Thursday, December 26, 2013

Project 'Reupholster' Has Commenced!
After much searching, debating and discussing we've finally found fabric to use for our salon (interior) cushions and quarter berth.  We really liked the pattern that Hullabaloo came with but soon found that with having a dog on board, particularly one with dark hair, it didn't work so well with big white stripes.  Throw in a couple of food mishaps, including blueberry and syrup stains, and we knew we had to go with a different pattern.

The cushions on the boat appeared to be in great condition, until you flipped them over and saw mystery stains on the bottom, blown out seams and rusted zippers. 
Looks nice from afar...

But don't look too closely.  Eek.
If you've ever been to our house or seen me in person you'd know that I.Like.Color.  Sometimes I'll catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror at home in random comfy clothes and think, "Dear God, I look like a bag of Skittles".  Ron often looks at me, says nothing and just shakes his head...that is, when he's not telling me I look like Rainbow Brite.  For the record, Rainbow Brite is pretty sweet.
We had to find a little balance between color and too much color for our small interior space and I think we found it in Solarium's Halliwell Caribbean indoor/outdoor fabric:
We decided doing all the cushions in this pattern might be a bit much, plus the colors are fairly light and wouldn't be the most dog-friendly, so we opted to do the backrests in the pattern and cover the seats and quarter berth in the darker, royal blue color.  We spent about 10 hours on Christmas Eve working on the bottom cushions and got all done except for the quarter berth (which Ron is suposed to be working on today).  I really hope we can keep on it and just get it done...especially while the master seamster Ron is home.

The project started off a little rough and got worse when we forgot to add some extra length to a couple cushions for the velcro back (no more rusted zippers).  But then we added a little extra fabric, found a groove and made some progress.  I even tried my hand at sewing some piping.  I'm not sure if it was just awkward because I'm left handed and felt like everything was backwards or I'm just really uncoordinated at sewing, but mine did NOT look that great.  So Ron took over sewing, I did a lot of pinning, cutting and marking and we both measured out the cushions before cutting to make sure we didn't mess up...again.

Here's what we've got so far:

So coordinated ;)
Now, on to the stripes - let's just hope we can keep 'em straight!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Untie the Lines

I was checking out some of the cruising forums this morning, like I do most days, just to pass the time and maybe pick up a good tip or two, and came across a post that linked to videos on Youtube.  The video series, called Untie the Lines, started in August and details (in short 3-5minute weekly updates) the journey of a young German girl who bought a boat in Panama in hopes of sailing around the world.

She is learning as she goes and, despite facing some trials and tribulations along the way, maintains a "go with it attitude" and focuses on the task at hand.  I just really love how honest and open she is in the videos about the realities of refitting a pretty derelict boat, sometimes her emotions are almost palpable. 

These videos are also a good reminder for me that you don't need an expensive boat with all the latest/greatest/best gear (despite what the forums say) to make the dream a reality.  It's so easy to get caught up in thinking that you need a top-of-the-line hypalon dinghy with a rigid bottom and a 15+ horsepower motor* or AIS AND an SSB radio AND radar AND a liferaft AND AND AND.  Honestly, it's exhausting.  When asked what they'd have done differently before leaving, cruisers don't typically say "I wish I'd upgraded my dinghy" or "I wish I would have gotten a bigger chart plotter".  Nope.  Instead, their sentiment is usually; "I wish I'd have left sooner!". 

*I understand that having a functional dinghy is important...I'm not saying a half floating dinghy that leaks like a sieve is the best idea.  But should it stop you? I don't think so.  Sometimes it's the misadventures along the way that make the best memories.

And I love this girl's sense of independence, resolve and commitment to making her dream a reality.  Plus, it makes me realize how utterly mechanically useless I usually am onboard.  I think I need to step up my game.

Anywho, there are currently 17 short videos, with a new video being posted every Friday.  I know I'll be tuning in every week to follow along,  and you should check it out too!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Very Random

I regularly look at my blog stats.  Mostly because I'm just curious about how people are finding the blog.  One of my favorite parts is checking out what search words or phrases people are using that lead them to the blog.  A few weeks ago I was doing my OCD normal stat check and found that "peeing off boat" and "winter peeing" were search phrases that directed people to the blog.  Say whaaaaaa? I have no doubt that it's becuase of this post, but I'm still baffled as to why someone would be searching these phrases.

Funny enough, this picture comes up on a Google search for "winter peeing".  Along with a lot of other weird photos.  Oh, the magic of the internet.  Huh.

Would someone explain to me what "winter peeing" is and how it's different than normal peeing??

And if any of you were the culprits...fess up and 'splain yourself! ;)

Thursday, December 5, 2013


If you've read 'The Crew' page of the blog you know that I'm not big into posting deep, meaningful, soul-touching quotes.  But there is one quote that sticks with me, it may or may not be deep, meaningful or soul-touching for you, but it is for me.  So get ready to clutch those pearls, I'm eating my own words...just this once.
The classic Pearl Clutch!
My favorite quote just happens to be one of the most popular ones for cruisers (makes sense) and can usually be found somewhere in almost every cruising/sailing related blog.  And that's okay.  I think that speaks to the validity of the statement.  That Mark Twain was one smart cookie.

Chills every time
I've had this quote taped to my computer at work for the last 3 years and every time I read it I get chills.  It was the first quote I saw when I started researching cruising and it just sticks with me.  Every time I start to doubt what we're planning to do, every time my OCD starts getting the better of me, every time I start to wonder if we can do it this message brings me back to the reality of just how much is out there just waiting for us to Explore.Dream.Discover.  It reminds me that life is not lived in the 'why' but the 'why not' moments.  Every now and then that's exactly what I need.    

Usually however, this is more my style.  It might not technically be an 'inspirational quote'but somebody said it.  Earl, whoever you are, you're a genius.  Plus it reminds me of Ron, who would eat his cereal with rum if he could, especially if it's Kraken.

Tell me your favorite quote!


Monday, December 2, 2013

Weathering the Weather

We finally got up to see the boat this weekend.  With the nasty storm we had a couple weeks ago with 60-70mph winds, I didn't have high hopes of the what we'd find.  So imagine my surprise when we pulled in and saw this:
Just like we left it...on this side anyway
Some of the duct tape gave out...color me shocked
At first I thought the tarp had ripped, at which point I though saving the tarp would be a real pain, but it turned out that some of our strategically placed duct tape gave out.  Not bad for getting flogged by tornadic winds!

Ron also decided that since we were there checking stuff out, it might be a good idea to take the tarp that was on the hull and roll it up.  We'd gotten some comments about how moisture trapped between the hull and the tarp could cause blisters to form.  Why risk it?  So we rolled up the tarp and, using very conspicuous red duct tape, secured the tarp at the toe rail (rolling it under the existing rope that was tied to the stanchions).  In case you were wondering if it now looks any less hillbilly, I can assure you, it doesn't.  But then again, any other way just wouldn't be our style.

Gettin' in the Christmas spirit
Ugh, now that the tarps are up you can really tell how much she needs a good waxin'! I just wish that was the most embarrassing part of this outfit - but I think the red duct tape has it beat.