Is a dry boat really necessary?

Ok so…. The boat is all settled in. She is on a mooring ball as we work on her. The frustration has mounted as we take 2 steps forward and 5 steps back. There is much more work than we anticipated. Oh boy is there more work. The leak elimination was going well. So we thought. For every leak we fix we find another. While fixing the window leak in the head it starts pouring. Turn your head and what do we see across the way? If you answered another leaky window, you are correct. We didn’t know about that one. Also we Fixed the leaky mast only to find out there is water coming from inside the mast as well. Oh the joy of a dry boat. She will most definitely be a very dry boat by the time we are done with her.
Surely you have seen hamsters running on a wheel. This how we are feeling about now. And yes at any given moment one of us may be ready to jump ship. The thought has crossed our minds a time or two. That isn’t happening though. We are in this together for the long haul. The rewards will be AMAZING. That is what keeps us chugging along one project at a time. We have accomplished a lot though . To stay motivated we have to look at the projects we have accomplished. She was an  1 1/2 hrs. away before so every trip was less productive than it is now. The engine is installed and running properly. That took a bit of work. Not much info available for that installation. Dennis is working on a post all about that project. The house batteries and solar panels are up and running. Sometimes things got done more than once. She has gotten a good scrubbing on the inside to get rid of mold and mildew. The bilge has been scrubbed and is now free of past diesel and whatever the hell else was in there. It stunk. The shower drain leads away from the mast and into our nice clean bilge now instead of water sitting at the bottom of the mast.  Several leaks have been repaired so she is getting drier each time we go out to work on her.
We need to take her out for a joy ride soon though. All work and no play makes for a grumpy crew.

Until next time,
Señora del Mar

 

How many engines does it take?

A journey that expectedly took longer than expected. Isn’t that the way it usually goes? First off we got  a late start from Titusville and didn’t quite make it as far as we had hoped. The wind was not blowing and our engine is not set up for a long journey so we used the dinghy with the 9.8 outboard. Everything was cruising along smoothly and we anchored for the night. It is such an AWESOME feeling when things go so well.

How short lived that was. The 9.8 dies because we ran out of oil, the shaft slips on the inboard and it is no longer operational. We are now left with old reliable, the little 5hp champion that seems to always save our asses. Oh but it always gets better. The sun is setting, we are cruising at a super slow speed and not sure if we have enough gas to get to the marina to dock for the night. There is no place to anchor and we are not prepared to sail at night. The universe was not going to completely kill our spirit, we did make it to the dock. Have I mentioned that I have never in my life brought a boat into a slip. With a dinghy no less. A bit of a struggle but we got tied up for the night.

Morning comes and we start the day with the breakfast of champions, ice cream. We set off for the last leg of our trip. The power boats are out in full force so rather than get upset because the wake tosses the boat every which way, there was DINGHY SURFING to be done. I do believe Murphy was done with us at this point. Our travels to St. Augustine were pretty uneventful. We were going to have to dock again though. There are no moorings till after the 4th. The engine needs to be repaired already. I am saying my prayers and pleading with the universe that it is an easy fix.

Until next time,
Señora del Mar

Leaks, Leaks, Everywhere Leaks

Beautiful but a bit leaky at the moment.

We need the rain yes, but enough already! There is a reason for everything, at least that is what we keep telling ourselves. It seems to hold true enough in this instance and all this non-stop rain here in Florida lately has been a blessing in disguise. We prefer our boat to be as dry as possible, but mother nature as usual has other plans. The rain has shown us where every single little leak is. There still may be more we don’t see, yeah! Seriously it can stop raining now, please. The to do list is getting a bit longer than any of us would like. Did we really expect anything less? Nah, of course not.

The major leaks that need attention for the moment are above the engine room coming from fuel fill valve and one of the cockpit drain hoses. That one is kind of a big deal. It turns out all those frustrating  motor install delays have been a blessing in disguise. We would probably be cursing and crying had the motor been installed before finding that particular leak. Then we have the front port stanchions leaking that have done a good bit of damage to the front portion of the bulkhead. That’s going to be a whole other repair job. The window in the head needs 1 new latch and probably some type of new gasket. The amount of water coming in there is amazing.  Of course the keel stepped mast  is leaking. Lastly there are a couple of small leaks from the windows in the main cabin. It is starting to feel like I bought another fixer-upper (lol). The thought “What the hell did we get ourselves into” has crossed our minds more than once lol. 

The camera does no justice to the puddle of water.

Until next time,
Dennis

We Make it a Little Closer to Home

Roger to the rescue!!!!!

Fortunately after a few setbacks including the weather and availability, we were blessed to have a part-time mover help us out that seller had found on craigslist. Roger is a pretty neat guy, from Trinidad who enjoys sailing, is very experienced and isn’t afraid to tackle an issue,  our motorless sailboat. On top of that his price was more than reasonable.

So here was the plan, we would hiptow her using our dinghy and a used 9.8 outboard that I purchased for this one purpose, figuring I could resell after and make my money back from the motor.

So the big day arrived. Would everything come together as planned? (insert hysterical laughter) Of course not. After replacing spark plugs along with the upper and lower oil in the Nissan outboard and learning everything I could about this outboard, we could not get the motor to stay on. After spending about 2 hours of frustration we decided to try the 5.0 Tahatsu 2 stroke (no tide pulls out here thank God). Low and behold she worked flawlessly and tirelessly, until…… we ran out of gas. 

Roger and I knew better (2 strokes love gas!),  the previous owner assured us that the the 2 gallons of gas we had would get us from Cocoa to Titusville without a problem. Never happened! Looking back it was a good experience to learn how to handle these types of situations. Stacey was trailing on land so she bought us some gas and 2stroke oil, waited at the nearest marina and asked someone that was headed out for a day on their boat to bring us the gas. We pulled over to the side of the ICW and set down our anchor while we waited for the saviors. Boat people are a very helpful bunch

After we got going again we did manage to set a our head sail up for while while trying to conserve gas. (We were headed towards another gas shortage). Unfortunately, the wind was against us most of the way, but we did end making it to Titusville!

After a long grueling day of boat towing (Roger took on the brunt in the dinghy for the entire ride) and paying the man for his awesome service and teaching us a few things along the way, we invited him and his girlfriend to dinner and drinks and had a good time getting to know them better

By this time and because we woke up this morning at 4:00 am to make this thing happen we were exhausted. Would you believe it that Roger, this guy from Trinidad that we first met this morning invited to stay at his rental property for the night for free so that we could get home safely the next morning. We took him up on his offer and It was a good decision to stay the night.

Working with Roger was an absolute pleasure. We spoke about family, work, and boats all along the way. We learned much from him and I admire that he was always patient and thorough from the beginning of the trip to the very end. I hope we can continue a long friendship with Roger and his girlfriend Tangy.

With all being said, I must say we were blessed with an honest and very helpful seller. I have heard of many horror stories out there. Fortunately, we never had to experience any of that.

Stay tuned as the adventure continues. We still have to get her home to St. Augustine.
Until next time,
Dennis

 

The Adventures Begin

It’s been a slow start after Hurricane Mathew hit. The local community has been doing a lot of cleaning up and damage assessing. Fortunately, the Fermin family faired well with Mathew. Our little sailboat survived! The worst was being without  internet for just over a week.

So here we are trying our hand at a different market lately here in st. Augustine, Fl. The Wednesday Market by the Pier. Wish us luck!

So as promised, I said last time that I would give you run down about our interesting travel adventures over the past several years that have brought us to where we are today. Several years back we were living In a 3,600 square foot home in Ga. until the economy bottomed out. At that time I was a full- time private music instructor. Anyway we figured that we had two choices: we could rent a smaller place without the guarantee of having enough income to pay rent or we could begin our crazy travel adventures. After gaining some knowledge and inspiration from youtube we decided to take on a school bus RV home conversion project and hit the road.

We purchased an older 35 foot dog nose diesel Bluebird built in Ga. and went to work!
It was a challenging, but fun project. Learned lots of new things from steel work to plumbing, constructing walls and bunk beds and all kinds of crazy stuff. We completely re-did the ceiling since it was previously ripped off. Also put in 12 volt and 110 volt wiring throughout. Bathroom, shower, convertible couch, you name it! Way too many detail to get into, but you can catch lots of pictures and videos here:

bus
http://ferminchaos.blogspot.com/p/bus.html

https://www.youtube.com/user/FerminChaos/videos

Although,  It was an interesting, exciting and educational project. I couldn’t quite figure out how to make ends meet and support a family of 6 doing music entertainment while part time traveling so we decided to moved on, parked and eventually sold the bus once we decided to call St. Augustine, Fl. our home (for the time being).

Somehow along the line we have developed a taste for the gypsy lifestyle and the thirst continues! More to come in the next Senora del Mar blog post!

Dennis Fermin
http://www.ferminspanishguitar.com/

img_1637
Stacey, my wife babysitting our learner sailboat (Squirt) recently while waiting to plucked out of the water.