Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Slow Little Sail

As I was sorting the hordes of pictures from this summer I came across this short little clip. What I wouldn't give to be on a sunny, slow sail today! 

Monday, January 26, 2015

A Wild Winter Saturday

What a dreary view
After what seems like a couple of months, we finally got up to see the boat. When it's this grey and miserable just sitting on her or tinkering around can help make me feel better. So tinker we did; we double checked the stock measurements against actual ones for the cockpit cushions we ordered, played around with where to put different galley gear (as in, where is it going to all fit??), noticed a little ice build up in the bilge (adding more antifreeze to it) and readjusted our dorade vents (those white little smoke stack type of things on the cabin top). Turns out, along with letting in fresh air, they also let in snow and found that we had a cute little snow drift on the floor. A shake of the rug and a slight turn of the dorades and we *should* be good.
Done done done!
We ended our wild day by removing old screens and finally finishing the v-berth upholstery...cutting it a little close with material, but it all worked out in the end. While we've got Ron's Mom's sewing machine commandeered, we're tackling the screen projects next, which includes making a companionway screen/zipper cover. Should be interesting. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Poop Deck

Since it became THE year that we leave I've been asked by at least 10 people, "but where/how will your dog go to the bathroom?". To that I simply reply, "the poop deck, it's a real thing", I get some pretty strange looks from it, but it's the truth nonetheless. Except in our case, the poop deck isn't referring to an aft/rear cabin top/deck.

Oh, no....our poop deck has a more literal name, and will, if all goes as planned, actually have......poop on it at some point (pleasant right???). A simple little rinse-down when she's done and voila, you've got yourself a perfectly good poop deck!

Admittedly, we were supposed to start training Lexie to go on the boat last summer, but it didn't happen. So our fast and loose plan involves taking her to shore when we can and letting her get desperate enough to go on the boat when we can't.
The name of the deck, not an order or a specific finding
Image here

We've heard about all the astro turf and puppy pads that people use to train their dogs to go on a boat, but we've also heard a lot of stories of failure and wasted money so we're not investing our moolah there. We do have some pieces of old carpet that we may try to get her acclimated to though.
If only she were a little smaller...
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Ideally, I would like to have something that she feels comfortable enough to go on then we can set it where we want her to go. Depending on conditions, she may need to go in the cockpit instead of going up on the deck. Although it might be kind of funny to watch her try to balance and go in bumpy conditions, we certainly would not want her to fall overboard at any point walking around on deck! We like a good laugh, but that might be a bit much.

That's how it goes down in my head, we'll see how much of a potty-retraining-circus we really encounter.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

QALO: King of the Rings

Many cruisers wear alternative wedding rings or no rings at all when cruising, and for good reason. Wearing "flashy" jewelry (and it doesn't take much to be considered flashy in a lot of places) can draw unwanted attention to yourselves about your valuables that can make you a target for theft (the real form of piracy that could happen). Besides that, the environment could also make it easier to loose or damage rings. I don't know about you, but I love my rings and would be devastated if I lost or damaged them.
But the main reason why we've chosen to wear alternate rings is purely due to safety concerns. There are tons of things on a boat that can pose a hazard to ringed fingers like lines, gear and even handholds/ledges. The last thing we want to deal with is a broken/dislocated finger...or worse, much much worse. After doing a Google image search for "finger injuries from rings" (go on, I dare you to look --> very graphic), it should come as no surprise that we're not only going to wear different rings, but that we've also opted to go the non metal route as well.
Of course I had to go with pink
QALO rings are made from silicone so they have a bit of a stretch to them if pulled/caught. They are designed for active people who's lifestyles are impeded by wearing a traditional ring but those that don't want to go ring-less.

I like both of us wearing rings - wedding bands are sexy don't ya know!?! Just ask the cool guys who started the company. With the rings being extremely affordable (hello, $15 and $20 each), a lot safer and, let's face it, just plain cool I couldn't not get them. Plus, you can find the right size online by using your current ring, so easy.
Ron's ring
I wore mine around for a few days and it is comfy, I even slept with it on - something I never do with my normal ring! I kept forgetting that I had it on; showering, sleeping, lugging boxes around....this thing is fabulous.

We'll keep you posted on actual performance on the boat!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Superstitious Shenanigans on Hullabaloo

As you can see, some people take their superstitions VERY seriously!
Image here
I've seen multiple cruising blogs recently talking about superstitions on board that they subscribe to. My initial response was, "we don't have any, what could I contribute on the topic?". Then I was contacted by LOOK Insurance who have launched their latest project which aims to  collect superstitions that sailors still follow so they can, get this, make and animated video displaying the results! How fun right?

On Hullabaloo we really don't have many superstitions that we follow; we've left on a Friday, we regularly have bananas on the boat and the whole 'no women on a boat' went out the window a long time ago since all of this cruising business was mostly my idea. If we have one thing going for us, it's that neither of us whistle much; me because I can't to save my life and Ron because it's just not a habit for him. Gotta take what you can get sometimes.
2 out of 3 isn't bad...I hope
Image here
There is one thing, however, that I am wary of even if it's in my own mind. I don't like to discuss or talk about how good/bad/unexpected/etc. current conditions are. I have no idea where this came from other than the deep, dark trenches of my own mind but I, nonetheless, stick pretty strictly to this practice. I'm more inclined to say how nice of a day it is, especially if we're just out for a day sail, but I don't like to verbally compare current weather to that of the forecast. We've had far too many times when the forecast is wrong and conditions are harrier than expected and something about talking about that just doesn't sit right in my belly. I guess it feels like challenging the weather gods when we say, "these don't look like two footers" or "boy, what happened to the 15 knots forecasted?". Not a good idea. Afterwards you can chat about it all you want, I guess weather smack-talk in the past tense is totally okay??

Besides, actually investing in and following the massive amount of sailing superstitions could put a real damper on the sailing experience, if you can even get out to sail! You gotta do what works for you where superstitions are concerned I guess.

If you want to put your 2 cents in with your sailing superstitions all you have to do is go to their survey and answer all of FOUR questions and you might see your superstitions come to life in the video!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Going Green and Getting Rid of Paper!

Image here
Do you ever notice all those "Go Paperless Now!" and "Save the Paper" promotions on your e-accounts? I did. And I still never did it....until now. I've been paying bills on line pretty much since I've had bills and despite seeing these messages over and over I'd always hit "ask me later" or "not right now", I didn't have time to do all that work! But I would get annoyed when I received the (few) paper statements in the mail. Actually, I probably would have saved a lot of resources, mine and theirs, if I'd just gone paperless earlier. Well, better late than never??

As we get ready to transition to life on the move I really wasn't sure how we'd handle the mail situation, there are lots of options (using family members, mail forwarding services, totally neglecting the fact that we get mail...). We just had to pick something and go with it.

Being a bit of a control freak when it comes to finances, legal matters and whatever else might come in the mail, I didn't want to just bury my head in the sand and I certainly don't want to overwhelm the poor person being put in charge of scanning/emailing us the stuff we need by having them sift through loads of junk mail.

As it stands now, at least 90% of the mail we get in the mailbox is garbage anyway but by going paperless I know that the important stuff; statements, tax documents, insurance info and the like will go directly to my email inbox where I can get my grubby little OCD fingers on them pronto.

My plan (mine, as in I'm sure Ron hasn't even gotten close to thinking about this) is to lure in my Stepmonster to do the dirty job of getting our mail and forwarding the important stuff to us with the promise of a free place to stay somewhere warm anytime she wants. That should work.
It may not be easy, but it'll be worth it!
Image here

Friday, January 2, 2015

Store, Sell or Scrap

No matter how hard you try, there is always an ever-increasing amount of stuff being collected, stored and squirreled away in a home. We're no exception and have a lot more stuff than I thought, or like to admit. So with that, Project Store, Sell or Scrap has been launched!

Getting rid of stuff we forgot we even had or laughing about still having isn't that stressful, actually it felt pretty good to see the clutter from under the stairs be organized (and cleaned) and quite appealed to my anti-clutter tendencies. Why do we still have a race car phone from 20 years ago? Or three bowling balls when neither of us has bowled in years? Or a toaster oven that has never been used? Oy. All in all, we did pretty good! We kept a couple of (now) empty totes, a box of Christmas paraphernalia, a wedding memories box, our dive gear/bag and some of Ron's good hunting gear.

While this was only a sampling of the thinning out to be done throughout the rest of the house, I have a feeling that this was the easy part, and a good place to start. Once we start getting in to things from school or dating or mementos that we got on our honeymoon or on vacations, items we were given to us or made by family members, I think that's where it won't be so fun.

So we're easing our way into it, one area at a time thinking that it may be a little more friendly on us. And maybe, just maybe we can avoid rocking a massive dumpster in our driveway to dispose of all our junk. I'm dreaming aren't I? Yeah, probably. I may be a dreamer, but at least I'm a dreamer that's doing. And we.are.doing.this.
Image here