The Search For Bright Waters

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Getting in Ship Shape

Saturday we had a tennis tournament with friends. We arn't very good but it was fun to see everyone. Wes was the winner of a bobble head tennis trophy!

Sunday we celebrated mine and my cousin Dawson's B-day. Good food, good family, and the Redskins won, so it was a good day!

In boat news we decided to buy The Wirie. After doing alot of research it seemed the most user friendly and we like to keep it simple. We plugged it in and have better internet already so hopefully that carries on while we are cruising. We just have to mount it up somewhere outside and figure out how to not let water in through our hatch.

The bilge is officially finished. It turns out that the bilge pump and switch were working just fine. There was an air leak caused by the wrong sized hose clamps and an old check valve. So I replaced the check valve and the hose where the leaks were, and used the correct hose clamps. The air leak went away and now the bilge pump runs properly.

We are glad we did'nt have to buy a whole new bilge pump. We do have another on board but it is kept as a spare for cruising. Once I got the bilge pump running smoothly, I put cleaning product in there and brought the hose in and gave it a thorough cleaning. I ran the water through about 40 times and got as much oil and grime out as possible, then used the oil drill pump to suck out the last remaining water. This was the third time i've had to do that cleaning procedure but now that the bilge pump works, it will be the last! There is still water that trickles in from somewhere and our bilge pump can only suck water up to a quarter inch deep so the bilge will never be completly dry, owell.

One leak that we were worried about was at our stuffing box. The area where our prop enters the inside of the boat and connects to the engine. It had a steady leak and I finally got the courage to take a wrench to it. It wasnt so bad and after a few trys the leak stopped completly! Ofcourse when I ran the engine, I found another leak at one of the engine water hoses. Trying not to get too distressed, I eventually got that leak to stop as well.

So our boat should be staying pretty dry!

The next project is finding and fixing our oil leak. The engine surveyor thought it was at the lube oil pipe. This was another project that took a weeks worth of courage/research/procrastination. But I finally dived and and after removing the starter motor and some other eninge parts, I got the lube oil pipe out. I can't find a hole in it but it will be getting replaced regardless cuz it was alot of work to get out and its pretty rusty. If the oil leak is somewhere deeper then we will just leave it and and buy extra oil!

Our solar panels and dinghy davits are at a shop right now getting an estimate for the work. We are running out of time to be working on such a large project and I don't think I have the knowledge, skills, equipment, or confidence to tackle such a large project at this time. So we might be outsourcing our first project.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

My Favorite Topic: Foodz!

Joey mentioned today that it is a little over 60 days until we leave. I highly think it is time I FINALLY get to start provisioning. (I love food and have been waiting for this). Does anyone have any tips? Great recipes? We have an alcohol stove (single burner), microwave to use scarcely, and a propane grill out back. We don't want fancy meals, we love cheap and quick and few ingredients that keep well. One thing that we tried and actually love is hobo sailors fajita shell pizza found here:

other things we know we like
canned ravioli, spagettios, rice, spam, tuna...

cheap things like that, soooo if you have any great cheap ideas that you would love to share with us to expand our cruising diet that would be great!

What inspired this is my reading an article on the front page of yahoo today, about how to lower your grocery bill with beans and rice and stuff. I only know how to use split peas (split pea soup duhhhhh) however ---- I only know how to do that in the crock pot and I AINT exactly going to have the electricity for that, so if anyone has easy bean, pea or rice recipes that cook in less time thats really what I'm asking for.


Ok Ok only one more...


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Let There Be LED Light

Two more weddings since the last post. Whew! Congrats to Melissa and Gene and Steve and Jess!!! No more weddings in the near future so back to boat work. Darn ;)

To see all the wedding pics click here October 2010 Weddings

Joey has almost finished putting together the jerry can wood - the project I started in May but never finished. The boards are on but we need to apply a weather proof coat.

Let us not forget that last weekend was also the sailboat show in Annapolissss!!! We went this year with a shopping list and stuck to it for the most part. We bought one thing not on the list which we needed anyways which was a boat hammock, I cant wait to figure that thing out/put it to use. Other than that we got some LED's so soon it will be up the mast again for Joey. We replaced the running, stern, and masthead/anchor lights. We also replaced the cabin lights in our v-berth and main cabin. And we got an LED utility light that will be used to light up the cockpit when needed. This will all keep our energy down when we are anchored at night and have no solar power.

Oh yeah, here is a picture of some dumpster food we found. YUM!!!! Actually it's not dumpster food it's 'freecycle' food.... less than 80 days til blast off so beggers can't be choosers right, especially since Joey just purchased the $250 wirie and though he begged for a discount they wouldn't give us one. Sigh. Our current internet is poor at best now so this will immediatly help. And it will allow us to continue blogging while we are cruising!

Tommorrow is Joeys birthday. We are gonna play some golf!


Friday, October 8, 2010

Back into Gear

Last weekend we attended 2 weddings and watched football on sunday. Congrats to Jordan and Sarah, and Mike and Angie! It was good times seeing friends and family.

This week we kicked back into gear. Our solar panels and dinghy davits came in so now I just gotta mess about with them. I also took on the task of changing all our lights to LED. We will only have 170 watts of solar panel power so we need to keep our energy usage as low as possible. The LED lights use 1/10 of the energy as our regular lights. This task hasnt been as easy as I thought. The LED light fixtures are way expensive, and if I just want the bulb I am having trouble finding the correct replacement. So far we have replaced the running lights and stern light with LED bulbs.

I think I found a bulb replacement for our Perko masthead/anchor light but the salesmen said that I could see the exact bulb at the Annapolis Sailboat Show so we will wait till then to make sure it fits. Our next problem is the amount of light produced by cabin LEDs. We put a nice one above our stove that will help with cooking at night, but the don't seem bright enough to read by. LEDs are bright to look at but they don't really light up the room. So we will look around at the Boat Show for options. We still want to replace both lights in our V-berth, our one halogen bulb in the cabin, our 12'' florescent kitchen light, and figure out a good light for the cockpit. Any advice is always welcome!

We also purchased a new main halyard. This was on our to do list since we got the boat surveyed and we kept putting it off. Well now is the time to complete the important to dos! It wasn't so hard of a project. We just took the distance of our "luff" (distance from boom to the top of the mast) and tripled it to account for going up, coming down and running to the helm. West Marine let us borrow a piece of line to make sure it matched out current line and fit through the blocks. However, West Marine was charging $1.14 per foot and at Bacon they had the same line on sale for $.80 per foot. So we got a good deal there and bought 120 feet. To run the new line in I sewed the ends of the new and old line together and then just pulled it through. It was quite easy and looks great. We are gonna take the old halyard and use it to replace our 4th halyard that is even worse condition but is only used to lift boat items like the dinghy.

We are also having bilge problems. I spent 3 days cleaning it out and getting the bilge pump to run but even now it is kinda faulty. i have to wiggle the switch on and off to get the bilge to really catch and suck water. Since the bilge can really be worrisome, we will be replacing that pretty soon before we leave.

We have a big weekend ahead of us with a boaters party, another wedding, football at a friends house, and the Boat Show to attend! One other item we just discoved is the TheWirie. It is a internet antenae for cruisers. We are gonna keep an eye out for it at the boat show. Does anyone have any experience with it?

84 days left!