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Monday, August 31, 2015

SUMMER MUSINGS

After a long absence from the Blog, I venture back into the abyss.  I continue to consider creating another blog with our new passion, Sailing.  I say sailing meaning to sail our trawler in hopes of new adventures.  We continue to market our motorhome and plan to relocate to Lake Barkley (Cumberland River) for our land based location.  

As might be expected when sailing a 30 year old boat, maintenance and repairs are an important part of the year.  While our Albin trawler remains in good condition, sometimes things just break. We seem to be pretty good at breaking things.  While I am not accomplished in boat repair I am attempting to learn the routine maintenance.  This does require repeated attempts to bend this old body like a your midget to rear certain bolts, valves etc.  There have been occasion where I had the thought that my heirs might find my body in the bilge wedged between a manifold and batteries.  Maybe a safety harness would help extract the body?  

One of your major repairs this year is the windlass.  That's right the wince that launches and retrieves the anchor. Having destroyed the original windlass, we searched world wide for a replacement. This came from a tip on Trawlers for Trawlering email string and has lead us to the solution.  We have been retrieving the anchor by hand, legs, back and will.  This can bring you to a challenge.

I left this post some time ago.  Now I am preparing for the great exploration South to the Florida panhandle.  So I will end this post in hopes of continuing to greater waters and more quality posts.

Captain Barry



 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

VACATION LESSONS LEARNED

During this vacation on an island, Manasota Key, Florida certain realities have presented themselves.  YUCK.  While I think of myself as a realist I enjoy the wandering imagination fostered by my dear mother.  Reading those wonderful mysteries as a boy continues to bring me much joy.  I find that while on this island, each visit, I imagine writing stories, books and hoping for that allusive moment when I am propelled along with my imagination.  I have been guilty of being "full of shit" and I am starting to enjoy that handle.

Above is the Lock & Key Bar
Scene of UK Victory
 
Some of the changes I noticed on this island trip do not have anything to do with the island but with my experience here on this latest visit.  We have ventured to Manasota Key for about 10 visits over the years, with and without children in tow.  While walking the beach today I began listing some changes;

10 years ago:                                                     Today: 
 towels, flip flops, kid stuff                                  umbrella,beer,chairs, bag,sunscreen
 three boys                                                         beach bag, cell phone

running on beach, splashing                              sitting in chairs under umbrella, beer, doing 
water, fishing till dark                                          beach shuffle(shell hunting)

digging for sand fleas, falling off                          cereal, coffee breakfast, work on laptop, 
skimeboards, fishing till dark,                              quiet walk on beach, miss our dogs,
eating anything.

Well you might get the idea.  Age does seem to change the island routine.  Not really a bad thing just a realization of mine on this island visit. 

I do seem to give the island time more appreciation.  During my earlier life the work load was so great it took a week to relax.  Now that my schedule is more sedate, I enjoy each day here without the dread of returning to a grind. 


View from the beach our first evening.  We do expect this all week. Beats snow and 0 degrees recently experienced in Kentucky.

We are staying in new digs for us. We typically rent a condo for the stay but during the high season rentals are limited.  However, we lucked into this duplex cottage and have a great and private beach access.  More than enough room for a couple and within walking distance of many island activities. 


Well our arduous activities with continue tomorrow. Quietly enjoying the island life prior to sailing aboard 0 Regrets. We have scoped out a local marina for our visit aboard and plan a stay here in coming years. 

Happy sailing,

Adm. Denise, Capt Barry, Deckhands Bailey and Bella

                                                                                                                                                

Sunday, March 8, 2015

SPRING UPDATE



In a previous post I outlined the Galley Refit.  Well due to the lovely weather we have experience along the shores of Lake Barkley, things have slowed.  However, progress has been made and the project continues.  I say this at the risk that parts of the
project have changed. 

A pleasant view during the Summer Season 
Snowy and COLD view during February 2014.  Enough Said!  Let's hope this is gone and Spring has arrived.

The original plan called for removal of the existing countertop and construction of the hard surface top.  However, after several consultations(in KY that is talks) with 2 contractors, the risk of damage to the existing cabinet(teak) has altered my plan. I made the executive decision to keep the existing countertop and cook top range. This will not result in damaging the cabinets. 
I have removed the existing appliances, microwave and old ice maker.  In this effort I did discover two (2) 110 volt plugs behind the microwave which was for the ice maker and microwave.  It is good to know these can be available for later uses.  This effort created a large amount of storage space which we badly need.  Long range cruises require dry good storage and most trawlers of our vintage, 1985, lack such space. 

The revised plan with a little modification, to install louvre cabinet doors with possibly an additional shelf in the larger cabinet.  This does require some modification of the opening but my limited skills can complete this requirement. As previously written, the new microwave will be installed in a box toward the bow.

Spring Cruise Plan:
As has become the custom in recent Springs, I will be "the Captain" of a cruise with good friends.  Spring break for my friends is 2nd week of April and we typically cruise up river the Tennessee River.  This Spring my crew will join me at Clifton, TN for cruising "new" water. It is a journey of spring break out, seeing teenage boys change to young men and keeps the Captain fresh.  

The purpose of the "new" water sail plan is to introduce the crew to the wonders of transiting a Corp. of Engineer's Lock. We will lock up the Pickwick Dam to Pickwick Lake and later transit the Wilson Lock, a 93 ft. lift to Wilson Lake. This lock is the highest lift East of the Mississippi River.    As much travel occurs on the Tennessee River, very few people get to experience locking through a dam .

The journey will take most of 2 weeks and is never long enough. We continue to make plans for sailing South to Florida and beyond and prepare 0 Regrets for the journey.  Better come along with us to enjoy the adventure. 

Happy Sailing,

Adm. Denise, Capt Barry, Deckhands Bailey and Bella  


Sunday, January 25, 2015

HARD TO BE A DOG!

As I sit by the fire on this wet and cold winter day, surrounded by our two best friends, Bailey and Bella, I realized, it is hard to be a dog. 

Today offered some examples. 
1. Potty time.  Now today it is wet, cold and just plain yucky. But the girls must venture forth at 7 am for potty time.  Now, I know this does require some smell time but give me a break!  Would you want to walk outside barefooted at 7 am to potty? 

2. Breakfast time:  Now the girls do not have to cook, but cold, dry food in a bowl?  No warm oatmeal here.  No bacon and eggs(unless we feed them during brunch).

3. Medicine time:  Now I have to consume a number of pills daily due to my increasing age(medicare you know).  But Bailey and Bella have to endure some real embarrassment when visiting the Vet.  You know like the temperature taking experience. I used to see a Vet for my medical care but learned the thermometers taste funny!  Even a grooming requires some expression of glands, akin to the prostate exam men endure. How unlady like.  Consuming the pills does required some tasty cheese. 

4. Car Travel: Now we all use our seat belts, right?  Well our girls just have to hack it.  I mean I know they make some new fangled seat belts for dogs but sometimes they just risk it. Sitting up in front, no car seat here, Bailey likes the view.  Bella loves to hang out the window but little one could go flying.  Hitting the brakes typically sends occupants, Bailey and Bella into the dash or back seats, but they only lost two teeth last year.  Now they go "barfff barfff!  What a cute lisp.

5. Sleep:  Now all dogs are expert at napping. But what could we expect.  We require them to sleep on the floor, mats, beds, boat decks, couches, chairs etc.  No temperpedic for this rough crowd.  Then after a rough night on the floor, who could blame them for lounging most of the day on the couch.  Hell, most of us wish we could accomplish the same.  Well, I do have some noon day naps. 

6. Food:  Now that is a treat!  Not really.  Dogs just have to eat what they are provided or what they can kill.  Now, Bailey will eat an anvil if nothing else is available.  Bella on the other paw, is a bit picky.  But dry food in a bowl on the kitchen floor is not your haute cuisine.  Treats are special, but dispensed after a good potty break(rain, snow, wind and hail).  So, the next time you feed your best friend, think of their trials at the table. 

Well enough about a dog's life for the time being. I need to potty, eat a snack, take a nap and find my medication for this evening.  After all, I am the "Captain".


All aboard 0 Regrets with
Adm, Denise, Capt. Barry and deck hands Bailey and Bella 


 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

WINTER BOAT PROJECTS


While lounging around the lake home, watching the wind and sun play on the Cumberland River, one begins to fantasize about the coming cruising season.  My failure is cruising through web sites for boat refitting.  You know, those with unlimited funds to refit the true Yacht.  However, I have been known to steal a few ideas along the way. 

Small projects involve some teak repair and refinish.  Like scratch and patch areas damaged during cruising and locking up or down to areas along the river.  This type of repair has been well displayed on these pages and need no further explanation.  However, while experiencing a cold winter my feeble mind plays tricks.  I think I am capable of a larger project.  Ta Da!  The galley refit!

The picture above is our current galley counter top. Not in bad shape but original to the boat, 30 years ago.  We plan to replace with a solid surface, similar to stone.  We will keep the teak cabinets, of course. 

 
We will remove the microwave. The cooktop is above the microwave but will also be replaced. The old ice maker will hit the drink in order to create more food storage space.  We plan to replace the open cabinets with stained doors to complete the look.
 
 
The current debate is a 2 burner, electric cook top or induction hobs which can be stored when not in use. I think the maker of the new counter top will be the deciding opinion.  The microwave/convection unit will be moved to a wood box near the end of the cabinet.  This is shown above.  Yes I stole the idea. Shoot me.  Again, this opens more storage space for the galley.  We do like to eat. 
 
 The galley refit will include: DEMOLITION
1). Remove old counter top
2). Remove damage teak veneer under windows
3). Remove old microwave
4). Remove old ice maker
5). Remove 2 burner cook top

Refit:
1). Install new hard surface counter top
2). Add shelving under counter after microwave removal
3). Construct box for microwave/convention oven storage
4). Stain and Install new louvered doors on cabinet

OK, that is a summary of the galley refit, as planned. Of course plans may change.  The project is always subject to finances and the whims of Admiral Denise.  Stay tuned.

Happy Sailing,
Capt Barry, Adm. Denise and deckhands Bailey and Bella





Sunday, December 28, 2014

REFLECTIONS ON 2014


I have relented and decided to reflect on 2014.  Not an important or especially unique task but seems I have some "reflections".



I really do not remember the beginning of 2014, I think I was reasonably sober but maybe just bored.  My first thought about 2014 is really a after thought about 2013.


It seems I wished and planned to begin our Great Loop Cruising in October 2013.  Now, this was a wish more than a plan but I wanted it to become a reality.  Alas, this did not happen and I resolved myself to wait ANOTHER year for this journey to begin.  You see, I have somewhat of a fatalistic nature and just know that I have an opportunity to have my last adventure and I also see the opportunity for it to disappear.  Hopes have arisen and let us hope it is not just hope.


Now about 2014.  I realized I wanted to slow down my workload in order to spend more time afloat and enjoying 0 Regrets.  Well this did happen by default. It seems I do not like assignments from AMC'S(appraisal management companies) in that they try to run your life.  NOT!  My schedule is set by my Administrative Assistant, Bailey(4 legged dog) and myself.  Well, I fired at least two AMC's this 2014 and feel better about that.  So, my professional life seems good and in control.  If it becomes uncontrolled, that would be my fault.  

Cruising began with my good friend Joe Collins and his son Noah. Another young sailor joined use but I do not remember his name.  Must not have made a good impression.  This has become an annual spring break cruise and is looked forward to all year. 2014 found us anchoring and enjoying a good storm with a tornado passing nearby.  No harm to us or 0 Regrets, just a bit of fun. The cruise was a bit short due to schedules (their's not mine) but fun was the order of the day. The Captain had ordained that mood when the lines were loosed that first morning. We do plan another cruise in 2015 seeing new water for the crew. We shall see.

Denise and I planned several cruises during the 2014 sailing season. We enjoyed many evenings anchored along the shores of Kentucky Lake and Tennessee River. We first cruised up the Cumberland River with Clarksville, TN as our destination. This was a bit of a test in that I wanted to cruise to the headwaters of the Cumberland in 2014.  But, after this test we found the Cumberland River a bit boring with little to see or enjoy in the few harbors.  We did enjoy the cruise to Clarksville and the new marina but just could not get excited about cruising further.  We may change our minds in the future as our waters become a bit more familiar and repetitive.

2014 found us enjoying our "new" lake home for the first full year. The transformation of condo 4B was complete and now we could enjoy the fruits of our labors and $$$.  With this wonderful view of the Cumberland River (Lake Barkley) you just never know what will cruise by.
Truck,barge,boat
Belle Riverboat

River Cruise Ship
The above are floating "things" as seen along the river. The Belle and River Cruiser passed our lovely lake condo. Cruising the Tennessee River brings more adventure and "sights".
Lovely Wooden Yacht
65 Ft. Yacht Grand Harbor
Nina and Pinta sailing KY Lake

Nina & Pinta Captains





















 
The above are just a few of the sailing vessels we encountered along our way this season. The boats are as endless as are the characters we met along the way.  The exciting part of cruising are the characters we meet along the rivers. They vary from the minimalist persons to the yacht captains.
Daughter Rebecca Cruising
Clifton Marina Crew
Man on right paddling kayak to Knoxville, TN
Gene in rear is marina owner


Tommy is a local cruising buddy and Bella is the trusty companion. Doc is a great cruising friend except he flirts with Denise.  Well he is an old guy. 



 
Doc & Denise Dancing

Tommy & Bella





Lloyd and Bella

Lloyd is a good cruising companion even if he is a lawyer. Bella only bit him twice.  She chases ambulances for him.

Well we have more characters met along the way but they will be included in an additional post. Needless to say, we had a good cruising year with much help from our deckhands(Bailey and Bella) and sailors along the way.

Happy Sailing to all in 2014.

Capt. Barry
Adm. Denise
Deckhands Bailey and Bella

 






Sunday, December 21, 2014

NOT A VICTIM

NOW THIS IS A VICTIM!

This old, white guy is not a victim.  It has occurred to me in recent years that some of our brethren feel all of us are victims of something or someone. Now if we are playing house and you want to tie me you up, then voluntary victimization can be a reality.  Just don't tie the knots real tight! 

But in everyday life I think we encounter very few "victims".  As defined by Webster;
  a person who has been attacked, injured, robbed, or killed by someone else
: a person who is cheated or fooled by someone else
: someone or something that is harmed by an unpleasant event (such as an illness or accident)
 
As an opinionated, non-victim, I disagree with some other definitions found in Webster, but that is my liberty.  Of course, many people fit the above definition and I would submit many of these "events" cannot be avoided. Now if you are a victim in that your spouse "cheated", I cannot agree.  Sure it may hurt but you can control many aspects of that condition.  Just get over it. 
 
I started this essay(I like that word) having found this "victim" stuff rolling around in the orb on my shoulders.  Not that may really care about my opinion.  Hey, maybe I am a victim.  Maybe being ignored or having your opinion ignored creates a victim.  WOW, we can all qualify.  There we are, back to the definition.
 
How about the "working poor"?  Some would call them victims, maybe of our society.  Hummm, that does not compute with my calculator.  Have we not always had "working poor".  I think we used to call them struggling.  Nothing wrong with a struggle, it can make you strong and pull you up.  Many parents have help more than one job while educating their children, putting food on a table and retaining the dignity of work and the struggle.  They do not and did not feel they were victims.  I would put forward we have the "poor" who receive their government determined benefits but remain a contributing citizen and work.  That does not, in my un-humble opinion, make them a victim.  I doubt they truly feel like a victim.
 
Now, warning here, there will be more to this topic.  It remains my belief that my readers can only take so much ranting.  I will always accept your opinions to my essays, just post them here for all to read.  I promise not to feel like a VICTIM!
 
As always, 
Barry