Sunday, July 25, 2010

Making the Bimini

The weekend started with my friend Eileen Foreman and her husband Scott visiting us during Potluck.  We had a great time and they left about 830pm just before a storm hit (see story below). Starting Saturday morning, Phil and I have been making the Bimini, our 2nd to last major project.  So far we are still married and haven't killed each other. - only kidding.  Yesterday in 95F and hotter weather, we sewed the fabric together down the middle and then laid it over the tubing - applying clamps - and then marked where the pockets and darts should go. We also started cutting out the fabric for the sleeves and the other smaller parts that are needed.  Before we could lay the fabric over the tubing, Phil and I had a "discussion" about stabilizing the tubing so they could be a square as possible to each other.  I also made a trip for clamps since I didn't think that we had enough. See below for how we used the clamps.

Here are some pictures of me off the stern of the boat marking the fabric for the sewing line.

Then some pictures of Phil and I working on it.  Phil is using the hot knife to cut a sleeve for one of the bows.  I'm sewing a pocket/flap combination on one of the stern half as we have to put a zipper in so the Bimini can fit around the back stay, which is between the middle and stern bow.  Making this project really makes me want to have a blue Sailrite sewing machine.  I have found that I can't sew the Sunbrella binding around anything more than 2 layers of fabric, and we had to change plans on making the sleeve pockets.  We are also very grateful for Dexter Parson, who has given great advice and tips and has shared his expertise and materials.  I think that the club members who came to see how we were doing either decided to leave (we were irritable), asked questions, enjoyed our interaction, or cheer us up with their kind humor depending on the person and our mood.

We also had some excitement this weekend with a bad storm coming Friday night about 830pm - 9pm.  The winds were clocked at about 30 knots at our boats.   The river rose about 18" until the water was a couple inches below the top of the docks.  No one had any damaged on their boat but several of the canopies over decks were destroyed.  Our canvas cover over the fore hatch failed, the wind blew the side edge over the open hatch, funneling water into the V-berth.  Phil got the hatch closed and I quickly took the bedding off the mattress.  Luckily, the memory foam mattress was only a little wet and I was able to soak most of that up with a towel.  We put down fresh sheets and were fine for the night.  

S/V Notorious, a 35.5 Beneateau, owned by Brad and Cindy Knapp was caught out in the storm on Lake Erie and they clocked winds at 60 knots.  Our friends Phil and Terri, Kelly Knapp and a couple friends were also on the boat.  They made it into Fairport Harbor with their sails down and the motor on and jilled in the harbor until the storm passed.  By that time, the river had a 3-4 knot current and it took all hands and Dave Unger's good advice for us to get them in their dock safely.  About 15 years ago Phil D and Phil W were on Changes and experienced a similar storm where the clouds looked like a horizontal tornado, and Phil W said the clouds looked the same over Lake Erie for this storm too.

Tomorrow Phil and I hope to make more progress on the Bimini.  We need to cut out some reinforcement strips for the side, make the middle bow pocket and attach the zipper for the backstay opening, attach the other sleeves and sew down the zippers.  It's hard to believe that our leave date is less than 6 weeks and we still have so much to do.  I'm also going to be starting my World Literature course on Aug 30 that lasts until Oct 24. 

We do like living on the boat?  Overall Yes! There are spiders - that's a given on the boat, but we didn't wake up with any webs today.  That's not true for yesterday though.  I did take a picture of the morning sun illuminating it.   I like our mattress and it has been hot, but most of the time after taking showers at night, we sleep well.  It is harder to sleep when it rains at night.  It's interesting that even with ear plugs and the fan running directly over my head, that rain drops hitting the canvas hatch cover wakes me at night, so last week I woke often throughout the week.  I think this week we're to have less rain and with the high in the upper 70
s it was VERY comfortable.  It's also great having our friends here and being able to visit with them. The week typically has it's own rhythm.   Monday is very quite (dead as Phil says) at the club with the club emptying out about 7pm on Sunday evening.  Tuesday we go to Capps for Chicken Salad.  Wednesday is race night and the club is a little more active.  Thursdays it's starts to get a more active with some of the members that spend the weekend starting to arrive.  Friday, we have Potluck and so the club is busy until it empties our again Sunday evening.  We can get some beautiful sunsets, smell the fresh air and try to relax in between the projects.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Katie has gone home

Monday, July 19

Yesterday I met my sister Cheryl just north of Columbus to drop off Katie and my nephew (her son) Desmond for them to return to Dayton.  Katie starts going back to Sinclair Community College on Thursday.  We will miss her, and I'm glad to say that she had a good time here at GRYC - living on Changes.  It turned out much better than she expected!  She made lots of friends who loved her pies and has matured so much this past year in Dayton.   I'm think I'm not going to be the only one to miss her as she's made many friends at the yacht club.   We've decided to get her a passport, and I'm hoping that we'll be able to work out her being with someone in Florida on the east coast so that she'll be able to join us on the trip over to the Bahamas.  She has from Thanksgiving until the first Monday in January 2011 off what with her being on quarters at college, so we'll be able to have her for a month we hope.   As it goes with cruising, you can pick the day or you can pick the place, but it's not safe to pick both as you never know what the weather is going to be like.  When you pick both - then you run the risk of going out in weather you shouldn't be in and we want to return from this trip.

Today when we were helping Kurt put up his new mast on S/V Adrenalinewhen Phil injured his left leg when he jumped from the dock onto the boat.  We don't think it's serious.  His right foot caught on a screw that wasn't completely all the way in so he landed completely on his left leg.  He iced it down this evening and is a little stiff, so he got some pampering by me.  Hopefully it will heal quickly and not hold him up too much.

This past weekend was hot - so we enjoyed anchoring Changes off close to the Coast Guard beach on Saturday.  Phil and I went in for a swim - and I also finished tieing the V-berth quilt while Katie read.  Now I need to bind the quilt and we can use it next time it cools off at night that it's needed.

I'm looking at my countdown - and it's hard to believe that there's only about 6 weeks left to go.  We've been finishing some items on the list, but there is still a lot to go.  We hope to make our Bimini this coming weekend, which is a must get done item on our list.  Phil has ordered additional parts/equipment that we need and hope that it arrives this week so we're ready for the weekend.

We are also looking forward to our friends Eileen and Scott Foreman to come to potlock and maybe sailing if the weather cooperates on Friday.  Some Hospice of the Western Reserve co-workers from my old team came Friday for our own potluck and we had a wonderful sunset sail - coming back when it was dark. It was great to see my old boss, Noel (and her S.O. Aaron) and other new members of the team.   I think that we went at the perfect time that day with winds down to 8-14 knots and the waves dying down to 1.5 to 2 ft with a few left over 3 footers.  Saturday it was very windy - in the mid to upper teens and 4+ waves - which I don't like to be in unless we are trying to get somewhere and there isn't a choice.

We found out this weekend that there is another couple, Mike and Chris Link, who are planning on going to the Bahamas this winter also.  They also have a blog, which I have added to the list to the right if anyone is interested in reading.  Hopefully, they'll add another post soon.  hint hint  :)

Time to go to bed.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Macerator Pump and other Projects

So Phil has the macerator pump in, wired with the switch covered with red electrical tape so no one uses it. Why?  Because you can't use this pump on any inland water ways - have to wait until 3 miles off shore before it can be used.  This is in preparation for where there are no pump out stations or where we are off shore, we'll be able to pump out our holding tank.

Another project Phil has been working on is the ham radio installation (ICom 735 radio).  He has the IC-735 radio screwed onto the shelf close to the chart table and also has the antenna turner attached under the quarter berth shelf so that it doesn't take up valuable shelf space.  Next he has to wire it with coax 2 to the insulated back stay for us to be able to get a better signal.

Katie will be leaving Sunday to return to Dayton.  I'll be taking her and picking up my nephew, Desmond, from my Dad and meeting my sister Cheryl in Columbus.  She has been trying to get her fill of reading, but don't get me wrong, she does more than read.  She's made friends with many of the members and she's has been doing a great job of making sour cherry pies for Friday potluck at Grand River Yacht Club and then make a sweet cherry pies Sunday - which were both great hits with all involved.  She wants to make a strawberry pie just for us - and then I'm hoping that she'll make zucchini crisp - which is suppose to taste like apple crisp, for this Friday's potluck.  But before she can do cooking, she'll be going to the post office to apply for a passport - so if she wants to visit us between Thanksgiving and New Years she can come with us to the Bahamas.

My project has been making a V-berth quilt for when we are still in the States on our way down.  Last year it was cold and when the Port Stanley Sailing Squadron group went, it was also cold for them.  I want to be prepared so at least we're warm sleeping (I hope).  This past weekend, Katie and I layed out the 3 layers and spent the afternoon basting the quilt. Since we have so much to do to get ready, my plan is to tie the quilt and bind it.  Then if I do have the time, I plan to machine quilt it and worry about removing the ties later.  This quilt is layed out on 5 picnic tables on the enclosed patio.  It seems huge, but then when I laid out the current V-berth quilt and decided how much to cut it down, I wasted only about 5" all around.  Lucky for me I'm still flexible to do this, with moving around enough so as not to get stiff.  It's hard to see but the bottom is a maroon flat sheet and the top is the cream colored flannel fabric that I bought a long time ago at Erie Street Fabrics, which has since closed.  This isn't fancy - just something to get the job done.  I have been spending time the last few evenings tieing the quilt, as you can see in the picture above listening to my book on tape while Phil was taking a shower.

The next big project that Phil and I will be working on together is sewing the Bimini cover.  We got the fabric shipped to us this week.   We want to start it on Saturday and hope to get it finished by the next weekend, if not before.  That's one item that is a must to complete on the to do list to complete as it will be too much sun if we don't have shade in the tropics.

To end this post, my parents were up in Cleveland area showing Desmond the sights - so they visited on Sunday.  We took Desmond sailing and here is a picture of them at our dock. We enjoyed having them see our new home and had a nice dinner at the club house.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Macerator Pump Project

July 9, 2010   74F outside.

One of the bigger projects that Phil has to complete is to put the macerator pump in the tubing between the  holding tank and the hose that connects to the outlet at the deck so that the contents can be ground up into tiny bits and released.   The first step in the project was to install a Y-valve in the hose behind the holding tank.  Today was the best day.  First was to empty the holding tank which required asking a boat from Ashtabula to move to another dock on a temporary basis, which they were kind enough to do.  Then Phil pumped the head 50 times and used the pump out to drain the holding tank - repeating this process 5 times - to clear out the holding tank and hose completely of smelly material.

Then he had to cut the hose and try to install the Y-valve - but because this hose has been in Changes since 1978 - it's too hard  and old to force the Y-valve in there.  This necessitate a trip to Blystone's, our local Chandry (marine Store) - to buy 10 feet of hose.  Phil bought the last 2-2" hose clamps, so is on the look out for more (Home Depot doesn't have any).  He's going to to try Joughin Hardware in Painesville to see if they have more for him to finish the project.  Needless to say - he took a shower after the project was completed.  Here is the completed Y-Valve

On other notes - it's been a very busy week at work - being one day short due to the July 4 holiday.  I saw 4-5 patients everyday and needless to say, I'll need to do some charting tomorrow.  We had a relaxing evening at the GRYC Friday Potluck.  The Zucchini and tomatoes are becoming available to the farmer's markets - so I made Zucchini Parmesan tonight as my contribution.  It's tasted very good, if I say so myself, and we have some left over for supper tomorrow.

The 90 - 100F weather has broken - Thank you!! - so we are looking forward to a comfortable night and it's wonderful not to be sticky and sweaty all the time.  It's to be in the low 80's for the rest of the week and we're glad for the change.

It's hard to believe, but Katie has one week left with us on the boat before she goes back to Dayton to go to summer school at Sinclair Community College.  She wishes that she could spend more time with us - so that's a good thing.  She is making friends with many of the members here and was a big hit at potluck last Friday when she made from scratch 2 sour cherry pies.  She wanted to make some more - but then when I went to buy some, learned that that birds had eaten ALL of the sour cherries in one night - so no more left.  It's been so dry, that the birds needed the moisture from the cherries.  At least we had these ones.  I even splurged and had a piece and it was good.

Sunday Mom, Dad and my nephew, Desmond, are coming to the boat.  Desmond will go out on a sail with us and Mom and Dad will meet Uncle Dale and go out to eat.  The weather I hope will be good enough for a sail but not too wavy for him to get sea sick.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Phil's Back and Settling In at GRYC

Phil got back Friday morning at 9am after driving all night from Marion, Mass.  He dropped off Captain Dave and his son, Michael David, just past Buffalo, NY - had breakfast at Bob Evans (knew he was desperate to eat there) and then made it home.  Unfortunately, his cell phone had died after talking to me (I didn't do it!) and he's in the process of getting a new one.  Hopefully, it will be delivered tomorrow at his sister's house.  Please call Lorraine cell phone if you need to reach him in the next few days.

Phil's sister's Kathleen and Virginia along with his nieces, Megan and Beth, came to visit us today at the yacht club and we went sailing to try and beat the heat and humidity.  At 10am it was 86F according to the thermometer on our table - in the shade.  Felt like 90+.  this is Virginia and Katie - see how there were minimal waves?
The winds were SW 10 - 12 knots, then died to about 9 knots when we came back to Fairport Harbor.  Here is a picture of most of us.  Beth, Megan and my daughter, Katie, hanging on the fender we attached to the stern of Changes.  It was so hot that - drum roll please - I went swimming!  Here is the photo to prove it !
The water was comfortable and it felt good to cool down.  Above I'm with Megan and Beth Jaworski, our nieces.  Below is the girls, Megan, Beth, and Katie.
This is Megan and Kathleen Jaworski looking beautiful.

Then we came back to the dock and had some beet, kidney bean and couscous salad, hotdog, italian sausage and chocolate cake for dessert.  We had a good time and are now trying to decide whether to go see the Fairport Fireworks in the dinghy or not go at all.  First a shower is in order.