends to blogs I follow... and the end result is that we will just have to see if our cats can adjust.  I had a vacation week tacked onto the end of the Rockport Music Festival weekend and with all the boat projects still undone, we decided to bring the cats out to see how they would do.  The look on Jetsam's face kind of sums up her opinion of boat life...

She spent the first half day hiding under the galley stove.  When I got busy cleaning out and reorganizing the galley cabinets, she darted to the v-berth and proceeded to hide there between the mattress and the anchor locker.  Jezabelle spent some time in the v-berth as well, but she is naturally more curious.  She soon came out of hiding and explored the whole boat.

We soon fell into a pattern similar to that we have at home.  Mornings and evenings, the cats liven up and spend time with us.  Much of Jetsam's day is spent hiding in the closet or some other close space, while Jezabelle will rouse herself to follow us around when we are home.  She loves to be with us and "help" in whatever project we have going on.

Jezabelle showed a surprising interest in engine repair and maintenance.  Bruce opened the aft engine access panel so that he could check some things out and she was eager to do what she could to help.  I had a passing concern that she would go down into the bowels of the boat and nevermore be seen, but we learned that we could count on her need to be with us to bring her out into the light of day once again.  The only damage done was a little spot of engine oil on the back of her neck. 

Mornings assumed the same routine with Cat Breakfast being the first and most important duty.  After eating, Jetsam retired to her hiding place and Bruce and I took Leila into the cockpit to enjoy the sunrise and our coffee while Jezabelle considers her options.  Leila has adapted nicely to boating life. 

She hops around on the deck and watches all of the goings-on in the marina.  These same goings-on are what keeps Jezabelle from overcoming her fears.  She really wants to be out there with us, but just can't bring herself to stay...

We gave up on coaxing Jezzer out.  Each day it was the same, she would poke her nose out... step out... take a look around... then some sudden sound would send her scurrying back to the v-berth.  Oh well, she needs her beauty sleep anyway. 

She always came out to help with projects, even those as uninteresting as my journaling.  I think she was just so happy to be with us, she was willing to put up with nearly anything.  I'm pretty sure that both cats were familiar enough with the boat smells we brought home with us each visit on our laundry, that it wasn't a completely foreign place to them.

The days passed and we further developed our patterns.  Jetsam began to come out in the early evenings and sit with us or just enjoy some quiet time as things calmed down in the marina. 

We were very encouraged by the end of the week, when we were working on our last project... the AC ducts and blower motor replacement, when BOTH cats pitched in to help.  Bruce made all kinds of un-catfriendly noises on this project... but nobody ran for the hills.  This is such an exciting breakthrough in my opinion.  I think the girls are going to survive. 

Unfortunately, my plan to continue on through the next workweek were postponed as Bruce had to do security rounds for our townhome community each night, so we had to pack up our cats and go home.  Thankfully, there was no repeat of the carsickness we experienced on the trip out and we all got home clean and happy.

Maybe next trip out, we'll take the cats sailing!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

An Actual FUN Day!

With the winds being what they were this week, and the long list of things we still needed to get done on the boat before we felt we could relax and enjoy it... we have spent much of this week doing what one would not usually call vacation activities.  This is OK.  I would rather spend a work day on a boat than being at my actual work... any day! 
But finally, on Saturday... the winds finally let up and instead of digging in for the final push of getting our AC ducts in and the last of the mildew cleaned off the ceilings... Bruce convinced me to go and play!

We strapped Leila into her tiny little life vest and splashed the dinghy. 

We were headed for Anchor Hole.  Bruce and I have named our favorite swimming hole on the Aransas Channel near the intersection with the Lydia Ann Anchor Hole after finding a very nice new looking anchor just sitting there last year.  It's usually very good swimming with clear clean water and a shallow sandy bottom. 

Today it was a bit cloudy after recent winds, and there was an endless parade of motor boats buzzing by making a constant breaking wake on our shore.  This didn't deter me from trying Leila out with her life jacket.  She was happy trotting along the shore with no leash and seemed game when I went into the water and began to call her.

She tentatively stepped in and got lapped in the face with a couple of tiny waves, but she was a trooper and kept on coming until finally she gave a final leap and was swimming the last couple of feet to me.  She climbed up and clung for dear life and I could imagine what was going on in her little head:  What have I DONE?  We rode the waves for a bit then decided to go to the opposite shore on the Lydia Ann Channel to see if conditions were any better.

By this time, the sun was up and made the channel waters an incredible blue green.  Birds were diving on the fish and the parasail boat was out with their colorful parachute up.  There was a lot of traffic on the water this Father's Day weekend.  As we neared the shore, Bruce changed course and headed straight for a wrecked sailboat.  He wanted to check it out. 

The sailboat has been beached on its side for weeks with no story reaching our ears as to what happened.  There is also a beached catamaran nearby on the Lydia Ann.  Must have been some storm...  We beached the dinghy and let Leila run.  By this time she knew the drill and seemed to be very happy to buzz along the shore with her little life jacket no longer causing her a moment's pause.
While Bruce waded over to the sailboat, I tried again to convince Leila to come into the water.  She really wanted to but just couldn't bring herself to make the leap again once the water got to her chest. 
I got her and waded over to the sailboat while she clung to my shoulder. 

On our way back to shore, I decided to see if she could swim back herself.  I put her into the water and she took off following Bruce as he waded ahead.  She decided that he wasn't going to get her or was going too fast for her so she aborted her course and circled back around making a speedy B-line for me.  I haven't laughed so hard in some time and luckily, got it all on video.  She is just too cute! 

Bruce and Leila explored the shipwreck's belongings washed up on the beach.  Some blankets and a few clothes.  I wasn't going near that stuff.  Bruce got into some sand fleas and I decided it was time to bail on St. Joe's Island.  Besides, we still had work to do.

The ride back to the boat was too long for Leila.  She was tired out!  She tucked her tiny face under my life jacket and tried to sleep.  We are starting to think we might need to up her food rations if we are going to fill her days with swimming and boat rides.  She's used to a much more sedentary life.

Once back at Dos Libras, we washed everything up, had lunch and got to work on our final AC project.  Some of the ducts had been removed while the previous owners cruised in Europe.  We needed to replace them.  Bruce and I tore into the aft cabin and after several hours, had it all done except for one clamp. 

We left to get one at the Ace Hardware.  They were closed so we found one at the Biltmore.  Bruce remarked about the uncommonly heavy traffic.  The guy told us that there was a fishing tournament, which we knew... and that Pat Green was to play a concert at the Robert's Point Park.  We abandoned our plans to find some fresh fish for dinner and raced back to the marina to get a parking place.

We finished our AC project and turned our thoughts to dinner.  We could take the bikes and go out in search of food or I could just forage on the boat and make due with what we had.  With my new Frugal Cruiser mindset, I opted for the latter and set to work digging through cabinets and floor lockers. 

Once I had a concoction thrown together in a bowl, adding more cheese thinking I could eat anything with enough cheese... Bruce came by and took one look...  What is that SWILL? he asks.  That's your DINNER you're calling SWILL...    I popped it into the oven and we retired to the cockpit to await the finished product. 

While we enjoyed our sundowners, the Streeps stopped by on their way to go walking out to dinner.  After a couple of beers, I convinced them to share our SWILL with multiple disclaimers about quality but no fear about quantity.  The plan B would be, if it's not fit to eat, we can ALL go out to dinner.  I must tell you that the last time we had dinner with the Streeps, it was a wonderful wedge salad, crab legs and porter house steak.  My SWILL would be found wanting no matter what! 
They were good sports and I guess it was better than leaving our nice cozy marina to brave unknown crowds of concert goers and tourists...  We had a delightful dinner and they were at least very polite and had seconds of the SWILL.  We ended our evening as we often do with the Streeps, comparing iPad Apps.  It was altogether a FUN DAY!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Shackled By Our Dreams?

While we've been "living" aboard our new boat this vacation week... I've been trying to mentally prepare myself for some of the changes I will face as we transition from life on land to life afloat.  There are a great many internal struggles in progress in my mind, one of which is dealing with reduced income. 

I haven't quit my job yet, but I'm working on changing my mindset from buying whatever I want when I want it... to , well... NOT!  ( Thus the title of this entry )  Maybe "shackled" is a bit extreme, but for someone who has spent unwisely for years... it's a very limiting feeling to THINK about making a purchase and in many cases... to forgo the purchase altogether.

Now I will grant you that when you hear a couple of the examples of what I've NOT bought, you may think I'm a nut... ( a spoon rest for the galley stove, a sponge holder for the galley sink)  OK, maybe I AM a nut!  But I'm working on it!  I reminded myself that although I still have inches of lovely waterline to sink... I need to be sure that the things I do bring onto the boat are things we really need or at least things that will make a quantifiable  difference in our quality of life. 

Understand that I have chosen this path willingly and embrace it fully, it's still going to take a lot of adjustment, both physical and mental.  But for just a moment, when I was deciding not to buy those things (and a whole list of others), maybe I was seeing that as a negative.  (But I WANT a spoon rest...)  Thankfully, I was reminded by a Cruising Blogger that I follow... of something I had read years ago and have often related to others.

Here is a link to the blog entry that has my mind back on track again.  Sometimes it's good to hear your own advice coming back at you from someone else...  Thanks! Mid-Life Cruising!