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Lemons Way
The continuing adventures of a cruising sailor/family lawyer, his wife (also a lawyer), and their young children.
Mile Marker 110 ICW
Keith - mid-October, 2007
10/16/2007, Somewhere in North Carolina

They actually have mile markers every five miles when possible (some areas are not conducive, like 20 mile wide sounds) so you can track your progress. As of this moment, I'm about 170 miles south on the ICW. Only about 800 miles to Key West!

View of the Canal from the Bow Forward
Keith - mid-October, 2007
10/16/2007, Somewhere in North Carolina

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Canal View From the Bow
Keith - mid-October, 2007
10/16/2007, Some Canal in North Carolina

The autopilot has a remote control that lets me go almost to the front of the boat and still maintain some degree of directional control. Canals are straight, but relatively narrow. I can't let the boat drift too close to one side or another because snags of various kinds line the shores.

Another Picture of the Forward Birth
Keith, mid-October, 2007
10/16/2007, Somewhere in North Carolina

This is a closer-in picture of the forward birth. As you can see, Tropical Dreamer needs a nice new down comforter. The existing array of blankets at least keeps me cozy at night.

Forward Birth and Storage Underneath
Keith - mid-October, 2007
10/16/2007, Somewhere in North Carolina

The previous owners replaced the standard padding on the bed with a custom mattress that is extremely comfortable. Thick, firm, they even had custom sheets with anchors on the pillow cases made for the bed. I've slept there every night since the first night and it is nice, even when a chop kicks up outside. Those cabinets below hold shoes and dirty laundry. I replaced one of the light bulbs with a brighter light, but otherwise I haven't changed a thing with the forward birth. That TV is a great little add-on. The boat is equipped with a powered TV receiver so I have tuned into the network channels almost everywhere I've been. I generally resist watching TV while cruising, but sometimes it is perfect to pass the time or reconnect to society.

The Head/Shower
Keith - mid-October, 2007
10/16/2007, Somewhere in North Carolina

Another important part. There's no getting around the fact that the head smells like a head. You get used to it after a few days. All boats smell musty after a while and this one is no different. But after a few days on it, you don't even notice and it seems normal, until you are off for a day, then you notice again when you board. Regardless, I used that little toilet for almost three weeks and it performed pretty well overall. I use fresh water from the sink rather than seawater to flush with and I'm told it keeps in the tank better. I pumped out about once a week. I could have used the overboard discharge, but it is forbidden in inland waters and lakes. This boat has engine-fed hot water and a hot shower is always available with a few minutes of engine and hot water heater. There's also a shower on the stern, which would be great in warm weather. It holds about 80 gallons of water in three tanks, which is more than enough for the coastal cruiser. I'd have to ration if I was at sea for 30 days (about 2.5 gallons per day), but otherwise, water is plentiful to wash with, shower with, or whatever. I drink bottled water just to be extra safe and sure of the water that actually goes into my body.

Tropical Dreamer's Great Sofa Table
Keith, mid-October, 2007
10/16/2007, Somewhere in North Carolina

This is one of the highlights of the Catalina 36 that I don't much take advantage of, being a single-hander. This table can easily seat 7 people and the sofa across from it can seat another two. A major dinner party could be had on this boat. Or, the table can be made into a large bed or lounge area to watch movies or just hang.

From The Forward Berth Looking Back
Keith - mid-October, 2007
10/16/2007, Somewhere in North Carolina

You can see the Nav station, part of the starboard sofa (that turns into a small two seat dinette), and the closed door to the rear cabin also on the starboard side, which I presently use for storage. It could sleep a guest or two comfortably. I usually fall asleep on the sofa there and then stumble into the forward berth at some point in the middle of the night. They are both very comfortable beds. The big table on the port side (you can see the edge of it) also goes down into a large bed, and another guest or two could sleep there. Technically the boat could sleep 7, but it would be crowded. 1 or 2 on this boat is ideal, 3 or 4 probably the max for any length of time. I've been reading about a family from Alaska that is sailing the world with two parents and two grade school kids in an older Catalina 36. They seem quite content. The kids are together in the rear cabin.

Spice Collection
Keith - mid-October, 2007
10/16/2007, Somewhere in North Carolina

Every good sailboat kitchen needs a a good spice collection to make good on-board meals. I picked up that Salsa Huichol at a little Mexican food mart/gas station in Bellhaven, NC. The entire rest of this little town was closed for Sunday. They looked at me like I was completely crazy when I greeted them with buenos tardes, but I got some nice Mexican treats that afternoon, like strawberry wafers, mango juice, and a lime paleta, which I ate while taking a walking tour of the town. I also have a Force 10 stainless propane grill on the stern rail which makes excellent grilled steaks and chicken breasts. It has a ceramic hot place system that catches the drippings and turns them into smoke or gristle so they don't drip onto the boat. When the Force 10 is cooking, the smell of grill on boat is unbeatable.

Interior of Tropical Dreamer
Keith , mid-October, 2007
10/16/2007, Somewhere in North Carolina

The kitchen, the most important part of the boat. From the top clockwise, counter top near companionway steps, cold storage bin under counter (this boat has an excellent cold storage machine that even makes ice or freezes things - it does use a lot of battery power, but it seems to work out when motoring often), cabinets and microwave (works on shore power or when the engine is running with the high output alternator, same with the water heater), a stainless steel propane stove and cook top that can be set to swing back and forth depending on the heel of the boat (great for boiling water underway, which I did pretty much every day), dry pantry located under counter, and two sinks set towards the middle of the boat to reduce the anti-draining effects of large angles of heel. There's a port that opens right above the cook top for light and venting if the companionway planks are in due to rough seas or weather. I've cooked a lot on the boat this trip - in fact, I've probably only eaten out a handful of times. The propane burners are also useful for heating up the cabin temporarily when it gets chilly at anchor.

 

 
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