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

Monday, September 29, 2014

Getting Ready To Go....

Welcome to our Blog. 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 start at the beginning of our trip:
START OF TRIP
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
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
After a dreary week and a wonderful weather weekend, it has become clear to Shelley and I that it is time to get moving south.  We have decided that, weather permitting, we will depart from Myrtle Beach Yacht Club which has been our home for the last two months.  Hopefully early Wednesday morning we will let go the dock lines that have afforded us such a wonderful summer.

We have made some new GREAT friends. We have taken care of the last few maintenance projects that needed doing, we have learned much about ourselves and each other.  We are now ready to GET GOING!

We have made arrangements with our friends at home to send us the rest of the school supplies we need to have before we arrive in Mexico at Christmas to replenish.  (BTW, if any of you are planning to be in Cozumel while we are there we would be really thrilled if you would be willing to bring us a small suitcase or two filled with school supplies.  We will supply the goods, a letter for the airline, a letter for customs and even the suitcase!  All you need to do is agree to bring it, we will do the rest...

Last weekend, Leila, the lady who runs the office at MBYC, organized a Sunday morning southern breakfast, complete with biscuits & gravy and grits...There were a bunch of people who came and we all had an awesome time....









On our way back to the boat we met Charles, from the US Boarder Protection. He was checking cruising permits from us foreigners and a very nice man.
After breakfast, our good friends Carol & Bill, took us for a day sail on their 40' sloop, Spirit.  I have to say it has been a while since we have day sailed just for the fun of sailing! 



After a great day of sailing we were treated to a wonderful dinner together... Thank you...

Today Elaine and Bud (m/v Diamond Girl) kindly drove us for provisions, which was good because I don't think they would have fit on the bikes.  We are getting ready for an early Wednesday am departure... More soon...

Cheers!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Friendship.....

Welcome to our Blog. 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 start at the beginning of our trip:
START OF TRIP
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
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
There was something that Shelley and I could have never anticipated when we set off on this incredible journey.

Before I say what it is, I want to say that throughout our life together, Shelley and I have been blessed with some VERY AMAZING friends....  You, who are reading this blog, know who you are.

And while it may be cliche "ish" there is NO DOUBT in my mind that without friends in this world, YOU HAVE NOTHING!  All the money, all the fame, all the power, all the toys in the world, can, and will, never be better than the love you give and receive in the special relationships you have throughout your life. 

I always believed that friendships, real friendships, took time to develop...  Trust, confidence, and vulnerability are all parts of our world that most of us protect fiercely.  And so, when Shelley and I set off on this amazing adventure, we anticipated that there would be some very lonely times along the way.  You see, we were leaving those tried and true friendships behind.  We were going to be nomadic and so the "time" that is needed to cultivate true friends would vanish...

Somehow (I'm finally getting to the point), over the last 3 months we have encountered a bunch of people who have taken all we "thought" we knew about friendship, and what needed to happen in order for it to grow, and they have turned it on it's head....

While we continue to cherish our lifetime friends and family, we are so incredibly blessed to have encountered SO MANY wonderful people along our way, who we now consider, "GOOD FRIENDS"  Thank you all...  

(I guess you can take the preacher out of the church, but you can't get the sermon out of the preacher... lol)

This weekend at the marina, they organized a fishing tournament.  When Shelley and I were socializing at the pool on Friday, Leila, the office manager came looking for volunteers t help out...  Shelley quickly volunteered and I was voluntold that we would be spending our Saturday afternoon sitting on a motorized piece of floating dock at the entrance of the marina, checking boats in and recording the time they arrived....



The wind was blowing, and the weather looked threatening, but we enjoyed a wonderful afternoon, relaxing in comfortable chairs reading our books as we waited for the fishing folk to return.

When those festivities ended we went back to the boat to get ready to go to dinner with our new friends (see above) who were celebrating their birthdays this week.  Rich's birthday was last week and seemed to pass without much fanfare.  However, his wife, Tracy turned 50 yesterday, and they kindly invited us to join them and their friends for dinner...  What a hoot!  There was good food, great entertainment and tons of laughter shared as the night went on...  Thank you for including us!




Today, we have spent the last few hours in the laundry room at the marina, hard wired into the internet so we can update our computers and update our charts, as we get ready to sail south at the end of the month...


Friday, September 19, 2014

I'm Married to a Spice Girl....

Welcome to our Blog. 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 start at the beginning of our trip:
START OF TRIP
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
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Today was a beautiful day with a high under 80 degrees.... With a little shower early this afternoon, it seemed like a perfect day...

Shelley took the opportunity today to reorganize her spices... And boy does she have SPICES! She ordered some 4 mil. small plastic ziploc bags then spent the day moving them from hard plastic containers to more "storable" bags....
The "old" system of spice storage...


The NEW system....


A GREAT lunch - PB&J sandwiches....
The other task we completed was to replace our EPIRB....  It was kind of a good news/bad news scenario.  The battery on our old EPIRB was still passing the "test", but was 4 years past it's "due date".  We borrowed a friends truck and went to The GPS Store in North Carolina.  They wanted $300 to send it away to have the battery replaced and re-certify the unit.  They wanted $400 for a brand new one with newer technology.  


We kept the old one - "Just in Case..."
It seemed like a waste, but we spent the extra $100 and now have a new EPIRB.  Now for the really interesting bit.  They wanted $35 sales tax, so I asked if it was shipped out of state, do they charge sales tax? "No", he said.  

So we paid $5 shipping and had it shipped to the Yacht Club in South Carolina, and saved the sales tax.

Now we are having a little trouble registering it to our Canadian Beacon Registry... I have emailed them and hope to hear from them by Monday.  Worst case scenario , means we will have to have a Beacon registry in the USA.

Today was the last day the Shelley "dog sat" our neighbor and friends dog named Genaker.  I think she was liking having a puppy for a few days....

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Toe Rails - DONE!

Welcome to our Blog. 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 start at the beginning of our trip:
START OF TRIP
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
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Late in the summer of 2012, just before we re-launched Blowin' Bubbles early in 2013, we completely re-finished all the brightwork (exterior woodwork) on the boat.  In our case. the brightwork consists of the toe rail (or gunnel), a hand railing on the pilot house, the area around the main hatch, and a few little parts in the cockpit.  By sailboat standards, that isn't very much.... 

That said, in just two years, the brightwork looked as if it had never been touched!  It was looking horrible.  After some research, I discovered that what I thought was "GENIUS" at the time, turned out to be a big mistake....  You see, in 2012, I sanded everything down to bare wood and instead of using varnish to re-finish everything, I mixed a 2 part clear epoxy and covered everything with it...  It looked beautiful!
"Brightwork" circa 2012
However, by early this year it was looking a little tired and in the last few months is has started to look terrible...  Now the really bad part.....  Have you ever tried to remove cured epoxy from something?  For the last three days it has felt like we were sanding granite!

What was beautiful and going to last a long time was all cloudy and anywhere there was even a pinhole, water had penetrated and partially lifted chunks of epoxy.  In other words, it was a mess...

So, Shelley and I have now completely sanded (12 belts, 36 disks and a bunch of little sanding pads) all the old epoxy off and gone with a satin marine grade varnish.  We think it looks great...









Today we get to clean all the sawdust and mess off the deck!... 
Cheers!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Helping A Neighbor....

Welcome to our Blog. 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 start at the beginning of our trip:
START OF TRIP
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
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Today's efforts went to helping our dock neighbor's, Mike & Pam retrieve a part of their railing from their Hatteras Motor Vessel...  It is amazing how easy it is to lose things off your boat, and it sounded like this railing piece was fairly irreplaceable... 



After a few attempts in zero visibility water, I got lucky and found the railing piece...


The only other work I have accomplished in the last few days has been to make a more durable wine holder for Shelley.  The one item that is forbidden on our boat is most cardboard and especially CORRUGATED CARDBOARD.  It attracts cockroaches and once they infest your boat, they are nearly impossible to eradicate.  Thus, we don't allow corrugated cardboard (and the glue that holds it together, which is what actually attracts them)... So, since wine is least expensive when you buy it by the box, we came up with a new home for the wine.  We took a plastic cereal container and drilled a 1 3/8" hole in it and presto!, a durable, cockroach free wine container... 



As for cereal, we remove the outer cardboard container and store the inner bag in a mesh net...

It must be time to go for a swim!  Cheers!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Just Another Sunday....

Welcome to our Blog. 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 start at the beginning of our trip:
START OF TRIP
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
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
For so many years, my Sundays have been full...  Yet even now after 2 months of travel, I miss the routine of so many years...  I have to admit, I don't miss it enough to go back...  just miss it...

This week was very busy.  Our friends Bill and Maryann came from Philadelphia to visit for  few days.  We had a ball.  They arrived with a bolt of fabric we had ordered and 2 Philly Cheese-steaks! No one makes Philly Cheese-steaks like the folks in Philadelphia....


The day they arrived Shelley cooked roast potatoes, and a whole chicken in the solar oven.  It tasted AMAZING! and cost us NOTHING to produce in terms of energy...  Just a sunny day and 4 hours on the fore deck...







On Tuesday, we took Maryann & Bill to all the very cool tourist traps in Myrtle Beach.  We went on the Humongous Ferris wheel called "The Sky Wheel".  The view was awesome...

After that we went to a souvenir place that was around since the time I was a kid called, "The Gay Dolphin"  This place was to original place to get tacky souvenirs of Myrtle Beach. Nowadays you can find places like this one on almost every corner, but these guys were the original... They are still in business today!




Anyway, I was on a mission to resolve a childhood issue that I have carried with me since I was a young boy...  As you know my name is "Kyle", which today is a fairly common name. In the 1990's it was ranked as high as 18th in terms of popularity.  However, in 1961, the year I was born, it ranked 232.....  Which meant that NO ONE named their kid Kyle back then....  I knew my parents had it in for me when we went to The Gay Dolphin back in the early 1970's and there was a wall with literally thousands of licence plates for bicycles with kids names on them....  Missing of course, was KYLE!!!!  Anyway, to make a very long story short, on Tuesday we found the very same wall, only this time we FOUND MY NAME!!!!  My world is now complete....


Our day was complete when we went for a swim in the ocean... It was a little rough but great fun!





Bill and Maryann returned home on Wednesday evening.  Thank you both for such a great time...

The rest of the week was spent getting some chores done in and around the boat.  We ordered an "on demand" tankless hot water unit that heats water with propane.  I installed it and it seems to work well.  I need to have the unit checked when we get to Charleston at the end of the month, but this is the last thing that we wanted in our lives so we can remain "off the grid" for extended periods of time.


This weekend we spent time with our new friends at the yacht club.  The people here are SO friendly, kind and helpful, leaving at the end of the month is going to be very difficult.



On Saturday I helped Bill by taking some pictures of his sailboat called "Spirit"  They have set a date to go cruising and are in the process of selling their racer/cruiser and will be buying a full on ocean cruiser...  Does this story sound familiar?  Best of luck to them and we will see you in Panama.... BTW, if anyone is interested in a near bristol, racer, cruiser, contact me and I'll connect you  with Bill & Carol. Once the listing is up on Yachtworld I'll add the link.





Today, Shelley and I completed a major task.  We have now made rain covers for ALL our hatches.  This now means that we can leave our hatches open when it rains and keep the air circulating without getting soaked...  This was an all day job, but we think it turned out well...











Just a few more random pictures from our week....

We had the car so took advantage of visiting the BEST doughnut place in the world!

Shelley's herb garden is really doing well!

Rich and Tracy's sailboat

Mike and Pam's powerboat

Who knew OCTOBER is Clergy Appreciation Month?

We liked the one on the top!


Cheers!