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!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Salvadge of the Lucky 7

So life just continues to amaze me. I have wanted my own boat forever. I would have setteled for a kayak(actually I still want one) , but I also wanted to live on a houseboat. Ive been torn by the desire to have enough space to turn around and the ability to move at will. A houseboat offers more living space but they're hard to move and find moorage for. Most sailboats I find too claustrophobic with their sloping sides and living quarters below deck. Well a young man that had this beautiful old boat needed to get it out of his marina by the end of August and not having much luck selling it in time ,decided to offer it for free to anyone that could move it. I saw the ad on craigslist just before I left to go away. Not having time to deal with it , I called David at Mad Canadian Marine Salvadge and asked him to talk to the owner for me. Well after a week of phone tag , he finally got to talk to him Thursday night and we arranged to pick up the boat Friday Evening.

I was so excited , I couldnt wait to see it, so off we went Friday Morning to scope it out. We didnt go onboard but from what I could see of it, I was thrilled. Next we drove off to Surrey to a tattoo shop that David used to work at to meet a friend of his that had a motor for sale. Its an 85 HP , nice big motor. Its probably too much for the boat, but was such a great deal, I couldnt turn it down. Then it was back to the marina to connect with Greig and Tana so David and Troy could get a ride to the skiff. I met the boys at the marina in Coal Harbor where the Lucky 7 was moored and we proceeded to get the running lights working, unhooked the water and power, and pushed it out of the marina. Once at the edge of the docks, we tied my boat to the skiff and I went and sat on the bow of my boat while the boys pulled us out of the harbor.

It was a slow go as there are tidal currants and large boat traffic in the area. It took us about 2 hours to go from the inside of Stanley park to just under the Lions Gate Bridge. We left at 8 pm and still had a long haul ahead of us. By total fluke, Greig and Tana were working on a cruise ship that night called the Eloquent. Their route took them right past us, so they stopped and took over the towing, giving the boys a break to go eat some dinner. We got the boat to English bay where Grieg has a sailboat anckored and tied up next to it. It will be a bit of an operation to get the boat all the way up the river to Mitchell Island as we have to time the tide change and catch the ingoing tide. The currents run quite strong there, faster than the boat can run, so timing is everything, a good strong motor wont hurt either. I cant wait to get it home and start working on it.

The boat is actually quite seaworthy, its an old rumrunner from 1933. It was discovered in a chicken coop in 1993, when it was gutted and completely refurbished. The interior is all handmade wood with whimsical carvings and detail work everywhere. The boat is 30ft long with a 10 ft beam. It is extremely spacious inside with about a 7 ft ceiling and tons of large windows that make it nice and bright. There is a good size bedroom with a queen size bed and some shelves, a bathroom with a clawfoot tub and a pump toilet, a kitchen with a fridge, hotplate and sink, as well as a woodstove and 2 electic oil heaters. There is also a desk and storage area up by the bedroom. It has a small deck on the back big enough for a few deck chairs and a built in bbq. It had an on-demand propane water heater for the tub but the seller took that with him :( too bad they cost about 1000$). But well worth having for sure.

So I finally have my gypsy floating caravan. I cant wait to get it shipshape and go explore the world. As much as seaworthyness was important to me , so was the cute factor, and this boat has them both in spades. Im still pinching myself, this is so competely unexepected. I never thought I could afford to buy a boat, whats the chance someone would just give me one?? Well bless his heart, he has made me one very happy camper. Thanks to the universe for continuing to provide. Over and out!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

My Lost Weekend

So the weekend at the Rafting Resort was nice and uneventful. The sun shone the whole time, the place was packed with people, the food was good and healthy(lots of fruit and salads,fish and chicken), my roomate was a lovely woman who was on a mission to experience as much of life as possible, and the staff very friendly. I ended up doing 10 massages netting 400$ plus about 100$ in tips. Only spent 50$ and 3/4's of a tank of gas, so not a waste of time. I had lots of quiet time to walk in the woods, sit by the river and read a book. The fresh air up there did wonders for my lungs ( I have asthma and the summers in the city really affect me).

I didnt end up going rafting after all. I took a poll of all the people I talked to about their experience, they all had fun but some said I should go and some said I shouldnt. Several boats tipped over and one lost their guide. That worried me. I have some pictures of the boats coming down the river to the lodge, just watching them was scary enough. I was contemplating going anyway but was told I had 2 hot stone massages booked right after lunch. They are an ordeal to set up for and sometimes the rafts are late coming back, so didnt want to chance it. It turned out, they didnt care what kind of massage they got, so I did my usual thing instead. Im glad as the cleanup time was way less and I was able to pack up shortly after. I wanted to hit the road before dark and didnt leave till 8 pm as it was.

Traffic going home was flowing smoothly until Abbotsford, where it ground to a halt and creeped along at a stunning 10 km/hr. I finally had phone service and got ahold of David who told me about an alternative route. Bless his soul, I was home in an hour, even with good traffic that trip would have taken almost twice that if I had stayed on the highway.

In other news, just before I left to go away, I found an ad on craigslist for a free live aboard boat. I didnt have time to deal with it so asked David to contact the guy for me. Well it sounds like we are getting it but have been playing phone tag with the guy. Keep your fingers crossed for me please. Its super cute, a 1933 old rum runner, 30ft long. David knows where I can get a good motor for reasonable price and the steering stuff is all there. I still want to buy a proper floathome that I can put my furniture and shop in, but this will make a nice getaway/floating cabin. Im soooo excited, I cant wait to see it. And its FREE!!!!! My kind of bargain! Till next time, keep your dreams alive and be careful what you wish for. xx

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Going nowhere fast

I guess I have lived in a traffic bubble for the last 15 years or so. I work weekends and nights, so miss rush hour traffic during the day, and dont leave town on the weekends. I had a rude awakening yesterday. I kind of figured traffic would be thick going through town but once I got over the Port Mann Bridge that it would be clear sailing from there. I was soooo wrong. We crawled all the way to Chilliwack at 20km/hr and lots of full on stopping. I couldnt understand it. Its a 4 lane highway with no traffic lights on it, why are people stopping? I finally got past the "wack" and it was open road from there. The last 8 km of the road is gravel and my old car didnt appreciate that too much. It managed to hold together but has a chorus of new squeaks and funny noises for me to worry about. The driveway into here is a very steep, long dirt road which was hard enough to get down, Im a little concerned about my ability to get back up it. My car has basically no traction whatsoever, I could spin out on spit.

So once I got here, I discovered my Cabin was in fact a tent cabin with nothing in it but a bed. I was expecting electricity, a lightbulb, maybe a sink and toilet, Nope! Its right on the edge of a cliff with a raging river right behind it. I dont mind the sound of a trickling brook to fall asleep to but this sounds like Im right under the Hoover Dam, a deafening roar. It took a bit of getting used to before I could fall sleep. A few hours later the tent was flooded with bright morning light and that was the end of the sleep. Im ready for a nap but of course people want massages now, so back to the grind.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

And life just ticks along

So thats the way the universe works. I had a lovely day on the beach, very relaxing and calm. Today I got a phone call from an associate asking if I was free this weekend. As I am suddenly quite unemployed it so happens I am free so I asked why. He offered me a job working at Reo Rafting up in Boston Bar. I get free room n' board and a free raft trip as well as $40 an hour for any massages I can manage to book. I leave tomorrow afternoon (Friday) and get back Monday night. Even if I dont get any work, I have a free room and meals in a cool resort and the chance to make some money. I want to buy a floathome and have my eye on one but need $500 to get a marine survey done on it for insurance purposes. Hopefully I make more than I spend while Im there. This is why its good not to give up and panic, all will be revealed in time, just have to believe that the universe has your best interests at heart. So off on another adventure, should be fun although I have to admit, River Rafting is one of those things that terrify me, so it will be good to face another fear and conquer it. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

This is me not panicking

A friend once said "be careful what you wish for"! Well Ive been wanting to change careers for awhile now, but have no idea what to do next. Im thinking retired millioniare but dont believe thats in the cards just yet. Meanwhile my work has all but dried up to just about nothing. I want to panic but have decided to hold the attitude of "one door closing leaves room for another to open" . I cant wait to see what the universe has in store for me now. Funny , last month was one of my best and it seemed as if my business had really taken off, this month is deader than its ever been in 13 years. As distressing as that is, at the same time its a relief. I feel Im really getting burned out and a complete change of scenery might do me a world of good. For tomorrow Im not going to worry. I will go to the beach and contemplate my navel, listen to the waves caressing the shore, drink a beer or two, share a laugh with my friends, dig my toes in the sand and connect with mother earth. The day after I will panic.