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Friday, April 30, 2010

White Vinegar!

On a sailboat, weight matters. If you overweight a sailboat, it not only impacts performance, but could put you, your family, and the boat in peril. This fact is ever-present in our minds as we compile our list of provision. The more versatile a product is, the higher it goes on our list.

White Vinegar is one such products. It has been said that vinegar has 1001 uses, I believe that it has more. It can be used to preserve food, a remedy for jelly fish and bee stings, deodorizer, stain remover, cleaner, beauty aid, in the laundry, a cat detourant, and the list goes on and on. It is believed that Hannibal used vinegar to clear large rocks that blocked his army's route. Now that's what I'm talking about!

On our adventure, we will be carrying vinegar. Do you know of any other such products that we should have on our list?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sunbrella Fabric

With all of the canvas sewing projects that we have on our list, a discussion arose to which outdoor/marine fabric we should use. After a little research the answer was easy, Sunbrella.

Sunbrella is a solution dyed acrylic fabric. Because it is solution dyed, the fabric is highly resistant to fading. It is also one of the best ultraviolet resistance fabrics available to consumers. Sunbrella will not noticeable shrink or stretch and it's breath-ability characteristic prevents condensation. The fabric is also water and mildew resistant. But best of all, both sides of this fabric are the same, meaning that either side can be exposed to the outside. It also means that this fabric does not have a wrong sides, which translates into less wasted fabric.

It is almost the perfect fabric for boats. We have chosen to use the Logo Red color on our boat.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Dentemp - Cavity Filling Stuff

Last week, the day before going up on stage before 400 people, one of my fillings came out. There I was, with big hole in my tooth, and it was Sunday. My tongue would not stay out of it, and was being cut by the tooths exposed sharp edges.

I called the dentist office, and was offered the opportunity to call my dentist at home and ask her for a referral. I thought about it, then asked myself, "Well, what would I do if we were out on the boat?" Hmmm .... another normal life happening that could happen while we are out on the boat. My immediate answer was, "I'd put gum in the hole until we got to shore." Then Val remembered some stuff called Dentemp, it is a temporary filling substance that you can buy from a pharmacy. Once put in, it will hold for 3 or 4 days. Perfect! So, we went out and bought some Denttemp. It even has a pain reliever in the material.

It took me 3 different tries to get it put in right. The directions said to leave a bit of moisture in my mouth before putting the stuff in. Alas, each time I did that, the damn temporary filling fell out within a few hours. When I totally dried out my mouth and put it in, the stuff stayed. In fact, when I did go see the dentist 2 days later, she commented on how good of a job I did putting it in!

The nice commentary from my dentist was offset by the end result, I need a root canal. The filling fell out because there was a cavity underneath it, and the cavity was eating away at the tooth. The cavity ate right to the top of my tooth's nerve (hence the pain). This will be my 3rd root canal.

Dentemp is now another part of our boat medical kit.

Don't sail away without Dentemp!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Gemini 3200 Centerboards

Our Gemini 3200 has two wood centerboards. For those not familiar with what centerboards are, here is a brief definition from Wikipedia.

"A centerboard is a retractable keel which pivots out of a slot in the hull of a sailboat, known as a centerboard trunk (US) or case."

Our centerboards are approximately seven feet long and very heavy, I would not hazard to guess their weight.

As mentioned above, they are made of wood. Unfortunately, wood is not the most durable material in water. Happily, our 20 year old, wood, centerboards are in excellent condition.

They are controlled from the inside of the boat via sockets in the galley and in the navigation station. By inserting a regular winch handle, into the socket, the centerboards can be fully raised or lowered or anywhere in between. The socket is connected to a 4" diameter drum, a rope attaches the drum and the top leading edge of the centerboards.

To keep our centerboards in excellent condition, we are having them painted with Interprotect 2000E and then Pettit Ultima SR-60 ablative antifouling paint.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Gemini 3200 on the Hard - Getting Ready for Bottom Paint

Saturday's visit to Ariel was wonderful! We got an opportunity to see Ariel, talk to the boat yard owner, Dick Long, and take care of a few tasks.

Since our last visit with Ariel, she has been moved to her designated location in the boat yard, had all of the bottom paint blasted off of her, down to the gel coat, and fiberglass fixes below the waterline have begun. Ariel has some blisters; fortunately, almost all of the blisters are very small and are easily fixed.

We also got to inspect our 20 year old, wood centerboards. They are in perfect shape!

After all of the blisters have been fixed, the bottom and the centerboards will be ready to receive 4 to 5 coats of Interprotect 2000E and then 3 coats of Pettit Ultima SR-60 ablative antifouling bottom paint.

This should provide excellent protection for our Gemini 3200, in salt water.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Lifeline Netting - Prep for Installation

Now that we have the lifeline netting from On Deck Sports, we have one task to complete before installation. The task is searing the end of each and every piece of cut netting. This is a very time consuming and labor intensive task, but I would rather sear the ends today than replace the netting in 6 months because I didn't. Based on reviews provided by members of Cruisers Forum, this netting should easily last 3 years.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Visiting Ariel in Savannah

Today we are on our way to Savannah, GA to check on Ariel. We are eager to see what has been accomplished since we left her in Dick Long's capable hands, 2 weeks ago.

Our plans for today include remounting/connecting the solar panels, adding Sta-Bil gas stabilizer to the fuel tanks, replacing rusty splashwell plates, and installing lifeline netting.

Then we will spend some time at the beach and maybe indulge with some ice cream ;).

Friday, April 23, 2010

Replacement of Steering Arm Plate -Part1

One of the major maintenance/repair items that has to be completed before we take off on our adventure is the replacement of our rusting splashwell plates. These plates connect the steering cables inside the boat to the rudder steering arms outside the boat. If these plates fail, we would have more difficult time steering the boat and would have a water entry point into the hull.

We will be replacing our existing rusty splashwell plates with fiberglass plates made by a fellow Gemini owner, Jim Beckley. We received the plates and assembly from Jim on Wednesday, and they look great. We will install them before Ariel is put back in the water.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Lifeline Netting

Just in, our new lifeline netting. We decided several months ago that lifeline netting would be an important safety upgrade to our Gemini 3200, especially with our two girls on board.

We researched the netting at all of the usually marine chandlers. The pricing and mixed reviews on the netting were discouraging. We then turned our research to sailing forums. Some of the members of Cruisers Forum recommend sports netting from On Deck Sports. We were encouraged by the forum's thread, product reviews, and price. An order was placed and within 1 week we received 2 custom lifeline netting (2'x40').

The netting exceeds every expectation. Instead of just getting netting, we received netting trimmed with rope and 2 stainless steel spring clips, on each end.

We can't wait to install them on our next visit to Ariel!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Does It Really Matter?

With the sailing date less than a year away, every decision is couched in the question "Does it really matter?" This is a wonderful question that without this trip, I never would have asked myself. It applies to all sorts of matters across the spectrum of life. The most recent example involves my car.

3 years ago, the speedometer in my car stopped working. I took the car to our mechanic and it would have cost $400 to fix (the entire dashboard was going to have to come out). I drove without the speedometer for about a month. I couldn't imagine plunking down $400 knowing that in just a few years I would be leaving on this trip. Does the speedo really matter? Yes, but there was another solution. I realized I could buy a car navigation system. For $150, I got a speedo + maps! Win Win!

4 months ago, the oil pressure gauge in my car stopped working. I love knowing that the oil pressure is working fine, but does it really matter? At this point I was a mere year away from selling my car and sailing around the world. No, it really doesn't matter. The car has never ever indicated it has a problem with oil pressure. The likelihood of it becoming a problem is very low. Heck, the first 3 cars I owned didn't have an oil pressure gauge, only an idiot light. So, no fixing the oil pressure gauge. I will keep the gauge fixing money in the bank.

Last week, my passenger headlight went out. Does this really matter? I thought about this carefully and critically. I could try and only drive during the day. But what happens if it rains? What happens if I really need to drive the car at night? This one does really matter. So this week, I will be getting the head light fixed.

Before this trip, I would have had everything fixed. I would have focused not on "Does it really matter?", but instead on maintaining a thing, not on the actual need.

Watch carefully ... you may find that you too have things that don't operate fully to their capability, but work just fine for your need. If it meets the need, then that is good enough.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sailing to Zanzibar

One of those places that strikes a cord in my inner explorer is Zanzibar. Just the name alone gets me excited. Images of ocean traders, white sandy beaches, and deep Africa parade through my head.

Zanzibar is about 20 miles off the coast of East Africa in the Indian ocean. Zanzibar is a part of Tanzania and operates "semi-autonomously." Zanzibar served as a hub for spice and Ivory trading in 1700.

When we are on the east side of Africa, our intent is to use Zanzibar as a launch point into the interior of Africa. The ability to spring to many parts of Africa is fantastic from this part of the continent. Mt. Kilimanjaro, Victoria Falls, and the Serengeti National park are all do-able from there.

Zanzibar charges a whopping $100 USD per visa for US Citizens. This rate means that we will have to pay $400 to get in. Ugh. Just as my mind was thinking, "Damn that's absurd" I read that the Tanzanian government sets the visa charge equal to what the USA charges Tanzanian citizens for the equivalent visa. Still absurd, but the Tanzanian government pegging the amount to the US amount sounds fair to me. The visa is a multi-entry type and lasts for 12 months.

A survey of options shows that mooring ball rates run about $40 per week, and $100 per month. So hanging out for an extended period is quite do-able. Zanzibar, here we come!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Main Sail Repair

Now that our Gemini 3200 is in Savannah, it's time for me to revisit some of my sewing projects. I took advantage of Sailrite's 10% off sale and placed a couple of orders, over the last month. One of these orders included materials necessary to complete some minor repairs to our main sail.

The repairs to the main sail included replacement of a broken shackle and slide on the foot of the sail and a permanent repair to a small rip in the sail.

Replacement of the broken shackle and slide was as easy as replacing a light bulb. The only tool needed was a small flat head screwdriver. Remove the old shackle by unscrewing a small screw, place the new slide onto the new shackle, and secure the shackle to the sail via the grommet. One thing to note when replacing a shackle on the foot of the sail is to make sure it is the same size as all of the other shackles. If it isn't, then the slide won't be the same distance away from the edge of the sail as the other slides and could cause chaffing on the sail. Sailrite recommends that if you are not sure about size of the shackle needed, replace all of the shackles so that they are all the same size.

The permanent repair to the small rip in our main sail allowed me to work with one of the newest members of our crew, Beulah . For this repair, I needed two pieces of 3"x 7" 4oz. Dacron sailcloth, V-92 white thread, 3/8" seamstick basting tape, and Beulah. After cutting out the sailcloth patches, I placed double stick seamstick on one side of both pieces of sailcloth patches, placed the patches over the center of the rip on both sides of the sail, and stitched the patches down using Beulah. The sail repair was a relativity easy repair. The only difficulty I had was maneuvering the sail under Ultrafeed LSZ to get the stitches exactly where they were needed.

The main sail is now ready to be placed back on the boom.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Island Time

While pushing through last weekends tasks of settling Ariel into her new home, a big red HALT sign flashed in my face. Val and I faced "Island Time." You know Island Time, it is that more relaxed, it will get done in time, attitude.

The contrast was made even more clear by the simple fact that it was Friday and I will still in professional Bill mode.... pushing pushing pushing .... moving to the next task. Well, those on Wilmington island (where Ariel is berthed) don't care how fast your professional life moves, things will get done in their own good time.

This became clear to me while I waited to have a sub-sandwich made. I was typing up an SMS to Val with the following text "Sorry it is taking so long ..... everyone everywhere on this island is moving slow" Just as I was about to press send, it dawned on me: they weren't moving slow, I was moving too fast. I needed to operate at the pace of those around me. I needed to slow down, and enjoy the Island Time pace.

Val and I had experienced this before, while on vacation on some remote islands a few years ago. It took a couple of days then to realize this.

Here I was again, carrying my hurried pace baggage to this wonderful place. It was time to drop the luggage. So, I deleted my SMS text and sent instead, "This is wonderful place. It is so relaxed. We are operating on Island Time. Will be out when the sandwiches are ready." In flight course correction. Ahh, it felt good.

Now when we head down, we will be dropping the hustle bustle attitude the moment we make it over the causeway. We will be on Island Time. I can't wait to get back!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

UnStepping the Mast

Unstepping the mast of a sailboat can be a daunting task, especially if you have never done it before. With all the information on the internet, I could not find a detailed explanation of what needed to be done to accomplish the task. So, I turned to my trusty Yahoo Gemini owners forum for help. Thanks to the wonderful people on the forum, I was able to learn the steps as well as pick up some great tips for the mast on our Gemini 3200.

The tools I needed were just a few: needle nose pliers, channel locks, and a screw driver. I also obtained some Liquid Wrench, a lubricant that helps loosen bolts.

First, I sprayed the top and bottom of the turnbuckles with Liquid Wrench and let it soak through all the threads. This made it much easier to loosen the turnbuckles.

Next, I removed all of the cotter pins. Our boat had a total of 36 cotter pins that needed to be removed (3 on each stay).

Once the cotter pins were removed, I inserted the screw driver into the turnbuckle and gripped the swage (piece that connects turnbuckle and stay wire) with the channel locks, to keep if from twisting.

Using the screw driver, I turned the turnbuckle to the left (lefty loosey). You only have to loosen the turnbuckles enough so that you can remove the clevis pin from the chain plate. It takes a little force and it took me a few tries before I realized that I was turning the turnbuckle the wrong way. What!? I'm a lefty and dyslexic when it comes to levers and such ;).

The final step was supporting the mast while removing the clevis pins. In our case, we were using the crane on the travel lift of the boat yard. Without this, we would have had to secure the mast in some other way to keep it from toppling while we removed the supports.

One, two, three the mast is off.

Thanks to the boat yard crew for setting up some saw horses for the mast to rest on and helping with the mast!

As a final step, I put a bucket over the mast step to keep water from pouring into the boat via the mast wire hole.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Popcorn! A marvelous voyaging food

We enjoy snacks when we watch a movie, or when we are sitting around just chatting. We want to take the snack activity with us on the boat as we meander around the world. However, what is a good, economical, spatially compact, immune to the environment of the sea, tastes good with a variety of beverages (kiddie and adult) snack? Chips? NO! Candy? Maybe. Popcorn?! YES! And we do enjoy popcorn very much.

Our plan is to buy 10 lbs of corn kernels and place them in a large Tupperware sealed container. When it is time to party hard with some popcorn, it will be a matter of scooping out a few table spoons of this delicious treat and cooking them in a frying pan. That's right, no microwave action on our boat so we will be making popcorn the old fashioned way, in a pan.

Cooking old school popcorn is quite trivial.
  1. Get a frying pan with a fitted lid
  2. Out some type of oil in it to help keep the kernels from sticking (canola oil works fine)
  3. Heat the pan until you can drop a single kernel in and it pops
  4. Take a few table spoons of kernels and put them in the pan
  5. Put the lid on quickly!!!
  6. Shake the pan around every 30 seconds to ensure that none of the kernels are sticking
  7. Once you stop hearing pops, take the pan off the flame
  8. Dump the popped corn into a bowl
  9. Add in seasonings (cinnamon is good, so is garlic, but the old stand by of salt and butter works too!)
  10. Enjoy!
The entire process is less than 5 minutes, so you, your family, and any guests who happen to dinghy over can enjoy this treat immediately.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Preparing to Unstep the Mast - Marking the Standing Rigging

Our Gemini 3200 has 12 stays .... that is 12 wire lines that hold the mast to the boat. Each stay is fastened at 2 points: 1) the mast and 2) a chain plate on the boat. To take the mast down, at least one end of each stay must be disconnected. This, however, leaves an unwieldy mess unless care is taken to label everything so that each stay can be reconnected the right way when the mast is put back up.

I started with the forestay, labeling it as #1 and worked my way around the boat in a clockwise fashion labeling each turnbuckle and chain plate pairing using blue painters tape and a black sharpie. That is, for example, the forstay turnbuckle was labeled #1 and the forstay chain plate was labeded #1.

I also marked the top of the threads right above the turnbuckle with a red sharpie. Finally, I counted the number of threads above the turnbuckle and recorded the information on a piece of paper. Marking the threads and knowing the number of threads above the turnbuckle will aid in tuning the rigging, once the mast has been stepped. The information will allow whomever is reestablishing the stays to return all of them, and their tension, to their original positions as a starting point for tuning.

No doubt expert sail riggers can do without detailing each stay like we did. For us, with zero experience, this activity adds huge confidence that we can return the stays to their original settings quite quickly and with less frustration.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Simplify Simplify Simplify

We continue to chip away at the unnecessary marble of life to reveal a new sculpture of existence for our family. Our new art of life is focused on being simple, having as few parts as possible. While considering the approach of simplicity, the following quotes were unearthed:

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
Leonardo da Vinci

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.

Our life is frittered away by detail… Simplify, simplify.
Henry Thoreau

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."
Albert Einstein

The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”
Hans Hofmann

My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.
Ernest Hemingway

Reduce the complexity of life by eliminating the needless wants of life, and the labors of life reduce themselves.
Edwin Way Teale

It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.
Bruce Lee

Nothing is more simple than greatness; indeed, to be simple is to be great.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Preparing to Unstep the Mast - Rolling Furler

One of the tasks that had to be completed before we shipped our Gemini 3200 to Savannah was the removal of the jib and rolling furler. Before starting this task, I took some time and read the manual on how to install the furler. It helped, but left me dreading this task.

Step 1, removing the head sail from the rolling furler. This part of the task is simple enough. First unroll the jib and secure one the jib sheets to a nearby cleat. This keeps the sail from flapping around. Next use a knot to secure a messenger line to the halyard tension line. This needed to be done because the halyard tension line secured to our jib halyard was very short and the halyard tension line travels up to the top of the mast as the head sail is being removed. If I had not secured another line to the halyard tension line, I may have had a hard time re-securing the end of the halyard tension line. Next up, pull the luff of the jib out of the sail feed slot. As the jib is being pulled down and off of the rolling furler, the halyard tension line travels up to the top of the mast. Finally, undo the jib halyard shackle from the top of the jib and finish removing the sail from the furler.

Next step is obtain access to the turnbuckle and chain plate underneath the rolling furler. This took a moment for me to figure out. I finally realized that all that needed to be done was to remove the pin that held luff of the furler (a.k.a. long plastic piece going up the forestay) above the turnbuckle. Once this is done, you have access to the turnbuckle and chain plate. At this point I also removed the furling line, because the line was showing signs of ware.

Now that the luff support pin has been removed, the top of the furler can be lifted to gain access to the forestay turnbuckle. I then removed the cotter pins from the turnbuckle. I used a mallet as a prop to hold the furler up and out of the way, while the cotter pins are being removed. I did not release the tension on the forestay, by unscrewing the turnbuckle, until our mast was supported.

Even with all this, the there is a bit more to do. After the mast is unstepped, the furler has to be removed from the mast so that the luff can lay flat. (From my reading, the luff is extremely pliable and will incorporate a bend it left for any period of time so we have to keep it flat.) The rolling furler will finally be removed from the mast by removing the cotter pin and clevis pin from the mast attachment.

The rolling furler disconnected from the mast, and lying on the ground to keep it flat.

Whew! Rolling furler is off!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Gemini 3200 Transported to New Marina Safe and Secure

Ariel made it to Sail Harbor Marina in Savannah, Georgia safe and secure! We knew that she would, but things can happen and she is part of our family.

Friday we arrived at Sail Harbor Marina around 9:00AM. We pulled into the boat yard and there she was, smiling, happy to see us.

After a heart felt reunion, we did a thorough inspection and found her in the same shape that she was in when she left Aqualand Marina, thanks to First Choice Transport - Ken Andrews!

Then we walked into the Sail Harbor Marina's boat yard office and finally meet Dick Long, the boat yard manager/co-owner. We had speaking with Dick over the phone for a few weeks now, but it was nice to finally meet him in person.

After our conversation with Mr. Long, we believe we all have clear understanding of the first stage of work that his boat yard will be doing on our Gemini 3200. This includes removing old bottom paint down to the fiberglass, repairing any blisters, 4 coats of barrier coat, 2 coats of bottom paint, fiberglass fixes, a thorough inspection of the standing rigging, inspection of hardware and re-bedding (if necessary), as well as the installation of solar vents. Bill and I agreed that we would have Dick's boat yard do some of the work we could do, but would rather let the boat yard do it while Bill is still working in Atlanta.

We experienced a pleasant surprise when we arrived at Sail Harbor Marina; we saw one of Ariel's much younger sister boats. Her name is WindWalker. She is a 2008 Gemini 105MC. She was in the travel lift, waiting for the tide, so that she could be placed back into the water. She is a beautiful boat. Seeing another Gemini at this boat yard adds even more confidence in the Long's operation.

After completing our business at the boat yard, and spending a little more time with Ariel, we had lunch and then drove a short distance to Tybee Island beach. While at the beach we made sand castles, played in the waves, and had ice cream!

As you may have guessed from KJ's expression and Dy's hand, the water was a little cold. ;)

What a wonderful day!! Oh yeah, we found a wonderful ice cream stand for the girls to try out the local cuisine.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Removing Vinyl Lettering

One of the tasks that wanted to be completed before transporting our Gemini 3200 was to remove the old vinyl lettering. I had read several forum posts that stated all I would need is a hair dryer and a can of WD-40. Well I can tell you from experience that all you need is a can of WD-40, if it is above 80 degrees and the item is in full sun.

On the day that I removed the old vinyl lettering from Ariel, I sprayed the vinyl lettering with WD-40 in the morning. Another task had priority and I had forgot to bring the hair dryer, to the boat yard. That afternoon, I returned to the boat yard hair dryer in hand. But before plugging in the hair dryer, I decided to see if I could peel the letters off.

Yes, 30 minutes later all of the vinyl letters were off!!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Real Time Boat Locations From Around The World via AIS

Ever wanted to see where passenger vessels, tankers, cargo vessels, yachts, and tug boats are in real time all over the world? If so, you can see where they are, where they are headed, their name, speed, draft, flag, and even more at www.marinetraffic.com/ais.

The tracking of the boats is done via AIS, or Automatic Identification System. AIS is an electronic transponder that transmits boat information via VHF. This digital information is freely available to anyone with the correct receiver/decoder. You can also transmit AIS information from your boat and join the network.

The photo is a screen shot of zooming into Cape Canaveral on the east coast of Florida. I clicked on a random tug boat which happened to be moored at the moment.

It is fun to zoom in on points all around the world, such as Dubai, Australia, and China.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Transporting a Gemini 3200

Yesterday was TRANSPORT day!!! Success! Success!

Here are some details and a few pictures. We uploaded a lot of photos on our main site's Boat Transport page. Enjoy!

For the last couple of months, we have been preparing for transport. During that time we have removed personal items, emptied water tanks, stowed gear, removed the standing rigging, unstepped the mast, removed the solar panels, removed the bimini, removed the old vinyl lettering, and the list goes on and on. Below is a picture of our Gemini 3200 will everything removed, emptied, and stowed (except the dinghy).

I was at the boat yard bright and early removing, stowing, and cleaning. Our transporter, First Choice - Ken Andrews and his son Mike, arrived at 8:30 AM and got right to work. After helping me finish wrapping the mast, Ken pulled his truck around. With a little help, the mast was loaded onto the bed of the trailer. Notice the 14'x8"x8" beams that will be used for the braces/cradle. They are really heavy.

After loading the mast, Ken pulled his truck up next to the gate. It was time to place Ariel on the trailer. Stumpy hoisted Ariel into the air using the travelift and held her a few feet behind and above the trailer.

Before they could set Ariel down onto the trailer, the brace/cradle had to be put into place. Like I said before, these braces are really heavy. It took two men on each side of the braces to put them into place.

After a few adjustments and the addition of carpet, Stumpy was almost ready to place Ariel onto the cradle. Ariel was hovering above the trailer, but one little detail needed to be taken care of before she could be place onto the cradle. I had to climb up the ladder, turn on the batteries, and lift the outboard motor so that it would not hit the trailer and mast.

With the precision of a surgeon, Stumpy deposited Ariel on the cradle.

Next Ken and his son secured Ariel to the trailer, secured the dinghy to Ariel, secured the centerboards and radar arch, and cut off the overhang on the braces. I was busy taping down the hatches, removing the grill, and double checking to make sure everything was stowed.

With 45minutes to spare on our loading time, she rolled out of the boat yard and on her way to Savannah, GA.

It was great working with First Choice - Ken Andrews. If we ever have to ship a boat again, Ken will be the first transporter we call 910-675-1962.

Again, I would like to say THANK YOU!, to the crew at Aqualand Marina Boat yard. These guys are TERRIFIC!!

We are traveling to Sail Harbor Marina in Savannah, GA, this morning, to see Ariel and to do a walk-through with Dick Long at the boat yard.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Today is the Day! - Transport

Today the boat gets loaded onto the transporter's trailer and makes her way to Savannah. It's a bit scary. I will be at Aqualand boat yard, as early as possible, so that I can make sure everything is stowed and that the boat is ready to go. If everything goes well, our boat should be in Savannah this afternoon.

Regarding the braces/cradle: The transporter will be bring the braces/cradle that will hold our Gemini. It was easier and more cost effective to have the transporter make them.

We would like to say a special THANK YOU to the crew at Aqualand Marina's boat yard. Theses guys really know what they are doing and it has been great working with them!

We also want to say a BIG THANK YOU to Jen for watching the girls!

Here we go! Please send us Positive Energy!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

How to Manage Kids at the Boat Yard

When I was KJ's age, I lived next door to my Papal's (grandfather) cotton farm in Northern Alabama. My Mamal (grandmother) would take care of me in the daytime, while my Mom and Dad worked. I remember, when it came time to harvest the cotton, my Papal would put me into the cotton trailer with all of the picked cotton so that I would be safe and out of the way.

Now that our boat is on the hard, we had to think of places that KJ and Dy would be safe and out of the way, while we get our Gemini 3200 ready for transport. An oblivious place is inside the boat. It's a good safe place, but the girls don't always want to be inside. KJ and Dy liked to play in the rocks around the boat, but with the weather turning warmer it would be too hot for them and not the safest place to play. The solution was to set up a little play area under our boat's bridge deck. It is cool in the mid-afternoon, shaded, and the girls can play in the rocks. We placed our cockpit cushions on the rocks and covered them with a blanket so that the girls would have a soft place to sit. The set up includes a portable dvd player, so that they can watch movies.

It's really nice. When I need a break, I find it very comfortable. Maybe too comfortable ;).