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, 2018

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

We Made It!.....

On Sunday morning we arrived at the boat bright and early and started a long day getting the boat ready to launch...  We sanded the bottom:



Then we painted:




Then we found the problem with the windlass was NOT the battery, but rather it was something jammed in the mechanism...  after a few hours, I got it all fixed up...  At the end of the day we assembled our new 85lb Mantus anchor.... HOLY SMOKES that thing is BIG!  We won't be using it for overnight anchoring, but when it starts to really blow, I'm sure we will be happy we have it....

At the end of the day we were exhausted but very happy with our accomplishments for the day...


On Monday we arrived back at the boat after searching for, and finding, an accumulator for our water system.  The old one was spewing out water on the air side, so we knew something was wrong....

When we got to the boat we finished a few last minute jobs and returned the rental car.  Around noon the amazing crew from Shumway Marina came and launched us without any hitches...  I have to say, I have never worked with such an amazing crew as these guys are! WOW!








After our launch, they brought us our 6 new Trojan T-105 Batteries and I installed them.  When they needed to launch the next boat we moved to a vacant slip and got the sails on. 


Around 5 pm we headed for Hamilton.  The wind was running less than 10 knots when we left with calm seas.  By midnight the wind was around 20 knots and the seas were 4-5 feet.  By 6 am the wind was 25-30 knots and the seas were 10-12 feet.  Through it all we sailed along at never less than 7 knots and often around 8-9 knots.  We were wing on wing with the mizzen and main and used the engine for control....  Around 4:30 Shelley heard some ticking and I discovered the fan belt ready to let go.  After a quick change, we were on our way...  All along the water pump was dripping slowly so we know that needs to be replaced...  It did that last year, but when I went to change it, it stopped leaking... by the time we got to Hamilton it had stopped again...  This time I will change it...






The only scary time came when we had to come about to lower the sails to go through the Burlington Bridge...  By this time, the weather had really deteriorated and it was raining. As we were head to wind trying to lower the sails we were burying the bow and the seas were all over the deck.  And just for fun, the main decided to get stuck coming down, so we had to come about wit the main partially up.

Fortunately the bridge master was kind enough to raise the bridge for us before the schedule time so we made it through without any problems...  I have to say that the Raymarine Autohelm system we installed last year worked FLAWLESSLY! With big following seas she never once could not keep us on course!

About the time we docked the weather had gone to hell! 35 knot winds and 2 foot swells in the harbour... We got safely docked and went to bed about 8 am, and woke up about 4 pm...  I think the world could have ended and I was so tired, I wouldn't have noticed...

We went out for supper/breakfast then returned to the boat to watch a movie and get some more sleep...  This morning we got up and discovered a problem with the hose on the main bilge pump and the shower sump wasn't working...  SO most of the day was spent fixing those problems...

Around 4 pm our daughter Kelly came and picked us up so we could go home and get some things done there...  All in all our last few days were and awesome adventure!  We feel confident in our boat and have some confidence in ourselves as we start this great new part of our life.....

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Rochester!


After an awesome BonVoyage Party Friday night, Shelley and I left for Rochester, NY early Saturday morning.  Thank you to Sean Y. for being so awesome, driving us to Rochester.  We rented a car for a few days and headed for the boat.

The marina was in the middle of an open house/flee market when we arrived so we purchased a few new treasures....  I bought 2 small snatch blocks for $65 and |Shelley found a new teak shelf unit for the aft head...  Did we need that stuff?  No, but ... well... a deal is a deal.....

After spending a few minutes catching up with some people we met last fall, we went to the boat and found it relatively as we left it....  The cover was still mostly in tack and we managed to remove it in about 1/2 and hour...  The boat wintered well, but there were a few problems...  It looks like the windlass battery has died, so we went and replaced it last night.  we will install it today and see if that solves the problem...

It also looks like the refrigerator is not working and the water system has a few problems...  There is nothing so far that will keep us from getting the boat back to Hamilton on Tuesday or Wednesday.  Today we will sand the bottom and get it painted!  More later...

Cheers,
Kyle

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Many Things Happening....

It was a really busy weekend.  We got what was left of the shed taken apart and brought it to the scrap yard where we made enough money to buy Chinese food for our son, his wife and our granddaughter...  We took a load of furniture to their house and enjoyed a great time...


Today we made our final application for boat insurance while we travel.  It will cost us almost $4000 or about $330 per month.  While that may sound like a lot, this will cover us for full replacement value for the boat in the event the unthinkable happens...  We will review all this next year, but for now we think having insurance is a good idea....

We will be going to Rochester Saturday to pick up the boat and bring it home to Hamilton...  We will install the new house batteries and anchor before we head home.  The good news is that we found a friend who will drive us to Rochester so Shelley can sail home with me...  

More news later....

Cheers...




Thursday, April 17, 2014

Just a Reminder.....

With just 75 days until we depart, we have decided to have a Bon Voyage party for our friends and family.  The folks at our church are having a dinner for us at the end of May, but we wanted to get together with the rest of the people in our lives so Shelley booked the Newfie Club here in Cambridge for 8pm next Friday (April 25).

We have a small admission price at the door ($10). This covers the cost of the hall and the "lunch" that we will be providing around 11 pm.  The bar is run by the club and drinks are fairly cheap, so we are hoping for a great night.  A good friend who runs a part time DJ business will be providing music and we will have a few decks of cards with us just in case....

The very next morning we will be heading to Rochester to launch the boat.  We hope to get the cover off and the bottom painted by Monday or Tuesday and then I will singlehand the boat back to Hamilton and Shelley will drive home and pick me up if and or when I get back...

It took 17 1/2 hours to get there so I am expecting a simmilar trip home....

Getting ready to leave is in full swing now.  We are either selling or giving away almost everything we own.  Our son and daughter-in-law have kindly agreed to store a few of our treasures, and we have committed to burden them with no more than 10 boxes....  An ARDUOUS task to be sure....

More later with pictures,
Cheers!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

SOLD!

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

The house is officially SOLD! Yesterday the condition was waived and we will be living on the boat as of June 24th. (or sooner).

Also, on the good news front we picked up our new outboard and have stored it in the garage until we get the boat back to Hamilton.  The new anchor has arrived at our mailbox and the 6 new Trojan Batteries will be shipped directly to the boat in Rochester the week before we bring her home....

All is going VERY well...

Shelley and I began our plan for our journey over 10 years ago!  We purchased a well found coastal cruiser and developed our skills as sailors and more importantly, as a sailing "TEAM".  Having our 36' Catalina helped us understand what we could potentially face once we left the shore.  At the same time, we took over 15 sailing related courses between us from both Canadian and American education institutes.

Then and only then did we spend another 2 years finding the "RIGHT" boat for us.  And over the last 5 years we sailed it more than 2000 nautical miles and have re-fitted it from Stem to Stern.

And now, after all of that we will be building up our abilities for off-shore cruising in stages, beginning with another trip down the eastern seaboard, then to longer and longer off-shore passages.

Even then when we make that first jump across the pacific, we are SERIOUSLY considering adding a 3rd crew member for the voyage who must have some sailing experience...

At the end of the day, we STILL may get into trouble, but at least we can HONESTLY say we tried our best to get it right....


Cheers,
Kyle