Tuesday, April 29, 2008

B.O.A.T.= Bring Out Another Thousand

Ya, so its been an expensive week here in boat land. My electric hot water heater died last Monday,so off to the propane shop we went to buy an on-demand hot water heater. A cool thirteen hundred dollars later and we were back in business. I have a smaller one that will eventually get installed right on my boat, but I need to fix the top deck leaky problem first so I can remove the tarp. I cant vent it under the tarp, too dangerous for fumes ect. Im just waiting for warmer drier weather before I rip things apart. The new heater is nice because we have endless hot water now, but I have to say, its not quite as hot as the electric heater got it and the pressure isnt as strong. Still ok for a shower but I miss getting pumelled by screaming hot water to loosen up the old creaky joints in the morning. Hopefully our hydro bill will be alot lower now.

I found a barely used inverter on craigslist the other day and scooped that just for emergency sake.( I already have a generator) I stopped off at a marine shop to get a cord made up for it so I can wire it direct to the batteries. While I was there I was talking to the owner about how I am just running a hose straight into my boat for water. He was horrified and informed me that at least one boat a year sinks because of that. Apparently the water pressure blows the hose off of the fittings and the boat floods. That scared me silly so I decided to look into holding tanks and a pump system. I know I have some tanks kicking around here already just never looked at their capacity. I found a great deal on a metal water pump ( craigslist again bless their soul)which Im picking up tommorrow.I think I have lots of room in the small cockpit deck on the back to store the water tank ,so will try and get that all hooked up in the near future.

I finally got the kayak I wanted for the very reasonable price of $200 with spray skirt, paddle,a lifevest,and a kit to mount to the car for transporting it. Its got a much bigger cockpit that is easy to get in and out of and tracks beautifully. I love it. I also found a used wetsuit for $60 that is a two-piece outfit farmer john and jacket. Im all set now.

I also spent a couple of hundred dollars on planter boxes and flowers. I got inspired by Tana's lovely display all down their dock and wanted a little colour down at our end of things.They have ended up on Davids decks as he gets all the sun at his end.It does take the rough edge off things down here tho. David has moved Meat Locker 17( thats the name of his seriously ugly barge) down beside his house and has stacked several tons of wood and styrofoam on it to start building docks. Its not the most attractive thing to look at so yaaa for the flowers.

I seriously considered buying my friend Rod's boat. Its lovely and has a running motor but in the end it needs to be hauled out, surveyed, painted and I would have to do a ton of interior rearranging of things to fit my life on it. Its alot of money and energy to spend and in the end I still love my boat to bits.

I am now looking at ways I can patch it up without rebuilding the whole thing. Ive considered ferro cement, fiberglass and sprayfoam.I get different opinions from everyone. Someone told me fiberglass would rot my boat even faster while others say it would be the way to go. The inside is fine its just the outside that needs work.As much as I would love to restore the wood exterior its not looking like a viable( read affordable) option. I dont want the boat out of the water for eons just want to get it out, fixed and back in as quick as possible. I know nothing about fiberglassing but met a cool guy at Shelter Island Shipyard that Im sure will help me figure it out. Im hoping to get the decks fixed and the hull redone before next winter hits.

Im slowly working on my vehicles as well. I put all new tires on the car ( that hurt the wallet) , got the flat tire on the van fixed, finally got the van tuned up and just have to do the same for the car now. Now that the van is running again I can take my boat motors in for repairs without the hassle of hauling my whole boat out of the water. Ive spent all my savings this month so the motors will have to wait for a few more weeks but my goal is to have the boat running before the end of June.In the meantime I can enjoy a paddle around here and at least get out on the water finally.Its funny,Ive lived on a boat now for eight months and am just finally getting away from the dock.Whoohoo!!

Friday, April 18, 2008

LIfe or Something Like it

Well Ive officially outlived my Mother. She was the same age as I am now when she passed away 22 years ago on April 13th. It was a strange day for me on the 12th as I thought about her and how I would feel if I knew this was to be my last day on earth. How would I spend it, what would be important to me, could I go gracefully, knowing I had lived my life to the fullest?

Luck was with me and it was a beautiful sunny day, so I got up early and made it to the beach for the first time this year. It was a spectacular day and I was surrounded by many friends I hadnt seen in months. People were jamming all around me, the sun warmed my face and the sights of nature filled my heart. It was a great day to be alive and if it was to be my last, I would have no regrets, I was exactly where I wanted to be.

I feel old and young at the same time. I have no regrets, if I went tommorrow Id be grateful for the life I've led, at the same time I feel I have a few good years left in me yet and every day now is a gift to be treasured.

In mundane life news, my boat never made it to the mechanics. I have a lot of issues to deal with to get it out of the water, onto a trailer and delivered to the shop when they actually have an opening. I dont have a running motor to get the boat to the other shore nor a trailer or a truck to pull one. Trying to organize it all is proving to be difficult. Im thinking of taking my small motor in to get fixed so I can at least move my boat. The shop has a trailer I can borrow ,just need a towtruck and driver to get it there. Hopefully this happens before summer is over.

Everyone Ive talked to about getting the hull fixed on my live-aboard suggests Im better off looking around to see what else is out there for sale that might be in better shape for the same kind of money.A friend of mine has his boat up for sale and Im seriously considering it ,just have to take some measurements to see if my life will fit on his boat. It has about the same size living space ( just not quite as funky looking) and a running inboard motor. My favorite part tho is the back deck which has a removable canopy. So nice to have some outdoor space.

We have been told that we might have to move from our marina. This is a scary prospect for most of us as we are a work in progress and not quite ready for prime- time marine living. I know my boat would never be accepted anywhere else in the condition its in . If we have to move ,Id be better off with an insurable boat. Im thinking of asking my Uncle if I can put this boat on his farm on Vancouver Island as a cabin. Build a foundation and a deck around it and stick it in the woods somewhere. I dont think I have the resources to rebuild it to make it safe on the water but no reason it cant be a cute cabin .

Either way I look at it, I'm looking at some hefty bills in the near future. As much as I dont want too, Im considering taking on Saturdays at the clinic. It means Ill be working the whole weekend from Friday straight through till Monday but the money is best then ,pretty much guaranteed full shifts. Im sorry ,did I say I wanted a social life?? Oh well I guess the sacrifice will be worth it in the end.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

What a Difference a Day Makes

I should have posted this last week,but have been working full time ( I decided to take the full time work at the clinic .The goal is to work hard to get all my toys fixed then take off somewhere warm for a few months).

We had one of the strangest weeks for weather Ive experienced in a long time. We had just finally crawled out of old man winters icy grip.The days were longer, the sun slowly gaining strength, the cherry blossoms and daffodils had started to bloom in earnest, when things took a sideways slide to the North. We went from mild sunny days to hail, then snow with flakes the size of "loonies" ( the canadian one dollar coin not the bird), more hail,the day after that we were basking in the sun on Davids deck.

Tana has moved her boat up beside the Bowie and we were surprised to see how much more sun we got on Davids deck once she had left. Ive got a bit of view of water now out my kitchen window. It was cool to see her place out on the river. They just hooked up a small outboard to her back deck and pushed it up river.Reminded me of Tom Sawyer/huckleberry Finn on their raft off to explore the unknown.

Ive got an appointment next week to finally get my boat into the shop to see if they can save the motor or not.Ive got my fingers crossed. Now that things are warming up I cant wait to get out and explore the river myself.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Amourous Adventures of Miss Bridgette

Miss Bridgette the duck has been hanging around alot of late with her new beau. Today I heard a tremendous squawking and splashing behind my boat and went to investigate. Poor Bridgette had two males fighting over her (literally over her) they were both trying to climb on her at the same time shoving her completly under water. One of the males had the other by the back of the neck and looked like he was trying to break it. Finally one of them flew off and the victor shared a bath with Bridgette before sailing off into the sunset with her. Ahhh duck love....so cute

Well I have a great video of the whole affair but cant get it to download here....so sorry