Monday, April 6, 2015

The Beatings Continue...

It's Monday again already?   Wow.  I think that I must have been under some unfounded and mistaken impression that a lot of this Monday syndrome stuff all goes away with a move to a tropical island.   We were wrong about a lot of our ideas on what this past decade would be like.  I think we watched too much television in a previous life.  I was expecting something along the lines of Gilligan doing a Corona commercial.    We've certainly got the backdrop for it.

I'm not sure whether I pictured myself as Gilligan or the Skipper, but it's turned out a lot more like the Professor on a bad day that never seems to end.  Wait a minute, that's Groundhog Day.  Different movie entirely.  But also appropriate.

We do get some great views from this little hillside. I'd love to know how many photos we've snapped from this patio while we've lived here.  It would certainly be thousands by now.   And you guys have seen a fair number of them.

 It's not like we stand out there looking for things to photograph, either.  The typical scenario would be one of us walking through the living room and glancing out the window and spotting something different.  Some splash of color. Or motion.  Or an object where we're accustomed to seeing just ocean.  And it's obvious.  Like this, for example, just a few days ago.  Bland ocean no longer grabs our attention, but just put a 40 ft. speck out there....

In that case, I grabbed a camera and ran back out on the patio and  trotted over to the right side to get a better angle on the sunlight.  Just to see how the photo would look.  Well, it looked like this.

Of course you guys only see the better ones. Sometimes it's a tough call, do I post the prettiest one, or the one with something odd or interesting?  We try for a mix.  Was easier when I saved up photos for six weeks and then picked what I wanted.  This weekly posting is more fun, though.

We've been working extensively on the boat, of course.  Refitting the old dear has apparently somehow become my life's obsession,  And this has happened without any intention on my part to even get involved in such a program.  If that makes any sense.   But it continues.   

I just ripped out the remainder of a parquet tile floor in one of the heads (bathrooms) on the boat. We plan to replace the wooden tiles with vinyl tiles.  We thought we'd run over to Krazy Bargains to see what they might have in stock in vinyl tiles.   I'm showing my age here, but when the proprietor bustled over to assist us I  drew one of my long lasting mental blanks and finally asked him if he had any linoleum flooring. I think that might have been the blankest look I ever got back from an east Indian shop keeper.   Well,  maybe except for that time I finally gave up trying to describe a grommet.  

In this case we finally figured out that I really meant vinyl and yeah, he had some.   Not only did he have some, but the box sitting on top of the pile was exactly the pattern La Gringa had in mind.  And he had one box of 45 tiles in that pattern.  We were amazed and promptly chose to take this as a good omen.  We'd been needing a good omen lately.  I was about to resort to tossing bones and squinting at the sun.  And to walk into the first shop we tried, on Easter Weekend, and find exactly what we wanted... well that just hardly ever happens here in the Land of MakeDo.   We were all giggly.  We bought the box of tiles and scooted out of there before the siren's call of Chinese hardware got its talons into us.  Wow, what a terrible mixed metaphor!  I'm going to leave it here as a bad example for the rest of the class.

Anyhow, as we were leaving the parking lot with our new box of  foreign language tiles giddily secured I noticed a fresh shipment of plywood had arrived and would soon be ready for purchase.  I've been looking for some good plywood, for shelves and such.  This was labeled "Coastal Plywood".  I had to go take a closer look.  This might be just what I need, some new marine grade of plywood I had never heard of before.  And at Krazy Bargain prices, to boot!!  What a lucky day.   So I walked over to take a close look at it. 

Uh... wait a minute.  This is obviously another of those misconceptions that causes me so many issues with some of these distant manufacturers.  See, when I saw the word 'coastal'  I thought that had something to do with the coast, or ocean.   A closer inspection of the plywood itself reveals that coastal must have some other translation that I am not familiar with.  But then English is a second language for me, too.  At least that's what people up in New England thought when I first moved there from Texas.  Anyhow, take a look at this plywood.  Would you buy it for marine applications?

I think it must be meant for something else.   Maybe they are stocking up for hurricane season, in one scenario.  In any case, I decided not to buy it for use on the boat.  I think I need cabinetry grade stuff.  The plywood with a lot more layers in it than five.  Or in this case, 4.8.

While I was trying to evaluate the plywood, La Gringa looked down and saw another omen, but we took this one as more of a warning.   We could tell that the spirits were telling us it was time to move on when   Papa Smurf lost part of his anatomy here.  It was good enough for us.   We took our tiles and left.   We don't mess around when the  day starts turning too thick with omens.

Whatever happened to lucky rabbit's feet? I never understood those either.  Didn't look too lucky for the rabbits. Maybe Papa Smurf has a piece of the action on this one.   And what do you think the chances are  that I'll have to add some contact cement to our new self-adhesive vinyl tiles from the land of coastal plywood?

Dooley the Delinquent has adjusted to our new home-boat-home-boat repeat repeatedly schedule, as he usually does. He's happy if he just knows what's going on.  He likes a schedule, and an agenda, and he hates surprises.  He's got his own little kingdom around him everywhere he goes.   I walked into the bedroom yesterday and heard him muttering about something.   I walked over to take a look.

I thought that he'd finally lost whatever was left of his hairy little mind at first.  Either that or he'd eaten something  new off a springtime blooming cactus plant.  But a closer examination revealed that he was on the hunt.  Patiently trying to figure out some way to get at another lizard.  He considers them vermin, and treats them accordingly. In this instance I refused to let him outside until the lizard was safely away.  We like the lizards. They eat bugs and make no noise whatsoever.  As opposed to, for example, useless little yippity dogs with an addiction to expensive imported dog food and questionable personal habits.  I tried to tell him this but he pretends to be immune to sarcasm. When it suits him.

I know it's hard to see the lizard in that photo.  He's right over past the edge of the sliding door part.  You can just make out the outline.  Just follow the twin brown lasers from that attentively focused little skull in the foreground.

I've mentioned that I was in the market for some decent plywood.  I didn't find any, so far.   I've started making some improvements and  modifications to the boat.  At least I hope they're improvements.  Making things like shelves for hanging lockers to turn them into storage compartments for spare parts.   I'll be attaching that strip of mahogany to the face edge of this plywood.  It'll look good when I'm done.   Really, it will. I'll show you a photo later after  it's installed.

We've been in somewhat of a plywood and fiberglass cycle lately.   And by the way, I wanted to thank a couple of people who read about me mixing up resin in an aluminum can, and recommended a cheap kitchen scale.  This week I bought a digital scale that weighs in grams and allows me to re-zero it to add components.   Thanks for the tip. I'll be trying that out shortly.

Some of the things we're doing are new, like the shelves.  Other jobs involve fixing or upgrading things left by the ghosts of previous boat owners.  Maybe poltergeist is a better word.   Like the shower tub.

One of the things we liked about this boat was the stand-up shower.  Not that common in boats of that era.  And this is the bottom section of that shower. Well-used.  I don't think I would want to hear anything this shower floor might   whisper in a confessional.  Nope.  Our goal at this point is to turn this into a surface that has never known anyone else. Oboy, another project.  I was so hoping another one would come along and help me fill my empty days.

This one started when La Gringa told me that she felt like she needed to wear socks in the shower. That's a pretty strong hint, wouldn't you say?  She's so subtle, sometimes. Anyhow, I picked right up on that one.  And it took me most of an afternoon to get that tub out of the boat. Whomever last installed it used several tubes of a product known as 3M 5200.  This is one of the toughest bedding compounds that I have ever had to work with.

I finally resorted to modifying a tool specifically to cut this loose from the boat. I used a Dremel grinder to put two sharp edges on a putty knife, and then ground a hook into the other side.  That sharpened putty blade had to be pushed down all the way through this glob of stuff to separate it from the shower stall wall.  And then I had to pull it out with a lot of friction, and move it over one inch and do it again.  And wiggle it to cut the strands between the stab wounds.  Each edge took me around an hour to free up, and it held on until the very last fraction of an inch. And the 5200 stayed with the piece I removed. That's about $20 worth just on that one edge alone.  

I liked this bedding compound well enough  before this experience, but after spending five hours to remove this tub I've become a true believer.  I wore blisters on my hand and lost skin lifting a little tub that was fastened with nothing else.  Amazingly good stuff. It's a shame I won't be able to use  more of it to re-install this tub.   It is just too hard to remove, and this stall sits over  one of our fresh water tanks.  I  could see that there had been no access or maintenance to this area of the hull since the day this shower was first installed.  Years ago. It  cleared up a small mystery to me, though.  I'd been wondering why the tank gauges for the fresh water system weren't working.  Then I got access to this tank and removed one of the sender units.

And there's really no mystery, now, as to why this gauge isn't working.  I'm pretty sure that a good cleaning alone wouldn't return this puppy to operational.

When La Gringa realized that this had been in the fresh water tank, she  promptly announced that we will be drinking only bottled water on this boat. Can't say that I would argue with that, either.   Of course this might change after I get all four tanks finally cleaned up and ugly little surprises like this gauge eradicated.  And part of preventing this kind of issue going forward will require me to come up with some way to seal that shower stall without hindering access to what's under it.  Oh boy.  A challenge.  Just what I needed.

Some days it feels like two steps forward and one stumble backwards into the trough.

I did discovered something kind of cool this week.  I needed to cut some circular pieces bigger than my biggest 4" hole saw.  So I decided to try one of the circular cutters that has an adjustable carbon blade on the end of an arm.   You know, the ones that scare you by unbalancing a drill press and making it shake like a washing machine full of shoes on spin cycle?

Anyhow, I found out that with this kind of cutter you can control the pressure and cut one continuous strip of plastic out of the Starboard.  No kidding.   That pile of white crepe looking stuff is one long piece of thin ribbon.

I have no idea what possible use it could be.  Would be easy to plait or braid.  I just thought it was cool.  A fifty foot shaving.  Waterproof upholstery stuffing?  I don't have a clue, but it must be good for something.  I also think that when I get down to talking about shop waste I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel, blog-wise.  

And speaking of wise, I think I'd be wise to quit at this point.  Oh, wait, I've got two decent sunsets to show you from this week.  This one is unusual in this blog mainly because it was while we were driving home.  A different perspective, looking out over Flamingo Pond.

And of course it was my intention to end the post with that photo.  I thought it was a pretty decent little sunset myself.  Of course I took the photo.  As you might have guessed.

And as you also might have guessed La Gringa promptly whipped out an iPad of all things and took a better one from  South Side Marina.  Somehow, it just looks a little rosier from Bob's Bar.  It's a good place to  go calibrate your sunsets.

Works for me.


Dive_Cecil said...

Long time follower and appreciate this blog... a lot. Thanks for the time.

We are maybe coming your way and are haggling about where to stay, it's between Northwest Point and Ocean Club. Thanks for any input.

Anonymous said...

Hello Cecil,
Thank you for the comment. Positive feedback is always welcome. Negative feedback always considered ha ha.

As for NW Point vs Ocean Club, there are big differences, as you are probably finding out. If you want seclusion, on the most isolated part of the island, miles from anything else at all, then NW Point would do it. There is nothing else out there, but the resort and the beach. Dirt road. remote.

If you want to be near 'the action' with restaurants, stores, activities, other people etc. then Ocean Club would be the best choice.

Nice to have the options, though.

Donna Mills said...

I don't comment often. But when you say positive comments are welcome then here is mine: Don't stop blogging. Days stretch out in the Canadian winter. Reading your blog makes those days warmer and shorter.

Hipaamart said...

I actually like the dyi stuff, something about working on old boats hits my heart strings