8.30.2008

Mary's Head Before & After






Now that the Galley is complete ... we couldn't leave the head undone... right?? We installed new cabinet tops. We sanded down the wood trim and walls.. Next we added a little stain and poly on all the wood ... primed and painted the walls. Moved position of faucet so we can open the cabinet door, installed new faucet. Sanded, primed and painted our wonderful floor... Added a few personal touches and VoilĂ  !!! Feelin like home!!




Enough Already!


















Hi to all!! We hope this new post finds everyone healthy, happy and peaceful. As for us.. we continue to stay focused and work hard to prepare for our journey. I was preparing dinner one evening when something occurred to me ... not sure if any of you have noticed this as well but most of the work we have done to Mary recently has been mechanical as well as focusing on keeping the water out. Yes .. yes I understand the importance of it all.. but what about my moldy galley and poorly functional head?? Enough already I told the Capt one day... let's do something pretty for Mary!! The Capt being the understanding fellow he is... accommodated my request as we continue to wait for the new fuel tank to arrive. We went to a private cabinet maker here in St Pete, L & R Cabinets...Thanks Ron for all your wonderful help!! Ron just happened to have some scrap laminate that we loved. He sold it to us at a very reasonable price. We took him the measurements and he trimmed it for us as well as offered many helpful ideas for installing it. We then went to Lowe's in search of a back splash... we just couldn't find what we were looking for so back to Ron we went. He once again offered the perfect suggestion .. a laminated back splash with a beveled edge. Instillation went well without complications. Next we sanded and re-finished the wood around the sink. The final step was to do something with the cabinet top that covers the stove. Since day one we both agreed that it would be perfect to turn this into a chopping board.. so off to Bed Bath and Beyond. Where Capt Don just happened to find the perfect sized board on the clearance rack.. what are the chances!! WOW!! A updated galley at last!! Sure makes cooking meals much more pleasurable! Thanks Capt Don!!

Mary Rose Recieves Dialysis!




Yes it is true! This is a brief update on what we have been working on. If you have been following the blog for a while you will remember some of the major projects that we wished to complete this year before an extended cruise after this year's tropical storm season.

The short "A" list of projects that remain is:
1. A Two rail extended bow pulpit.
2. New stern enclosure that will accommodate solar and wind energy generation.
3. New reserve fuel tank installation.
4. Installation of solar and wind generation.

We have been very busy since our weekend shake down cruise a few weeks ago. This post will document the new fuel filtering system that in now completely installed and working. One of the malfunctions that occurred during our sea trial was the diesel injector pump. I noticed a small amount of diesel fuel on the top surface of the pump. I decided to remove it and take it in for repair. I am so glad we did. It needed to be completely rebuilt. The repairman was shocked that the engine was still running because the pump was in such poor condition. So we now have a new rebuilt injector pump and all four injectors were rebuilt as well. They have all been replaced but we have not started the engine because the manifold is still off waiting for the installation of the new fuel tank on the port side of the engine compartment.
Another new major modification is the addition of an electronic method of shutting down the engine from the cockpit. The previous method required us to go to the companion way and reach inside the galley and pull a "T" handle to shut down the engine. We can now do that with the push of a button from the cockpit. This modification required a bit of engineering and design. We installed a solenoid and built a bracket to mount it on the engine block. The next thing was to bend a threaded rod so that it snaked through the fuel injection lines to the shut off lever on the throttle control of the new injector pump. It works perfectly and can't wait to try it out on the next sail.
We also replaced the cabinet tops in the head and the galley. We will post on each of these projects with pics later.
Now on to the new fuel management system. The new system allows us to dialyze our fuel to make it free of contaminates and water. We can do this any time the engine is not running. One of the major problems with diesel fuel is that it builds contaminates over time while sitting in the tank. These contaminates generally settle to the bottom of the tank and sit there until you are in rough water and then get agitated and mixed with the fuel. These contaminates then clog your fuel filter and choke your engine off due to fuel starvation just when you need it the most. Then you have to head to the engine compartment and try to replace the clogged filter while the boat is pitching violently in rough seas. Not a good option and not necessary if you can prevent it. So this system is one of prevention. I also added a vacuum gauge to the filter so we will know when the filter is becoming clogged and change it before there is a problem.
So Mary Rose is in fact receiving Dialysis treatments

8.20.2008

Fay Update

All is well! The storm turned northeast well south of us and we had very little rain and winds never topped 30 mph. It was a good exercise and gives us a good idea of how much time is required to secure our vessel for a storm up to a category II hurricane. Keeping a watchful eye on Fay as she could head back out to the Gulf of Mexico after crossing the northern part of Florida from east to west.

Watch for updates!

8.19.2008

Tropical Storm Fay - Prepare, Wait and Watch



We have had several calls regarding Tropical Storm (TS) Fay. We are well and the main storm will pass well to the east of us. TS Fay will be a wind and rain event for us. We prepared Mary Rose for Category I hurricane force winds but it looks like the sustained winds will be well below those levels. Here is an abbreviated list of tasks performed as we prepared.

1. Remove stay sail and store below to reduce windage.
2. Securely wrap head sail and secure sheets.
3. Remove sunshade canvass to reduce windage.
4. Add extra dock lines in a "spider web" fashion to reduce and absorb shock from wind gusts.
5. Remove extra project tools and supplies from Marry Rose to prevent damage from them being tossed to the cabin sole.
6. Cover and duct tape air conditioner in forward hatch to help keep blowing rain out.
7. Place extra bumpers on dockside of Mary Rose to prevent damage should dock lines stretch and allow her to rub the dock.
8. Dog all hatches and port lights tightly to prevent water penetration.


This covers most of the major tasks as we prepared for this tropical storm.

There is a noticeable difference in tropical storm winds and winds of the same speed and direction from our regular weather system. Tropical storm winds seem heavier. They are moisture laden and they are sustained. Normal system wind velocity is more widely varied and tend to oscillate directionally. Tropical storm winds do have gusts but they do not dip to lower velocity levels. They are sustained and they slowly clock directionally from right to left when the eye of the storm are to the east.

Mary Rose is rocking pretty good right now and we are seeing sustained winds in the 15-20 mph range with gusts of 30-35. Certainly we have had much more severe wind conditions with passing squalls but these conditions will continue to increase over the next several hours and then slowly dissipate to normal conditions over the next 24-36 hours. Fay has slowed down considerably and will soon deposit several inches of rain. We are glad that we installed a new primary bilge pump and also a high output secondary bilge pump. These two pumps give us an output capacity of close to 5,000 gallons per hour. We also have a manual bilge pump in the event there is a 12 volt DC power failure. Both 12 volt DC pumps have visual and audible alarms which will give us an early indication if the water tight integrity of the boat is compromised in any way.

The most intense impact from this storm is on the east coast of Florida. The Admiral and I are very familiar with the east coast locations that are being reported on as we sailed the entire length of the east coast of Florida just 8 months ago. The Weather Channel is reporting from Lake Worth, Florida. We remember Lake Worth as it was perhaps the most beautiful and peaceful anchorage on our east coast trip. You would never get that impression from the images that the Weather Channel is showing.

The power of mother earth is remarkable and it is an awesome experience to witness the phenomena safely.

So check back for TS Fay updates as we Sit, Wait, and Watch. Just as the birds are doing in the photo.

8.05.2008

My Hero...






Hello to all! The Capt and I were fortunate enough to have a few days off this past week-end. I'm sure no one will have a hard time figuring out what we did with our rare but very appreciated free time... WE WENT SAILING!! YEAH BABY!




We had a great 3 day sail down the coast of FL. A quick over view of our trip to follow in the next couple of posts:




Day One... Plan was to awaken early and get out of St Pete as quickly as possible so we could make our way to Punta Gorda in our guesstimate time of 13-14 hours. Well.... first we over slept..which may or may not have been planned :) We then had a leisurely breakfast and showers to find that we under estimated the amount of time it would take us to prepare Mary for the journey. We have learned.. slowly but surely how important it is to buckle down the hatches prior to sailing off. Capt. Don prepared the top side which included giving the deck a good swab down, securing any loose objects and removing the air conditioning. My job as Admiral..was to secure all items below deck. Clean the galley and prepare GPS for our adventure. Finally after 3 1/2 hours we are ready to shove off... so much for our early morning departure.


We were motoring out in the bay for just a short time when the engine alarm started to sound. Now since these alarms are new to us we are not accustom to the sounds of these alarms yet. We both hear the alarm... the Capt looks at me and yells, "turn down the squelch!" Ohhh OK! At last he realizes that was a big oops. With a bit of fine tuning to the alarm settings all was well and off we went again.


The day was beautiful..sunny, 88 degrees, fresh squid on ice for fishing and a nice 15-20 mph breeze. Ahh life is good!


Then at approx 1030am dark ominous clouds began building behind us. After careful observation we came to the conclusion they were moving away from us. Whewww! A short time later prior to crossing beneath the Sunshine Bridge we noted another set of building dark clouds ahead of us. It was obvious that our luck was about to run out. Within minutes the clouds formed into a black wall that engulfed the bridge. Now for those of you who have seen the Sunshine Bridge.. engulfing it is not a minor task. Visibility dropped to zero.. and here we were in the middle of a large shipping lane!! Mighty frightening not being able to see what is in front of you and hearing the reduced visibility horns on huge shipping freighters! Like a scene out a Steven Spielberg movie! Capt Don found his way to an area northeast of the Sunshine Bridge via out trusty GPS. This area is reserved for anchorage for ships carrying explosives. Luckily there were no ships at anchor... Huge fine for entering this area when there are ships at anchor. This area provided us refuge from the fast approaching storm. It provided an area large enough to circle in with adequate depths and a clear magenta line. As Capt Don guides Mary in graceful circles I head down below to verify that everything is buckled down .. I say a quick prayer, then assume my duties standing in the companion way to man the GPS. The wind began to increase in strength... 25 mph .. 30 mph..40 mph... Mary began to heel over slightly and continued to playfully dance through the choppy water... Yeah.. this is fun huh??!! Then the rain began... just a drizzle in the beginning, then a sprinkle, turning into a steady down pour.. at last ending with a gushing down pour as well as 50 mph winds that turned the rain into what felt like shot gun pellets beating the poor Capt into shreds! Times like this make me thankful to be but a mere Admiral. The winds topped out at 54 mph.. with approximately 3 inches of rain. Woohooo that was an experience... good experience, a challenging experience, a scary experience.. but all the same an experience that we will need to be comfortable in before we set off on our long distant sailing adventure. Mary handled very well in these gale forced winds.. she stood tall, maintained her integrity as she danced through the water. She eliminated any doubts in my mind if we would be safe sailing the high seas with her. The Capt as well stood strong showed no fear and made secure, unwavering decisions. I am blessed to have him as my Captain and instructor~~he is truly my hero.
The rest of the day was without incident... we sailed south till we came to Anna Marie Island. Here we dropped anchor and spent a beautiful evening relaxing and watching the sunset.. closing yet another day.
This anchorage is special to us.. this was our last anchorage during our original move from Amelia Island. That nite was a bitter sweet nite.. we knew the next day we would reach our final destination and Mary would be tied to a dock as we began the restoration process.. it was the end of our journey. This time was different... it symbolized the beginning of new journey... soon Mary will be free as we sail across the deep blue in search of whatever adventures will come our way.
The day closes peacefully... another marble out of the jar.. a new memory in our hearts.
Peace to all!