Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Well, not the "heres a check for a million dollars" lottery. Something much, much better. I won the "heres the life you always dreamed of on a silver platter" lottery. For all those who dont believe in coincedence or fate ( like my Dad), check out this story, its just too unreal.

So let me back up a little bit. If I could live anywhere, my dream house would have been a funky hobbitty hermit house in the woods, next to the ocean, off grid with a nice garden to feed me and a Daniel Boone kinda guy to do the hunting ,fishing and wood chopping. I was despairing that at my advanced age, that scenerio had passed me by in life and I was doomed to fade away in the city.

Since my boat is gone and after two years of trying my hardest to have David fall in love with me only to be regected in favor of some unknown "perfect woman" that he continually searches for, I decided it was time to move on. The way things have been going in my life lately it seemed the cosmos has been doing eveything in its power to get me ready for a complete life change. Well my instincts were dead on! I am about to start a brand new exciting adventure of a lifetime.

Last week I answered an ad on dear old Craigslist written by a man seeking " a hippie chick to go and live at his homestead eco tourism wilderness getaway in the Queen Charlotte Islands (also known as Haidaii Gwaii)". I thought that sounded right up my alley so sent him a picture of me and said "if your still interested , get back to me".

Well he was and did and sent some pictures and a more detailed description of himself, his business and what he wanted /expected from a woman joining him on this venture. Something about his name and location rang a bell for me and when we finally got to talk on the phone, I asked him if he had a brother named Benoit?

Well , yes he does,and how would I know that? Well, Benoit was a roomate of mine years ago and at some point his brother Patrick came to town and stayed with us for a few days while he was picking up a new boat to take back to his eco-tourism guiding thing in The Queen Charlottes. We hit it off very well and enjoyed each others company while he was here. Nothing came of it as he was happily married but I think we both felt we had met a kindred spirit in each other. He left town and I never heard from or saw him again.

Now,years later here he is again. His wife sadly passed away from cancer a few years back and he had moved back to Vancouver to get his electricians ticket. Apparently he has been posting ads for quite awhile trying to find a soul brave enough to go into the wilderness and homestead with him. He has to leave to go back there in 3 weeks and time was running out to find someone suitable.

Well not only do I want to go, but as the universe tumbles I was serendipiply( my own word ) totally ready to go at a moments notice. My stuff is all packed in storage, my boat has been dealt with,I am barely working these days, so finding someone to take over my clients was easy and I had finally accepted the fact that David was never going to be mine and am ready to move on.

So a mad flurry of activity is taking place as I decide what to pack, do last minute shopping, say goodbye to everyone and tie up any loose ends.

David has been a brick about all this. He is happy for me and willing to look after my vehicles and storage locker etc until I get a chance to see if this is going to work out and if it doesnt, I am welcome back here, where he will still try and get me a barge or floathome if it comes to that.

So with that bit of security to cling to , I am off. I will be leaving April 17th. We will drive over to Vancouver Island in his jeep towing a trailer full of our stuff. At the top of the Island we will be catching a ferry to Haidaa Gwaii.Once there, he has a house in Queen Charlotte City ( really a small town) and we will stay there for a few weeks gathering supplies for the homestead. When we are ready everything gets put on a barge and towed for a few days to get to his location.

When we arrive we have to clean out the main house and guesthouse(holds 8 people) , plant a garden and get things ready in general. The house is a solar powered, satallite for internet, composting toilets, wood fired hotub kind of a place. He runs a guiding operation from there, where people get to experience the homestead, organic garden type of lifestyle and he takes them fishing, boating,and exploring the national park during the day.

I am blissed out to say the least. This is a lifestyle I have dreamed of forever and now I finally get to give it a go.

So please stay tuned as I am sure I will have many interesting stories to go along with this new adventure. Thanks to everyone for their messages of hope when I was going through my meltdown last month. Im glad to say all is well, Ive dusted myself off and am ready to go forward into the unknown with an open heart and open mind.
I cant wait, I am absolutely giddy with anticipation. This is a thousand times better than a check for a million,.... you can't buy happiness.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

One Less Hole in the Ocean

With a heavy heart and thousands of tears shed throughout the day, the Lucky 7 finally met her demise. Everything that could be salvaged from the boat was removed and then with the screech and roar of saws and a bobcat she was most ungracefully dismantled and unceremoniously thrown into a dumpster. I am heartbroken that my beautiful home and all my effort came to this in the end. Farewell my friend , it was a joy spending time with you, lots of good memories, Im so sorry I couldnt save you.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday the 13th

I had a funny feeling when I saw that boat the other day to not get too excited by it and I was right. We were half way out there today to start cleaning her up when we got a call saying she had sunk again.

This time the damage was much worse, it looks like she is about to split in half. So I will not be taking on that project after all. It's too bad, that boat definately had the space that I wanted/needed but in the end it was just another old rotting wooden boat. I think I have finally learned my lesson on that. Its too bad as I love the look and energy of wood, but the upkeep factor on a wood boat seems never ending. I read a great quote the other day about maintaining the wood on a teak deck. They said "the upkeep work starts about 10 minutes after its been installed and will continue until the boat has been abandoned". I almost pissed myself laughing, only 'cause I know that is really the truth of it all.

So its back to the drawing board. I am going to focus my energy on looking for a barge to build on. Boats are too restrictive in size and too prone to sinking for my liking. I want something that doesnt require a bilge pump or polishing once a week.

Boy this year has been wierd for me so far, its only 11 weeks into it and it feels like 10 years ago since New Years Eve to me. Can't wait to see what the rest of the year has to bring!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Manifested Dreams

It's strange how life works. Last year David was out in Mission and he took a bunch of pictures of a 70 foot boat that he thought I would like. The pictures intrigued me but I never made it out there to see it or gave it anymore thought. Well he was out there again the other day and saw that same boat sunk at the marina. He asked me if he could bring it up would I be interested in it? As you all know , Ive been moaning about space forever and 70 feet sounds alot better than 30 so I said I would definately want to check it out. He got a hold of the boat owner and found out he had already pulled it up and was going to remove the engines and crush it. David made a deal with him to help him pull out the motors if I could keep the boat. So its a done deal!

Yes folks , you heard right . I am the proud new owner of 70 feet of wooden history. Apparently the Queen has gone cruising on this boat!

It has over 1000 square feet of space inside, whoohoo!!!!!! There is a full size fridge, stove, washer /dryer, small deep freeze, 4 bedrooms, 2 heads, 1 shower,a large kitchen with ooodles of counter space and room for a real table and best of all deck space. A covered deck on the back with somewhere to hang my hammock, and lots of deck up top to tan and lounge outside. There are several areas I could use for a workshop and once the motors and gas tanks are removed, I will have a decent size storage space available for water/sewage tanks or just storage in general.

Ive got my work cut out for me . It's a mess from being under water. I need to haul out all the garbage, powerwash it from top to bottom, dry it out and paint the whole thing inside and out. There is some damage to the right topsides and the left side of both roofs are a bit crushed. Im curious to see if the decks leak or not. If they do, I will need to get on that right away. The railings are gorgeous but need to be refinished and there are miles of them! The space inside is basically a blank canvas that I can design any way that suits me. I can't wait to create my dream home on it.

So here are some pics. I know she looks a sight now, but there is tons of potential here. Im thinking "Freedom 55" lol. Give myself 5 years to get her beautiful and fully functioning. Ideally I would love to be off grid. I would like a water distiller, wind/solar power and a composting toilet. All things to work towards. In the meantime, I'll have lots of wood to polish and cabinets to build.

My new palace

Decks Galore!

The Wheelhouse which will probably become the workshop/craftroom or the summer salon

The interior salon looking forward to the galley which is below the windows

The interior salon looking back to the entrance and the stairs down to 3 bedrooms and the toilet and shower

The Galley

The rest of the galley

The fabulous back deck where I plan to spend many hours watching the sunset from my hammock

It looks like I will be chopping up my old boat as it needs to get out of the shop its in. I hate to do it, but it needs so much work, there is really not much left of it. I will try and salvage any goodies like the bathtub and portholes etc. Im glad I had the year to live on that boat. I learned so much from that experience. I think I am a lot better prepared to make a go of it on the new boat. The fact that I have a fairly gutted interior to work with means I can insulate and prepare cabinitry that suits my needs right from the start.

So here we go again......this should be interesting :)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Good News !

Good news, the boat is salvagable! ( HUGE sigh of relief) The shipwright came by this morning and informed me that I could recaulk the boat with sikaflex and paint over it and it would be good enough for sitting at a dock. It seems the biggest mistake I made in rebuilding the boat was not off-centering the new boards. It's too much of a weakness in the structure to have all the seams in the same place. I knew that from reading a book on boatbuilding but as I was originally planning to fiberglass it didn't seem an important issue at the time. I suppose if I really wanted to I could remove the boards and redo it but time is running out for me here so think I will forge on ahead. I don't really care if the boat is seaworthy, I don't plan to take it out unless it's to change location,as long as it floats and doesn't leak, I'll be happy
This seems do-able to me. I just need to get the top and side decks rebuilt and then I can use an airgun to spray the sikaflex in , then paint and I'm back in the water. Whoohoo.( well that and a million other little details like installing all new through hulls etc ,etc but as long as I have a structure to work with, its all good)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

April Fools

Opps, not April yet? Oh well, deal with it, I had to. So February was possibly the stupidest month of my life. I am still reeling from it all. I was all set to give up on the boat. I was tired of hearing how my boat was taking up space in the shop and was too overwhelmed and cold to do anything about finishing the renos. I spent weeks packing and moving all my stuff from the apartment, the boat and Davids house and putting it in storage. I then moved a few vanloads of stuff over to Ricks. Once I got there Rick wanted to clear the back pasture and the basement, so I spent another week or two moving more stuff in between working at my job. I was feeling underfoot at Ricks and the insecurity of knowing that I couldnt relax there and wait for the universe to do its thing prompted me to move back out. As the apartment hadn't been rented out yet , I ended up moving back in here for the time being. I can't believe I just spent a whole month moving my shit in circles. I really feel like I'm going mad. The one thing this taught me though is how much I missed having my own space so I'm much more motivated to get the boat put back together again.

Soooo as far as the boat is concerned, this is the new plan. As I was inspecting things where the side decks attach to the main cabin, I couldn't help but notice that anything that looked like support was rotten. As I removed more of the structure it just got worse. This is when I really wanted to give up as now I was going to lose the thing that made the boat special to me, its character in the hand carved wood in the cabin. Then one day when I was looking online I found a picture of a boat that looks very similar to mine. I liked the top cabin and extra deck space it afforded. I was also realizing that the design of my cabin with its sloped windows was always going to be a problem as far as keeping things waterproof inside.

Their Boat

My boat

So I've done something completely radical and totally unthought of until now. I cut the whole cabin off! I want to extend the white cabin on the back all the way to front of where the windows used to be and build the upper cabin as in the picture of the other boat. I will lose the 10 foot high ceiling in the living room but it isn't so bad. There is still room for someone close to 6 feet tall to stand up inside and Im short so it will suit me fine. The square box will be so much easier to fiberglass then the cabin the way it was.

The cabin cut off

Im also going to remove the woodstove and the stand it was on as well as the staircase on that side and build a dinette area in its place. I liked the woodstove for its blasting heat but it was a fire hazard and keeping up with the demand for wood was a time consuming pain. I'm going to install the propane furnace and if it isn't enough I will buy a small furnace that burns presto log bits. Having a proper table to sit at to eat will be so nice. Once the top is built, I will insulate it and the interior of the hull and cover the inside with tongue and groove to restore the wood look without all the drafts.

A view inside of the cabinless boat(the stairs and woodstove on the right will be removed to make place for the dinette)

As the boat never leaked from sitting in the water I am hoping that I can recaulk the boat and leave it wooden instead of trying to fiberglass the hull. It was only the fact that I had rotten boards and the decks leaked that were the problem. I have no problem fiberglassing the top deck and roof. I will have to talk to someone in the boat building industry and see if I can do this still or if its too late with the way I have done things. Keep your fingers crossed for me please.

I have to say I had never gotten around to reading the blog called the Wendy Ann 2 before but all the other blogs I read were going on about them finally launching their boat. I got curious so read the whole blog in one sitting from beginning to end. What an inspiration that was! I feel a right fool for sniveling about my lot after seeing the size of their job and the sacrifices they made to get the job done and well done too if I say so myself.

I think what they have over me is ,for one thing, they are a couple that support each other and their dream for this to happen. They only had this one project to focus on ( as opposed to David and his one hundred and one things on the go) and they had friends who came by and helped. I have basically had my hands tied for much of the time as I couldnt beg or pay people to help me and being alone with no clue was so daunting I just gave up. Well we will see how much further I get with it now. Thanks to the folks with the Wendy Ann 2 and the inspiration they have given me, hopefully one day soon, I will be having my own launch party.