Thursday, December 13, 2012

Other blogs and our next blog.

You may have noticed that the blogs listen to the right under "Other blogs" have changed recently. Some of the blogs were from families that traveled when we did, but are no longer so were deleted. Others started when a friend sent us an email with links to a couple blogs of sailboats that are going south for the first time. Through that and also through the Plodding in Paradise Blog, I have found other blogs to read that are interesting to me and I hope you will find interesting. I don't know about you, but they help me to live vicariously while we stay north this winter. I hope that you find some that you enjoy.

Phil and I have been talking about making changes to this blog. He is working on transferring the entire blog posts from when we started getting ready in 2008 to when we returned June 2011, to a DVD that will also include the photos that we took of our travels in that time period. Once he has completed that, we will be deleting the post from this blog and create a link to a new blog tentatively titled "Changesgoingsouth Our Next Adventure". Fear not - We will make the DVD available for purchase for a nominal fee, which will help us save build our cruising kitty.. The DVD will also be available for purchase at any presentations we give in 2013.

So many blogs have ads to raise money as well as widgets to donate money to our cruising fund (see Zero to Cruising's blog as an example). What do you think of that for US? Also, what would you be interesting in seeing on the new blog and formats. Here is my opportunity to have things different and continue what is already working well. ALL suggestions would be appreciated.

Thank you to you for reading my blog!!!

And just to make it fun, here is our 4ft Christmas Tree.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Solar Panels

The solar panels have arrived!  Phil said they were big, but didn't realize HOW big until they were in our tiny apartment.   Phil is waiting until my van is available to take to Fairport storage to mount them on the hard Bimini top and then design an interface for the 280watt solar panels to the house bank. (He is an electrical engineer after all).  

Phil humored me and got the table halves from the salon of Changes during the 60 degree weather yesterday so he can either make a new table (pretty please) or route out the front edge of our current table so that the fiddle edge isn't resting on the our arms.  Of course all the upgrades  are $$$ but it would be nice to have a cherry table or be able to use the black walnut from the tree in our back yard before we sold the Chardon Home.  


Sunday, November 25, 2012

What are our plans?

It's been a long time since I've posted since our return.  I've been very busy working at Hospice of the Western Reserve, boat projects, knitting and just living.  Every once in a while, I have been returning to my blog and checking on the blogs I have been following living vicariously through them for our next trip.  YES we will have a next trip!    Our plans are to leave June 2013 and cruise for up to 2 years.  You know how plans are - subject to change - but there you have it.  Why are we leaving in June instead of September you may ask?  We want to go to The Thousand Islands for a few weeks, somehow get to the Hudson river and visit friends that we met along the way, cruise in Long Island Sound, around the Chesapeake Bay and make it down south to beat the cold.  Even though we have our handy dandy propane 2 mantle camp lantern to keep us warm, we hope not to have to use it too much.

So between last winter and this past summer Phil and I have been doing many boat projects:

New foam and recover the cushions in the salon.  We had the plastic on to protect from dirty while Phil was working on the boat.  The new foam on the seat is firm but soft enough so my bottoms doesn't get sore from sitting too long and I can even sleep on the port settee when on a passage and not wake up too sore.

Phil made hard dodger top and replaced our canvas bimini with a hard dodger also this spring.  It took until September/October until we could get the chance to sew up the canvas and windows.  I still need to add zippers so we can row up the middle window when it's warm.  We sure are going to like this update and already had a chance to try it out on Lake Erie for sailing on a cool day.  Works great!

This shows the completed Dodger, Bimini and Go Between on a beautiful fall day.

Phil Only Projects: 
replaced the motor mounts;  had the the starter and alternater rebuilt, sent out to  rebuilt the hydraulic
backstay adjuster (sent out); for the bottom, he sanded all the paint off the bottom. (down to the lead on keel) 4 barrier coats of Pettit Protect, 2 coats of Trinidad SR bottom paint. Sent the Max prop out to be reconditioned.  Phil replaced the blocks under the propane locker that had dry rotted with Black Walnut blocks.  New cheeks on the bow roller so that the chain does roll over the sides when raising the anchor. 
He worked on the V-berth smell I was complaining on the whole trip - removed the holding tank, sent out to have the new inlet and outlet nipples welded into the tank. Then he re-routed the vent hose so there no dips in it.  It's better but at timse still there is a smell.  Guess I'll just have to get use to it.

Another new piece of equipment that Phil put in early this spring was a VHF radio with AIS.  Boy do I love this!!!  Worked well on a passage over to Canada at night - saw a light in the distance indicating a freighter - now with the AIS connected to our GPS, I was able to tell immediately that the freighter would pass behind us.  Immediate relief on any anxiety that I had and Phil could continue to sleep. 

A good improvement was Phil replaced the life lines on both sides of the stern with SS rails and new lifelines.  That will make it nice to hang all the stuff that cruisers hang off the stern.

Before Spring I want to make side panels that attach to the go-between canvas between the Dodger and Bimini - made the pattern already.  Phil is planning on buying 2 solar panels, new forward Hatch and an automatic tuner for the SSB.

I'll try to post a little more.  Thanks to the 69 people who checked out my blog this past week even though I been so long in updating it.  I do plan on posting on a much more regular basis once we have left.

God Bless to everyone.  To our cruising friends - Fair wind and following seas!