Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Winter That Won't End!!!!


It's cold again today. It was cold yesterday , and probably will be tomorrow as well.

Time to turn our thoughts to warmer things, right! Like getting our kiteboarding gear out of the damn furnace room!!!!!
Truth is , the forecast is looking better starting tomorrow, and not a minute too soon.

Our trip plans are slowly getting into gear. The time has passed in it's usual lightning speed, time to really give some thought to both the fun (boat) and mundane (house).

Here is a link to a speech Delaney gave to her Grade 3 Class about going away on the boat for a year. She is a little embarrassed about the way she ended it, so please feel free to leave a comment letting her know how good a job she did (thanks, The parents).

The spare room is slowly filling up with "boat stuff".

A few dollars spent at IKEA (storage solutions for the kid's cabins, galley stuff etc...) and don't forget the Boatshow back in January (Sham Wows!!!), new masks and snorkels, remote VHF mic, sailing gloves and Pooh-Meter!!

Yeh, I am really excited about the Pooh-Meter!!

Spend any amount of time on a boat (especially with 2 young kids) and you will gain an appreciation for efficient waste disposal.

"Engines, anchoring and head (bathroom)" are three of our main priorities. A close fourth is keeping the beer cold, but I'll save that one for a later post.

Last Fall I did a rebuild of our head. The toilet was removed, cleaned and serviced (yes, they require service). All of the hoses were replaced. The holding tank was removed, and you can never get "every last drop" out of a tank that is installed. It was emptied, scrubbed, flushed and disinfected (sorry, no pics). I also added a macerator pump so that when we are in areas where it's legal (Atlantic Ocean, parts of the Bahamas) we can directly discharge overboard rather than into the holding tank.

As you can see from the above pic, our raritan PH2 head suffered a knockdown in the basement. Thankfully I can buy just a new bowl, but it's costing us over $200!!! That's just for the bowl!

Anyway, back to the Pooh-Meter. We bought a really slick little unit that will tell us exactly how full the holding tank is. Kinda hard for someone to appreciate how nice this will be (actually a real luxury) until you have had to deal with an overflowing holding tank and not a Pump-out station within a day's sail!!

Other gobs of money being sunk into the boat this past week include:

- VHF radio and antennae

- laptop (Sorry Cheryl, it's a Dell!!)

-manual bilge pump

-digital battery monitor

-hand-operated washing machine (more on this when it arrives and we can try it out)

-replacement windshield

Future posts will give an update on all the other things we are doing to get the boat ready.

That's all for now.

Repeat after me, "Summer, Summer, Summer, SUMMERRRRRRRR!!!!!!!

If that doesn't work, please check out the link below (check it out regardless). Mark's cousin Colin and his family have just moved to Oman, and it's stinkin' hot there!

Hasta luego,
Mark and the crew of "Charlotte-Ann".