Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Counting Down the Days

We both have been feeling pretty stressed getting everything wrapped up, so I have taken Tuesday off and Wednesday morning from work.  So glad that work is understanding!!   Definitely felt teary leaving work yesterday, but have all my charting done, so feel good about that and I'll be back next summer.
Last night Katie and I had a girls night - went to Max and Erma's for supper, then we went to the mall so that I could get some reading glasses.  One of the stores had a buy one get one free sale, so decided to get one pair of reading glasses and then another pair of sunglasses reading glasses.  I'm tired of craining my neck using the bifocal part to read what's on the laptop or computer.  They will be ready today.  We also went to JoAnn Fabrics so that I could get some pens that would show up on dark fabric. I'm making a quilt that has a brown hexagon center and 8 star points that come out from each flat part of the hexagon.  This quilt is a multi-year project as I really don't NEED another quilt, just want one.  There are 72 of these blocks with each flower part a different authentic old (40-50's) fabric.
hexagon star (flower) block
same block different fabric
I have an idea that I want to try to ask people we meet along the trip to sign the brown center of the block with their name and boat name.  Katie spent the afternoon cutting out squares from freezer paper and ironing them to the back of each block.  The last piece to be ready was to get the pens.  I found opague white pens that are suppose to work on dark fabric so hope they work.

Today Katie will wash clothes for us (she offered!) and then we will be working on emptying out the dock boxes, which includes the work logo clothes.  After we are done with that, we'll just work on what needs to be done.  Thursday is the day to take Katie to the Greyhound Bus Station.  Her bus will leave at 245pm and she'll get into Dayton about 745pm. 

Time to get to work.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Bon Voyage Part - Last Week

Thank you to everyone who came to the Bon Voyage Potluck Friday, and a special thank you to Dodie Farmiloe for coordinating and everything!  We had a wonderful time and it was great to see everyone.

Then on Saturday, our family celebrated us going on our trip.  My parents, as I mentioned before, came up from Dayton and here is a picture of us together.  Thanks for Kathleen and Virginia, my sister-in-laws, for bringing the good food and essentials.  It was great to see Phil's cousins also.  Katie is staying with us until she returns to Dayton via Greyhound Bus.
Dad, Lorraine and Mom

Less than one week the go and the pressure is on to leave on time.  We both are feeling it and will be glad when we have everything put into storage and we'll be leaving GRYC for the last time this season.  My last day at work is Wednesday.  The push is on!!

Thanks to all that have responded to my last email and I look forward to more responses.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Food Project and Bon Voyage Party

This past weekend, Phil and I tackled the food project - of determining what from the dock boxes we were going to bring, what we are giving away to Katie or the food bank and where we will put it and get it there.  It took us working on and off over the 2 days, but we have gotten almost finished and we were able to complete with minimum conflict.  We are waiting for better weather than yesterday with all the wind to vacuum seal the dehydrated food I made last summer, maybe on Wednesday.  We also took a trip down to Trader Joe's while it was raining to get more of their canned beef, but was disappointed to learn that they're not making it at the moment, hope to come out with it again ... in the fall.  Maybe we'll be able to go to one in Newport News, VA.  Phil was inventive and we were able to put many of the jars of salsa in the bilge along the edge of the water tank under the port settee.

I've gotten the V-berth quilt finished - hand sewed the binding on Wednesday evening, so I'm glad that is finished.

We are also having a Bon Voyage Party Friday evening at the GRYC Potluck which starts @ 6pm for cocktails and we usually start to eat at 645pm.  All club members, friends and work colleagues are invited to attend and bring a dish to share.  Please email me or call as Phil and I are providing hamburgers and we want to have enough.  We have also decided to provide Brats with homemade sauerkraut.  I would be great to see everyone one last time.

Saturday we are having a private family get together at the dock.  I'm glad to say that my parents and Katie will be making the trip up from Dayton for the night.  Katie will stay on the boat with us and my parents will get a hotel room.

It's hard to believe that that we have 12 days left including today.  How the time if flying.  I hope that the winds we are having this week calms down enough for our trip to Buffalo.  On a good note, I have been approved for the new health insurance that starts Sept 20.

Projects this week are getting the dock boxes attached to the fence after Phil makes a platform for them, vacuum sealing the dehydrated food, activate the GSP Messenger. I'm sure there is more, but can't think of them at the moment.

It's been great keeping up with Missing Link and I'm glad that their mast is up and on the Hudson River. We are hoping that Phil's dtr, Vicky will be able to join us for a couple weeks in Albany NY to help us with the transit to Norfolk, VA.  She was with Phil and Andy when they crossed the Atlantic Ocean on Andy's Prout Cataraman so will be a great asset and well as we love to see her.

It hasn't been all work this weekend.  We took a dinghy ride to the harbor entrance on Friday evening.  We were quite comfortable as we put the beach chairs in the dinghy to ride in.  Saturday morning the winds were from the South, so took Changes out and went along the shore reaching up and down the "E" mark watching the boats round the mark for the Grand River Sailing Club Regatta.  It was great to watch the spinakers start to fly and we got back in plenty of time before the rain started.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Weekend projects

Saturday, Phil and I went shopping in the morning.  I got him 3 pair of convertible nylon pants and a couple spf/wick dry T-shirts.  We also bought on clearance the Spot GPS Messenger.  This is a device that will let you know where we are using Google Maps.  It will enable us to contact 10 pre determined people Phil and I select to notify them by email or another method with a pre-created message when we have reached our next location, or if we need help but not an emergency.  It also enables us to call 911 and have search and rescue come and assist us.  I will put in the blog a window which will let you know where we are using this device.  An example is on the Missing Link Blog.
After we got back we did cut the back of the Feruk off and sewed a zipper to it and the front of the Bimini to connect the two.   Of course, we had to do it in HOT and HUMID weather.  :)  But it is done and looks good.  We have saved the 2 back pieces to sew onto the zippers on the side of the bimini.  Sorry but no pictures yet.  It's nice to have the entire height under the bimini open.  Saturday evening we got dressed in our Key West attire and attended the GRYC Rendezvous. We had a great time visiting, eating, and dancing.  As we had a long day, we were very tired and called it a day by 930pm and bed by 1030pm.

Sunday was a day for more projects to get done.  I had an enjoyable time working on making and attaching the binding for the V-berth quilt. It's all done, except for me doing the hand sewing part, which is relaxing for me.  Our slip mates, Marty and Margie of S/V Minnie, along with Phil kept me company chatting through the morning and sharing a light lunch as they have been kind enough to let us borrow their picnic table on many of an occasion.  Then after they went to the beach in the dinghy, we spent a couple hours vacuum sealing instant milk powder, though we did want to follow them on Changes.  In the previous posting, I showed you the 2 huge cans of instant whole milk Peak Powder I ordered.  I also had bought 2-10# cans on instant non-fat milk powder.  It turns out the I really didn't buy enough of the nonfat milk powder.  Phil and I decided to seal the milk powder in individual packets to fit the 3.6 cup size Lock-N-Lock containers - which turns out to be enough powder to make a gallon of milk, which we'll make 1-2 qts at a time.  We did a lot of figuring, but in the end we were able to work out the formula to make 1% milk, which is what we prefer.  We got about 12 or more packages of 1% milk powder sealed, and then had more of the whole milk powder left, which we also sealed into about 5 packages.  Phil will be able to us that for cream in his coffee.  We still have the other  can of whole powder milk yet to be used.  It lasts unopened until 2013, so we have to decide whether to take it with us or leave in storage. I think that will be decided as a last minute entry.  The end result is that when we can, we will buy milk and save the instant milk powder packets for the Bahamas.  I had thought about buying 2 more cans of the instant non-fat powder milk, but didn't as I thought that might be overkill, I don't want Phil to strangle me, AND I don't think that we'd have a place to store it on the boat.  As it is, most of the milk powder is stored under the V-berth.  Our goal is NOT to sink Changes with everything we are putting on board.

Last but not least, our weekend ended with having dinner over at our friends Phil and Terri.  We had a wonderful time and a great dinner.  Thanks to them for their hospitality!!  They have chickens and guinea hens, which are interesting to watch and we got to see the improvements made on their new (to them) RV before they leave for their first camping trip. 

Tonight we actually cooked supper, and also worked on bedding the starboard stern rail with dolphinite, a substance that never hardens completely but is designed to keep out the water.  Next is to do the Port side, which is much harder in that Phil can't see what he's doing as he has to reach it from inside the back of the quarterberth inside the boat with me on top holding the screwdriver.  A job for another night.

It hard for me to believe that I have 2 1/2 weeks of work left.  Time is going by fast!  There are also last minute details to take care of.  I'm waiting for some special long underwear to come, which is suppose to keep me warm and wick and evaporate water, also my next text book for College.  Phil's working on getting a new driver's license, getting mail at Virginia's, ordering water jugs.  He's getting 4-2.5gal and 2-5 gal jugs so we can get 20gal of water at a time (that's half of the size of the water tanks).  He's joking that I'll be carrying the 5 gal jugs - I say that even though he's older than me, he still has all the muscles.  We're getting the kind Lin and Larry Pardey recommend.  They are a couple who have cruised for years on a sailboat without an engine and have written many books.  I still have to look at my clothing and decide what I will take and what I will leave in storage; Need to work our arrangements for storing my van. Phil's working on what to do with his car.  I'm also working on ordering the last refills on mail order medications.

We are also looking on finding a marina that is close to West Palm Beach, Florida that has a reasonable weekly rate.  If there is anyone that has any experience in marinas in the North Palm Beach to Lake Worth, FL area, I'd welcome feedback and information.  I'm still hopeful that Katie will be able to join us after seeing her father over Thanksgiving.  We feel certain that we'll be able to get down there in plenty of time so that it won't be a problem being able to meet up at a time and place convenient for all involved, unless there is a severe storm or hurricane.   So many details, that I'm sure will be worked out in their own time.

Last but not least, there is also discussion of a Bon Voyage Party, which if there is one, we would like to have on Saturday, August 28.  Nothing has been worked out yet, but I will post as soon as I have any news.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Route of trip that we are taking to Georgetown, Bahamas

We've had a request to talk about the route we are planning on taking to get to Georgetown Bahamas - so here it is.

We leave Saturday, Sept 4 to sail to Ashtabula Yacht Club
Then go to Erie, PA  and then to Buffalo.
We are going on the Erie Canal to the Hudson River - hopefully meet up with Chet Sladinski close to Catskill, NY or somewhere else (open for discussion) then taking the Hudson River to New York City and to the Atlantic Ocean to Norfolk, VA.  We will need one person to travel with us down the Hudson River to Norfolk, VA so if interested, let us know.  We hope that it will be a 4-5 day trip unless we stop a day for sightseeing in NYC.

Once in Norfolk, VA we plan to take the ICW (Intra Coastal Waterway) until we get to Charleston, SC where we will go outside on the Atlantic Ocean down to Florida to St Mary's River.  We are skipping Georgia because half the time your are going North to go South and it's buggy (lots of insects).  Once again, when we go outside on the Atlantic Ocean, we would like to have one person travel with us so if you are interested in joining us, let us know.   The beginning of December we will be picking up my daughter, Katie, close to West Palm Beach, FL after visiting her dad and Grandma O'Callaghan for Thanksgiving.  She'll be traveling with us to the Bahamas during her holiday break from college.  Our launch off place to cross the Gulf Stream will be Key Biscayne, FL.  We will go across the Gulf to Gun Cay (pronounced Key) Cut; across the Bahama Bank down to Nassau, Bahamas.   It depends on the weather and what Katie wants to do whether we will try to Georgetown, Bahamas or stay closer to Nassau.  I would like to get to Georgetown before I start my nursing online classes Jan 3, 2011.

We plan to stay most of the time in Georgetown, Bahamas and also want to leave early enough to visit Key West as I've never been there and there is a hospice I would like to check out.

All of this is subject to change as we go along.  For those that are wanting to visit us we just want to let you know that you can pick the place or the time but not both as it can be very dangerous when picking both.  We have to go during the weather windows, and as everyone knows from last winter, they can be few and far between or frequent.  Also the weather window can open anytime of day, so even if it's in the middle of the night - when the weather is good - that's when we go.

Now onto another topic - Provisioning and Milk.  Phil and I have decided that we will stock up on dry milk powder instead of buying milk on the trip.  We have bought Peak dry whole milk powder from Holland - tried it out in a small can first - and bought 2 of the 5.5# cans that have 104 servings each.  They arrived the other day and are the cans BIG.  Please see below photo of me holding them.

So now we have to find a place to store them!  I know - in the quarter berth!!  only kidding.  We have been saying in the quarter berth for everything we don't know where to store.  I have also purchased from Emergency Essentials 2 #10 cans of instant nonfat dry milk powder (72 servings each) and a special pitcher to mix it in.  I haven't tasted this milk yet, but from the testimonials, it's suppose to be good.  My idea is to mix some of dry whole milk powder with the instant nonfat powder to get an in between fat content, about a quart at a time.  Why are we doing this??  Because milk is heavy to carry when we're in the states.  In the Bahamas, milk is expensive and you have to worry about it going bad.  I really don't like the taste of the long life milk either.   We are also planning on vacuum sealing amounts of the powder that will fit into containers we plan to use from on a regular basis and store the rest under the "L" cushion of the starboard settee, which should be a cool place being under the water.  Time will tell if this has been a good purchase and decision or not.  We also have a Lock N Lock pitcher to use to keep it in the refrigerator and not spill.

This weekend we plan to go through the belongings and look at the clothing with a critical eye of what to have on the boat.  I also want to put the binding on the V-berth quilt and got some fabric out of storage with that in mind.  Also got my grandson Calvin's quilt pieces out of storage in the hopes that I can work on it to give it to him sometime before he is 20.  lol

Monday, August 9, 2010

Counting Down the Days

I have now changed the countdown from weeks to days.  Hard to believe that there is less than 4 weeks to go.  Have let my boss know my last day at work, which is Sept 1.  Will have my new health insurance starting Sept 22 courtesy of Bill Pethel, our friend and health insurance agent.  We heard today that Katie is now taken care of also for health insurance.  We have most of our main projects done except for getting the boat surveyed and cutting off the back of the Feruk and sewing zippers so we can attach to the bimini.  The survey is scheduled for Wednesday.  The boat will be lifted at 830am and the surveyor should be there.  I understand that it will be an all day project.  We hope to get insurance for the boat for the Great Lakes and also Coastal.  One word of advice for anyone thinking about doing this.  Plan years ahead and have an insurance company that does coastal coverage even though you don't need it so that when you do want to add the coastal rider, it will be a smooth transition.  We know wished we have changed insurance companies a couple years ago even though we are happy with the one we have.

We have completed the forehatch cover project.  We are really happy with how it turned out.  But for anyone thinking of making one, make sure that you measure from the deck, up to where the halyard will be holding it up and down to the deck again to get the full width.  We measured along the deck and it's not as wide as I had wanted it to be, but it will work.  Not that I'm wanting rain, but would be nice to see if it works like we hope.  We have made it longer in the fore and aft direction so that it cover the head hatch too.  Here are a couple photos.

Forehatch Cover

Forehatch cover from a distance

I also completed the head (aka bathroom for land lubbers) wastebasket cover.  I'm happy with it and it's much better than looking at a plastic shopping bag.  I got the plastic holder at Blystones and used water resistant thick on velcro hook on the plastic and sewed on the velcro loop to the fabric.  I suppose you could have the plastic bag loops hang over the fabric but I prefer to have it all hidden.  Here are photos.

Bag just starting to put on cover

The loops are in place in their slots

Loops covered 
Finished - 15" long

looking in the head door so you can see where it hangs

We also spent some time with Phil's side of the family going to the Donovan Family Reunion - his first cousin Jean is a Donovan and she has 8 kids and anyone closely related comes.  We were lucky to have Willy Rawlins sister, Kathy attend and she'll be 101 in November.  Great to see and talk with her and she does look her age. It was also nice to see Kathleen, Brian and Mary Beth and Karen and Jerry from Wash D.C. and all the others.   Here is a photo of the whole group.
Donovan Family Reunion
We have changed plans slightly for our leave date.  Instead of Friday, Sept 3, we are looking at Saturday, Sept 4 or Sunday the 5th.  I need a couple more days after I stop work and we have decided not to go across to Erieau, Ontario Canada and instead head off directly towards Buffalo.  So I will I will change my countdown day to leave on Saturday to split the difference.  Wish us luck and prayers that we pass the survey on Wednesday and that we get the insurance we hope for.

Phil has also completed making the frame to store the mast as we are going down the Erie Canal.  We have decided to burn our name and the boat's name into the wood with the hot knife so that it's permanently attached in hopes to use the wood again on the return trip.  It's worth a try anyway.  Remember the old woodburning tools that we had as kid?  That's just what it smells like when we use the hot knife.
Phil at the bow support.

Mast Frame at the stern which he plans to keep there until  not needed anymore
Next project is to cut off the extra of the Feruk, sew zipper onto the front flap and the end of the Feruk so that we can have one continuous cover while at anchor.  I'll  ask Phil to post the story of why we call our awning a Feruk.  It goes way back.  Till next time.

One other thought; Has anyone tried Subscribing to the Posts?  I would love to hear how it's working out for you.  Please post in the comment section.  Just click on the link "Post a Comment" at the bottom of the page.  Thanks!!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Completed Bimini - Visiting Family and Friends

Phil and I worked 8 hours on Sunday, 3 hours Monday evening and 2 hours on Tuesday to finish the Bimini.  I think it looks great - very professional if I say so myself.  We have become quite a team working on these bigger sewing projects, and besides Saturday working in 95F+ heat, we got along pretty good too!  :)  Tuesday Phil and Kathleen went on a motorboat ride on Changes to work the engine, since it hasn't been used very much this season - yet.  He put the almost completed Bimini on and love it.  I think he wonders why we didn't make it years ago (have had the tubing to do this 15-20 years)  Just needed incentive I guess.
Complete Bimini
close up of flap and side reinforcement
Lorraine Posing 
Yesterday was a busy day.  First we went to Kinkos - excuse me the UPS Store - where they scanned a picture Sue Brannan took of Phil and I on Changes and we had it made into new boat cards.  It's great!  You give them the information, they make a work up - 1 hr later you approve and they print while you wait.  So we had 100 printed at that time.  They gave us a disc with the business card on it, so we can have more printed anywhere in the US.

Armed with our new boat cards, we went to Pennsylvania to visit family. cousin, Nancy and Melvin's youngest son Adam graduated from high school, so we went to his graduation party in Union City.   Adam is going to have more training this fall and is enjoying his summer off.  It was great to see everyone, as you know a lot of time it's years between visits.

Melvin Cole, Larry Masiker

Samantha, Barb, Nancy (in background) Masiker and Kathy Smith
 Then we were lucky that the other side of the family (Dad's side) were also having a family get together on the same day, so we drove over there.  Had a great time and also saw family that haven't seen in years too.  Time sure did fly by for me - doing my favorite thing talking and soon it was time to go.  So glad to see everyone again and glad also that they are doing well.  If anyone else has digital pictures of the get-togethers, I would love to have copies.
Dad, Phil, Glenn, and Mom

Today Barb and Ted Zimmerman, old friends of Phil are coming to visit us.  I hope that we'll have enough wind for a nice calm sail.  It's sunny, winds from the east, and 20% chance of rain, so I'm sure we'll have a great time visiting with them.

Even though I have been posting, some of you may have noticed that you haven't been getting the link that tells you that I have posted.  I've been so busy, that I haven't been able to do that.  I've been posting on the Apple computer, but the distribution list is on my PC Computer.  Tried to send the list to myself and didn't work.  So when I saw the new gadget "Subscribe" I decided to see how that worked for you.  On the right is an area that you can subscribe to the posts - and if you do that, when I post it will come directly to the email you direct it to.  Please give that a try.  Live.com thinks I may be a spammer and they limit to 300 emails a day and though I send out 3 emails, each person's address counts as one on their list.  Let me know if you can't subscribe and I'll be working on getting the distribution list to my Apple computer to send out the link to make it easier for me to update you.