May 2013

Fishing On The River

Bird with a fish

What surprised me was the size of the fish - and he swallows it whole.

05/01/2013 - Home Sweet Home
Entryway Before & After 
Anyone know what happened to Jan - Feb - Mar - April?? Obviously time doesn't change pace, but our perception of it certainly does as we get more experienced with it :)

Ever onward - let's get back to current events. As we pointed out last month we moved the coach up a little so we'd have a nice screened patio but that put the entrance in the dirt. So solution would be a entrance walkway type of deal. But one needs to factor in bad back & 30 -40 pound patio bricks don't mix well. But a solution is readily available - resin patio pavers. These little blocks only weigh a pound or two each. So grab a rake and shovel, level out the ground a little (just a little, I'm into function not fashion) and you eliminate the dirt and have a place to wipe your feet on the way in. The BIG SURPRISE - I have before, the picture to the left AND after, click the picture for the after version. I almost never think of getting a before & after, so I amazed myself this time and actually thought of it before I finished the project. So this isn't literally before I started, but I thought of it just as I started leveling it out :))

Don't have any real adventures planned for this month yet, but you never know with us, something I'm sure will turn up. Looking for a nice day (as in light winds) and we're going to take the boat out again, and of course dinner on the back deck has become a regular event - that's where I got the shot above. Take care and be happy ya all :))
05/05-/13 - Something old something new.
High Tide
After 3 days of pretty steady rain the river started rising and we ended up whith the water lapping at the bottom of the north dock and almost ready for a step stool to get on at our dock. To appreciate the difference you have to understand that before the rain it was a step down about 10-12 inches to get on the boat. In the shot to the right it's about a 18' step up to get on board.

We planned an outing for Sat the 4th, but the wind kicked up quite a bit and we didn't want to hassle with docking on the wind. Sheila is getting better at getting in and out, but not quite ready to handle the wind so we postponed it. Thursday, the 9th, the weather was perfect and the plan was to go up to Seven Sisters and play around in the channels between the islands, anchor for a bit and have lunch up there then come back and practice docking a little. But you know what they say about plans - so the starboard engine overheated as we approached Seven Sisters and we shut it down, did a 180 and started back on one engine. Sheila took the helm and I went down to chick it out - green water in the bilge, a sure sign of a coolant leak. So I closed the hatch back up and we returned on the port engine. A perfect example of why I like to have two engines. So I have the cooler off and have picked up new hose - plan is to replace all the hoses. I also have new zincs for the cooler - the zinc for it was totally gone and (well duh) I didn't read the instructions so I haven't check the zinc since we got the boat, but it needs to be checked every 30 days - have to add that to the list.
05/18/13 - Clean/Paint/Reassemble
Heat Exchanger
It appears that May is going the same way that Jan-April went. Here it is the 18th and I still don't have the May page up. But with a little dedication to the task at hand maybe I can get it done this weekend - or maybe not -
Sat evening - Today was a 'work on the boat' day. The goal get the heat exchanger cleaned up, back together, and mounted  along with replacing all the hoses and remounting the raw water strainer. EOD (end of day) and two trips to town for unexpected requirements, we have a lot of learning, but very little doing. I did get the heat exchanger cleaned up and the end plates back on and primed and ready to paint. I got one hose off and learned that these wire hoses are next to impossible to just 'slip' off the end of the tube they're attached to. You have to cut them off just past the end of the connection, then pull the wire reinforcement out of them, then finish cutting them free and pull them off. The first run to town was for a pair of wire cutters, but I couldn't find the heavy duty ones, and the lighter duty that I got would not even nick that stainless steel wire. So I mastered the pull it out of the hose technique. Then the raw water strainer was not attached in place, it was just held in place by the short piece of inch and a quarter hose that attaches it to the sea cock. So I decided to mount it but that, of course, required changing the plumbing a little because of space requirments so I needed a inch and a quarter 90 degree fitting which I didn't have. Ace, nope, Lowes nope, Home Depot :)). I was heading for HD when I left, but Ace and Lowes are on the way so I stopped into both looking for the fitting. Hopefully tomorrow will see more actual progress and a little less piddling around. But learning is part of the process.
05/19/13 - Reassembled
Crusader 350
Well it a very busy, but very successful day. Sheila has not been feeling up to par the past week or so - we have appointments this coming Wed at the Mayo to get her checked out - but trooper that she is, she's been coming down to the boat to keep me company while I'm down there working. She's using her scooter to ride down and hangs out on the back porch reading and watching the sights. It was particularly nice out today, real nice breeze to keep us cool on the back deck :))

Me, I had to spend most of the morning and early afternoon in the bilge - but the raw water strainer is back on, the hoses have all been replaced and the main lines are all double clamped. I got it finished up around 1:30 or so and ran it at the dock to be sure I didn't have any leaks and that the temprature would stay where it belonged. Ran her for about a 1/2 hour or so and temprature was holding right at 160 which is about where she's been running. Then it was picking up, and I did a little more bilge cleaning in the stern. Finished up around 3pm and got home for a late linner - we've changed our eating schedule - we're having breakfast around 9am, then having dinner around 2pm. We finiah the day of with a light snack, raisin bread toast & milk is a favorite, around 6 or 7. Seems to be working - I've dropped a coupld pounds and Sheila is holding what she has. We're hoping to get our one day next week for a sea trial before the crazies all get on the river for Memoral Day Weekend. More then and I'll have a followup after our Mayo visit with whatever we find out. Till then, keep smiling. Life's too short to waste it frowning :))
05/22/13 Miss Froggy at the Mayo
At the Mayo
Giving Murphy his due, we figured the best way to avoid another hospital stay would be to be prepared for a hospital stay. S Sheila got up early and we packed so we'd be ready if they wanted to check her in. But the testing all went well and she's still holding her own, so the end result was no check-in.

Turns out it was a false alarm actually. What happened was she had been taking pain meds for 3 or 4 weeks for a severe back pain which the therapist moved from her back to her leg, but that move made it even worse. We then decided that she needed to take a couple days off the pain meds, so she didn't get to dependant on them, and that's when she went down hill. But the down hill wasn't really down, it was just back to the old normal. Seems the pain meds fool your head into thinking that you're not really feeling short of breath (SOB is a major symptom/problem of COPD). So while she was taking the pain meds she was walking a little extra and seemed to be doing really well. But it was just an illusion actually and when she stopped taking the pain pills the return to normal appeared to be a big step down. The testing brought this home as there actually was no real change in her breathing. Just goes to show the dangers of the pain meds and how easy it is for them to cause other problems. But we're home, she's off the meds and we'll get back to our routine.

So time for a walk - then after breakfast back to working on the boat (unless my day job calls :)) Till next time Keep Smiling