Hit Web Counter
News from the Dawn Treader
September 2017 Hurricane Edition
The big news for September
was the hurricanes Harvey and Irma that devastated the Gulf Coast
and Caribbean Islands. Two of the islands we visited, Saint Thomas
and Tortola, were almost totally destroyed. Several of our friends
in Texas lost much as well. A number of our sailor friends in Texas
and Florida lost their boats and the Keys are almost totally
Our losses were minimal in
comparison but could have been much worse. We got lucky. We made
some final improvements to the boat before it started, more about
that later.After Harvey hit Irma headed towards Florida. A week
before it actually hit the weather forecast was all over the place.
Early predictions had Irma striking Cuba and turning to travel up
the East Coast.
We based our decision to
stay with our boat on that model. 3 days before it hit Cuba we
started preparing Dawn Treader and ourselves for the onslaught. Even
though the on board water tank was full we bought extra drinking
water. (photo 7) We removed all the sails, canvas tarps and tied
down all the rigging and boom.(Photos 1-2 and 10) Also everything
that could move was put in the storage shed. (Photo 8) The day
before we used the dinghy to set a stern anchor and our main CQR
anchor (it looks like a small plow) out in the channel on the port
side to take stress off the dock. The stern anchor was to make sure
we did not drift into the derelict boat off our bow. (Photos 4-5) At
this point the weather people were predicting only about 70 mph
winds in our area. We took down our antenna placed it and the dinghy
in the storage shed.
We were connected to
internet and followed the news. Things changed when Irma turned and
instead headed up the Gulf Coast!Still we were only expecting 70 mph
but it was still a Category 5 across the Keys.
Again Irma changed its path when it made
landfall near Fort Myers taking on Marco Island, Captiva, and
Sanibel. That’s about when things turned nasty for us. Irma headed
inland and crossed Highway 80 towards Sebring which put us directly
in the path of the Eye Wall. (Photos 14-17) It was too late to
change so we held on and waited. Surprisingly we had power and
internet until just before the eye crossed our position. Thankfully
Irma dissipated to Category 2 but was still way more than predicted.
We knew it was going to be horrendous but
could only hope for the best. Instead of the 45 minutes the news
caster predicted it lasted for about an hour and a half. During that
time the boat was literally slammed into the dock propelled by 110
mph winds. The port anchor may have helped but it did not feel like
much. We had placed to tyres on the dock just before it hit, because
one of the fenders wore a hole and deflated. It was a good thing we
did as several times the gunnel went below the dock level and would
have torn the deck seam had they not been there. We could only watch
from our port light (window) and hope. This went on for an hour and
every time it hit we felt it through our bodies. It was like the
boat and I were connected to the pain. During the most severe stage
I formulated and reformulated an escape plan in case either the dock
or the boat’s hull started to break apart. I had even considered
having us go on shore somehow and stay in our Volkswagen Van. Good
thing we did not try as the top had been ripped off.(Photos 21-22)
Finally the winds died but the tail continued until about 0330 but
Dawn and I tried to get some rest. Gusts would still hit Dawn
Treader and she would vibrate and shake all the way even to the top
of the mast. Again every time one would hit I felt it. About 1100
hours we plugged into the inverter to keep the refrigerator and
internet working. About 0330 total exhaustion hit and fitful sleep
came. The next morning we woke at 0800 and surveyed the area.
Surprisingly little damage to the structures, but several trees, and
some panels from the carport and all the screens in the gazebo were
missing. (Photos 18-26) And most disappointing the top and most of
the tent part of the Volkswagen Camper had been ripped off. I have
actually driven that van at 80 mph so we knew it was not an
exaggeration about the wind speed. The sad part is that it only has
liability insurance and was to be sold and to be picked up on the
20th for $3500. Now it is not clear what will happen to it. Still we
were pretty darn lucky that the dock was built sturdy and the
Endeavour is a very strong boat. I have often said that Endeavours
laugh at hurricanes but I think from now on I will just say snicker
behind their backs.
Some people we know had
to leave their Endeavour in the Keys and escape north.They were
totally devastated not knowing what happened. Considering it was
still Category 5 when it hit the Keys it would have been horrid had
they stayed. Good news is their boat survived. They have since
discovered that although the boat had a rough ride it survived with
WE have our lives and our
boat however many lost their homes and boats. Most of the damage in
our neighborhood was trees and shrubbery. We were without power for
4 days. This includes water as we are on a well.Some of the worse
fires in the Northwest United States has also happened.. This has
been one of the worse summers for disasters in our recent history.
Our heart goes out to all those who have lost everything.
What we learned
Weather science is not exact!
I’ve always said the boat can take more
than I can. It looks like it is partially true as we went through it
together even though our nerves were frazzled.We made a good choice
when we bought the Endeavour and even though we had to put
considerable work into her she came through for us. I seriously
doubt that the new boats would have done as well. Our rigging and
general structure of our boat is sound.
There is always one more thing to prepare, but by the time you think
about it it’s too late!
Next time if we have
as much warning we will MOVE the boat.
summery we made our decision not out of heroism but out of an act of
desperation. Dawn Treader is not only our home but contains all we
have. Starting over again at our age, well it is just an option we
did not want to consider. However. There was almost NO safety margin
if any one thing in a chain of things changed we could have lost
everything and maybe ourselves as well. It is a risk I would
seriously try to avoid in the future.
A few words from Dawn on the experience.
All I could think of at the time was "how
much longer is this going to last" and silently praying the boat
would withstand the beating she was taking. A few times I was
holding on to the "E" ticket ride of my life. I have been through
some heavy seas, but nothing like this. I am very thankful the Dawn
Treader is a tough boat. And there was minimal damage to the owner's
before the hurricane Dawn got a Turbo Halogen Convection Oven.
It uses 30% less energy and Dawn
says it bakes perfect bread! It replaced our old electric convection
oven which kinda wore out.
brackets for the whisker poll and the mast sections for the Walker
Bay dinghy and added a manual bilge pump. I also filled in the
depression in front of the dager board support with foam and glassed
and painted over so that all the water flows into the bilge pump.
As things return to normal there are 2
things very important to us at this time. Getting the boat pulled
out to do the bottom paint and some plumbing issues and disposing of
the Volkswagen. I need a solid taker. I have posted that the first
person to arrive with a tow dolly and $2000 gets it. It runs but
will need some electronic tune up and all the camping gear works. It
has a duel voltage refrigerator and goo propane stove. I just do not
have the time to vix it and we need to concentrate on the sailboat.
There is another
storm out there brewing and we dearly hope it does not hit Florida.
The past 3 months the crew
has been busy building davits nursing a major wound that took
umpteen stitches and staples as well as a long ride in the ambulance
to the emergency room.
The other sad news was the loss of our dear
friends, John and Linda Crone of their son Scott to a heart attack
just after his 54th birthday.
Some other complications caused us to miss
our deadline to pull the boat out and get bottom paint done. Because
we are now well into the hurricane season and the hot weather things
will slow a bit.
This month the principle discussion is on the general boatkeeping
and day today life aboard Dawn Treader.
Dawn is in charge of the Galley and various
accessories that have made it practical and convenient to live
aboard a boat. Much of what we have learned applies equally well to
living on an RV or any limited space dwelling. We welcome any
suggestions or discoveries made by our readers as well. We can be
contacted at our E-Mail for subscribers or through our web page at
One of our most useful accessories is this
bread storage. Dawn ordered it from Amazon
And it has saved many loaves of bread. It
works simply by evacuating excess air from the container. Bread
stored in a refrigerator does not mold as quickly but still will be
stale. Freezing works well but boats and RV’s have small freezer
sections. So another solution was found and so far it has been
working well even in the hot humid climate of the Florida Gulf
Coast. It is a simple device. As the bread is consumed the two
halves are spaced closer together while forcing out the air. This
prevents the mold and keeps it fresh usually the life of the bread
loaf. (Photos 1-2)
The Mandolin. It is used for slicing and
julienne, which takes up very little room yet Dawn uses almost daily
preparing vegetables for not only cooking but for salads. Also from
Amazon! (Photo 3)
Hand Mixer, Blender, Chopper. This
multipurpose tool is used in much the same way as the big brother
counterparts however, much more compact storage. The only
disadvantage is it requires the use of an inverter when off shore
power. Hamilton Beach also Amazon under $20. (Photo
Dawn uses a
Multi-Purpose Sprayer that we bought from ACE Hardware to rinse
dishes when we are on the water storage tank. It really helps to
conserve water and is much more controlled than rinsing from the
faucet. It is only used when we are not hooked up to city water. (Photo
fabricated foam insulation and converted the space under the vanity
in the quarter berth to a root cellar of sorts. This is to help with
long term storage of potatoes and non-refrigerated items that need
cool dark storage. My eventual plans are to remove that sink and
convert the cabinet into a working desk which will allow more
storage with the drain pipe and water lines removed. (Photo 5)
Not pictured but used often is the Fresh
Saver by Food Saver it is rechargeable and with the accessory bags
and bowels will store items in a vacuum preventing spoilage.
We bought ours at
For those nearing retirement and/or
contemplating living aboard a boat or in a Recreation Vehicle, may
find that although there are many advantages however, there are
major changes in daily living. Life in general is unchanged, we
still shop, du laundry, and all the normal things associated with
normal lifestyle. The big change is what happens to all the STUFF
accumulated over our lifetimes. Everything must be downsized. Many
things must be discarded, Donated or sold, there is no longer room
for excess items such as shoes, suits, and other clothing. Most of
all avoid the As Seen on TV ads! Getting used to the fact that there
just is not enough room may be the hardest part of the transition.
Dawn moved onto her first boat while she was still working and I
started preparing for a major kayak trip during the last 5 years
before early retirement. My preparation was perhaps the most extreme
as I literally got rid of everything except tool for a boat and bare
minimum of clothing. When I had finished everything I owned would
fit in the 2 hatches of my touring kayak and a small storage shed at
a friend’s house in Arizona. My first boat was also stored there as
well while I did a 2600+ mile kayak trip down the Missouri River. I
don’t particularly recommend that approach! Dawn and I took the
burning bridges approach and it has worked out well for us. We have
also noticed that many of our long time cruising friends also took
the same approach. We found those that retained a back-up usually
evoked it some relatively soon.
Major Pitfalls to Avoid
The most important pitfall in my opinion is
the condition of the boat or RV. Nothing is more discouraging than
being delayed by a long list of repairs of having a major breakdown
at sea or on the road. Those lucky enough to obtain new ones are not
immune to problems however at least much will be covered by a
factory warrantee. That will still delay a trip but be less damaging
on the wallet. Some of my friends more resourceful and much more
cleaver than I, started the process while still working. That gave
them plenty of time to sort out problem and get used to outfitting
the boat or RV. Also shorter outings provide the experience that
well prepare one for full time. Second is experience. The more the
better. My sailing experience was almost zip, when I bought my first
boat. The kayak trip I had planned for 5years was postponed because
of injuries due to a motorcycle accident and out of boredom I bought
my first sailboat for $1400. It was a 24 foot American Mariner which
I later totally rebuilt and lived aboard for about a year in Port
Isabel Texan ------ in summer--------with no air-conditioning!
about 4 months I lived in Ventura Harbor while recovering than
trailered that boat to Arizona. Does Size Matter? That is a personal
choice. It has been done in smaller than I started with but after 5
boats 4 of which I lived aboard we have settled on 37 feet. I
believe it is a good size for a couple. The balance between size and
cost is the greatest consideration. It is not so much for RV’s as it
is for boats. Everything in the boating world is charged by the
foot! Rarely can you find dockage as we have that is a flat fee.
Bottom pain, pull-out for maintenance, rigging repairs, sails, and
even Mooring, are all charged by the foot. The other consideration
is sail handling. Bigger boats=Bigger, heaver sails. Bottom line,
new or used, get a very through check before buying or setting sail.
Inspect every inch and every system. Self-sufficiency is the key to
my friends as well as my first mate believe the advantages far
outweigh the inconveniences. We have lived aboard a boat since 2002
and 2003 it has become routine for us. The places we have visited
and things we’ve done would not have been possible with a sedentary
lifestyle. Mostly it has been the people and friendships that have
developed over the years. One recent example was the couple we met
while trying the find the Immigration office in Tortola which led to
a guided tour and an offer of assistance when we return!
My boat projects
for the month
finishing the Davits the dinghy was hoisted and davit arms checked
for deflection. There was no measureable amount. (Photos 7-8)
The cover had to be adjusted and some
Velcro straps were added to help with shedding water. The drain plug
is hard to access without a full dock. (Photos 9-12)
In the original location the grill was
causing the davit arm above it to get hot so it was relocated in
front of the davits and a heat shield was added however, so far
neither the shield nor the davit arm gets even warm. I believe that
is what led to the breakdown of the previous set! (See discussion
last month’s newsletter.) (Photos 13-16)
An adjustable pulley was mounted to
facilitate raising and lowering the outboard engine. (Photos 17-18)
Storage brackets for the Walker Bay mast
and Whisker Pole were fabricated from the scrap material left over
from building the davits. Normally the whisker pole is stored
vertically on the front of the mast and eventually will be. The mast
sections are too long to fit in the storage under the cockpit so
they were located at the stern out of the way but easily accessible.
4 day trip to the Orlando time share we visited a friend Bill Brut
on the Dark Side (Atlantic Coast) and had lunch with Bill and
just had a time of relaxing and only ate out twice. The other was at
the at Oishi Sushi Japanese Restaurant. Our favorite is the Binto
Share at Mystic Dunes has a water slide that is surprising as it
does not look so from the outside but has interesting twists and
turns on the way out!
During the past summer it would get too hot
to cook in the boat. Dawn would set up a camp stove in the fish
house (Screened in Gazebo) and we would cook and eat there. Other
times we would do most of our cooking on the Magma Grill which
allows the center to be removed and then can be used like a stovetop
burner. I would say my Magma has become one of my most used
accessories! (Photos 33-34)
This month’s newsletter is
mostly about constructing the new davits.
Now for the davits. I am pretty much going to post a complete
construction article for any who may wish to construct similar
davits. Also the materials used are great for many other projects
such as deck replacements and such. I used the ½ inch (Metric
Equivalent) to replace the rotted core of my cockpit floor 2 years
ago and that article is in our archive on our web page at: http//www.ourdawntreader.com.
(May 2016 photos)
Replacing the davits became a necessity because one side started
sagging and when we were lowering the dingy it jerked and snapped
off the arms of the starboard side. After talking with some experts
it was determined that the cause of the delamination was the use of
Fiberglass Mat in the layup. Epoxy does not saturate mat fully and
should be used only with Polyester or like resins. I will probably
get some argument over this but nevertheless that’s where my
original davits failed.
Last year after finishing a job of hurricane repair on a 65 foot
trawler I had some Nida-Core left over from the deck repair so I
decided to utilize what I had to make a pair of davits for Dawn
Treader. I learned a lot in the process and made what turned out to
be a fatal mistake. When I flew RC Airplanes we used to say buy 2
kits one to learn on and one to fly! This turned out to be true for
my davits. After talking with some fiberglass experts and doing more
research on materials, the following is the result of the redesign
and construction. It’s more labor intensive than constructing from
Stainless Steel but the advantage is no special welding equipment of
skills are necessary and they will be just as strong and corrosion
resistant. Perhaps a bit lighter as well. If one wishes to compare
the construction it is in the September and October 2015 on the
This time I started with a fresh 4 by 8 sheet of ½ inch Nida-core
and ¼ inch Divinnycell.
The ¼ inch Divinnycell may have been overkill and 1/8 inch is
available. In either case enough to match the Nida-core plus enough
for the end caps is necessary. Start with about 8 yards of 8oz Cloth
and 3 rolls of 4 inch fiberglass tape, mine was 7 ½ oz.
The first step was to organize the construction area in the shed. I
wish to digress here and mention what I am referring to as plastic
drop cloth and the plastic to prevent attaching bricks and such to
the parts being epoxied is actually Mylar sold in the paint
department of most stores. I got mine at Walmart. I used the 2 mill
as that was the strongest I could find. I think of it as thick saran
wrap. However it is used extensively in the construction to form a
barrier when attaching parts of forming filets and many other uses.
Pictured are the uncut sheets. One of the causes for the failure was
the orientation of the Nida-core so this time the overall shape was
laid out to keep the core vertical. 4 identical arms were cut from
the 4 by 8 sheet (photos 2-6). These were laid on plastic drop cloth
to allow the first coat of fiberglass cloth to be laminated without
warping. After all 4 were coated and trimmed they were sanded until
smooth. Using the 4 inch tape add 3 more layers to each
side sanding between coats to provide a good bond(11, 14-21). After
all are cured and sanded join 2 halves together. I used a permanent
marker to number each lamination as the number will show through
after sanding. I used a total of 6 layers before attaching the
Divinnycell. Also before starting to attach the Divinnycell
determine the size of the pulleys that are going to be used. Mine
were 3 inch diameter and 1 inch wide. The Divinnycell laminations
are cut to acuminate the pulley of choice and will be given extra
laminations on the inside to provide for a strong mount. (See Photo
14) It is suggested that one side be angle cut about 4 inches back
from the end to allow for fitting of the pulley (Photos 22-25). When
attaching Divinnycell to the Nida-core use a mixture of epoxy and
microfiber the consistency of watery mayonnaise on the davits and
straight epoxy applied to the Divinnycell’s matting then using
bricks with plastic under them, for weights make a final check to
make sure its lined up I left the lower part uncovered until the
bases were attached. At this time it is quite noticeably sturdy
(photos 18-20). It is quite easy to use a saber saw to trim excess
Divinnycell from the arms after it is cured. Then an orbital sander
to clean it up. Before laminating the Divinnycell to the other side
as stated above I made an angle cut about 4 inches back from the
end. Laying the pulley in the end it was found that about 2 more
layers of Divinnycell were going to be needed on each side to fill
the gap. Make sure there is clearance for the pulley to turn freely
as it is very hard to sand inside after the two halves are joined.
Again refer to Photos 22 to 25. It is suggested that the Drop cloth
plastic is placed on both sides of the intended pulley before
joining the final part of the side to keep the spacing.
I wanted to use the same base as the holes were already drilled to
bolt to the railing of the boat and performed well. They were so
strong that it tool a carbide blade to cut old davits from them
(Photo 13). In order to use them in the proper position they were
left bolted to the boat and a scaffold was constructed using 2 by 2
and 1 by 4 lumber clamps and screws to be as sturdy as possible
(photos 26--31). When the final position is determined using a
mixture of ½ each of wood flour, microfiber and epoxy mixed to the
consistency of peanut butter and make a smooth fillet using a piece
of plastic drop cloth to shape it, this will cut down on sanding
later (photos 43 + 26-31). After the base joint is thoroughly set
unbolt the bases and remove the davits for finishing. Make cardboard
patterns to cut and fit leg braces and attach using the mixture of
Wood Flour, Microfiber, and Epoxy again about peanut butter thick.
Mine actually remained in place without clamps and set up just fine
(photos 32, 33). Finish up the first stage by bonding Divinnycell to
the leg supports (photos 34-39). Before continuing with fiberglass
laminations cut out a section about 6 inches for a reinforcement of
the pulley support. Use the same filler mix with a couple layers of
glass cloth. This process will be repeated on the next layer of
Divinnycell (photo 42).
The first layer of fiberglass over the Divinnycell is cut from a
single piece, and after trimming and sanding is marked with a black
marker. Your choice regular or Roman Numerals just as long as each
layer is marked up to 6 (photos45-46). Next add the endcap. This
will not only fill the gaps in the Nida-core but will add strength
to the assembly making a smooth surface. Formers were made from 1 by
4 lumber wrapped with plastic drop cloth material. I use the
heaviest I can buy which is the 2 mill stuff. Tape it on the back
side. Again use a mixture of both fillers mixed with Epoxy and use
“C” clamps to keep the Divinnycell in place. It is a bit more
convenient to mix it in a 5 quart bucket available in the paint
department and just trowel it on filling all the gaps and use the
using a putty knife and after clamps are snug and scrape off excess
from the sides. This will really cut down on sanding and grinding as
this mixture sets up very hard. Fill any gaps or voids with filler
mix before laminating (Photos 47-53). Coat the caps with a layer of
fiberglass to protect the Divinnycell before laminating the sides
(Photos 57-59). Then start laminating layers to the sides. I used 4
inch 7 1/2oz Fiberglass tape and alternated overlapping the arm.
After 6 layers were applied and sanded between each layer for a
secure bond. For the inner surfaces using a 2 inch sanding drum on a
drill worked nicely as long as it is kept moving. Next braces were
constructed from the Nida-Core and were laminated 4 layers on each
side before applying Divinnycell in the same manner as the davits.
Then add 4 more laminations of Fiberglass (Photos 60-61).
The location and length of the brace will be governed by the
application and fit to each individual boat. Mine were 14 inches
long and witch to match the Davit arm minus the layer of Divinnycell,
it is best to locate then as far down and as far out as possible
without fouling the railing or lifelines of each particular boat.
To apply, the brace a cutout was made in the Divinnycell and using a
small grinding wheel taper the cutout to match the angle of the
brace. Then using a mixture of half each Micro Fiber and Wood Flour
mixed to peanut butter consistency glue the brace in place. After
Epoxy has set laminate a layer of Fiberglass Tape to the bottom in
one continuous strip from tip to base (Photos 62-63). Cut and
laminate final layer of ¼ inch Divinnycell to the davits. Again
remove a 1 inch by 6 inch section for the pulley brace (Photo
64-67). Again fill this with alternate layers of fiberglass cloth
and a thin mix of epoxy and microfibers. To cut down on sanding
later place one of the 1 by 4 wood blocks suitably covered in
plastic wrap, and weigh it down with a brick.(Photo 67) The final
layer will also fit over the braces, leave enough excess to form a
fillet. I filled the gap with small bits of Divinnycell scrap and
wood flour microfiber mix. Using a 2 inch sanding drum on a drill
helps to form a smooth fillet at both ends of the brace. I believe
at this point a substitution of 1/8 inch material would be
sufficient and the ¼ inch may be overkill however the store I went
to did not carry the 1/8 inch. Also since I did not make a test arm
the extra strength did not add much weight. (Photos66-68)
Everything is now ready for the finish coats of fiberglass and epoxy
Start with one continuous sheet cut to match the davits and protect
the Divinnycell. Trim and sand after epoxy has set. (Photos 68-73)
Round the top corners slightly to prepare for the next step. The
next step requires a small travel iron or in my case a model
aircraft monocoat iron. (Photo 74) In either case set temperature
high enough to crease the Fiberglass cloth without melting it. Then
measure the width of the arm at the top and fold the 4 inch
Fiberglass Tape to cover the top and overlap down the side about an
inch. Lay the tape on the arm to fit and cut slots at each bend
about the inch that overlaps to allow the tape to bend at all the
curved parts all the way down to the base. Epoxy the creased tape to
the upper arm all the way to the base smooth out all air bubbles. .
When cured sand top and side tapering into the original lamination
at the side. Now repeat for the other side again allowing the top
part to completely cover the tip and down an inch. Again sand when
cured. For the final top overlap crease 2, 4 inch Fiberglass Tape
strips so that it covers half the distance on the top and now about
2 inches down the side. Again don’t forget to cut slots to allow for
bends. Laminate both strips at the same time again smooth out any
air bubbles.(Photos 75-76)
When cured sand sides and top smooth to prepare for finish coat. Add
2 more laminations to the sides and one to the bottom and sand.
Before painting add one last coat of epoxy for a finish coat and
check to be sure there are no nicks or gouges. If any imperfections
are found use a paste of epoxy, Wood Flour and Microfiber to fill
then sand smooth. For the finish coat prepare a dam using masking
tape leaving about 1/8 to ¼ inch above the surface (Photos 77-79).
Then carefully brush epoxy onto the surface being careful not to
disturb the masking tape. Do this with all 4 surfaces. Then sand
smooth first with coarse then gradually down to 220 to prepare for
primer. Do not paint at this time (Photo 80).
It is now time to add the hardware and prepare the cross braces. I
am going to have 3 because a solar cell is going to be mounted to
the top of the davits when finished.
If mounting a solar cell determine the width of the cell panel. It
is best to place the panel as close to the vertical support arms as
possible. Using at least 2 inch wide masking tape place in position
on the support arms. Mine has 3 the first 2 were 30 inches and the
last 18 inches then primer. I used Interlux Perfection 2 part epoxy.
When dry peel the tape off (Photo 81). I sanded and added a second
coat of primer replacing the tape for the cross brace location each
time. Use the same procedure for the color coat. It is recommended
that the davits are painted a light color mine is oyster white.
While paint is setting start construction of cross braces.
They are laid up in the same way as the davits. Determine the final
width of the davits. Mine has a slight taper however the braces will
be trimmed after completed during final fitting. I used ½ inch Nida-Core
and cut 1 ½ inch wide. The Nita-Core will flex considerably so to
keep the braces flat a sheet of plastic drop cloth (2 mil is best)
is taped to a flat surface the length of the braces. Lay 2 inch
fiberglass tape the length of the brace on the plastic and liberally
coat the cloth and Nida-Core with resin. Lay the brace on top and
weight down with bricks placing plastic under the brick to prevent
sticking. When fully cured without lifting from the plastic sheet
laminate two strips of 2 inch tape by layering epoxy on the Nida-Core
smoothing the first strip then carefully brushing epoxy and adding
the second layer of tape. When fully cured (suggest overnight)
carefully remove from the drop cloth. Twist from the edge to prevent
warping. Turn over and Carefully sand on a flat surface to remove
any irregularities left from the drop cloth. (Caution the supports
can break if bent during this process. Care to keep supports flat is
highly recommended until the Divinnycell is laminated.) With the
brace lying flat on the plastic add 2 more layers of tape as before.
When cured the brace should hold its position without warping but
caution, handle carefully as they can break if bent. Sand and
continue lamination for a total of 4 layers on each side (Photos
Laminating ¼ inch Divinnycell will add great strength with little
weight. Cut to fit leaving about ¼ inch overlap. Lay with the scored
surface down. Mix enough epoxy to coat both surfaces. Thicken with a
mixture of Wood Flour and Microfibers as before to about the
consistency of mayonnaise. Brush onto both surfaces and lay the
brace on top of the Divinnycell. Ideally some epoxy mixture should
ooze out when weighted with bricks. Be sure to add plastic under the
bricks (Photo 94). When Cured turn over sand smooth and repeat the
process. Again when cured true up the edges using a belt sander
before laminating Divinnycell to the edges using the same procedure.
The braces will now be encapsulated by Divinnycell and will be 2
inches wide 1/12 inches thick. Next laminate 4 more layers of tape
and epoxy to each of the 4 surfaces (Photos 85-86).
While the braces are curing the location and fitting of the pulley
system can be accomplished. Locate pulley so that the rope will just
clear the top of the arm and drill the hole to acuminate the pulley.
Mine was ½ inch. Drill another ¼ inch hole below and clear of the
pulley to attach the other end of the rope. Make sure there is good
distance from the bottom for strength as the rope will support the
weight of the dingy. I over drilled each hole filled with thickened
epoxy and then re-drilled to proper size toad reinforcement to the
Pulley and Rope assembly then strung through the intermediate pulley
with snap shackles See final assembly (Photo 87-88).
The davits are now ready to bolt back onto the boat. I used 5/16
stainless bolts and washers, with fender washers in the underside
where it mates with the boat decking. I also used nylon locking
bolts for the assembly (Photos 89-91).
When cross braces are laminated it is time to prepare to attach to
the davits. Extra care is required as the rope placement will go
through the braces and under the solar cell. So the braces will
locate slightly above the top of the arms. If you don’t intend to
mount solar panels they can be mounted flush. Either way be sure not
to foul the line that will raise and lower the dinghy. Mark the
placement of the braces and using a saber saw cut the notches
allowing about ½ rise above the top of the davits (Photos
92-97). When satisfied with the fit mark the center of the cut. My
belt sander allows the end to flip up and make about a 3/8 inch
grove that will allow the line to fit in the hole after the cross
brace is attached. Test with the rope before final fitting with
epoxy and thickener mix (Photos 98-99). If the belt sander does not
have this option a ½ inch drill and then a ¾ inch sanding drum on a
drill will also do well.
Remove and protect dinghy lifting line before applying the epoxy
mix. For this job the mix should be slightly thicker than the
consistency of peanut butter. The cuts in the Nida-Core to fit the
arms will leave corrugated gaps these must be filled completely
before dropping unto the arms. Smooth a thin layer on the mating
surface of the davit arm then place brace in position. Some mix
should ooze out of the joint. Carefully smooth into a fillit (Photos
100-103). Be sure to keep the hole in the middle clear for the line
to go through. Check again when the mixture starts to set and is
easy to clear. Use a ¼ inch dowel wrapped with a paper towel and
soak with Acetone in case some mix fouls the hole. When it is set
hard make a larger fillit using a rectangular piece of Fiberglass
cloth and smooth. The plastic drop cloth material is handy for this
step as it can be pressed onto the gusseting to smooth the fillit
and cut down on final sanding.
Use the same procedure for the rest of the Cross Braces. When all
braces are in place prime and paint. String line from pulleys
through the braces to the end. I used a ring to guide the line at
the end to lead to the cleats. These were obtained at West Marine
(Photos95). Solar Cell mounting is left to the individual as each
application will depend on the placement and location on individual
boats. Select and locate cleats to individual desire. We also intend
to attach the Bimini using the cross brace to attach the end so the
cleat must not foul the Bimini location. The last brace will be fun
to attach as the position places it over the water and I have not
yet master the ability to walk on it yet. I full length slip would
help here. (Photo 104)
It was my intent to have the complete construction article for the
davits this month.
They got sidetracked by an accident. A high speed cutoff blade broke
and cut my arm, It looks far worse than it turned out as no major
arteries or muscles were damaged but it will postpone the
construction article tell next month.
Dawn is continuing to get great reports
from her surgery and there is now no new growth. Her next
appointment is in October.
The Volkswagen is home again at long last
after nearly 8 months. It starts and runs but still needs an expert
to tune the fuel injection system. I was offering it for sale at
$10,000 BUT WILL NOW DISCOUNT THE PRICE as it may take another $1000
to get it right. The owner of the shop went in to the hospital for
prostate cancer and sold the shop to a body man who knows nothing
about the mechanics. So I brought it home. So if you know how to
work on an 86 VW Bosch Fuel Injection my loss could be your gain.
Email me with an offer. We need to get our pull out and bottom paint
done as well as some plumbing issues.
We have a new boat at our docks. A
catamaran and the owner lives in Michigan.
We also had a White Pelican visit our dock
rains also raised the water level at our dock as well.
The sailing club we belong to, Englewood
Sailing Association, had the June elections and the new board
members are Our New Board of Directors: Rob Domke President, John
Riehl Vice President, Sue Rosen Treasurer, Laurie OGara Secretary.
At large members are: Ray Anderson, Deborah
Clements, Craig Keller and Jack McCall. Hugh was presented Gifts
from the membership as he is the outgoing president and has directed
the club for many years.
May travels were Jasper, Texas, Reno, Nevada,
Virginia City, Nevada and Lake Tahoe California/Nevada.
Arrived at Ron’s house in Jasper Texas on Tuesday, April 25 and left
for Houston to fly to Lake Tahoe on May First.
Jasper is a typical small East Texas town. The main downtown
attractions are the Historic Courthouse and a town Museum. The
downtown complex consist of many period buildings however most of
the activity is in the periphery centered around the Lowe’s and
Walmart. Still however, exploring the downtown is interesting
especially since much of the classic architecture associated with
these buildings is vanishing.
Ron’s hospitality is great as
always and our friendship goes all the way back to High School. His
latest addition was a goat that he rescued. He now has 4 dogs, two
of which were rescued and the goat. While we were staying at Ron’s
Dawn and I would go on morning walks. It is a rural location about
12 to 15 miles out of town. Across the main highway there was this
incredible collection of STUFF. Kind of a permanent yard sale and a
small church that was our landmark to find the county road that led
to Ron’s house.
We arrived Monday May first
in Reno, picked up the rental car at Hertz and arrived at our villa
about 5;30PM and after check in went to dinner at Harrah’s buffet
which had a great view from the 18th floor. Lake Tahoe is about the
6th largest freshwater lake in the US. Located in the Sierra Nevada.
Straddling the border between California and Nevada, at a little
over 6,000 feet. It the second deepest in the United States after
Crater Lake in Oregon. The bottom of the lake is about 250 feet
lower than Carson City!.
Created and shaped 2 million years
ago by the Ice age. Along the main street there are plenty of
Casinos on the Nevada side and they bustle nonstop. I remember that
when I was much younger there was not as many big name hotels and
casinos such as Harrah’s and the others. Many large shopping centers
line the main highway as well. Our villa is a short walk from the
shore and there are boat rentals and when it gets warmer Jet Skis.
We spent lunch and some time with my two cousins
and did visit one casino. Most of the time spent in Reno was for the
There are many new residences and shopping
centers out where my cousin lived that was literally barren land on
my last visit about 12 years ago!
of Virginia City went through Carson City and passed the Carson City
Mint and Governor’s Mansion. The Carson City Mint operated from
1870-1893 and produced Silver and Gold coins. The largest
denomination Gold Coin was the $30 Gold Piece.
house from the last John Wayne movie “The Shootist” is also located
in Carson City.
Virginia City sprang up
as a boomtown with the 1859 discovery of the Comstock Lode, the
first major silver deposit discovery in the United States, with
numerous mines opening. At the city's peak of population in the
mid-1870s, it had an estimated 25,000 residents. The mines' output
declined after 1878, and the city itself declined as a result.
The restored interest in Virginia City was brought about by the
Bonanza Television Series and today tourism is the main industry.
There are still a few operating mines in the area. The mining
conditions were harsh because of the elevated temperatures in the
mines reaching as high as 140 degrees! Miners worked about 15 minute
shifts cooling down with ice blocks brought down from the high
mountains around Lake Tahoe and stored in large Ice Houses. The
mining consumed literally tons of ice per month. Today many of the
original buildings stand and some are used in tourist attractions.
Many of the original saloons and gambling halls exist still.
However, all have modern slot machines and some still have Black
Jack, Craps, and Roulette Wheels. A number of food emporiums line
the main street. A shuttle tour around the city as well as a mine
tour through one of the mines is available. Some were more than
2,000 feet below ground. There is a steam powered train that
operates during the tourist season and starts about a week after we
will be leaving.
Our tour bus went through the town of Genoa,
which is the oldest town in Nevada.
Explorers and trappers
made their way through this area but it wasn't until June of 1851
when John Reese and his party built a trading post that the area
began to attract settlers and became a permanent settlement.
However, I wish the bus would have stopped for a few minutes as the
oldest saloon in Nevada is also a fun historical sight.
out of Reno Saturday May 6th and after landing in Houston drove back
Ron’s for 3 more days. Dawn’s Doctor’s appointment was changed to
the 15th. The lunch stop was at Cajun Tails which has become one of
“Must Stop” restaurant in Lake Charles Louisiana. Dinners are great
Cajun fare and lunch was quite reasonable and they have the greatest
onion rings ever.
Hopefully by next month the davits will be
finished and re-installed and the Volkswagen Camper will be sold. We
have traveled many miles and had great adventures in that Van but we
are planning to move the boat soon and do some island sailing so
storage cost dictate selling.
When we arrived home the new
neighbor had arrived however he already left for home.
This Months big news is we are going on a big cruise ship to the
Caribbean. I am writing from the16th deck overlooking the vast
ocean. The winds and sea would be perfect for our own boat however
Dawn and I are enjoying the luxury of the Cruise Ship.
Dawn’s birthday was Sunday the 9th so she
has planned a surprise for us in our cabin.
We start out with 2 days at sea and first stop is Saint Thomas. We
had a shore excursion planned when we arrive. It is a scenic trip to
the beach where there will be an opportunity to rent a kayak. The
only wrinkle is that currently there was a 70% rain chance
Thomas Virgin Islands
We arrived Tuesday Morning and Left the
ship in time to walk into the business district and did some
shopping at K-Mart. The prices reflect the fact that this is an
Island. It was a bit of a walk back to the dock for our excursion to
Megan’s Bay. Our driver was entertaining and pointed out many
interesting places in Saint Thomas on the way to the Bay. The road
to the bay went through a narrow pas over a small mountain. They
drive on the other side
from us and it was
especially thrilling being on the outside of the open air transit.
Some places were straight down to the bay with barely enough room to
The driver informed us that Megan’s
Bay is the 7th best beach in the world. The water is crystal and the
beach smooth sand with no rocks so one would agree with the
Dawn and I had a couple of rum
punches at the little bar on the beach and at $6,50 we felt they
were a great Bergan for a tourist stop. We swam around for about an
hour and Dawn found 3 small conches we left 2 and some children were
fascinated watching them come out of the shells when put in shallow
Soon however the tide carried them
out of sight. The ride back to the ship did not seem nearly as
traumatic perhaps because we were getting used to driving on the
left or because now the cliffs were on the other side.
The second Island we stopped at was Tortola
which is a British Virgin Island yet they used American Money all
over the Island.
We did our own walking tour
as most everything interesting is in walking distance of the docks.
First stop was to buy some post cards to mail to friends and then
the next stop was to post them.
a bit of a surprise as it was only $1.75 to mail 5 post cards all
the way back to the US! While continuing our walking tour of the
Island we discovered one of the main grocery stores.
One of the workers greeted us at the door
and proceeded to give us a complete tour of the store were the first
Dr. Pepper since Miami was acquired. From there Dawn found an
all-purpose one size fits all, and there is a lot of ALL, summer
dress. Before returning to the ship we wanted to get our passports
The guard at the gate gave us
round about directions which soon got us lost so we asked some
people talking where the Immigration office was located.
Rather than give direction the man offered to drive us there, and
proudly announced that he was a Retired Police Lieutenant and his
wife was a Retired Nurse and was heading in that direction.
On the way gave us a mini-tour and another
grocery store to check out. It had THE most interesting “Deli
Counter” with the most interesting variety of foods we have ever
very busy place. However they must take their religious holidays
more serious as all the banks and the Pirate Museum as well as most
government houses were closed. The Pirate Museum was a
disappointment and for the second time it was missed. Naturally most
of the tourist businesses we open as there were 4 cruise ships in at
the same time. Ours held 1100+ so there were plenty of people
milling around the docks. We did manage to get our Passports stamped
and went for a walk around town, after which found a little pub
across from Senor Frogs. Ordered a couple beers and some French
Fries. The beer and fries were good the service was lousy but it
gave us a chance to watch the tourist and the waterfront activities.
The visit to Nassau was topped off with a horse drawn buggy tour
through town. Our driver gave us a commentary on Nassau History as
we traveled through the town.
We arrived back in Miami Saturday morning
and headed back home stopping at Burger King and a gas station.
Everything was fine and we learned we are getting a new dock mate so
we had to move our boat back to the original slip. It looks like it
will be a long time before the sunken boat off our bow will be
continues on the replacement davits. I believe the reason for the
failure was because I had inadvertently used some fiberglass mat in
the construction and mat should not be used with epoxy as there are
no solvents to dissolve the binder in the mat so there is not
penetration and it does not wet out properly. It is taking more time
to lay up the new ones with 8oz. cloth but it
will be much stronger in the finished
there are so many photos this edition the davits will be in the
We leave in a week for Texas and then
fly to Reno for a bonus trip from our time share. It will be nice to
see my cousin again and then up to Tahoe for a week at the resort.
There was a lot of travel the last of February and
the first of March.
Our very good friends
John and Linda Crone invited us to meet them in Savannah, Georgia.
Linda grew up in Georgia and Savannah was one of their stops in a
tour to meet with many churches and supporters as they put together
their life story as missionaries for Campus Crusade for Christ.
The past number of years they have traveled and published books
throughout the world, including China, Russia, and most recently
We spent 2 days in Savannah and then
traveled up the coast to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina for 4 days.
While in Georgia we visited Tybee Island and the Savannah River
Front and had some great seafood as well as a tour of a huge candy
store with all kinds of the old fashion candies that at one time
pervaded in general stores before their demise.
On Tybee Island there is still the old artillery emplacement that
was built in World War 2 to protect the coast and the Tybee
Lighthouse as well and nice beaches and plenty of shops and
Standing on the River
Walk it was fun to imagine Rhett Butler bringing up supplies in
blockade runners to Savannah. Ah yes! Shades of “Gone with the Wind”
although Terra was in Atlanta.
Carolina there was the Wright Brothers Compound and a monument as
well as a full sized bronze sculpture of that first powered flight.
The Wright Brothers spent a lot of time in Kitty Hawk perfecting the
aircraft and had to carry their early gliders up a massive hill to
launch. The Monument is at the top of this hill.
Lugging a heavy glider up the steep hill
would tax any
considerably. There was
plenty of hard physical labor that went
into their flight experiments. I have included a panorama
shot to give an idea of the scope of this effort.
What is very interesting is the history of “pirates” all along the
Southern Atlantic Coast. Many of the famous names in pirate history
began as privateers employed by the Crown of England to rob the gold
shipments from the Spanish. After England made peace with Spain they
were summarily dismissed. Some were given governorship of some
Caribbean Islands but most were left to find new ways to support
themselves. During the Civil War many became Blockade Runners to
supply the Confederate States with needed supplies. There is a
Pirate Museum in Savannah and it is very much worth a visit.
The big news for the boat this month is that one of the arms to our
Davits failed. Dawn noticed the dinghy was sagging slightly on one
side so we decided to take the dinghy off while we were traveling.
The rope slipped a bit and it jerked and splash! The dinghy was in
the water! What is interesting is that one side is still solid and
both were identical in construction. However because the materials
were what was left over from a job on
another boat the design was not ideal. The new design will
incorporate not only the Nida-Core but also Divinycell. More details
on the construction later. However the new design will not only be
much stronger but actually a little lighter as well. It is still
planned to have the solar cell mounted on the davits.
On the medical front Dawn’s test all came out negative for any
residual cancer and my stress test was excellent. My next evaluation
is in a year.
Next month more travel is
scheduled and hopefully the pullout to finish Dawn Treader’s
outfitting. The Volkswagen Country Camper is still up for sale and
has just receive a major fuel injection tune up.
This month the big news is
the boat that sunk last September. The man across the way is
attempting the salvage. So far the attempts have proved less than
So far there are a number of people
involved however, the man who is actually responsible is totally
avoiding making any progress. However he has brought another boat up
and docked it here. It may get interesting in the next few weeks. We
will miss the fun as we have a lot of travel plans.
This last month Dawn had test at Bay Pines V A Hospital for
screening. They have so far turned up negative. Next month she will
get a bone scan. So we stayed in Orlando for the week. My stress
test and echocardiogram made my cardiologist happy and my next
checkup is a year from now. With all that out of the way and my
kayak sold our plans for a pull out will be done hopefully in March.
The buyer is going to pick up the kayak the first part of the month.
Our plans are to renew the bottom paint and make some modifications
to the head plumbing to make it more code compliant and user
The Volkswagen was running when we
visited the shop but all the relays and wiring was open. The shop
owner is having an outside technician working on the fuel injection
and tole us it will be finished when we return. After 14 years of
ownership this is the first serious problem I’ve had with it.
However we are still planning to sell it as we plan to move the
sailboat and one vehicle is bad enough let alone two.
For a last minute surprise Dawn noticed
that the one side of the davits was lower than the other. So we
started to lower the dingy the Starboard arm collapsed and SPLASH
the dingy was in the water. What is interesting is only one arm
broke. We have not decided weather or not to rebuild or like for a
used replacement. Or New!
We are going to leave for Savannah Georgia, to meet with our friends
John and Linda Crone for the week end. Then after that we are going
on to Kitty Hawk North Carolina.
Time marched on and we got
a new year and a new administration and many surprises for the year.
My only political comment for the New Year is that by in large a
great many people are acting deplorable. The general hypocrisy in
our nation has become to us most tiring.
One thing I would like to ask at the start
of this New Year is to ask everyone to let us know if you want to
stay or unsubscribe from our newsletter and to check out the web
page and give us feedback. Dawn has been working hard on making the
presentation attractive. The link to the web page is
On to the news of our Endeavour. We have
managed to do a six month refit in only 4 years! The reasons for
such a long time was because of unknown problems that was missed on
the survey, the lack of funds (a common problem) and two jobs that
interfered with time to work on our boat. One was the job at Publx
Grocery bagging and the other was doing a complete hurricane damage
repair on a huge (to me) 65 foot trawler. These took up about 2
years of our time. During our 4 years in Florida we met many new
friends and had some great adventures. We took some notable trips
that included Savanna, New Mexico, California, Arizona, Texas,
Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Florida. Not necessarily in
that order. Dawn and I both have recovered from surgeries and things
are going well on that front.
Moving on to the New Year we look forward
to some new adventures. I am writing this from ay timeshare in
Orlando Florida as we take a break from the boat and will be
traveling back and forth to Bay Pines VA Hospital for a series of
test for Dawn’s follow up. Next month we will be spending some time
with our friends from Texas. We are going to meet John and Linda
Crone in Savannah Georgia for a couple days. The boat is still not
ready for a trip like that or we would sail up as there are guest
slips on the River Walk in the Historic District. The closer we get
to finishing the refit of Dawn Treader the more impatient I become
to take to the seas again!
At the time of writing this newsletter we
still have no resolution on the Volkswagen Van or the 19 foot kayak
and we are simply too far from anything to solve both problems.
next month another Volkswagen technician will be visiting Florida
from California where I used to get work done in the past. Perhaps
he can fix it or maybe even buy it. Either way it is past ridiculous
that over 2 months and still no one can figure it out!
This also puts us
in a bad position concerning many things including a way to get the
boat pulled out. We have much stuff that will need to be discarded
as well. This is like the 3rd time we have sorted through and sold
or discarded stuff. The Volkswagen was used to haul what we had left
from leaving Arizona which were mostly tools and clothes. We are so
far from everything here in Turkey Creek and the Mustang is a
convertible so we can’t transport stuff on the roof. However
thankfully the local land fill is close enough to take stuff with
the top down. So we are seriously sorting and tossing. We are so
limited as our little community is so isolated and as far as yard
sales everybody already knows everything so its disposal and all
must be reduced to fit into 30 gallon trash bags! It is just the
continuing process of freeing ourselves of excess baggage.
For all the
artistic folks reading this month I am going to include a couple of
my poems. Now that the boat is more or less finished I do hope to
get back to writing.
Again please give us your feedback on the
newsletter and web page. Thanks:
Charlie and Dawn --- Aboard the Dawn
My Father was a Sailor
It’s been two years now since I’ve slept in
my own bed.
Abiding in tents, cars and with
Still refusing to be wed.
Dreaming still of the islands, wishing to be there.
Wandering through lands and seas,
finding great wonders to tell.
the autumn with bright colored leaves.
My father was a sailor ring 2 bells and all
will be well.
Roaming is the choice that was made,
Spanning the oceans my life stands aloof.
For this life all the luxuries I must trade,
live with stars to guide me to landfall
brings sirens unleashed from heaven or from hell
Making mystic ports of call
My father was a sailor ring 4 bells and
watch the sea swell
Strings of a puppet wound so tight.
If I could settle where would I be now?
ran away like my father deep into the night
The constant horizon lies over the bow.
time now to consider my plight.
Draw in the
main sheet drive the boat on.
My father was a sailor 6 bells called into
50 half a century gone
Hide away heart no
time for aches here
I’ve eaten another day
slept another night.
I swear the solution is
order another beer.
To ask for anything more
I haven’t the right
My father was a sailor ring 8 bells to call
H. Smith © 2004
The Magic Kite
It sours only on the breeze of spring
For that is when the magic fills the air
trumpets of the laughter rings
As it flies
it must be watched with care
For all the
dreams with it must stay
For those below
must wait and prepare
Safely contained above
The magic kite will deliver from the
All the dreams that can come our
© Charles H.
The newsletter is late this month. There were lots of projects and
of course Christmas.
Hope all of you had a great Christmas and will have a very special
Our projects this month included a long awaited cruise up river to
check all the repairs to the mechanical systems. The engine
performed great and the temperature never got above 170.
The other projects were beautification of the interior. Restoring
all the teak to its original luster. Three different finishes were
used. On the entry way Interlux Perfection and Interlux Schooner
Gold was used because of the exposure to sun in that area. Interlux
Perfection 2 part finish was used in the Head and all the doors to
provide good water proofing as the head is also our shower. Standard
Spar Varnish was used everywhere else for that rich gold color.
Our trip up the river served two purposes. One was to check out
the mechanicals. The other was to check out the boat yard. We need
to get our boat out to redo the bottom paint. The manager informed
us that it will most likely be till the middle of January before
they have a space for us.
So we plan to take some short trips through the river system and if
we go in the Gulf it will not be longer than a day or two.
We were invited to have Christmas Dinner with the owners of our
dock, Butch and Chris Floyd, there Daughter Julie, and next door
All or our medical issues are great. So the next year should prove
to be interesting.
Dawn has added many things and you can sign up for the newsletter or
request to be removed from our list.
November 2016 Thanksgiving Issue
We left Arizona November 17, 2012 and
headed to not only a new home but a new relationship. Dawn and I met
6 months before leaving Arizona.
We arrived in Florida armed with a $3500
severance $1600 monthly teacher’s pension, Dawn’s $191 annuity, a
$15, 500 Endeavour 37 that had been on the hard for 2 years and
already rejected by 2 other buyers! I am quite thankful for the
severance because at the time the company I left was struggling to
survive. Travel expenses ate most of the money. Our first week was
spent in a campground sleeping in the Volkswagen and preparing the
boat to move aboard.
We met some really great people during this
time and two of them Steve and Sue Rosen became not only good
friends but instrumental in ever getting Dawn Treader back into the
water and able to move.
Looking back on those 4 years we now find
many things to be thankful for.
We have had some great adventures and
misadventures. Had some interesting travels during that time and
more than anything our boat is looking almost new and every system
has been carefully analyzed, repaired, or modified as needed. During
that time I had the opportunity to gain experience and learn about
new materials while working on an acquaintance’s 65 foot boat. This
not only helped with repairs to Dawn Treader but the extra income
provided much needed materials, and parts as well and a couple of
Dawn and I both started our boating adventures cold turkey so to
Dawn on her Chris Craft Express
Cruiser 36 in 2003 located in Long Beach California.
Me on my American Mariner 24 in 2003 located in Port Isabel Texas.
I literally sold everything and left after
retiring early from San Bernardino School District.
Dawn took a Golden Handshake from Verizon and retired about the same
time. We did not meet until much later in Arizona of all places.
We had one big
thing in common we both lost our boats because of crooked people.
My longest trip in Florida was aboard
someone else’s boat. Dawn Treaders longest trip to date was behind a
tow boat! All that is about to change. We have only 2 more major
refits and one requires a pull out as well. At the present we have a
great slip with a great price because we have a shop to work out of
while we are here. However a trip to the gulf requires 3 draw
bridges and 2 locks. There is a DIY boatyard 2 miles upriver.
The year is ending
soon and the outlook is good and our collected recovery is also
going very well. We wish to thank all of our friends for their
support and encouragement as well as thanks to Butch and Chris Floyd
who rent us our slip.
We wish also at this Thanksgiving Time wish
to extend very special thanks to Joanne Mrkonjich without whom we
would never have this boat or a life. She is a super special lady
and friend. Thanks also to John and Linda Crone for extending
hospitality on our first Thanksgiving together.
Last October I wrote about our “Vampire Boat” and it
seems the tradition continues. This month has mostly been another
month of work to get Dawn Treader Ship Shape and Bristol! Naturally
working in tight spaces produces its share of scrapes and bruises
Our home has really been taking shape and is starting to show
her heritage well.
This month all the wood trim was finished and
the cockpit received added colour which sets off the boat trim very
well. Both chain lockers were emptied and rode and chain inspected.
All the decks have now been refinished and the bracket that holds
the pulleys for the steering have been reinforced with solid
fiberglass replacing the delaminated wood core.
charger went on the blink and was replaced and in the process some
interesting discoveries were made about the boats electric system
So all in all things are getting to the point where
not only does everything work but all is correctly wired. The new
battery charger is programmable and will accommodate every known
Dawn was busy with a big sewing project. She
completely reconstructed our mattress for the V-Berth and fashioning
covers for it, as well as fitted sheets top and bottom.
quite comfortable as well as very nice looking. The new setup also
allows access to the hatches and storage underneath.
getting close to the end of the trail as far as necessary items to
make the boat safe as well as convenient to sail. At this stage I
believe we pretty well know every corner of the boat. That will make
for confidence as well as practical traveling.
This month we had
a catastrophe however it was not caused by the hurricane. Hurricane
Matthew has very little effect on us and the highest winds I
recorded was 12 knots and we got one big spurt of rain. However the
day before the news was building it up and the city of LaBelle was
providing do it yourself sand bags. We know that this is considered
a good hurricane hole but still expected a bit more. Glad it didn’t
happen. Some of our friends up the coast and in the Carolinas did
not fare as well. I received several photos of damage to cities and
About a week before the hurricane hit our neighbor’s boat
sank while he was away. We were out working on our own and I quit to
clean up and about 2 hours later the owner knocked on our boat and
asked if someone hit his boat because it had sunk.
Later after a
lot of cleanup by Environmental Protection they raised the boat and
found the cause of the sinking. The stern had large hole rot out.
For 2 years that we have been here that boat has had excessive bilge
water and the owner has been going to take it to Cuba?? Guess that
idea is moot!
On a personal note, both Dawn and I received a
clean bill of health on our last visits. All our blood numbers are
We don’t have another checkup until January and March!
The end of the month finds us
finishing up some of the paint and the interior of the boat. We
ordered the material to reupholster the V-Berth and replacing all
the headliners and light fixtures. No major mechanical problems. The
time for sailing trials is getting very close. Only the pull out
We repainted the original trim stripes and added trim
around the cockpit and the deck paint has been renewed. It has been
a quiet travel month. Dawn and I both have had our checkups and
We decided to take a 3 day “vacation” in Orlando for a
break. Our neighbor’s boat sank during the last storm however it had
nothing to do with the storm. When they pulled up the boat they
found the stern was rotted away and just let go. The biggest problem
is that the owner has just abandoned the boat and so it is left for
the owner to remove. At this writing we are unsure what is going to
I have been getting a lot of rowing practice working on
the paint and turning the boat at the dock so the side can be
painted without the dock lines obstructing the work.
planned projects are down to renewing the bottom paint and checking
all through hulls and valves. We hope to complete everything and
start taking some shakedown trips by the end of next month.
has been a busy month which a lot was accomplished!
This month much
work was completed on Dawn Treader. Some for beautification some for
emergency repairs. The middle of the month we returned to Orlando
for out time share orientation. We continued with the tarp
experiment (photos 2-3) using shock corded tent poles that allow the
tarp to be removed and erected in minutes. The decks above the cabin
was painted with a new product from Jamestown Distributers
called Total Deck. It provides an easy applied finish that is good nonskid
(photos 4-6). The next two projects were the wood trim and the
V-Berth (photos 7-11 & 13-20). The V-Berth still had a slight leak
that showed up every time
it rained. Finally in frustration the entire headliner was removed to
trace the leak. It was suspected that the stanchion mount may have
been the culprit however
once exposed it was discovered it was along a short section
of the hull to deck joint. That made it a bit more complex. While
working on that it was decided that the condition of the wood trim
on the outside of the
boat was too badly weathered so it was sanded sealed with
epoxy and painted to match the trim stripe. The trim stripe was also repainted.
With the V-Berth sealed and tested through two major thunderstorms
the panels were replaced.It was about this time that the bilge pump started
working much more than normal. Initial
inspection found the raw water intake hose had become deteriorated and
was leaking. It was replaced along with the hose from the strainer
to the impeller pump.
However the bilge pump continued to go on. Back under the cockpit
Dawn discovered that the water heater was also leaking. We found one
online from Defender for just under $300 with shipping. So while
waiting for it to arrive
I plugged the water line so we would have water inside the boat
(photos 24-27). Replacement required a new wood mount and flaring one
line that was broken removing the plug. However, the bilge pump
still was going on
occasionally about every 12 hours so another under deck inspection
revealed that everything was totally dry.
It was then discovered our
new air conditioner drain hose was the culprit leaking down the
ladder into the bilge.
The cockpit and the bow sprit will be kept and finished in the
original teak however the
perimeter (gunnels) look very good painted. The hull was scrubbed
and in general cleaned to match the new look of the trim (photos 28-29
& 31-37). Photos 34 -35 show the storage shed/workshop and screened
in gazebo that we get to use while at this slip. The
last photos are of the time share and we get the 1 bedroom unit to
save on our points. This
trip was partially paid for by Diamond Resorts as it was the
orientation meeting for new owners so we could learn of all the new features
of the ownership. We decided to extend our stay for 2 more days as the
cost was minimal. There were a couple of very good surprises which
is rare these days
especially with time share ownerships! We will update in a later
New projects planned when we return to the boat will
include recovering the mattress
for the V-Berth, repairing the fresh water tank and finish painting
the forward deck. Also in
the planning stages are new canvas for the dodger and Bimini,
painting upper trim to match the trim on the side and refresh the bottom
paint. When we pull out to paint the bottom we will also check every through
hull and gate valve. Hopefully Dawn Treader will be ready to do some
extended sea trials by the end of September.
The month of June and
July has passed so quickly and most of the medical issues
have passed. My last trip to the Cardiologist gave me a very
report. Dawn will have her next checkup in September.
Meanwhile we have been working hard to
get Dawn Treader in Bristol Fashion.
This month the cabin
decks were recoated with a new product called Total Deck from
Jamestown Distributers. It forms a great nonskid finish and
to apply. The other major project was to seal the wood on
the perimeter and prepare it for painting along with repainting the
trim stripe. During this process we also had to
dismantle the V-Berth and remove the headliner to chase down a
stubborn leak. I have been getting a lot of rowing practice
dingy as access is much better from the water side of the
boat. Soon we will turn the boat to place the port side out. While
working on the gunnels the windlass mount was
removed and a lot of rot discovered. So that was repaired and
fiber glassed to prevent any future rot. Basically our month
was one of work and progress is being made.
This time of year
is not the greatest for sailing or working in Florida. The
are hot and sweaty the afternoons are usually raining and
have had rain almost every afternoon and a few storms with
wind gusts up to 55 MPH. However Dawn Treader is securely tied to
her dock. The only damage so far was to an
inexpensive tarp and some shock-corded fiberglass poles. They have
been replaced by stronger ones in our experimental tarp.
is to erect and remove the tarp in 20 minutes or less.
We expect August to be much of the same as we prepare Dawn
Treader for her life at sea hopefully completing many safe
month we will also be attending our orientation meeting for
Share which will serve as a mini vacation. I never knew
retirement would be such hard work.
So as we face the
challenges of preparing our boat and ourselves it is still
better than many things I can think of.
the one large issue this month is due to the Patriot Act and
interference with the ability for many of us full
time RVers and Boaters to
receive mail, bank accounts,
and credit cards. I am including a sample letter
list of legislators please feel free to use, modify, and add
to the list and
MAIL letters to your representatives.
Even if you are not living aboard or
traveling full time
in an RV we who do would appreciate your support.
boat news for the month is little.
Dawn finished up
her radiation therapy in St. Petersburg. It was actually a
sort of vacation for us both as we stayed in St.
Petersburg during the week.
Then took a mini-vacation at
our time share in Orlando. The mass shooting
about 2 weeks later so we were not involved. The decks got
painted with non-slip deck paint and some more rebedding
of things that go
leak in the rain. Dawn has one more
follow up with her Oncologist this month
and I have one
in July with my Cardiologist. We are planning a trip to
soon to receive our indoctrination on how to use
our time share points and
pick up a solar panel for Dawn
Treader. We are down to a few cosmetics
and 2 mechanical
issues before we leave our river nest and head back into
the gulf. My work on that 65 foot trawler was finished
thankfully before my
surgery but the owner reneged on
the deal to pay our slip fees for the
remainder of time
that was promised. They came and took the boat while I
was recovering. It is sort of a mixed blessing. I lost money
on the deal but it
is out of my hair and if there are
any complaints -----tough!
In the Galley Dawn got a
really great slow cooker. Tayama and it works a lot
a thermos Heat the inner part on the stove for 5-7 minutes
place in the
outer part and let sit tell dinner time.
I do not get political in our newsletter but this is a
universal problem for
anyone who uses a mail service. As
promised here is the sample letter again
thank you for
your support. Also PLEASE DO NOT MENTION ANY
Please substitute your info here or leave blank
Enter the address of the congressman or
Dear (Congressman or Senator)
(please be sure they match as I have messed up with multiple
How would you like to wake up tomorrow
morning and find that you had no
money, no ATM card, no
credit cards, and no longer able to access your
account or obtain one?
That is exactly what may
happen to thousands of people that like myself
retired and chosen to live and travel in RV’s and boats.
Many of us
have sold our homes to do so which has run
afoul of the Patriot Act. I will not
list the whole
document here but you may reference it here
ssence banking institution are required to shut down
accounts for those of us
that use mail drops. I do not
have an exact figure however one Mail Service
the number in the tens of thousands. This also includes
workers as well. I have not had anything but my
boat and RV since 2002 and
travel considerably. I must
have a central place for all my business and
mail as well as a way to pay my bills, file my taxes and
manage my financial life. Currently for myself
and thousands like me there is
no solution. My home
floats and is a Federally Documented Vessel and that
the only address I have. The one I am writing from is
borrowed and we
are about to leave our present location
We need a solution now, not platitudes and
form letters I have already had
someone I know denied a
bank account and I myself will not be able to
brokerage account or dividends which are part of my
income. . The
Congress and Senate created
this problem with an act that has been
its intent but has developed numerous problems for your
Here is a list of
legislators to start with. Please write to at least 5
Please feel free to include yours if they are not on the
Sen. Bill Nelson
Robinson Street, Suite 410
Orlando, Florida 32801
Phone: (407) 872-7161
Fax: (407) 872-7165
8669 NW 36th Street, Suite 110
Phone: (305) 418-8553
5353 North 16th Street, Suite 105
Phone: (602) 952-2410
Sen. Ted Cruz
300 E. 8th Suite 961
Austin TX 78701
Phone: (512) 916-5834
US Federal Courthouse
501 E. Court St.
Jackson MS 39201
Phone: (601) 965-4644
FAX: (601) 965-4007
101 East Union Street, Suite 202
Phone: (904) 354-1652
Rep. Kevin Brady
1300 11th St. Suite 400
Huntsville TX 77340
Phone: (936) 439-9532
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson
3102 Maple Ave. Suite 600
Phone: (214) 922-8885
230 South Whitworth St.
Brookhaven MS 39601
FAX: (601) 823-5512
Rep. Bennie G.
107 West Madison Street
Bolton MS 39041
Phone: (601) 866-9003
Again ---- I’ve put a lot
of time and effort into this of which I’d rather have
used to work on my boat so please respect that.
Time again for another newsletter. The month of May found us
still land bound to take care of what we hope is the last of
the medical issues.
Dawn finished her radiation
treatments at the Bay Pines Veterans Medical Center in St.
Petersburg Florida. During this time we were the guest of
Comfort Inn in St. Petersburg for about 6 weeks. We learned
a lot about St. Petersburg including that it must be entered
as St. not Saint in the GPS! During the trips we visited
Don’s Salvage for some boat parts. Some bows for a Bimini
and other related parts were found.
around some thrift shops a heavy duty Singer sewing machine
was purchased for $20. The machine was totally complete with
every accessory and even the owner’s manual. It is heavy
duty enough to sew leather canvas and even multiple layers
of sail cloth. This is going to allow us to do some much
needed canvas work on our boat. We gave our old machine to
the lady that took care of the breakfast area at the Comfort
Inn. It was a good machine and almost new but just not
powerful enough to sew more than 2 or 3 layers of canvas.
The last two weeks started to bother Dawn and the
dose was increased so by the time we finished she had some
Madera Beach was close to Bay Pines V A
Hospital so we walked on the beach a few times. The room
accommodations were very good and the routine was to go for
dinner on Mondays and stop on the way home on Fridays.
Breakfast was provided by the Motel and the days in between
the facilities were available to cook and saved eating out
for the 4 days. The Taste of India just down from the V A
Hospital had a great lunch buffet!
favorites were O’Maddy’s in Gulf Port, Jack’s London Grill
in ST. Petersburg, The Gondolier in Clearwater. We met
friends twice at O’Maddy’s Nikko one week and Sue and Steve
Rosen with son Ken and Chris who were flying out that day.
We made dinner at the Motel and invited Pat Uhl from
the Sailing Club. It was a fun time seeing her and catching
up with her and her new life!
The only sailing
activities this month was checking out the Gulfport Marina,
buying some Bimini bows at Don’s Salvage, and finishing the
support bar that will house the solar cell. Having only 2
days each week to work for 6 weeks has produced an awful
mess and crowded the work shed.
We decided to take a
short vacation in Orlando and while we were there decided to
exercise our option on a time share membership. So now we
have the ability to stay in many places in other countries
as well. It is very nice to get off the boat once in a while
or after a long trip. The cost was highly discounted and we
received a fabulous sign up bonus so as in The Godfather,
“They made us a deal we couldn’t refuse!”
coming weeks we will be completing the above waterline work,
so that we can empty out the work shed. The fresh water tank
needs some repair so the manual pump line picks up water
again. After that we will need to make a decision as to
where to pull the boat out for bottom paint and final work
to the head and holding tank system.
That is the
news for this month. We have had a good time in St.
Petersburg and Clearwater area but the drive has become a
bit of a chore and we are going to enjoy staying on the boat
for the next few weeks. The air conditioner has been hooked
up and is working.
Please visit our web site at:
The month of April finds us still more or less land bound as
Dawn finishes up radiation therapy following her breast
We finished one major project on the boat
before she started. All the portlights on the boat have now
been installed. The port side was relatively simple. One had
to be redone as it still leaked. The caulk had some gaps.
The starboard side was a different matter. Because the
former owners attempted to seal them with the wrong material
( 3-M 5200) removing the old ports completely destroyed the
inside paneling as well. After a trip to Miami to get a new
teak panel and refitting new inside panels the new ports
were installed. Luckily the weather held no rain during this
We will be in Saint Petersburg for 5 days
each week now for Dawn’s radiation. Each day she reports to
Bay Pines Veterans Hospital for an hour. The remaining time
is used to explore the area.
month's recipe and photos.
There is a Thunder
Storm brewing out there, so it figures to be a good time to
write the newsletter.
Nothing particularly exciting
for this month as we are still waiting to get the final
results from Dawns test results on the 31st of this month.
After that she will get one of 2 options. First Chemo and
then Radiation or just Radiation. We hope it is the 2nd.
However there will not be any travel until that is finished.
We were invited to the Turkey Creak Yacht Club picnic.
One of the members drove his classic MGB. Many years ago I
owned a 72 MGB-GT. seeing that one brought back a few
The River Boat offers tours up river. They
are quite reasonable and we would like to take one
ourselves. They leave from Fort Myers if any are in the area
and interested there web site is, jccruises.com
have taken the time to do some “boat improvements” as some
things were much needed for our comfort and use of the boat.
We installed the new port lights (windows) on the port side
first. That side had the worse of the bunch. The V-Berth and
the Head had part of the hinge and the clamp missing. The
head and v-berth was louvered so little water came in in all
but all the worse downpours. The 2 in the salon had gasket
and warpage. And were sealed with weather strip materials
and couldn’t be opened. So now just in time for our
wonderful spring weather we have a nice cross breeze and so
far have not had to hook up the air conditioning unit. Also
they are clear and provide a nice view. Next week we will
replace the Starboard ones. The cabin is also being painted
as well as the cockpit so the lady is starting to get her
shine back, and NO LEAKS!
Next month will be Dawns
Birthday. Hopefully she will get at least some good news for
On my medical front the heart doctor has
taken me off the blood pressure medicine and I will get 2
ultra sound test but all seems quite well.
We hope to
get the bottom paint renewed and the head straightened out
and then start taking some small trips after Dawn is clear.
I wrote this some time ago and feel since it is
spring and because it fits our current situation I would
share it with our readers.
Spring has passed this way again
left this time a wake in its path.
The expectant life
that wants renewed; Withered
The rain falls on dead
The hope of life still lies sleeping- waiting.
The tarnished moon floats masked with the wisps of clouds.
The promise of hope must be pulled from the earth.
lies deep in my breast a chill.
Can summer bring enough
to save the world?
Can the splendor of the night rekindle
the lost flame?
Come drink with me the toast.
for a moment that life has never been before.
Rise up and
cheat the jaws that imprison our souls.
The music of the
Carefully, it must be guarded.
It must not be lost
The cost will be the existence,
That is all the life that is left.
Journey where the soul longs to be.
Charles H. Smith 1997
month's recipe and photos.
February found us still docked for medical
Dawn had surgery to remove a growth on her
breast. The surgery was successful There was no involvement with the
lymph node and all the growth was completely removed. We went back
to Bay Pines Veterans Hospital Wednesday the 24th for lab results
and further instructions which will include radiation and endocrine
therapy. The doctor was quite positive and Dawn
and I are feeling
better about the results now.
Meanwhile I am
continuing to slowly get back to normal myself and started some
simple projects around the boat. I actually drove for the first time
since my surgery and it was an interesting experience to say the
We are house sitting for our friends Steve
and Sue while they spend time in Grand Cayman for their anniversary.
We also want to thank Captain Doug and his wife Prudy for a great
time. They treated us to a ride on the ferry he runs over to Palm
Island and dinner at the Rum Bay restaurant while we were staying in
Butch and Chris who own the slip where we
have our boat gave us a gift certificate for Cracker Barrel
restaurant so we stopped there for dinner on the way home from
Clearwater. Special thanks to all of you.
I wish to thank
also all the supportive members of The Englewood Sailing
Association for their support, and friendship as well as
helping us to get our lives back on track. A;; the members
of the club are very special to us and it has been a great
privilege to know and work with these people over the time
we have been in Florida. Special thanks to Steve, Sue, John,
Hugh, Crag, Bruce, Andy, and anyone else
that I may have missed. These people and their love for the club and
teaching the kids sailing is remarkable.
We are actually advertising our venerable
Volkswagen for sale as we hope to soon head for some island sailing.
We have 3 main projects before leaving on any ocean trips. We must
renew bottom paint, modify or refurbish the working of the head, and
replace our ports. We have most of the materials it’s just a matter
of getting them done.
We are docked in a
great place because the boat yard is only a few miles upriver.
The trip will also allow us to learn if we
finally solved our engine heating problems.
The medical issues
have interrupted our flow of work so other than recovering we have
not done much these last 2 months. Other than a road trip to Texas
we have done little in the way of travel.
I would like to mention Doug’s project. He
has developed a “Solar Trailer” that will provide up to 3.2KW as
well as include a 3.5KW backup generator. The entire system folds
and is a towable portable power house that can provide either
emergency power to a home or power up a hunting cabin or camp.
Photos of the prototype are included in this month’s newsletter. On
of photos it seems all my attempts to edit and name them have been
thwarted by both windows and the E-Mail server but Dawn carefully
arranges them in our web page with captions available by placing the
mouse over the photos.
month's recipe and photos.
January took us on a road trip to Texas.
My doctor has not released me to sail or drive so Dawn did all the
driving! Sometimes following a GPS can provide some interesting and
not always welcome deviations. We were directed along a shorter
route but would have been more direct to stay on US-75 to connect
with US-10 and probably the same time as we had many stops and small
towns along the way as well as some two lane roads. It would not
have been so bad if we were not trying to get to Pensacola the first
night. That was our Half Way point and the next day we reached
Jasper Texas. Our dinner stop the first night was in Tallahassee and
Dawn found her favorite, a Chinese Buffett! The second day we had
dinner at Steamboat Bills in Lake Charles LA. Great Cajun food
After resting up at Ron’s in Jasper we
headed down to Port Isabel where I took my first sailboat. We stayed
on Padre Island 2 nights while we explored the Texas Coast up to
Corpus Christi. Along the way we found a great Mexican Restaurant in
Victoria TX where they make everything fresh including their
tortillas. If you are on Hwy. 59 out of Houston stop at La Carreta Taqueria
3501 Port Lavaca Dr. In Port Isabel the Pirate’s Landing is still a
good seafood restaurant. However, if you get the Crab Louie order it
with the dressing on the side!
We returned to
Jasper for a day’s rest as just riding in the car was still hard
even though it was 2months since surgery. On the way we stopped for
dinner at Shrimp Boat Manny’s in Livingston TX which had the best
Mahi Mahi and Jambalaya we’ve had in a long time.
We traveled up to McKinney TX to visit
with our friends John and Linda stopping on the way for a brief
visit with Ron Smith who had his Brother and oldest son David with
Ron and I shared many adventures with the
rail dragster I raced briefly before returning to college. Hopefully
next trip his wife Patty will be around and we can have a longer
visit. Both of them are involved with Faire and travel around a lot.
We took2 days getting home from Texas and
did find a cute little town on the way that is close to us and we
will explore it at a different time. When we arrived home the boats
tarp suffered from the high winds so we removed it completely and
was rewarded with winds in the 409 knot range and temperatures in
the 30’s. However today is back to sunny and 70’s which is why we
Again to remind everyone that if you wish
to stop receiving our newsletter just reply with unsubscribe in the
header and also to visit our web page at
www.ourdawntreader.com and have a great year!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to
all our readers.
We have no sailing news this month as
I am still under doctor’s care for the bypass and have not been
released to go back to our boat. However, the last 2 months have
We want to extend special thanks to
Steve and Sue Rosen who opened their home to us for the duration of
December when our other arrangement fell through. Also Butch and
Chris, the Englewood Sailing Association and our friends and
relatives for their moral support through my bypass operation and
recovery process. Especially Sue who sat through the operation with
Dawn for moral support.
We postponed a planned trip to Texas
however hopefully soon we will be able to make the trip.
As the year comes to a close we have
much to be thankful for and of course much to look forward to as
well. One thing I am especially thankful for is that I was able to
finish the heavy work on the trawler and most of mine before I was
hospitalized. The boat was moved to its new home early this month.
If anyone wants a reasonable slip in Florida it is available. Just
contact us and we will pass your information on. It is located about
half way between Fort Myers and Lake Okeechobee in fresh water and
will accommodate up to 60 to 65 foot boats.
Our own boat has only a few more
things to be prepared for blue water cruising. As soon as I get
released from the doctor we are going to take the boat up to the
boat yard to renew the bottom paint, check all through hulls and
valves, bring the head and plumbing up to current Coast Guard
standards, and generally give a good look see as well as a new
survey. We have made many improvements to Dawn Treader and our
insurance needs to reflect the added value. Something every boat
owner should be aware of.
We also wish to thank all of our
readers and visitors to our web page
and also remind everyone that to unsubscribe just return with
unsubscribe in the subject line. We also would like to hear from all
of you and hope your Christmas and New Year is great!
I have had some people mention that
the photo names do not show so here is a run-down on this month’s
1-3 My early walks in Pine Island.
4-10 The little business district in Pine Island. 11-14 Photos from
our Host’s yard. 15-20 Farlow’s Restaurant in Englewood. Not only is
the atmosphere great the food is even better. 20 View of the Gulf
from Pine Island
This month there is little to report on our boat. We had a big
I wound up in Sarasota Memorial Hospital for a triple
bypass on November 9th.
I have a huge “thank you” for everything
in our life.
First a big thank you for to Ilie and Sue, for
loaning us their house on Pine Island to recover in. For Steve and
Sue Rosen for letting Dawn stay with them in Englewood during my
hospital stay. Also thanks to all of you that sent kind thoughts and
prayers our way.
Second I am so very thankful that all the
heavy work on Ilie’s boat and Dawn Treader was pretty much finished
before my clogged artery was discovered.
Third and most
important to the entire staff at Sarasota Memorial Hospital for the
great job and services. My surgeon, Dr. Jeffrey Sell, was also the
head of Thoracic Surgery. The fact that I had no symptoms leading up
to this is especially dangerous, so I consider myself most
fortunate. The doctor estimates 2 months for full recovery and there
are some projects waiting for me.
Dawn has been working on
the web site so please give it a visit at www.ourdawntreader.com
also if you no longer wish to receive our newsletter just respond
with “unsubscribe” in the header.
This month has been one to
reflect on our goals and to just generally enjoy life. Dawn is
getting to bake a whole turkey for Thanksgiving as we have a full
size oven for the first time in 3 years. We would also love to hear
from all of you about your Thanksgiving!
This month I have
included an early story about the start of the kayak adventures. By
2003 I had constructed a kayak and traveled down the Missouri river
for an early retirement celebration, however the beginnings were a
My introduction to kayaking was a little
turbulent. I was loaned a sit-on-top
for a trip across Morro Bay
to have a picnic on the sand spit. Loaded with
goodies my tutor and I put in at the marina and pushed off. I
promptly went sprawling head first into the bay. Thankfully it was a
warm day in late June and I soon dried. However I learned two
things: one, kayaks do turn over and two, kayaks are paddled
differently than a canoe.
It needs to be stated here and now
that I am not quite in Olympic condition.
destination across the bay appeared less than a quarter mile,
but halfway there I was wondering if I would make it. My partner,
who I might add had the food, was way out ahead. I was starting to
figure out how to make the kayak go, but wondered how the wind could
something this low to the water anyway?
Time was something that passed unnoticed because of the panic felt
time the kayak rocked. I just knew I was about to get
dunked again. At low
tide the water was quite shallow out of the
boat channel and I seriously
considered getting out and walking.
Only the fear of looking like a big wimp
did two more training trips. One was another short paddle across the
bay to watch fireworks on the 4th of July. The other was for a
picnic with a
couple that paddled a canoe. Wondering if the
adage two is better than one
applied to paddling, it came as a
pleasant surprise that the kayaks glided
along with the canoe.
This time the trip was all the way around the bay,
almost to the
breakwater. This is when I decided we had to do some touring.
Camping is not new to me, but 5 years of sag had left me in less
condition. I wanted to do an overnight trip free of
advanced rapids. I had a
strong desire to include the ocean. At
this time I had never been out of the
bay. My partner attempted
to bring reason into the plans. We can learn as
we go became my
The Russian River came to mind. I remember
camping on its banks several
years ago during a photo trip. My
partner was a little dubious and concerned about what lessons we
might learn on the way, but was also a great sport about my
willingness to barge right in. We became partners in crime. With
time to plan we found a great book; Guide to Sea Kayaking Central
and Northern California.
We started in Morro Bay for a
couple of practice sessions, packed the
camping gear, loaded the
kayaks, and headed north. The first stop was the
which is just above the bay in Monterey. My total kayaking
experience at this time was 5 short trips in a protected bay. This
was to be
the first experience with tricky ocean tides. The trip
turned out to be a calm
5-mile paddle up to a place called Kirby
Park. There were sea lions on the
bank, seals swimming in the
distance, and otters that would swim up and
take a look to see
what was going on. My partner was the first to spot the
jellyfish. They have such an interesting way of propelling through
the water. I worried a little about accidentally wrapping one of the
translucent creatures around the paddle, as the sting would be quite
painful. Returning to wave action that was enough to be interesting,
the total trip was about 10 miles and took close to 5 or 6 hours
including a food stop.
The campground at Sunset Beach State
Park was booked, so we headed to
Morgan Hill to dry things out
for a couple of days before going on to the
Considering that we made no reservations and arrived in late evening
each time we were lucky to have a campsite. My original idea was to
stay at a campground in Duncan Mills that was on the Russian River,
and close to the ocean. That was not to be as it was now a private
campground, so we went on to one near Cloverdale. We arrived,
keeping with our new tradition of setting up the tent in the dark,
and settled in.
After scouting the river we decided to work
our way up to see how far we
could get. We encountered the first
set of rapids that helped me learn power
paddling. There I was
going absolutely nowhere and paddling like a windmill.
our party of two was greatly amused. We drifted down and put in to
see if we could find passage past this great obstacle. I think
it would be
about a class 2 maybe, but to us it was the right
stuff. We paddled around
talking for a while and patting
ourselves on the back for being the intrepid
evening we had a spirited discussion about how to get past
first obstacle with all the seriousness of explorers about to insult
The next morning, fortified with the great
breakfast served at the campground chuck wagon, we packed lunch and
loaded up for “The Assault”. At this time the only thing I knew
about rescue was that you called 911! However that was soon to
change. We traversed that first obstacle by grabbing the bushes and
holding the kayaks as we got out, then towing the kayak past the
Once past those rapids the river was wider and
slowed enough to merrily
paddle on to the next. I learned how to
really dig in for short bursts to get
past the stronger
currents. My partner was keeping up and all was well.
of us became a little too confident. The bow got sideways in the
current. Had I known about something called a brace I could have
Why the term rescue? Because all the stuff that floats
away must be saved
as well as getting the kayak righted and back
on or in. Miraculously my
glasses were perched on my chest still
held by the strap, but all else was
heading back downstream. My
partner rescued my paddle, hat, water bottle,
and now empty coke
can that I had been casually sipping just moments
before. We did
on the fly, paddle pass without dumping again. Good time for a lunch
break we decided, and beached.
That is when I discovered why
you don’t wear cotton shirts. Shivering while the food was unpacked
we were thankful for the warm sun, and the food helped relieve the
cold. At least I had managed to re-mount my kayak and maneuver well
enough to get my paddle back. Had I been alone the paddle would have
stopped miles away. As we consumed our rations a few people in
rental kayaks came by. After cheerfully waving we secretly shared
the assurance that they were not real explorers, having been
transported up river.
Undaunted, the two intrepid explorers
were ready for more. After a side trip to Mendocino for scouting
(and shopping) the next destination was
The East Indian restaurant across the street was
redeeming feature, aside from the camp’s location on the river, two
miles from the ocean. We decided to again go up river first and
amazed ourselves at the ease of our progress. We
stopped at a beach
upriver and had a little debate about our
It seemed highly improbable that we arrived at
Duncan Mills so quickly as it was 3 miles. It seemed that these
miles passed so quickly. Continuing
upriver the next stop was
Monte Rio. This became our turn around point, as
the winds were
now contrary. Arriving back at Bridgehaven we completed an 18-mile
trip. We even had some daylight left. This was enough to give us a
great sense of accomplishment.
The next day I sat out alone
toward the ocean. Even at 10:00 AM a light mist settled over the
surface of the water. I felt compelled to just keep going. With the
last of my film exposed I beached to secure the camera for the
return trip. Coincidence put me in view of patrons of a cafe`.
Perhaps, when pushing off, I paddled just a tad more vigorous than
normal. Perhaps no one even noticed, but I held the pace all around
the bend. Just in case!
It was here at the mouth of the
Russian River that I made a new friend, and
we moved with new
grace over the water. This was the last time paddling on this trip.
Even though I was ready to strike out across the expanse of the
open ocean my partner was level headed enough to convince me there
still much to learn first. However we had a delightful trip
and our knowledge and experience grew tremendously. I also knew I
was going to need some new clothes, something in stylish
News from the Dawn Treader
Perhaps it should have been apparent when the first time the boat and I came
together on that eerie day in October; I was attacked. It was subtle not
enough that one would notice. However, over time and with the boldness of
familiarity the attacks have become not only more frequent but more
extensive. Always the purpose of these attacks is to -------- Ingest human
blood! Yes we have discovered our boat is a Vampire! It has taken us 3 years
to discover the true nature of our beast. Oh! It has been sneaky about it,
but nevertheless finally the evidence has confirmed our suspicions.
Every time there is any interaction with it there is spilling of blood! This
may sound crazy to some that do not believe that a boat is a living thing,
but we now know and yet the knowing has not saved us from our fate. Our boat
is crafty and manages to overcome all preventions. What? You say!
Impossible? Just view the evidence. Even the simplest jobs have resulted in
a blood sacrifice of minor to OH MY God – I need stiches! Never have they
actually been life threatening, after all a Vampire never wants to kill its
victim and loose its supply of blood! Examples you ask? Easy as there are so
many! Replace a screw on the anti-chafe plate----screwdriver slips ----Bang
a bleeding palm. Coincidence? If it was a single incident but no! This is
regular as clockwork. Replace a bilge pump; mysteriously the mount slipped
sidewise before the epoxy set just enough to wedge on the way out. Result?
Scraped hand, cut thumb, and a slit finger all bleeding into the bilge. Even
the simple act of stepping off the boat produced a gash of epic proportions!
It is all but healed but fear of leaving still haunts our thoughts. I have
tried working with garlic cloves around my neck. Carried a silver stake and
all other Vampire slaying items to no avail. Mysteriously we’ve never been
attacked in the salon or other living areas. We have come to an easy peace
as we have no other home. I have just had to realize that I will bleed
occasionally to satisfy the blood lust.
When I started this it was
raining! The day before it rained on and off all day. Have just one more
thing to add to the davits and the rain is slowing the work. It has been a
long and sometimes frustrating summer with many thunderstorms but thankfully
only 2 hurricanes, neither of which caused us any more than a lot of rain
and some winds that were just a tad bit high. Lost one tarp in the process
but in all, no particular damage. The work has been intense but Dawn Treader
is just about prepared for bluewater cruising. For those of you
contemplating buying a boat or engaging in a similar lifestyle, it is worth
noting that a careful survey and knowledge of boats in general will cut down
but not eliminate the work preparing a boat. The price paid for the boat may
not always reflect readiness for travel. I have found through the years of
living and traveling on sailboats that usually the net cost is about the
same for a “work in progress” or Bristol boat. The money you save buying the
“fixer upper” is usually spent on materials and there is the time factor. We
have been at it for 3 years now. Even a brand new. Never been sailed, boat
will have expenses as they need many things such as RADAR, GPS, VHF Radio
and a host of other things normally found in a good used boat.
ONE great advantage to a boat that is sound and seaworthy but needs work, is
that when the process is over the owner will KNOW the systems and workings
of the boat and in general will be able to handle emergencies out on the
open ocean and will have a much safer cruise.
In our case Dawn
Treader has forced us to have that kind of intimacy through all the problems
and repairs, and I know that in spite of the frustrations that this
familiarity may not have happened as like most people I do not readily
voluntarily subject myself to torture!
The Photos this month are
mostly about the upgrades performed on Dawn Treader. We made one trip to
Daytona and spent a lot of time at The Marine Trading Post in Fort Myers and
Port Charlotte. They have 4 Locations but for the best deals on used parts
Fort Myers was the best.
It is getting into the best weather for
sailing in our area and we are pretty much ready to do our last pull out
before heading back to salt water.
Hopefully the photo problem is
solved please let me know if they still appear sideways for non-Windows 8
users and please visit our web page
LATE Late late
This month on the Dawn
Treader has been mostly busy, uneventful, and somewhat
boring! The projects for the month have been davits and
upgrades to our cockpit.
The winches have been
removed for servicing and the wood trim on the cockpit
refinished. The installation of the davits and final cockpit
paint has been postponed for next month. We made a trip to
Clearwater for a visit to Don’s Salvage and Tarpon Springs.
We bought parts at Don’s and Dinner at Tarpon Springs. There
are two reasons for this. The first is the weather. We have
had rain nearly every day this month. The second is because
we took a trip to Daytona for 3 days. We wish to thank our
friend Joanne for sharing her time share with us!
While in Daytona we visited the Light House at Ponce
(mosquito inlet). It rained on and off most of the day but
we still had a great time exploring the grounds and climbing
to the top of the lighthouse. It was just over 200 steps to
the top. After that we visited the Daytona International
Speedway in hopes of visiting a museum, however it has been
Dinner for two of the nights was at Joe’s
Crab Shack at the end of the pier, and the Crusin’ Café
where we sat in NASCAR race cars that were made into tables.
The food in both places was great.
We still have a
few projects on the trawler but that work is also winding
It is getting near the end of the hurricane
season and starting to have cooler
next week all the projects will be finished and we will take
a run up the river and prepare for the final pull out to
refresh bottom paint and work on the plumbing as well as
test all through hulls.
This month's recipe
The rolling hitch
comes to the rescue when riding turns jam a line on a winch
drum. This hitch is designed not to slip. Use an extra line
to tie a rolling hitch on the standing portion of a jammed
line, shift the load to the extra line and you can free the
jammed line. The rolling hitch will also keep any line
secured to a vertical cylindrical object, such as a
stanchion, from slipping. It can also be used to form an
adjustable noose that doesn’t slip under load, which is
handy when securing tie-downs for an awning on deck. The Boy
Scouts use the same knot to tension lines secured to tent
pegs, only they call it a taut line hitch.
line twice around another fixed line or post. Take a third
turn by passing the working end of the first line over its
standing end and then around the second line above the first
two turns. Pull on the standing part of the first line and
the hitch will not slip down the second line.
Walk down a dock in
any marina and you will see many dock lines improperly
secured to cleats. A proper cleat hitch is easy to tie, very
effective and it can be released under load without worrying
about losing a finger in the process. Any time you make off
a line on a cleat, on a dock or on deck, this is the knot to
As you gain experience, you will begin to
recognize families of knots that are related. For example,
two half hitches and the cleat hitch are really clove
hitches: the former is tied on the standing end of a line,
while the latter is bent around the horns of a cleat. As you
practice tying these seven essential knots, you will
immediately recognize the look and shape of the knot when
made correctly, and more important, will recognize when you
have tied it incorrectly.
Take one full turn around
the base of the cleat, leading the line so that its standing
part runs clear of the cleat. Then take a figure-eight turn
around first one horn of the cleat, then the other. On the
final turn pass the line under itself and pull it tight.
Want to learn more
about knot tying? Check out
The Pocket-Sized Guide, The
Above and Beyond Guide, and
The See-it-to-Learn-it Guide:
For those who
prefer visual learning, Fair Wind Sailing School’s “Knots So
Fast” video series may be your ticket to knot-tying success.
In 2-3 minute videos, Capt. Dave Bello provides in-depth
lessons on tying what he calls “the nine most critical knots
in sailing”: the cleat hitch, reef knot, sheet bend, clove
hitch, round turn & two half hitches, figure 8, rolling
hitch, bowline and truckers hitch. The first 2-minute video
is free and discusses knotting terminology. The second
video, “The Figure Eight Knot” is also free. After that,
videos can be purchased for $2.95 apiece, or $12.95 for all
10. All videos are shot in high def with dual-angle filming,
meaning the viewer sees the knot from two perspectives:
overhead and straight on. Once purchased, the videos are
yours to watch and re-watch until you’re satisfied.
Now that the last essential knots are finished it is time to
move on to what’s new with Dawn Treader.
more repair and beautification has been in progress. The
photos show the process for repairing the delaminated core
in the cockpit. The core is sandwiched between two layers of
Fiberglas and in our case is plywood. The top floor was cut
and removed first. Then the old wood was cleared out and
replaced with a composite core material. Two rows of the
wood were left in and sealed with penetrating Epoxy to
position the regluing of the floor. Then a layer of
Fiberglas mat was laid to seal the bottom of the cockpit.
Nida-core was used for core replacement as it was about the
same thickness as the original wood. Another product that is
good for this kind of repair is Divini-cell. Both are light
weight but stronger and superior to wood. Then another layer
of Fiberglas Mat and 12 oz Fiberglas Cloth was used to build
up to the original thickness. Using a mixture of wood flour
and epoxy about the consistency of mayonnaise the original
floor was replaced and large heavy blocks were placed to
keep it in its proper place. All that is left is to install
nonskid paint and it will look new again.
trim is also being refinished and next month hopefully there
will be photos of the new look in our cockpit.
more major project is scheduled for the boat. I am designing
and building davits out of composite material using similar
materials. The projected cost for materials is between $500
and $600 but will be labor intensive. However I have priced
davit kits at around $1,200 and they still need to be fitted
and welded to the boat. Hopefully the construction will lend
itself to downsizing for even smaller boats. Stay Tuned
July was another month of
mostly work on the Dawn Treader.
This month we have done a lot
of wood refinishing, replaced the mast seal, the sound
deadening for the engine compartment, and general cleanup.
We took time to go to Englewood
to work with the Englewood Sailing Association for the
Sailing Camp. We stayed with our friends Steve and Sue Rosen
who are also members. The last day included a BBQ and the
students taking their parents out for a sail.
We had a quiet BBQ on our boat
for the4th of July. We tested the engine once again and as
soon as I replace some lights on the mast we will be taking
a short trip to test out all the repairs. Dawn Treader is
getting closer to being ready for a Blue Water Cruise.
Our Cruising Tip this month
comes from Sail Magazine
Seven Essential Knots for Sailors
4 This Month 3 next month
Once you cut a piece of
rope off the spool at the chandlery and bring it aboard your
boat and give it a job to do, it becomes a line you have put
to work. Whatever job it is performing—whether it becomes a
jibsheet, a fender whip or a dockline—there is an ideal
knot, hitch or bend for its given task.
Types of knots fall into three
general categories. The first are those tied on the end of a
line and are commonly called “knots,” such as the bowline
knot and the stopper knot. The second category are those
used to join two lines together. They may have “bend” in
their name, as in a sheet bend, because to bend, in sailor
talk, means to join. The last group are those which secure a
line to a cleat, piling or stanchion, and they are known as
If you didn’t learn knots when
you were young, you can still master them quickly. The key
is to learn what a given knot should look like when
completed, then practice tying it until you can do it with
your eyes closed. When studying knots, it helps to know some
terms. The ends of a line are referred to as either
“working” or “standing.” The working end is free, while the
standing end is secured to something. A loop formed in a
line is known as a bight.
The most useful knot aboard a
sailboat is the bowline. It forms a fixed noose at the end
of a line that cannot run or slip and is commonly used, for
example, to secure sheets to the clew of a headsail. Two
bowlines can also be used to connect two lines. The great
advantage of a bowline is that no matter how tight it
becomes after being loaded for a while, it can always be
The well known ditty for tying
a bowline runs as follows: “The rabbit comes out of the
hole, goes around back of the tree, and then jumps back into
the hole.” The “rabbit” is the working end of the line; the
“hole” and “tree” are formed in the standing end. To finish
the knot properly, give a hard pull on the tree and the
rabbit’s ears at the same time, so the shape of the knot is
not deformed. To untie a bowline, turn the knot over and
break its back by bending it downward.
Form a closed loop in the
line, with the working end passing over the standing end.
Pass the working end through the loop, around behind the
standing end, then back into the loop. Give a hard pull to
close the knot up tight. To untie a bowline, turn the knot
over and break its back by bending it downward.
To keep a line from pulling
through a block or rope clutch, a knot should be tied in the
end of it. The most secure knot for doing this is the double
overhand stopper knot, known as the stopper knot for short.
Unlike a simple overhand knot or a figure eight knot, this
knot does not come loose easily.
The easiest way to tie a true
stopper knot is by using your hand as a form. Just loop the
end of the line twice around the palm of your hand, tuck the
working end under the two loops, and then pull the loops off
your hand. Once you try it, you’ll never use a figure eight
Working back to front,
pass the working end twice around the palm of your open
hand. After you’ve got two full wraps, pass the working end
under the wraps on your palm away from your thumb. Then use
the end to pull the knot tight as it slips off your hand.
Take one full turn around the
object the line is being secured to. Then pass the line over
itself as you take another turn. Finish the knot by tucking
the working end under itself and pull tight.
Many sailors use a square knot
when tying two lines together, but these often come loose
when not under load. The sheet bend is more secure, is easy
to untie and works much better when two lines of unequal
diameter need to be tied together. As you can see in the
illustration, its final form is only slightly different from
a square knot, though it is tied quite differently.
Form a bight in the end
of one line. Pass the end of the other line through the
bight from beneath and around behind both parts of the first
line. Finish the knot by passing the working end of the
second line under itself, then pull the knot tight.
This knot has a
self-explanatory name: one half hitch, followed by another
half hitch. It is easy to tie and forms a running noose that
can be made larger or smaller. This is the perfect hitch to
use to tie a line tightly around an object. Combined with a
round turn, it is an excellent way to secure a dock line to
a piling. Tying two half hitches on top of a clove hitch is
also the best way to keep a fender whip from slipping.
Pass the line twice
around the object it is being secured to. Then tie one hitch
on top of the turns by passing the working end of the line
behind the standing end and pulling it through. Repeat to
tie the second hitch. You can tie two half hitches without
taking turns first, but they are less secure this way.
It’s almost the end of June and it has been a very busy
month of working on boats. No travel just hard work.
We have one of Dawn’s favorite recipes and some photos
from a few trips back when we were in the Pacific Ocean,
some of our places around town, and the parts that I made to
improve below deck storage. The
Ilie’s 65 Foot Trawler show the contrast of the
simplicity of our sailboat. The rest of this and next
month’s projects include sealing the mast, installing new
ports, and replacing the delaminated cockpit core. Getting
Ilie’s boat systems up will also be part of the work
schedule. We will be taking a run up river soon to check out
all the mechanical repairs. We are continuing work on Ilie’s
Trawler however, the work is moving inside to enable the
boat to be used for extended stays at sea. The weather
is getting hot and humid so there are no long trips planned
as we do not have Air Conditioning in the V W or a generator
aboard Dawn Treader.
The story this month is for all
our non-boating friends that worry about our weather in
We have survived 2 hurricane seasons and the
only damage has been to a cheap tarp and the connection for
our shore water connection which pulled out from surge tide
because our hose was a bit too short!
Enjoy this month's
This is a journal of a delivery from 2006 that two of us did
with a Hunter from Los Angeles, California to Seattle,
Washington. With all the misadventures never at any time
was our lives in danger. A few times it felt like it butt
through it all many of the things I feared about never came
to pass. It is a bit long but will give you some insight why
we do not worry when tied safely to our dock.
Boat Delivery Journal 2006
8/16 Left Wilmington early AM. and headed out on a 42 foot
Hunter which the owner bought from a liquidator and wanted
to take to Washington State. We passed Ventura under power
as the wind was on the nose which would be the case for
almost the entire trip. We motored through the night and
docked in Santa Barbra about 0200 the following day.
8/17 Met a boat coming down from San Francisco that told us
about the conditions at Point Conception. They were
returning from Hawaii Transpac race in a 50 foot and
experienced a slight knock down. So we checked on the
weather and the predictions were for 27 knot winds and it is
always confused seas there because that is where the two
currents meet. So we waited the day in SB.
Weather reported high winds so we stayed another day and
walked around Santa Barbra and did some shopping.
8/19 Left the bay under sail. I had suggested it would not
be long before we had to furl them as the winds were still
north. I felt it would be best to have every thing secured
down for Point Conception. One of the battens started coming
out of the front of the sail. I had to shimmy up the mast to
retrieve it. We stowed it below.
We hit Point
Conception about 2000 hours and The owner took the first
It was rough choppy seas and the winds felt about
20+knots. The boat slowed to about 2 to 3 knots (about 4 to
5 MPH) When I came up for my watch I noticed that the coarse
he set was right dead into the wind. I headed up about 10
degrees and things got much better but still it was rough
but not butting directly into the currents. My watch was
ended early (He could not sleep) and we really got hit as we
rounded the point into Aguello.
8/20 After the point
things quieted somewhat but we hit fog almost all the way
into Morro Bay. Actually it followed us in and as we were
docking another boat was escorted in by the Coast Guard
Cutter. Tied up hit the head and then the bed.
8/21 Reports of possible gale force winds kept us at Morro
Bay however we discovered that the fuel filter replacement
cartridge leaked. It leaked about 35 of the 50 Gallons that
we fueled up the previous day. So we pumped and filtered it
into jerry cans and saved the worse for emergency fuel (WE
never used it more later)
8/22 Waited another day for
weather enjoyed the hamburger BBQ at the Morro Bay Yacht
8/23 Left Morro in AM. Stopping at the fuel
dock and the oily bilge pump out station. First signs of my
partners experience started surfacing when the currents kept
taking the boat beyond the dock and almost rammed us into
After a panicked third
attempt he handed over the helm to me to get us out of the
scrape. Which was rather dicey as the drift rate had taken
us to about 3 feet of the fishing fleet docked adjacent to
the pump out station. Thankfully that boat backed better
than my Ericson or the Endeavour. We left after getting the
rest of the diesel out of the bilge but it smelled a bit for
2 days after.
8/24 After a night of relative calm we
arrived in Half Moon Bay just south of San Francisco. We had
to dodge the anchored boats in the bay at night and docked
about 1030 hours (8:30 to landlubbers grin)
walked into town (Just a mile or 2 --) which turned out to
be more like 5. It was at this point Richard decided to give
it up and take the boat into San Francisco and have it
trucked up to Seattle. However John offered to take it up
for him and keep me on as first mate, I doubt if Richard
will ever know what a good deal he got and as John said it
is too bad that he did not stay with us as he would have
learned so much not only about his boat but just sailing in
general. However it was in Half Moon that I discovered that
Richards first open ocean experience was this trip.
8/26 Waited for John to arrive and Richards’s wife Julia
came down from Washington to see the boat for the first
time. I dinked around in town for 3 or 4 hours while they
had there reunion.
8/27 John and I decided to go on
out rather than wait so we bid farewell to Richard and Julia
and Half Moon Bay and headed out on the sunset. It was a
pretty one as well.
8/28 Traveled through the night
and had organized 4 hour watches for the first time. A mark
of John’s professionalism.
8/29 Arrived at Eureka
(Humboldt Bay) and got a Coast Guard escort into the
complex. Our pilot book showed the first of its erroneous
entries. It would have had us turn right into a fishing
fleet rather than going upriver to the guest dock at the
marina which was about 4 miles up from the commercial docks.
We tied up got our Courtesy Inspection from the Coast Guard
and they suggested a Denny’s as we were rather hungry.
However when we walked the 3 miles to the place we
discovered they were going to close for 2 hours to shampoo
the carpets. Just missing the closing of Mc Donalds and
Burger King we went back to the boat and I cooked some fried
potatoes and heated up some Worthington Vegi Salisbury
Steak. We were so starved at this point they actually tasted
like meat to us ---- well close enough.
8/30 We went
to the Burger King for Breakfast called the owner fueled up
did some last minute shopping and left. I got foggy at the
entrance and beyond which was to become the standard
condition for pretty much most of the remaining trip.
We broke out of fog about 1500 and it was so calm the
ocean looked like a mirror. I went below to do a little
reading and relaxing as my watch had ended.
hour later I heard John put out the jib and wondered why as
there was no wind at all when I went below. However soon it
was apparent that there was some as the boat started to heal
more …. And more … and more and I found my self standing in
my sleeping bag. So I started up to see and John yelled down
for me to put on my foulies. (Rain –Foul Weather Gear) when
I got up we were healed over almost to the rail and the
waves were building very fast. We thought about a run
with the wind to find some place that may offer shelter but
the coast was mostly rocky cliffs and so we turned and ran
out. The engine would not even hold the boat so had we not
had the sails up we would have floundered. I think the
overall noise was what impressed me and for the first 15
minutes or so I went for abject horror to great fear and
wondered how they would find our bodies. Actually it was not
really that bad after I got used to the noise and the shear
power of the wind tearing at the shrouds and lines.
I realized that the boat was doing just fine and was
actually built for this I settled down. John was rather busy
but had time to be amused and to make a few jokes as well.
This went on from 1700 to 2130. we were charging along at
7 to 9 knots but only making 3 knots forward progress
because to sail one must be at least 30 degrees off the wind
direction. So we tacked out than back in as close to shore
as we dared than back out. After we rounded Point Blanco The
17 foot waves subsided some but the wind stayed most of the
night. John went below for much needed rest as his watch had
been extended while we battled the winds and waves. Later we
discovered that we had about 30 knot winds. Our only worry
was we saw the stitching starting to work loose from the
clue of the sail. That holds the sheets (rope that controls
the sail) The sheets were stretch so tight that you could
visibly see the difference in the diameter between the
sail and the wenches.
Actually when it was over and
I had the boat back on auto pilot it was most interesting.
The most exciting night of the whole trip actually.
8/31 (See Above)
9/1 Arrival at Coos Bay was going to
be a welcome rest --- we thought. About 5 miles out the
engine started slowing then quit. We put out the sail but
very little wind. We wound up being towed in and by the
graciousness of the Tow Boat
Captain they took Richards
tow insurance. We did not know he was supposed to be on the
boat. It would have cost about $1200 for the tow. We got
squared away and the tow captain gave us a ride to the
Chandlery to get new fuel filters and a hat replacement that
John lost out there someplace. Had great fish and chips here
9/2 Leaving we fueled up and discovered the
vent was blocked and thought that may have caused the engine
stoppage. It wasn’t because about 2 hours out the engine
stopped again. No fuel would flow out of the filter so we
disassembled it cleaned it and nothing. After working on
it about 4 hours and close to sunset we decided to jury rig
one of the jerry cans of fuel directly to the engine. That
worked until we discovered we forgot the return line goes
the tank and fuel was rapidly disappearing. John
started using a suction pump to draw fuel out of the tank
and discovered after a lot of trial and cleaning that it was
the primary line from the tank that clogged. He got it free
again and hooked it all up. We had great relief when the
engine started and kept running.
Our chart plotter had
all the squiggly lines from the boat just drifting around
while we worked on it was sort of laughable but we decided
to stop at Newport rather than go on to Tillamook as was
9/3 Arrived Newport and called
owner to see about repairs on the sail. Had lunch at the
9/4 Waited in Newport until the owner
came and had the sail repaired as it was severely blown out.
9/5 Owner drove down from Washington to take sail to
get repairs. Weather projections were grim and several other
boats were waiting for passage out.
Fun town though with
a free shuttle to and from the marina. We went shopping and
had some lunch in town. Owner returned with a well repaired
sail and we all went to dinner at a micro brewery down from
the boat slips.
9/6 Left Newport even though the
weather report still seemed unreliable. We had rather high
winds and some rough seas.
9/7 Arrived Tillamook at
0200 however the Coast Guard had us wait until 0630 so there
would be high enough tide to enter the bay and the marina.
Another long sleepless night as we catnapped in the cold and
damp of the cockpit.
9/8 Still funky weather reports.
Went to town got hair cuts.
9/9 Weather reports
still bad but a boat that came south told us there was
almost no wind so we decided to leave on the tide in the AM
9/10 Weather was still projecting gale force wind
but kept moving it back a day so we left at 1030 on the
tide. Passed the Columbia River in rather rough choppy seas
with some North-West wind. Enough to run the sail to
stabilize the boat some.
9/11 Still in fog at sea
but decided to run for the sound as we were still not sure
of the weather possibilities and at least the fog is calm
and we were pushing up to 5 and 6 knots.
made Neah Bay fog as we entered the straight between
Vancouver Island and Washington but it cleared before we
arrived. Docked quickly and slept.
9/13 Headed to
Port Angeles. Arrived in Fog Again. Came up on a freighter
and heard the bells before we could see it. However as we
passed the last of the 3 big freighters anchored and started
to turn toward the marina the fog cleared for us to dock.
Went to a family restaurant in town and the food was ok but
the service was terrible. Tipped the waitress any way but
boy what a sourpuss, however in her defense we may have
looked like homeless with all our coats and the terrible cap
I bought for $10 to keep my head warm, blood shot eyes, and
the damp fog wet state of our general appearance.
9/13 Left Port Angeles in the FOG after taking 2 hours to
change the fuel filters and clear out the lines again.
Dearly hope the owner has that cleaned as there is something
in there that should be removed --- maybe even alive??
We had fog clean until almost Seattle. We got to see a
total of 3 islands and the Seattle Night Skyline. Most
9/14 Arrived in Port Orchard at 0120
with the owner waving a flashlight at the dock. Which of
coarse we could not see for all the other lights. Was an
interesting trip down the straight as we hit currents and
eddies that slowed us to about 2 knots. You can walk faster
than that. Also we got a call about ever 15 minutes from the
owner telling us such useful things. Like the ferry we saw
go into the port was docked and might leave at any minute
--- which is what
We managed to meet the
ferry in the narrowest part of the channel. However, we got
the boat to its destination safe and sound and no worse for
wear. In fact we repaired several things in transit. Owner
took us to his home for the night.
Felt weird to sleep
in something that did not move.
9/15 Took the ferry
to Seattle to visit John’s son David and went to dinner with
him, his girl friend and Michelle, John’s youngest daughter
who at the ripe old age of 22 has her Masters and is working
on a medical certificate in some
However, we talked mostly of the Hitch Hikers Guide to the
9/16 Flew home in 3 hours the distance we
covered in a month proving that sailing truly is the fine
art of getting wet and becoming ill while slowly going
nowhere at great expense!
Actually it was a terrific
experience and my sailing experience and desires have
increased light-years. John is such a competent teacher and
partner and was also quite humorous. It was one of the best
times of my life.
7 things you don’t want to know about boat life
1. Sometimes, it’s going to get gross.
that comes out of you and goes into the boat, well, it’s not
going to stay in the boat. Pumping out your yacht’s holding
tank will be a lengthy and fetid process. It’s a task that
when able to be skimped from that eternal chore list will
be. When your boat’s moored, it’s probably going to be far
enough away from the pumping station to be inconvenient, so
anything you flush down the head will go stay and fill the
tank. When your boat buddy, or any neighbor in the bay, uses
the head while you’re enjoying your morning swim, it’ll be
best to stay focused on your enchanting turquoise aquarium
yard instead. Pumping in the bay is also illegal but some do
2. You’re going to eat a lot of canned
You won’t want to think about or see, let
alone eat out of, a can again. A swimmable front lawn may
seem like a fair trade for a strictly canned menu, but there
will be days when your diet alone will convince you cruising
life sucks. Yes, it’s simple. Yes, it’s lovely. But, yes, it
gets old. Thoughts of freshly picked greens and cold beer
will consume your mind more than you ever thought possible.
You’ll dream about catching a fish, or buying a refrigerator
— but then something will break, and your funds and fishing
time will go toward purchasing and installing some crucial
and expensive new thing that can’t go ignored.
Your boat’s going to kick your ass.
boat will generate a to-do list for you each and every day.
You’ll grow tremendously tired of having to fix another
broken part, mend a ripped sail, unclog the head, and
investigate another strange sound. You may have to blow
hundreds, even thousands, of dollars on a suddenly flooded
engine. You’ll have no choice; every task will be central to
your existence. It’s the price you pay — the colossal
ingredient — for living the dream.
4. You’re going
to receive a lot of unsolicited advice.
the jaded sailor, overly cautious friend, or eavesdropping
neighbor — everyone will have a tale to tell about someone
falling overboard, mooring lines breaking loose in the
middle of the night, masts snapping halfway to destinations,
horrendous medical emergencies, and even whales vaulting
right onto boats. “Don’t forget to put down that swim ladder
before taking a dip. Plenty of folk drown out there
forgetting just that,” every single person you talk to ever
will warn. They’ll be right though. Things do happen. But
just like anything worth doing, there are risks involved.
You can be as prepared and informed as the next sailor, but
obstacles are going to find you.
Talk to the wrong
people, and you may be talked out of the sailor’s life
before you even begin it. Talk to the right people, and
they’ll tell you about risks and how to best prepare for
them but also miracles and unimaginable joys awaiting you in
a life not often experienced. So find some sailors worth
their salt. You can rely on what they have to say.
5. A lot of things are actually going to go wrong.
Sure, chances are you’ll safely complete that ocean
crossing, and your keel won’t strain and split. You probably
won’t be left stranded or capsized in deep waters. A whale
probably won’t launch itself onto your deck — though I do
know someone who had that happen during a trans-Atlantic
voyage. Every sailor knows somebody who knows somebody who’s
had something horrid happen on the water. Anything can
happen while at the mercy of nature. People will suddenly
fall ill. Storms will roll in. Masts will snap. Tanks will
leak. Engines will die. Lightning will strike. And fires, of
all things, will start. Risks are going to be everywhere, so
choose wisely and prepare for the consequences. Bill Bryson
nailed it when he said: “That doesn’t happen often, but —
and here is the absolutely salient point — once would be
6. You’re going to regret your decision to
live on a boat.
One flawless sun-drenched moment
your mind might be consumed with thoughts of your life,
effortlessly drifting away with a tropical breeze. But then
you’ll find yourself infuriated with every decision you ever
made that led you to this boat, where you have to row a
quarter of a mile to shore to get another can of beans, or a
single abnormally shaped bolt, exclusively designed for your
boat and your boat only. You’ll regret your life. But then a
pod of dolphins might rise from your infinite front yard,
close enough to splash you. On a boat, your mood swoops
between surrender, determination, caution, and recklessness
at alarming rates. There will be difficult and trying days,
but in between them you’ll sweep up moments that enrich your
life in immeasurable ways. These moments will teach you
about the world, about people, and about yourself. You’ll be
humbled, surprised, reassured, and scared stiff beyond
words. But not a moment will pass when you don’t feel
7. Life after boat life is going
to be weird.
Sometimes you’ll forget that,
eventually, you’re probably going to leave your boat. Maybe
you’ll still be living on it tomorrow, next week, or even
next year, but perhaps somewhere down the line you’ll live
on terra firma again. It’ll be hard to jump back into
civilization and not feel cooped up or even trapped, and not
become hopelessly irritable each time you step indoors.
It’ll be hard to adjust your habits — especially your
hygienic ones — to societal standards. Taking a shower won’t
mean jumping off the boat into cool, translucent waters
anymore. Nor will it include vibrantly colored fish, sea
turtles, dolphins, or dodging dinghies. Water faucets and
shower heads are going to leave you baffled and amazed for
months. There isn’t going to be an infinite amount of stars
glowing above your head at night. You’re not going to feel
as terrified or astonished when thunderstorms and windstorms
pass through. You’re going to miss seeing, smelling, and
hearing the change in the weather and in the seasons.
You risk so much by diving into the unknown. You risk
giving up everything that gives you joy in the hope you can
find something greater, and you risk finding nothing at all.
But that’s the beauty of it. No matter how long you decide
to stay salty, you’ll always carry the inspiration, wonder,
and desire boat life will instill in you.
above article was published in Boats US Magazine.
This month was a working month once again and the entire
steering had to be dismantled so we could repair the
transmission shifting cable, and the throttle cable. While
everything is all apart some improvements to the under deck
and cockpit lazarettes do not only increase the storage but
to organize the necessary equipment for cruising. Some
modifications to the engine was also performed so that the
temperature gauge gives a more accurate reading. A lot of
work has been done to the cooling system and we have yet to
try it out. The relocation of the temperature sending unit
will help to diagnose any problems that remain. So far after
running for 30 minutes at the dock it never got over 162
degrees, but it needs to be under load to see if everything
is fixed. I trip up the river should tell us if it will be
ready for a longer trip. Yes I know we have sails but when
we came here being stuck in the ICW and no room to maneuver
the engine is necessary.
We got a surprise vacation
of 3 days when Ilie provided 2 nights in an Englewood Motel.
We met for 2 days to discuss the trawler project now that
the cosmetic repairs are nearly completed and a day on the
beach. The photos this month are mostly of the improvements
to Dawn Treader and the trip back to Englewood which
included breakfast with sailing club members. Next month’s
project will be systems on Ilie’s trawler and the structural
repair of Dawn Treader’s cockpit. After that is finished we
hope to take her to the boatyard to pull her out and refresh
bottom paint and do some final checks on ball valves and
plumbing as well as get a final out of water survey before
making some trial runs and short trips. Watch this spot for
progress as it is getting near time for some coastal
exploring. So far no hurricanes!
Once again special
thanks to Ilie and Susan for a Marvelous 3 day Mini-Vacation
and great time at the beach. Also the sharing of Slivovitz!
Hope their trip to Maine is without incident and
This month Dawn Treader continues to get some wanted
upgrades as well as needed repairs. The 65 foot Troller that I am
working on is now close to being finished. This allows me to spend
some time on my own boat.
We had to dismantle the steering in
order to get to the control cables and while working on the throttle
cable I decided it was time to relocate the temperature sending
unit. New hoses and some other upgrades to the cooling system will
hopefully cure our overheating. Working in the tight spaces is
always fun and removing old rubber hoses helps keep the band aide
box in use.
photos this month reflect the work that has been on both Ilie’s
Trawler and Dawn Treader. The engine room is a very tight space and
one of the control cables that was repaired is right under that big
box that has Perkins printed on it and about a foot back. The photos
show the cramped space both under the rear cockpit and the back and
side of the engine.
One of the new items is the Magma Grill. It
is one of the most versatile units on the market and grills to
perfection once one learns the proper methods. It has a center
radiant plate with a removable center that allows regular cooking in
pots and pans. So far I’ve done steaks, chops, fish, burgers and
corn, as well as a pork tenderloin roast! The other addition
is a portable air conditioner. Our down the hatch unit is
getting old and sometimes the heat and humidity is just a
bit much for it so we turn on the portable. All in all
things are starting to move faster and soon we will be
pulling Dawn Treader out to dry dock for some final surveys
and refreshing bottom paint.
following is why living on a boat is a unique experience.
15 differences between a normal
friend and a boat friend
normal friend will respect your privacy and personal space.
A boat friend grows accustomed to being in such close
proximity to you, they never stray more than a few inches
from you at all times, even on land.
normal friend carpools with you to school or work. A boat
friend rows, dinghies, SUPs, or just swims over to pick you
3. A normal friend will watch a
movie with you on a bad weather day. A boat friend will come
over and help you strip off outriggers, antennas, running
rigging, and seal around hatches, ports, and lockers.
They’ll make sure cockpit drains are free-running, the bilge
pump and switch work, and that the battery is topped up.
normal friend considers talk about the weather to be small
talk. A boat friend discusses weather intentionally, as
you’re immersed in the elements at all times. Your next
night’s sleep depends on it.
normal friend prevents you from drinking and driving. A boat
makes sure you stay on the goddamn
6. A normal friend would question
bruises covering every square inch of your body. A boat
friend understands how brutal maneuvering around a boat can
7. A normal friend will wait until
after 5pm to offer you a drink. A boat friend will wait
until you wake up.
normal friend will help you in any way necessary after
disaster strikes. A boat friend will prevent it altogether,
keeping watch over the bay while you sleep, giving you a
lift to shore when you run out of gas, regularly diving down
to check your mooring line, or simply rowing over a fresh
pot of coffee in the morning.
normal friend thinks you’re crazy when they find out you
electricity, refrigerator, running
water, or a bathroom. A boat friend lives the dirty life
10. A normal friend will ask if
you want to check out that new restaurant in town. A boat
friend will catch a fish and serve it up with a side of
pineapple they foraged earlier that morning and homemade
grilled garlic bread. And, of course, wine.
normal friend might mention your hair looks like it could
use some brushing. A boat friend will find your new dreads
fitting for life at sea, if they notice the change at all.
normal friend asks if everything is okay. A boat friend
believes your mood is their mood. They know something is
wrong and demand you talk about it, as
close enough to practically hear your thoughts. They can
feel your moods and read your thoughts by looks alone.
normal friend slams the door and takes a few days to cool
off after a
disagreement. A boat friend storms
a few feet away to the opposite side of the boat and avoids
normal friend might be uncomfortable seeing their friends
A boat friend is the farthest
thing from modest and completely unfazed by nudity in all
forms, be it friends, neighbors, beachgoers, or old salts.
15. A normal friend considers themselves rich when they have
loads of zeros in their bank account. A boat friend considers
themselves rich when they have enough money to buy food, beer, gas
for the tanks, and most importantly, when they witness the sunrise
and set each day.
Enjoy this month’s
Hello everybody match is almost over and I have not started
the newsletter so it is going to be a last minute effort.
March has been uneventful with most of our efforts going
to finishing Ilie’s boat, and working on Dawn Treader. Other
than meeting with neighbors on Fridays and a live
performance at our local theater we have not participated in
We made a few trips in our dingy and worked.
Not at all exciting but the weather has been too favorable
to pass the chances to get a lot of work done . The other
day our pet alligator swam buy and a week ago we had
Manatees cavorting about.
We had a visit from a
friend from Canada. Val spent the day with us. Back when I
had my 32 foot Ericson in California Val sailed with me to
Catalina Island. I was just starting my sailing and on the
way back we encountered Santa Anna winds and to put it
mildly I was a little worried.
Val who had racing
experience on Lake Ontario found it humorous. Since then
during a delivery to Washington we encountered one of the
worse storms in the history of the Oregon coast. During the
visit Val Dawn and I shared a great time and stories of our
past sailing adventures capped off by dinner at The Log
Cabin. One of Labell’s finest restaurants.
say we have no recipe for this month as we have not done any
unusual foods this month either.
The Dawn Treader
got a new Magma Grill, and the port side of Ilies”s boat got
all the rails and decks finished and painted.
there you have it; life on the boat just like home plenty of
onshore chores like new shelves in the storage shed and
fixing the toilet leak. Sometimes adventure is just a
Until Next month
Charlie and Dawn
aboard the Dawn Treader somewhere in Florida
It’s February and time again for the monthly post.
Dawn Treader got a new service dingy. It is a Walker Bay 10
foot and we have complete sail rig, a 2.5 HP outboard and
oars to propel it along. So far we have taken it around our
channels and over to the lake they call Lollypop because it
is round with a channel leading into it and from the air it
looks like one. We also added a Convection Oven and Dawn
baked hamburger buns. I'm still working on the outside grill
but it works just not that great!
This month we have
three recipes. Where we have our boat many of the people
here gather for what they call Friday at 5. Everyone brings
a beverage and an appetizer and we talk BOATS! Last Friday
was our first visit. We discovered a great party wine. Not
too sweet not too dry and not too expensive! I have had
others but since it was on sale at Win-Dixie with I might
add gas perks of 10 cents a bottle we bought 2. It is Menage
a Trois and this one is the Rose’. They make 2 other red,
and one white. They are all blends of three grapes so they
mellow each other out. I find it rather pleasant.
Highlight for this month is the Swamp Cabbage Festival. It
features some fun local talent a parade and lots of local
food. What they call Swamp Cabbage is actually Hearts of
Palm and it is made in a Gumbo or Fritters. They also had
alligator on a stick. Interesting, but we had a hot dog! Yes
I’ve had alligator before and it doesn’t taste “just like
The area we are in currently has a history
of sugar production. Around Turkey Creek two crops are
readily apparent. Orange Groves and Sugar Cane. Lots of
both. Close by the famous race tracks in Sebring and
Daytona. The big NASCAR race has just passed. Soon the
endurance races will be upon us. When I was much younger and
frequently drove in excess of 150 MPH in various Jags
Porsches and Ferraris These two races was the highlight of
my life. Now I get excited when Dawn Treader hits over 8
knots! That is about 10 MPH
Welcome to the new year. We spent the New Year on the road in Texas
courtesy of Ron a High school friend in Jasper. One of our stops was
in San Antonio and we stayed at the Historic O’Brien Hotel only 4
blocks from the River Walk and a short walk to the Alamo. The day we
arrived it was fair weather however a cold snap hit the next day.
Still we did the River Tour and spent part of the day exploring the
Historic section and the Alamo. Then on to Jasper Texas and the New
Year Celebration before leaving to explore Port Arthur. We checked
out local marinas looking forward to travel by Dawn Treader some
time later. From Port Arthur we headed to the greatest Cajun
Restaurant called Cajun Tales near Lake Charles LA. They have a web
site if you’re in the neighborhood. Sadly we passed through New
Orleans with only a quick trip to COSTCO as we had to move on to
Mobile Alabama to visit the USS Alabama and supposedly the Maritime
Museum. After searching for the museum for about an hour we finally
called only to learn they had not opened the new building yet. We
spent the night in the same motel that we stayed in a little over 2
years ago when we first came to Florida! The USS Alabama was just
totally awesome. Included is a hanger full of historical aircraft
and a WW 2 submarine. They also have a replica of a submarine that
was built by the Confederates and actually sank Union ships during
Right down the street was another great
restaurant, Felix’s. They specialize in great seafood.
interesting note: gas was under $2 a gallon for almost the entire
trip until we got back in Florida. It is a mystery why it was almost
30 to 40 cents a gallon more. Our last stop was at Green Cove
Springs to pick up our mail and headed home. The Volkswagen held up
great considering it is an 86.
However after seeing what
these things are selling for, we are considering putting it up for
sale. Just about every place we stopped someone asked if I’d like to
Things have settled down now and it is back to work
on the boats. Dawn Treader would be far more comfortable to travel
I have kept this politically neutral as
it was not the intent of our sailing newsletter. However: there are
some rather serious issues around the globe.
To attempt to
stay on the sidelines is not prudent. We have a boat that can take
us many places. Just before I re-retired and made my way to Florida
I had a conversation with my employer and friend about where we
could go that would be any safer than where we are now. Many places
have become dangerous and if we are not vigilant it could happen
right here! It is not important what political party a person has
allegiance too but whether or not a person values not only the
freedom but the opportunity that our country and Constitution
provides. Now a group in the Middle East has not only aggressively
oppressed a large portion of Iraq and parts of Syria but have vowed
to destroy our way of life. We need to support and encourage ALL of
our representatives and if it comes to military action be thankful
that it has not spread to our shores. YET!
We hope everyone has a great Christmas and a wonderful New Year!
December is upon us and the crew of the Dawn Treader turned
inland for visits to friends and relatives. Because we are
approaching a new year I would like to encourage any of our readers
that no longer wish to be on our mailing list to please let us know
by responding with Unsubscribe in the subject line.
been working on the web site so also we would appreciate feedback.
Last month pretty much ended the discussion of living aboard
a boat. However if any of our readers have any specific questions
they can be directed either through the website or in an E-Mail
This month after some repair and battery
replacement on the trusty Volkswagen Camper we headed to Texas to
spend Thanksgiving with John and Linda who are longtime friends.
The other guests were Peter and Becky, Ken and Joanne. Many
years ago when I taught 6th grade in Gravette, Arkansas, Peter was
working there as well. He now teaches Art at John Brown University
in Siloam Springs. http://www.peterpohle.com It was a great reunion
For some reason every place we stopped someone
offered to buy our Volkswagen. Perhaps if we get the “right price”
We headed towards California next and will stop in
Silver City, New Mexico, Green Valley and Marana Arizona, to visit
with Dawn’s family and our friends.
We visited interesting
museums in both Silver City and Tucson. Photos from Silver City
include the Cliff Dwellings as well as Billy the Kids homesite. In
Tucson the photos include the Mission, Titan Missile Museum, and
Pima Air Museum. The Titan Missile was known as the Peace Keeper and
all the years they were active we never had to launch. The Titan was
also known as a second strike defensive weapon.
The Pima Air
Museum in Tucson has really grown since I first went there in 2003.
It is a must see for many reasons. There is a B-17 display that
takes up 2 stories and includes video interviews with former
prisoner of way pilots. And the men involved with the massive food
drops to Holland. The B-17 on display is pristine and there is
equipment displayed from the crews as well as the armament. Both the
Titan Museum and the Pima Air Museum are great reminders of what it
cost to keep the world free. In our 200 year history the United
States has always left the liberated countries free to rule
On the way to California the pin on the shifter
decided to take a vacation and it was lucky for us that we were
almost in San Bernardino. Shifting was ----- well nonexistent but
managed to find 4th gear to get back on the Freeway. At the exit it
managed to get into 2nd so we could drive the 5 blocks to Import
Auto in San Bernardino. However their mechanic called in sick that
day so another 2 blocks to Blodgett’s Bug Barn who normally do not
do service on Monday’s, however they took it in and by 3:30 it was
fixed and shifts like a new car. Complete repair, oil change and
service on the speedometer cable was $248! So if any of you out
there have a Vintage Volkswagen or British Sports Car Import Auto,
or Blodgett’s can probably get you any parts you may need. I will
include the addresses and phone numbers at the end of this
newsletter and we will put them on our web page as well.
While we were waiting we walked up to the Mc Donald’s Museum and
checked out the San Bernardino Route 66 Displays as well before
heading to my brother’s house in Alta Loma.
California we made a visit to Minneys and received a surprise gift
for our boat. A nice new shinny bell. The next day headed back to
San Bernardino for lunch with my Daughter. James, Linda, Dawn and I
had lunch at Paco’s Tacos and it was all around great then one last
day with my brother and off to Arizona. We will be spending
Christmas with our friend Joanne in Green Valley and head back to
Florida stopping in Texas to visit Ron and on to Alabama to see the
USS Alabama monument and finally home to Dawn Treader to finish up
the work on the boats.
recipe courtesy of our
friend Joanne in Green Valley, AZ
News from the Dawn Treader
Wow! November already. Hard to believe the year is almost over.
This month’s discussion is on how much space do you need?
New addition to Dawn Treader is a 10 foot sailing dingy. It is
much better for us than the 8 foot one. It will take sails, ores, or
use our 3.5 HP outboard. It is also much stiffer and will carry more
In this month’s discussion about space starts
with what size boat is necessary. Just like motorhomes size is
important. It is easy to succumb to the 2 foot-ites however with
added size also comes added expense. The message is that bigger is
not always better.
Americans have traditionally built bigger
better Dixie Cups and threw them away. One of the reason we started
living aboard our boat was to step out of this system and become
more independent. There is however a size that I would consider a
minimum. Smaller and it is more like camping than living! Our
Volkswagen Vanagon pop up camper is a perfect example. We have spent
weeks at a time however during our travel from Arizona to Florida we
opted to stay in a Motel after 3 or4 days on the road. MY first boat
was a 24 foot American Mariner and I lived on it for about a year
before moving up to a 32 foot Ericson. WE now have a 37 foot
Endeavour. Is that part of the 2 foot-ites disease? Perhaps! At one
time between the Ericson and the Endeavour I lived and sailed on a
43 foot Catch. So why did I downsize back to a 37 foot boat? Simple;
cost and ease of handling. Sometimes I do miss some of the added
amenities however I do not miss the increased cost of dockage,
bottom paint, and handling larger and heavier sails. Cost aside,
some people believe a larger boat is safer out on the ocean. The
number of people that have crossed oceans on boats less than 40 feet
proves that safe is seamanship not size. Now for actual experience
starting with the 24 foot boat.
I bought the 24 footer for
$1400 originally and started spending long weekends and basically
learning to sail in blue water in this boat. That was in Ventura
California. The first trip to Catalina Island was a real adventure
for me, however the previous owner made the trip several times. I
stored it in Arizona during my kayak trip then took it to Texas
where I lived aboard it for almost a year. It was adequate for one
and even provided shelter for occasional guest. The basic essentials
were there but smaller. It had a 2 burner propane stove but was not
gimbaled a small Ice Box (not refrigerator) small sink and about 25
gallons water storage. The previous owner replaced the marine toilet
with a porta pottie.
The up side was the boat could easily
be transported by trailer. The down side was simply the size and
storage did not allow for much in the way of amenities and was
really more like extended camping rather than living. However, from
this boat I learned that it was actually enjoyable to live on a
boat. It also provided the experience without draining the bank
account. What are the possibilities on a boat this size? Lin and
Larry Pardee sailed their home built 24 foot Channel Cutter to Japan
and beyond. Their books are worth reading! http://www.paracay.com
Moving on thethe32 foot Ericson was like living in the penthouse
after the 24! It had a real table that would also convert to a bed a
toilet with a holding tank, and most important a Galley! The
vertical cold box had a refrigeration unit that worked with the 12
volt system and in short pretty much had all the basics. Life was so
much more comfortable it even had Doors for privacy and seemed more
like a very small apartment. However even though it had a head and
vanity sink there was no onboard shower. My own opinion is that this
is pretty much the minimum size for full time living and travel.
Several trips to Catalina Island with guest were fun and not
cramped. It had room to accommodate 6 people as long as 2 pairs
really liked each other! It is also noteworthy that around this time
Lin and Larry also upgraded to a 30 foot boat. They also made the
trip East to West around Cape Horn in that boat.
The 43 foot
Catch was bought in partnership and even though I did sail it single
handed it took 2 people to dock it in all but calm weather. It had
ROOM! But with it came the added expense. There were 2 complete
berths with square beds in each. 2 heads with showers, Hot Water
Heater, and a rather nice salon that was roomy and even a
convertible setee that became a full sized bed. The galley had both
a vertical and horizontal refrigerator large twin sink 3 burner
gimbaled stove with oven, microwave, and even a coffee maker!
Large center cockpit had room as well and the deck with the
mizzen could double as a small patio. It was like having a 2 bedroom
2 story floating apartment. However as stated the cost went up
accordingly for example:
Three sails to replace instead of 2
Bottom paint $3200 compared to $1300 on the 32
fees 43 @ $12.50 per foot $537.50, 32@$10 per foot $320 (All prices
are Southern California and commercial boatyard) Most marinas have
higher fees for larger slips and some charge for total length which
in the 43’s case would measure almost 50 feet with the davits and
Our current boat the 37 foot Endeavour is a good
The number of cruising boats in this size
illustrates this fact.
Everything necessary to and extended
stay is on board. Head with shower, galley with vertical and
horizontal refrigeration, 3 burner, gimbaled stove with oven and
broiler, twin sink and Hot water. There is a V-Berth forward and a
Quarter Berth aft with a vanity sink and running water, the salon
has a convertible bed and the table folds up to provide space.
Because it is under 40 feet over all it will fit in the most
abundant size slips and usually is the lowest rate in most marinas.
Also since there are a large number of boats in the range from
30 to 40 feet usually the purchase price is quite reasonable and
competitive, depending on the condition and the amount of work one
is willing to do!
The final question is to go with Power or
Sail. Power boats usually have a bit more room for the length than
sailboats however, the added cost of fuel must be considered. Dawn
Treader carries 60 gallons of diesel for its 50 HP auxiliary diesel
which burns a little less than a gallon per hour. So without wind
that gives us a range of 240 miles. However, my Ericson had a 25
gallon tank that I filled when I bought it and when I sold it a year
and a half later it still had 14 gallons in it.
this month are the boats in the newsletter for comparison and
reasons for living and traveling on a boat. Dawn’s Wind chimes, Trip
to Moore Haven, and Fort Myers.
recipe is curtesy of
my daughter Linda Smith
this month are the boats in the newsletter for comparison and
reasons for living and traveling on a boat. Dawn’s Wind chimes, Trip
to Moore Haven, and Fort Myers.
News from the Dawn Treader
October is the start of our cool weather and the sailing season.
We have seen other boats passing and people are starting to come for the winter.
We had a particularly rain filled summer. It kept things cooler than normal however, it kept us from making progress on the repairs of our boat and the one I am working on, so the plan to have all finished by September have fallen through. It has been raining all day so taking advantage of the time to get the newsletter out was the project of the day.
I want to clear up a possible misunderstanding from last month’s newsletter. Travel Smith is a company that sells great travel clothing and because my last name is Smith some of our friends thought it was a pun!
This month’s addition to our boat was a Convection Oven. It will work with our electrical system and not only shortens cooking times but allows new baking opportunities.
Continuing our discussion about living aboard a boat, the discussion of what to keep will become important.
We have about the same storage capacity of perhaps a standard closet, and that is for 2 people! Last month clothing was the subject, and it must be stored someplace on the boat. The other essentials are food, water, fuel, and necessary sailing equipment.
After a few trips it becomes rather obvious what is necessary for survival on the sea. My first boat was a 24 foot boat and had just nearly enough to accommodate a single person. I had quite a bit of stuff stored with a friend as well. The next boat was 32 feet and it was like moving into the penthouse however there was still a lot of my stuff in someone else’s house. However each move found me with less non-essential stuff! Dawn and I are now down to almost only what will fit in Dawn Treader. We also have a Volkswagen pop up camper for land travel and it has some limited storage for trips.
Basically there are two approaches to having a mobile lifestyle.
Keep a home base, weather that is a house or simply getting a storage rental large enough to store all the belongings that will not fit in the boat, motorhome, or 5th wheel travel trailer.
The other is to make your home base whatever you choose to travel in. For us it is Dawn Treader, a 37 foot sailboat. Even aboard our boat we have accumulated things that are not totally necessary. If you have chosen a boat like we did there are some important things to consider. Never set sail with loose items anywhere! They can land on the floor and get tossed around causing damage in even calm seas. On our way to our current dockage we had almost all our galley equipment thrown all over due to a passing boat’s wake! We probably rocked for about 40 seconds or so! The best advice I can think of is if you can’t stow it securely leave it behind. I remember reading a book just before I retired titled “Packing your bags for the rest of your life.” That book started me thinking about what I really needed to have a fulfilled life. Another experience really brought the point home. While sorting through things for the giant yard sale I came across about 4 boxes that I had packed when I moved to California. They were full of “essential teaching materials” that were packed about 20 years earlier and had Never Been Opened!
There will always be things that will be missed. However, there will also be new things to take their place. One must weigh the different opportunities to make the decision.
It may seem truly amazing to some that on our 37 foot sailboat we currently carry about 90 days food supply 100 gallons of water and enough clothes for several wardrobe changes. That equates to 3 weeks before the trip to the Laundromat.
Photos for this month include our friend Joanne’s trip to Maine and New Hampshire the repair progress on Ilie’s Troller, an interesting bike, and sunset on the river.
However, it is the only one we've seen in all the time we have been
This Month’s Recipe and
News From the Dawn Treader
September has arrived and so far there have been no hurricanes reach
landfall in Florida.
Work is progressing nicely on the 65
foot troller which is the reason we are in Turkey Creek. Dawn
Treader has a new interior, and the Highlander that I had to leave
in Arizona has been sold, so things are generally going well.
Continuing with living aboard a boat this month will be some of
the nitti gritti facts.
Weather it is a motorhome, trailer,
5th Wheel or sailboat one very important reality is space. Americans
in general tend to accumulate a lot of STUFF! Simple fact of living
aboard life is there is not enough space to store it. Also there are
things necessary to being self-contained that is dependent on choice
of mode. Land based modes will need supplies for sanitary disposal
power and of course food storage. Boats are similar, for example
motorhomes tow a car we carry a dingy for transport when camped or
anchored, after reaching shore however we are dependent on public
transportation. Neither of these take up internal storage so let’s
shift focus to what many people find difficult. Downsizing
I started about a year before retiring, with
what I thought would work, not having any guide many mistakes were
made however facing the reality that many things were going to be
sold in order to have a mobile lifestyle! The first sailboat was
only 24 feet and before that I made a kayak trip down the Missouri
River so the decision to have a huge yard sale and to store only
tools needed to work on boats was relatively easy for me. Since then
we moved up in size to 32 and then 37 foot boats. However, when
starting one suggestion is keep at 40 feet or under and make the
hard decisions of what is really necessary for living. Wardrobe is
usually the most difficult. A good pair of deck shoes, Tevas, and
sneakers, foul weather gear, and a few things for any climate will
do. Travel Smith has good stuff. I have pants that convert to shorts
and some mesh lined ones for snowboarding that are warm and water
proof, one pair of Polortech lined jeans. Dawn is still accumulating
“boating” clothes but has a versatile wardrobe with far less than
most women. One tip is to think like a backpacker. I still have one
suit and one sport coat in case I get invited to something formal
but they are stored off the boat with a friend, however doubtful
that it will happen. One advantage to sailing is that things do not
happen quickly. 100 miles per day is good time. There is plenty of
time to prepare on the way. Currently we are in a tropical climate
so daily wardrobe choice is simple: light short sleeve or “T” shirt,
shorts and my Tevas are just fine. I have one pair of formal leather
shoes that have taken up space for 2 years and I’ve worn them twice!
So far there are no travel plans for this month other than test
trips and boat maintenance to get ready for more travel friendly
weather. Even though the hurricanes have been well off shore the
weather has been quite boisterous.
There have been afternoon
thunderstorms almost daily and it has put a crimp in getting work on
the troller and Dawn Treader. Dawn did a great job of reupholstering
our worn interior and the boat looks factory fresh now. The material
really sets off the lovely teak interior. Our next project will be a
Bimini and davits to get the dingy off the front deck and facilitate
launching. Hopefully mounting solar panels as well. In the meantime
Dawn Treader will get a trip up river as soon as the transmission
cable is replaced, to be pulled out mostly to refresh bottom paint
and go through all through hulls and rethink the plumbing system to
We did add a tarp so that both the salon and
V-Berth is now shaded. We both got new Tevas and my old ones are
used for working. I have had them for over 6 years now.
Visitors to our docks
Besides a pair of Limpkins we had an
alligator sunning itself on the other bank. However, it is the only
one we’ve seen in all the time we have been here..
News From the Dawn Treader
has passed and August is here already and as the frog says “Time
sure is fun when you’re having flies!”
This month Dawn Treader is getting a new interior. We
are starting in the main salon with the settees which are the
equivalent to a sofa in a house. Selecting
the fabric took a lot of time as the interior of a boat is different
than a house. It must resist mildew and stand up to moisture and the
humidity. With the right material it will last for a long time. Ours
has held up for over 20 years!
When out and about
many people are curious about what it is like to live aboard a
I have lived on a boat on and off since
2003 and Dawn for 3 years in Mexico. Neither of us wish to live on
land at present. In our travels and when I was teaching and doing
photography I’ve met many people who live full time in Motorhomes or
RV’s and travel around the countryside.
A boat is similar except the ability to
travel in oceans extends the range. Dawn Treader is 37 feet on deck
and 41 over all however the space below deck is the living space. It
is roughly equivalent to a 35 foot motorhome or a 30 foot Fifth
Wheel except it uses a lot less fuel but is a lot slower. Therefore,
the first thing is developing the patience as 100 miles in a day is
considered good time. One other suggestion we make to others is that
rather than selling everything and taking off as we did it may be a
good idea to put things in storage and try out the life style for a
year or so whether in an RV or boat. There are many things that must
be downsized as there is not much room compared to a house with many
rooms and closets! Once that is out of the way the things you
receive for the things left behind well outweigh any sacrifices.
Personally we can attest that after a short time many of those
things are no longer missed. Things like mowing lawns, cleaning rain
gutters, noisy neighbors, and property taxes!
Once mastered the
art of sailing can take a couple (or a person) too many interesting
places quite comfortable and reasonable. For example a simple trip
to Bermuda would cost about $1200 (from Or1lando Florida) for 2
people and a combo flight and accommodations for 7 days is $5,265 on
Expedia! Sailing over would take an nice relaxing week and the boat
would be accommodations for as long as desired. That is not even
including the ability to save much on preparing meals and other
travel expenses. This seemed the perfect solution to a retiring
teacher with wanderlust! Power boats are faster but then it is the
fuel problem again.
This month’s trip
to Kissimmee which is next to Orlando Florida home to Disney World.
Our good friend Joanne loaned us 5 days in her Time Share so we had
time to explore things.
The Villa was just
gorgeous and we had invited a friend but he could not get away. It
was as big as my old house with 2 bedrooms and baths and all the
amenities that go with a time share.
The first night we
discovered The Boston Lobster Feast! It is an all you can eat
featuring whole lobster, crab, mussels, clams, oysters, and all
manner of sea food as well as prime rib, London broil and chicken
teriyaki. There were all the side dishes as well. It was great and
we skipped lunch the next day.
Celebration is a
community that was conceived by the people at Disney. The business
block is reminiscent of Main Street USA at the California
Disneyland, complete with a real soda fountain.
The water fountain is designed with kids
in mind, and there are usually a few enjoying the cooling waters
during the hot summer. It is a fun place to visit.
Old Town is a
collection of interesting shops and an amusement park that includes
a super sling shot (bungee), giant swing that starts about 150 feet
as well as milder rides. One of the most interesting shops there was
one called “As Seen on TV” where one could find all that stuff that
has been advertised over the years. Who knows some could even be
useful. Four of the Mc Donald’s here has a “Gourmet Sandwich Menu”
of which exist only in Orlando that I know of.
Downtown Disney is
a fun place to visit for Disney Souvenirs, interesting restaurants,
and things to look at. It rained on and off but we managed to stay
dry. Dinner that night was Pirate Adventure Dinner where the food
was hardy the action was loud and the performers we interesting.
Dawn was picked for our team leader and all had to take the Pirate
Pledge before dinner. There were 2 choices. There were acrobatics
and naturally plenty of swash buckle.
The sword play was quite genuine and I
learned later that the participants were actually fencers.
I recognized it
from my fencing days in college but didn’t feel up to a challenge.
It was a fun evening and there is also 3 other dinner shows.
Medieval Times, a 20’s theme featuring All Capone and a Burlesque
Themed with old time Broadway comic shows.
leave for our boat and home. It will be good to get back.
News From the Dawn Treader
It has been raining for the whole
day so it is a good time to take advantage and start the July newsletter.
The highlights for this month
trip to Savannah,
Georgia, a handy waterproof camera case for my kayaking friends,
and visitors to our dock. We are also including a link to our newly
created web page please take time to visit and comment.
Some friends once said that cruising
is repairing your boat in beautiful places. Turkey Creek is indeed a
beautiful place and it is not one but two boats being repaired. Most
of our time is taken with working on the 60 foot trawler that belongs
to the couple that is providing our dock. Work must be done early as
we are in that period of tropical rains in the afternoon. If it does
not rain it gets too hat by noon.
Dawn Treader still needs a few
touches as well. This month she is getting new interior covers for the
settees and some adjustments to the transmission linkage as well as
relocating the temperature sending unit for more accurate readings.
Trip to Savannah: We met our
friends John and Linda Crone in Savannah when they came down from Atlanta
for the book fair.
Linda grew up on Tybee Island
so we had a great tour and a lot of interesting things to see so we
extended our stay another day.
Starting with dinner at
Head on the Savannah River Walk and then to the Savannah and Atlanta
Railroad Museum the next morning. Our admission included a ride behind
a steam locomotive. For the railroad buffs out there it was a 0-6-0
Lunch on the way to
Tybee Island with
great seafood and cheesy grits! Dawn had Mahi-Mahi tacos (with extra
jalapenos!) Linda and I had Mahi-Mahi fingers, John had shrimp and hush
On the way back we toured
Fort Pulaski. Fort Pulaski was the first causality of Northern Technology.
The use of Rifled Artillery from Tybee Island over a mile away brought
the fort down.
That evening dinner at the
Pub in downtown gave us a mix of cuisine part Southern and part
Traditional Pub Fare.
Camera Case for Kayaking
A simple waterproof camera case
that not only will protect it from wet but shock as well. Start with
a Pelican Case of your choice, mine is a pelican 1300 which is about
11 by 9 by 7. Which held a Nikon FE-2, 50mm F1.2, 70-210 zoom filters
and a couple extra rolls of film during my kayak trip from Fort Benton
Montana to Saint Louis Missouri. Today it holds a Nikon D-80, 28-80
zoom, 65-200 zoom, extra battery, USB cable, and battery charger.
You will need 4 C- clips and
screws, a D-ring, about 4 feet of nylon strap, two adjustable clips
with clips (see Photos) some DuPont 5200. My kayak has lines around
the perimeter which allows the case to hook securely. Inside Pelican
provides very handy foam inserts that are precut in squares to allow
you to custom fit your equipment. Most importantly it is absolutely
bullet proof water tight. I have rolled with the case intact with no
damage and the handy lanyard keeps it attached to the kayak in case
The bird that hangs around our
docks is a Limpkin and it fishes for the large snails and fresh water
clams. Dawn is going to make wind chimes from the empty snail shells
as they are quite sturdy and have an interesting ring to them, each
one seems to be different.
In general we are having a great
time and we continue to explore the surrounding area with access to
both the Gulf and the Atlantic Coast. Next month it will be Kissimmee
River close to Orlando for 5 days courtesy of our friend Joanne in Arizona.
This month’s recipe
News From the Dawn Treader
is June already, however things are calm and we are getting things organized.
The hand is almost completely healed and we are mostly over the virus
so we are looking forward to new projects and exploring the area.
On that note we want to give special thanks
to Ilie and Susan for bringing us to Turkey Creek as it is probably
the best gift we’ve received in a long time. It is certainly the best
thing that has happened since we moved to Florida! Working on his boat
is also a fun project and gives me a chance to use all that I’ve learned
about boat construction and repair.
We also have about the nicest host for landlords
that we have ever had in all our boating experience.
Butch and Chris. Have not only provided
us with a storage so we can get everything organized and sorted but
the view from our slip and the scenery we have as well as the great
facilities just makes us feel like we have come to paradise.
Our explorations so far have included a
trip through Moor Haven up to Lake Okeechobee and to the do it yourself
boatyard and storage that is a first in boatdom. It is actually closer
by water than over land!
While we have work
to do on the other boat we also have time to fine tune the systems on
Dawn Treader. The first of which was to totally empty both the boat
Volkswagen Cer Van.
Leaving only the living essentials on both. This is the first time in
2 years that not only the floor but the seats in the V W could be seen.
The Volkswagen has served as our garage now for a little over 2 years
and was pretty much packed from floor to ceiling with STUFF! It is a
testimony to German engineering that as overloaded as it was it just
kept running and the only 2 problems we had during that time was a fuel
line developed a leak and the fan belt shredded and was replaced. With
a fresh oil change, new wiper blades and a new 1500 watt inverter it
is now ready for overland travel again.
So far the engine overheating problem that
caused the problems in the first place have still not been resolved
however a solution is at hand. The entire cooling system has been dismantled
cleaned and a website for intercoolers has been found. Soon we should
be able to move the boat more than a few miles. The first trip will
be up to have it hauled out to check all through hulls, rev the plumbing
system and refresh the bottom paint. This will give up an opportunity
to completely safety check the boat, especially after having spent 2
years getting to know where every things is and how it operates as each
boat is different.
We made our first
trip in the Volkswagen since arriving in Florida. However the night
before we left to go visit
and Britta for the last time before
they left the U. S. the headlights decided to quit working.
So after a day checking circuits with my
multi-meter which also had to be replaced, the trouble was located.
The V W had given us trouble with the headlights on and off the whole
time we were traveling and it turned out to be a bad ground connection.
So having spent a few hours wiring we decided to leave the next morning.
Everything went more or less great!
Dave and Britta were in the process of storing
the sails and other things to put the boat in storage. Having the now
empty van was a big help to transfer things to their storage unit. After
we went to lunch at a very nice bakery that also made sandwiches as
well. Dawn and I shared a great Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake (well sometimes
you just gotta!)
We ced overnight at
Savannas Park and Cground in Fort Pierce and there we discovered that
our 2 year old deep cycle battery also had problems however the refrigerator
and all the other things still kept working not only through the night
but the next day as well. We all went out to a place called
in Saint Lucie and was the greatest Mahi-Mahi we’ve had in a long time.
Dave had the Crab Cakes. We ced back at the same place and left the
next day to return to Turkey Creek.
Back at the boat the V W battery was tested
and it will need replaced. However, for now it is back to work on Ilie’sj
boat and also to figure out what to do about our overheating problem.
Dawn and I recently celebrated our 2 year
anniversary and I would like to take some time to recap all the great
things that happened because we met.
We met Steve and Sue
who not only got us involved in the
Englewood Sailing Association
but was immeasurably helpful in getting Dawn Treader out of the storage
yard and to our first marina.
allowed us to meet Ilie and Susan who not only became friends but has
allowed me to do what I like best, Work on a boat! Also they helped
us relocate to our wonderful little paradise with access to some very
interesting places. Meeting Dave and Britta who passed on loads of useful
information. By now they are back in Europe and we will miss them.
Our new host Butch and Chris have provided
us with great accommodations as well as the use of a storage shed which
allows us to get needed space to work on both boats and still be able
to drive the cer van. All in all it is a great place and being in a
fresh water river give our bottom paint a rest and a good place to make
Photos for June 2014
News From the Dawn Treader
It is still May so we’re not late yet.
A little over 2 weeks ago preparations were started for Dawn Treader’s
longest voyage to date. Most of the efforts were concentrated on the
over heating problem that still is plaguing our boat! To date the heat
exchanger has been flushed, some hoses replaced, the engine itself flushed,
and a new water pump. We still had a major problem on the trip.
Thanks to Illie’s generosity we were given a fantastic GPS program for
my new laptop computer. So combined with the Garmin on the boat the
hand held standby GPS and the paper charts of coarse there were no worries
about finding our way to the new dock up the Okeechobee Water Way. We
had also made a test run found what we thought was the final problem
with the cooling system.
We left Tuesday May 6th and every thing seemed great for about 3 hours.
Than the temperature started climbing suddenly. Shutting down
and hoisting sail we started making progress until the ICW changed direction
leading us directly into the wind. In the past letting the engine cool
and running at idle usually allowed forward progress and gradual cooling
but this time it wasn’t working. I went down to check the coolant level
and that is when the disaster struck.
The radiator cap blew past the safety catch and even though I had a
mitt on it burned my hand badly. Grabbing a handful of ice, waiting
for things to settle enough to add water we headed for the anchorage
at Pelican Bay near Cabbage Key where Jimmy Buffet was supposed to have
written “Cheeseburger in Paradise”. After briefly getting stuck on a
sand bar, with the help of our anchor and two men in a dingy we dropped
anchor to bandage my hand and evaluate our options. Our original plan
to visit the famous restaurant was now out as lowering the dingy and
sailing or rowing to the island was more than my hand could take. After
a call to Boats US and being informed that our tow would be covered
by the insurance we had to settle for tuna sandwiches.
The tow boat was scheduled to pick us up at 6:00 PM and it was only
about 1:00 when we had lunch, I had wrapped my hand in some special
burn gauze that was given to us a few weeks earlier by Dave and Britta
from the Anam Cara so special thanks.
The Tow Boat crew was really first rate and was very helpful especially
with my injury. The reason for the delay was because we were going to
be towed a the way up the Okeechobee Water Way past the Ortona Lock
to our new home and had to time the return as the locks shut down at
7:00 PM and they would be stuck so the tow started at 6:00PM and lasted
all the way to 2:00AM the following morning at which time we again anchored
at the first drawbridge. We got to sleep tell 5:30 AM however I slept
very little as I hurt and also kept anchor watch so we would not drift.
Before the tow boat came back Dawn wrapped some extra tape around my
bandage which had been changed so I could help handle the lines as we
went through the 2 locks on the way up river. The rest of the trip was
totally without incident and except for being tired we were impressed
with the beauty of the surroundings and actually somewhat enjoyed the
trip. Last months news letter contained photos of the same trip that
I made in Illlie’s Troller.
We arrived at Butch’s house about 11:00 Wednesday Morning and after
tying off and signing the tow insurance papers we headed to the Urgent
Care in Lehigh Regional Medical Center where they wrapped it and made
an appointment for the next day at the Wound Care Center.
We went back and slept. The next day the Wound Care Center sent us to
Ta Burn Center as they felt it was too bad to treat. After a hurried
packing of some essentials we headed to Ta. However after arriving the
was on call so we waited. When she arrived and examined my hand I was
told it was not really that bad but what came next would hurt. IT Did!
Thanks to modern phones, tablets and Internet Dawn made motel reservations
while I was treated and we arrived at 11:00PM called a food delivery
and slept. The Comfort Inn Staff was very helpful and allowed us to
sleep past the normal check out time. Still pretty tired we decided
to stop at Sarasota for the night and decided to take in the famous
Ringling Circus Museum and Mansion which was only a block from the motel.
All this time Dawn has had the helm driven the car and in short performed
Needless to say we slept a lot when we arrived back at the boat. A week
later with my hand quite better we moved the boat from behind Butch’s
house to it’s permanent mooring around the corner and started to explore
our new home.
In spite of the injury and trouble it is a garden spot and we love it
here. Eventually the engine problem will be solved and from here we
have easy access to either the Gulf or Atlantic. To date we have tried
5 Mexican, one Chinese, and a great Seafood/Bar Braque restaurant and
only one of the Mexican restaurants was a dud. The next on our list
is a Cuban and an exploratory trip to the Do It Yourself boatyard just
3 miles up river. Final note on my hand. It is healing just dandy and
I will be starting back to work on my friends boat by time you read
Charlie and Dawn aboard the Dawn Treader somewhere in Florida
This Months Recipe
News from the Dawn Treader
April is history and the Dawn Treader is going on the move again after
some work and preparations we are moving to a new home to continue outfitting
and improving our home. The new location is on the Okeechobee Waterway
about 7 miles from the lake. This is a major cutoff through the state
and will allow access to both the Atlantic and the Gulf with ease. It
will also put the boat within 3 miles of a DYI Boatyard. The location
was only and hour and a half drive from Gasparilla but is 3 to 4 days
by boat depending on side trips and of coarse wind. However it is a
lot more interesting than driving.
I got to take a preview trip a week or so before as we moved Ilie’s
boat to Turkey Creek. We spent the weeks before getting things tidied
up and preparing the boat. Things like pumping out the holding tank.
One unexpected thing was replacing the water pump on the engine. Boat
engines have 2 - one to bring sea water in and one to circulate
antifreeze just like in a car. That’s the one that had to be replaced.
Photos this month are from the trip up
to Turkey Creek in Ilie’s boat. We had a few interesting moments when
we discovered a leak in the line for the transmission cooler, and when
one engine suddenly shut down. Mark the moving Capitan however was more
than up to the task as he docked the 50+ footer with only the port engine.
The mystery was not solved and when ever the port engine was started
the other died for about 10 minutes. Still we made it safely but had
to turn the boat on ropes after docking at
Dawn and I plan to leave sometime between the 3rd and the 5th depending
on the weather. We are looking forward to some long deserved sight seeing
on the way and plan a few extra stops.
We could make it in 2 days most likely and if Dawn Treader will be a
nice lady we will enjoy a few side trips and some testing of some equipment.
The wind generator and solar cells are still not on board so we have
to run the engine at least a couple hours a day to keep the batteries
charged. One more new thing is we now have our new Jetpack from Verizon
for our own Internet connection wherever we happen to be now! Dawn is
The next few days we will be collecting things and visiting some of
our new friends before taking off.
Our neighbor is going to like our
next month it is made with beer! Hope you all enjoy this month's recipe.
News From The Dawn Treader
Well it’s late again. Perhaps some day we will get it out on time any
way here is the March news letter and it’ s only April 8!
First Happy Birthday to all of you that have March Birthdays.
We have been continuing to add upgrades to the boat to prepare it for
This month’s additions were courtesy of Mariners Trader, a fellow
Sailing Association member, and Sears.
Of the new additions the most important yet we hope least useful is
Sea Anchor (also
called a Para anchor or drogue), basically it looks like a parachute
and is used in high winds when the boat can no longer be held hove to
It is one of those things you hope you never use but are if big trouble
if you need it and don’t have it. We got it for only $107 in very good
The other will be used much more often. We now have a small outboard
motor for our service dingy which will allow us 3 modes of use. We have
ores, a sail rig, and now an outboard motor to get us to ashore and
back when we are anchored and to just have fun exploring some of the
small islands around us.
The upgrade of our new refrigerator was a very welcome addition to the
galley. The original one was a single door with the freezer section
inside. It did not keep things frozen and would frost up so badly that
defrosting became a bi-weekly chore. With a separate freezer section
it is now like a home unit and we have been able to keep some nice delicacies
such as frozen lobster and ice cream!
It will also work with our inverter so we do not loose our food when
We also had to replace the fresh water system as it was leaking. The
previous owners attempted to glue the water pump together and it was
leaking water into the bilge. So now Dawn Treader has a new and much
quieter water pressure system. When we are docked we have 2 options
for our water supply. Direct from the city water supply or to draw from
our own tank aboard the boat. She carries 100 gallons of water on board.
We cycle it through to keep it always fresh.
The next scheduled projects are the plumbing system and port lights.
However time is getting short and we will have all of our business projects
concluded by the end of April.
Our ground transportation has to have a few things as well. The Volkswagen
Cer has developed spastic headlights. We never know if they are going
to work or not tell we turn them on. The best parts and repair shop
in existence has been researching the problem and the new parts well
be delivered shortly. However we have to find a shop in Florida to install
The visitors to our marina this month include the
Army Corps of Engineers
humongous crane. The are working on a bridge project close by and
it is interesting to watch it come and go. However it usually leaves
about 6 something in the morning!
We have no new recipes for this month’s news letter. I regret to say
that because of this months busy schedule we have met for dinner more
often than we cooked in. However we did manage to grill a lobster dinner
on the Magma Grill. Take the lobster tails and wrap in foil and depending
on your grill do about 4 minutes on each side until the shell turns
red. If you have a particularly hot grill cut to 3 minutes and serve
with an artichoke for a great treat.
Hopefully there will be some new things for the galley one teaser is
a rolled spinach flank steak, and a special salad shared by one of the
Also, I hope to catch up and actually get it out on time!
Charlie and Dawn aboard the Dawn Treader.
News from Dawn Treader
February slipped by so fast and the news letter is late!
I could use the excuse that them month was short a few days however,
the month was a busy time around
Gasparilla. Our new found
friends left for the other side of Florida and possibly a trip back
home with their boat last week. So to Dave and Britta aboard “Anam
Cara” we wish fair winds and smooth sailing, we will miss them.
Improvements aboard Dawn Treader continue as we prepare for our journeys.
This month’s additions included a new refrigerator and toaster oven.
It may seem trivial to get one with a separate freezer compartment but
on a boat the frost problem is constant and the old freezer section
seldom kept foods frozen. We actually stored ice cream for a few days
for the first time since moving on to the boat.
The new toaster oven replaced the one we brought from Arizona when we
moved. I wish to thank Melody for giving it to us as it served well
this past year and many of the recipes were developed using it.
Both of us have been working a temporary job and so we have not developed
any new recipes for this month however we have taken advantage of
Trader Joe’s frozen Swordfish
and our new Magma Grill. They also have a great Crab Stuffed Flounder
so we hope you have one nearby.
Dawn and I took a 3 day mini-vacation and traveled to
Tarpon Springs. It
is the Sponge Capital of the world and commercial sponge diving is still
prevalent however it is probably more famous for the many Greek Restaurants
and pleasant shopping. The photos this month are from that trip. We
took a tour on an authentic sponge boat that included a demonstration
of the original sponge diving technique.
I am concluding my temporary position at the end of next week and will
be pulling our boat out of the water for some preparations for casting
off later. The items on the list include the packing for the prop shaft,
a cutlass bearing, checking all through hulls, and improvements to the
head plumbing system, While Dawn Treader is in the maintenance all the
check valves will be reconditioned or replaced. During this time access
to our home will be via a long ladder so it will also be a minor physical
fitness program as well.
All in all it has been a great time of getting to know all the
systems on the boat and making new contacts as well, to all those who
have been recently added to our mailing list - Welcome Aboard!
News from the Dawn Treader
would like to wish all the people with January Birthdays a Happy Birthday.
been a real pain to access my Facebook page so I will take the time
here for happy wishes.
has some negative weather here and for a few days it got as low as 34
at night and in the 50’s during the day and today it is over cast with
drizzles but in general it has been just a few days then warm again
in the middle 70’s. Many or the people here have been escaping snow
storms and blizzards so we really do not have any complaints.
taken the time for some heavy maintenance and dismantled the cooling
system for heavy cleaning then flushed the engine as well. In the process
it was discovered that the lines to the house water heater system were
clogged which prevented the engine from heating the water. Many boats
have duel systems for water heaters. Electric for shore power much like
a home unit and circulated engine coolant much like a heater in a car
for when out to sea. This line was clogged with scale and such
so it had to be flushed to be free flowing. Running the engine during
docking or anchoring usually provides enough hot water to last for a
couple showers and dishes.
added an Inverter that converts 12 volts DC from the batteries to 110
AC for accessories such as the refrigerator computers DVD player and
such. I am currently working on the wind generator that will recharge
our batteries under sail and at anchor with any winds. Our goal is to
have everything installed and tested by April.
NEWS AROUND THE MARINA
Britta on the Anam Cara returned and were working on preparing their
boat for sale. They cruised in the Caribbean and Latin America for about
5 years and now wish to return to Spain to be with family. Interior
photos of their boat will give you an idea of the accommodations on
a cruising sailboat. Ours is too messy at present to be photogenic.
Angie on Paradigm finished a circuit from Freeport Texas to the Keys
and back through the ICW and are heading back to Texas.
Shirley Van Antwerp had a boat christening for Flying Cloud and many
of the Englewood Sailing Association attended.
home front Dawn, Sue, and Pat updated the club website. Take a look
to see the things that have been happening with the youth sailing program
here in Englewood Florida. The club was recently given a grant to buy
some more Pico 12’s to expand the classes.
www.englewoodsailing.org will bring up the site.
of you are freezing and enjoy the photos from around the marina this
Italian Seasoning or Oregano to prepared Spaghetti Sauce will make it
taste like it was simmered for the day yet only take 30 minutes or so.
Add your choice of meats, our favorite is a mix of Italian Sausage and
Ground Beef but we have used Ground Turkey and leftovers.
grilling flavor with out the marinade and time it takes to do so
I use Cavender’s All Purpose Greek Seasoning and a dash of Lee n’ Perrin’s
Worchester (optional) I also use the Greek Seasoning for my Single Skillet
Breakfast. (Dawn loves my breakfasts)
We wanted to take time to wish every one a Merry Christmas and to drop
a little reminder of what it was all about in the first place. With
all the travel and bustle it is easy to forget that first Christmas
Present so long ago in that far away town of Bethlehem!
Our wish is that as people exchange gifts they remember the reason that
we do so,
we were given the gift of life and redemption in the form of the Christ
Child who grew to be our doorway into God’s Kingdom.
With that said we are grateful to be in a beautiful place among many
Our neighbor’s web page starts out with the fact that many times cruising
in ones sailboat requires us to make repairs however most of the time
it is repairing your boat in beautiful places.
We don’t have a lawn to mow but we do have decks to wash as the birds
leave reminders that one of the preferred eating perches is on our spreader
We had a lighted boat parade that went to our old marina and back in
the Inter Coastal Waterway and then a party in the grill at our marina.
We had 7 boats from our marina and sad to say the Dawn Treader was not
one of them. We are still working on our heat exchanger after the last
trip as it still is not flowing freely. It will be our Christmas present
to our boat and our selves.
Dawn is currently sewing some cushion covers for one of the sailing
club members and we hope to buy a heave duty machine later for our own
We get asked many times what is it like to live on a boat?
I always start with “Well it has its ups and downs” which breaks the
ice and gathers a few laughs. However the reality is that it is like
any other home or rather small apartment. Much like the people that
live in a motor home or travel trailer full time. We must make concessions
to what we can carry and how we cook. In fact it is amazing how simplified
life becomes aboard the boat. We get to see far more scenery and meet
very interesting people and sometimes just over coming some of the challenges
leads us to new friendships. We are lucky so far in that nothing serious
has happened. One couple who had they engine break off the mounts almost
lost their boat. On the way down to the keys their engine broke its
timing belt and bent all the valves requiring a serious cylinder head
replacement. Last night a large Tri-Marian was towed in when the engine
developed a serious knock. We have been reviewing Lin and Larry’s book
especially the chapters on sailing engineless. It is called and auxiliary
engine, however in the narrow channels here in Florida and in many ports
it is a necessary thing but still it is good to know what to do if things
go wrong --- go wrong----- go rong <sigh>
Again we wish our many friends a very Merry Christmas and a great New
and Dawn aboard the Dawn Treader somewhere in Florida.
the Dawn Treader
December 1, 2013
It has been a very busy 2 months. We had a visit from a long time friend
from Arizona and Joanne had her first nights sleep on a sailboat. We
went to Capitiva for lunch at the
Mucky Duck which
turns out to be a very well known place. It also has a sister pub in
England and when Joanne got home she wore a “T” shirt she bought and
had a lady start a conversation about the one in her home town in England
and 2 other of her bridge friends comment that they too had visited
the one here! It always amazes me the connections one makes with simple
We went to Bush Gardens with Joanne and her long time friend from Minnesota
who was glad of the warm weather.
Bush Gardens Ta is themed as an African Safari Park so we went on the
Safari and had a great experience not only viewing some rare animals
but actually feeding giraffes.
Remember you can always tell a girl zebra from a boy zebra because the
male is white with black stripes and the female is black with white
Dawn completed a class in sailing this month and did great without a
capsize. It is so much faster reacting in a small boat especially when
the wind pipes up. Quick reactions are a must
We met another cruising couple Dave and Brita who have spent 5 years
in the Caribbean and Central America. Not only are we getting some really
great pointers but have been buying some of the necessary equipment
from them as they are planning to sell the boat and live in Spain. Much
of it was never used but is safety equipment that you hope you never
use but are darn glad if you need it. I also bought a sextant from them.
We finally have all the fuel leaks fixed which required a couple of
new injector lines. It was very hard to trace down the leak as they
were so small and buried in the engine compartment. Replacing
the lines was similar to figuring out one of those Chinese Wire Puzzles!
Next project is to replace spreader lights with the new LED versions
so they can also double as anchor lights as they dray very little power
compared even to conventional lox voltage bulbs.
Special Thanks to members of the sailing club. Steve and Sue Rosen for
inviting us to share Thanksgiving with them and members of their family.
Wherever we go it seems people are curious about what it is like to
live on a sailboat. We explain mostly it is similar to living in an
RV. I know several people that live full time and travel in RV’s as
well as boats. However the most interesting question to date was when
we were asked if we cook on our boat, so we have some recipes for this
Both dawn and I love to cook and so we trade off and one of the new
acquisitions this month was a Magma Grill which does so much more than
just grill foods. It can also be used as a spare stove. One problem
is the same as those that live on land and that is adapting things for
only 2 people. Before when I lived on my Ericson 32, in California I
would do dinners for 2 and than freeze half for later. However like
now we have a very small freezer and even our refrigerator is about
¼ or less than the size of even a small house refrigerator so good planning
is a must, also we take advantage of local farmers markets when ever
we can and use up all fresh produce and frozen meats first when we travel.
I also want to thank Fred one of the sailing club members for donating
fresh home grown off the tree Papayas!
Charlie and Dawn aboard Dawn Treader
This months Recipes
News from the Dawn Treader
September 22, 2013
We have had another busy month, and we have a birth announcement!
Our boat gave birth to a beautiful bouncing baby sailing dingy!
Actually we were able to acquire the Walker Bay Sail Rig.
Now we have a choice of sail power or rowing. Soon it will also have
a small outboard for those days of no wind or strong currents. Our first
trip never made it out of the Yacht Basin before we lost wind and had
to row back. However our next trip went out to the ICW and we managed
to run aground twice trying to avoid the big boats in the channel. So
we raised the daggerboard and pushed off with the ore and just 3 feet
away it is the channel entrance to the marina!
had intended to make this issue a story of food aboard the Dawn Treader
however the first mate is running behind on the recipe writing, so I
hope that the last ones were useful. Just a sneak preview one of the
upcoming dishes is a delightful
Seafood Stuffed Poblano Pepper
that Dawn invented while living in Mexico!
The news for this month centers on the Englewood Sailing Association
and its float entry in the Englewood Founders Day Parade, and some unexpected
First the parade; the theme this year was “Englewood goes Hollywood”,
and this year the club decided on making Peter Pan the theme of the
float. This would allow many of the children that take the sailing classes
The float won a trophy for the club.
We took a trip out to the ICW to check the systems and when we returned
found some diesel fuel in the bilge. The fuel tank had just been replaced
so it was not the tank. After investigation a line to the injector was
found to be seeping.
Thinking the leak was stopped we tried again and still found some fuel
so back to the engine and finally found the culprit. Yet another line
was leaking however it was under all the others so it could not be seen
directly. That one required a new part which to replace was a lot like
solving those Chinese wire puzzles. It took a lot of fitting maneuvering
and bleeding, but finally got it in and stopped the leak!
The weather is starting to cool off and the end of the hurricane season
is in sight so trips to the Keys and beyond will soon be on the horizon.
In the mean time we continue to help with the sailing classes through
the Englewood Sailing Association, check out their web page at
Again if you wish to be removed just put unsubscribe in the subject
line. I have updated the list but may have missed some. Our Facebook
page has been modified to only read “Dawn Treader” now, but some one
informed me there is more than one so look for the photo of the boat.
If you have a Facebook page just send it to me with a request and a
friend invitation will be sent.
News from Dawn Treader
August 21, 2013
It has been a busy time for us.
We finished replacing the fuel tank and did a small trial run then moved
to a new marina.
We made a video but right now it is too big to send and so it has been
posted on the Dawn Treader Facebook Page. So if you haven’t visited
it yet take a look and be sure to become friends!
(The page again is Dawn Treader)
After moving we had some of those normal things to attend to like physicals,
blood test, and other business things so we packed in some sight seeing
on land as well. So we took the time to visit some tourist attraction
in the Fort Myers area.
We also continue our walks in the evenings so we have included some
photos of the trip to Fort Myers and interesting things on our walk
as well as a view of our new marina and neighbors.
We have some short trips planned however it is looking like there will
not be any significant weather other than the occasional thunderstorm.
We are on the float committee for the Founders Day Parade and the Englewood
Sailing Association is going to field a float with Peter Pan and all
the extras and the President of the club is Capitan Hook. Several of
the sailing club students are going to provide the Lost Boys,
Peter Pan, Tiger Lilly and of coarse Wendy, John, and Michael.
It has been a great experience working with these young people and watching
a love of sailing grow.
We had a family sail a couple weeks ago and Dawn and I got to experience
sailing a small 12 foot Pico. They respond much faster than Dawn Treader.
Last week end it was the Intermediate class and I manned the safety
boat while Dawn spent time in the 14 foot Holder.
After lunch the students had a free sail and a few of the kids started
a kind of sailing polo which was a great lark for them and watching
them maneuver the sailboats was quite entertaining.
Our new home is much closer to an inlet to not only the Gulf but also
to a small bay and pier that we are anxious to get our fishing poles
into. So until next time we are sending along some of the recipes that
Dawn has used and developed since we started living on our boat and
some photos of our recent travels. Hopefully we will figure out how
to edit and crop the videos so they can be included. Remember you do
not have to have a Facebook Page to visit ours but if you do we would
like to have you share with us.
A special note about Dawn’s recipes: we have used a toaster oven and
have actually found ways to make things for 2 which is sometimes tricky.
Also some things are shortened because of having a limited galley on
board. Also our refrigerator is about 1/4 the size (maybe smaller) than
a home refrigerator so we don't keep many leftovers I hope
you enjoy these.
Aboard the Dawn Treader
June 20, 2013
We have survived our first Tropical Storm – Andréa!
The only damage we had was the water hose pulled out of the fitting
necessitating a drive in to Port Charlotte to get a replacement at West
Marine. The winds were about 70 MPH and it was pouring rain. There was
some flooding and a tornado touched down in the next county however
there was no significant damage.
We continue to repair items that somehow escaped the attention of the
person that did the survey!
So far we have rebuilt the steering after a trip to Clearwater and just
received a shipment of epoxy to install our new fuel tank. We lost a
little over 30 gallons of diesel fuel to contamination because of the
old tanks leaks. The boom has been rebuilt with new ropes throughout
for the out-haul and reefing system. The main-sail had two new panels
and a couple of the pockets for the stays re-stitched. Scrapping the
old Aluminum Fuel tank was problematic at best. In the end we got about
$26 for it but I had to show more ID than at the airport. Guess metals
theft has become quite a problem.
We have also been busy with the Englewood Sailing Association. There
was a 2 day class to introduce young people to sailing and this last
week a sailing summer c sponsored by the YMCA. There will be another
c in July and we hope to take Dawn Treader to Lemon Bay and anchor for
the c. It will give the students a look at a “Big Boat”!
One of the biggest differences sailing in the gulf is the lack of water!
Some parts of the bay are only 2 feet deep. I never had that problem
on the West Coast.
The summer is warming up here and we are seeing 80-90 days and sometimes
as low as 75 at night. Our portable hatch air conditioner is running
a lot most days. However usually in the evenings there is a cool breeze
off the ocean.
We had hopes of sailing up the Atlantic Coast but with the repairs that
were necessary that plan is postponed.
We met a couple that sailed from Texas and they are heading for the
Bahamas perhaps at the end of the month.
However, everyone is now keeping a weather eye open as the Hurricane
Season has started. This marina is well located to survive the season
and if it gets bad we can always take the boat back to the storage yard
and put it “on the hard!” (Boat Talk for land storage) They have very
heavy storm anchors that are used to chain the boats down.
However there is a pretty good chance we will miss the main force of
So for now we are still getting used to navigating the narrow channels
of the ICW (Inter Coastal Waterway) which are supposed to be dredged
to a depth of 8 feet minimum! We have brushed bottom only once so far
and my boat only draws 4.5 feet.
We have already had fresh fish that we caught ourselves (I’m learning
to fish) and soon the Scallop season will be here so we dusted off our
snorkels to get ready. We would like to outfit our new dingy with sails
and a small outboard but for now we row.
How is life aboard?
In general it is pretty wonderful. Every day there is something new
and interesting. We had a family of Manatees visit for a few days and
there was a Dolphin hunting for it’s dinner. We got to watch it actually
jump and catch one right beside our boat. There was a small Alligator
but it did not stay long because the salt water irritates their eyes.
From the Gulf Coast of Florida
C-D &;; DT
May 30 2013
Replacing the fuel tank has taken much more time than originally planned.
We had to deal with one shop that misrepresented the original work and
delayed us about 3 weeks. The second shop however, did a super fine
job and during the almost 5 week delay we had some other things to keep
us busy. Every day after dinner we take walks around the marina to help
keep in shape. Join us in our short tour through the forest that is
a short distance from our boat.
The start of the tour is our boat and then out to some woods close by.
One the way we pass what we call the Paddle Shack. Kayaks and Paddle
Boards can be rented. Spme interesting things found include rabbits,
bushy tailed squirrels, sometimes a possum and the other day we rescued
a tortoise that attempted to cross a busy street. There is even an armadillo
While waiting for the tank I started refinishing the floor panels that
are access to the water and fuel tanks. Dawn sanded and varnished the
cockpit table. Last week I helped sand Steve’s sailboat. His was smaller
than mine but it still took 2 days. Steve has been instrumental in not
only helping me with my boat but introducing me to a great bunch of
people that run the Englewood Sailing Association. Their help, advice
and general knowledge of local waters as well as just tons of sailing
experience has been the best part of owning a sailboat in Florida. The
Marina is starting to fill up and so far there are 3 transient boats.
One couple from Texas on the way to the Bahamas, another couple heading
to North Carolina and one very large Catamaran that took the owner 14
years to build. He is in the process of installing the mast and rigging
and will head out in spring. They brought the boat all the way down
the Mississippi River and then through the ICW to here powered by 2
outboard motors. That’s about all for now the next week will see us
in a gigantic organizational binge to get reedy for some shakedown trips.
Sailing in these waters requires good local knowledge of the passes
and constant attention to the tides.
It has taken a little longer than I would have liked and the weather
has become a bit warm but still our home is beautiful inside and out.