Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 Year End Review

I love New Years Day. Its like the first day of school, the beginning of a new adventure, a brand new book who's pages have yet to be turned,a clean slate where anything is possible. I cant believe how much my life has changed since this time last year.

Last January I was living in a house I hated, working at a job I was tired of and running out of ideas to inspire me. For years I had wanted to move, preferably back to Europe if possible. Because of all my uncertainty, I hadnt done much to the house to make it very livable. After a trip to England the year before, where I realized I couldnt afford to move to Europe, I decided to revamp the house with better furnishings found on Craigslist. I threw myself into my work , not taking a single day off for over 4 months. I spent thousands buying stuff for the house, with the thought that once I had all the nice stuff I wanted, I would look for better ( and most likely way more expensive) accomadation. I have wanted to live on the water for years and had looked into it in the past, but thought it would be out of my reach, just another dream. Well just goes to show you the power of dreams. It took me awhile but here I am!

So last April as the weather was starting to warm up, and thoughts turned to getting out and being more sociable, I decided to take a look at the personal ads on Craigslist. Its funny , I had been shopping on there for about a year, but had never once thought to look at the dating ads. Well within a few minutes I had come across an ad that David had posted. He was quite specific about what he was looking for, it sounded like we had tons in common and I was sure we would get along great but I didnt fit all his criteria so decided not to answer his ad.

A few days later it was April 13th, the 21st anniversary of my Mothers death. I was driving along in the car and thinking about her, having a conversation with her in my head. Told her how much I missed her and wondered what she would think of all the changes in the world and my life since she's been gone. In closing I sent out a plea to her, that if she had any pull with the cosmos, if she could PLEASE send me a nice guy that I could relate to.

The next night I attended a party at a friends house. I arrived wearing a red cape and the band started playing a funny song about Red Riding Hood. I made a joke about how all I need now was my big bad wolf and turned to see David with a grin from ear to ear,looking ready to gobble me up on the spot. We ended up chatting throughout the night and he invited me back to the Bowie for a hottub. The next day I got to thinking, something about him seemed so familiar, but I couldnt put my finger on it. Finally I remembered the ad I had read and went back to look at it again. OMG, it was the same guy. I couldnt believe it!! What were the chances I would meet him in this huge city. Well as I suspected we got along great and nine months later, here we are and both our lives have changed so much. Thanks Mom, you did good :)

As we got to know each other better, I was spending more and more time down here at the shipyard. I loved the lifestyle and the people that I met here. For the first time in 15 years of living in Vancouver, I finally felt part of a community.I was spending lots of time on Craigslist, looking for stuff for Davids floathome that he was building. I had also started looking in the boat section, just to keep my eyes open for any possibilities. I loved Tana's houseboat and would give anything to have a place like hers.

I quit my job at the hotels in June. I loved the work but was getting so burnt out being on call all the time. I couldnt plan anything and it was draining me. I had a few home clients that just payed the bills and spent most of the summer helping David put his house together. I learned so much and enjoyed all the different tasks we were doing. I do love a project and his had lots to keep us very busy.

One of the floathomes down here came up for sale and I spent about a month and a half researching everything about floathomes and trying to get a loan to buy it. It was proving to be very difficult to get the backing I needed, but I felt sure it would happen. It just seemed I was meant to be here, to have this opportunity. Then one day, just as I was about to walk out the door to leave for a weekend job at a Rafting resort, I decided to take one last quick look on Craigslist. Why I did tht, Ill never know as I was running late as it was, but look I did and boy am I glad! I found the ad for my boat and asked David to follow up on it for me as I would be in the bush and no access to phones ect for a few days. When I got back, we talked to the owner and set things up. The rest as they say is history. I was now the proud new owner of my first boat(and home!) and all for free( not to mention , the moorage is cheaper than my very cheap rent at the old house).Could life get any better? The best part is this isnt just any boat but the boat of my dreams , all hobbitt housey and cute as a button. Im proud to have such a cool historic boat and have every intention of restoring it to it's full glory.

I went back to working full time in the fall. Now that I had the boat, I had a million things I wanted to buy and fix and cash flow was required for that. I love my work and the money is great, but after 15 years , Ive had enough. I want a change so bad I can taste it, but had no idea what I could do that would make this kind of money. I dont really want to go back to school at my age and get another degree, but Im not really qualified to do anything else. I have had some interesting jobs in my life. I was a bartender for 13 years in all kinds of establishments. I was a chimney sweep on Vancouver Island for 4 years, did a stint as a roofer, picked up car parts for a garage.Im not afraid of hard work and love being outdoors. David and I have been talking about starting a log salvaging business together. Now that he has the tugboat and the use of a smaller skiff, we are putting together a plan to make that happen. Just waiting now on the salvadge licence to come through and we can get started. I cant wait to see what 2008 brings!

My horoscope says that this will be a very lucky year for me. I cant see how things could get any better but Im excited as hell to see how it will unfold.Im hoping a tropical vacation is in the cards, that would be the icing on my cake.

I wish you all the very best in 2008, may all your dreams come true for you

Happy New Years one and all!!!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy Festivus Everyone

Hi everyone, hope your holidays were awesome. I slept through most of them myself. I had been working 6 days a week for the last few months and just barely made it to the last day. I had 6 glorious days off in a row. Of course I had a million things I wanted to do , but in the end was so exhausted, I just went to bed and stayed there.

Christmas Eve, David and I made the rounds of all the boats down here, stopped in and had a visit with all our neighbors. Its funny, they live right here but sometimes weeks go by and I hardly see anyone. Christmas Day we went to Todd and Shelleys house for dinner. She outdid herself as usual and put on a beautiful feast for us complete with yummy homemade blackberry wine and all kinds of treats. We had a splendid day and came home with enough turkey leftovers to make a wonderful pot of soup the next day. This was good as we spent the whole entire day in bed, only getting up long enough to make and eat the soup. A nicer Christmas I couldnt have asked for.

We finally got the shower curtain rod installed and a bracket for the shower head, so I now have a tub and shower with screaming hot water, its wonderful. Another thing on my wishlist was a propane stove with an oven. Ive been looking everyday on Craigslist for something suitable but wasnt having any luck. Yesterday, I decided to place my own ad on Craigslist in the wanted section to see if anyone had one kicking around. Boy did I luck out. Tonight I got an email from a guy in Maple Ridge that had just gutted a camper and had a stove for me. At 11 pm he offered to drive it over here. He showed up around midnight with the perfect stove for here and threw in a water holding tank and a hand pump to boot. As luck would have it, he turns out to be a gasfitter, so I showed him my on-demand water heater and propane furnace and got all kinds of good advice on how to get them hooked up. Finally there is light at the end of the tunnel. It doesnt sound to difficult to get what I need, so I should have endless hot water soon. The water tank is great for showers but doesnt produce enough water to totaly fill the tub. And if someone has a shower, you need to wait a few hours before anyone else can.The on-demand heater will take care of all of that.

He was also very interested in my potbellied wood stove. Apparently its very old, predating World War One. He refurbishes old stoves and wants to trade me wood stoves. Im all for that. I love the stove but it has limitations in the size of wood I can fit in it, and a lid that slides off every time we get hit with a big wave. I want something safer, bigger and with a flat surface so I can put a pot of water on it. He will call back in a few days when he finds the right one for me.

And as if this wasnt already the most awesome day, I also got a Kayak tonight!! Ive wanted one for years now, but couldnt find one cheap enough. Good ole Craigslist came through for me again. I saw an ad yesterday for two at $300 apiece. One is pink and one is red, too perfect. They are small river kayaks meant for white water, but Im sure they will be fine for puttering around here on. I could only afford to buy one tonight, will go back in a week or two when the coffers are refilled to get the other one. I cant wait to go for a midnight paddle under the full moon.I just have to watch out I dont get swept out to sea on the tides, we get some crazy fast water going past here some days.

I think Im going to have to write an ode to Craigslist, pretty much everything in my life , I found on there, from David, to the boat and most of the stuff on it, not to mention all the helpful people Ive met. Craig, whoever you are, Thanks from the bottom of my heart, this was a most excellent year, and all thanks to you.xxoo

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Whats in a Number?

I find myself attracted to certain numbers. I always seem to look at the clock when it reads 11:11 or 2:22 ect. I met David on April 14th, got my boat home on August 14th,got running water on December 14th, coincidence, I think not. The boats name is Lucky 7, 7 being a component of 14!!

Well after looking at the water heater, David thought it looked pretty bad so we looked on Craigslist and found a 30 gallon electric water tank, brand new for $100. He hooked it up at his place and ran some hoses over to my boat, so (drum roll please....) I now have running water, hot and cold! I'm soo happy!

Today I did my dishes in the sink, and tonight had my first bubble bath, complete with candles and a glass of Grand Marnier to celebrate. What a luxery, I will never take running water for granted again. I spent the day finishing up my Christmas shopping and buying some stuff to get my tub ready. I still need to hang up my shower curtain rod which is proving to be a supreme hassle, but I will prevail.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Santa Came Early

Today was a lovely day. I slept in till 1 pm. Ive been working like crazy and just needed some down time to rest. David decided to fix my kitchen cupboard that had to be ripped out to fit in the new fridge. When you only have inches of counter space , every inch counts. Im so thrilled to have it back. While he worked on that, I hung up some Christmas decorations. My first Christmas on my boat, Im so excited!!Later David got the new satellite receiver hooked up, so Im back in business again.

Greig has offered me the use of a small electric water heater. David is going to hook it up at his place and run a hose over here, so I will finally have running water. That equals even more counter and floor space as I will be able to get rid of the water jugs and the box I store my dirty dishes in, Yahoo!

"It's a good thing" as Martha would say

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back and Mind Your Toes

Well I've scared off another gas-fitter today.I had finally gotten my water heater back from Mike and the metal plates he made to mount it to the wall a few weeks later. I called another gas-fitter and made an appointment for him to come by this morning and get me hooked up. He started off all positive but as he took a better look at the situation, he backpedaled right out the door. All full of apologies about his "bad feeling " about the whole setup and his woefull inadequacies when it comes to working on boats. DAMN! I get different advice from everyone who looks at this. One says I need a pipe with an elbow to reduce condensation,another says no, a straight pipe is fine. One says I need copper pipe, another says your not supposed to use copper pipes on boats anymore.WTF???

Just when I had given up all hope, I got a call from Kim, he is the guy that took my propane furnace months ago. I had all but given up on him. He dropped by this afternoon with my furnace all repaired and looking brand spanking new. He gave me a bunch of copper pipe and various copper joints and elbows so I could get it hooked up. I would like to vent it through the woodstove chimney but he is concerned that if the pipe isnt hot it wouldnt draw and the smoke(fumes?) would pour back into the boat.If anyone has tried something like this, I like to hear how it worked out.It will be a bit of a procedure to get this hooked up as I have to loosen off the tarp on the water side of the boat, thread the gas hose through a cleat hole, and drill a hole somewhere to vent it. A project for another day, today I rest!!

Kim has said he can get me a vent pipe for the water heater, so back to playing the waiting game again. At this rate, I should be good to go by next winter! Speaking of which we had our first snow storm last week, followed immediately by the pineapple express which dumped a ton of rain. This resulted in an interesting few days. We tacked down chicken wire while the snow fell to make the docks less treacherous. I went off to work all proud of my ability to do battle with mother nature to come back to such a high tide from all the flooding, that I was walking up a ramp that usally only has various shades of down. The water was inching dangerously close to the buildings on shore but receded before it got too scary. Another storm weathered and Im still here. The next day, I went shopping for more tools of survival. I picked up a 1000 watt gas generator, brand new for $95 and a gas water pump for the same price. I also picked up another bilge pump and a marine battery. Alot of money I hadnt planned on spending, but feel better knowing I am ready for any emergency.

David managed to drop the big marine battery on his foot bringing it down to the boat, so we spent 2 days trying to get him in for xrays at the local hospital. After an excruitiating 6 hour wait in which I threw my back out trying to stay upright in the chair, he fianlly got looked at. No broken bones, just a bad crushing of a few toes. This has slowed him down quite abit and he finally took a few days off and just relaxed. Ive never seen him sit still for more than 5 minutes, this is a treat.

We have had all kinds of issues with the sattelite tv. All the reafing on the piling its attached to when bringing the tug back up, knocked it off its course and ripped out my line. In the meantime , my reciever decided to pack it in altogether. Poor David had spent hours on the phone with them trying to get it sorted out, but they are complete morons. He spends half an hour telling them what is wrong, what we need done and giving them all kinds of info about the account, and then they start all over asking him all the same questions and putting him on hold forever and ever.If you could kill someone over the phone, I think there would be a few people having a bad day. We did get a guy here to repostion the sattelite dish so we have a signal again, and David brought his reciever and wire over here and got it hooked up. In two months we have had about 2 weeks of service. The worst part is , even when its working , there really isnt much on anyway.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

How to Salvadge a Tug

Gee who knew the tide would come in that fast? Well Tana did, but thats besides the point. We laid down for a nap at 3:15. The tide was way out and I thought it would be hours before it came back in. We were woken at 5 am by Gerards son, Mike, screaming for David to get up, the tug was taking on water. Gerard, David, Mike and Greig all jumped into rescue mode and quickly loaded a pump and hose onto the dingy and got it going to pump out the water. Half of it was splashing into the dingy and it had to be bailed to keep from sinking. Greig attached a a come-along to the piling and with superhuman strength, pulled the tug upright with it. Gerard had a dunking when he tried to walk across a slippery log to reach the tug ( he doesnt swim) , it was a tense few moments watching him struggle to get back on the log, but he made it ok. Hopefully he doesnt get hypothermia, its just above freezing right now and he got soaked and continued working for abit before finally going in to get changed. The engines went under the water so its back to square one to get them running again. The oil has to be drained out and replaced, the filters replaced, the injectors pulled and the water drained out but hopefully she will be up and running by this afternoon. Right now a nap is in order, right after a good stiff drink to chse away the cold.

This is Going to be a Long Night

Well it took a month but the boys got the tug up and running. Many hours were spent cleaning it out, ( a mountain of stuff was found in the hold, surrounded by mud and guck), the engines got fixed, parts ordered and replaced and finally the engines turned over. It purrs like a Mercedes and runs very smooth. The last two days were spent transfering fuel from the Lightship holds to the tugs fuel tanks. There were some issues with that process when David discovered that tons of water had leaked into the Lightships tanks and were now being pumped into the tug. The water had to be drained off and the other fuel tanks checked. A bad leak on the Lightship was discovered which will have to be repaired soon.

They decided they had enough fuel for the moment to start doing some work with the tug. Greig had been wheelwashing the shoreline beside Tana to try and remove enough mud so she could stay afloat during low tide. The tug he was using was not that powerful and after three days had still not cleared enough for her to float clear. That tug developed some problems and was taken out of service. This afternoon Greig got our tug in beside Tana and proceeded to dig a massive hole. We had a super low tide tonight and he had to stop as he was sitting on the bottom .There is all kinds of stuff visible in the mud now, large logs, an old water heater, tons of cables running in all directions,the bare remains of a sucken rowboat. As the tide continued to recede, the tug listed right over. It is 1 am now and she is completely out of the water, lying almost right on her side.

David is out and about gathering gear to right the boat as the tide comes back in . He needs pumps and firehose to bail the tug if neccesary, a come-along to to provide torque on the topside, and all the electrical gear has to be removed so it doesn't get damaged if water gets in. He has a couple of hours before the tide turns , then a long night of waiting for it to rise while keeping the tug above water.

This was a good opportunity to see the underside of the tug. The topside is in somewhat rough condition and there was some concerns as to what the hull and prop looked like. The wheel had been wobbling yesterday and we were concerned that something was caught in it. Tonight we were able to get a good look at the whole boat and it looks great. Nothing a good cleaning couldnt fix. Got my fingers and toes crossed that all goes well tonight. I hate to see boys cry.

My life hsnt been any near as exciting. Ive been working nonstop for weeks now. I went to a meeting at a clinic that Im doing a locum at and found out two of the staff are moving way at the end of the year. Its a nice place, very busy and the rent is reasonable. After seven years of being way from clinic work, I think Im ready to go bck to it again. The regular hours appeal to me after years of working on call. A steady paycheck wont hurt my feelings either, I just hope my body holds out. My tendinitis is giving me no mercy these days. If I can swing it, I would love a quick holiday somewhere warm in January before taking on a full schedule.

After a week of hunting down info and various fuels, I finally tried out my kerosene stove. It was a disaster. One burner sputtered off and on, the other wouldnt light at all and the oven was a flamethrower shooting flames everywhere. And it stank! I would have lost my appetite before I could have eaten anything cooked on that stove. It was quite a process to light the thing. You have to use Methyl Hydrate and squirt it carefully into a hard to reach small dish below the burner. You light that(watching your eyebrows in the process), when it has almost burned out , you turn on the kerosene burner and pray that it lights.( if it doesnt you have to wait for it all to cool down before you try the whole process again) The stove is connected to a tank of kerosene that has to have the pressure increased to between 2 and 7 degrees with a bicycle pump. The pressure drops as you cook and you have to keep pumping it up again. Quite a hassle if you just want to boil water for coffee! Needless to say, I returned the stove and am back to using my coleman 2 burner propane stove for now. I still want an oven at some point, Im craving roast chicken.

I still don't have the water heater hooked up. Mike had some family issues and couldnt do the job after all. I finally got the heater back from him but its back to square one again. In the meantime, I finished repainting the bathroom. I redid the walls in white and painted the beams in a burgendy colour. I did the outside of the bathtub in the same colour as well and quite like the finished result. I bought a circular shower curtain rod but of course it doesnt fit in my funny shaped bathroom so will have to modify it sometime soon.

We got our first bit of snow tonight. We went downtown earlier to try and get my boat and the tug registered but found out there were other forms to be filled out and we would have to come back. While we down there I finally got around to taking my passport renewal in. It sounds like I should have it before the end of the year. Im surprised because I have been reading about the extremely long waits. All Canadians are now required to have a passport to travel to the States, so they have tons more applications then normal. On our way home we got stuck in a bad traffic jam on the Knight Street bridge. It took us 45 minutes to go about 2 blocks. As we sat there, the rain turned to snow. Its stopped now, but Im ready. I went to the house earlier today and grabbed my winter emergency gear: a large snow shovel, a bag of salt, lock de-icer and some traction thingys. I learned my lesson last year when I got snowed in for a week, Im not going there again.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Add Plumber to My Resume

Ive been putting off trying to fix my toilet as I was scared of it. Scared of the horrible smells emanating from it and scared I would inadvertently unleash a flood of river water into the boat. Yesterday, I overcame my fear and decided to tackle it. I armed myself with rubber gloves, wads of paper towel, a huge jug of bleach and a screwdiver and went in to face my hell.

I turned off the valves and removed the pipes. I quickly found the problem in the outflow pipe. It was clogged with wetwipes that I had used one day when I ran out of toilet paper( note to self- wetwipes dont flush well at all). I got them out, flushed out the pipes and bravely opened the inlet valve to make sure water was coming in. It was, luckly at a rate I could control and get the valve closed again. I removed the cover from the pump mechanism to take a look at the gasket. I gave everything a good clean and tried to put it back together. There was a weird piece of loose plastic that took me about 3 hours and much swearing and screaming to figure out how it fit into everything. I finally figured it out and got things back together for the umpteenth time and Hallaluyah!! it works. I gave the bathroom a good scrub with liberal amounts of bleach and went to crack a well deserved beer to celebrate. No more midnight runs in the dark, yahoo

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I Spoke too Soon

Funny we had power all during the storm, but the next day we kept getting brownouts till we had basically no power at all. That lasted about 2 days until late last night when it finally came back on again. Other than no tv or internet, I didnt really notice as I use woodheat and a propane stove to cook with anyway. The boat looks lovely all lit by candlelight, I should do that more often anyway.The biggest issue for most people down here was that their bilge pumps weren't working with no electricity. That can get scary as some of the boats take on quite abit of water.

Still no water heater yet :( , Im starting to wonder if I will ever get it hooked up. I went out and bought shower curtains and a bathmat in anticipation of having a bath, but looks like thats still on hold for now.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sleepless in Vancouver

We finally got hit with a good storm last night. Winds gusting to over 100 km an hour, with sustained winds of 60 km/hr and lots of rain. My tarp frame took it well with only some minor loosing at the back on the right side. David, my hero, got up at 5:30 AM with screw gun in hand and fastened down the bits that had come loose. It was a long night, listening to the wind howl, strange things banging in the dark and the boat tossing around like a washing machine. Things finally calmed down in the late morning and I went out to assess the damage. Not too bad, had to fasten down the tarp in a few places and it looks like the rotten wood on the sides of the boat took a bit of a beating, but all in all very good for the extent of the storm. There are about 200,000 people without power today in the lower mainland. Luckily we aren’t among them. Our power is only about 50 percent, cant run heaters, microwaves etc. but still have lights and a working fridge. And strangely enough the satellite stayed up the whole time.

A few heavy pieces of railing went flying off the deck of the Bowie and hit Karen’s sailboat and Troy’s boat, but the damage seems minimal. Otherwise the marina looks pretty good, thank god for that. The sun came out this afternoon, which gave us the opportunity to go around and tie everything down more securely just in case it decided to storm some more.

I spent the afternoon contemplating my bathroom. I’ve designed some storage cabinets that I will have to build, and decided to paint the outside of my bathtub. I wanted to get rid of it altogether and build a shower stall but don’t think that will be feasible. It’s going to cost me about $300-400 to get the bathtub reglazed. It needs doing badly so will just slap a coat of the burgundy paint on the outside of it until I can afford to have it redone properly. I’m praying Mike finally shows up tomorrow to install my hot water heater, I cant wait to get that done and have my first bath here.

Last year a film crew came down to the marina and did some filming for a reality tv show about our life down here. Today the producer showed up with a copy of the dvd containing the footage they shot. It was really well done. It would be so cool if they decide to go ahead and do the show. There is defiantly never a dull moment around here, and an odder cast of characters they couldn’t of dreamed of if they tried.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Another Day, Another Project

So today I decided to install my new stove and rebuild my kitchen cupboards. We pulled everything back and put plastic vapour barrior along the wall behind the couch and inside the pot cupboard. David used his sawsall to cut out the front of the cupboards and then built proper shelves for me. The stove managed to fit through the front door( we thought we would have to put it in through the window)and I decided to put it beside the cupboards after some modification to them.I filled the kerosene tank and proceeded to use a bicycle pump to add some pressure. I hadnt tightened the connections enough and gas sprayed everywhere. Yuch!! What a stench. Anyway after much adjusting of the connections we got the leaks stopped and tried to light the stove. No Luck. From what I can gather online, it seems I need some sort of combustible paste to warm up the burners first. Not sure what thats all about, will have to check into it further tomoorow. I gave up and went out for hamburgers.

The cupboards are awesome now,lots of room for the pots and pans, I can finally get at everything easily and without the propane stove on the counter I have a little counter space to work on now. I want to put a metal barrier behind and above the stove to protect the wood above. Now I just have to rebuild the cupboard beside the fridge and my kitchen reno's will be complete.

Im still scaring myself everytime I pass a mirror, not sure who this dark haired person is on my boat. In the light of day, it seems the colour I picked is a dark blue instead of dark black. Oh well, Ive never been one to follow fashion trends, maybe Ill start a new one.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

How I Spent My Day Off

Well I finally talked David into taking a day off with me. The sun was shining, I had $500 burning a hole in my pocket, so off we went shopping. We went to a propane shop to look for conversion parts for Davids gas water heater. They had a few items there I would be interested in. A fan for the woodstove that runs off the heat of the stove(no electricty required) costs $130-200 and propane lights that attach to the wall .We hit a few hardware stores looking for plumbing fixtures, then went to explore Steveston. To my surprise, David had never been there before, this boy needs to get out more! We found the 2nd hand marine store hidden a a back alley. I scored! I found a kerosene cookstove with 2 burners, an oven, the tank and hoses for $130. I also got a brass lamp that is exactly like the one I got off the tugboat the other day. Im going to hook them up to battery power for dock lights and use coloured gels to transform them into navigational lights when underway.

We spent the rest of the afternoon poking around all the shops.At one point I dragged David into a wig shop to get his professional opinion on a different haircolour for me. There was a gaggle of ladies in there and everyone loved the black, so off to the drugstore for some hairdye. After some nailbiting and a glass of wine, I enlisted David's hairdressing services and bit the bullet to see whats its like on the dark side. Greigs daughter Dosha and her friend Patton came over and offered their stylist skills to my new do. I settled on the pigtails( less hair to get used to lol). Davids happy, he has his brunette, finally got a picture of us together,( I think he was embarrased to be seen with a blonde)

All in all a fun , productive day, with lots of new toys and a new look. Tomorrow is girly day, if its open we are off to the Korean Spa where we will soak our aches and pains in salt and mud and sip green tea. Nice to be girly again for a minute, Ive almost forgotten how to do that being in construction mode most of the time.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Update Time

Well work has finally picked up for me lately. Many of my clients have extended medical which allows for so many treatments per year. Most of them hang on to them till the end of the year, then realize they have 10 left or something and want to use them all before the year is over. I"m now working 6 days a week for the next while. Good for the wallet but hard on the body. This will probaly continue till Christmas, then I'll be lucky to get any work for January.

I havent had much time to work on the boat lately. Last week I finaly got around to insulating the bedroom. There was a big hole under the bed that led to the back deck, that was letting in tons of cold air. I plugged it with styrofoam, then laid a piece of aluminum foil covered with insulation over it and covered that with plastic, pink insualation and more plastic. I put a whole bale of insulation double wrapped in plastic under the whole bed and stapled more plastic over the whole thing. I also stapled plastic under the bedroom floor in an effort to stop all the cold drafts. I dont think all my work made much difference. I still can feel drafts blowing around my feet. Cant figure out where they are coming from, but I give up for now.

We had tons of problems with our satellite tv, kept losing the signal with the tides. The guy came back a few times trying to sort it out. Yesterday, he took the reciever off of Davids house and mounted it to a piling nearby. Hopefully that does the trick, it seems to be working good now. Everytime David would phone to bitch about it, they kept saying they were sorry and offering us more channels and free months ect, but whats the use of that if we have no signal??? They finally got the point and fixed it proper.

I havent had time to cut firewood, so have been buying presto logs in the meantime. I am looking for a big woodstove that I can give to David, so I can have the one that's at his house. Its bigger than mine but will fit in here nicely. The best part is it takes regular size logs. Mine is so small I have to cut the firewood to toothpick size which is time consuming to do and doesnt burn very long at all. I called the guy that was going to installed my propane furnace and asked him to order the parts it needs so I can get it hooked up. It will be nice to have another source of heat in here.

Im still waiting for the Mike to come back and install my hot water heater, there is a rumour he is coming this weekend, I cant wait to get that going. Hope it happens! I repainted the bathroom panels white, it needs another coat of paint that Im hoping to get done today. IM SICK OF PAINTING! Ive done a terrible job of it, if I had known he was going to take this long to get back to me, I would have just stripped the green off and left it wood. Oh well, another lifetime perhaps.

My Dad and his wife stopped by last week on their way to Indonesia. Im not sure what he thought of my living conditions, probaly not much, it looks pretty rough down here. I took them out to the River Rock Casino for a buffet dinner( belated birthday present for him), it was really good, lots of tasty food. Ill have to go back there again.

One of the issues we face down here at the marina is the river mud. It has been building up alot this year and is pushing us all out further into the river. This is causing alot of grief with the Port Authority and Seaspan who want us to move back. We have been experiencing super low tides lately that leave half the boats sitting on mud and tilting over on their sides. Makes life very difficult, esp for Tana who is closest to shore. Her houseboat is listing so bad, its filling the hold with water, knocking all her stuff of the shelves and making the toilets and shower unuable for large chunks of the day. Not good for any of us as she has one of the only working bathrooms down here. Greig has been using a tugboat to propwash the shoreline trying to clear out the mud beside her so she can float again. In the process he uncovered an old piling that had been cut off and is now stuck under her bow. Not sure how they are going to deal with that yet, but its an ongoing battle.

The Port Authority is going to be dredging the river around here in the next few weeks, so we want to clear as much mud out as possible before they get to us. We would love to have it dredged right up to the shoreline but that would mean moving all our boats and docks, not a feasable thing for us as we have nowhere to put us all, so will have to make do with the propwashing and hope that does the trick.

Well back to my painting, take care all xxoo

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Back to Square one

Today, I mostly helped David with his place. He finished putting in stringers and supports for his floor while I cut styrofoam and insulated the walls. Once that was done, he stapled plastic over the styrofoam, laid down some floorboards and we moved all the heavy stuff back into the back. The building has been listing alot to the front with no weight in the back end. Luckily the weather has been dry and calm the last few days. A storm could have done alot of damage.

At one point I got frustrated with wrestingly with the styrofoam. It was like building a huge jigsaw puzzle. Not one space was the same size, so had to hand cut each piece to fit with a jigsaw. I decided a break was in order and came home to make some lunch. Once there I decided to try and paint the bathroom once again. I had lots of the cranberry colour left and figured if I watered it down with the white/pink colour, it would look ok. WRONG!! OMG what a horrible mess I have going on now. The mix of pepto-bismal pink and popsicle pink created horrible bright pink. I cant even look at it its so bad. So back to the paint store tomorrow for more primer and some very neutral colour. If nothing else , the room will be well sealed against leaks, it will have about 7 coats of paint by the time Im done.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Where There is a Will, There is a Way

I really , really didnt like the lights on the ceiling fan and have been trying to figure out something that would work. The stainglass lampshades I bought didnt fit in the fixtures. Today I tried the floresent bulbs with them. They have a plastic base which holds the lampshade in place. The shades are just resting on the base of the bulb but it looks like its fitted in place. Im so happy now. Ive outfitted the whole boat in the same shades. The fan has been a godsend, it pushes the heat back down and makes it quite toasty in here.Im sure it will be nice to have in the summer as well, as it gets quite stuffy in here on a hot day.

Geez What Have I Done Now

I finally got around to painting my bathroom today. Not too sure about my colour choices tho. I thought I got white with a pink tinge and cranberry for the trim. Well once it was on the white looks suspiciously like pepto- bismal and the cranberry is very popsicle pink. My horrible green bathroom now looks like a candy cane. Im not looking forward to repainting at the moment, so have to see if I can live with it or not. What do you think, is it too much?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Let There be Light

I was looking on Craigslist the other day for an electrician to come take a look at things here. I had David move a light switch and light in the bedroom, but when he hooked it backed up , it kept blowing the fuse.I also had a ceiling fan I wanted installed and wanted someone knowledgable to take a look at my wiring in general.

I answered an ad and talked to Ian ,who came over early Sunday morning to give me an estimate on things. Well one thing led to another and before I knew it he was fixing and installing everything. He did a great job, The ceiling fan is awesome,although I had bought some stain glass shades for it that didnt fit. Too bad, I dont much like the look of the shades on it, a bit industrial looking for me. The bedroom lights are working fine and I now know that I have current backfeeding into my other shore line ( not a good thing). I will have him come back some day to find the short in the system and get things rewired properly so I have my shore power running through my fuse box.

I spent most of yesterday cutting firewood with a skillsaw. It was left-over 40 foot strips of wood from David, who was handmilling huge boards to put stringers in his floors. My stove is round and tiny, so I had to measure the max length I could fit in it and take a marker to the boards to cut them all the same. The boards were thicker than the saw blade, so I had to do 2 and 3 cuts for each small piece. What an ordeal, my elbow tendons are on fire now and realistically, I only have enough wood for 2-3 days. There has to be a better way..... Apparently my stove is a coal burning stove but I cant find a coal salesman in the valley to save my life.

David and I attended a nice Halloween party at Dianas on Saturday night, I was an angel, he was the devil. Good music, food and company. It was great to get off the Island for a night and get away from all the reno's and stress.

Friday, October 26, 2007

More Progress

Well the bathroom renos are still on hold for now. David was planning to redo the frames on my big windows today and while I had a window off, I wanted to move some larger things onto the boat that wouldnt fit through the doors.

I went up top and pulled all the plastic and tarps off the windows only to find that they had never been set in frames at all. Thay were just huge sheets of glass laying on thin rotted boards and the seams covered by Tuck Tape. Scary stuff! The more we looked at it , the more it looked like a much bigger job than anticipated. I decided to hold off until the weather gets warmer as the boat will be open for a few days by the looks of things.

I decided it was a good opportunity to move some stuff that I had wanted in here, so we removed one of the windows. I had a built in couch with storage underneath that was really hard to access. I had some drawer units that I wanted in there instead. I wanted to change the fridge as the one that came with the boat didnt work very well. I also wanted to bring in a small oak filing cabinet and wood chair for the office. I went off to the house to pick up the stuff while David prepared the area. He cut out the old couch unit and removed the fridge. We lowered everything in through the window and sealed it back up with tape. Im going to leave the plastic and tarps off for now as I think the outer tarp will do the job and its brighter in here now. Im loving the new drawers. I can store all my dishes and food with easy access now. Unfortunatly, the new fridge was a fraction of an inch too big (of course!!) so we had to tear out my little counter next to it, so it would fit. Now I have that to rebuild( another project...sigh)

Apparently the Beavers like Davids House Too

Some months back we were woken up to what sounded like the Jolly Green Giant chewing on Davids house. Being the fearless one that I am, I got up to investigate. Thinking it might be the neighbors cat, I was calling "here kitty, kitty..." David pipes up from the other room, " I dont think its a cat, I can hear it growling at you." I finally found the source of the noise when I pulled some sheets of plywood back and found a huge beaver sitting there staring at me. At the time Davids house was still a boathouse, which is basically a boat garage with an area open to the water and a small apartment in the back. The beaver had swum up under the floor and crawled in through the floor opening and was chewing on the door frame to the apartment.He showed no fear of me at all and stayed there for quite awhile just staring at me. I went and grabbed the video camera and got some footage of him. Unfortunately Ive never figured out the video editing program and cant post the footage.

He eventually went back in the water and we thought we had seen the last of him. We were telling Grieg and Tana about it later in the morning. Just as David pointed to the hole where it had come up, up he came again and joined the party. It looked like he was planning on moving in, so David spent the next few days laying flooring across all the open space. We thought that had done the trick and never gave it another thought.

The other day, David had lifted the floor boards to prepare to lay new stringers in for support. He came running over saying you have to see this! The beaver had come back and dragged in all kinds of branches and was building himself a nest under the floor. And you thought you had rodent problems! At least the sea otters have stopped coming in and using his floor for a toilet,but how do you keep a beaver out of a wood house??

The first picture is David with the beaver nest the second one is the floor laying process.

Boys and Their Toys

Well the next morning David got a call from his old boss Steve asking him if he wanted some more boats. He had an old tug that a guy owed him money on and a free small sailboat. Of course David, not one to turn down anything free, said yes.So the morning was spent rearranging things so we would have room to tie them up. A few hours later Steve pulled up with both boats and there was a great flurry of activity as we got them installed and checked out. The tug had to be pumped out as it had alot of water in the hull. The sailboat needs some work and the rigging redone but its a cute little dayrunner. The tug basically needs a complete rebuild from the engines to the cabin, but once up and running would be an awesome addition to Davids floating empire. I would love to take on the sailboat but have so much to do on the boat I already have, it would be sitting for eons before I could get to it. Realistically, what I really need is a small powerboat, so think I will keep looking till I find something suitable.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Progress Report

Its funny how the "to-do list" keeps changing. You go to bed with a plan for the next day and wake up to a completely different scenario.

Saturday night we went to bed with plans to take Sunday off and go into town, do a little flea-marketing, go for brunch, get off the rock for awhile. We woke up only to remember the guy was coming to install the sattelite dish. We waited all morning for him, called to find out where he was only to be told we had been cancelled for the day and he wouldn't be coming till next week. David had some words for them, and the guy showed up within the hour and we are getting 2 free months to boot. Pays to know how to complain effectively!

It was a nasty horrible weather day and it took him the whole afternoon to get things set up. With great excitement I climbed into bed, got my remotes at the ready and turned it all on. Now what??? Crap, the brand new TV I had just bought had no sound. I tried everything, spent hours on the phone with techs and nothing. What a letdown. I dragged my big feather quilt over to Davids and made a warm nest so I could watch his TV. I fell asleep 10 minutes into the first show.Figures eh!

David took the TV in the next morning and had it exchanged and hooked up for me when I got home from work. It's working great now. He built me a cool shelf in the bedroom to put it on and carved a feather in the top. Im loving all the radio stations, no commercials and well- mixed music for whatever genre you like. I got a 26 inch flat screen TV, the picture and signal are super clear and it fits neatly in the bedroom taking up hardly any room. I got David to put a block of wood at the top corner to keep it from fliiping off the shelf in a big wave.Cant be too careful down here.

Nurse Karens friend had come by again to take better look at what he needed to do to install the water heater. He wants to bolt all the fixtures to the wall, so I decided to paint the bathroom first. Its a horrible undescribable shade of vivid green.

Rick gave me half a can of primer, a cute little mini paint tray and a tiny roller. I had to contort myself into all kinds of positions to get it done but what a difference already. The boards along the bottom that are under the water line were damp and I ended up having to leave a heater going in there for a few days so the primer would dry, hopefully it stays put. I chose a pink tinted white for the walls and a cranberry colour for the beams, with all intentions of finishing the job the next day. But the next day was to bring us more surprises which put that days plans on hold. More about that later,stay tuned.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Check out my Slide Show!

Here are some pictures of my finished project. I know the screws look bad. Not my fault. They are cheesy screws , most of them strip easily. I got them in as far as I could and they are embedded deep enough to provide support. Not pretty but functional! So far its holding up well. The heavy winds they were predicting for yesterday ( up to 90km/hr) never materialized, so still waiting to see how it holds up in a good blow. It is doing a spectcular job of keeping me dry though and I have access to both decks, easy entry through the door and windows that function, so I am one happy camper.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Move over MacGiver

Well I finally got a tarp cover built, whoohoo. Jerry gave me an idea to cut thin strips of wood and use them to hold the tarp to the edge of the boat. David taught me how to use the table saw and I cut some 1x4's into 3 strips each. I got some help from Greigs son Buie and his friend Dennis. We all climbed into one of the smaller boats and pulled ourselves around to the water side of the boat.The boys held us in close to the boat while I screwed the wood into place. I used the wood strips to tack down the tarp just above the windows all along the side. Then I climbed on top and cut a hole for the stove pipe and taped it all down. Jerry had an idea to bend thin strips of wood under the tarp to support it, but they were too weak and cracked almost right away. I had to go to work so packed it in early.

The next day was Monday and everyone was away at work. I was determined to get this thing built. I had heard alot of ideas from everyone and still wasnt sure how I was going to do it exactly. Ill be honest, I had no plan when I started. I just stood on top of the boat holding two twelve foot boards and trying to picture them as a frame.

David had given me 2 16 foot beams that I laid on top of the wheelhouse. I grabbed a 2x4 and propped it up under the end of the beam in front. I then cut the 1x4's in half to support it on all 4 sides. I was able to brace the 1x4's into the edges of the deck and only put 2 screws in the boat for the whole thing. I screwed the side supports into the top beam . It feels very sturdy and I was amazed how easy it all went together. I then did basically the same thing in the back, but had to use metal strapping to go around the supports and bent it over the back of the deck and screwed into place. I also used strapping to hold the center beam tight against the boat. I then crawled out onto the motor support and precariously hanging on for dear life, screwed some more thin board to the tarp along the back edge of the deck. I continued pulling the tarp tight down on the other side, and more thin board screwed in, I was trimming vast amounts of tarp off by this point to get rid of all the excess, all the time folding and pulling it tight. It was like wrapping a 30 foot Christmas present.

I wanted a canopy over the door but didnt want to have to attach it to the dock or Davids house as there is a lot of movement here and the chances of it ripping was great. I knew I needed a center beam, so I put a 1x4 on top of the beams on the wheelhouse and tied it down to a heavy anchor and around the beams to hold it out from the boat. I then pulled the tarp over it, rolled up the sides into thin stips of wood and stapled them tight in a "V" shape.

I had just finished the last of it when the rain started to fall in earnest. So far, so good!! The boat is dry, the rain falls softly on the tarp and I can see out all my windows. There is supposed to be a big storm rolling in tommorrow with 30km an hour winds, so that will be a good test to see if the frame stands up. I think it will. I have to work tommorrow but Friday I want to cut some more 1x4 and place them as extra ribs to support any snow ect we might get. I wish I could fly, I would staple the tarp to the outside of the ribs to make it flap even less. Hmm what would MacGiver do??.............

In other news I finlly heard back about the propane furnace. Apparently the burner needs replacing, another 200 dollars so think I will pass for the moment. The woodstove is working quite well. Ive been using presto logs as the stove is so small its hard to find wood small enough to fit in it.

Nurse Karen(another roomate here) brought her friend Mike over tonight. He is going to hookup my hot water heater this weekend. Finally its all coming together. I will be happy to have all the comforts of home. Now just need to get the toilet looked at and Im good to go. Today was a good day :)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Victory at last

So last night we were contemplating our options for a late night pee after a few beers. My toilet is still non functioning, didnt want to bother Tana to use hers so late and if we went to Davids, it meant filling up buckets of river water to flush the tank( he is not hooked up to water yet). That seemed like a lot of bother for 2 half asleep people. So I did something I never thought Id ever do . We went to the edge of the dock and David did his thing while I squatted precariously beside him, ass hanging over the dock, trying not to pee on my socks( too lazy to put on shoes). If thats not a bonding experience, I dont know what is.

This morning I had to go to Anthonys to pick up some stuff I had forgot I stored there. He had this awesome print on the wall that I fell in love with and he sold it to me for the paltry sum of 20 dollars, SCORE! It is huge and I worried it wouldnt find a home on the boat. I finally ended up putting it in front of the woodstove. It is blocking one of the big portholes but that isnt really a problem as I have tons of windows to let in light.

Jerry ( the new roomate) came over this afternoon and decided the first order of the day was to get the woodstove hooked up. I pulled all the tarps off the boat and cleaned all the stuff off the back deck . After much pipe wrestling it was finally time for the inagural firing of the stove. I said a quick prayer to the fire gods, loaded up the stove and lit it. Whoohoo, success!! The stove draws very well, the fire started right away and no smoky leaks anywhere. The built- in table beside the stove was getting quite hot , so I dismanteled it. The beam on the roof right above the stovepipe was very warm as well, so on Monday, I will by some asbestos to protect it. I have to say, I feel alot better knowing I have a good source of heat, bring on winter , Im ready now. Ok well maybe wait a day or two, I still have a tarp frame to build. Its been awesome to have the tarp off the boat. I didnt realize how suffocating it was to be competely covered like that. Today I could have all my doors and windows open and enjoy the river view once again. I wish I didnt have to put it back on but the rain will be back soon enough and I need the protection. Once that is taken care of, the toilet is next. I still have no idea what to do about it, hopefully I can get some help sorting that out.

Well one more load of wood on the fire and its off to bed, goodnight, sleep tight and dont let the bedbugs bite, xxoo

Friday, October 12, 2007

Hmmm.....Now What

Well the tent poles didnt fare too well in the end. That night we had 35 mile an hour gusts and heavy rain. One pole broke right off, another fell out of the bracket and ended up in the water. The one pole left still did a good job of sluffing off the water up front, but the back end got filled with water again. I dragged myself out of bed at the crack of dawn, tied my housecoat around my ass and crawled out onto the motor mount to bail it out. I hope the condo neighbors werent too offended by my mooning them. I finally got 15 1"x4"x12' cedar boards that Im hoping to build some kind of "A"-frame for the tarp . It looks like I will have to screw them into the hull of the boat which I really wanted to avoid doing( the less holes in my boat the better, is my motto) but the storms are supposed to get even worse next month, so I want a solid cover.

I hadnt heard back from the fellow thats trying to get my propane hooked up, so gave him a call this morning. He still hadnt heard back from the company thats supposed to be fixing my furnace, so thats all on hold for the moment. I did get the rest of my stovepipe for the woodstove today only to find out its now 2 inches too long, "sigh".... I will have to tie down David tomorrow for 5 minutes and get him to cut it for me. We have a new roomate at the marina that has some ideas for my tarp frame, so hopefully I can get that built tomorrow, tape the tarp around the exit for the stovepipe and get a fire going in here. I cant wait!!

David got an excellent deal on a huge truckload of material today. Along with my 1x4's he got a huge amount of plywood for floors, enough huge beams to finish supporting the floors, 3 propane forced air furnaces, enough tile to do his bathroom ( and a piece for me to put under my woodstove, now I just need to find someone to cut it), and some other stuff to build a bathroom. My toilet has decided to stop functioning altogether for some reason. The pump is really hard to use and I cant get water to flow in or the stuff thats in there to go out. I dont know much about the toilet so am scared to take it apart. It sits below the water line so I have visions of the sea pouring into the boat if I loosen the wrong thing. I can live without alot but a toilet isnt one of them. So many projects, so little time. I want to take advantadge of this dry weather to get the tarp sorted out tho, so guess thats top of the list for the moment. The list is subject to change at a moments notice .

We have finally put in an order for satellite tv, they are coming on the 21st to hook it up. I cant wait. I want to get a flat tv to mount on the wall. Luckily work has finally picked up again and I should have the money for it by the time its installed. Im not sure when Ill have time to watch it with all thats needed doing around here, but will be a nice distraction in the background. I can always use it to drown out the sound of the flapping tarps. One things for sure, I wont be bored this winter.

I will try and take some pictures tomorrow. Our marina has changed alot in the last few weeks. We now have a monterous huge boathouse that goes right across the middle of the marina. New docks had to built alongside and behind it so people could get to the boats on the other side. We have a few new additons as well. I hadnt been up to the Bowie in a few weeks( funny its only a few feet down the dock, I just never go there), so all the changes were quite a shock.

Well Im suffering from a Grand Marnier induced hangover, so off to bed early tonight so I will have some energy for tomorrows adventures. Nighty-nite........

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Every Day its Something New

Well I never thought living on a boat would be easy, but with winter breathing down my neck, this is getting a bit daunting. Its looking like I will have to wait until spring to do the outside of the boat. A friend of Davids who is a wood boat restorer is supposed to come by someday , take a look and give me an estimate on the repairs. In the meantime my priority is to stay dry, warm and get some running water on the boat.

To that end I have covered the boat in a huge 30 ft x 40ft tarp. It was a rush job last week when we got a 24 hour squall with force 10 winds and torrential rain. I basically just threw the tarp over the boat and tacked it to Davids house. Not ideal as every time the boat moved it pulled on the tarp. At one point the tarp had come loose in the back and water pooled in it in the back. I got the fright of my life when I went out and found the equivalent of two full bathtubs of water sitting in the small deck in the back. If the tarp had slid down anymore, all that water would have poured into the boat under my bed. I spent 20 minutes bailing it out and realized I needed a better setup. Today, I installed metal brackets to hold long tent poles and built a frame over the boat to keep the tarp suspended and to give it a better pitch for the water to run off. Its supposed to be windy and rainy tonight so cant wait to see how it all holds up.

As far as keeping warm, I finally got the money together to order some stainless stove pipe for the woodstove. It took me 4 days of wrestling with it to get it to fit over the hole in the woodstove. A good smashing with a wood hammer and some rearranging of the bottom edge with some pliers and I finally got it on. I was thrilled until I got it all hooked up and realized I was still 8 1/2 inches short and needed two more elbows for the outside. I phoned and ordered it but with the long weekend I probably wont get it till late next week. Meanwhile the temperature continues to drop daily. A friend had given me a Force 10 Cozy Cabin propane furnace which he figures should heat this place nicely. I am having a heck of a time getting it hooked up tho. I must have called 50 places trying to find someone that knows how to do it. One place quoted me $1800 to do it, sheesh , not in this lifetime! I finally got a response for an ad I had placed on Craigslist for help. He has been working on it all week, finally got the parts to hook it up to test it, but it was spitting flames out the side, so took it in to get looked at. No word back yet.

The hot water heater is another story. There was a Paloma on -demand propane heater on board when I got the boat, but the seller took it with him. After weeks of searching, I finally found a used one for $250 , a new one is worth $1000 so thought I had got a good deal. It seems that the venting system to exhaust the gas has to be all one brand that comes in a kit. The one I need costs $500. There is an existing chimney but it looks way to big for the heater I have, so somehow I have to change it and make the hole in the ceiling smaller. That should be fun!

Ive been shifted around the marina several times now. I started out in between David and Tana's right up front. That was nice, good view, easy access to Tana's shower, and her cat Tobias used to come visit me all the time. I had to move so David could put his house on shore to get it foamed, so I got tucked behind his place between the dock and the Express. That was not so good. I was exposed to all the noise and dust from the cement factory across the road, got all the foot traffic going by on the docks and every wave that went by was crushing me into the Express which is about 10 times the size of my boat. We needed to have more dock access to work on the boat, so ended up putting a dock along the back of Davids house and tying me up in the corner. This is the safest and quietest spot I can be, so think I will stay put.

I didnt get hooked up to shore power until I got to the last spot. David was running two 50 foot extension cords from the shore to his house and I had an extension cord from my boat to a socket in his wall. I was hardly getting any juice, the toaster and microwave ect wouldnt work, so I bought a heavy duty cord which helped to some degree. When we got home the other night, the extension cords to the shore had pulled loose. We had just bought $200 worth of groceries and needed to get it refrigerated. When I plugged the cords back together, they started smoking and making popping noises, freaked me right out! David had some serious heavy duty wiring cable, so in the dark and cold, took several hours to splice it together and got his house rewired. Nothing ever easy here! We had a long soak in the hot tub after that, well deserved and needed.

Getting internet was another experience. We were having problems with our connection in general, its through a phone line and was down more than up. After a couple of weeks we finally got the Telus guy down here. He said we were too far from the base transmitter, boosted our signal as much as possible and said that was the best we could do, pay for high-speed but get a weaker signal. We cant get cable down here as this island is commercial, we are the only ones living here and thats not exactly on the grid. Anyway, he no sooner got us up again, then my hardrive died. It took me 3 weeks or so to come up with enough cash to get it fixed.Got it home and tried for a week to get my wireless modem to work. Finally gave up and spent another $70 on more computer cable so I could wire right into Tana's modem. It seems to be working ok now, so can cross that off my massive "to do " list.

The bedroom is about 20 degrees colder than the rest of the boat. Part of it is because it has a wall that blocks most of the heat from going into it and the door is much lower than the ceiling in the living room. Im contemplating a small ceiling fan to push the heat back down. The bed is a platform with a large drawer in the middle. However, there is a ton of open air space under it and a hole which goes out to the back lower deck. Ive tried plugging it with plastic bags filled with insulation but need to do a better job. I want to line the whole place with plastic, stuff it tight with pink insulation , more plastic on top. Today I took a caulking gun with silicone and did all the seams in the room trying to block any drafts.

The bed is a huge piece of foam that was resting on a piece of plywood. Because there was no airflow, it was making the foam sweat like crazy. The underneath of the bed was dripping wet and starting to make mold. I had to dry it all with a heater, spray it with Hydrogen Peroxide to kill the mold, take out the plywood and replace it with boards that were spaced apart. It seems to be working but its a bit colder now as the air below can get through. Hopefully, the plastic and insulation will take care of that.

Im really missing tv now that winter is here. I need to get one of those flat tv's that you can mount to the wall and a satellite dish. Might be next winter before I can do that, so curling up in bed with a good book these days. In the meantime I have my vcr set up over at Ricks to tape Survivor lol, I can relate to them these days.

As I spend time here, im finding out what works for me and what doesnt. I want to add alot more storage to the kitchen area. There is barely anywhere to store food and pots ect. Every time I want to get at something, I spend half an hour pulling everything out and putting back in again. I want to hinge the stairs so I can store my drum and guitar out of the way. The bathroom has a clawfoot tub that takes up 90 percent of the space. Im not much of a bath person, prefer a shower, so want to take the tub out and build a shower stall and add a sink. The ceiling in the bathroom is only about 5ft 4 inches tall so I cant just put in a regular shower stall. I will probaly have to build a form and fiberglass the whole thing or some such thing. The toilet has a manual pump that has a habit of backfiring on me. Nasty!! I wont say more. I want a plumber to come take a look and see if I can install a regular flush toilet. Oh the small things we take for granted in life.

Boy I thougth I was Macgiver before , this is taking things to a whole new level. On the whole , this has been an awesome experience. I dont regret it at all, but will definatly be happy when I have heat here. The rest will come in time.

I give Thanks for my new home, my family and friends who are supporting me with this, and for the opportunity to live my dream. Happy Thankgiving to all, Bless you, xxoo

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Time for an update

Gosh well I hardly know where to start. I havent had internet since I got the boat until just last week, so catch up time is here. I basically moved onto to the boat the day I got it. I talked to Rick( my roomate at the house ) and he wanted to take over the whole house, so I didnt have to worry about finding a new roomate for him. I had about 10 days to pack up a lifetime of stuff and decide what to do with it all. David got alot of it to furnish his place, I sold some pieces, donated a few vanloads to thrift stores and stored a bunch in the basement of the house. I packed as much as I could onto the boat, but its not much compared to what I had.

A few days after I got the boat here, we got some bad news. Two of our roomates here at the marina were in an accident. The truck they were in crashed through the Granville Street Bridge and landed on the road below, upside down. Dave unfortunatly lost his life and Mark was injured quite badly with a crushed spine, punctured lung ect. He is now back at home with his family and recovering. Dave's Mom and Brother came out from Ontario for his funeral. They had him cremated and Greig organized to use the same cruise ship that towed me home to hold a burial at sea for him. It was a beautiful sunny day, with friends and family in attendence. Just as we were about to start his memorial, Greig spotted whales not far away. We all went to the bow of the boat and watched a large pod of whales that came and swam all around us for about half an hour. It couldnt have been more perfect, it was if Dave was saying dont be sad, Im free now and with my family, all is ok. As his Mom dropped his ashes in the sea, one last whale came right up to the boat and surfaced twice , then swam off to join the pod as it was leaving the area. We will miss you Dave, you were an awesome friend with so much in front of you. Tana wote about it in her blog and has some footage of the whales, you can see it here:

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A Picture is Worth a 1000 Words

I finally got a decent digital camera last year. I had never used more than a point and shoot before so had to go to photography kindergarten. First I read the manual ( all 250 pages of it) three times! I found some information online and stumbled across this site They have photo contests you can enter and get critiqued and judged. It has tons of helpful tutorials for photography and photoshop and I learned alot. I havent submitted any pictures in quite awhile but the theme Nautical came up, so decided to enter a few from the shipyard. This is my Stats page that lists all my entries to date.

My Dream Home

OMG, I was just checking out houseboat ads and came across this one.

This is the house I want. Now I have to figure out how to get the universe to manifest this for me. Im in a quandry, my work has slowed down so much and I think its destiny as I would like to change careers but I dont have another plan as of yet. Anything else I would be qualified to do at this point pays so little I could make the same in an hour or two doing massage as I could for them in a day. Hmm back to the drawing board. Lets see if I can make this happen. Wish me luck , please!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Bringing Home Baby

So I got a call from Tana yesterday afternoon to tell me that we were going to bring the Lucky 7 home when Grieg got off work at 11 pm. The winds had been very high and the 2 boats had been bashing up against each other and causing some damage. We recruited Mark, ( another roomate at the marina) to come and help us and Tana drove us down to Granville Island to meet Grieg. We got to the boats about midnight. Thankfully the winds had finally died down and the water was calm as glass. It was a warm , balmy night and we were treated to views of a meteor shower as we made our way home.

We decided to keep the Lucky 7 tied to the side of the sailboat and had 3 other skiffs that we were towing as well on the other side. I can only imagine what we must of looked like, five boats tied all together like a little floating village making our way up the river. I found a hook hanging high in the cabin and put a candle in a lantern to light up my boat. It looked so medievel, I loved it.

The first two hours of the trip were uneventful, we made about 5 knots an hour from English Bay to Spanish Banks, with calm waters and no other boat traffic to contend with . Mark did alot of the driving, while we kept an eye out for deadheads and Grieg got out of work mode. Things changed dramatically when we rounded the point. We got caught in cross currents which caused big swells to broadside us. The boats were like bucking broncos rearing and leaping in the water, crashing violently into each other. David and Grieg braced themselves against the sailboat and did what they could to keep the two boats apart. Mark kept us on course while I prayed and held my breathe. I cant believe we survived that. The Lucky 7 suffered some damage, but all repairable. At one point the box that covered the propane tank went flying off into the water, followed by the tank itself. Somehow it stayed connected to the hose and although we dragged it for about half an hour, we were able to pull it back onboard no worse for wear. Just need to build a new cover for it now.

We finally got round the point and the water calmed right down again. We lost some speed due to the river current but still managed a stately 3.5 knots. Thankfully the river traffic was light and we only encountered a few barges. We got to the Aurther Lang Bridge about 4:30 am. I was never so happy to see that bridge. We had to pass under four bridges in total. The tide was still relatively high and we werent sure the sailboat mast would be able to pass under them. Each bridge we encountered was a nerve racking tense time of cruising as slow as possible in case we hit one. The Gods were with us and we squeaked under them all sometimes with only foot or two at most to spare. I swear we only had 6 inches to spare under the Knight Street Bridge. By the time we got there, the sun was starting to rise. It had been a long night and we were all exhausted. We got the boats tied up to the dock beside the Bowie and went straight to bed.

I finally got the chance to give the boat a good look and inventory what was left on it by the previous owner. I have my work cut out for me but nothing is pressing. She is not taking on any water and is floating straight and true. The inside is very comfortable to live in as it is. The roomies came by to check it out and at one point there was eight people on board and it didnt feel too crowded. We moved the boat later in the day and squeezed me in beside Tana and just in front of Davids home. I'll probably get shuffled around in the near future but for now Im home. I am blissed out right now,life is awesome!