Archive for August, 2009

Two weeks until we cut the docklines!

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

Now that the kids are back from camp, all 5 of us are now living aboard full time and we are gradually knocking off various projects prior to taking off.  We’re now in that level of prioritizing that every cruiser goes through – separating projects that must be done prior to departure from those that can be tackled underway.

If all goes well, we’ll get our final hepatitis shots on Sept 8, and will then leave from PCYC within a day or two of that.  Having said that, there is still a ton of work sitting in the “must do before departure” pile and while we’re doing our best to dig through it, there can be no guarantees that we won’t still be here on September 15.  After that though, we’ve got to get moving as we want to enjoy the NY/NJ coasts as well as be in Annapolis, MD for the sailboat show on Canadian Thanksgiving weekend and then get down to Hampton, VA by about the 25th of October for final preparations for the Caribbean 1500.

So far this week, we’ve re-plumbed the forward head, installed the life raft, picked up our ditch bag, new flares, and assorted other safety gear, and re-organized several different parts of the boat as we desperately try to make all our stuff fit on board.

Later this week, we’ll finish varnishing the teak (gotta have it looking good), clean out a few more lockers, install a new VHF radio, and finish manufacturing our freezer lid.  We also have to prepare a wee party for 50+ of our friends and family who are coming by this weekend (4:00pm Saturday at PCYC for those who didn’t get the evite) to send us off.

While the calendar says we’re out of here in two weeks, it still doesn’t seem real.  We’ve been planning this trip for so many years, to be within 14 days of departure seems very odd.  We’re both still highly stressed, our days start early and end late, and we’re spending money like – well – drunken sailors.  We gotta get out of this place!

See you all on Saturday

Cheers!

A poem from Kathleen

Monday, August 10th, 2009

Where oh Where
- a poem by Kathleen

Where oh Where will it all go?
Who knew there’d be this much to stow.
Food, clothes, tools and books
all Ikea has not enough hooks.
Oh sure, she’s fifty
which seems really nifty.
To the very sage multitude
who consider our plenitude.

But the fact remains,
that I am still the very same.
For I must take that 3rd dress.
What if I don’t impress?
Or without those shoes,
I will have no retort
To them that see me as rather short.

Rest assured all my pals
Family, friends, lazies and gals.
That in the face of such adversity
I WILL grudgingly adopt voluntary simplicity
Please! Don’t laugh at a reformed pack rat.
You see I have no choice,
The alternative is d-vorce.
And with that charming speculation
I re-read this public reflection.

And admit my struggles will follow me
all the way across the sea.
And my best chance of fun
In pursuit of the perma sun
Is not to fret about Where oh Where! Will it all go?
Because, unlike you. I shall not be shovelling snow.

And that’s enough for this former Winnipeg’ger, Guelphite and Kamlooper

Hark! A little bird flew by observing my gloom,
And mentioned none-to-soon.
There are stores and shops along our route
Likely selling clothes, shoes, books and suits

So long, farewell 3rd dress
I shall see you again so don’t distress.
I promise to bring you friends
Numbering six, seven, eights and tens.
In colours so incredibly bright
Your new closet will no longer need a light.

Welcome Aboard!

Monday, August 10th, 2009

Today was the first real day of life as a liveaboard on Bojangles – and my back is killing me.

A week and a half ago, we frantically moved our belongings out of our house in advance of our tenants moving in – then we dumped a ton of boxes on the boat before heading for the airport and a flight to Winnipeg to spend some time at the Kilgour family cottage.

Yesterday, we arrived back in Toronto (sans Mitchell who stayed behind for an extended visit) and then drove tentatively to the boat to determine whether there was room amongst the boxes for the four of us to sleep.  A quick reconnaissance confirmed that the boxes had won the day and we’d need to arrange alternate accommodations.

A quick call to the Duecks and it was decided that the girls could sleep there and that Kathleen, Colin and Rio would brave the boxes and assorted other jetsam on Bojangles.  We dropped the girls at the Duecks, had a quick dinner at a local Italian restaurant and then returned to the boat to try to carve out a place to sleep.

We managed to clear enough space in the V-berth for the 3 of us (Rio would not be denied) and had a good night’s sleep on board.

Today, we bid farewell to the girls – who are off on a camping trip with the Duecks – and then returned to the boat to begin the battle of the boxes.  (For those unaccustomed to boating and living aboard a boat, picture yourself filling a van with all your possessions, then, instead of moving them to a new house, you move them into an apartment about 10% of the size of your house.  There are a LOT of boxes to clear out here!)

We spent the day unloading boxes, getting rid of trash, organizing and the like and at today’s pace – which I thought was pretty good – we should be moved in an organized within another day or two and then we can begin work on the remaining projects that need to be completed before we take off on September 8 (or so).

A bit of bad news… We had arranged to have a contractor reconfigure our fridge as a dual compartment freezer and fridge while we were away, but it seems the project has taken longer than anticipated and when we arrived back on board, there was only a big hole where our fridge used to be.  Hopefully this will get rectified in the next few days… I’m worried though that it won’t and we’ll be living out of a Koolatron for longer than we’d like.

To end the day, at about 7:30pm I made a run to the grocery store to pick up some food to barbecue for dinner.  I came home, had sparkles with Kathleen (‘Sparkles’ – in the Kilgour lexicon – refers to that time of day, typically around 1700, when the sun is at a certain angle where it creates sparkles on the water.  It is at that time, that we stop what we’re doing and enjoy a cold beverage and savoury snack prior to dinner).  We were nearing the end of sparkles and I was about to light the barbecue when I noticed a nasty storm rolling in.  The sky became a purply-grey and we quickly closed up the boat and retreated below before the heavens opened in earnest.  There was lightning everywhere, torrential rain, and 25 knots of wind where 5 minutes earlier it had been calm.  The good news is that in this torrent, the boat did not leak and we were also able to monitor the wind conditions outside using the newly installed Raymarine ST60 multi on our navigation station.

During the storm, we cooked our dinner down below, and enjoyed a nice dinner with a nice bottle of Malbec.  And the boat stayed dry (small victory!)

Tomorrow… more boxes… and Colin returns to work after a week away.

Cheers.