Monday, July 16, 2018

Round Two

Round two begins!

July 15 we made the trek from our home dock to Jennings Boat Yard. A simply beautiful afternoon to cruise over and make preparations for the upcoming work to be done.

It is bittersweet. I miss the YellowBird at our home dock and I already miss the impromptu evening and morning jaunts, but I am looking forward to completing the work so she is sound.

Monday, May 14, 2018

May Flowers

After weeks of rain, flowers are blooming, the sun is shining and the sea beckons. Just in time for Mother's Day weekend.

My great-grandmother's rose bush blooms easy year on Mother's Day. Amazing.
May 11

Friday after work, we raced home to enjoy the beautiful evening on the water. Cruising around and enjoying drinks, snacks and music.

It was one of those perfect evenings where the universe was aligned in harmony. Shawn and I found a spot and just drifted as we danced on our flybridge and enjoyed the beautiful evening.

On our way to the home dock, we happened upon a fellow MTOA member anchored for the evening in one of the coves near our house. We love the instant friendliness of the MTOA!

We stopped by to see  our friends Wendy and Ian in Prentice Creek on our way home. Wendy takes great pics!

Saturday morning was dedicated to the radar mast. Shawn had Atlantic Metal construct an aluminum mast to his specifications to hold the radar antenna. Shawn's ability to envision EXACTLY what we need amazes me.

So we spray painted the mast and Shawn then determined the exact measurements of the holes to drill for both mounting the antenna to the mast as well as mounting the entire apparatus to our YellowBird.

I wish I had video of trying to stabilize the mast while Shawn was drilling the holes. I have to admit there was a moment when the mast completely fell off the sawhorse.
However, we got it painted and everything drilled in the morning, so we took off a few hours to enjoy the sun and sand!

Upon returning home late afternoon, we looked at each other and said "we have a few hours of daylight left! Let's mount the radar!" So we attached the radar to the mast. Then we mounted the entire apparatus onto the YellowBird. The pictures sure do make it look easier than it was. There were a few moments when Shawn was on the flybridge railing and I was holding the mast so that it could be aligned properly. I was petrified he was going to splatter onto the dock! But we got it in place and it looks amazing!

Now we have radar. While some may feel it is not a necessity, it sure does make the Captain feel more secure about navigation at night and in the rainy, foggy conditions that can arise. 

Sunday morning

Mother's Day. We went for a short boat ride Sunday morning to check out our handiwork. Another successful project by Team Shawn and Liz. 

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Spring has sprung!

What a long winter it has been! I have been ready for warm weather since the end of January! I think....I hope,,,,that spring has finally sprung here!

Our Yellowbird has been patiently awaiting for outings and so have I! Maybe not as patiently as she has!

Shawn has done quite a bit of work here and there on the YB so that she is ready to go! The bimini is back on which makes her look so pretty!

With warmer weather FINALLY here...we set off on our inaugural 2018 boating season with lots of excitement.  On Friday the 13TH! What a lucky day for us!

 We were BOTH happy and excited to be heading out! One of us does not like photos!

We headed over to our favorite Friday evening spot. This is my 4th spring/summer here in the Northern Neck and even in that short of a time, I notice that the beach is different each year as the storms and tides change it. Shawn says there have been years when the beach was not there at all! 

At some point I am going to lose my little "table" when we mount the TV antenna higher up, but for now I am taking advantage of it!

 I tried (unsuccessfully) to attach the MTOA burgee, so Shawn fixed it for us! I love the way it flutters in the wind!

A perfect evening with warm weather, clear skies and a light breeze as we puttered up the creek. I think the YellowBird is ready for some overnight cruises! As so are we! Just as soon as the weather is consistent!

Our inaugural outing of the 2018 season. More to come....

Monday, March 19, 2018

Winter Work 2018

I have come to the conclusion that owning a boat and working on a boat together intensifies a relationship. Both the good aspects and the negative aspects of a relationship seem to be magnified in a boat partnership. Or perhaps it is just our boat partnership. We work extremely well together and are so completely congruous on many things. And diametrically opposed as well.

I am the happy-go-lucky grab life with both hands kind of person and Shawn is much more reserved when it comes to new experiences. We both enjoy working and accomplishing tasks but many times it is with a different goal in mind. I like to finish a task and when the task is complete, go out and grab an experience and enjoy it. Shawn likes to complete a task and then begin the next task and the next and the next. While I am very task-oriented and a hard worker, I have to have down time to recharge my batteries so to speak. I am really hoping that we blend work with fun this boating season. Relationships are the most important to me and I love spending time with friends and family. I also need to experience a variety of activities; I am not a one dimensional person.

Our original plan was to use the winter time to make some road trips to warmer climates over long weekends to explore them together but we did not. I have a list of places and the list gets longer every year! *sigh*

Shawn completed several improvement projects, both large and small. The benefit of being a task-focused personality!  One of his many talents is his ability to analyze the physical space and visualize the possibilities.

Electrical Work

I wanted an inverter for the microwave and coffee pot. We had house batteries in the front of the engine compartment and the start battery was aft.

original configuration
Shawn added the inverter and moved the house bank all behind the engine where there was unused space. He built a panel to hold the remote battery switches for the engine and inverter plus an automatic charging relay for charging of the house bank.

new switch panel

reconfigured battery storage

inverter and batteries

source selector

Shawn put an AC source selector (shore power or inverter) switch beside the AC panel and also the remote on/off switch for the inverter and inverter power.

He changed the AC panel so that anything run on the inverter has green indicator lights and anything not on the inverter has amber indicator lights to help ME visually identify which power source to use.

AC panel
Galley Work

As I mentioned, one of Shawn's talents is his ability to analyze, envision and mentally reconfigure the storage space. From the beginning of our acquisition of the YellowBird, he has poked around and noticed many areas that could be better utilized for storage (the stairs leading to the galley are the best example thus far).

In the galley, Shawn noticedwasted space outboard of the refrigerator that could be used for the air conditioning unit, so Shawn removed the refrigerator and cut out the bulkhead.

bulkhead removal

Then he installed shelf for AC unit. This was a multi-step process since he had to actually fiberglass as well as build the shelf.

Once the shelf was complete, he then installed the AC unit. A great fit and a much better utilization of the "dead" space.
AC unit

AC unit

Shawn next turned his attention to the refrigerator space. Our "new" refrigerator is 6 inches shorter than the original one we removed. Shawn decided to install a shelf for new refrigerator in order to have storage space below in the now available 6 inches of space.

refrigerator space

shelf for refrigerator

newly installed refrigerator

Our next improvement in the galley will be the stove area. We removed the electrical stove with the intent of adding a gas stove top and storage space. We determined that between the microwave and the stove top and a yet to be acquired grill, we will be able to cook what we need AND use the space where the oven was for more storage.

I admit that I am frustrated and impatient. I was so looking forward to cruising this spring and summer and now it is going to be Spring 2020 before we are able to cruise. I want to go on short weekend cruises and longer week cruises to see if we like it BEFORE we make more of a time and money investment. I did not realize that to even go out for a weekend overnight, a boat needs everything it will need for long-term cruising. I want my friends and family to be able to go out on the boat with us and have FUN! And it keeps getting further and further away as the list of what is needed appears to get longer and longer!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Winter Wonderland

Christmas Time!

My favorite time of winter. I am for sure a "summer girl" because I love the sun, sand and waves the best. I must admit, however, that I do love the sights and sounds of the winter holiday season. I love the songs, I love the crisp feel of the air, I love the outpouring of love and affection from friends, family and even strangers! As the song says "greeting smile after smile..."!

Shawn and I took a hiatus from fishing to ready our home for our family for the holidays! While this blog is about our boating adventures, we actually do put forth the same energy and intensity to our "land life"!

To prepare for the family Christmas dinner and for overnight guests, we (mostly me, Liz) mudded, taped and painted several rooms in the house. Then we began our food preparations for what as truly going to be a feast: crab balls, bacon-wrapped oysters, rockfish dip, prime rib, salad, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, rolls and cranberry-cherry pie for dessert. We waited too long to go to the Christmas Tree farm, so we found the perfect tree in the woods!

Decorated, the tree looks beautiful!

Four of our five children were with us for our holiday dinner which made us so very content. All of them travelled to be with us, and we were very grateful to them for their willingness to do so.

We decorated the wood stove for the season.

Of course, we had our Christmas Day cruise!

I knew, of course, that working on the boat is a continual process and we did our share of boat work as well.

Shawn and I winterized our girl. We pickled the fresh water system with nontoxic antifreeze and changed the oil as part of the beginning of the winterization of the YellowBird.

Then we (Shawn, mainly) ensured we had wood for the wood stove in the house before the Big Freeze came in January. He also put an ice-eater at the dock.

Just in time before the Big Snow!

In the first few days of January, we had a big freeze and lots of snow (for our region).

Our creek froze SOLID! We were able to walk across it and almost out to the mouth of it.

The ice eater did a good job of keeping the water nearest the dock moving (somewhat).

I was able to ice-skate! One of my favorite pastimes.

We were worried about the YellowBird because of the combination of low tides and freezing, but even though she looks VERY cold, she "weathered" the big freeze just fine! Now we are awaiting Spring!