Back in the Saddle Again

19 Days, 3 hours and a few minutes....but who's counting? Well, everyone that's been to the yard can appreciate being back in the water again.

Even if you've never been to the yard, imagine leaving your home for three weeks and coming back to a dusty, dirty, floor boards up, plumbing not connected, mattresses on edge kind of mess. Two days of being in the water and nearly all is forgotten...and the cat (Adjima) is way happy again.

Changed all through-hulls, pulled and replaced the rudder pins, fixed a few ugly spots on her bottom, and got a new coat of anti fouling paint. Lots of work, but no way it could have gotten done without some great friends and help. Dennis who came by at least every other day to find more spots for us to fix...(actually I'm convinced it was to make sure we weren't getting in WAY over our heads), Jeff and Elise who offered us rooms, Bob and Kitty who came by to roll on glass...and offer moral support "this too shall pass", Barnacle Bill with the prop, Rick (Gulf Port Machine) great work with all the precision parts and timely response EVERY time we needed it, Bill and Gary who were somehow coerced into removing (hammering, drilling, grinding, prying, wedging, lifting!) the rudder for inspection, and everyone else....in the end, I don't believe a day went by that a friend didn't stop to see how we were doing.

So we're not looking back...well only this once... at the spot of dust that remains where our little ship Celebration sat in the yard out of her element for those 19 days. Thanks to all of our friends she, and we, are on the water again.

Thank you,


I found this long haired, bearded man in the engine room. He was working hard, so I let him stay. It's a good thing Steve has knees that can bend backward, telescope into themselves, and sometimes detach. He can get into the smallest places to work. Here, he's installing the thru hulls in the engine room, next to Nanni, the diesel. Nanni is our new marinized Kubota engine, very shiny. Steve installed Nanni, too. He attached his legs to his torso so he could spend days leaning over and hooking up all the brackets, hoses, etc, that had to be installed. I didn't get any photos of that.

Pepe made a break for it today. Pepe is a little dog on one of the boats in the Salt Creek Marina, where we're still on the hard. He sits on the bow of his boat, looking at the finger pier, wanting to go for a walk.
Today the wind was from the east, blowing the boat as close to the pier as it can ever get. Pepe sat there looking, then stood, looking undecided, worried. The boat bounced back and forth a few times as he got his courage up. He jumped for it, landing on the 18 inch wide plank with a skid. One quick look back at the boat, and he was off. I was watching all this as I was hand sanding the dent in the bow of our boat caused by my head, when he went by, tongue out, smiling, laughing. He kept going, taking the corner by the office at a fast trot. Minutes went by. He was discovered missing. He was brought back in disgrace, stubby tail between his legs. Now he sits, his back to us all, waiting for another east wind.


Hauling Out, The Romance Continues

A "haul out" for those not nautically inclined, means taking the boat out of the water and getting at all those parts usually underwater. We haven't had Celebration out of the water since we bought her, 6 years ago and she was due for a bottom job, new thru hulls and some rudder work.
This was all new to me, this process of lifting a boat out of the slip with a crane and a giant set of slings. I tried not to get in the way, taking pictures.

She was power washed and put into her temp home in the boatyard. Steve's been grinding out the blisters (paint bubbles) and getting the hull ready for new paint. She's is really good shape for not having new paint for 8 years. We've had plenty of help, both advice and physical labor-wise, and appreciate it all. Well, most of it, some of the yard guys know EVERYTHING, and love to share (and share and share).

We're staying with friends, Jeff and Elise, who have a hostel for wayward sailors. They even have a dog to pet. Good company, good food, we may not leave. We could have stayed aboard in the yard, but sharing a bathroom with 25 of my best guy friends, a lot of whom can't seem to hit the middle of the toilet, just isn't my thing. They do have one nice set of teeth between them, though.

It's dirty,dusty, hot work. I'm really glad it's March and not August.


It's the life for me

Oh, the romance of a sailing life! The hot and heavy masks, the attractive safety glasses, the splelunking lamp. Working inside with all the hatches closed so the dust and shavings don't blow everywhere.

We're cutting new counter tops from a piece of Avonite, which is a poly/acrylic recycled material that has to be cut with a router, and the shavings come off by the bucket load. The counter is black and copper, but the shavings are white, like shredded coconut sized feathers that have static cling. It actually looked like it had snowed. They go everywhere and blow around when we breath. We've perfected a technique where Steve cuts and I get the vacuum hose positioned just right to catch the worst of it. We still spent almost an hour cleaning up at the end of the day. It's looking great, the colors match really well. Today should be the last of the cutting, glue some seams tomorrow and Voila! new galley. Three weeks of hard work for Steve. This has been one of the most challenging boat projects so far. This is a shot of the cushions with our Florida snow, after the vacuum motor overheated and we had to sit and wait.