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Lemons Way
The continuing adventures of a cruising sailor/family lawyer, his wife (also a lawyer), and their young children.
The Nav Station
Keith, late - October, 2007
10/18/2007, Oriental, NC

Looks like a mini navy war ship... a very small one. Unfortunately, most civilians no longer use those type of screens with the green and black. It's an adequate back-up GPS because it has an external receiver and it includes a rudimentary world map and it plots the boat's GPS coordinates on that map, but there are much better modern plotters, depth finders, and radar systems available these days. Do I need them... no. Not at this time. So for now I will keep things as they are. But when I cross oceans in this machine, it would be useful to upgrade. Nevertheless, I won't stop watching the actual navigation aids when possible.

The Other Boat Anchored Next To Me On The ICW
Keith - mid-October, 2007
10/17/2007, Somewhere in North Carolina

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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.

 

 
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