Live Free 2 Sail Fast

Coming to San Diego for Baja Ha-Ha/CUBAR And Need Recommendations?

Are you coming to San Diego before heading out to Baja Ha-Ha 2019 or CUBAR in October or November of this year?  Need recommendations to find great services and contractors in San Diego?  From great restaurants and rigging services to the best book/chart store and contractors (who show up and do the work as promised), I can probably help where possible.  I’ll give you recommendations based on personal experience for services or places I’ve personally used or been to. Ask me via post or blog comments and I’ll give you answers chocked full of local knowledge.  



Photo Credit to Michelle using an iPhone, with revisions by Stacy. 

Great Dane on a Boat: Rain-Rain-Go-Away

I haven’t been on the blog or my computer for nearly a week.  We missed the usual Friday Kids Corner and the rest of my normal posting days.  In the last week or two we’ve road tripped, worked hard on the boat and continued to discover repairs that need immediate attention.  Stats definitely flog me for inattention to my writing.  This isn’t foreign to me as I value family road trips, work on the boat and actual adventuring…but still love to write when I have time and energy.  Sooo there’s more rain coming into So Cal on these atmospheric rivers sitting off the west coast and we’re predicted to get four more days of straight rain.  If I was in Seattle I’d understand rain, wind and coldy weather, but we’ve had not so great weather (lots of rain) since January.  Oh well, there’s always curtains to sew.  I’m in boat work season as we sit about five months from casting off so there’s no end to things that need attention and Michelle is still working full time.  The kids only have one more week of school, so that will have a definite impact on my work schedule.  In the last two weeks, I’ve gained a definite understanding about why you probably HIRE folks to do your brightwork (teak scraping, sanding and varnishing).  I’ve finished the scraping and sanding of the window frames all around Tulum and moved on to adding the base coats of varnish.  You can do one coat a day.  I’ve finished three coats and we’re trying to head offshore next week, so we’ll look pretty funny heading out with blue tape all over our windows but the tape is a pain in the ass to put on….so I may not take it off if I don’t finish (due to the rain).

This week I got motivated and ripped out all the old plumbing associated with the electric two heads we took off the boat.  With Francisco Cedillo’s (Cedillo Marine- 619 496 4116)) help, we opened (read holed) both holding tanks and cleaned them completely.  [I’m going to do a complete post on these two fun days of work, but a bit here too].  Now I’ll drop some reality on you…I was personally here when both holding tanks were pumped professionally and water was added several times to get all the solids out (we thought).  Dead Wrong!  When we opened the tanks, both tanks were about a 1/4 full of solids and hardened material…it didn’t all come out when Pepe La Poo pumped it.  The other reality is how heavy the lines were.  Several of the lines from both forward and stern heads were nearly 50% filled with solids…meaning that they would have eventually been stopped up completely.  Think through this….these are your hoses to and from your macerator and holding tank!

Here’s the first day of plumbing that we ripped out:

Day # 1- Forward Head Pluming ripped out.

Here’s the second day of plumbing and other assorted stuff ripped out from beneath my stern head:

Day # 2- Stern Head Plumbing and other assorted wiring ripped out.

TIP:  In the pics (if you look close) you’ll see diapers.  Diapers are cheap, absorbant and easily found.  They have elastic and can be easily positioned to catch anything that drips or leaks.


And now, Quincy speaks: (more…)

Great Dane on a Boat: Baja Ha-Ha XXVI

First, Happy Mothers Day to all Mom’s.  My mom has cruised on two different sailboats and spent 18 years circumnavigating.  My wife lives has lived on a sailboat now for over two years and rarely complains.  And she’s game to go cruising, as we’ve just committed to Baja Ha-Ha XXVI.   


Here’s Weekly Wisdom and Thoughts from a Great Dane who lives on a Sailboat, read on: (more…)

Chain Locker/Bilge- Cleaning and Painting Recommendations (For Dummies Like Me)

My day often starts with a decent plan consisting of things to do and things I want to actually finish, to be crushed by weather, sick kids or circumstances beyond my control and I’ve come to accept that.  This morning I had planned to continue scraping the teak on the port side of the boat in hopes of moving on to sanding, but rain effectively helped me to cease that work.  I even had some goals for posts I wanted to write to get a bit ahead of myself to start May off with a bang, but of course the rain effects my Wi-Fi, so things are reallllly slow to upload even here on an American dock.  So I sat down to knock out a post I’ve been thinking through for months, as I’ve been slowly working on cleaning and painting all the bilge spaces on Tulum, from Bow to Stern.  I’m not done yet, but I’ve knocked out enough work to be able to credibly share my methods with you in hopes that you might learn something or at least come away from this post knowing you do it better?  This info should be straightforward and easy to understand and you can get your spaces clean and smelling good without spending a lot of money or time.  So here we go:


Kids Corner- 190510

Hey, guys! I’m back! So today I’m going to talk about our trip to Glorieta bay! It was an easy trip getting there. We were right next to the beach, which was awesome! We had a nice steak for dinner, then were rocked to sleep by the waves. In the morning, bright and early, we went to the beach to let Quincy, our dog, use the bathroom. But just as we were pulling into shore, our dad lost his grip on the leash, and let’s just say that Quincy went for an unexpected walk in this really expensive golf course. She scared a few golfers, peed on the golf course, you know, the usual. When we finally got her back, we went back to the boat. Dad was furious. I lounged in the sun all day, and even fell asleep a few times. we went back to the beach again, and even found a few golf balls. The best part though, was this giant carcass of a rug shark! Anyway, this story, IS TO BE CONTINUED……

Quincy anchored TO THE BEACH with Tulum V anchored in the background.
Tulum, after getting Ice Cream on the island.



We’re In,,,Baja Ha-Ha XXVI

Well, that’s a pretty huge milestone to casting off the docklines.  We’re in,,,Baja Ha-Ha XXVI


Cane Garden Bay, BVI looking north. Photo credit to Hotwife.

Damn, now I gotta go sand so I can get to my varnishing!  I’ve only got till November to finish it all.

Sign-Up for Baja Ha-Ha between today and Sept

Sign-Ups for Baja Ha-Ha start today at noon.  I’m pretty excited, as this is an event that’s been a long time in the making for this website and the family.  I started this website 3 years ago to capture the work, stress and real life that goes into the lives of a working family-who sells their home-puts all their stuff in storage-buys a sailboat (or two)-retires-moves onto the boat and eventually cuts the docklines.  I personally didn’t want to do a site that started when we left the US and shut down again when we eventually returned home to the US.  And here we are….Baja Ha-Ha signup day 2019.  The fun starts at noon and I’ll be on there, filling out forms and making sure we get signed up.

Our goal and aspiration is to make this site and our YouTube site even better by posting factual, real information to help others are we go along as well as detailed travelogues.  We don’t want to make home videos for our YouTube Channel, we want to put out info and videos that will help and possibly entertain you.  We’re working toward all that.

If you want to do this adventure this year you’ve got between today and September to sign up.

Boat Projects with No End?

I’ve commented before that my normal posting days are M/W/F/S/S, so if I miss a post it’s likely that we’re out sailing, I’m swamped with a project or I’ve just been lazy and didn’t get to it.  Time seemed to fold between this week and last week.  Before I realized it the seam of time had thrust May upon us and I had more projects unfinished than ever before.  I knew I could knock out some small projects last week, but several turned into monsters and have stretched into this week.  

Last week I experimented with a 3-part clear epoxy based covering for varnish or Cetol, with impressive results.  The Awlbrite Clear Gloss system comes with 3-components mixed together, easily applied with a brush.  The system says to use multiple coats and IS more expensive than a normal clear coat but is said to last longer.  I was initially told it would hold up to 7-years in direct sun, but then the guys at the store said 3-years in direct sun.  Since the area’s I’ve applied it to are not in direct sun, I only used two coats (but will use at least three coats for areas in direct sun).  The results were great.  The stuff dried fast and hard- but we kept kids and dog off of it for at least 24 hours….a huge accomplishment on my boat.  Here’s a couple of quick pics-

Transom Platform (under dinghy and solar panels) with the system already applied.
Cockpit floor, inside the doghouse.
Another view of the cockpit floor.

Last week I also started messing around with trim on the cabin windows of the boat, especially with the weather getting better.  Here’s how it looked as I started:

Contemplating how much work I had in front of me!
Work in progress with scraper and heat gun, Day 1
Scraping and cleaning done, have to still sand before even thinking about varnish or Cetol.

I have (10) cabin windows to get done as well as multiple other smaller pieces of teak on deck before I even think about the mighty toe rail.  Might I mention that we went from a boat with almost no teak to this boat…with a freaking LOT of teak.  This isn’t a complaint….just an observation.

I skip around on projects when the weather doesn’t play right, when I run out of supplies or when I get bored with one and move to another.  So last week I also started working on the promised curtains for the boat.  This involves cutting fabric, doing the edge work, taking down the old metal blinds and putting up new curtain rods.  This is before I ever get out the Sailrite.  But I did actually get to the sewing machine, get all the curtain rods mounted and made enough curtains for four windows before running out of supplies.  I’m now waiting on the supplies and the boat looks pretty funny with three covered windows out of six in the main Solon.  Here’s what the curtains in my room look like now (I’ll do a full story with before and after pics when the project is finished):

Curtains in my room, keep in mind I did not pick out the fabric.

And as a parting shot to make you smile and tell ALL your friends to follow LF2SF:

The morning after the second coat of Epoxy Clearcoat in the cockpit, Quincy CANNOT figure out why she can’t get back in her doghouse.

PS: Weds coming, are you signing up?

Great Dane on a Boat: Great Danes Can Get Your Attention Quick

Quincy’s Wisdom for this Sunday, told in story format: “As a Great Dane, I know there’s ways to get attention quickly.  So the other night when they talked in the cockpit, I decided to make myself comfy.  This got Mom’s attention REAL quick when she came back in the dark and sat on the bed, only to find something moving.  Needless to say, I got their attention.  I also pretended to be sorry, but their bed was really, really comfy”.

Might be funny and cute to have a Great Dane on your bed the first time, but after they take over, YOU have to find a place to sleep. No Great Danes allowed on our bed (and she knows it). 


A Happy Ramadan and Cinco de Mayo to anyone reading who celebrates these holy days and holidays.  Me and Michelle have been in the Middle East and Mexico during these holy days and holidays and experienced those cultural ties.

Green Egg on a Sailboat: Santa Fe Strip Quick Cook

Knowing we wanted to cook up some killer tacos with the Surf Fur Crew, I grabbed some meat at the store for Big Green Egg Cooking, but didn’t pay too much attention to what I was buying.  I wanted Carne Asada, but I came home with Santa Fe Strip.  Anything with “strip” in the name is ok by me for tacos or just eating, so I threw it on the Egg and cooked it up.  It was nearly perfect, perhaps cooked a minute too long.  I cooked up a total of 3.96 pounds and flipped the meat once, about 3 minutes per side.  Came out to be nicely cooked strips, but a bit thicker than normal carne asada and a bit tougher.  Regardless, we threw the meat into simple tacos with some rice and made a fine quicky meal we all seemed to like.  So here’s the meat on the barbi, next time you see Santa Fe Strip, you can reference this post about cooking on the Green Egg:

Santa Fe Strip on the Green Egg.