04/15/2012, Shelburne NS
Ribbet.....Ribbet.....Ribbet! The horny little buggers!
Friday after Barb's visit to the surgeon, which went very well by the way, she is allowed in the gym at the physio clinic and her surgery for the other knee is tentatively booked for November of this year, we were driving home on a warmish evening after dinner at our friends Al and Deb at Marvin's Island in Chester Basin and every time that we passed a swamp or shallow still water, there they were. Ribbet...Ribbet....Ribbet....Peep....Peep...Pribbet.... They sound wonderful and are a sure sign of spring but then you remember that they are wee froggies singing to attract a mate and it becomes much more....mundane...erotic....whatever.
Our new propane tank arrived for the MoHo and we have made an appointment to get it installed this coming week. With the price of gas I don't expect that we'll be traveling too far in it unless something drastic comes up but we might take a holiday and drive down to the campground at Petite Riviere which isn't too far and would be nice for a break. We will definitely be taking her down to Halifax to stay in while we get to work getting Nelleke ready for launch. I am about ready to start to solicit some friends to make the trip from Halifax to Shelburne with me as even by May I don't think that Barb's new knee will be up to clambering on and off the boat over the transom. If I have to do it solo I will. I will just have to pick the right weather window.
Yesterday I went back to Lio Lo's place for another water colour lesson. I'm afraid that I am one of those horrible people that wants to master something at the outset. Whaddya mean, practice!? I don't want no stinkin' practice! But I'm afraid that this, like so many other things, is one that there is nothing for it. I am going to have to just buckle down and work out and on the techniques that she has been showing me. Watching her is very frustrating - she will grab some paint from her and there and sort of swiggle it together and paint it on - perfectly. Sometimes she will even swiggle it on the wet paper and not bother with the palette - seethe----envy----gripe!
|Hiatus on the Hard 2011-?||
04/09/2012, Shelburne NS
Well, here it is, a fine Monday morning and the last day of the long Easter weekend, and a busy weekend it has been for wee Mikey and Barb. It has drawn once again to my attention how fortunate we are to have such excellent friends. We have been very lucky that everywhere we have lived, traveled or cruised we have lucked out by finding kind and generous people who were willing to take us into their circle, even if as cruisers that could only be for a short time. Many of our cruising friends we have been able to maintain contact with either through subsequent cruises or e-mail, or Facebook or in some cases all three. This blog helps them keep in touch with us as for many of them theirs does for us. In other cases we will simple exchange an email or three every once in a while, just to keep abreast of developments.
Here in Shelburne there have been a number of people who have followed suit and here at least, while we remain on the hard, we can see them regularly. Our cruising and YC buddies Pat and Lisa from Noonan Knight were able to come up for the weekend for a two nighter sleep over and it was like old times chatting about events in Halifax and what has been going on. Yours truly assumed the chef de maison duties for Friday and Saturday night with Barb acting as sous chef and we took a couple of drives into the countryside to show them the Shelburne area and to Lockport to take in an Easter Pageant that was directed by our buddy Ian at the Anglican Church in that community.
And then, for the piece de la resistance, on Sunday we took the opportunity to invite many of the folk that had befriended us here in Shelburne over for a Sunday Easter dinner and this time I was the sous chef and Barb got to flex her culinary muscles. Sangria followed by a beet vichyssoise which in turn led to baked ham and roast veggies with grilled asparagus as the main course. Then for desert she lost control completely and prepares baklava, orange flavoured cupcakes and a coconut layer cake. Diners could have their pick or, as I recommended, take some of each. We dined exceptionally well and the only problem was that we now have loads of ham and much desert to get through before it all spoils. If anyone is in the area do drop in and have some. You'll be doing my waistline a big favour.
Oh and we were able to finish the counter tops as you can see from the photo on the post.
|Hiatus on the Hard 2011-?||
04/05/2012, Shelburne NS
I have confirmed the size of our prop shaft at 1.75" and have ordered the take off pulley. The one that I am getting a type that I have never used before. I am used to the type with a keyway to fix it to the shaft, or with a spud, but this one comes in two sections - the first is bolted to the second and when you tighten the bolts together they clamp down on the shaft. It's not that the pulley is split in half but rather that there is one disk that fits on the shaft first followed by the second which are then bolted together and drawn tight. The end product is supposed to be a solid fit. Can't wait to see how it works. The other two things that I have to get is a much smaller pulley for the alternator and an alternator belt with spare. If I am really tricky I just might be able to rig it up so that the belt will be the same size as the one for the engine driven alternator thus eliminating the requirement for two separate spares.
On our past cruises, as we are quite comfort conscious and have a lot of electric hungry devices aboard, we have tended to run the engine a lot, even when we were under sail, just to keep the batteries powered up. In fact, I often took the point of view that if we were running the engine anyway we may as well have it in gear and get some power out of it which in turn would lead us to motor sailing and pointing a course much tighter to the wind than we would be able to do in a ketch. And this would lead us to setting off, especially if we were planning against the calendar, when the winds weren't as advantageous as we normally would. All we would wait for is flat-ish seas and we would be motoring into the chop if we had to. If this new prop shaft take-off system works even half as good as I hope it will we should be able to change all that and get back more into actually sailing. As well, once we get back into the lifestyle when we head south again we will be doing so earlier in the year, say at the end of August or early September, so if we need to wait for the winds there won't be as much thermometer pressure to get moving. Our fastest trip across the Gulf of Maine has been 42 hours from Shelburne NS to Onset Mass on the other side of the Cape Cod Canal, motor sailing. But if that same trip should take 50 hours under sail I can live with that especially with the price of fuel these days. Even on our small gunkhole cruises that we are planning for the next year or two, if we can save some moola in fuel charges it will go a long way to maintaining our cruising budget. Add to that Barb's new knees will make it easier for her to get in and out of the dink and virtually eliminate the need to pull into a marina as often as we had been, we should do quite nicely on our pensions in future cruising.
Tonight will see the completion of the kitchen countertop project, I hope. This morning the plumber came in to hook up the sink and that went well. The photo in today's post is of the functioning sink in place. Plumbers earn every penny of their fee as far as I'm concerned and I'm not just speaking of the toilet clearing jobs. Trying to work workman's hands in and around small spaces to fit on washers and nuts is something that I've done quite a bit of, especially aboard Nelleke and I am quite happy to let a pro do it on the hard, thank you very much. The sink is the largest one that I have ever seen outside of a set tub which this isn't. Big enough to soak the largest pan we have to get off stubborn baked in grease and to bathe the hound (don't tell Peri) One we have the last section of countertop is in place, other than painting the walls and finishing the pantry cupboard, the kitchen will be done.
Next project - upstairs bathroom!
|Hiatus on the Hard 2011-?||