Saturday, December 28, 2013

Rigging inspection

Boating the Great Lakes has one great aspect, fresh water. Down here in the salt water I found out about the fallacy of “stainless steel”… it sure ain’t stainless. The salt air and the salt spray starts a layer of rust on all steel even stainless. So, once a year, I have to go around to all of the stainless stantions, pulpits, and rigging and scrub the stainless steel  back to, well, stainless. It’s a rotten job but it also gives me the chance to closely inspect the rigging for issues. A year or so back, two of the rigging ends had failed inspection during this inspection 3 more rigging ends are showing signs of cracking and will have to be replaced. Here’s a picture of one of the ends to show you what the rust that is inside of the rigging end and is expanding out can do to solid steel. When we get to Marathon I will replace all of the bad ends and finish “de-rusting” our stainless.
Wire end has crack in it
Close up of the crack!
As a side note, while I was working a man and his dog happened by and stood and talked for awhile. This isn’t too unusual at the dock but we were at anchor! (Sorry for the picture quality.)
Nothing like taking your dog for a walk...row!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Boat work

Those of you who read this (all 3 of you) must get a bit tired of seeing the repair work that goes into keeping the Snow Goose in good shape. I’ve considered stopping any entries into the blog of my repair/maintenance work but if I did that it wouldn’t give a proper look of what it is like to live on a boat. I believe that no matter what type of boat, or the age of it that you own there is always maintenance that has to be done. So, I’ve decided to keep putting “boat work” into the Blog instead of just day to day things that interest me. Saying all of that, WOW! What a great sunset last night!

Well, back to repairs,,, I did something dumb, I forgot to undo the rope ties that hold up our center “tent” over the butterfly hatches before I let out the boom to go sailing.

The ‘D’ rings on the tent ripped out creating another sewing project. I also had a few minor sewing repairs that I had to be done to other things so, out came the sewing machine. Some cruisers just take these type of repairs to a canvas shop but since I bought a Sailrite Sewing Machine many years ago, I just get it out from under the bed  and I’m ready to repair or create any sewing jobs that needs to be done. Mind you, the work isn’t always up to the standards of a canvas shop but, it is good enough and the cost is GREAT! I do believe that this sewing machine has repaid it’s purchase price many times over. Anyway, about the repair.
When I built the “tent” I purchased 2 stainless steel “D” rings to tie the support ropes to. As you can see, one of them was made of plain steel and has rusted to the point of breakage. So along with repairing the aft side that was ripped out I also had to remove the forward, rusty one and replace it with a bronze ring that I had on hand. About an hour later, the tent had new rings and was reinstalled over the hatches just in time for the scheduled afternoon rains. The tent allows us to keep the butterfly hatches partway open so that we have air flow down below during rainy times and during sunny, hot days it keeps direct sunlight out of the cabin keeping it a bit cooler too.

Ripping out the old ring

My "tent of many colors" is back in place.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Fort Lauderdale

As we were walking to the store in fort Lauderdale we came across this car, it was a loaner car from the Ferrari/Maserati Dealer in Fort Lauderdale. Now, one would think that a Ferrari/Maserati Dealer would give you one hell of a loaner car while the work on your $100,000.00+ car so I was really excited to see the type of car they provided for their rich and famous clientele. Boy, was I surprised. Maybe you are too!

I’ve picked Anna up and we will be heading back up north to Stuart Fl. for Christmas.

Friday, December 13, 2013

The idiot

We had a pleasant last two days as we heading south from Stuart Fl down to Fort Lauderdale. It was a typical trip of hours  and hours of pleasant traveling interspaced with a few minutes of terror. First the typical.

We motored south on the inter-costal the first day and the most interesting thing that we passed (besides some “high rent” homes) was this, a house, built on a barge that was in turn floating on another barge! I don’t know why they went to the extent of this double flotation but it was different. The house was a bunk house for the crew of a dredger that was working in Peck Lake.

On the final day of the trip we took the ocean south to Fort Lauderdale and it was a pleasant day on the ocean. When we got to the port we found 6 ships anchored waiting to enter the port and 9 cruise ships leaving, one of them just starting into the channel. Just as we got to the channel, I dropped our sails and turned on the engine only to find out that the shift mechanism had broken and we were stuck in reverse! I took apart the panel and grabbed the cable and forced it into forward and away we went into the channel. Then the “idiot” arrived. As we approached the cruise ship, a large power yacht towing a 20+foot boat cut between us and the cruise ship. He cut it so close that I thought that the tow rope was going to wrap around the bow of the ship. Now, these cruise ships are HUGE and it suddenly occurred to me that this could be a terrorist attack,( run a 20 foot towed boat, loaded with explosives into the bow of a cruise ship in a busy shipping channel. WOW!!!). 
This is what we saw
Bad picture but this is the close up.
 In the picture you can just see the Coast Guard charging to the rescue. Well, they (the Coast Guard) got between the power boat and the ship as we fought for control  of the Snow Goose in the large wake of the power boat. It yawed us toward the cruise ship and before we could turn back the Coast Guard (now pass them) turned toward us with the guy in front pointing his 30 Cal machine gun right at us!!! MY OH MY does the barrel of a 30 cal look big when you are staring right down it… well, we got control and turned back on course and in another 3 minutes we were pass the cruise ship and had caught up to the power boat now surrounded by the port police and Homeland Security. After wards, we found a place to anchor in Lake Silvia, Fort Lauderdale. It was really nice to get the hook down.




Friday, November 29, 2013

We made it to Fl

WOW! What a trip thru Ga. With the help of the cold front, (20+ kts of wind from the north) and (for once) favorable tides, we flew thru Ga. at an astounding average speed of 7 kts over the ground! For once I wasn’t tied to the wheel for Ken insisted on steering most of the way. Once in Fl, the weather became warm and by Tues. it was 75 deg.

Ken keeps a sharp watch on the intercoastal waterway

In Fl. we went by lots of cargo facilities for off loading ships, here’s a few of them… notice anything? Lots of cranes but No ships. Lots and lots of ship yards to handle cargo but no ships,,, strange.


Our destination was Jacksonville Fl and with a favorable tide we motored up the St Johns river and tied up to the free docks in downtown Jacksonville. Tomorrow Ken leaves and next week my new crew arrives. It’s been a great trip so far and I hope that the 1/3 half goes just as well.
Ready to head back to Mi.

Snow Goose docked in front of Jacksonville, Fl

Interesting sight in Jacksonville

First, Happy Turkey day to all or happy Black Friday if you love to shop.  On Thanksgiving, I got together with another cruiser and we had a good thanksgiving day dinner together, lots of talk and laughter.

This post though, is about a mural that I walked by on the way back to the boat. The mural was strangely, brightly illuminated, during the daylight, by a spot light… or so I thought. The light’s direction didn’t seem right though, so I walked over and checked in a nearby tree looking for the spot light but found nothing until I turned around and found that the light was coming from the sun’s reflection off a big building blocks away. It’s amazing that in the last hours of this late November day, everything lined up just right to spotlight this painting from a ¼ mile away just as I was walking by. Then, within minutes, the sun had moved and the spotlight was gone. It gave me a big smile on this cool November day.


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Half way there, maybe

We left Oriental on a cold morning after I made an unscheduled stop to the veterinarian for Edie. She had developed an allergic reaction to something and was going crazy with itching, one $80 steroid shot and BOOM, no more itching and we were on our way.
One happy (but cold) crew member!
Because of the high winds we spent the first two days on the intercostal waterway with lots of shrimp boats and unusual houses to see. Best of all, for the first time of running this stretch, we made every bridge and didn’t have to wait (which is the usual situation). The next morning, it was out to the ocean.
We made it to Port Royal sound which is just before the Georgia border. Ken had enough of the ocean swells so we pulled in for the night. This morning, with a strong cold front coming in the afternoon we will be staying in the intercostal waterway from here down to Jacksonville where Ken is going to hop an air flight back to Mi.

Sunrise at Port Royal sound

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Heading south again


It was great party and Anna was completely surprised! Lots of food, friends, and fellowship (the three important “F’s”). I took this 4 generation picture too, it was a special day, thanks to all who came over to make it possible.
4 generations!

The three amigo's

On the way south we had a sunset where the sky was on fire, or at least it looked that way.

We also had an interesting discovery on the way south, the “Pencil Sharpener Museum”! Well, we couldn’t pass up this bit of Americana so we stopped in and took a look. It’s  a small building by the tourist Info center and it's filled to the brim with every type of pencil sharpener that you could think of. Here’s just a small sample of what we saw behind the glass.


Friday, November 15, 2013

Snow, (a four letter word)

Just a quick post.

The morning that I was going to leave for Mi. the weather changed dramatically and by morning there was ice and a dusting of snow on the decks! Just despicable (as Daffy Duck would say). Anyway, I'm back in the cold north and the party is set for tomorrow. See ya there!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Upgrading the bilge pump,

The old bilge pump (a 2000 gph) has gone to pieces and won’t pump any more. This leaves only the manual  pump as a back up. When I went shopping on line for a replacement I found a 3700 gph pump for the same price as the old 2000.
 Almost double the volume for the same price,,, Yes! The only trouble is to pump that much water I would need to install a large water hose. No big thing in a plastic boat but the Goose is made of steel so, I had to cut holes thru 3 steel bulkheads. What a pain in the posterior as well as the knees.

 The holes got cut and now it’s off to the store for about 30 feet of 2 inch hose  to run the water out to the back of the boat.

What a mess!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Heading north (again)

Here I am in Oriental, NC and I need to get back to Grand Rapids, Mi. Flying would seem the best but the airlines are a funny beast. The cheapest flight from around here is about $300+(one way). But, I can fly one way from Fort Lauderdale (which is just north of Miami) to Grand Rapids, Mi. for the incredible price of $58 (if I pick the correct day). If I drive my 20 year old GEO Metro back home from here (about 1000 miles) it will cost me about $70. So, I can fly from the farthest distance away and get there the fastest and the cheapest if I’m in Fort Lauderdale but when I’m this close, it’s 5 times more expensive to fly then it is to drive… go figure? For cheep flights from grand rapids and other locations try Alligiant Air
Here's an example of a flight just 6 days from now,,, not to bad of a price!

Departing flights for Sunday Nov 17

7:00 am
10:05 am
Price *

Anyway, I should be home this Thursday for my grand daughters play and to attend Anna’s B-day party. Don’t forget to email her your Birthday greetings… I bet she is going nuts trying to figure out how so many people know that it’s her 60th birthday! Send those greetings to:

Friday, November 8, 2013

Anna’s 60th birthday

What every stylish cruiser wears!

Anna’s 60th birthday is coming up on the 18th of Nov. Since Anna NEVER reads this blog she won’t know that I’ve asked you to send her emails. If you could, send her a “HAPPY BIRTHDAY GREATINGS!”  She will wonder why she’s suddenly getting greetings from all of you.
Send them to:

Thanks for you help!

From Snow Goose,  Rich

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Deaton Marine Service

The sailing dog Eddie and I have finished our move back to the Snow Goose and we should have her back in the water soon. Not too much to do to her this time… or should I say, not too much that I want to do. There is always a “to-do” list and one of these days, I’m gonna finish it up! For now, the bottom needs a coat of paint and the rudder has a few spots that need attention. The big job this year will be the deck. I need to replace all of the deck rubber seams that make the deck water tight… (can you say pain in the neck, back, hands, wrists, knees, etc?).  I also have a few spots along the rub rail where rust has popped thru. Over all though, with her ‘new’ mizzen mast and touched up varnish, she doesn’t look too bad at all. After the deck is finished she will look just as she did when she left the yard… maybe it’s time to sell! (isn’t that the way we all do it, get our houses in the best shape ever and then we sell them!)

One big boat!
Deaton Marina is a small family run marina in Oriental NC that provides excellent boat service and a home for Snow Goose during the off season. Anna and I seem to fit right in here and it makes for a great place to do major work on the Goose. The place isn’t the largest but I think that it’s one of the friendliest and most knowledgeable yards around.

The Oriental area considers it’ self to be the “sailing capital” of NC and with the number of boat yards around I can believe it. Oriental also has “Dragon Boat” races every year and this last weekend I went to a fund raising barbeque for one of the teams. The pig was delicious and a good part of the town had come out for the party.

two locals dressed up for the races

The waterfront in downtown Oriental sports a small free dock (if your lucky enough to get one of the two spaces) and a small harbor to anchor in. Today there was also 2 old oyster dredgers in the harbor that had been built back in the 1920’s. Someone had put a LOT of money into these fine old boats to bring them back into shape and make them into a home.


Great wood work!