Directions

Our latest entry always comes up first...

Click this link if you want to start at the beginning of our trip from
South Carolina (where we bought the boat) to Lake Ontario Click this link:

If you want to see the story of our 2 1/2 year project getting
Blowin' Bubbles ready for our life on board click here:
FIRST "REFIT" BLOG ENTRY - March 2011

If you want to start at the beginning of our trip:
START OF TRIP - July 2014
2015, 2016, 2017

Saturday, December 15, 2012

We Have Solved the Compressor Problem

I am happy to report that we are the proud owners of 2 newer scuba compressors. The fellow in Washington ended up selling us his and we bought the unit in Texas. Together we have invested another thousand dollars but these units have interchangeable parts and the newer one only has .7 hours on it.... we will get one working for sure and at the very least the other will have spare parts. We will try to sell the older units in the spring. While they may not work for scuba, they should work great for paintball, especially if they are used outside...



We are patiently waiting for our life-raft to get finished and after Christmas we should get the dodger done..


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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Our NEW Solar/Wind Arch....

Last week we went to Niagara Falls to pick up our new hydraulic steering ram and the two scuba compressors we bought when I was sick.  On the way we picked up Shelley's dad's trailer and dropped it off at Klacco Marine in Grimsby.

The next morning on our way home we picked up the arch and delivered it to our home in Cambridge.





Unfortunately, while we were wrestling it into the back yard, the city came along and gave us a parking ticket...  gotta love those guys...


Saturday, November 3, 2012

It Has Been Quite a Month....

Just after my last post I started to become a little unwell...  As most know my back has been giving me all kinds of grief over the last few years.  My solution has been to just take a few more pills and keep going.  It turns out that this was not the brightest solution....  A few weeks ago I started to bleed internally and ended up with a bunch of tubes sticking out of me in hospital...

They seem to have fixed that problem but now I am having to deal with my back problems in a little different way...  This has meant that NOTHING has been done to or for the boat in the last month...

Today however, I asked a bunch of family and friends to meet Shelley and I at the boat this morning and together we got the engine winterized and the boat covered for the winter.  We have decided that all work on the boat will stop until the spring when I am feeling better and we are ready to get her back to the water.


The only big job that did not get completed was the replacement of the steering ram.  We have the part and will try to get it installed as soon as things warm up in the spring.

I have made tentative arrangements with the transport company and the marina to get the boat back in the water in late April or early May (depending on weather).  We also have our name on a few waiting lists for a slip for next summer....  All we need now is a big pile of money!  we are guessing that the shipping and launch will cost around 5-6,000 and slip fees will be around another 3,000...  Wish us luck!

On a happy note, our arch for the back of the boat should be ready this month (November) and our re-certified life raft should be ready before the end of the year.  This winter, Shelley and I will try to make ourselves a new Dodger at home...  This should be an adventure...

More news later.... Cheers!





Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Compressor Woes

A month or so ago I tested our scuba compressor and discovered that there was some blow-by on the high pressure heads... Confused... Well basically that means that the scuba compressor will barely be able to fill a tank and worse, the boat will fill with an oily smoke that will make shelley really happy... NOT!

So what do we do?

The simple answer is to by a new compressor. But the truth is we can't afford the $3 to $6 thousand for a brand new one.

Which leaves places like eBay and Craig's List... This option has now officially driven me crazy.

I connected with a man in Washington DC who had EXACTLY what I needed but was very reluctant to ship it to me... So I haven't heard back from him so I assume that he sold it to someone local.... Rats...

I am now trying to get a friend of mine to look at another unit in Dallas Texas... This one is newer but also more expensive.... and heavier... and bigger... and more expensive to ship....

So What do we do?

I'll keep looking and hoping...

On a happier note we are now the proud owners of all the gizmo's that we need to make our own soda pop on board... Shelley found that many cruisers have gone to a product called Soda Stream because of the cost and lack of available and or affordable pop in some places.. The downside to the Soda Stream is the cost of the C02 cartridges required to make it work...

After some extensive internet research we found that for about $100 we bought an adaptor from a standard 20lb. CO2 cylinder to the Soda Stream cylinder.

We also found syrup in bulk for $15 per gallon which will make soda pop easy and crazy cheap!


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Friday, October 5, 2012

If It Weren't for Bad Luck....

Have you ever had a day when you decided afterwards that you would have been better off staying in bed..... After days of trying we have now discovered a couple of things with the steering on the boat... The $79 ram at Princess Auto is what they call an unbalanced ram, which like me, means it will not work to steer the boat... Not only that, when I installed it, I turned the wheel of the lower helm and oil just gushed everywhere from the rear seal...

So now it means that I had to find a balanced ram... After all kinds of mis-adventure I have finally found one at Redden Marine in Washington State....
with shipping it will cost just under $900.... That is a big expense we were not counting on... But like most people have said, better for it to go now than when we were 200 miles from shore in a storm....(I know the picture says $984, but they sold it to me for $850 plus shipping)




I really tried hard to buy one in Canada but even though this Teleflex steering ram is made in Richmond BC, it costs almost $1200 to buy in Canada... Crazy eh?

Hopefully, it will be at the mail box next week and we can get it installed before the weather gets too cold....

This week I had to work on Friday so nothing else got done.. Maybe I can spend some time tomorrow (Saturday)...



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Saturday, September 29, 2012

What a Great Day!

As you might have guessed after re-fitting our boat for 18 months we have a few bits and pieces either left over, or left out when we put the boat together.

Today we got up really early and left for Mississauga to participate in the annual Store Mason Bilge & Locker Swap Sale and Chili Cook-off....


After arriving it was clear that we had WAY too much stuff for just one picnic table.... So after paying the princely sum of $60, we unloaded our jeep that was so full that Shelley had to drive there with her head tilted to one side...

We arrived just before 9am for a sale that was to run from 10-2.... As we unloaded the jeep people were picking through the stuff... HOLY ENERGETIC SHOPPERS!

There were people who were clearly skilled at finding the early bargains....

We decided as we drove down that we were operating this day like a Dutch Auction, that is, we set the price for everything last night and as the day progressed we would lower the price until we found someone who would pay for the stuff we were trying to sell... The crowds were pretty steady until about noon.... I have to tell you that after lunch things got pretty cheap... By 1:30 I was almost giving the last few things we had away...



In the end we brought home about 1/3 of what we brought and netted after expenses a little more than $500.... Ain't Life GRAND!

The winner of the chili cook-off was (the chili we liked the best) from The Port Credit Yacht Club...

After a long day it was good to get home... We will try to sell the bits and pieces we still have on Kijiji and eBay... All this stuff MUST go.... Here are pictures of what is left. If there is something you see that you might want (really cheap) let me know at: kyleandshelleyb@gmail.com.



























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Friday, September 28, 2012

Another Busy Friday...

Today started early as I re-installed the new controller for the fridge... Whooo-Hooo! it worked!  I payed $150 on Ebay instead of $485 which was wanted at a refrigeration supply house...  On Monday I will meet Derek (my refrigeration guy) after he is done work to re-charge the system and hopefully get that job done for a while....

After that, I took an hour and touched up any area of the topsides (the white part of the boat above the waterline and below the deck) that had a small ding or scratch...  it doesn't look incredible, but it does look OK...  Besides I have invoked a 50 foot rule...  That is, if something looks good from 50 feet then it is "JUST FINE!"

After painting I took some vapor barrier (6 mil. plastic sheeting) and laid out a pattern for the dodger on the dodger frame that Ed and I installed last week...  Over the next week or so I plan to sew the basic dodger then re-fit it before I put on the final hems and zippers....

It took a little while but I think I may have done ok... I guess we will find out for sure after I cut up $80 worth of Sunbrella... By the way, that $80 (for 10 yards) is REALLY cheap... Shelley found a guy in the states who sells off end rolls at half the price of regular Sunbrella, up to $20 a yard.

Around noon, Shelley came by and took me for lunch (Ok, I paid, but she drove)... While we were gone Ed (my father in law) showed up and when we got back he and I tackled a job that I absolutely NEVER wanted to do... As you know if you have been following this blog, I have had all kinds of trouble bleeding the air from the hydraulic steering system. Well today we discovered that the steering ram has a leaky seal.... Holy expensive crap! (I thought)  We really don't have the money to be rebuilding this steering ram....  As we were removing it we figured out that the rudder turns about 20 degrees farther to one side that the other...  This anomaly was not unknown to me, I just never gave it too much thought.

But what we discovered is that at some point in the boats history, the original steering ram was replaced with something too small, so the distance the ram would travel was not enough for a full steering range.  Not only that, the ram was installed in a different place that the original and was causing the 20 degree problem.. AND it was almost IMPOSSIBLE to access.



After we got the leaky ram out, Shelley and I went to Princess Auto (kind of a Disneyland for MacGyver type guys) and found a ram that should work more like what was originally installed on the boat...  Tonight we picked a few more bits and pieces at Home Depot and hopefully later in the day tomorrow I can see if the new contraption will work....

The whole time Ed and I were fighting with the old steering system Shelley loaded my Jeep to the ceiling with stuff from the trailer that we are taking to The Store Mason's annual swap sale and chili cook-off tomorrow in Port Credit, Ontario.  We have rented a table at the sale for $30 and hope to sell a TON of stuff that is left over and replaced on our boat....  If you wanna save TONS of money and get some of my old stuff, PLEASE come by....  I will let you know how we made out tomorrow....

Last note.  We have 2 dinghy's and we would like to sell one of them.... so we have the following for sale:

Bauer 10   Dinghy

Standard Rowboat Pricing:    MSRP $2,300

Specifications:
  L.O.A.  10'1"
  D.W.L  9'3"
  Beam  4'9"
  Draft 4"
  Weight Hull (Approx)  130 lbs
  Height Above D.W.L.  20"
  Capacity  4 Persons or 550 lbs.
   Maximum Capacity  640 lbs.
  Maximum HP  2 HP

MAKE AN OFFER!



Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Few Saturday Jobs....

Not a lot of big jobs done today... Well to be honest, not a lot of energy to do too much. So I did a small job that has waited months...  I put snaps on the propane cover, the generator cover and the windlass cover.  I also put snaps on the boat where they are to attach...  everything worked out ok.





I also switched the anchors...  they can both be deployed and retrieved without interfering with each other..


Then I attached the life raft bracket to the deck with bolts and 3m 5200...

My last job today was to cut out a new frame for the screen that will go where the main entry hatch normally goes on hot days when we are on board...

For a slow day, I guess a fair bit got done...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

It's Time to Get Back To The Water...

Today I looked at the new hybrid map on my iPad and found this:


Yep, that is our boat!
This week we made arrangements with the trucking company to bring the boat back to Lake Ontario next spring... It will be a VERY EXPENSIVE proposition....

At this point it looks like it will be about $8,000 to keep the boat next year. $800 for the crane, $3000 for the truck, $1000 to put the boat in the water, then $3200 for a slip for next season... WOW! We are trying to find ways to trim that number down....

The other day I went to turn on the fridge and it didn't work. I called my friend Derek and he figured out that the controller was broken. No problem, how much can that cost, I wondered?.... Are you ready for this? $485! Fortunately I found one on eBay for $150... We will pick it up next week and I hope it fixes the problem....

Today, my father in law (Ed) and Bill S. helped me bleed the steering system again.... I really hope we got the air out this time....

I also got the dodger frame installed today and next week I will make a pattern to make a new dodger...

Just another day on the boat.... On a happy note we now have the tarps ready to go. Before the snow flys we will cover the boat and keep it safe for the winter...

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Friday, September 14, 2012

Just a few Jobs Today...

Today was a pretty easy day at the boat...  I installed our map above our bed... I think it looks great!

I also put down the new runner in the main salon...

The big job for today was to get a big pile of stuff ready in the trailer for the swap meet next weekend and put the last few things away in the boat... We have quite a pile of stuff to get rid of... We will be having kind of a dutch auction....  As the day goes on we will be lowering the prices on almost everything till its all gone or we give it away....  There are a few items however, that we will sell on Ebay if they don't sell for a reasonable amount...  Things like the stove and the Danforth anchor...

Today I also cleaned the spilled oil up in the bilge...  A few weeks ago I found a gallon of oil under the drip tray which is under the engine...  when I put it upright on the shelf I did not know that it was leaking!  So a week later there was a gallon of oil in the bilge.... Yuk!  I used an old wet vac and got 95% of it then I took a few oil absorbent towels and got the next 4%....  there may be a little left, so I added an oil boom (an oil absorbent log) to the bilge.  The last little bit will be absorbed into that.... (What a mess!)

Then I spent about half an hour trying to get the air out of the steering hydraulic lines.   After I failed miserably I called Bill S and my father in law, Ed, who agreed to come next Thursday morning and help me... I need someone at each helm and someone to bleed the screws on the steering ram....  I will get this thing figured out eventually!

About noon Shelley came and put some more stuff in the galley and inspected the map over our bed (I got an approval), then we went for lunch together... A nice break...

My last job today was to install a fan in the workshop up in the focile....  It will make a real difference on hot days and I am working in that tight little space...  We now have 2 fans in the aft cabin, 1 in the aft head (bathroom), 1 in the galley, 2 in the main salon, 1 in the mid-ship starboard cabin (the dive shop), 2 in the mid-ship port cabin (1 on each bunk), and 1 in the focile (workshop)... 10 fans - that ought to keep the air moving! I wonder if we just aimed them all at the sails..... Oh... never mind....

More later..... :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Little Jobs at Home...

Over the last week or so we have focused on a few jobs at home. First we made some new cushions to replace the the grungy old ones... for a first effort with our new sewing machine, I think we did ok....


Tonight we bought a piece of 25 x 54 1/4" plywood, some 1/8" cork material, some spray adhesive and some batting... Why You ask?

A few weeks ago we found a fabric map of the world in England and bought some and had it sent to our home in Canada. I arrived this week.

Here is what we ended up with:

We will now attach this above our bed and use it to track our journey around the world...

Kinda cool eh?

We also, bought a runner from Walmart to put over the engine hatch in the main salon....

This Friday I will try to put it all together....

Today we went to the mailbox and picked up our tarp that we will use to cover the boat this winter... In the next few weeks we will get that put on the boat then wait for spring... :( :(

This week we rented a table at The Store Mason's annual SWAP sale... For $30 we get a table and we will try to sell the leftover stuff from our re-fit...  This sale takes place on September 29th in Port Credit, Ontario... Come by if you are looking for some spare parts...




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Monday, September 3, 2012

Open House (I Mean Boat....)

You know they say that it takes a village to raise a child... I have come to believe that it takes an whole bunch of people to re-fit a boat....


Today Shelley and I invited all the folks who have helped us in various ways to complete our re-fit to an afternoon barbecue. We served hot dogs, hamburgs and drinks to about 60 people.... Some helped us in a "hands on" way and others helped with more moral support, all in all though our "village" came together. Thank you to everyone!

Next week we will be picking up a new cover and then will close the boat for the winter. Next spring we will truck the boat back to Lake Ontario and spend next summer shaking Blowin' Bubbles down getting ready to depart on July 1st 2014... Just 669 days from today (but who's counting)....

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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Re-Loading the Boat...

We are starting to get things back on the boat..... We now have a LOAD of storm gear including but not limited to the Jordan Series Drogue, a 6' parachute anchor, a gale sail, a storm tri-sail... All this stuff and a prayer that we never have to use it....


Yesterday, I picked up the Si-Tec AIS unit that we bought from Defender. They offered this $800 class B transponder for less than $500. An AIS is a unit that tells us what other AIS equipped vessels are doing, who they are and their speed and direction. It integrates with both our Raymarine chartplotter/radar and our NavSim chartplotter software on our PC. This unit ALSO transmits our info. This system is the most amazing gear available today.
Originally we were not going to purchase this stuff but the price was right and lets face it, when it comes to safety we really can't afford to scrimp.... Can we?

The last job done today was to touch up some accent paint and wrap the masts ready to ship back to the lake next spring...



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