March 1, 2014 – Toss the List – It’s Time to Roll!

Work, work and more work.  It had been one chore after another for weeks.  You’re probably sick of it, too.  I know we were.   But I’m thrilled to say we finally made our way through that damn list.  Just one item left, and it was scheduled.  Who needs a list?  We chunked it and planned a three-day Mardi Gras Lollapalooza.  We were going to catch the parades in downtown Pensacola on Friday night, then sail over on Saturday to Pensacola Beach and anchor out behind Paradise Inn to catch the parade on the beach Sunday.  It was time for some beads, people.  Time for some beads!!



So, the list.  Let me walk you through it and you can marvel in the vast breadth of our accomplishments.  I say that because these last few items weren’t really much work on our part at all.  But you can marvel, nonetheless, if you’d like.

The canvas and isinglass.  We wanted to have a canvas guy come and take a look at the dodger and bimini to assess how much life we had in them and estimate replacing the canvas.  We guessed our canvas was about ten years old and, unfortunately, the glass in the dodger was getting a little foggy and cracked in places.  Sometimes we would come to the boat and find two new cracks had popped up overnight.  They couldn’t be stopped.  We knew something was going to have to be replaced soon.


Based on recommendation from our Broker-turned-Buddy, Kevin, we decided to give Tony with Coastal Canvas a call, and he was top-notch.  Came out when he said he would and even saved us a few bucks.  Told us we only needed to replace the isinglass in the dodger, but that the canvas was still in good shape.  So, we had him swap out the glass, and it was like putting on glasses for the first time and you’re overwhelmed at the sight of all the leaves!  Everything was so crisp and clear.


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You may notice the missing bimini in this photo.  Tony did such a good job on the glass that we followed his recommendation for the bimini.  He believed the canvas needed to be redone, and we worked with him on rearranging the bimini frame to give us a bigger window in it for the helmsman to see the wind vane at the top of the mast.  Even during our blistery winter, Tony came out several times to take measurements, make adjustments and install our new bimini.

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Cross that off.

List 11

The gasket on the coolant system, luckily, was an easy chore.  Just the removal of one hose on the coolant system, a bucket to catch the coolant that drained out, then scrape off the old gasket and glue, slap on a new gasket and glue and she was good as new.

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Done and done.  What’s next?


The dorade box.  That damn thing.

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Yeah, there she is.  She had been loose for a while and several months back, she unfortunately took a tumble when the Jenny sheet somehow wedged itself up under the loose corner and ripped her right up off the deck when we tacked.

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See?  No box.  Luckily, when she took the tumble, we saw it and were able to catch her before she made her way overboard.  But, until we got her remounted properly, we had been taking her off every time we sailed (so the Jenny sheet wouldn’t knock her overboard again) and putting her back on once we were at anchor.  A bit of a chore and a burdensome box to keep up with.  So it was time to re-mount her.  Now, I’ll say, we tried, the first time, to do it right.  Waited for a good weather window.  Pulled her up and cleaned off all of the old sealant and re-bedded her with some 4,000.  A couple of the screws had a little trouble biting, but we figured the 4,000 would hold her.  I’m sure I’m going to get some commentary from the Peanut Gallery here about butyl.  Well, just wait.  Unfortunately, she wiggled her way loose, again, and Jenny threatened her once again.  She gets real territorial up there at the foredeck.  So, the second time we didn’t fool around.  It was 5,200 or bust.  Now, we know what they say: “That stuff is permanent.  You’ll never get it off.”  Well, we don’t want her to come off.  A shot of some 5,200 around the screws and we stuck her down.  She’s not going anywhere.  Take that Jenny!

With that little project done, we only had one more item left on the list.


The hydraulic back stay.  Our previous owner had installed a hydraulic adjuster on the back stay to make fine-tune adjustments to the mast when racing.  He sailed our Niagara in the single-handed Mackinac race and had really pimped the boat out with some serious racing capabilities, the hydraulic back stay being one.

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As you know, we’re not racers; we’re cruisers.  More sunsets and cocktails than buried rails and big victories.  So, the hydraulic adjuster hadn’t been used in years.  She no longer worked and would occasionally leak a little fluid at the base.  Wanting the boat to be primed for the Keys, we scheduled the riggers to come check it out the following week to see if she could be repaired or whatever options might be available.  So, in our eyes, the list was done.  It had been about a solid month of boat chores, and it was time for some boat fun.  Our Mardi Gras Palooza began.

On Friday night, we caught up with some marina neighbors-turned-friends — Dick and Cindy on Forever Young — and, after a hearty fill of fine wining and dining at Carmen’s Lunch Bar al fresco, we were seated like royalty for the parade to roll through.  We didn’t even have to get out of our chairs if we wanted.  But, we of course wanted!  Beads is what we wanted!

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And, any other grungy, recycled Mardi Gras throws they wanted to toss at us.  I think – in addition to all the beads – I caught a kids-size Mardi Gras 2008 shirt, a busted-up Nerf football, a moonpie, and a tomahawk.  Yes, a tomahawk.  It was a wild night.  But, we got up early, stocked the boat, enjoyed a great sail over to Pensacola Beach and dropped the hook right around sunset.

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We cooked up another feast on the boat, gorged and called it a night.  We had a big day ahead.  Lollapalooza Day 3 started with mimosas on the foredeck.

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Followed by hurricanes and a little uking in the cockpit.

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And then two tickets to crazy town.  I can’t even begin to express to you the … quality … of people we encountered at the beach.  There were tailgaters, hipsters, Krewe members, kids on leashes, gangsters, bikers, trannies, questionable trannies, Navy boys, you name it.  While the parades were fun, the people were the real entertainment!

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We caught another neck-full of beads and useless stuffed animals and loved every minute of it.  The Mardi Gras mini-vacay was just what we needed.  The next time we drop that anchor it will be on the first stop to the Keys.  Only a few weeks now kids.  Stay tuned!!

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September 11, 2013 – The Money Shot!


That’s a great shot, but that’s not it.  This shot – the money shot – is stellar.  Not only does it capture Phillip doing something totally awesome (but when does he not do things that are totally awesome?) but he did it right in the front of the boat, the glistening Plaintiff’s Rest.  This shot is supreme.  Trust me – but we’ll get there.  First thing’s first.

First we had to get that beautiful boat out there on the hook as often as we could between boat chores.  Let me give you some highlights of our summer anchorages (and I would imagine this song is the right backdrop for this rockin’ photo montage):

Just about every Friday at 5:00 p.m. (okay, who am I kidding – NOON!) we tossed the lines and headed out for the weekend.  We often went west to Red Fish Point where we stayed for our first anchorage.

Map 1

We enjoyed some exquisite sunset sails over:







And you know what happens when we start sailing?  For those of you who said “clothes come off!” you would be right!  But, we also drink!  We are sailors you know!  Every time the sun would start to dip, we would whip up one of our famous “Oh Shiiiit” cocktails or pour a fine glass of wine.



Nope, that’s not the money shot either.  Not yet.  Stick with me …


We would often head east too, over to the Pensacola Beach area to anchor out behind Paradise Inn or Big Sabine:


And we did some serious sailing along the way – I’m talking wing-on-wing!  That’s where the Jenny and the main are on opposite sides of the boat – one pulled out to starboard and one to port.  Looks like this:

Wing on wing

It is a technique used to maximize the sail surface in light wind to allow us to sail downwind when the wind is directly on our stern.  Here is our Jenny and main, wing-on-wing:


And … we sailed her like that under the Bob Sykes bridge!  *gasp*


But the scariest part was, Phillip let me steer her like that!



A look of total concentration.  I was in the zone!

Thankfully, we made it under, boat in tact, bridge in rearview and a big smile on my face.



We had some buddies sail along with us on occasion to get some great shots of us sailing:




Awesome shot, too, I must agree – but that’s still not it.  Almost!

We cooked up some mean meals on the boat:


Sirloin steaks with chimmichurri?  Yes, please!  But, the wind often blew so hard it would blow out the flame on our grill.  Have wind will NOT cook!  So, guess whose job it was to hold up a cover while the meat cooked.


That’s right – you guessed it – the First Mate’s!



But it was totally worth it.  I mean … look at that feast!  We really don’t eat well on the boat, I’m telling you.  Not well at all!

We blew up my new inflatable SUP!

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That thing was a beast to blow up.  Definitely good for the “gun show!”  We had a great time paddling around, though, once she was inflated:

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Then we deflated her and rolled her right back up.

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Great for storing on the boat, not so good for the back.  It is a wee bit of a chore but again – totally worth it – because we always finish our chores up with a drink (or four)!

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Nope, that is STILL not the money shot – although he is a sexy beast!  Don’t you just hate it!

We met up with some buddies and shared a case of PBR:



Then they passed out!


And their little dog too!  As did we!  Day-drinking is hard.

Our “Sail Groupies” (Phillip’s folks) often came out to hang out with us on the hook:




They eat a lot!  But we don’t mind.  We feed them so they’ll take us out wakeboarding:





And, they helped us get it.  Yes, IT.  The Money Shot.  Phillip’s dad pulled him right around in front of our boat and Phillip threw up a “hang ten” sign so I could snap this sizzling number.  I give you – The Money Shot:


Oh yeeeaaahhh!  That is money.  Looks like the opening trailer for a bad-ass movie to me.  I believe this is the appropriate accompaniment: Big Pimpin’


Life on the hook is hard.