1 LiveBloggin' the ICW: May 2013

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Tortola, BVI bound...

Yes, it can be a tough life out here, sipping a cold one as the sun goes down...
Hi everyone - ok, first chance I've really had in the past while to get personal, it's been really busy. Hope everyone enjoyed the dolphin and penguin videos - I really enjoyed researching them, saw a lot of fun stuff before I chose them.
The new mainsail is almost done - would have been by now except for some unanticipated challenges...like the fact I really do not know how to sew...

Not only that, but there are a couple of projects I've been working on, such as the group rally south for cruisers this fall - that will start in the Great Lakes and go to Miami....I'm also planning a series of webinars for cruisers, to be hosted on Google Hangouts. I've got some superb presenters lined up for this, and the website I've prepared will knock your socks off....oh, wait, we're boaters, who owns socks? Anyhow, I'll give you more details shortly.
Right now, my current exciting news is that I'm off to Tortola in the near future for a boat delivery. I've been hired to bring back a Beneteau 36 to Georgia, where I am currently staying, and then I'll buddy boat from here to the Chesapeake with the owner. I'll blog from the trip when and as I can, with an emphasis on the neat places we'll be stopping - such as Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas.
I know, I know, this is onerous, but I do it all for you! Really, I do!
btw - a big shout out to Wendy and Mike, who left their marina at Port Credit Ontario on their Gulfstar 37, Ohana, to commence their cruise. Now they only got a few miles, to Mimico Yacht Club, but they've formally cut the lines to the dock. They'll be heading out the St. Lawrence, and then south from there...eventually. You can follow their adventures on their blog, Wind in My Dreams.


Saturday, May 18, 2013

More dolphin video...

Wasn't that penguin tickling video fun? Hope so, I needed something to keep everyone entertained since I was busy! I'm nearly done sewing a new mainsail for the boat - sure could have used some help at this one too, it's a big job. 38.5 feet by 11.25 feet - that's a lot of sewing. It's coming along well though - it'll be a neat feeling to sail along with a sail I've made myself.
In the meantime, my friend Doug and myself were trading YouTube music this Saturday night on Facebook - a couple of you got emails from me, hope you enjoyed the tunes! Here's one with an amazing video of dolphins - I've never seen such great shots in fact, and a classic oldie that most of us will remember....

Friday, May 10, 2013

Tickling a Penguin?

Ok, I agree, the last couple of posts have been deadly dull, but in my defense, I've been busy with the new webinar project. So to make up for it, here is what has got to be the cutest ever video.....enjoy!
For those who are curious, this penguin is from the Cincinnati Zoo, its name is 'Cookie', and it is the mascot of the Bird House there. And can you believe the amount of noise that little bird is making?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Sailing News, K-Tel Style....

I mentioned a week or so ago I was working on some projects that would be of interest to anyone planning on heading south. One of those, a website, will feature...not one, not two, not even three - but SIX - count 'em, SIX - online webinars on Cruising South on the ICW. Guests will include Rob Macleod (Informed Boaters), Claiborne Young (Salty Southeast Cruisers Net), author and ICW strip chart book creator John Kettlewell and more, who I'll be announcing over the next couple of weeks. These are people who know the ICW intimately, and who can answer the questions you have about your own trip.
The webinars will be hosted using the Google Hangout tool, and then reposted on YouTube along with several other sites, including the new site I've now got in beta testing.

But WAIT! There's more! 

Yes, much more...the new site will also feature a message board and live chat feature, so that you can get answers to your questions from others on the site, hook up with other boaters heading south, and develop a community of boaters exchanging information to help to make your boating easier, safer and more fun. Maybe even less expensive! We can hope!
And the name of this site is.....(to be continued soon)
Stay tuned!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Boat work....does it ever end?

Ok, so we all know the answer to that question - a big fat resounding NO! I hate to admit it, but stuff that was on my 'list' when I bought the boat ten years ago is STILL on that list. I have it hanging by the nav table just to fulfill my guilt quotient, since I don't have a wife or girlfriend to do that for me. Nor, I suppose, will I ever get one if I keep making remarks like that...but I digress.
Actually, I've got a fascinating project about to get underway. I plan on building a new mainsail, from a kit by Sailrite. No, I have no real experience sewing, but Sailrite has excellent videos outlining how it's done, plus I have some assistance available - my friend Brian's wife
I've seen some sails that have been built from Sailrite kits and I was impressed. These are nicely designed, nicely put together sails, custom cut to the dimensions of your boat. To make it even easier, the sailplans of thousands of sails and boats are right there on the website:
Sailrite LSZ 1 Walking foot sewing machine

Another important factor in building your own sail is having the right machine, one capable of punching through heavy sailcloth. Sailrite is of course known for its sewing machines, and the unit I'll be using to do this job is the LSZ 1 Walking Foot machine. This unit is top of the line, and the walking foot greatly simplifies sail construction by keeping the cloth together as you sew
When the kit arrives, I'll post photos of it, the machine, and all the 'stuff' that will most assuredly come along with it.
Here is the video of my mainsail repair, for those interested: Mainsail repair

My second project involves installing an arch from Atlantic Towers, an aluminum arch on the boat, something I've always lusted after. I saw the company at the Toronto Boat Show last winter, and was hooked on their product. There are some practical reasons for this project, but the pleasure will come from how attractive it looks.
Dufour 38 ClassicIn terms of practicality, I'll be able to install both my solar panels and wind generator on the arch, eliminating the overly complex setup I now have to support these units. As well, the new arch will have dinghy davits, permitting me to lift the dinghy from the water rather than tow it. I'll have more to say on that down the road.
What I really like about this company is that they will work with you to make sure you have the right measurements, style and options so that your arch is exactly what you want and need it to be. Also, if you've ever checked out the price of a custom built arch, you'll be very impressed with Atlantic Towers' pricing.
Want to see what your boat will look like with an arch? Check out their Photofinder page, which has pictures of hundreds of installations, such as the one of a Dufour 38 here.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wally's Laws of Boating...

Hello all - been busy with working on an exciting project involving the ICW - details soon. In the meantime, in my minimal spare time, I came up with this... Wally’s Laws of Boating
1. Law of Below Decks Repair - After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch & you'll have to pee. The possibility of this occurring is greatest when you are trapped and unable to move in the engine room.
2. Bilge’s Law - Any tool, nut, bolt, or screw, when dropped will roll to the deepest and least accessible part of the bilge.
3. Law of Docking - The probability of being watched as you completely screw up while docking is directly proportional to how bad your docking is. A corollary to this law states that the worse the docking disaster, the more people will be watching. The inverse of this law dictates that no perfect docking shall ever have anyone in attendance to prove you actually did it.
4. Wake’s Law - The percentage possibility of being waked is increased by the size of the power boat coming up on you, and further increased by the narrowness of the channel.
5. Singlehanders’ Law - The likelihood of having another boat nearby increases directly with the desperateness of your need to piss over the side.
6. Law of Close Encounters - The probability of meeting someone from your yacht club or marina increases dramatically when you are out on a PWC and going crazy with it.
7. Service Department Law - When you try to prove to a mechanic that a machine won't work, it will. Every time. The inverse of this law states that the likelihood of the machine’s again failing approaches 100% as you board the boat.
8. Law of Biomechanics - The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.
9. Law of the Anchorage - At any anchorage, the possibility of you getting a spot close in is inversely proportional to your boat’s draft. The possibility is further decreased by the imminence of bad weather and high winds.
10. The First Beer after Anchoring rule - As soon as you sit down to a cold drink after anchoring, your boat will begin to drag. This is especially true if you have shut down the engine.
11. The 3 am Law - the likelihood of your boat dragging anchor is greatest at 3 am
12. Rule of Thunder and Lightning - this law works in conjunction with the 3 am law and states that the odds of a major thunder and lightning storm occurring are greatest at 3 am if your boat is dragging anchor.
13. Murphy's Law of Proximity - If you and your loved one are the only boat in a beautiful, remote anchorage with a gorgeous sunset coming on, the possibility of a powerboat filled with noisy obnoxious teenagers and PWCs approaches 100%.
14. Law of Physical Surfaces - The chance of your brand new and expensive smart phone landing on the deck and sliding overboard is directly correlated to the newness & cost of the phone.
15. Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
16. West Marine’s Law of Physical Appearance - If the clothes in the West Marine fit, they're ugly.
17. Oliver's Law of Public Speaking - A VHF will always be keyed open when you least expect it. A corollary to this law dictates that the dumber your remark, the greater the number of people you know will be listening.
18. Wilson's Law of Commercial Marketing Strategy - As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it.