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

Sunday, June 29, 2014

One Day to GO!

It truly is hard to imagine that in just over 24 hours we will be departing on what we hope is an adventure of a lifetime!  There really is nothing left to do...  We have seen a few friends over the last few days and hope to see our granddaughter and daughter-in-law tomorrow....  It is Canada Day weekend and there are all kinds of activities happening in and around the marina.


The boat got a few decorations but we are saving most for when we are in some foreign land....

Yesterday we said goodbye to our youngest daughter... It is hard to leave all our kids, but our youngest has been home with us everyday for the last 18 years... In some ways we are happy that she is out on her own, and in many other ways we are struggling to let her go....  She just thinks we are weird...

Today, we said goodbye to the people at our church... It was a bittersweet time as I have been there for eleven years...  We were given a BEAUTIFUL sendoff and I managed to keep it together for most of the day...

We hope to be on our way early Tuesday morning...

Sunday, June 22, 2014

We Are BOAT PEOPLE!

It is done....  We have officially moved on to our boat today...  Excited, happy, scared, nervous, hopeful, all emotions we have been wearing on our sleeves all day.  Our youngest daughter moved out this morning and we left the house a few hours later.  We will be on the dock in Hamilton for the next week until we leave on July 1st.

Over the next few days we will wrap up the numerous loose ends around home and get the last few boat projects completed before we head out...

A special THANK YOU to all the people who have helped us in so many ways as we prepare for this trip of a lifetime... Without help from all of you (you know who you are), this would not be happening....

Yesterday i got a few other jobs crossed off the list and a few jobs done that were not on the list...
First, I made a "Newfie Gheto Blaster" - yeas, I took an old insulated lunch pail and installed a pair of high quality HP speakers with a small amplifier.  then I purchased a 12v.  7 amp/hr rechargeable battery from a local surplus store, then took an old trickle charger solar panel apart to integrate solar charging into the rig...  Now when we go to the beach we have an insulated and sealed box that will keep the tunes going and the elements from destroying our toys... Also, I think it may just be ugly enough that it won't be too attractive to thieves...  Who knows...  One thing for sure is... IT SOUNDS GREAT...


The last job was to make our new outboard as UGLY as possible....  Shelley told me that the uglier an outboard is, the less likely someone will want to steal it...  We will see...  But one thing is sure... IT IS UGLY!!!  Covered with piggy and purple duct tape...

Our good fried Mike D. just spent over $2000 getting his awesome dinghy repaired only to launch it, drive it for 10 minutes, and have it conk out....  I had to tow him to shore so he could trailer it back to the place who did the work... That has to be frustrating...

Lastly, but most awesome was our good friends, Tom and Peggy D. had a beautiful plaque made for us...  The picture says all that needs to be said...except THANK YOU both for being so thoughtful and kind....

Tomorrow we will make one last trip to our mailbox in Niagara Falls...  More later...

Cheers!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

We Are RICH!!!


Our latest entry always comes up first... 
Click this link if you want to start at the beginning:
FIRST BLOG ENTRY
If you want to see the story of our trip from South Carolina (where we bought the boat) to Lake Ontario Click this link:  SOUTH CAROLINA

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Okay, that may be a bit of an overstatement, but having spent the morning cleaning out the truck and cleaning out the garage to get ready for the house sale to close next week and to give the Jeep to our daughter just before we leave, we just made a small fortune!

Let me explain...  As you may know if you have read some of our earlier posts we have scrapped copper and other metals in the past, so today when I was cleaning the last of our junk out of ther garage, I thought why not, I knew there would not be too much, but something is ALWAYS better than nothing, so I went to the scrap place and for a little Stainless, copper, zinc, aluminum, steel and brass I collected $64.00!  Not bad for stuff that was destined for the garbage...

Then I vacuumed out the Jeep and found $7.55 in change that had fallen behind the driver's seat!  Then just before I left, I loaded Shelley's empty wine bottles and returned them for another $6.40...

That makes the total return for the day, $77.95.... Life is good....

Another small way that we have been saving for our trip has been to sort all the American change that we get.  Because we live close to the US boarder, US change is always intermixed with our change...  The quarters, dimes, and nickels are all the same size, but when we get a full roll, we take it to our US bank and save the exchange of 11 cents on every dollar...  Maybe we are crazy, but that is $11 for every $100 we gather...  and it happens slowly, so it feels like "found" money...

The other day we completed another last minute project..  We used a Stainless steel bar from the old dodger and made some rungs for a boarding ladder for our dinghy...  We also bought a cheap plastic tool box and chained it into the dinghy to store the safety and repair stuff we need...  We hope that with a great big lock and chain it will deter all but the most intent thieves...

We will be moving on to the boat on Sunday!  There is no turning back now....

Thursday, June 12, 2014

More Last Minute Jobs....

This week we got a few more jobs crossed off the list...  We have got the house pretty much emptied and we are just trying to get all the different organizations and companies working with us as we cancel and postpone all our utilities and subscriptions...  I have to admit, that we never expected moving away would be so much work.... Not to mention, the frustration we cause when we are not setting up a home somewhere else....  I wonder what happens when people die???



Last weekend we were surprised with another going away party and gift...  What was billed as "Progressive Supper" turned out to be financially supportive of our "Right to Write" project where they raise almost $300...  The folks at Speedside also took the opportunity to give Shelley and I a BEAUTIFUL Quilt for our bed on the boat... We are so lucky!


We also went to the boat for a few hours on Monday and got a few more last minute jobs completed on the boat...  we made a new cover for the windlass and the outboard engine. We removed the labels from our brand new engine and we will get some spray paint to make the engine look old and worthless...  It's kind of sad, but apparently that what we need to do to keep some people from steeling it...

We installed our new life ring that was signed by all our friends at our church...


Our last project was to attach an old hard "Pelican" type case to our pilot house so we can securely store masks, fins, snorkels and other various water toys.  We through bolted it and sealed it with 3M 4200...

We will be moving on to the boat on the 22nd after we finish emptying the last few things from the house....  I guess there is no turning back now...  The couple that bought our house came by last night to measure...  We are so happy that they bought the house and we sure hope it helps them make their dreams come true...

Friday, June 6, 2014

Getting The Last Jobs Done....

With just a few weeks to go before we head out on our adventure I am sometimes a little overwhelmed at what has been done, and what still remains to be finished....

First, last Saturday, Shelley and I had a wonderful night at the Rockmosa Hall in Rockwood ON, where the congregations I serve gave us an amazing Bon Voyage dinner.  We were piped in to a wonderful dinner and then entertained by singers and skits as we celebrated the last 11 years of ministry together...

My last Sunday will be the 29th of June.  I suspect that as much as we are looking forward to leaving, it will be really difficult to say goodbye after such a long and happy time together...

The good news is that they will continue to support Shelley and I in our Right to Write Ministry so there is not a complete separation...


Last weekend I finally got around to replacing the leaky water pump on the engine...  I hope it works better than the old one, although the old one leaked for 2 years before I finally got around to fixing it...

Yesterday I spent most of the day calling various credit card companies and institutions to cancel and forward our information...  The longest time on "hold" was with City Hall trying to make arrangements for our final tax bill and final water/sewage bill...  I waited 35 minutes on hold...  The good news is that when I finally got through I spoke to a very kind and knowledgeable lady who made all things well...

Last evening our youngest daughter received an athletic award at her high school...  Not the most exciting way to spend an evening, but we were very proud of her accomplishments and I think she has done well both athletically and academically.  She is off to the University of Guelph to pursuit a degree in science this fall...  I know she will do well. Our next youngest will also be in Guelph in the fall finishing her nursing degree....  It is so nice having really smart kids....



A few weeks ago one of the families in our church lost a barn full of pigs.  As if that wasn't devastating enough it happened just as they were trying to get their crops in....  On a Sunday afternoon I stopped by to visit and see how they were making out and I asked the oldest son if there was anything I could do to help...  They must have been really desperate because most of last week I spent time driving a huge John Deere tractor, helping them get fields ready for planting...  For the first few days they had me spreading manure (which seemed fitting) and the last few days I graduated to a plow that "conditions" the soil...  I hope whatever I did was helpful....

Yesterday, I opened an email and found a local chandlery was selling the Kuuma BBQ's for $130 (reg.$190).  When Shelley and I were at the boat on Tuesday evening we spent over an hour trying to cook a few sausages on our 8 year old BBQ which kept going out...  Needless to say we are now the happy owners of a brand new BBQ....

This morning I finally got the last stained glass window finished.  My friend Bill and I have been working for the last few months to get 4 small stained glass windows made for the windows in our aft cabin.  They will look good and provide the privacy we need in our bedroom...  Next week I will install them and take some pictures of them in place... In case they don't make sense, from the top to the bottom the first one is 3 fishes, the second one is our name spelled out in flags, the third is an anchor and the bottom one is a palm tree with the sun behind...  I think they will work great after I silicone them onto the inside of the hatch windows...

The last thing accomplished this week is that we picked up 20 meters (by 60") of "rip-stop" nylon material and some fiberglass poles to make a sunshade to go over the boat when we are at anchor to help keep things cool... it looks like it will work really well!  We also picked up a piece of foam and used up the last of our Sunbrella material and made a seat cushion and back rest for our outside helm seat. I'll post pictures next time I go to the boat...

Cheers everyone....