Spring Break this year was going to be a week-long shake down cruise to Catalina Island, Ca onboard our Aleutian 51 sailboat with kids, grandparents and Quincy the Great Dane, but things don’t always pan out the way you think they will. Two weeks ago when we were up on San Francisco for the Pacific Sail and Power Show I was offered a chance to crew on a delivery from San Diego, Ca to La Paz, MX. After altering Spring Break plans I jumped at the chance to go along…even breaking down and buying foulies at the boat show. Skip forward a week and the delivery didn’t happen due to legal paperwork; so we called an audible and took the boat to Glorietta Bay here in San Diego for 3 days. But the time has allowed us to take the proverbial deep breath, work through some of our minor repairs and test our new solar panel setup to see how it does. We spent 3 days on the hook with no generator and without turning on the engine; but we also didn’t have hot water, couldn’t have run a water maker or sewing machine and seemed to squeeze as much juice out of the panels as possible. I’m glad we put in the MPPT Controllers from Blue Sky; they worked very well even with a couple of days of semi-overcast weather. I’m pretty convinced that with a wind generator, another battery or two and a larger inverter we could go without a generator, but that’s a future discussion. Arriving back at our slip we were welcomed by packages at the office; our new water maker (Rainman) and our second Air Head Head has arrived. I’m stoked, can’t wait to get our last pumpout tomorrow and stop paying for that service. So excited in fact, I’ve already worked on the electrical for the tiny fan and put in the entire vent hose system. Gotta wait on the rest till the tank gets sucked dry and cleaned with some fresh water tomorrow.
But, a few quick notes so far about our experiences with both the water maker and the composting head. Rainman Watermaker came in by freight and we hauled it back to the boat. Great packing, lots of spares and high quality workmanship. But…it’s ALOT heavier than the ads made it look and we didn’t pick it up at the show. Again, if you’re gonna buy one, make sure you know how much these things weigh and make sure you can handle it.
Air Head Head after two weeks of having it operational: I still love it, but we’ve noticed that the girls occasionally get toilet paper forward of the spring loaded clamshell when they’re going #1. When this happens, the toilet paper can go forward into the funnel on top of the liquids bottle and create a cork like bundle of wet toilet paper. If you don’t know the obstruction is there, piss starts to accumulate and SMELL. This has already happened and we’re now on the lookout for it. Also, the 2-gallon bottle easily fills up when two little kids and two adult guests use it…like in less than 24 hours. Especially when the adults add wine or beer or rum to the mix. I didn’t read ALL the fine print in the directions, you’re supposed to empty the liquids bottle when it reaches the sight glass. If you empty it when it’s completely full, it WILL slosh all over you, erasing any lingering doubts of your own superiority.
Ok people, Baja Ha-Ha 2019 sign-up is next month and we’re about 6 months from casting off our lines. I’m ready. Don’t forget about our Pinterest, Patreon and YouTube Pages-
Gotta finish the second Air Head install tomorrow. Friday my Dad’s gonna get to destroy some metal with a grinder and I’m gonna go up the mast to put the check-stays back on, depending on the wind.
Good morning, it’s been another long week (and without Jinxing us), we may have finally crossed the line into spring here, thankfully. With better weather more work on the boat starts and we’re able to get back out to dog beach on Coronado Island. Quincy has been working on her stress level since her long kennel stay (while we had the boat out of the water) and had a restful afternoon yesterday on the boat, take a look: (more…)
Middle of winter and it’s cold! Dream of casting off lines and heading south? What’s really keeping you here? Not enough money, relatives health, boat’s not ready, we don’t have enough sailing experience, the kids don’t want to go, we want to continue to build our nest egg…..ect ect ect. I’ve heard some of these in my own life and had to set them aside. I was “woken up” to how short life can really be and I’m a HUGE advocate of living your life while you can…while your own health is good enough to fully enjoy things and even if your boat and finances are not perfect. Will they ever be? I have no intention of dying without living.
If you want to head south but just haven’t had that “wake up moment” where you see yourself dying without living…DON’T WAIT. Head south or west or east or north. If you are on the West Coast and want to head south this year,,,,,sign up for Baja Ha-Ha in May and take off with us in November!
I have no financial ties to the Baja Ha-Ha, I'm just sitting here in a rain and wind storm on our boat wishing we were already somewhere warmer.
Quincy the Boat Dog is a Great Dane. She often smells like a wet dog and tends to sleep, eat and wag her tail quite a bit. Sometimes during the day when I have boat work or have to run around doing errands, Quincy goes to doggy day care and LOVES it. But I never thought I’d see her do this……. (more…)
Gotta apologize, as the posts have been a bit sporadic these last couple weeks as life has been busy but we keep going. Hotwife had a hip operation so it’s been a week of having the kids on the boat with her elsewhere; then when she as able to get back on the boat on crutches I needed to take her to appointments for most of the next week. So I missed my usual writing schedule and missed some of the work I needed to do around the boat as well. With hotwife back on the boat, things have settled down a bit. Take a look at Quincy, she won’t even move now when crutches go over her: But it’s been a productive couple of weeks regardless. Hotwife and Pirate Kate attended the Women’s Sailing Convention last weekend, I was able to determine the cause of my broken bilge pump and I’m getting it changed out with a new one, I finished my Small Boat Diesel Engine Course and we’ve set solid dates in March to haul Tulum 5 out of the water for a bunch of repairs and upgrades.
We’re looking to do the following while T-5 is hauled out: three coats of bottom paint, drop and inspect the rudder and it’s bearings, have a dripless seal installed on our shaft, have a freshwater foot pump installed in our front head, have a saltwater foot pump installed in the galley, have the gray water flow changed from our 50-gallon (below the water line) tank to direct overboard and possibly remove the tank, unfreeze all the throughhull handles and fiberglass over throughhulls we don’t use and clean and paint the main bilge. But this also gives me strict deadlines to get the washer/dryer taken out and if I’m going to put in a composting head…I’d like to get it done before the haul out.
So we have a bit to do.
We’re a family who got a good deal on a great boat and now have to dedicate the time to fix systems and give her the TLC needed to prep her for cruising. We’re doing just that. We’ll start our YouTube Channel in June and post every one of our complete free video travel logs on this blog. We’ll also continue to post with mongo lots of pictures as we go along. If you want to read it all and share in the action, please think about following us and continue to follow us as we go.
When I came across this post from the Aroused Blog post, I knew I had to reblog it. This post feeds directly into another I’m working on in conjunction with an article I’ve read from the November 2018 issue of Kiplingers magazine. Ever heard of the FIRE movement? This is unique group of highly motivated individuals who save their money in large amounts with the express desire to retire early. I wanted to retire early and have achieved this in my mid-40’s, but I had never even heard of this movement when I started toward retirement. Read the interesting article below by the Aroused Blog and consider checking that blog out, then keep an eye out for my Weds or Fri post as I discuss the idea of retiring early in conjunction with going on an extended cruising trip.
Wanna join the 2019 Baja HaHa and cut the docklines this year? Signups start in early May!
Last week was a long week and my body reminded me this weekend that it was time to slow down. After getting the sleep my body needed, I’m still in a contemplative mood, thinking it funny that the boat and family are providing more great website and posting content that I’ve ever had before. I’ve been trying hard to stay on my M/W/F/S posting schedule, aware that I missed Friday, but back on track. (more…)