Slow Sailing

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
02 April 2018 | Chub Cay, Berry Islands
24 March 2018 | Farmers Cay, Bahamas
12 March 2018 | Grand Turk
28 February 2018 | Culebra, Spanish Virgins
21 February 2018 | St John
01 February 2018 | St Pierre, Martinique

Time Keeps On Slipping

15 March 2019 | Washington, NC
Heather
Is anyone else's life flying by as fast as mine is lately? I can't believe another month has passed since I wrote anything here. Things are happening but our to do list still feels really, really, long.

We just got back from a week in Florida where it is lovely and warm with bright sun. I got a sunburn merely from long walks with Jon outside in the morning hours. Even though Vero Beach is getting more built up by the day, there are several sand roads within walking distance of Jon's parents' house where there are all kinds of animals, birds, flowering orange groves and pretty fields. I hope the owners don't sell out anytime soon.

We had a great visit with Roland & Mariette, played with their nutty dog, got some medical care done and visited with friends Lois & George. They took us to an outdoor concert featuring the Land Sharks band in downtown Vero on a beautiful evening. I had this vision of getting our teeth cleaned at the same time as establishing with our new dentist while there but was informed that with group dental, which is what we now have, you never get a cleaning on the first visit, so that is not done. I really do miss the ease in many countries we visited where you can buy routine medical care like you buy a loaf of bread. You just get it done. We also drove down to Lake Worth to pick up the custom water tank we ordered for the RV. A company called Dura Weld made it and so far it seems nicely fabricated. By picking it up we saved freight charges and also the probable damage we would have incurred given our luck with shipping lately. Driving all the way back to Washington for 12 hours with it in the back of the car required us to have our seats all the way forward so it was like a torture chamber which is bad for Jon's aching back and we couldn't go to the gym today because of the sequelae!

We are embarrassingly known for getting lots of packages since we always have some ridiculous project going on for the boat and now this RV. During the week we were away, there is now a new, huge shelf at our marina right near the door with a big sign that says "ALL PACKAGES" which probably means all of Evergreen's packages. Jon has been ordering things like cupboard door latches, heat exchangers for our heating system and other little bits. Spring is pretty much here in Washington although things are still kind of brown overall. There are 2 sets of Canada geese hanging out on the lawn here making a big scene whenever they land behind the boat and a golden retriever who visits to jump into the water and torment them.

So over the past few weeks we have focused on the sitting area some by adding the pedestal for the table and making an elevated platform for the footwell with lockers underneath it that will have latches. Jon adhesived on some of the wood flooring and made a maple border for it. We really like the flooring we got and can't wait to get it all in. It was on clearance at lumber liquidators and it was our first choice which is unusual. There will be a heat exchanger in the footwell area on my side for the heater and another one in the bed area. The electrical panel is made, varnished and installed. The wiring comes later. We got a great deal on the panels from a place called Overton's whose warehouse is just a few miles from here. But due to their shipping, the panels went halfway across the country and back before we got them. The freezer and batteries are in place and the water tank fits the hole we left (yay!) so we can bond that in tomorrow. Its about 100 gallons. The boat carries 160 and we have a watermaker we can flick on whenever but we still think we'll be OK with enough opportunities to fill up or pull from streams if need be. The pressure water pump is in along with the filters. We still have to run all hoses.





Then in the bed area, the headboard cabinets are all installed, painted/varnished and the overhead clothing cabinets are in place and being varnished. There is space for a piece of artwork in the middle of the headboard area. Everything needs doors still but they will be easier to do all at once we think and should go pretty fast. It's really taken some gymnastics in the bedroom area to fit & bond all these cabinets in while balancing on the bed framework since it sits 42 inches off the floor and we have the slats removed. It appears we'll have just as much storage for clothes as we have on the boat. With all this woodworking we do have quite a mountain of wood shavings going on in the back 40 at the workshop. I have been depositing them in a corner of the land up against the fence where I'm hoping no one notices them.

In thinking about how we use the dinghy for our sailboat as our car and also remembering how when we traveled around for 3 months doing the western US parks in our Scamp camper we would often detatch the camper and just take the truck places, we were somewhat concerned that there will be times when we don't want to move the RV or try to take it to a particular trailhead or some out of the way place we might want to go. So, Jon bought a used motorbike (Kawasaki Super Sherpa 250cc) to mount on the back of the RV as our smaller, more economical mode of transportation. I like the idea of parking it somewhere so that we can do a throughhike so maybe it will come into its own. Jon thinks we got a good deal on it and while it is another project to fix up, we like the idea that we won't have to worry about it too much since it isn't new. In the meantime, it means at least Jon has to get a motorcycle license and we have to add a place for the motorbike on the rear mount that we have planned for the spare tire. Shouldn't be a problem. We're not planning on becoming motorbike enthusiasts, we just intend to use it like I describe here. I've never been interested in them and that was affirmed when we were on a motorbike in Phuket- I was riding on the back- and a bee flew into my mouth and stung me ( I don't blame it) and then as I was spitting it out, I got another jab on my lip on the way out.

With the tease of warmer daytime temps I got lured into starting the spring maintenance on the boat so the deck is all waxed (and now covered in exhaust fallout again) and the teak refinishing is underway. We have all manner of varnish on the boat from all over the world. We had to buy whatever we could find wherever we were and then once subjected to miles of bluewater sailing, everything was put to the test. It feels good to be getting it spiffed up again. We had to replace our Dutchmar sail track because it had broken down from UV over the cruise so there was a lot of back and forth with Dutchmar getting the right measurements done on a template to order it up. On a recent morning we installed the new track up the mast and it has the best fit of the three we've had- nice and tight. This is good because we'd noted that the tri radial mainsail we have does have a lot more power than previous sails, thus putting more strain on the track.


It felt good to take a break from the truck (and wear some different clothes!) but now we are ready to attack it again and get a few more things done.

I had to drop Flickr (and they in turn dropped most of my photos from previous blog entries but oh well) so now Jon has showed me a way to embed photos that is only a few hundred easy steps. So I will try a few here for the first time.

Balance

10 February 2019 | Washington, NC
Heather
At the start of the month, we took stock of the progress made for January on the RV and felt like we'd accomplished something. We've gone from a totally empty white box interior to one that has all fiberglass interior bulkheads installed and the major sections like bed, kitchen and sitting area in progress. The counter top is done except for cutting out the sink today and a lot of big items such as the washer, stove and fridge are out of the workshop and in the truck which is nice since its easier to walk around in there! We decided on what our water filtration is going to be like (an inline dual 5 and .5 micron filter set under the sink that filters all water for the interior. If we're pulling from a stream rather than a hose, we will have a portable sediment filter on the hose & pump before it goes into the water tank. If we feel we need it, we can get an under sink UV sterilizer for right below the water faucet. It's going to be hard to adjust to not having a watermaker like we do on the boat and of course a marine head is most likely nicer than a composting head but...

Its funny how things work out. As I mentioned previously, we had a patch of bad shipments for one thing after another. The 3 burner range that we were so excited to get off Ebay arrived so dented in shipping it was unusable. That very day, Jon found another one listed and we ended up getting it for less money and no damage in shipping. The solid surface arrived broken and damaged and the company immediately sent out another like piece which also arrived damaged but Jon was able to glue it and because we have this extra piece, we can now use it for a lower shower surround as well as a pull out countertop section that we plan to make to give more space in the kitchen when needed. So those things worked out for the better. We think the company Solid Surface.com is great, they are very nice to work with and have excellent DIY resource material. Turns out solid surface is fairly easy to work with, much like wood (although it makes quite a mess when you cut or sand it) and apart from the fact that neither of us had any experience with it, we think it has turned out well and that we'll really enjoy it. It is a really pretty dark blue color with flecks in it.

Every time we need wood we basically have to drive to Raleigh which is 1 1/2 hrs each way. We like Raleigh a lot so it isn't hard to go. You just can't get any furniture grade wood anywhere near here. But we usually throw in something fun like exploring a new park or city thing and we also found a great upholstery store and checked out some fabrics so it looks like we can get something really nice for the cushions, some kind of blue. Plus, we can always stock up at Trader Joe's. Then we come back to the workshop and unload the wood and Jon starts up the saws again. I've gotten to like hearing them. It means that parts are getting made and soon we'll be bonding and then I'll have more painting and varnishing to do. We're thinking of getting a bunch of hamsters so they can enjoy the lovely wood shavings we make every day. I've put on about a gallon of paint, a quart of varnish and we have a bunch more to go. I ended up having to switch to water based paint because we found out the hard way that oil based enamels won't cure over Sika adhesive. Some sort of reaction occurs so it stay all sticky. Plus in cooler temps it was taking the enamel a long time to dry so the water based is better for this time of year anyway. The owner of the workshop came to us with his electric bill which is sky high for some odd reason since we only have one 15amp outlet to draw from (which is a pain but this place was all we could find and its great in so many ways). We tried reasoning with him using math and calculations for possible amperage & wattage that one can draw from a 15amp outlet at 8 cents/kw but that made no difference. So now we are trying to use less power. Now when it gets really cold we wait for it to warm up some rather then run the heater.

Well last week the weather has been gorgeous and warm so we took 2 beautiful days off and went to Raleigh to celebrate my birthday a little early. I have really appreciated how even though we are focused on this project, Jon has been as dedicated to maintaining balance as I am and addicted to our workouts at the gym. After being crumpled up in a ball painting or varnishing on the interior all day, it feels good to stretch out. So in the eves, we work out together on the trainers and drool over the fried chicken ads (this is NC after all!). I wanted to bike the Neuse River Greenway trail in Raleigh. We got in 58 miles and it was great to be out and on our bikes. There are lots more connector trails that we didn't have time to do- Raleigh has a ton of biking! It was great to hang out downtown some and the following day we went to the Natural History museum which was really top notch. They have a huge, high end research building attached to the museum that is also open to the public with all kinds of interesting things to see on the more technical side of science. We spent some time looking at all the stuff you can make with a 3D printer. There were staff all around the building to answer questions. It'd be nice to have one of those to make replacements for broken boat or truck parts on the fly. We'll need to go back there to do some more exploring. Then we went to a park with a lakeside trail that made a loop, and an arboretum as part of the university. I love a capitol city. So much to do. We wish Raleigh was on the water so we could have it closer to the boat.

We are still trying to find a second 50 gallon fuel tank for the truck. We got the first one in Ft Pierce in FL shortly after receiving the truck. We found it used at a pull apart yard and it was a great find. We were so excited to find another potential tank here locally at a huge yard of old trucks. This one was a 2012, aluminum, with all the fittings we wanted in fantastic shape for $100! But it just didn't fit in the space we have. It was off of a street sweeper and it was just too tall of a tank. We went back the next day to look again and see if there had been a mistake and it somehow would fit as well as to see if we could find another one but no luck. Before this truck, I have to say I would never have thought I would ever have a need to walk through a huge yard of abandoned trucks (CREEPY!) but now I have been in several and I've learned a thing or two in the process.

We received the table mount also. It should look nice in our seating area which Jon is building now. He was considering trying a river table. Have you seen one? We saw a botched attempt by the owner of a lumber yard we were at and it did look interesting. A rambling bright blue epoxy resin river running through a wood sandwich. They can supposedly get live edge wood there which is what you need. It makes the banks of the "river". However, we aren't sure if we'll end up doing it because of time & expense (these are really "in" right now) and we're feeling really pressured with all the work that is left to do when we really just want to roll on down the road with this thing! I do believe we are going to have to give up on the idea of a hydronic heated towel bar for the bathroom. The area we have is just too small for any of the ones on offer. Did you know you can spend over 1K on a towel bar?! Should have gone into business making those.

Spring is teasing us here. The pansies are planted in the flower beds, some decorative trees in town are covered in pink blossoms, daffodils are up and a mockingbird kept me company while I waxed the deck yesterday in shorts. Now tonight the hose is left on so it won't freeze and both heaters are running. But I know it won't be long before the cold nights can't keep up with the warm days and we'll be back to living more outside again, which is how we like to be.

I'm still trying to figure out the pictures so sorry, only one this time, of the birthday girl, ME!

Coming Together

22 January 2019 | Washington, NC
Heather
We continue to work on fitting out the interior of our overland RV. I was saying to Jon that this feels like so much more work than fitting out Evergreen to go cruising for all of our cruises combined and he reminded me that we didn't build our boat, we just added a bunch of gear! We're building this thing ourselves. Oh YEAH, that would be the reason. It has its ups & downs. I feel antsy to get moving again to see & experience new things. But we now have a beautifully designed, strong bed platform in place, the surround for the washing machine, the base for the headboard cabinet and the maple facing done. The bed has 22 varnished slats for air circulation under the mattress. I still have to paint the frame. The area under the bed is the gear storage area for things like bikes, dive gear & backpacking stuff. The only other thing we have to put back there other than that is the hot water heater, which is 6 gallons so shouldn't take up too much space. Jon is working on building the shelf for that now. The pantry is pretty much done except for a couple more coats of varnish; the door for it Jon will make later and the fridge will be mounted there as well. It is the main storage spot for food and looks like it will be adequate. The outside framework for the kitchen counter is done, we are just waiting for the stove & countertop to arrive. See below. Because the walls of the RV are fiberglass composite, everything has to be bonded to it with adhesive which requires several steps to prepare the surface and careful planning to position the mounts accordingly. Plus Jon is trying to make everything very tight and reinforced for strength, so there are a lot of cuts and fittings for each thing we bond. The whole RV box feels much more solid as the main bulkheads have gone in as well as the reinforcement with the cabinetry. The interior is filling up! But it still feels big inside to us.

We've had a real time with shipping lately. We were excited to receive the stove but then it arrived so damaged in shipping that it was unusable and went right back in the box to be shipped back. Its no wonder as it was ridiculously packaged. We've since ordered another one and hope it was handled more gently. Then a package of sink mounting clips arrived from Amazon that was just the empty envelope- no clips inside and nothing else for that matter. Then the solid surface countertop arrived, again poorly packaged, but it had a 14 in crack for the full thickness of the material along with chips on each corner so another whole piece is coming again- hope this one gets here in one piece- literally! Then another box came with the A/C surround in it but the box was open on one end. Even my watch repair went to the wrong address despite lots of communication about where to send it. I'm hoping this is just a bad patch!

All of this detailed woodwork has made me start really studying and appreciating even more than I already do the incredible workmanship that is in our boat. The woodwork is beautiful and so skillfully done. Not many things are made like this anymore. I still haven't managed to gain that kind of skill with varnish either. We're working on replacing the sail track on the boat and getting organized to make a new dodger. The marina we're at has a great workspace for us to do it.

In our spare time Jon is still working some on our cruising website VentureFarther.com. It now has 2,270 members, is self-supporting with subscriptions and grows by the day with a worldwide reach. Someone entered a marker today for Sri Lanka. 71 countries are represented which is pretty cool. And the satellite charts are valuable for poorly charted areas. Jon needs a lot more time to program & me to enter markers...... but not much place to fit that in these days.

I've kind of lost my photo storage because the terms of Flickr changed. I haven't made a decision on whether to subscribe to anything else yet because we have a site for the RV world trip set aside- VermonsterRV.com-, it just needs to be built out. So I guess less pics for now.

We've gotten to know this area of Eastern N. Carolina a little more. It has a quietness that we like and people are friendly. The landscape doesn't knock our socks off like other places but at the same time it isn't too built up and the river is pretty. There are hawks that fly over the cornfield next to the workshop all day and once again its quiet back there and we can do our own thing. The workshop is 3 miles from downtown Greenville, a college town and we went in there yesterday to walk on a greenway path (we took the morning off from working on the truck!) that runs through the city. It was really nice.

We have definitely noticed that this area has a custom of driving around with no lights on until well after dusk. Its not by accident, its a thing. For some reason we' will surely never understand. But we do know that if we ever decide that we want a brick trailer, there would be plenty of opportunity to get one here.
Vessel Name: EVERGREEN
Vessel Make/Model: Tashiba 40 Hull #158
Hailing Port: E. Thetford Vermont
Crew: Heather and Jon Turgeon
Extra:
Over the years, we've explored much of the Caribbean Sea & Atlantic East coast on 3 different long term trips. In January 2012, we left the USA and headed for the Pacific. We visited the Galapagos, French Polynesia, Samoa, Cook Islands & Tonga before heading to New Zealand. We've enjoyed thousands [...]
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