Slow Sailing

07 July 2019 | Washington
10 June 2019 | Washington, NC
15 May 2019 | St Augustine
30 April 2019 | Black Point, Exuma
16 April 2019 | Bahamas
02 April 2019 | Washington, NC
15 March 2019 | Washington, NC
10 February 2019 | Washington, NC
22 January 2019 | Washington, NC
07 January 2019 | Washington, NC
15 December 2018 | Washington, NC
03 November 2018 | Thetford, VT
21 September 2018 | Bradford, VT
13 August 2018 | Thetford, VT
02 August 2018 | Thetford, VT
13 July 2018 | Thetford, VT
12 June 2018 | Hurricane Boatyard, Bayboro NC
29 May 2018 | Cumberland Island, Georgia
14 May 2018 | Vero Beach, FL
29 April 2018 | Dragon Point, Melbourne

And On It Goes

07 July 2019 | Washington
Heather | Boiling!
Well a few more weeks have passed and we've made some more progress. It feels like the summer is flying by and there's still so much to do. Here's a brief update for anyone who is following this nutty RV build! I've noticed the pictures aren't as colorful as sailing pics.

When we first started considering an overland RV for our next adventure, we knew it was popular in Europe but didn't realize it was growing like crazy in the US. We don't see too many trucks like ours around here but did make some new friends, Scott & Mary who have an Earth Roamer RV. When they came to see our truck at the workshop we are renting, we parked side by side and took tours of each others campers. Its a great way to get ideas. Our truck doesn't look too much different than other overland trucks in terms of size when you line it up with others.

The heat has been pretty incredible lately and I hear there's plenty more in store. Long days at the truck wear us out and the A/C on the boat barely keeps up despite taking up the space of another person in our aft cabin. The gym is the coolest place so at least we have that... Eastern N Carolina is filled with spiders. They're harmless, but really annoying and we have a zoofull of them all over our hull. Walking down the dock at night to hit the ice cream freezer, we have to plow through the evening's webs to get there.



The bathroom construction is completed and we think its really cute. We didn't build it sideways, I just can't seem to get this pic righted so you have to hold your head sideways instead :) Solid surface material around the shower base and another small counter at the sink. There is still the shower faucet to mount but we have it and a roll-up shower door that we'll install when we're done making dust... We found a cute sink online and Jon made the cabinets so we have plenty of storage. Composting head is in and it was almost fun putting in the flooring. We'll have the same flooring for the main area too and that will go in soon. All that is left is 2 doors for the medicine cabinet and we are mail ordering mirrors cut to size for the outside of both doors.


Doors for the headboard are done so aside from the last minute ordering of the mattress, the bed area is pretty much done. Jon was joking that we can't really call it a bedRoom because there is no room! We goofed a little on the amount of space we left for the mattress & covers before it would hit the window. Our priority was lots of gear storage so we raised the bed up as much as we could which means we can now only have a 6 inch mattress. Oh well, we'll really enjoy the toy area! We have 2 fans to mount in there along with a fold out arm for a computer screen. The thinking is it will fold out to be viewable in the main sitting area and then stow neatly out of sight.

All the overhead walnut cabinets and lower cupboard cabinets are done except for the drawers, but the slides were installed by yours truly! I've also spent a good deal or time applying silicone to all the exposed adhesive areas. I hope it stays white like it says!



We're pretty pleased with the bathroom door. It really is a work of art and fits so well, it took Jon many hours to get it shaped perfectly. We realized the door handle won't allow it to fold flat against the wall so there is another one coming to try instead.

Jon isn't always smiling in the shop, especially since he is very tired of making doors...

Just as the cabinetry work was winding down, we realized that in the entryway of the RV it would be nice to have a floor to ceiling bookcase of sorts to hold an assortment of things like keys, sunglasses, wallet, shoes, some books, produce- all of these things have an easy to grab place on the boat. So we had to go back to Raleigh to get more wood but this time metal also and we got a hotel for the night so we could visit the art museum there and do some hiking. Jon started the bookcase today and pretty soon we'll be able to bond that in- will that be the last piece to bond in???? We will hope.


We've shifted our focus to the exterior some now. All of the custom corners and profiles on the box needed finishing. The corners required a lot of forming and shaping by Jon and then I cleaned, primed and sanded them and now they are ready to be sprayed but the humidity is too high right now to do it. The roof feels really high!


We'll be glad once the solar panel mounts are done and we can install them up there. Jon also began designing the rear tire/motorcycle rack using CAD (cardboard aided design) a term he loves. In a nutshell, it has been really challenging to find a welder/ fabricator here. They are all really busy or not interested in following through. We even tried a place in Charlotte and Raleigh. So our current thinking is that we have to do everything we can on our own (and this is primarily Jon) and then with pieces in hand, go to a welder and say can you weld this right here and this right there, etc. So he has become a mechanical engineer, designer and soon to be welder for some of the easier pieces and we have now started cutting metal instead of wood. Neither of us likes working with metal and unlike sawdust, metal dust hurts when it hits you!

We're headed to Florida tomorrow to visit Jon's parents and pick up the gray water tank we're having made by the same company that did the water tank for us- Dura Weld. But first a stop in Jacksonville to hang out with Jan & Rich for a day. Then we'll be heading to Vermont to catch up with my parents, sell our Scamp camper because we no longer need it and hopefully Jon will be able to make a pretty maple table at our friend Chase's house, who might have a piece that will fit. We haven't been at all impressed with the maple we can get down here. The Scamp on the other hand, has beautiful maple that we just sort of lucked out at finding among the boards at Home Depot. We had hoped for the same luck with this RV but it didn't happen. So probably not a lot of progress on the truck in the next few weeks but that's OK.

We decided we have too much on our plate to try to sell Evergreen right now so we are just enjoying our home and when its time, we'll shift our focus to it.

Back to the RV Build

10 June 2019 | Washington, NC
Heather
We've been back at work on our overland RV build for nearly 3 weeks now. It is a full time job that's for sure. It was a good trip on the boat from St Augustine back to Washington, NC with some great sailing. The moon was full so we had company all night (so much easier to see) and lots of dolphin during the day. I love the way I can hear them clicking & squeaking through the hull. We were giving them a good bow wake to play in. There weren't many ships or fishing boats so there was a decent amount of solitude and I hope we can find that same feeling when we get rolling in the truck to remote places. I do enjoy that aspect of passagemaking.


Its hard to believe that before we left we were wearing lots of layers at the workshop, running the little box heater off & on and wishing for warmer days. Six weeks elapsed and all has changed. Now we've had a long stretch of seriously hot weather with temps over 100, we've bought yet another AC (this makes 3, 2 in storage in Vermont) but there wasn't really a choice since we can't sweat our brains out all day at the truck and then do the same all night. We're really enjoying the birds, especially at the workshop because a mockingbird sits on the power pole close by and sings all day. We've made new friends on the dock and have enjoyed some nice dinners with Frank & Deb too.

We started out mounting the Maxx fan which is a great two way overhead fan that we'll have in the head area. It can remain open even if its raining and it also has a thermostat. The wires are run for the AC, the heat exchanger for the Webasto heater is installed and Jon spent some time wiring up the lithium battery bank. He built a platform for the shower pan and I bonded in and painted all the little pieces for that. Then he installed the pan. We ordered up a nice porcelain bathroom sink that we're really excited about, ordered an Airhead brand composting toilet (I can already see I will miss our boat head), and tried everything out in the little space- its tight but it all fits! Tomorrow Jon plans to start building out the cabinetry in the bathroom so we'll have storage space, a medicine cabinet with mirror and a counter for the sink. We have plenty of blue solid surface left from the galley counter so he'll use some of that for the bathroom. We plan to get a roll-up shower door that looks like it would be the best fit in there since we need something out of the way to make as much room in there as possible.

The stereo speakers are in and some of the LED lights. The speakers just barely squeaked by the window shade compartments- an oversight that we feel lucky to have gotten away with. It's hard to plan for everything that needs to be installed and make accommodations for it in the right order. The lights look really nice and sort of class up the place. The seating area needed a rail all the way around it to provide the framework for the cushions and that took a few days for Jon to make and for us to bond in and then for me to paint & varnish. That's 2 gallons of paint so far and 3 quarts or varnish. More to go. Oh and several tubes of caulk. There is a varnished ledge on my side of the seating area with some storage cabinets below that also allow access to the water tank hosing. It took a lot of time for Jon to get that all designed and built and then for us to bond it in- many pieces! We certainly know our way around a caulking gun now! Outside on the camper box, we installed the water tank fill and the shore power connection.





The panels that we bonded in over the winter to form the bathroom needed to have a door built and Jon had been dreading that somewhat because it was going to be a ton of work and something altogether new for woodworking skills. One thing about our boat is it has beautiful wood craftsmanship that you don't often see anymore. All of our door supports are rounded with many layers of laminated wood strips all smoothed out to make a real work of art. So using this example, Jon did similar on the door jam. It took several days and many layers of soaked wood (because we have no means to steam it) bent to shape and then wood glued in place but finally he turned it over to me to varnish. The door itself is white FRP and is in the line-up of things to finish. Because we want the RV interior to be really strong and well supported, we have been adding aluminum strips along the base of several walls, the bathroom being one to give them extra support from the bottom. I hate the sound of metal being cut, but I think this is a good idea too and each time Jon hands me a piece, I bond that in with adhesive. The cabin feels very tight and is certainly well insulated.

This past week we started in on doors. I will try not to go on & on about how beautiful a job Jon is doing on the woodwork, even with crap tools and a makeshift workshop setup. We are really trying to be thrifty where we can. But he is doing a stellar job. His table saw finally bit the dust and so we had to get a new one which seems to be the way a lot of our stuff is going lately- it seems like every day something else breaks. But he fixed my favorite little shop-vac! We've had that for almost as long as we've known each other I think.



The theme for the doors, of which there are a ton of them, is white FRP (fiberglass reinforced plastic) for the bed area, the bathroom and the lower closet/laundry area and then maple/walnut for the galley & sitting area. When we ordered the FRP panels for the camper box from Total Composites, they cut out the window and door openings for you based on your drawings and then send all the cutouts to you. That used to be standard practice but they aren't doing that now since we got ours. It made it a lot easier to assemble the box. So we can pull the shiny white plastic gelcoat layer away from the foam and use those panels for things like doors. Jon is using epoxy to bond them to good quality plywood on both sides and then make a flush door that sits into the maple framework we have bonded in for the cabinets. The edges of the plywood are visible when the door is open and make a nice look we think. There is a lot of work in each door because even once they're made, the hinges need to be cut in, mounts made for them so that everything lines up, the latch ring installed and a mount for the clasp for that and of course everything has to be painted and varnished. But they are coming along. And then in the past 2 days he's moved to the walnut doors so 11 of those are done so far and I have my work cut out for me getting 4 coats of varnish on them with a minimum amount of drips!

Thankfully we ran short on wood so had to make a trip to Raleigh a few days ago which meant we could do another bike path. Except this time everything was green and prettier. Afterward, we stopped at an upholstery shop and looked at fabric for the cushions. We chose a blue velour and think it will be nice against the wood and the blue countertop. I had wanted a different pattern but it was over 70 bucks a yard! We made a more modest choice. We like Raleigh and wish it was on the water so we could live there but be here.


We were all excited to have a reputable welder lined up for the many metal projects that need doing on the outside of the RV but unfortunately this guy is so popular (he does the welding for Pacific Seacraft which is right in town) that we're wondering if it is practical to think he will ever have time for us. It is critical to have things like a rim around the roof in aluminum that both protects and provides mounting points for the solar panels, understorage boxes that also incorporate mud flaps for the rear tires and a pretty significant rear tire rack/motorcycle mount/tail light mount for the back of the truck. We're hoping to get this going within the next few weeks, one way or another. When we first got back and I was getting the boat cleaned up from the trip and doing a mountain of laundry, Jon made cardboard mock ups for all the understorage boxes so we could visualize what needed to be done.

There have been so many decisions to make about what we want in the truck, where it should go and then ordering up all the little pieces to get it together. Jon's head is spinning most of the time trying to research things and get them ordered in time and we both just want this project done. But it is encouraging to install some of the things that we've been tripping over for months and anticipate what it will be like to someday use them!

My mom was able to find this photo from the start of our first cruise back in 1997 on the Cape Dory (also named Evergreen). I don't know where our youth went but we've had a lot of fun since then. We're excited to think there's more on the horizon. By then all the doors will be done!

Last Passage

15 May 2019 | St Augustine
Heather
We said goodbye to the Bahamas a few days ago and crossed over to St Augustine where we've spent the last couple of days hanging out waiting for a good forecast to head north. We've enjoyed our time here and were glad to move around after a few hot days underway. On the last day, we had a swarm of lovebugs come visit our boat while still well offshore. They like white and our deck was just perfect. It became a sort of nightmare as they piled up on every surface including us, doing it the whole time! But we kept our cool and took turns taking refuge inside the boat, then pulled up to the dock to wash them away. What a mess. We took 3 showers that day since we were so grossed out. I now really dislike love bugs!


Turns out there's great biking here at Anastasia state park because the beach is wide & long with firm sand. A ways out there was nothing but us, the birds and about a hundred discarded bagels, for some reason. We did a bunch of sites in town too like the distillery, and enjoyed walking under all the big old trees. We got to really feeling sunbaked in the Bahamas and craving shade. Its hard to find when we're underway and we sometimes use the shade of the sail on deck.

The weather did finally improve in the Bahamas and we had several days of light conditions which allowed the four of us to explore some really beautiful anchorages in the Exumas Land & Sea Park. We walked trails together, snorkeled, sailed and hung out on each others boats. There was a lot more life on the reefs within the park and the water was a mix of colors that is crazy beautiful.


Jon & I spent hours in the water poking around in the shallows, drift diving the cuts and exploring some of the deeper reefs. I love doing this together and it brings back so many memories of all the beaches & drift dives we've done over the years. Being in the park meant there was lots to see. We sure can't hold our breath like we used to and were recalling that our deepest free dive was to the bottom of a blue hole somewhere in the Bahamas which was 50 feet. A tap & go but still, how did we ever do that?


Lobster season is over and the females are carrying their eggs under their tails. We usually don't get to see this because we're not here in this season. In the park the lobsters are so big and unafraid they just walk around in the open. On one snorkel we came upon two in an argument, and Jon had to break it up!

All four of us were really missing the overall brilliant color & corals of the Pacific and also we were wishing there were more nudibranchs on the Atlantic side since we enjoy looking for them when lo & behold Jon found one. It belongs on the Pacific side though and according to the ID book, a few have come over in ship's ballast tanks and set up shop in Florida & the Bahamas. Nice to see one though.

I had to lift my fins for this reef shark that came over to say hi and we had nice views of several eagle rays and lots of turtles too. Most of the time we had a big barracuda following us around like a dog, not wanting to miss anything. Fun times.


As soon as we all got our snorkeling and pretty anchorage fix we felt ready to move on to our next respective chapters. Jon & I are anxious to get back to work on the RV build and get busy on the projects (well not really) we need to get done on our boat as well. We plan to put Evergreen on the market this summer as we feel ready to dive into a new lifestyle in the truck. We have been adjusting to this idea for quite a while and feel OK with it now. We hope to find someone who wants to pick up where we left off.

Our fridges were pretty much empty of produce so the dinners together were getting interesting- time to set sail for Publix! We are now restocked again- phew!

So another passage awaits tomorrow, two more nights underway, 4 days. Might be our last one for awhile. Should have a nice moon and good wind. As we were bucking current the other day and moving at 5kts, we joked that we have run marathons and a 50k faster than that which translates to: we can run faster than we can sail at times! Except for not as long, but still. We'll try to push that out of our mind. If all goes well we'll be back in our slip by Sunday and look forward to going out for a nice dinner next week for our silver anniversary!

Vessel Name: EVERGREEN
Vessel Make/Model: Tashiba 40 Hull #158
Hailing Port: E. Thetford Vermont
Crew: Heather and Jon Turgeon
Extra:
Hello! We are Heather & Jon Turgeon of S/V Evergreen. We started sailing in 1994 on our first boat, a Cape Dory 31, then sought out a Tashiba 40 that could take us around the globe. It has been our home for 19 years. We've thoroughly cruised the East coast and Caribbean and just completed our [...]
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