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

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Life Is Like a Toilet Seat....

Our latest entry always comes up first... 
Click this link if you want to start at the beginning:
FIRST BLOG ENTRY
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Up and down, up and down.....

Great news, We now have another offer on the house....  And, of course we have the 7 business day wait again, but this time the only condition is the home inspection...  And we already had that done once....

The other GREAT news is the young couple who have made the offer are just awesome!  I FEEL SO MUCH BETTER with these people than I did the last time.  They brought their parents and there is no doubt that this is the kind of house and the price range they are looking for...

I sincerely believe that everything happens for a reason, and that ultimately WE are not in charge...
(end sermon...)

The other bit of news for today is that our new dinghy engine is now ready and we will pick it up next Friday...  Another job off the list...

Cheers!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Well Maybe Not...

On the last day, we just learned that the couple who put an offer on the house could not afford it.  That and their Real Estate agent chose not to make his commission a little less to make the deal come together, now causes the house to be for sale again......  Grrrr....


Oh well, we fortunately kept a list of 6 others who showed an interest in the house AFTER we accepted the conditional offer.... We showed the house twice yesterday and have more viewings scheduled over the next few days.....




On a happier note, Shelley bought my son and I tickets to see a Toronto Maple Leafs game for Christmas and last night we went to see them lose to the Pitsburg Pequins, 5 - 3.  While the leafs lost, I had an AWESOME time with my son and will always cherish the time we spend together... Being married with a child now makes our time together infrequent, but very special....


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The House Is Sold!



You know that you are close to leaving when you wake up and realize that you are jobless and homeless... Last Tuesday a for sale sign went in the lawn and on Saturday we accepted an offer for our FULL asking price for our home. The offer is conditional on financing and a home inspection, but we feel very confident that everything will work well.

My last day of work will be the 29th of June and then we will be on our way south....

We will be giving most of our stuff away to our children and as soon as the weather warms up a bit we will be having a massive garage sale...


On the purchasing front we have now purchased 3/4 black & White copies of all the charts we will need to go from home to Panama from Bellingham Charts..  the total cost was about$480.  not cheap but worth it in our humble opinion.  Today I also ordered the Navionics charts for our Raymarine system from Defender.  that is for all of Canada & America and the Caribbean/South America.  Because I had some fairly recent Navionics sd cards, we were given a special price totaling $224
We also have a COMPLETE set of NOAA charts on the laptop.


Our last Purchase the other day was an 85lb. MANTUS anchor.  they CLAIM that this is the best anchor out there right now, so for almost $700 we will see.  The best price we found for this anchor was at Sailboat Owners.com




I think we are ready....

Friday, March 7, 2014

DIY Camera Gadgets

Our latest entry always comes up first... 
Click this link if you want to start at the beginning:
FIRST BLOG ENTRY
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After many hours of scouring dozens of You Tube videos that describe do-it-yourself (DIY) movie and camera gear, I have built what I think will be enough gadgets that will make our videos and stills a little better than what we could hope for with just the basic equipment we own.

If you look a some past entries I have described a few of the gadgets that I have built so far.  But here is the list of the complete camera gear we will be taking with us as we travel around the world.

In terms of cameras, we have a few:
 The built in camera on our iPhone:
You would be surprised how often we use the iPhone and how good those pictures are.  Last Christmas Shelley bought me an I-Pix underwater housing for it and we used it in Cuba and got some awesome underwater pictures when we added the orange correction filter. This housing is good to about 100 feet or 30 meters.

2 Olympus point & shoot cameras:
They are both waterproof to about 10 meters or 30 feet.  Perfect for having a small lightweight camera handy and with us when we are exploring or just out and about.  These cameras also work really well when we are snorkeling or playing at the beach.


Olympus C-7070 camera:
With this we have an Olympus underwater housing and a Sea&Sea YS-90 underwater strobe and bracket.  This rig has given us most of the amazing underwater pictures in our collection.  This is not the most sophisticated or up to date equipment out there, but gives us everything we need to capture wonderful underwater memories....

Go-Pro HERO 2 camera:
the cost for the Hero3 was just too much for us, so we settled for the Hero2.  Last summer we got some awesome shots of the boat as we sailed and motored along. In addition to the basic camera, we have the wi-fi connector so we can monitor and control the camera from our iPhone or iPad.  It also came with underwater housings and other protective gear along with a bunch of accessories.  This will be the camera that we hope to get our most amazing videos from...

Nikon D3200 DSLR:
Our newest addition and perhaps the nicest camera I have ever owned. In addition to the camera body we have and 18-55mm and a 80-300mm lens, plus a close-up kit for both lenses.  For lighting we have an off brand TTL Flash that can light up the sun! This is the camera we will be using to create our videos as well as still pictures.  For movie making we have a shotgun condenser mic and a variable LED movie light with various filters for colour correction.

Now for the gadgets:

We have 2 large tripods, 2 small tripods, and 2 mini tripods.


A DIY steady cam made with a macro slider and quick disconnect for either the D-3200 or the Go-Pro.This was the most expensive gadget that I made, but it will hopefully make our videos look way better than if we just hand held the camera.



A DIY octagonal frame holder to steady the camera for regular hand held shots and to hold the camera for shots that come from different and interesting angles...



A DIY slider unit.  This is our latest addition and perhaps the most fun. When I use the track, I can slide the camera along for 4' nice and smoothly, either horizontally or on almost any angle or incline...  when attached to the 2 big tripods it can be used almost anywhere, otherwise the track needs to be on a table or the ground. The rig that actually holds the camera was made from a $15 skateboard that I bought at Walmart and a REALLY cheap tripod that I found at XS Cargo.  The track and all the bits and pieces came from Lowes our newest and nicest big box home improvement place.


A DIY balanced holder. This rig can be used with almost any lens or light configuration, as the weights at the end of the arms can be adjusted to balance the rig as necessary.




A DIY Jib Crane.  Again, with some leftover parts from other projects, a $9 tripod and some garage door pulleys from Canadian Tire, I made an awesome Jib Crane that will make shots look like a professional made them happened....  This unit can be dis-assembled and assembled in about 5 minutes and is portable enough to go almost anywhere....

Along with this equipment we will keep all the cameras in protected dry-boxes and all the images on removable hard drives. If you want more information on DIY camera gadgets just check out You Tube...  It is a GREAT resource for almost any project....

One final note for today, I went with all my copper to the scrap yard yesterday and discovered a world that I never knew existed! WOW! what a place...  I met some very helpful people who re-sorted all the stuff I though I had all worked out, and ended the day with $140.00 WHOO-HOO! Free money!  This is from the bits of copper that I removed from the boat during the re-fit and would have otherwise thrown away, if I hadn't seen a scrapping video on You Tube... I will never again wonder why I see someone going through my trash every Wednesday night...  There is a ton on money to be made in the scrap metal business...

Cheers everyone,
Kyle

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Ok, It's Getting Really Close....

Our latest entry always comes up first... 
Click this link if you want to start at the beginning:
FIRST BLOG ENTRY
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You know you are getting close to leaving when your house is now officially for sale and they have found your replacement at work... This weekend I learned that the folks who are in charge of finding my replacement have found someone. In the next few weeks I will find out who it is and my last day will be the 30th of June...

We have now listed our house for sale on Kijiji and before you laugh you need to know that 180 people have looked at it already and we have have one email and have shown the house once already...  If it doesn't sell this month on Kijiji then we will list it with either Com-Free or The Property Guys.  That way we will get the house listed on the MLS listings.

Here is the link if you are looking for an awesome house:
Our House In Cambridge, Ontario



This week I also got the rest of the copper stripped and we should end up with about $100 worth of copper... Well worth the time and effort...
L to R - #3-#1-#2-Tinned

#3
#1

#2
  
Tinned
The copper was broken up into 4 groups:
 #1 Bright worth about $3.17 per lb., #2 worth $2.95 per lb.,
 #3 worth about $2.75 per lb. and tinned which I think is worth the same as #2...

This week I will find the best price and sell it.  Given that we spent about $50 for the machine that did the stripping, we should net somewhere around $50...  Not bad considering it would have ended up in the dumpster when I took it off the boat.  As I stripped it I was frightened to see how much of it was in bad shape.  We were lucky that there was not a fire, or that so many electrical things still worked...  

I also put the finishing touches on the solar hot water heater and the solar/battery power supply.  I took the 1/4" tubing that goes too and from the tank and the solar heater and threaded it into a section of garden hose to protect it and insulate it.  then I put shut-offs at each end to keep water locked in the line, this way when I hook it up I wont have to prime it each time.  I also put a double ended female connector on the actual solar panel lines to keep the air out of there too...  I tested it and even in the cold, it moved about 1.8 gallons per hour and warmed the water really well...
The Battery/ Solar 12v. Power Supply
 

The Finished Solar Heater w/ 50' of 1/4" tubing
The Connecting Hose w/ Shutoffs
 

We are getting closer to our dream every day.......

Cheers,
Kyle