Sunday, December 26, 2010

A door closes...

and another one opens.
This will be the last update on this blog for a while. Walkure is presently enjoying a long overdue and well deserved rest. She is sitting "on the hard" in Driftwood Marina. Bev and I have moved aboard Queequeg, where we will be living for at least 6 months or so. Our current plans are to live and work on Queequeg until she is presentable and suitable for cruising. Walkure will remain in storage until we can afford to ship her north to serve as our "summer home" while we visit family. We are hoping that someone in the family will take an interest and help us maintain her in good shape. We have too much "sweat equity" invested in her to let her go.
For those of you who subscribe by way of Yahoo groups, you will no longer be getting automatic updates unless you sign up for the Yahoo group based on Queequeg's blog. To sign up, go to Queequeg's blog:

http://www.svqueequeg.blogspot.com/

Scroll part way down the page and look on the right hand side for the Yahoo Groups button. Enter your email address, click the button and follow the instructions for joining. The group is moderated, so I will have to approve your membership before you start to receive automatic updates.

Bev and I hope you have enjoyed reading about our adventures in Walkure. We have certainly enjoyed our time on board this unique vessel. But the time has come to move on. Queequeg will take us places that Walkure cannot, and get there a lot faster. Once repairs to Queequeg are complete, look for more of our adventures as we cruise the Bahamas and beyond.

Thanks,
Mike, Bev and Morgan

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Morgan enjoys his morning coffee...



Well, not really, but he thinks he does. Actually, the cup is empty (parrots aren't supposed to drink coffee, but he always tries.)
It's been a busy few weeks since our return from KW. We've done a lot of cleaning and painting on Queequeg and we've rebuilt the subfloor and installed the new flooring in the aft stateroom, the galley and the nav station. We put down a temporary floor in the dining room pending other repairs. The bottom has been sanded, the prop polished and the new cutlass bearing installed. Once the bottom gets a fresh coat of paint, we'll be ready to launch.
It will be sad to leave Walkure, but it will be a joy to have the extra space. We definitely have mixed emotions about the move. But Queequeg will take us place Walkure could not (and vice versa.) We are hoping to keep both boats, but that decision will be dictated by finances.
For now, Walkure will take Queequeg's place "on the hard" in Driftwood Marina and Queequeg will take Walkure's place in the harbor. There's still a lot of work needed on Queequeg and it will be a pain in the a#* working on her while living aboard but again, finances dictate choices. Storing Walkure on the hard instead of Queequeg will save almost $100 a month, plus we won't have to take a cab back and forth every time we want to work on her. That alone saves $15 a day. So...working while living aboard is the only choice.
Our ultimate hope is that we can hold out until my Social Security kicks in. Then we will truck Walkure somewhere north to use in the summers, and keep Queequeg south for the winters. Again, money will tell the tale.
Be sure to check the Queequeg blog for the latest pictures of our progress.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A little vacation

We just got back from our little "vacation" in Key West.
The trip down was easy, no wind to sail with so we had to motor all the way, but it was pleasant anyway. We anchored out the first night in Newfound Harbor, then went to Key West the next day. Our usual anchoring spot in KW is now blocked off by the Navy so we anchored just north of Wisteria Island. The next morning, we found we had dragged about 100 feet, so rather than risk dragging while we were ashore, we went around Fleming Key to the mooring field. We should have known something was wrong when we saw that the mooring field was nearly empty!
We took a ball, then went ashore in the dinghy. We signed up for the ball for a week, then went to Casa Marina to register for the Meeting of the Minds, the annual Parrothead convention. We heard a great band "Latitude," enjoyed a free margarita and then listened to Eric Stone. After Eric was done, we went to Kelly's for wings. It was a good day.
The next day we went ashore again, got our "goody bags" and heard Brent Burns, Jim Morris and Sunny Jom White. We also had a chance to chat with Howard Livingston, but didn't get to hear him play.
The following morning a strong cold front came through and the wind picked up to 25 knots out of the north. Now we know why the mooring field is nearly empty! There is NO protection from a north wind and guess what? The strongest winds here are always from the north. We ended up not being able to get off the boat for four straight days. We missed the best parts of the MOTM convention and spent the four days in bed watching DVDs.
The trip back was OK, just enough wind to sail, but of course blowing the wrong way. We did sail parts of the trip and motor-sailed the rest. We were happy to get back to Boot Key with its 360 degree protection. This place certainly lives up to its reputation as one of the best harbors in the world.
Latitude

Eric Stone

Brent Burns & Mike

Sunny Jim (left) and Jim Morris
Now its back to work at the hospital for Bev, and for me, getting Queequeg ready for launch.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Check-in/OK message from Mike's Spot SPOT Personal Tracker

Mike's Spot
Latitude:24.70721
Longitude:-81.08923
GPS location Date/Time:11/10/2010 17:08:52 EST

Message:This is Mike and Bev on "Walkure" just letting you know that we're OK.

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/3pEWo/24.70721/\-81.08923

If the above link does not work, try this link:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=24.70721,-81.08923&ll=24.70721,-81.08923&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Mike's Spot

You have received this message because Mike's Spot has added you to their SPOT contact list.

Every day is an Adventure. Share Yours.
http://www.findmespot.com

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Check-in/OK message from Mike's Spot SPOT Personal Tracker

Mike's Spot
Latitude:24.64161
Longitude:-81.37939
GPS location Date/Time:11/09/2010 16:29:23 EST

Message:This is Mike and Bev on "Walkure" just letting you know that we're OK.

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/3ou38/24.64161/\-81.37939

If the above link does not work, try this link:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=24.64161,-81.37939&ll=24.64161,-81.37939&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Mike's Spot

You have received this message because Mike's Spot has added you to their SPOT contact list.

Every day is an Adventure. Share Yours.
http://www.findmespot.com

Monday, November 01, 2010

Check-in/OK message from Mike's Spot SPOT Personal Tracker

Mike's Spot
Latitude:24.57754
Longitude:-81.80844
GPS location Date/Time:11/01/2010 16:57:36 EDT

Message:This is Mike and Bev on "Walkure" just letting you know that we're OK.

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/3mJct/24.57754/\-81.80844

If the above link does not work, try this link:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=24.57754,-81.80844&ll=24.57754,-81.80844&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Mike's Spot

You have received this message because Mike's Spot has added you to their SPOT contact list.

Every day is an Adventure. Share Yours.
http://www.findmespot.com

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Check-in/OK message from Mike's Spot SPOT Personal Tracker

Mike's Spot
Latitude:24.63995
Longitude:-81.38052
GPS location Date/Time:10/31/2010 14:27:30 EDT

Message:This is Mike and Bev on "Walkure" just letting you know that we're OK.

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/3lzMg/24.63995/\-81.38052

If the above link does not work, try this link:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=24.63995,-81.38052&ll=24.63995,-81.38052&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Mike's Spot

You have received this message because Mike's Spot has added you to their SPOT contact list.

Every day is an Adventure. Share Yours.
http://www.findmespot.com

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Just a little update

Everything is going well here in Marathon. We've spent the last two weeks working on Queequeg (see separate update on the Queequeg blog) and now we are planning a little R&R. Tomorrow, assuming the weather holds, we will take Walkure down to Key West for a week or so. There's a big event down there called "The Meeting of the Minds (MOTM) and we are registered.
MOTM is the annual convention of "Parrotheads" and this year's theme is "Gypsies in the Palace." It's basically an excuse to eat too much, drink too much and listen to some great music. All our favorite artists will be there; be sure to check out all these great musicians. Most of them have their own websites and many have their MP3's for sale on Amazon. Here's a partial listing:
Eric Stone
Howard Livingston & Mile Marker 24
Jim Morris
Sunny Jim White
Brent Burns
Kelly McGuire
Latitude
Gene Mitchell
And maybe, just maybe Jimmy Buffet. He's not scheduled, but he sometimes just shows up at his restaurant in KW. We've learned the little insider trick to see if he's "in the house." (Sorry, that information is "need to know.") We know for sure that several members of his band will be in town, so who knows?
After our last trip between Key West and Marathon, which ended with us setting anchor outside the harbor at 10 PM, we decided that this time we would do the trip in two days, with an anchorage at Newfound Harbor about half way there. This should make an otherwise tiring trip relatively pleasant.
Look for SPOT updates as we make our way to KW.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Marathon

Well, we're back in Marathon...and we finally got to sail across Florida Bay!

We've now made 5 trips across the Bay and each time either there was no wind or we broke something on the sailing rig and couldn't sail. But this time it was different. We started out from Little Shark River at first light on Monday morning. The wind was a light NNE so we motor-sailed for a while. After we pased Cape Sable the wind picked up and it started to get difficult to handle the boat with the motor running. So we shut off the motor and sailed the rest of the way, dodging crab pot floats about every two boat lengths. It was a grueling 10 hour game of "dodge pot" but other than that it was a pleasant sail. The boat handled well in the 10 to 15 knot NNE wind and we made it to the 7 Mile Bridge without incident.
Once we arrived in Boot Key Harbor we discovered that the draw bridge was being worked on and we couldn't pass through until the following morning. It was nearly sundown and we were tired from two back to back 45 mile days, so we chose to motor around to Sisters' Creek and enter the harbor. As we left the creek and entered the harbor we spot the bridge in the open position! Dang it, the workers had just gone home and left the bridge open after all.
The marina office was closed so we just chose our own mooring and checked in the next morning.
Tuesday it rained nearly all day, over 8 inches total! We had to bail the dinghy twice.
On our trip down, we had a hitchhiker, a little Florida Scrub Lizard we called "Gary." We didn't mind having him along as they eat bugs!
We also finally made it ashore at Cayo Costa and spent a few hours on the beach. We've anchored in the little bay (Pelican Bay) a few times before but never went ashore.
At one of our anchorages (Lemon Bay) we anchored a few hundred yards farther south and were treated to a bald eagle sighting. The eagle just sat on the sand bar for nearly an hour, just watching the water.
We finally made a visit to Queequeg on Friday and found that there was water inside again, but not nearly as bad as before. I guess the first task will be to get the bilge pumps operational, and then track down all the leaks so this doesn't happen again.
We also made some new friends on board a really pretty old Chris Craft sailboat, Yellowbird. I didn't know Chris Craft ever made sailboats and apparently theirs in number 78 out of only 80 boats built. They've done a fine job restoring it. We had them over for dinner on Friday evening and they had us over for drinks and a tour of the boat on Saturday. Terry makes jewelry and presented Bev with an anklet.
Yellowbird

Our hitchhiker

Sunset at York Island

Anklet by Terry

Bald Eagle

The Beach at Cayo Costa
Next week we will start the process of getting Queequeg ready for launch. Given that we got back to Marathon a bit later than we had planned, it looks like the launch won't be until some time in November. Be sure to watch the Queequeg Blog for updates.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Check-in/OK message from Mike's Spot SPOT Messenger

Mike's Spot
Latitude:24.70768
Longitude:-81.08932
GPS location Date/Time:10/11/2010 18:34:26 EDT

Message:This is Mike and Bev on "Walkure" just letting you know that we're OK.

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/3exOQ/24.70768/\-81.08932

If the above link does not work, try this link:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=24.70768,-81.08932&ll=24.70768,-81.08932&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Mike's Spot

You have received this message because Mike's Spot has added you to their SPOT contact list.

Every day is an Adventure. Share Yours.
http://www.findmespot.com

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Check-in/OK message from Mike's Spot SPOT Messenger

Mike's Spot
Latitude:25.32846
Longitude:-81.14685
GPS location Date/Time:10/10/2010 17:13:41 EDT

Message:This is Mike and Bev on "Walkure" just letting you know that we're OK.

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/3eYRS/25.32846/\-81.14685

If the above link does not work, try this link:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=25.32846,-81.14685&ll=25.32846,-81.14685&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Mike's Spot

You have received this message because Mike's Spot has added you to their SPOT contact list.

Every day is an Adventure. Share Yours.
http://www.findmespot.com

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Check-in/OK message from Mike's Spot SPOT Messenger

Mike's Spot
Latitude:25.91875
Longitude:-81.65436
GPS location Date/Time:10/09/2010 16:05:57 EDT

Message:This is Mike and Bev on "Walkure" just letting you know that we're OK.

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/3e4n1/25.91875/\-81.65436

If the above link does not work, try this link:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=25.91875,-81.65436&ll=25.91875,-81.65436&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Mike's Spot

You have received this message because Mike's Spot has added you to their SPOT contact list.

Every day is an Adventure. Share Yours.
http://www.findmespot.com

Friday, October 08, 2010

Check-in/OK message from Mike's Spot SPOT Messenger

Mike's Spot
Latitude:26.10171
Longitude:-81.79807
GPS location Date/Time:10/08/2010 16:27:33 EDT

Message:This is Mike and Bev on "Walkure" just letting you know that we're OK.

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/3deQG/26.10171/\-81.79807

If the above link does not work, try this link:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=26.10171,-81.79807&ll=26.10171,-81.79807&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Mike's Spot

You have received this message because Mike's Spot has added you to their SPOT contact list.

Every day is an Adventure. Share Yours.
http://www.findmespot.com

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Check-in/OK message from Mike's Spot SPOT Messenger

Mike's Spot
Latitude:26.48556
Longitude:-82.08978
GPS location Date/Time:10/07/2010 19:15:38 EDT

Message:This is Mike and Bev on "Walkure" just letting you know that we're OK.

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/3dJEZ/26.48556/\-82.08978

If the above link does not work, try this link:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=26.48556,-82.08978&ll=26.48556,-82.08978&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Mike's Spot

You have received this message because Mike's Spot has added you to their SPOT contact list.

Every day is an Adventure. Share Yours.
http://www.findmespot.com

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Check-in/OK message from Mike's Spot SPOT Messenger

Mike's Spot
Latitude:26.68443
Longitude:-82.23703
GPS location Date/Time:10/05/2010 12:33:16 EDT

Message:This is Mike and Bev on "Walkure" just letting you know that we're OK.

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/3cR7Q/26.68443/\-82.23703

If the above link does not work, try this link:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=26.68443,-82.23703&ll=26.68443,-82.23703&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Mike's Spot

You have received this message because Mike's Spot has added you to their SPOT contact list.

Every day is an Adventure. Share Yours.
http://www.findmespot.com

Monday, October 04, 2010

Check-in/OK message from Mike's Spot SPOT Messenger

Mike's Spot
Latitude:26.91987
Longitude:-82.35391
GPS location Date/Time:10/04/2010 12:57:30 EDT

Message:This is Mike and Bev on "Walkure" just letting you know that we're OK.

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/3c4vm/26.91987/\-82.35391

If the above link does not work, try this link:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=26.91987,-82.35391&ll=26.91987,-82.35391&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Mike's Spot

You have received this message because Mike's Spot has added you to their SPOT contact list.

Every day is an Adventure. Share Yours.
http://www.findmespot.com

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Check-in/OK message from Mike's Spot SPOT Messenger

Mike's Spot
Latitude:27.10838
Longitude:-82.46109
GPS location Date/Time:10/02/2010 16:54:21 EDT

Message:This is Mike and Bev on "Walkure" just letting you know that we're OK.

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/3bPPV/27.10838/\-82.46109

If the above link does not work, try this link:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=27.10838,-82.46109&ll=27.10838,-82.46109&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Mike's Spot

You have received this message because Mike's Spot has added you to their SPOT contact list.

Every day is an Adventure. Share Yours.
http://www.findmespot.com

Friday, October 01, 2010

Check-in/OK message from Mike's Spot SPOT Messenger

Mike's Spot
Latitude:27.32716
Longitude:-82.54669
GPS location Date/Time:10/01/2010 14:02:22 EDT

Message:This is Mike and Bev on "Walkure" just letting you know that we're OK.

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/3aw8-/27.32716/\-82.54669

If the above link does not work, try this link:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=27.32716,-82.54669&ll=27.32716,-82.54669&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Mike's Spot

You have received this message because Mike's Spot has added you to their SPOT contact list.

Every day is an Adventure. Share Yours.
http://www.findmespot.com

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Check-in/OK message from Mike's Spot SPOT Messenger

Mike's Spot
Latitude:27.46235
Longitude:-82.69196
GPS location Date/Time:09/30/2010 14:13:48 EDT

Message:This is Mike and Bev on "Walkure" just letting you know that we're OK.

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/3aY2z/27.46235/\-82.69196

If the above link does not work, try this link:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=27.46235,-82.69196&ll=27.46235,-82.69196&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Mike's Spot

You have received this message because Mike's Spot has added you to their SPOT contact list.

Every day is an Adventure. Share Yours.
http://www.findmespot.com

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Check-in/OK message from Mike's Spot SPOT Messenger

Mike's Spot
Latitude:27.73474
Longitude:-82.70267
GPS location Date/Time:09/28/2010 15:45:42 EDT

Message:This is Mike and Bev on "Walkure" just letting you know that we're OK.

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/3Zqzw/27.73474/\-82.70267

If the above link does not work, try this link:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=27.73474,-82.70267&ll=27.73474,-82.70267&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Mike's Spot

You have received this message because Mike's Spot has added you to their SPOT contact list.

Every day is an Adventure. Share Yours.
http://www.findmespot.com

Monday, September 27, 2010

Check-in/OK message from Mike's Spot SPOT Messenger

Mike's Spot
Latitude:28.1771
Longitude:-82.78912
GPS location Date/Time:09/27/2010 13:05:16 EDT

Message:This is Mike and Bev on "Walkure" just letting you know that we're OK.

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/3ZQTM/28.1771/\-82.78912

If the above link does not work, try this link:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=28.1771,-82.78912&ll=28.1771,-82.78912&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Mike's Spot

You have received this message because Mike's Spot has added you to their SPOT contact list.

Every day is an Adventure. Share Yours.
http://www.findmespot.com

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Repair progress

Repairs are going well. As of today, we're ready to launch, but the yard won't operate the lift on weekends. This means we will be launching on Monday morning. This give us the weekend to stock up on groceries, etc.
Watch for SPOT updates starting Monday.

Here are a couple of shots of the repairs. These shots show the patches in place, sanded out and primed. Yesterday we put the bottom paint on but didn't take any pictures.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Repairs under way...


Starboard Hole
Walkure is on the hard in Tarpon Springs. We started chopping out parts of the hull looking for the pesky leaks. It's a case of good news, bad news.
First the good news. There was no rot; we caught the problem in time. The plywood of the hull was wet, but not rotted. The frames underneath the skin were sound, again no rot.
The bad news is the wet wood on the starboard side turned out to cover a much larger area than anticipated, requiring a rather large hole to be cut in the side. A bigger hole means a bigger patch. (See pictures.) The hole needed on the starboard side was 14 inches long, top to bottom. Ouch!
Along the canal at NPR
"Love is All" at home.
Port side Hole
The plywood patches are now fitted and the first layer of glass is on. Tomorrow, a little sanding and then the second layer of glass, some more epoxy, some fairing compound, sanding and painting.
If we don't get the painting done by Friday (unlikely) we will have to wait until Monday to launch. At least that give us time to do some grocery shopping, organize the boat, etc.
Watch for SPOT updates starting next Monday.
I've included a picture of "Love is All" taken from the canal side, and a pic of our trip down the canal in New Port Richey, on our way to Tarpon Springs on Monday.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Uh, Oh!

So we're here in New Port Richey getting ready to head south. While I was finishing up with Tim & Julie's boat, Bev has been busy cleaning and painting the interior on Walkure. The interior hasn't been painted since the launching 5 years ago, so it was needed.
In the process we've been moving things, uncovering things that haven't been seen in years. Yesterday as I was helping Bev move things in the bedroom I noticed a tiny spot of water. (Oops!) Upon further investigation I discovered a tiny leak. Yep, a leak. We've never had a leak below the waterline before, so this is troubling. With a "WEST" system boat, the wood is protected by epoxy which keeps the wood dry and prevents rot. A leak means the epoxy has failed and the wood is getting wet and thus can start to rot. So...
Next week, instead of heading south to Marathon, we will be stopping at Tarpon Springs for a haulout. We will have to track down the leak, carve it out, dry the wood, patch the epoxy, glass and paint the whole thing. I am hoping this will be a very localized repair, but I won't know till I get the boat out of the water to do a proper inspection.
The trouble seems to be in one of the seams around the port side bilge-board trunk. I knew these trunks were trouble when I first saw the design, but I thought I had compensated by soaking lots and lots of extra epoxy into these seams. If the problem is isolated to this one seam, we should be able to complete the repair in about 5 days and then be on our way.
Once again, the old adage about a boat being "a hole in the water into which you pour money" is proved true. I've also heard that BOAT is really an acronym for "Break Out Another Thousand." I guess that's true too.
As for "Love is All" we didn't get finished all we set out to do, but the boat is now functional. The sleeping area is done, the head works, the clothing lockers are done, etc, so Tim and Julie can at least take weekend cruises. Here's a picture Tim took last week.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Getting ready...

Well, Bev is back from MA and is busy cleaning and painting Walkure's interior. I'll be busy for a while longer on "Love is All," Tim and Julie's old Morgan. The liquor locker is almost done and Tim and I are now working on the galley. I'll post some pictures in a day or so.
On September 11, Tim and Julie are leaving vacation and Bev and I will finish getting Walkure ready for the return trip to Marathon. When they get back, we'll check the weather and if there are no hurricanes lurking about, we'll head out for the Keys. Watch for our SPOT updates.
Our trip up here was made in record (for us) time and we're hoping to make similar time going back. Queequeg is waiting for us and we're really getting excited about having so much room and such a fast boat.
On another note (so to speak) Bev is now the proud owner of a new bass guitar and a Mel Bay instruction book. She's started doing the finger exercises to get some strength in her hands for playing. Once she can run a few scales I'll start teaching her some of the songs I do at the "open mike" nights and we'll be able to jam.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Ted Irwin update

Here's the latest news on Ted Irwin:

"Dear Friends of Ted,

I was updated about Ted Wednesday at the hospital. He was alert, joking with the company of his daughter and close friend Peggy, and he talked about the accident as best he could remember. Ted was on his yacht in Key West with his son Trey, and son-in-law on the hook, they had been diving for lobsters. One of his guests was arriving on the docks around midnight and Ted got in his dingy with a flash light and headed for shore. He noted a power boat heading at him and tried to warn them with his flashlight, but due to the angle of the bow of the powerboat, they did not see him and smashed into him throwing him across the dingy, but fortunately not overboard. He was knocked out and laying in the dingy. The crew of the powerboat did attend to him and towed him to the docks where emergency crews were waiting.
He was eventually flown to St. Petersburg Bay Front Medical Center where he was attended to. He suffered a fractured pelvis which required four hours of surgery, broken ribs and some internal bleeding. The surgery was successful and Ted was told he would have a few weeks ahead for therapy and rehab. A bit black and blue and some tubes in and out. He is good spirit and for all of us who know Ted, I will tell you he still has that great boyish grin and smile, and it was a welcome site today. Meanwhile, those who would like to send a card and best wish’s:

Michael Theodore Irwin
Room 532
Bayfront Medical Center
St. Petersburg, Florida 33701

Please no phone calls at this time, maybe in a week.

Thanks to all who kept Ted in their thoughts and prayers

Regards from Gene "

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Ted Irwin in hospital

Here's an email I received this morning from Gene Gammon, Ted Irwin's old partner.
Ted Irwin is the man who designed "Queequeg."

I was just informed that Ted Irwin is in ICU at Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg.

I can find no details in any Florida news but a friend, Tom Casey of Blue Water Sailing mag., was informed by Charlie Morgan this morning and was confirmed.

Apparently he was run over by a powerboat in Kew West at night while going ashore in his dinghy. He was airlifted to Bayfront from the Keys.

Please pray for Ted and hope for the a good and speedy recovery.

Will update all as I learn more.

Regards,

Gene Gammon
www.irwinyachts.com

Please be careful on the water!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Progress on Love is All

Work is progressing on "Love is All," the boat I am helping to restore. We've added a beadboard "ceiling" to the V-berth, two new clothes lockers for the master suite with settees for changing, lounging, etc.
The lockers were a pain to fit, but now they're in and they look great. (If I do say so myself.)

Take a look at Tim's latest post to see the most recent pictures.

S/V Love is All

I never thought we'd get this far, but it all seems to be coming together.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Exciting news!

We now have our own online store!
For the last few years you have been watching us sail around the country and read how we have upgraded the boat, etc. Now you have the chance to buy the products that we use directly from our own store, by way of Amazon. We get to pick and choose what products we add to the store, so you can be assured that everything that shows up in our store is a product we have used either on Walkure or on Queequeg. Before you shop for anything anywhere, check out our store. You will know that we have tried the product and that it performs as advertised.
The first products we have added are the Xantrex LinkLite Battery monitor. We love this product so much on Walkure that we bought one to install on Queequeg. If you live or cruise on a boat you know how important it is to keep track of your batteries. LinkLite is the way to do it.
Also added is the full line of Morninstar Solar Controllers. We've used other controllers on Walkure, and none perform like the Morningstar.

Both our blogs will have a link to our new store. I've included it in this post as well.

Our Amazon Store

So why should you buy from us? Well first of all, Amazon has great prices. You will have search high and wide to find better pricing. And the best part is - you help us keep cruising and bringing you the stories of our adventures!

We will be adding more products in the weeks and months to come, so stop back often!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

So...

I'm sitting here in New Port Richey, waiting for a guy to show up to buy our old dinghy and contemplating life on our new boat. It occurs to me that writing about the new boat on a blog named after the current boat isn't really appropriate. So, I've decided to start a new blog about the new boat.
This blog will continue to serve as our main channel of information for as long as we are on Walküre, but any information regarding Queequeg, her repairs and upgrades, and our travels on that boat will be posted to the new blog at:

The Queequeg Blog

It just seems to be in keeping with the old sailor's superstition about not having anything named after one boat on a different boat.

Gotta keep the sea gods happy, after all.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

It's official!


Yep! It's now official - finally! The Irwin "Queequeg" is now officially ours. It has taken since May 7 to get this all sorted out.
When I first took possession of Queequeg, I noticed that the hull number on the Canadian paperwork wasn't a valid hull number. It didn't have enough digits. So I took a pencil tracing of the hull and oops! That number didn't have enough digits and even had one digit that was different from the Canadian paperwork. Ugh. So I checked the old US Coastguard documentation and found yet a different number with the right number of digits, but still one digit didn't match the actual number on the hull.
So...when I went to the Tax Collector to register the boat, they wouldn't let me because of the hull number mixup. I had to get an officer from the Fish and Wildlife Commission to come out to the boat and do an inspection. Even he couldn't sort the numbers out. He said he would take copies of everything and send a report to the state capital in Tallahassee to see if they could sort it out.
Finally, last week, I got the letter from Tallahassee with a hull number on it, but it said that I would have to jump through all sorts of bureaucratic hoops to show proof of ownership. Well, it's now all sorted out. I went to the Tax Collector today and was waited on by a young lady named Sandra who was very patient. She listened to my tale of woe, looked at all the paperwork I brought and took everything to her supervisor. When she came back she was smiling. She typed a few things into the computer, wheels started turning and Voila! A registration sticker and document came rolling out of the printer. The title should be here in 10 days or so.
As the Grateful Dead said years ago "What a long strange trip it's been!"

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The New bowsprit


Here's a picture of Tim & Julie's new anchor roller/bowsprit that I built for their boat.
Not bad, if I do say so myself.

Friday, June 25, 2010

So, what have I been up to?

To get an idea of how I spend my time these days, see Tim and Julie's blog at:

Blog of the S/V "Love is All"

There are some pics of me working on the new bowsprit for their boat.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A weekend Luau





This past weekend, Bev and I took Tim and Julie out to Three Rooker Bar for a Luau sponsored by the Gulf Winds Sailing Club of which they are members. We had to take Walkure as their boat isn't ready for cruising yet.
We left Saturday morning and sailed on very light winds the 12 miles to the little sand bar. We set the anchor, hooked up the dinghy and went ashore. There were some games and a lot of great food. I played guitar for a little bit. Around sunset it looked like a thunderstorm was headed our way so we went back out to the boat to get things secured, but the storm dissipated before it reached us.
The next morning we went ashore again so the girls could do some shell hunting. After a late brunch we set sail to come back to New Port Richie. Of course the wind was right on the nose so we tacked back and forth for a couple of hours (great sailing, but little progress toward home) and ended up motoring into the headwind to get back before dark.
All in all, it was a nice relaxing weekend.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Check-in/OK message from Mike's Spot SPOT Messenger

Mike's Spot
Latitude:28.2355
Longitude:-82.74205
GPS location Date/Time:06/06/2010 18:05:30 EDT

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=28.2355,-82.74205&ll=28.2355,-82.74205&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1
Message:This is Mike and Bev on "Walkure" just letting you know that we're OK.

Raising the safety factor for millions who step into the outdoors each year, SPOT notifies friends and family or an international emergency rescue coordination center with status messages based on situation and need. Ask for Help (or SPOT Assist), Alert S.O.S., Check-In/OK and Track Progress-all with the simple push of a button.
http://www.findmespot.com

Looking for a great way to share SPOT tracks and waypoints, stories and photos? Head to http://www.spotadventures.com and see how users are creating their adventures and sharing them!

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Check-in/OK message from Mike's Spot SPOT Messenger

Mike's Spot
Latitude:27.73639
Longitude:-82.70413
GPS location Date/Time:06/05/2010 13:21:30 EDT

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=27.73639,-82.70413&ll=27.73639,-82.70413&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1
Message:This is Mike and Bev on "Walkure" just letting you know that we're OK.

Raising the safety factor for millions who step into the outdoors each year, SPOT notifies friends and family or an international emergency rescue coordination center with status messages based on situation and need. Ask for Help (or SPOT Assist), Alert S.O.S., Check-In/OK and Track Progress-all with the simple push of a button.
http://www.findmespot.com

Looking for a great way to share SPOT tracks and waypoints, stories and photos? Head to http://www.spotadventures.com and see how users are creating their adventures and sharing them!

Friday, June 04, 2010

Check-in/OK message from Mike's Spot SPOT Messenger

Mike's Spot
Latitude:27.46289
Longitude:-82.69218
GPS location Date/Time:06/04/2010 15:10:57 EDT

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=27.46289,-82.69218&ll=27.46289,-82.69218&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1
Message:This is Mike and Bev on "Walkure" just letting you know that we're OK.

Raising the safety factor for millions who step into the outdoors each year, SPOT notifies friends and family or an international emergency rescue coordination center with status messages based on situation and need. Ask for Help (or SPOT Assist), Alert S.O.S., Check-In/OK and Track Progress-all with the simple push of a button.
http://www.findmespot.com

Looking for a great way to share SPOT tracks and waypoints, stories and photos? Head to http://www.spotadventures.com and see how users are creating their adventures and sharing them!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Not to worry...

I know we haven't sent a SPOT message in a couple of days. We have stopped at Venice to visit Bev's friends Pat and Peter. We'll resume our trip tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Check-in/OK message from Mike's Spot SPOT Messenger

Mike's Spot
Latitude:27.10836
Longitude:-82.46113
GPS location Date/Time:06/01/2010 12:05:28 EDT

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=27.10836,-82.46113&ll=27.10836,-82.46113&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1
Message:This is Mike and Bev on "Walkure" just letting you know that we're OK.

Raising the safety factor for millions who step into the outdoors each year, SPOT notifies friends and family or an international emergency rescue coordination center with status messages based on situation and need. Ask for Help (or SPOT Assist), Alert S.O.S., Check-In/OK and Track Progress-all with the simple push of a button.
http://www.findmespot.com

Looking for a great way to share SPOT tracks and waypoints, stories and photos? Head to http://www.spotadventures.com and see how users are creating their adventures and sharing them!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Check-in/OK message from Mike's Spot SPOT Messenger

Mike's Spot
Latitude:26.92313
Longitude:-82.355
GPS location Date/Time:05/31/2010 14:21:27 EDT

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=26.92313,-82.355&ll=26.92313,-82.355&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1
Message:This is Mike and Bev on "Walkure" just letting you know that we're OK.

Raising the safety factor for millions who step into the outdoors each year, SPOT notifies friends and family or an international emergency rescue coordination center with status messages based on situation and need. Ask for Help (or SPOT Assist), Alert S.O.S., Check-In/OK and Track Progress-all with the simple push of a button.
http://www.findmespot.com

Looking for a great way to share SPOT tracks and waypoints, stories and photos? Head to http://www.spotadventures.com and see how users are creating their adventures and sharing them!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Check-in/OK message from Mike's Spot SPOT Messenger

Mike's Spot
Latitude:26.68772
Longitude:-82.24076
GPS location Date/Time:05/30/2010 14:12:49 EDT

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=26.68772,-82.24076&ll=26.68772,-82.24076&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1
Message:This is Mike and Bev on "Walkure" just letting you know that we're OK.

Raising the safety factor for millions who step into the outdoors each year, SPOT notifies friends and family or an international emergency rescue coordination center with status messages based on situation and need. Ask for Help (or SPOT Assist), Alert S.O.S., Check-In/OK and Track Progress-all with the simple push of a button.
http://www.findmespot.com

Looking for a great way to share SPOT tracks and waypoints, stories and photos? Head to http://www.spotadventures.com and see how users are creating their adventures and sharing them!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Check-in/OK message from Mike's Spot SPOT Messenger

Mike's Spot
Latitude:26.48582
Longitude:-82.08879
GPS location Date/Time:05/29/2010 16:11:15 EDT

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=26.48582,-82.08879&ll=26.48582,-82.08879&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1
Message:This is Mike and Bev on "Walkure" just letting you know that we're OK.

Raising the safety factor for millions who step into the outdoors each year, SPOT notifies friends and family or an international emergency rescue coordination center with status messages based on situation and need. Ask for Help (or SPOT Assist), Alert S.O.S., Check-In/OK and Track Progress-all with the simple push of a button.
http://www.findmespot.com

Looking for a great way to share SPOT tracks and waypoints, stories and photos? Head to http://www.spotadventures.com and see how users are creating their adventures and sharing them!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Check-in/OK message from Mike's Spot SPOT Messenger

Mike's Spot
Latitude:26.10179
Longitude:-81.798
GPS location Date/Time:05/28/2010 13:55:05 EDT

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=26.10179,-81.798&ll=26.10179,-81.798&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1
Message:This is Mike and Bev on "Walkure" just letting you know that we're OK.

Raising the safety factor for millions who step into the outdoors each year, SPOT notifies friends and family or an international emergency rescue coordination center with status messages based on situation and need. Ask for Help (or SPOT Assist), Alert S.O.S., Check-In/OK and Track Progress-all with the simple push of a button.
http://www.findmespot.com

Looking for a great way to share SPOT tracks and waypoints, stories and photos? Head to http://www.spotadventures.com and see how users are creating their adventures and sharing them!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Check-in/OK message from Mike's Spot SPOT Messenger

Mike's Spot
Latitude:25.91852
Longitude:-81.65385
GPS location Date/Time:05/27/2010 18:55:57 EDT

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=25.91852,-81.65385&ll=25.91852,-81.65385&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1
Message:This is Mike and Bev on "Walkure" just letting you know that we're OK.

Raising the safety factor for millions who step into the outdoors each year, SPOT notifies friends and family or an international emergency rescue coordination center with status messages based on situation and need. Ask for Help (or SPOT Assist), Alert S.O.S., Check-In/OK and Track Progress-all with the simple push of a button.
http://www.findmespot.com

Looking for a great way to share SPOT tracks and waypoints, stories and photos? Head to http://www.spotadventures.com and see how users are creating their adventures and sharing them!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Check-in/OK message from Mike's Spot SPOT Messenger

Mike's Spot
Latitude:25.65175
Longitude:-81.27971
GPS location Date/Time:05/26/2010 15:47:30 EDT

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=25.65175,-81.27971&ll=25.65175,-81.27971&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1
Message:This is Mike and Bev on "Walkure" just letting you know that we're OK.

Raising the safety factor for millions who step into the outdoors each year, SPOT notifies friends and family or an international emergency rescue coordination center with status messages based on situation and need. Ask for Help (or SPOT Assist), Alert S.O.S., Check-In/OK and Track Progress-all with the simple push of a button.
http://www.findmespot.com

Looking for a great way to share SPOT tracks and waypoints, stories and photos? Head to http://www.spotadventures.com and see how users are creating their adventures and sharing them!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Check-in/OK message from Mike's Spot SPOT Messenger

Mike's Spot
Latitude:25.32886
Longitude:-81.13822
GPS location Date/Time:05/25/2010 16:32:01 EDT

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=25.32886,-81.13822&ll=25.32886,-81.13822&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1
Message:This is Mike and Bev on "Walkure" just letting you know that we're OK.

Raising the safety factor for millions who step into the outdoors each year, SPOT notifies friends and family or an international emergency rescue coordination center with status messages based on situation and need. Ask for Help (or SPOT Assist), Alert S.O.S., Check-In/OK and Track Progress-all with the simple push of a button.
http://www.findmespot.com

Looking for a great way to share SPOT tracks and waypoints, stories and photos? Head to http://www.spotadventures.com and see how users are creating their adventures and sharing them!

Check-in/OK message from Mike's Spot SPOT Messenger

Mike's Spot
Latitude:25.12394
Longitude:-81.14448
GPS location Date/Time:05/25/2010 13:44:00 EDT

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=25.12394,-81.14448&ll=25.12394,-81.14448&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1
Message:This is Mike and Bev on "Walkure" just letting you know that we're OK.

Raising the safety factor for millions who step into the outdoors each year, SPOT notifies friends and family or an international emergency rescue coordination center with status messages based on situation and need. Ask for Help (or SPOT Assist), Alert S.O.S., Check-In/OK and Track Progress-all with the simple push of a button.
http://www.findmespot.com

Looking for a great way to share SPOT tracks and waypoints, stories and photos? Head to http://www.spotadventures.com and see how users are creating their adventures and sharing them!

Check-in/OK message from Mike's Spot SPOT Messenger

Mike's Spot
Latitude:25.00953
Longitude:-81.12787
GPS location Date/Time:05/25/2010 12:19:30 EDT

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=25.00953,-81.12787&ll=25.00953,-81.12787&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1
Message:This is Mike and Bev on "Walkure" just letting you know that we're OK.

Raising the safety factor for millions who step into the outdoors each year, SPOT notifies friends and family or an international emergency rescue coordination center with status messages based on situation and need. Ask for Help (or SPOT Assist), Alert S.O.S., Check-In/OK and Track Progress-all with the simple push of a button.
http://www.findmespot.com

Looking for a great way to share SPOT tracks and waypoints, stories and photos? Head to http://www.spotadventures.com and see how users are creating their adventures and sharing them!

Check-in/OK message from Mike's Spot SPOT Messenger

Mike's Spot
Latitude:24.85836
Longitude:-81.1403
GPS location Date/Time:05/25/2010 10:24:26 EDT

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=24.85836,-81.1403&ll=24.85836,-81.1403&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1
Message:This is Mike and Bev on "Walkure" just letting you know that we're OK.

Raising the safety factor for millions who step into the outdoors each year, SPOT notifies friends and family or an international emergency rescue coordination center with status messages based on situation and need. Ask for Help (or SPOT Assist), Alert S.O.S., Check-In/OK and Track Progress-all with the simple push of a button.
http://www.findmespot.com

Looking for a great way to share SPOT tracks and waypoints, stories and photos? Head to http://www.spotadventures.com and see how users are creating their adventures and sharing them!

Check-in/OK message from Mike's Spot SPOT Messenger

Mike's Spot
Latitude:24.7193
Longitude:-81.17064
GPS location Date/Time:05/25/2010 08:23:28 EDT

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=24.7193,-81.17064&ll=24.7193,-81.17064&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1
Message:This is Mike and Bev on "Walkure" just letting you know that we're OK.

Raising the safety factor for millions who step into the outdoors each year, SPOT notifies friends and family or an international emergency rescue coordination center with status messages based on situation and need. Ask for Help (or SPOT Assist), Alert S.O.S., Check-In/OK and Track Progress-all with the simple push of a button.
http://www.findmespot.com

Looking for a great way to share SPOT tracks and waypoints, stories and photos? Head to http://www.spotadventures.com and see how users are creating their adventures and sharing them!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Check-in/OK message from Mike's Spot SPOT Messenger

Mike's Spot
Latitude:24.7082
Longitude:-81.08863
GPS location Date/Time:05/22/2010 11:03:36 EDT

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=24.7082,-81.08863&ll=24.7082,-81.08863&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1
Message:This is Mike and Bev on "Walkure" just letting you know that we're OK.

Raising the safety factor for millions who step into the outdoors each year, SPOT notifies friends and family or an international emergency rescue coordination center with status messages based on situation and need. Ask for Help (or SPOT Assist), Alert S.O.S., Check-In/OK and Track Progress-all with the simple push of a button.
http://www.findmespot.com

Looking for a great way to share SPOT tracks and waypoints, stories and photos? Head to http://www.spotadventures.com and see how users are creating their adventures and sharing them!

Summer




Well, it looks like we'll be leaving Marathon for the summer. We'll head out probably on Tuesday next week if the weather forecast holds.
We decided that it will be just too hot here to work on the Irwin without AC and we don't want both boats in the same area in case there's a hurricane. We'll be taking Walkure up to New Port Richie. (We had planned on Tarpon Springs, but Tim found us a private dock in NPR that's cheaper.) I'll be helping Tim and Julie get their boat "Love is All" ready (finally) for cruising.
I'll be testing SPOT today so look for the SPOT message. As we travel, we will be sending SPOT messages at least once a day. As we cross Florida Bay we'll SPOT more often. That will be our only big crossing on this trip, the rest of the trip will be coastal hops or ICW, so one SPOT be enough.
Here are another couple of "after" pictures of the Irwin.
Oh, put your thinking caps on, we'll have to name the Irwin. It's name is currently "Queequeg" after the Moby Dick character, but I think we'll change it. We're thinking something based on the names of our granddaughters Chandra, Kahlenn and McKenzie: "ChaKahMac?" Input from all our readers is welcome.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A few "after" pictures





Well, almost "after." I have been working every day for the last week or so to get all the old food and junk out of the Irwin so the roaches won't have as much to eat.
I've also been doing a lot of cleaning and checking system to see what works and what doesn't. In the process I have made the boat look a bit more presentable. Here are a few pics I took today. Please note that I tried real hard to hide the water damage, but if you look closely, you can see it in some of the pics. Two of the pics are from the same angle, but look at the stove; in one it's covered and the other it's not.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

As the worm...ah, er, engine...turns...

Yep, it turns!
More Irwin update:
Yesterday, I sucked out about a quart of heavy, tar-like gook from the engine and replaced it with clean fresh oil. Today, the oil pan drained easily and I put in 5 more quarts of fresh oil. Now, finally, with the compression lever "off" I can turn the engine easily with a wrench. Close the compression valve, and it won't turn; open it and it turns easily. Whew! That's a load off my mind. The engine isn't seized.
It looks like our "free upgrade" might just work out.
Keep your fingers crossed.
As for Walkure, it looks like we will be traveling up to Tarpon Springs for the summer. We hope to head out around May 26, weather gods willing. It should take us about 2 weeks to get up there, less if the weather cooperates. Lots to do between now and then, what with two boats to get ready...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Irwin Update



Spent a couple of hours cleaning out the Irwin today. Little by little I'm finding out what works and what doesn't. The shore power system works, the battery charger (old and inefficient as it is) works, the refrigerator works (good news), the stereo works and the lights work. Basically, the electrical system works; even the batteries aren't as dead as I had thought. A little distilled water and another few hours on shore power will tell if they need to be changed right away. (I will get new as soon as I can, but it would be nice if the old ones hold out till the rehab work is done.)
I tried changing the engine oil today but whew! It was a mess. The old oil is so thick it was like trying to pull tar through the pump. I got about two quarts out, then decided to put a quart of fresh oil in to see if it would dilute the crap sitting in the bottom of the oil pan.
The transmission seems OK. It will shift in and out of gear, and I can spin the prop in neutral, but not when it's in gear. I've done one oil change on the transmission, and will let that sit a while and change it again, just to be sure all the water is out.
In another week or so, I will be putting the Irwin to bed for the summer. I can't believe the way the previous owner left it. Food in the food lockers, the engine not properly stored, etc. But then, if he hadn't left it that way, I'd have never gotten it for free!
I've included a couple of "before" pictures. Just wait and see what it will be like in the "after" pics!

Still busy!









What a spring!
Right after our visit with Tim and Julie, Bev's son Matt came to visit. He had a great time. We went out for a day sail. We went to Key West, saw a bed race, had wings at Kelly's, visited the Turtle Hospital, etc. Matt treated his mom to another trip to Key West and went para sailing and snorkeling. (Yeah, Bev went para sailing!) Matt even learned to blow the conch.
In Key West we stopped in at Schooner Wharf hoping to hear our friend Howard Livingston, but it turned out his Mom was ill and he was out of town. We did get to see a "Pirate Costume Contest." Arrgh!
The deal for the Irwin has gone through. We are now the proud owners of a 40' boat. It needs a lot of work, and the roaches have taken up residence in unbelievable numbers. I still wonder about the engine and we won't know if it runs until we put the boat in the water. I'll do all I can to fix the boat up before launching, but it will still need work after it's in the water. It will need a whole new floor, and probably most of the subfloor, and the teak cabinetry has been seriously water stained, but looks to be intact. I was up there yesterday working on it and discovered that the holding tank is right under the V-berth (yuck!) and not hooked up properly. So, there's another project.
The Irwin will be staying in the boat yard for the summer. It is just too hot here to be working without AC. So we are shopping for a spot to park Walkure for the summer. Bev will be going to MA to visit her grandkids and get some seasonal work. I will probably be in New Port Richie helping Tim and Julie finish the refit on their boat.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Busy, busy, busy





Whew!
Man it's been a busy few weeks. We've had a visit from our good friends Tim and Julie. They drove down from New Port Richie and spent a few days with us. We went to the Dolphin Research Center and to Key West. Now, Bev's son Matt is here and we went for a great day sail today and tomorrow we're off to Key West again for Conch Republic Days and another chance to see Howard Livingston.
And we just got word that the boat yard has accepted the offer to settle the yard bill, thus clearing the way for us to take possession of the 40 footer that may be our next boat.
And I retired so I could slow down!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Just a little update






What have we been up to the last few weeks?
Well, in between cruises on "Yankee" we've been keeping busy. We went to a CD release party for our favorite "Trop Rock" artist, Howard Livingston. Be sure to check out the photo of Howie singing my new "turquoise" hat. If you know Howie's charity work, you'll know what the turquoise hat means.
This past Sunday, we went with one of Bev's co-workers, Carol, to the "Southernmost Air Show" at Naval Air Station Key West. Wow! I didn't know airplanes could do things like that. A C-17 air transport (similar to the C-5, but smaller - still BIG) did a wing wave as it passed the center of the field. Then it landed, came to a complete stop in only 1500 feet and then...it backed up! There was also an FA-18 that walked across the field standing on its engine thrust. Freaky to watch a supersonic fighter standing on its tail doing "only" 90 mph.
There was also a husband and wife stunt pilot/wingwalker act. She stood on the wing while her husband spun the plane around through all sorts of stunts, stalls, upside-down loops, etc. Wild! Of course, there was a spectacular show by the Blue Angels.
The big news of the week is that we might (repeat MIGHT) be moving to a different boat. Gulp! Yes, there is a possibility that we can acquire a 40 foot boat for nothing. The boat's interior is a wreck, but I can repair it. IF (big IF) we can make this happen it will mean about double the living space AND the capability of sailing to the Caribbean, Mexico, Panama, etc.
If the deal goes through, we are considering options for Walkure. One is to turn it into a time share for the family. Each family member (my kids, Bev's kids, my sister, Bev's sisters, etc.) will each get X weeks a year to use the boat. I'd really like for Walkure to stay in the family, if possible.
Wish us luck.