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Posted by on Thursday, November 15, 2018 in Boat Projects, Florida, YouTube Videos | 0 comments

Repairing the Water Tank Lid

In this post, Ben repairs the water tank lid on the Sandflea. This post links to 3 different episodes for this build. He does a fantastic job on our new lid. He also moves the filling port to the end so I don’t have to sleep on the pipe anymore! Yay! I do have a great hubby don’t I?!

Watch episode 79 here!

In this episode, I (Ben) repair the water tank aboard our Endeavour sailboat. After hurricane Irma, I noticed flakes of weird stuff are floating in our drinking water.

SOLUTION: Reseal the inside of our water tank with epoxy.

Simple, right? BwAHHahhAhahAhahAHHAAA!!!! Never.

It just doesn’t happen like that with boat projects. It’s way more interesting when the water tank lid won’t come off because it was installed with 3M 5200. That way you have to completely destroy the lid in order to access the water tank.

YIPPEEE!!!

Once you finally gain access to the tank’s interior, it’s covered in weird brown stuff that requires hours of laborious sanding to remove.

WHAHOOO!!!

It sure does feel good though once the work is done and the tank is freshly resealed in 2 coats of food-grade epoxy.

JOB DONE!!!

Oh… no not quite… now you’ve got to fabricate an entire new lid cuz you wrecked the original one, REMEMBER!??!

The fun never ends… not even when my exposed, sweat-drenched skin is covered in grayish-brownish water tank dust which gives my epidermis an unnatural tone that is reminiscent of a near-dead ET that Elliot just found in the river.

Watch episode 80 here!

In this episode, I’ll construct a brand new water tank lid for our Endeavour 32 sailboat. The old was tragically destroyed, by me, with a saw, while gaining access to the interior of the water tank.

The old lid was rotten anyways, so it’s not really as tragic as it sounds.

It’s my intent is for this new lid to be MUCH better than the original one. It will not only be stronger, but it will also be completely sealed from water intrusion so that rot will never be an issue again.

By the way, I know it’s hard to tell in the video, but this project took me nearly a full week of work to complete. Wow! I thought I’d be done with this lid in a couple days… nope. Silly me. Boat projects just don’t work like that, and when you forget that fact, the boat will remind you how it really works.

Watch episode 81 here!

Our Endeavour 32 sailboat gets a new water tank lid to replace the rotten one that was contaminating our drinking water.

This project, like all boat projects, took far longer than I thought it would.

In the end though, I think the results are worth the extra time that it took to construct the custom lid, and to ensure that it is installed properly.

Now, the big boat project on the list is the replacement of our standing rigging.

Oooooh boy.

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Posted by on Thursday, November 15, 2018 in Boat Projects, Florida, YouTube Videos | 0 comments

Hurricane Irma: Before and After

Watch episode 76 here!

In this post, we make storm preparations to our boat for the impending arrival of hurricane IRMA.

Yes, for the 10 days prior to this somewhat spontaneous trip, we watched the weather reports very closely indeed. We saw the birth of this monster storm off the West Coast of Africa. We saw it devastate the windward islands, the DR, Puerto Rico, and skim across the top end of Cuba. The whole time we were hoping that it take a turn to starboard and head back out to sea.

That never happened.

We packed the car and headed to Florida. The whole way down we watched the Northbound traffic rushing in the opposite direction… an unnerving thing to see or sure. 95% of the traffic is headed in the direction opposite of the way you are headed.

We arrive at the boat with specific plans to prep the boat and leave again the very next day. In fact, we bring enough gasoline with us in the car to get us safely back home, round trip – just in case all the gas station are sold out… a preparation that paid off. Most of the gasoline pumps in FL had plastic bags over the handles.

So in less than 48 hours we arrive in Green Cove, prep the boat, and make it back to Toccoa, GA.

Watch episode 77 here!

So, Hurricane Irma damaged our Endeavour 32 sailboat. The storm blew our boat against the dock, breaking the standing rigging.

The wind was so powerful that it healed the boat over nearly 45 degrees towards the dock – so much that the shrouds were touching the dock.

The damage we sustained was a battered port side toe rail, a couple bent stanchions, and a damaged forward/port lower shroud.

In this video I’ll repair the toe rail, and I’ll show you the damage to the standing rigging.

Now, thanks to Irma, I have 2 more rather large projects to on our to-do list. 1) Repair the standing rigging. 2) Reseal the interior of our water tank. (More on that later)

Never dull moment, that’s for sure. The primary take-away from this video should be this… Yes, our beloved boat is damaged, but we’re thankful to still have a boat to work on – damage and all. A lot of people suffered much more than we did.

After all, bruises and scars add character right??

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Posted by on Friday, October 26, 2018 in Boat Projects, Florida, ICW Travel, YouTube Videos | 0 comments

Reynolds Yacht Park in Green Cove Springs, FL

Watch Episode 73 here!

Our sailboat’s new (temporary) home is Reynolds Yacht Park in Green Cove Springs, FL. Nice town, BIG dock.

Yes, the dock we’re tied to is HUGE. It’s made of concrete and is, in fact, a dock that was used by the US Navy during WW2.

Reynolds Marina is pretty nice!. The price is $10/ft per month. That includes dockage, water, bathroom, laundry, and clubhouse access. Electricity is added on top. Easy access to the ICW, and far enough inland to provide pretty decent hurricane protection.

During this video, we get the boat settled in and start prepping for leaving the boat to fend for itself while we head back to GA to visit our family. That means… LOTS of work, believe it or not.

We also procure some wheels for ourselves. 6 wheels to be exact. 2 are on “The Gator”, the other 4 are on the Yaris… AKA… The Land Dinghy.

-Ben

7.13.17 today we left the free dock in Jacksonville at 11:30 to make once daily noon bridge opening. Traveling through Jacksonville by water is so cool. Especially since I have so many memories of traveling through it by car growing up. We went under interstate 95 which I’ve driven/ridden over hundreds of times it feels like. My dad loved looking at the train bridge that you can see from 95.

After a short day, we arrived at the Reynolds Marina and got tied up to the dock. This is our last GPS coordinate for a while!

N 29*59.359 W 81*39.690

We got checked in to the marina and we’ve already met some nice live aboard folks. Someone from down the dock gave us a bike to ride around. We ordered a pizza from Dominoes and got the AC hooked up for the night.

7.14.17 Today we got an UBER and went to a used car dealership to see about getting some wheels. We bought a Toyota Yaris and we named him Aris the Yaris. We went to Walmart and got Molly a booster seat and some other things we needed.

We came back to the boat and had some dinner then took showers! Ben and I watched “The Office” on Netflix.

7.15-16.17 These days are kinda a blur. We took no video. We were just hard at work.  We took down the sails, cleaned the bottom of the dinghy and hoisted it up onto the davits. We cleaned the deck, and did some random boat projects to get ready to go back to Georgia. I also sewed a sheet for our bed in the marina clubhouse while Molly watched cartoons on Youtube.

7.17.18 Today we went to Jacksonville to do some errands. We dropped our sails off at a sail loft to be repaired, looked over, and to have new sun covers made. We also went to Home Depot to get stuff to finish working on the AC unit, back to Walmart, and to West Marine. We also went to Monkey Fist at the Green Cove Springs Marina.

7.18.17 Today Ben made a hood for the AC unit, and we installed the AC unit in the rear hatch. Ben did some random boat projects like emptying out the jerry cans of water, and fuel. He also changed the oil in the dinghy motor.

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Posted by on Monday, August 7, 2017 in Boat Projects, Florida, ICW Travel, Visiting Family, YouTube Videos | 0 comments

VHF Woes, Christmas & Family in Titusville and Melbourne, Florida

Watch Video 29 here!

I thought we were done with boat work! Don’t you remember all the hot, sweaty work we did before departure? What gives?

Well, in this post Ben installs a new portlight, a new VHF antenna, wire, and transceiver unit. Sounds easy. It’s supposed to be easy, but why does boat work take 10 times as long as it should?

Probably not the most exciting stuff, but HEY, this is what it’s like when you live on a boat – particularly an old boat.

We spend time in Titusville with Baila and we visit some family in Melbourne.

In addition to that, we’re getting closer to a jump-off point for the Bahamas. Won’t be long until we’re staging for our first official crossing. Holy cow, that’s hard to believe…

Getting butterflies in my tummy just typing this up.

(watch the video and Ben will show you how to make a jong.)

12.15 Made it to Titusville today. We anchored by the Train bridge because there was a heavy north wind that was making it really choppy near the main anchorage. Baila is here! We finally caught up! N28*38.941 W80*49.007

12.16-19 Moved closer to the marina into the main anchorage today (12.16). We got fuel and water before we anchored. As we were getting fuel, Baila came to the dock on their way to take showers. We saw a lot of manatees too! There was one drinking the fresh water from a hose while there were divers down in the water.

We took showers and did laundry on the second day here.

We also walked to the grocery store twice while we were here. The save-a-lot is a great place to stock up on cans! They are anywhere from $.50-$.60 a piece! We stocked up on like 125 cans, lots of dry goods, and some other things that we needed. I reorganized some of our food storage places and found places for all that extra food we bought.

We hung out with the Baila crew a lot and met a new boat family. Drew, Jessica, and Marleigh (4) on the boat Wild Child. We also went to the marina’s Christmas party. The same day as the party there was a rocket launch. It was pretty cool.

On our last day here (12.19), we walked to get the propane tank refilled and went to a pizza place, Pistilli’s Bistro & Pizzeria, they made the best pizza we’ve ever had! We also took one more shower before we leave tomorrow. We got a lot of boat projects done/started also. Titusville turned out to be a lot better than we were originally thinking.

12.20 We wanted to leave Titusville today but the North wind was just crazy and the water was way too choppy. So we moved over back by the train bridge for the night. Hopefully we can leave here tomorrow.

Getting closer to Melbourne. We have some packages to pick up at Walmart from a wonderful person, and some packages of other things we needed that we had sent to my Aunt and Uncle’s house. We had a really lazy day today. I worked on the closet shelves some more. Fingers hurt! N28*38.949 W80*48.027

12.21 Went to Cocoa today and we stayed on the boat. Ben and I had an Ernest Saves Christmas movie date night. N28*10.480 W80*38.422

12.22 We are on our way to Melbourne today. We passed the rubble that used to be the great dragon of Dragon Point built in 1971. When I was a kid it was always fun to drive past the dragon. It fell apart and into the water a few years ago.

When we got to Melbourne we anchored near Ballard Park and the Eau Gallie Yacht Basin. Great place, but very shallow. We got stuck while trying to find somewhere to anchor, and Ben had me going from one side of the boat to the trying to rock us enough to get us unstuck.

We walked to the Ace Hardware and to the Boathouse Marine Discount store. Aunt Kim, Uncle Phil, and Khora came to eat dinner with us at the park. They brought fried chicken, salad, and Christmas cookies! It was really great to see them. Molly and Khora played on the playground. N28*07.478 W80*37.592

The Dragon Rubble

12.23 This morning we got up and had breakfast, then we went over to the Marina and got our bimini/dodger connecter worked on at the canvas shop. Then Aunt Kim picked us up and took us to Walmart for some groceries and to West Marine for a new VHF cable and antenna. Molly went to Aunt Kims house with her, and Ben and I put all the groceries away. I completely reorganized all of our settee cubbies and put all the food into the starboard side. Ben and I went to shore and took showers and washed a load of laundry. We went to Squid Lips for dinner with some of my family tonight. They gave us a ride back to the Yacht Basin Marina.

 

12.24 Christmas Eve! Today we just hung out on the boat and worked on some boat projects. I’m still working on the stinking closet shelves. Ben is working on the VHF antenna. We tried to attach the new cable to the old one and pull it through the mast, but that did not work. We spent hours trying to figure out how to get the cable through the mast. At the Marina, a nice guy named Jim that lives there, gave me some fresh herbs that he has been growing. We had a yummy dinner of chicken pot pie (I used some basil and lemon thyme from Jim!), then we watched family Christmas movie with Christmas treats. We had Christmas Tree cakes and hot chocolate.

12.25 Christmas Day! Happy Birthday Jesus! This morning we got up, put on some Christmas music, had some cinnamon bagels (instead of the traditional cinnamon rolls that we usually have, no refrigeration=no cinnamon rolls), and opened presents. Molly got me and Ben some sweet presents when she was with my mom and Ben’s mom during their visits. We got Molly some things when we went to the store in St. Simons.

After fun Christmas stuff it was time to get back to work. Ben got the VHF antenna put up on our radar pole. That’s the best place we can put it, since we can’t get it on the top of the mast. It’s better than nothing I guess. Uncle Phil came by to see the boat. We also went over to the Marina and washed another load of laundry. We talked to Jim while we were waiting on our clothes to dry. We took another shower tonight as well. We had yummy tacos tonight (used some of Jim’s cilantro) for dinner. We had a pretty good day. We are leaving tomorrow!

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Posted by on Wednesday, December 28, 2016 in Boat Projects, Living Aboard, Maryland | 0 comments

Mast Climbing and Fun Times!

We’ve officially started making progress South!

So many things to learn along the way. It’s amazing all of the little skills that need to be acquired in order to become competent and safe sailors – but we’re chipping away a bit each day and becoming more and more capable as things progress.

Beautiful sights. Sunrises, sunsets, and everything in between has become beautiful in it’s own unique and individual way. So much life and energy out there on the water.

Watch Video 18 here!

10.9 Today I worked on the blog, and Ben uploaded a video to YouTube with the Casa Rio wifi. We went for a 3 mile (round trip) walk to a little convince store for some things we were getting low on (IE: RAVIOLI). We invited Aras over for dinner tomorrow before we leave on Tuesday.

10.10 Today Molly and I did Homeschool and Ben worked on the next video. He also went up the mast today! He was pretty scared. Molly and I thought it was funny. We had Aras over for dinner tonight to say goodbye and thank you for all his help. We rowed over to the Casa Rio Marina again for showers before we leave tomorrow!

 

10.11 Today, we woke up, had breakfast and got ready to head out. We left the dock around 9:30 and we went south for about 6 hours. We anchored in Hill Point tonight and head out tomorrow morning for Solomans Island. N 38*33.157′ W 76*17.043′

 

10.12 Today we headed out for Solomans Island, where we anchored for the night. We took a dingy ride over to a dingy dock at the hotel and walked to the grocery story, West Marine and had BurgerKing for dinner. N 38*20.317′ W 76*27.583

 

10.13 Tonight we anchored in Glebe Creek. It was a beautiful spot. Beautiful sunrise and sunset. Crossed into Virginia today! N 37*59.536′ W 76*29.005

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Posted by on Wednesday, November 23, 2016 in Boat Projects, Maryland, Moving, YouTube Videos | 3 comments

Moving aboard SV Sandflea!

Watch Video 16 here!

When we got home, we got started right away with all the last minute things that needed to be done. We had two weeks left until we were leaving our little town of Toccoa, Georgia for good (or until we get tired of cruising.)

We ordered every last minute thing that we needed to order from Amazon like flags, portable electronic chargers, water containers, ICW charts, and so much more. Those two weeks were like Christmas everyday! We also went shopping for all of the food we might need for the next month or so. We then took things out of bags and boxes and put them in hard plastic containers, we took the labels off of the cans and wrote the contents on the top.

We organized our stuff into keep, take, and toss piles, packed up everything that we were leaving in a closet at my moms house and then we cleaned the basement. We canceled things we didn’t need anymore and we ported my phone number to Google so that I would still have it when we return and not have to pay for 2 phones when we only need one. Now my phone is only good for Wifi.

 

I also got to work sewing all 6 of the settee cushions, the curtain for Molly’s bed, the curtain for the closet, the pillow cases, the napkins, and the cover for the anchor locker in the v-berth. We also bought a king size blanket, cut it and I sewed the edges to make two blankets, one for each of our beds.

Then, one of the last things we did before we left was have our Sail Away Party. It was so bittersweet. We are so excited to move into the next step of our adventure, but it’s so hard to say goodbye to such good friends and family! We will miss them all so much. We will still be able to keep in touch, but it’s just not the same as being able to see them, and hug them and spend time talking to them face to face.

We left bright and early on Wednesday Sept 28 with our rental truck packed, 95% empty. We drove all the way to Maryland, no overnight stop in Virginia this time. It was a LONG drive.  It also rained through all of Virginia and Maryland.

When we finally got to the boat (still on the hard in the work yard), we started to unload some of our things. It felt so good to be back on our boat. It feels like home already.

Around dinner time, Aras (the nice guy we met on our last day here when we were working on the boat last time we were in Maryland) picked us up in his truck and took us to dinner. He also let us stay the night on his boat, and boy was the wind blowing tonight!! It was so windy and rainy.

 

The next day, we had coffee and breakfast with Aras on his boat, and then he dropped us back off at our boat on his way to work.  We continued to fill it up with our stuff. We decided to wait until tomorrow to put her in the water, since it was still pretty windy and rainy. It rained all day while we were working. We drove the rental truck back to Aras’ boat to stay another night (because our boat was still on the hard and pretty much a MESS!) When we got there, Aras had a great looking dinner of spaghetti and garlic bread prepared for us! It was even more windy and rocky tonight than it was last night!

Friday morning, we woke up and had coffee with Aras and then went back to the boat for more organizing. We also put the boat into the water today! It was a great day! The boat is starting to come together and get organized. We went to dinner again with Aras tonight. Tonight was the FIRST night we slept on our boat!

Next post you will get to see our first few days on board in the water!

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