Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Jinxing Thoughts

Image here
The power of thinking is.....powerful.

Whenever you have a dedicated goal, it seems like something always gets in the way to some degree, especially when you're in serious saving mode like we have been. Last year we had to unexpectedly get a new lawn mower and garage door just a couple weeks apart and all in the middle of doing boat projects too. Let's just say that our savings took a hit that month, but since then things have been progressing pretty smoothly.

It must have gone to my head because I made the mistake of thinking to myself a few weeks ago (as in, NOT uttering a syllable to anyone), that it had been a while since we'd been hit with a substantial unplanned expense. I should have known better. Not a week later Ron's truck needs new brakes and shocks, my car has a leaky tire and both our cars need multiple headlights replaced. When it rains it pours but I guess I can't complain too much, all this was still cheaper than either the lawn mower or garage door and we weren't in the middle of purchasing any boat equipment or projects. 

Maybe this is a sign that we need to get crackin' on our winter projects and give ourselves something else to do (and write about). And if my thoughts are really that powerful, I've got a lot of better things to think about....like winning the next drawing for that free Tower paddle board! 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

One Last Winter

My view today
Okay, seeing the first snow of the year is pretty...for the first few hours anyway. As with every year, the first snow sends people into ditches and causes accidents for the majority of people who seem to have forgotten how to drive in the snow since last year. 

I keep telling myself that I'm going to make a real effort to enjoy the winter as much as possible this year. Never mind the fact that I've already gotten into my winter hibernation mode and only step outside to get to and from my car, nope, this year we're going to get out, enjoy the scenery and make the most of our last winter (for at least a few years). While winter and I don't get along so well I know that there will eventually be (very brief) times where I will kind of miss it...however hard it is to imagine now.

Even though I'm making a concerted effort to enjoy our last winter for the time being, rest assured that this is the type of scenery I will be dreaming about:

Here's to hoping you're warm wherever you are!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

First Timers

The young hooligans....who really aren't that young!
For most people summers are crazy busy - and always too short. Between our schedules (and boat projects) and those of our friends and family it can be downright impossible for the stars to properly align and a visit to magically take shape...let alone have it work out where the particular day chosen is actually nice enough for a leisurely little day sail. But this summer was different and I'm happy to report that despite a summer of fairly questionable weather, we set a new record for visitors aboard Hullabaloo and almost all of them were first timers!

We've had nothing but support and encouragement and positive feedback from those who have visited (at least to our faces haha) and I absolutely LOVE all the questions we get, the interest in how sailing works (easy to explain - definitely not rocket science) and the wide-eyed stares I sometimes see on faces when people see exactly what we plan to live on. We think our little Hullabaloo has more than enough room for us but compared to a 2000 sq ft house it's not much....we get it.

I'm never really quite sure what people will think about visiting us on the boat and going sailing, but I know we love it so how could anyone else not, right? And I'm pretty sure that first timers don't really know what to expect anyway and that helps keep expectations low...we like low expectations.

I remember this summer as an unusually cold, rainy and very breezy summer (as do other boaters we talked to), but looking back through the pictures, just about every time we had visitors out the weather was decent enough for them to enjoy themselves. Sure we had good wind and some nice waves to bust through when my brother brought his friends out, but they had a great time white-knuckling it on deck (plus we ended the day with a nice relaxing sail on Muskegon Lake). Not so fun if my grandma were out at that time but those young hooligans loved it! Crazy kids.

And then there were the times we had visitors and zero wind and we just motor-sailed and floated around and that was fun too! Plenty of food and conversation to go around, that's for sure.

While she "couldn't live on a boat", I think my grandma still had a great time...
and she can get up to the bow while under sail like a pro :)
No one got sick, we never came back with less people than we left with and we didn't break anything major: I think that's a pretty good record with so many first timers.*

*We try to maintain these standards with everyone, so if you're not a first timer we still want you to come visit and we'll still try not to loose you overboard ;)

Harry and Tineke- How in the world did I not get any pictures taken when you were out??? Boo!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Laundering the Lines

Just like everything on a sailboat that needs care and maintenance, our lines are no exception. And some of our lines are looking a wee bit...nasty; some in part because of frequent (main sheet) and others due to lack of use (cunningham and boom vang lines).

The main sheet is not only used to adjust the main sail, which can be a lot when Ron is 'playing', but it also serves as a convenient hand hold when descending the companionway stairs (which is also a lot). Throw in some greasy, sunscreened hands doing all the touching and you can see how it would get grimy after a while. The boom vang and cunningham lines on the other hand are used much less, the ends generally lie on the deck and soak up water and have been allowed to get moldy, crusty and downright gah-rossss. Shame on us!
In case you're wondering what the heck I'm talking about
We've replaced a couple lines here and there and thought that we'd need to replace these as well but instead of just going out and getting new ones, and since we have 5 months of winter to play with them, we decided to try and wash them first and see what happens.
I like colorful lines...but not green a-la-mold
We packed the lines in  pillow cases, tossed in some detergent and Oxyclean and let the washer work its magic. The good news is that the main sheet and boom vang lines brightened up and can be put back on the boat, the bad news is that the cunningham did not (shocker). Besides the discoloration, the line was getting to be fairly brittle and stiff so we decided to just get a new one. At least it won't be too costly as it's only 18ft long and Ron can splice in the loop himself.

I was sort of secretly wishing they'd all need to be replaced so we could spice up our color motif but the cheap practical side of me would rather not waste perfectly functional (but boring) line.