7/29/13

Wieners on a Boat - and a weekend of Firsts

Dogs on a boat are tricky.  I'm not talking a big Laborador or Golden Retriever that could lunge gracefully up and down the companion way stairs.  I'm talking tiny little (chunky) wiener dogs.  4" legs - long backs prone to injury.  And remember that post about how far we are away from grass?  Yeah - this is going to be a challenge.

We took the boat out Friday.  Leaving the dock was ugly - and there weren't even any bad winds/currents/ storms to blame this time...  We didn't hurt any boats, it was way just too close for comfort. We headed over to a marina and finally got some fuel.  We filled up in Ponce, FL - you know, a month ago, right before we motor-sailed for 27 hrs in the ocean to get her home.  Then we took her out one day for 4 hrs and another day for 2, and last weekend for a little bit...  The fuel gauge kept saying 3/4 tank, so I assumed it was stuck or something.  Turns out, if you look at it head on, instead of from the wheel, it says 1/2 full.  And when we, oh-so-gracefully this time, pulled her up to the fuel dock Friday afternoon, she took 18 gallons (in a 39 gal tank) of marine diesel.  I'd say that's some pretty good mileage.  We went hundreds of miles on 1/2 a tank of fuel.  THAT, my friends, is why we bought a sail boat!  And the fuel gauge is correct - a bonus find.

This was a weekend full of all kinds of firsts - for us and the dogs.  These guys (Molly and Libby)

used to have a back yard with doggy doors into the screened in porch and my art studio (with both A/C and radio in the studio).  They had a pool to swim in, frogs and squirrels to chase, neighbors to bark at incessantly - they were living the dog life.  Then we decided to up and move to the condo.  Here they are on a walking schedule.  They have to stay on a leash.  There's (thankfully) nothing living in the condo for them to chase.  They were getting fat and lazy.  So now we're throwing the currently-dinghy-less boat into the mix.  We wanted to head out for a 3 day weekend - and the dang dogs insist on peeing at least a few times a day.  Enter the paddleboards!

Pee break!  (and maybe some bird chasing)

We thought about it - this may actually be the First time the dogs have been to the beach.  Stupid no-dog beach laws.

They also tromped in the marsh, but I don't have pics of that mess.


Other firsts this weekend include:

Anchoring - sure we anchored out all the time in the teeny tiny Stingray - but in this beast?  We finally got to use the windlass.  It was cool!  And the anchor held just fine.
  
Anchor alarm - this is on the chart plotter and I set it for the 2nd lowest setting: .05  I freely admit I don't know what the unit of measure is.  It was just a WAG. (wild ass guess)  Turns out, that mystery unit of measure is less than the pivoting of the boat as the tide changes - as proven by the alarm sounding at 3am.  Fortunately, I was sleeping right next to the chartplotter and checked our position and turned it off quickly.

Sleeping on deck:  it. was. hot.  We could NOT get comfortable at our chosen anchor point.  The wind died.  The a/c's only work on 110 power - thus when plugged into the dock...The Breeze Boosters only boost an existing breeze.  So Friday night - to be the First night on the new bedding, turned out to be the First night sleeping in the cockpit.  I thought it was pretty nice, actually.  Under the stars.  And the almost full moon.


We finally got to use that whisker pole!  Our first wing-and-wing set up.
And most important?  Solo (us, together, but without a "real" captain onboard) navigation down the ICW, thru Ossabaw Sound into the ocean and back in thru Wassaw Sound.  I have to say that the chart plotter was a huge relief in these activities.  I was also tracking everything in our chart book, but in the treacherous waters here - full of moving sand bars and mud flats - it was nice to see the depth and channel on-screen as well as in the paper charts.

Last but not least, I have officially been deemed Captain - by default, I suppose. I was a pretty adept captain of the 18' power boat, but this beast has a mind of her own. All those surgeries last year have made my chest muscles pretty useless.  That's not ideal when you're plowing toward someone else's boat.  I simply cannot fend us off of boats.  It's frustrating.  But after the almost-disastrous trip out of our slip Friday, it was quickly determined that I really need to be at the helm so that he can fend us off.  I just drive really r e a l l y slowly up to docks/our slip - and it seems to do the trick.  I'm sure with practice it won't make me want to throw up.  

I've started getting more emails from you guys out there - yeah, you, lurking.  I know you're there, and now I'm getting the emails to prove it.  Thanks for stopping by - and we LOVE the emails!  Keep 'em coming.  It helps to know that these posts are not just floating off into neverneverland.  Don't forget you can also follow us on Facebook for extra junk.  I post random pics and status updates when I just don't have the time to blog.  Thanks again for following along!

7/28/13

Sweet dreams?

First off, I've finally taken one of our digital cameras on the boat, so after this post, most of the pics will hopefully be from it, not my phone...  I'm not brave enough to take the DSLR onboard yet, but I'll work up to it.  You know those annoying people that seem to spend more time taking pics of doing stuff than actually doing the stuff? Yeah, I might be one of those people...  The pic content will both improve and increase in short time.  I promise.

Anyway.  Here's a little project I took on this week - the one I was whining about here a while back.  I am a light sleeper in even the best of circumstances.  When you throw me on a boat with 11 year old 3" thick bed cushions, I'm no happy camper.  After last weekend's lack of sleep - on both our parts, and he'd sleep through a hurricane if I let him - I knew it was time to do something.

 I swear I got a bruise on my hip just from sleeping on this torture device


I did a little measuring and online research then headed off to the local Sam's Club to pick up this beauty.  It's not only supposed to add a layer of foam, but it claims that it's a "cooling" foam.  We both hate being hot when we sleep, so this is definitely an option I liked!

I was not very impressed with this.

And when I saw it out of the box I was even LESS impressed.

I had to unroll it and let it "expand fully".  It was smelly - a little chemically.
I have to say, even after it was expanded, I was still not impressed.



I wanted to do a test run on the sucker before I cut it to fit.  We anchored out Friday night - but for reasons unrelated to the bedding we could NOT sleep.  We headed back to the dock on Saturday and plugged in our A/C shore power - and Voila!  11hrs of sleep!  It. Is. Magical.  I was even able to sleep on my stomach.  I haven't slept on my stomach since April 2012.  It was that fabulous.

7/22/13

Rainy Saturday

I'm working on videos.  I'd love to add videos to the blog, not just photos.  Here's a rough one - but I learned a lot about the software that's on the computer and that was really the goal.  It's super short.  Look at all those clouds!  The rain bands just kept coming for days - literally.


video


(The song is Our Love is Easy - Melody Gardot.)

7/18/13

Re-de-naming

You have to remove ALL traces of the boat's old name before doing the de-naming ceremony we did last week. Curse you former owners/charter people for being so thorough in labeling all of your gear! Looks like a re-de-naming is now scheduled before the re-naming can happen. AFTER I search all other cushions for hidden labels!


*I actually love their thoroughness. EVERYTHING on the boat was labeled/diagrammed/organised amazingly well. :)


7/14/13

Small Boat Projects - round 2



We spent Saturday and Sunday morning on Luna Sea and were able to knock a few more items off of the To Do list.












  1. Remember that dock fire?  Yeah, that one.  Mark picked up a new dock cord and replaced the main power line.  The line was originally hard wired all the way to the breaker box.  Instead of pulling out the entire cord, he chose to terminate it in the stern lazarette - like most boats are these days.  Now we can plug the new 50' power cord into the stern outlet.  Much more simple.
  2. The fwd and aft bunks were reinforced a bit.  The plywood had begun to sag a little in the middle and they needed some more screws.  Mark that one off the list, as well.
  3. Annnnnd - we de-named her!  A couple of friends came over and helped us drink champagne/pour champagne on the newly washed bow as we performed what is apparently the most common de-naming ceremony, per the always fabulous Google.  I've already ordered the new name/hailing port vinyl stickers, removed all the old stickers and Mark has sanded/buffed the hull in preparation for the new stickers.  When they get here, we'll all celebrate again during the Re-Naming ceremony.  This boat work is hard business.
We hung out on Luna this morning, and after a swim and some hull scrubbing we headed back to the condo.  Chantal is still determined that we've not had enough rain this week, so we won't be able to take Luna Sea out like we'd hoped.

Mark hopped in for a quick swim against the current while I bobbed around on my noodle and scrubbed the hull.

Marina Life - keepin' it real

We have been coming to the boat at the marina just about everyday. Sometimes just to check on her and make sure she's still floating (we closed that seacock, right?!), and other days for specific projects and to spend the night. It's an interesting world here in the marina...

If you are a People Watcher, this is where its at. A quiet afternoon lounging in the cockpit turns into a voyeuristic free for all. Random conversations, diy projects gone awry, characters stopping by to tell you how much better their dog is than yours

7/9/13

Small Projects - round 1

A few of the projects we've each been working on:

Mark swapped out the old bronze bilge filter for a new one.  See that little leg on the right of the old filter (the one in his hand)?  Those should be all around the circle...  
Before Teak Oil treatment
After Teak Oil treatment
I've been removing "Pleiades" from everything to get ready for the Name Change ceremony.  

I changed all 3 propane tanks and the horseshoe life raft thingy.


Mark straightened out the smooshed metal thingys on the A/C - guess some charter folks got crazy  one night back in the boat's previous life...
He also caulked a gap that he discovered - this, along with some 3" foam insulation around the grate should make the unit so much more efficient!

I still need to remove the name on the stern and  bow, but at least she's no longer from England...  

7/7/13

Maiden Voyage!

Loaded up Saturday morning and took Luna out for our first solo voyage!  Gotta say we've been intimidated about getting her out of the slip and  - well, back into the the slip.  She's huge.  At lease she feels huge compared to the 18' bow rider we're used to handling.  But after today, she feels a lot more manageable.

We headed out of the marina and practiced using the genoa.  We tacked back and forth, moving the genoa from starboard to port and back again.  We also both played around with moving in and out of the wind.  At one point, while the genoa was flopping about in the wind a bit (we'd not "perfected" our technique at that point), the boat hook went overboard. Mark was pretty quick to get the boat around - but not before the hook weebled and wobbled and went under.  The next boat hook will be filled with expandable foam before stepping foot on the boat.

Not only did we successfully leave the dock - without playing bumper boats with all of our neighbors, but we sailed her.  Like - for real sailed her.  No motor.  Just the genoa and the wind.  I think I like this sailing thing.


7/6/13

So much STUFF!

After sleeping for 12hrs Wednesday night, we loaded up the wieners and headed to Luna Sea.  She's just a couple of miles from the condo.  We spent all day Thursday and part of Friday going through every.single.compartment.  The previous owners were meticulous.  We have all kinds of spares, custom fitted sheet sets (2) for each cabin, pots, pans, towels, tools.  You name it - short of food, and personal touches, she's set.  It was like Christmas everytime we moved on to another cabinet or cubby hole.

Molly and Libby have requested that we move the boat to a slip nearer to the grass.  We're almost the last boat in the furthest slip on the longest dock.  You can't get much further from the grass.  We'll have to talk to the marina manager Monday on their behalf...


A wee bit of footage from our ocean passage.  Surrounded by water!

Bringing her home

We did it.  We got Luna Sea home.  What a crazy 3 days!  Here's the breakdown.

Sunday we picked up the rental minivan and headed over to pick up the Captain.  It was a five or so hour drive south from Savannah, GA to Melbourne, FL.  Pretty uneventful - and long.  We closed on Friday and were anxious to get there - she'd been ours for 2 days and we were sure she was getting lonely.  We were like kids waiting to get to the waterpark - we joked, but Are we there yet? kept bouncing around the whole trip.

We stopped by West Marine and picked up the whisker pole (I know what it does now!) and after a quick run through of the boat, we headed to the grocery store to stock up on a few last minute items.  There were some issues with the A/C units - in fact, we're still figuring out what exactly is going on... We also got her running and over to the fuel docks just before they closed.  The marina she was staying in was crazy-tight and crowded.  But the Captain got her around after some tricky maneuvering.

Our first sunset
Monday we woke up early and squeaked back out of our slip.  We took the ICW all the way up to Ponce Inlet, FL.  We were hit with a couple of rain storms, but for the most part it was uneventful.  We motor-sailed the whole way - it was a good test for the engine before our planned jump over to the ocean Tuesday morning.  The actual inlet was tricky.  According to the marina, the channel was well marked.  According to the motor yacht high and dry on a sand bar, we found that not to be the case.  We inched - seriously inched our way thru some super shallow areas with our 6' 4" draft.  Mark was at the helm and only bumped twice.  Luna held up well and came right off the bar fairly easily.
Cruising the ICW.  That storm caught us and we got a free shower.
Marina life is not for us.  At least not in a transient capacity.  After coughing up $112 for 6 gallons of diesel and the pleasure of tying up at the dock and using our A/C, we grabbed dinner at the dock's restaurant and got our last night of sleep before the ocean passage.  We'll anchor out in the future.  

We headed out Tuesday morning - a bit before low tide, so we were able to actually see the sand bars as we headed out to the ocean.  Motor yacht was still lounging on the sand bar.  I guess they didn't want to be bothered with getting off during the 4:30am high tide...
A pile of squirmy manatees in the inlet.
We pulled out of Ponce Inlet at 9:30am on Tuesday and sailed on into Wilmington Island, GA at 12:30 on Wednesday.  That's 27hrs of motorsailing,  nonstop.  The boat held up beautifully.  We all took 2hr shifts thru the night - everything was a new experience for us and it was very reassuring to have the experienced, calm Captain onboard.  The lightening storms, winds and night watch would've been much more unnerving otherwise.

We feel like we learned a lot.  We debated over hiring a Captain - but wouldn't trade that experience/knowledge for anything.  I definitely recommend it for any other new sailors bringing their ship home!

That's about it.  We got to the marina in one piece.  Luna was awesome - we were really pleased with the sail home and the comfort level of the 393.  Almost as comfortable as our couch when we got home and passed out for 12hrs.

ps.
We never used that $400 whisker pole.











7/1/13

Facebook Page: for when you really want to stalk us...

Be sure to head over and Like the Facebook page so you can keep up with our shenanigans! It will be much easier for me to post pics and mini updates while underway.  www.Facebook.com/SailingLunaSea
Time to get this delivery started!

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