Slow Sailing

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
17 January 2018 | Marin Marina, Martinique
08 January 2018 | Fort de France, Martinique
01 January 2018 | Atlantic - Still!
26 December 2017 | Atlantic Ocean
19 December 2017 | Mindelo, Sao Vicente, Cape Verde
17 December 2017 | Mindelo, Sao Vicente, Cape Verde
07 December 2017 | San Sebastian, La Gomera
28 November 2017 | Garachico, Tenerife
18 November 2017 | La Palma, Canaries
07 November 2017 | Puerto Santa Cruz, Tenerife
16 October 2017 | Graciosa, Canary Islands
09 October 2017 | Rabat, Morocco
30 September 2017 | Ait Bennadou, Morocco

Some Summer Vacation

07 August 2019 | Washington, NC
We actually had some summer vacation and took a break from the RV build. We've really been putting some miles on the car. First we drove to Florida and stopped in to Jax to see Jan & Rich right before they sold their boat Slip Away. We stayed with Rich's brother & wife Ron & Kim in their beautiful house. Of course we popped some champers & did a lot eating & jabbering, and fit in a bike ride too.

Then we headed to Vero to visit Jon's parents.We had a good day laying some sod together and accomplished a few other little things around the house in between visiting. We also drove down to Lake Worth to visit my sister Ann and to pick up the gray water tank that we'd ordered from Dura Weld. We liked how the fresh water tank came out so ordered a smaller 30 gallon gray tank. Now it just needs a mount fabricated. We walked a lovely stretch of beach with Ann looking for turtles (saw a couple along with several nests) and tried to catch up over a picnic lunch. Not long enough!

We drove back up to NC and took a breather from sitting in the car to do a few more things on the truck. Jon finished fabricating the entryway cabinet which is very detailed and therefore time consuming. It had a million pieces and we needed to get them all bonded in fast and in order because the temps were in the high 90's so there was only a small window to work with. Never have I had to struggle with such temperature extremes before with regard to paints, adhesives and varnish. Months ago it was the freezing cold temps and now it is over 95, which is the cutoff for most things. Nuts!

But we got it in, and it is varnished up. It will hold shoes on the bottom, then produce on the next shelf, a closet for handy jackets, a couple of shelves for books, a couple of shelves for things like keys and sunglasses and then the upper area is just for show with space for 4 bottles of wine and wine glasses. That part will be lit up.

We also put the flooring in. It was a milestone of sorts because we'd bought it months ago and it has been sitting there waiting for when the cabinetry was finished and finally that time came. It went in fast, which is unusual for anything we do.

It was also time to finish the profiles and corners on the exterior of the RV. Because Jon designed an angular habitat to make it less like a square box, we had to make custom profiles and corners for all but the upper back which was square. Those are the only corners that were provided. After a lot of filling, shaping and sanding, they were ready to prime & paint. We are not thrilled with how the paint turned out but it is good enough.

Then we set off in the car again for Vermont. The agenda was to visit my parents, enjoy some Vermont summer, sell our Scamp camper and get some metal work done for the RV. We managed to get all of it in and had fabulous weather to boot. We knew that Scamp campers have quite a following and that ours was fixed up really nice but we still wondered how fast it would sell. Well, suffice it to say we had overwhelming interest and it went in a flash. The couple who bought it live right in town and have plans to take it around the US like we did. We made some good memories in it and its nice to know it went to a good home. Now we can't joke anymore about the Taj-ma-small or Shrimp Scampy. We hope that when we sell Evergreen we have a similar positive experience.
Along with the camper we decided to sell our canoe too. It has been in situ for over 25 years and we decided given that, we could live without it. We want to get an inflatable kayak for the RV.

We took some pretty bike rides, picked blueberries, did some interior decor shopping for the RV in tax free New Hampshire, were given some beautiful birdseye maple wood for the table that Jon plans to build for the camper by long time family friend Chase and did a few things around the house. On the last day, the four of us drove to the town of Windsor to walk the old prison grounds that have now been turned into a wildlife preserve. There were lots of iconic rolling green hills, birds, sun and a little pond to have a picnic beside.

On the drive back down to the boat, we stopped at a truck parts recycling business and picked up a 2015 fuel tank for the truck that Jon found online. We've been searching one out for months now and finally were successful. It really is amazing how much we can stuff into our car and this trip had to be a record. Not only did we have a 50 gallon fuel tank, but we had the wood, a bunch of metal in preparation for the rear mount on the truck, the spare rim for the truck, a lot of tools, all the fluffy interior purchases and a bunch more.

And now the metalwork has started. We're using a local guy named Charlie, just 3 blocks from the boat and things are off to a great start. He is A-OK having Jon right alongside him and they work together. In just 2 days, the rear tire mount/motorcycle mount is well underway. Jon has done an incredible job of designing all of this and we are both really excited to get some of this off our worry list!

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
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!
Vessel Name: EVERGREEN
Vessel Make/Model: Tashiba 40 Hull #158
Hailing Port: E. Thetford Vermont
Crew: Heather and Jon Turgeon
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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EVERGREEN 's Photos -