Dear Anna… (Shea’s Journal)

Watching Josh write in his log every night made me think “no problem” when we talked about me also trying to keep a daily log. What I didn’t take into account is that I like to keep my life to myself and keep others out of my business. That might seem rude and unfriendly but as hard as it is for some people to believe about me I am extremely private. Josh can be pretty private too but he has seemed to find his blog voice and is even enjoying keeping a log. When I try to sit down and write about my day I find that I end up deleting everything I type because I want to keep it to myself. It is silly I know, but part of me keep saying “these are my experiences if you want some go and get your own!” We talked about it and Josh tried to encourage me to write by telling me that he just writes as if he was updating an acquaintance or friend on what’s going on and he just does it everyday. I thought about it and I realized I don’t enjoy doing that either, but there is one person that  gets a view into my world that very few others do. I never have to worry about being judged or her thinking my thoughts or perspectives are stupid. I know that when I talk she listens and her feedback is going be relevant and personal because she knows me. That of coarse is my friend Anna! So instead of a log I will be using an ongoing letter to Anna to share my days with her and others that are following our blog! Thanks Anna for always being such a great  friend!

15oct2012
Dear Anna,
It has been an interesting summer here on the bay, I had the opportunities to learn so much! Both Josh and I are pleased to discover that I do love sailing, which was a concern since I had only done it twice before we moved aboard Full Moon! I am amazed by the life you can feel flowing through her with the sails up ,and how she talks to me while I am manning my usual spot at the helm. I don’t think I could ever see a boat as an inanimate object again.
We have been here in Urbanna for a few days now and due to Ed and Mary Ann’s hospitality Full Moon has been tied up at the yacht club’s dock while we wait for a couple packages. I appreciate the shower facilities and access to a wash and dryer when we get it, but somehow it still just doesn’t seem quite right. Full Moon is asleep at her mooring place, a state at which she spent way too much time in her previous life. She was built to sail and when the other boats are headed for protection from the wind she is just starting to have fun! Her red sail fill with breath and splashes in the waves as she presses forward onto our next destination. Her tiller shudders in my hands has she tries too keep up with the following seas.
With that said it is time to head south, tomorrows winds are coming from the north at 15 to 20 knots. The idea it to go down the ICW (Inter Coastal Waterway) through the Dismal Swamp. I am so excited to see what is waiting for us there!

SHEA 03OCT 2012 ALOFT WORKING ON THE MAST LIGHT

 

 20May2012
I woke up about 6 this morning to find Josh had already been up for about 20 minutes, since we were both already awake we went up to make coffee and get an early start on the day. Josh worked on getting the cockpit ready to pull out while I continue to find figure were things will be stored once we are finally underway. Josh had brought one of those collapsable hanging shoe storage shelves and up until recently it had been in our hanging locker. I thought the hanging locker would be used more effectively with out it, so a few days ago I took it out and it has been floating around the boat trying to find home. Finally yesterday I realize if I laid it on it’s side It would fit inside the storage shelf above the starboard settee, where we keep some of our dry food. I finished I finished organizing the new food storage system just in time for Josh to ask for my help to disconnect the equipment panels from the cockpit. Lunch time had rolled around and we joined Chief up at the cafe. After lunch we met a Jonathan who had purchased a couple sailboats at the auction, we went to take a look at his boat and then invited him to come down and see ours. Finally we made it back to work only to have Mike show up with his son a short while later. The day had gone by fast and it was already dinner time, making us hike back up to the cafe. We spotted Jonathan and his girlfriend who we hadn’t met yet and waved them over to join the party. Josh went to help Mike with something at the store, while I stayed to entertain our new friends while they finished their meal. We walked over to Kellie’s truck to get her little dog before bringing her down to show her the boat. Josh Showed up minutes after we ducked out of the rain and into the cabin, to surprise me with a hand full of more wild lilies to replace the ones from the other day! We chatted for a couple hours and it was fun having people enjoying Full Moon with us even if we weren’t sailing anywhere.

18May2012
  The last few weeks have been fairly hot but I must not have had enough water on wed. because it seemed a little unbearable for this sun lover! In the afternoon I hitched a ride with Terrie into town to pick up some provisions, the feel of the warm breeze coming through the window was just enough to to keep me from tipping over the edge with a headache and a cranky attitude! I really enjoy Terrie; she is spunky, straight forward, and should have “Domestic Queen” tattooed on her forehead! She has a can do attitude about everything and continuously puts me to shame when it comes to figuring out ways to use what she has.
  In the evening she invited us for dinner and wine in their cockpit, she made a wonderful meal of turkey tenderloin and steamed veggies in a butter wine sauce. We sat out there late into the evening talking about life and watching the fireflies, which happened to be Josh and my first time seeing fireflies!
  Yesterday Don and Carolyn who have a boat a couple slips away, brought us by milk and cookies before they headed home! They are some of the sweetest people we have met here and continue to check in on me to make sure I am healing well. After lunch Josh and I took the bikes for a ride to the second hand store down the road, much to my dismay the thermos I was looking for was not there anymore. After wandering through the little store, we left with some buckets and small enamel platted 3 pan set Josh spotted. We stopped by Mike’s for a quick visit  and then headed to the ferry. Half way there I spotted some wild lilies growing on the side of the road, I pointed them out to Josh, so he stopped to pick a few along with some other while flowers around. He placed them in one of the buckets to keep them safe and off we went again. Across the ferry we went to look for a guy who keeps his boat near by, but came across his brother instead. We chatted for a while, making a new friend before we headed back to the marina. 

  It has been a long day today and I am about ready for bed so I guess I will write about it tomorrow. 

15May2012

Yesterday I took another tumble, this time down the companion way, managing to catch my ribs again as I fell. Tired of the pain today I decided to let Josh practice his chiropractic techniques, by attempting to pop the rib back in place. He was successful in getting one back in place that we weren’t aware was out until it went back in, unfortunately the rib on the right side that we were pretty sure was out of place is even more painful than it was before and we can now feel a lump from the bone. So here I am back up in the lounge trying keep it iced hoping the swelling will go down enough to slide it bak into it’s rightful spot. In the meantime Josh has gotten quite a bit done on the boat; We now have a bulk head on the back of the cabin, the electrical panel no longer laying on top of the icebox, most of the electric is in working order, and the leak around the mast has been temporarily fixed. He is doing a wonderful job of getting things back together and in working order, and hopefully soon our galley (currently in the middle of the construction zone) will be cleaned up so we can start cooking on the boat. Terrie on Meridian Trek is really making me look bad with all her fabulous foods that she whips out of her larger better stalked galley, so I am feeling inspired to tap into my creative thinking skills and apply them to learning my way around our galley!
Speaking of cooking something that has my interest right now is thermal cooking. Josh and I have been on the hunt for the perfect coffee mugs (which we never really found) and I came across the concept of using a thermos to cook soups, stews, and grains. Since we have such a limited space and budget we are really trying to crack down on not bring things on the boat that aren’t multifunctional and reusable. I am so excited to try this method of cooking since it conserves so much on fuel, requires very little prep time, there is no worry about burning the food, and it is easy clean up. I remember seeing a thermos at the thrift store down the road a couple of weekends ago so on Thursday when it opens Julia ( my new to me bike) and I are going to take a trip down there to check it out and possibly claim it for the boat! I want to make sure it has a stainless steel interior as glass insulated thermoses and I didn’t get along very well while I lived in Africa. I spent quite a bit of money replacing thermoses that would leap away from me  while others would simply shatter in my hands.
To go along with our multifunction /reusable  theme we have been asking ourselves one question before we decide to get rid of anything “Is there anything else we could use it for?” That seems like a pretty basic question, but the more I think about it I have wasted so much money getting rid of things because I didn’t see their potential. When I was younger I used to save every little thing, then I got the point that I didn’t want anything in my apartment other than a bed, a dresser, a couch, a table, a chair and basic appliances because I hated dusting nick knacks. My last apartment I met somewhere in the middle, and now I am primarily about function and space conservation. Josh being a gatherer hears me ask “what are we going to use it for, and where are we going to put it?” at least twice a day.
Shortly after we got here we purchased some cheap travel mugs for coffee and tea only to find out that they make everything taste like heavily perfumed soap. We tried just about everything to get rid of the taste, but it seams to be clinging to the plastic. We decided that they are not going to get better so I ask Josh if we could get rid of them, his response “Is there anything else we could use them for?” I can’t think of anything but I am sure there is, this gave me an idea for a new page on the blog, which you will find on the menu.

 

11May2012
The past couple of weeks have been full of ups and downs, but life keeps going on as Josh and I continue to focus on the progress being made on the boat. Right now Josh is down in the hot sun preparing the bulkhead  to receive the coosa board which we would like to get in the next day or two, while  I am up here sitting in the air conditioned  lounge searching for sewing accessories and outdoor canvas material. Why am I not out helping Josh so that we can get the project done faster? Well it’s kinda a funny story, but I’m not laughing… because it hurts too much. You see last night Josh was being eaten away at by the bugs so I dipped down in the cabin and retrieved some cocoa butter lotion as we have found that the bug seem to hate the smell of it. After applying it on Josh’s exposed skin I went to set the bottle down on the piling next to the dock, thinking twice I decided I didn’t want to risk it falling into the water leaving us defenseless to the relentless no-see-ums, instead I would put it back safely in the cabin. As I stepped across to the boat my foot slipped on the toe rail of the boat, the fall was slowed by  my ribs landing on the stainless steel lifeline knocking the wind out of me. As I continued to fall I was able to catch the lifeline and hang on while Josh leaped over me and pulled me out of the water  onto the boat. I struggled to breath while Josh tried to coax out of me where it hurt and what it felt like, my chest and back hurt like crazy and my stomach felt like it was on fire. I got out of my wet clothes and headed up to a shower with a promise that he would not send my pants up the mast like I knew he had done in the past to a buddy of his. To continue the theme of the evening after my shower I bent over to gather my hair in a bun on top of my head and as I came up I whacked my head on the hand dryer in the bathroom giving me an instant headache. It was quite the night, and since I had already promised some of our friends a strawberry pancake breakfast in the morning made from the fresh berries I got from working at the farm yesterday we went to bed with the hope that I would feel peachy keen in the morning. Not so much, I couldn’t even lift my head up without using my hand to pick it up. At about 6am I began slowly moving my body trying encourage it to go forth and start the day, by about 6:45 I had managed to use my legs to scoot down to the end of the berth and slide onto my feet usinf the edge of the berth to prop myself into the upright position. After talking to a few people who have had rib injuries, and answering a series of questions the common consensus is that I either cracked a rib or had one pop out of place. I am thinking it is probably just a bruise and I am not really into taking pain medication but a friend of ours mentioned something about dropping some by tomorrow in case I find myself in worse condition than I expect. On the bright side I did manage to hold onto to the lotion in the midst of the catastrophe, and it is indeed safely stowed away in the head 🙂

8April12 
Josh went up to help Russ, while I decided to work on finishing working on the fresh water tanks. Our neighbor watched as I wrestled with the hose to get it on the boat without letting it dip into the brackish water, He asked if I could use some help but since I know that there will be time I will need to figure out how to do this myself I declined. I informed him that it was my job to wait for Josh to leave and then start something I don’t quite know how to do some he can come back and try to figure out what the heck I was thinking. I wound the hose around multiple pilings, over the rail and through the port light. Success!  This should be cake from hear on out! Down in the cabin I finished filling up the starboard side tank that already had bleach water in it and then turned on the sink to drain. I moved the hose over to the port side to top off the tank, I noticed that the water was a little foamy and not wanting it to spill over the tank I let it settle a bit once the water and foam reached the lip of the hole. I continued tuning the water on and off to keep the water pump from overheating while I drained the the starboard side, going back top off the port side several times. Through out the day I gave the water pump several breaks while I made little errands; to see if Josh and Russ wanted lunch, look up how to make a carbon filter for the sink, trips to the bathroom. Once it was empty I found some orange residue inside the starboard tank that would not come off with bleach so I dried out the tank and dumped some hydrogen peroxide in and it wiped right off! By this time it was later in the afternoon and I was tired of trying to get the port tank completely full so I opened up the bilge to switch the sink of so I could drain it, and that is when I saw it…. the bilge was filling with water! Hmm that isn’t supposed to happen. I walked up to get Josh, who was still with Russ,

He greeted me with a big smile “How is your day going?” 

“Ummm The bilge is filling with water…”  His smile wilted and we rushed back to the boat. I explained what I had been doing throughout the day and upon inspection Josh found a crack in the back of the tank. Josh Pulled out the tank and we decided to toss it. In the evening we joined a new friend for a sail on his fathers boat. It was a nice way to relax after a long day!

Josh and me on Sun Dancer

7April12

Yesterday morning I woke up still exhausted, but not being one to want to waste my day in bed I got up and made Josh some coffee. I had a stuffy nose and a headache so I skipped the coffee and got to work on the cockpit mess I started a few days ago, while Josh started working on cardboard mockups for the wench stands. We went to talk to Russ about Josh’s ideas and ran into the yard boss who showed us a few already made wench stands that would work well for our boat.
We joined Mike for a late lunch and he loaned us his van to go check out a antique/consignment shop called Calico Jacks that is well known for having nautical stuff and marine hardware. We pulled into the drive way of an old house like many of the locals do business out of, we saw rough older man unloading a van. As we walked up I called out to him “Are you Calico Jack?”, with a smile on his face he responded “I sure am!” He wasn’t open for the season yet but he happened to be there and let us take a look around the areas that were ready, he told us that next weekend the upstairs would be open for our shopping pleasure. This of coarse drove me crazy knowing there is stuff up there that I couldn’t look at yet! I wandered through the shop several times finding new things each round. Josh talked to Jack about some of the stuff we had going on with the boat and he suggested a few things for us to consider. We left Jack eager to see what new he would have for us next week!

Josh and I decided to stop by the egg farm again to pick up some more eggs, we left there with 3 dozen eggs, asparagus, a bag of fresh picked greens, and an offer to trade some work for fresh produce and a little pay. We were happy about the offer since we had just been thinking about asking them if they would be willing to consider that kind of arrangement! We got back to find a couple guys preparing to pull into the slip next to us, Josh helped catch their lines and they invited us aboard for a beer  and tour of the boat. As we were talking Taz showed up and joined the conversation, we really do enjoy having neighbors for the weekends! After a while I showed one of them Full Moon In all her messy glory, while Josh helped the owner re-situate the mooring lines. Josh and I tidied up Full Moon for the night and joined our temporary neighbors for dinner up at the cafe. After dinner Josh and I headed for the lounge to work on the laptop since it has been running slow and freezing up on us pretty frequently. I watch a couple shows with Taz while Josh worked on figuring out what was going on with the laptop and fixing it. It ended Up being a late night and we finally made it to bed (where I had felt like I should have been all day) a little after 1 am. Now, Thanks to our french press and the two highly concentrated cups of coffee in my system I am finally ready to start the day!

4April12
The last week has been a busy one; we fiber glassed the  the cabin top, went for a ride on the motorcycle and ended op at George Washington’s birthplace, visited a farm, had lunch with some new friends, found some new storage buckets, began preparing the cabin for underway conditions, decided not to put teak around the cabin top, picked a paint color, enjoyed a nice dinner with Gerry and Marie at a local tavern, and now we are taring the cockpit apart! I have received three books over the last few days that I am excited to read; two from Betsy (Russ’s wife) called Cruising in Serafin and True Spirit, and one from a friend who we have been having dinner with in the evenings called The Cruising Woman’s Advisor. I am hoping to work in more opportunities to get some reading time in as it seams we are always “busy” either working, talking with friends, or looking to make new friends.
Josh and I had been talking about boat shoes and debated about how necessary they really were, after I talk to several people and reading multiple forum posts about foot/toe injuries due to not wearing proper footwear while sailing I talk Josh into finding some decent deck shoes. A few days ago we were invited by a friend to go to West Marine in Deltaville, since they are having consolidation sale we went just to see what we could find. Josh found a pair that he like after grudgingly trying a few on, while I tried every pair of women’s deck shoes on in my size and couldn’t find any comfortable enough. I found some Sperry’s I thought might work in a different size so I was determined to find them online, and after an hour or so of looking I was able to place the order at Zappos. Today I saw the UPS truck pull up to the Ship’s Store as Josh, Mitchell and I wandered down to look at the water damage in the cockpit. I stopped in to see my Zappos box sitting on top of the the ice cream freezer, I snatched it up as I informed the store manager that he was my favorite person of the moment and raced to catch up with the guys. Sitting on a bucket at the end of the dock I slipped on the dark brown deerskin shoes on for a perfect fit!

Josh trying to figure out how to fix another mess I started…


This evening we had dinner with a friend who has been staying on the hard while he does some work on his boat, since we were all a little worn out from the day we went down to the closest store  that we affectionally call “the new dirty store” to get some stuff for dinner. The guys got hotdogs and I ended up with an italian sub, we came back to the lounge and enjoyed a relaxing meal and a good chat.  

23Mar12
Busy week, lots of fun, lots of work, super tired, need sleep. 

20Mar12

We used the oven for the first time!

15Mar12
This morning I worked on sanding out the epoxy that kicked before we were ready for it on Tuesday. It’s not a hard job but it takes time and by the time I was done I had worn a hole in my gardening glove. Josh worked on figuring out how to shape the aft corners of the cabin top, it seemed like he had just finished saying he would like the yard boss’s opinion on it when he came walking down the dock to see how the boat was coming along. Between the two of them they decided on a shape and Josh began grinding away. When he was finished went to go talk to the yard boss about a sander he had strongly recommended. It had been a busy day not just for us but for the marina, with all the nice weather we were having there seemed to be a flood of boat owners wanting their boat in the water today or tomorrow. We saw boat after boat being carried down on the travel lift and set free into bay.

 I got the deck and the cabin top cleaned up and ready to reapply the primer. As we were nearing the end of the primer application Josh pointed out the black clouds heading in our direction,  a minute or so later I felt the first drop! Josh finished up the last section and we jumped to let the tarps down, at that same moment the storm began! Thunder and lightning and a down pour of rain, I was quickly drench while putting the last bungee on, Josh rescued the tools that were still out and into the cabin we went!  When the rain slowed down a little bit we made a run for the lounge to make dinner and order a new sander. Unfortunately the internet is down so that means no research, no working on the blog, and no online shopping looks like we will just have to make do with keeping each other company 🙂

14Mar12
A while back Josh and I bought some muslin coffee socks from etsy.com; these are little bags you fill with coffee grounds and hang from a chopstick into a mug, then you pour your hot water through them and WaLa you have coffee! They seemed to work great up until a few days ago when we had coffee with Taz. When I made Josh’s second cup he said it tasted soapy, Which is funny since I never use soap on the bags or in our mugs. Monday when I made Josh’s coffee I messed up and did it right after putting lotion on, I realized my mistake and tried to rinse out the everything really well but I was unsure how it would turn out once it was finished. Well Josh couldn’t even drink it, it was so bad. He didn’t know what it tasted like exactly but it was awful, I smelled and indeed it did not smell life the fresh cup of caffeinated heavenly goodness I had hoped for, nor did it smell like the lotion I had just put on, instead it smelled more like fresh cotton scented laundry soap. That’s not good. This morning I switch him cups and coffee socks so maybe he could finally enjoy some good coffee, since he was off helping out a few people around the marina I was able to let it cool enough to taste it first. Just like yesterday it was infuse with the smell of laundry soap and tasted like it too! Done playing games I got out the vinegar and a bucket, took apart the mugs, and through everything including the coffee socks into the vinegar water to soak for the day. After tracking Josh down we watched the yard boss fiberglass the cabin top of a boat so we could get a better idea of what we are going to be doing to Full Moon. In the evening we walked over to Chris and Abe’s house to borrow the bronco, of course we took the opportunity to steel a little of their time just to talk. We went to eat at Anna’s Pizza and then did a little grocery shopping. Through we didn’t get a whole lot of work done today I feel a lot more comfortable helping Josh with the fiberglass when we finally get to that!

12Mar12

In all honesty I am writhing this a few days late so I can’t remember what we did during the day, but one of the highlights were that Gerry and Marie came today! I always enjoy seeing them and had been wondering what they were up to when out of no where there they were. Last time Gerry came Marie was not able to make it so it was nice to catch up with her and she got to see the progress on the boat. Gerry brought one of his nifty little inventions and I got the opportunity to see it in action and be envious at the ease of which he was able to sand and prep for fresh bottom paint. As usual we joined them for dinner and spent the time chatting about life and enjoying their company.

11Mar12
We Joined Taz for coffee this morning as we waited for the temperature to warm up. While Josh was helping Russ, Mike stopped by and invited me to have lunch with him and a couple who just bought the house across from his building. Rafael and Virginia were originally from Uruguay and moved here with there children 20 years ago, they were a very interesting couple! Rafael excitedly told me about his plans to build a Argentinean grill to make asada on, this caught my interest since Josh and I had just tried to make carne asada the other night using a cast iron pan his parent sent us for Christmas. It turned out okay but if I see an opportunity to watch a master at work when he told me we were invited to the first BBQ! I knew Josh would be excited to hear this since he has been fascinated for quite some time about traditional outdoor cooking methods and has drawn up a few plans of his own for a grill and outdoor oven! When I heard Rafael had pictures from making the grill at his current house I asked him to please bring the pictures knowing Josh would love to see them! I can’t wait to learn more about our new friends and am so glad Mike bought them over.

10Mar12

The morning was beautiful but deceiving as the temperature too cold for either of us to want to work on the cabin top. We spent some time in the cozy cabin just talking about life before venturing out into the marina to see who or what we could find. Josh and I made our way up to the boats on the hard and back to a small boat in the corner called “Knotty Gnome”; the marina had recently received the papers for her and Ken had offered us the opportunity to buy the boom on her. Josh has been considering putting a boom on the fore stay and this one looks like it may work. We continued our adventure by meandering down to a little picknick area over looking the docks, as we were chatting away a man named Taz that we had met a week or so ago joined us, finally, the excuse to not be working we were looking for! Not long after another man came to check on his boat for the first time since the season ended, after taking a look around his boat we moved on to see what else was going on. Weekends are when most people come to work on their boats, we on the other hand have been here all week and want some people time so we take advantage of this time to meet our social needs. We found Russ and who had just got his rudder back from the machine shop, since helping him means Josh gets to hang out with his buddy he eagerly joined Russ in his endeavor to reattach it to his boat. I returned to Full Moon and started some sanding, a short while later Mike showed up and invited me to have lunch with him at the cafe. I went to get Josh and Russ to join us, and left them once they promised to be right behind me. Of coarse that didn’t happen, so Mike and I enjoyed the company of other guys who were here for the day working on their boats. Josh and Russ showed up right after Mike had left. After lunch instead of going back to work I followed the guys back over to Yankee (Russ’s boat) and watched them finnish up the work for the day. Russ’s wife Betsy stopped by for a little while to check on the progress and we chatted for a bit, after she realize how limited my sailing experience is she insisted that the too of us should go sailing. I am so excited; 10 Betsy is a really sweet person and I would love to get to know her a little better, she is also more straight forward which I can really appreciate! 2) She knows a lot more about sailing than I do and coming at it from a woman’s point of view she will think of things that I need to know that they guys wouldn’t think of. I can’t wait for a chance to get out on the water with her!  

29Feb12

Happy Leap Day! The day started out gray and wet so Josh thought it may be a good day to go get some work done on Mike’s building. After taking showers, we set off down the marina driveway hoping our raincoats would keep us warm and dry, by the time we got to the road our pants were drenched and we had no desire to walk the 2.5 miles in the rain. Chris and Abe had been gone on vacation and we figured that they would be home by now so we decided to wander over and see how their trip had gone. Chris had gone into town but Abe was home and quickly welcomed us in. With everything she seems to have going she is too kind to not stop and chat for a while, unfortunately for her we enjoy her company too much to keep us from plopping ourselves down at her dining room table and staying a while. Our “little chat” lasted most of the day as Chris came home joining the conversation and Abe offered us lunch. Since I know Chris reads the blog I hope they know that we would never be offended if they kick us out because they have things to get done! When we left around 4 it was no longer raining and now warm, perfect for a walk! We wandered down to the Merry Point Ferry, riding it across the bay and back so Josh could talk with the ferry attendant (to our fellow Washingtonians: Yes, there is only one ferry attendant). I love this little ferry because it is nothing like the ones back home, it only holds 4 cars and there is a passenger limit of 6 people, it is pulled by a cable and the biggest difference is it is free! We strolled back to the marina and meandered up to the lounge to do our nightly routine. Over the last couple of days we have been talking about making our own bread from scratch, tonight I did a little research on how to cultivate natural leavening and making sourdough from scratch. Since Josh has been in my life I have gone from eating mostly organic food back to whatever is most affordable, with this change my stomach issues have reappeared along with some of the symptoms I had before I went on a gluten free/organic diet. We are trying to find a way to balance affordable and healthy and are willing to experiment with doing things the old fashioned way to put the two together. According to what I have been reading there is a connection between being able to properly digest gluten and the amount of time that the leavening bread is allowed to ferment. After finding some recipes and reading a few “how to” sites it is now time to produce a happy little family of bacteria so that we can try making home made long leavening organic bread, since they are living creatures we inadvertently solve the “do we want a pet” question and the healthy eating dilemma in one go! I am so excited to try some new baking techniques!

28Feb12
Josh left the tarps rolled up last night and it sure was nice not listening to them rattle in the wind all night! We were determined to get some work done after the unproductive weekend, so we both got to sanding. Josh worked on the edges around the cabin top while I continued to get the port lights cleaned up, once I finished sanding the paint off of the port light Josh came in and glued the gasket in place. Tomorrow we will get to see if we got the right gasket and if it is actually waterproof. 

25Feb12
Russ was here right on time this morning to picks us up for our little road trip to pick up the truck! Josh and Russ both love to talk so while they battled for the talking stick I sat in the back sit mostly listening and making small attempts here and there to get a word in. On our way home we stopped by Lowes where the guys headed straight for the tools. I wandered about finding things to keep me entertained since I know what a “quick stop” means when tools are involved. I managed to stumble across a grow your own herb kit complete with pots and a stand, I am so excited and can’t wait to start my little garden in a month or so! I am not a gardener and struggle to keep plants alive so I am hoping to have better results with herbs since they have a practical use. Russ headed home and left us to do some shopping. Once we made it back to the marina I started cooking a late dinner.

24Feb12
Okay, so obviously I am still working on this daily log thing. Over the last week Josh and I have tossed so many ideas around about the boat, we can’t help thinking “well, since we already have this ripped apart maybe we should…” We considered changing the companion way making it a pop up hatch and looked at the possibilities of hinged doors, before deciding to avoid the extra work. I tried to convince Josh that the door to the head needed improvement, at which he suggested we just remove the door altogether making me realize that the door we have is just fine the way it is. We started working on cleaning up the port lights in hopes that once we replace the gaskets they will no longer leak, the plastic windows have been pretty foggy since we got here so after popping one open I got a wet wash cloth to wipe it down. I was left a little disappointed, realizing that the fog was not going to come off with just water, Josh came up with the great idea to try toothpaste. As he began scrubbing at a small spot he explained to me about jewelers rouge and how it is used to polish gems, he wipe away the toothpaste smeared over the plastic to reveal the fogless window underneath. Over the last few days I have been slowly working scraping off the silicone and scrubbing off the fogginess.
Yesterday the previous owner stopped by unexpectedly. I always feels bad when he stops by only to find his beautiful boat all ripped apart, I hope that soon he will get a chance to see her when she is put back together. We ended up getting more visiting done yesterday than actual work, since Gerry came to work on his boat. It was too bad Marie was not able to make it over with him , but we look forward to seeing both of them next week!
It was warm, and balmy today and there was a storm predicted for this afternoon and evening. We a got some work done this morning and planned to start wrapping things up before it started raining. Around mid afternoon the wind started picking up, we put things we were worried about blowing away into the cabin, but decided to leave the tarps rolled up as long as possible. I poured us some rum and coke and we relaxed in the cockpit while waiting for the storm to hit. Josh tried to explain the basics of how the sails were rigged while I was giggling away with a dizzy head. Once we got the tarps strapped down we made our way up to the lounge to make dinner. Russ stopped in to ask Josh to help him pick up a truck he just bought about 3 1/2 hours from here, more than happy to help we eagerly agreed to give him a hand. Since we will need to be up early tomorrow it is time for bed. 

16Feb12

Josh still has a cold and it was predicted to rain today so we just took it easy. Josh finished the video and tried to get it on the blog but it was removed due to copy write issues with the songs on the video. I hope to be more active tomorrow! 

15Feb12
Josh woke up in the middle of the night with a stuffed up noes and feeling sick to his stomach. He got up for a while, but when he was finally back in bed he struggled to sleep, he tossed and turned and mumbled incoherent words. He had chills and possibly a fever for a while, no wonder he was feeling so achy. Once morning came Josh seemed to be doing a little better, I made him some tea to calm his stomach and we had some oatmeal for breakfast. Josh was determined to get some work done on the cabin top despite how he felt so we got out the tools and prepped the hole for gluing. We spent the afternoon gluing the wood in place and managed to get 4 holes filled; the first 3 round holes went relatively smoothly the 4th hole was a little more rocky. I was supposed to be mixing the epoxy and pouring it onto the board where Josh would take over spreading the glue over the boards, while I was stirring the mixture while watching Josh scrape the glue I had just poured for him on the smallest and first board when the container slipped out of my finger spilling epoxy all down the front of my coveralls, left shoe , and the deck 😦 not a good. Fortunately the epoxy mostly came off the  deck with some thinner, we still have to see how my shoe and coveralls turn out. After we finished the 4th hole we decided to leave the last one for the next nice day since the sun was going down. We went to clean up and noticed Mitchell was up at his boat so we stopped by to visit. He came down to take a look at the work and signed our guest book (an idea we got from the elderly couple we met the other day). Since Josh was feeling a bit better then he was last night we cleaned up and went out for a late Valentines dinner, it was a nice evening and a good way too end a long day.

 14Feb12
Mike had asked Josh to talk to a couple of the guys that had been working on the building and to make sure they knew what he wanted them to do. As we were about to head over Mike showed up, we were a little surprised since we thought he was going to be gone for a couple days. We rode with him over to the building and Josh got to work. A couple we had met a few weeks back had told us about a farm near by that may sell farm fresh, unwashed, eggs; we had been on the look out for these kind of eggs since they keep unrefrigerated up to 21 days. I thought it was time  to go for a little walk to see if I could find the farm, I wandered down the road observing the scenery along the way. I believe I found road to the farm but there was construction going on so decided to save that adventure for another day. On my way back I past a deer carcass and a vulture, apparently he thought that I was eyeing his meal so he followed me half way to make sure I didn’t get any ideas and make off with the rotting animal.  A little while later we came back to the marina so Josh could get to work on the bilge while I worked on the computer. I came down to the boat to see how things were going, Josh had me take pictures as he pulled chunks of epoxy out. By the time he got the last large piece up he was tired, sore and had many small scrapes and cuts on his hands. He offered to take me out for Valentines but he was seamed to be struggling to even stand up straight, so I told not to worry about it. “I feel like an achy old man, I don’t know what is wrong with me” he kept saying over and over, poor baby 😦 so I gave him a leg rub before dinner. I made the flat bread  that he likes again and we finished up the last of the curry and left over spaghetti From the night before. 

13Feb12
Josh went to work with Mike again, while I got started on putting the boat back together again from the work Josh is doing in the bilge. The other day we had an incident with something leaking in the icebox again so we have deemed it our dry food storage from now on, which means I am in the process of reorganizing the boat again. I know it sounds like I do that a lot but really just because…. ok I do it a lot. I spend a good deal of my time moving things from one spot to another so Josh or I can get to something or use the space. Josh and Mike came back and found me for lunch, after they went back to work I stopped to talk to peggy for a bit. Gerry and Marie showed up but determined to get something done I visited for just a few minutes before i took off to get laundry started. I really did try to stay focused but some how I found myself sitting with Gerry and Marie in their cabin. We talked a bit about one of the big issues in my life right now and that is where to store my spices. I have lots of them and use them all fairly regularly and since I am reorganizing again I have been trying to find a good spot for my teas and my spices. Gerry and Marie made several suggestions but since our boat is slightly smaller I wanted them to have a better perspective of the space I have available to make something work so I drug them down to Full Moon. I showed them the collection of spices I use most frequently and after several suggestions Gerry decided our best option was to get an extra dingy fill it with the spices and tie it to the stern of the boat. I also Showed them the issues we are having with the bilge and He recommended trying a dehumidifier, that is definitely not something I had considered before. At 5:30 it seemed it was time to find out what Mike was going to ask as ransom to release Josh, he looked exhausted. The four of us went into town and had dinner a pizza place called Anna’s, we had eaten there a couple times before and enjoyed the food. We got some groceries and headed back to the marina to crawl into bed. 

12Feb12
 It was a winding night and into this morning, the tide happened to be out as well so getting off of the boat and onto the dock was a real feat! The wind was blowing hard enough that it took quite a bit of effort for Josh to pull the boat lose enough to the dock for me to get off, once I could actually touch the dock I had to belly crawl onto it. I was not quite as embarrassed since it seemed to be a stretch for Josh as well (who happens to be a foot taller than I am). Once we finally made it up to the room I made breakfast and did some more online stuff. After a while Josh went off to work with Mike again while I stayed behind and did a little bit of research and watched a show with the woman working in the restaurant connected to the lounge. Peggy came up and the three of us looked up new yummy sounding recipes that we can’t wait to try out. Josh and mike showed up for late lunch and despite that the cafe was closed for the day Peggy was sweet enough to open back up and get cooking! In my rush to get the bathroom I slipped on some ice cutting my hand open pretty good. After a good meal the guys brought me back to Mike’s building with them, I think Josh is worried that if I am not monitored I will get into trouble…. I tried to help out a little moving some mettle shelve out from spot to spot so the guys could work around them. Once we made it back to the marina I got out the left over curry and added some red lentils my mom sent out to us.  While the food was cooking Josh preformed minor surgery on my hand and found the cut to be deeper than we expected. It was a long day and I will be glad once I am in cozy in bed!

11Feb12
Another great night of sleep, it seems the rocking of the boat agrees with me. Josh had made it out of bed before me and went up to the lounge to work on the movie of Full Moon being launched. He came back to the boat and found me putting the cabin back together, I joined him back in the lounge for breakfast and to work on the movie some more. After a while Mike came to pick Josh up to do some work, I hitched a ride with them to a second hand store not too far away from Mike’s building. They guys poked around a little bit before heading off to work, I looked around for a while longer finally settling on a book, and walked back to the building. Mike set up a little spot for me with a wicker couch and a heater so I could read, I can really appreciate the gestures of chivalry that are still fairly common out on the east coast. After a while we came back to the Marina and got some lunch at the cafe. I decided to stick around the marina while the guys went back to work. Josh got back just in time for the snow to start, we rushed out to the boat to secure the tarps. We spent the rest of the evening just relaxing in the lounge. Over all it was a pretty relaxing day for me.

10Feb12
I woke up refreshed from a great nights sleep and spent most of the day cooking. I made us peanut butter oatmeal for breakfast and upon Josh’s request I made chicken curry and an indian flat bread called chapati for dinner. Josh worked on the bilge trying to locate where the water was coming from, he was able to email the previous owner and got a little more information about how the bilge was designed. Dinner turned out better than I expected and we have a couple new recipes in the cookbook.

9Feb12
It was a full day with a run into town to pick up the decal for the hailing port (Thanks you, Russ for the ride), cleaning out the bilges to make sure they were all dry, and making sure everything was secure inside the boat for the travel lift. Josh, Russ, and I followed behind taking pictures as the lift carried our home to the launch. Over the last couple months we have watched several boats being retrieved with the lift and a few go out for sea trials, it always seemed like a fairly quick event. I was surprised how long it felt like it took to get Full Moon safely from the spot on the hard to being release from the straps of the lift into the water. While Josh was checking out the boat before we took her over to the slip one of the guys who had loaned us a few tools and brought us brownies showed up with a mushroom vent that he had floating around in his storage. Since we are only keeping one mushroom vent in the cabin top it will be the perfect replacement for the old crumbling vent. Him and Chris cast us off so we could motor around right in front of the marina before catching our lines at the slip and helping us tie off.

With all the excitement in the air for us I still couldn’t help feeling a hint of sadness and I think Josh felt it too. We couldn’t wait to get in the water, but on the hard we were in the middle of everything, we could see who was coming and going and we were in the perfect spot to meet new people. We liked being able to talk to the passerby’s and show them what we were up to, often getting tips and exchanging contact information. Fortunately this evening after we got Full Moon settled into the slip we met a couple who happened to be staying on their boat for a couple nights. We showed them our boat and then they invited us aboard to see theirs and sign their guest book. They were a charming elderly couple and as I spoke with the wife it was sweet to see her reminisce about their life together and you could hear how much pride and confidence she had in her husband. They got Entchen in Seattle, Wa in the 70’s and sailed it south and through the panama, taking their time through the islands. “We are all about keeping it simple” she told me with a smile, which is something Josh and I always tell ourselves that we want to be. She gave me many helpful hints while Josh took advantage of the opportunity to glean from the husbands experiences. It was encouraging to talk with them and it really helped me feel more at home in our new location. Mike came down and had dinner with us while enjoying our new view. Josh went with him to go do some work on the building he is restoring while I situated the tarps for the night and cleaned out the bilge.

8Feb12
Today we focused on getting ready to launch, I am so excited! Josh worked at removing the old hailing port and I did my usual run around. After making breakfast I started working on a through hole in the head, I have to admit it makes me a little squeamish since the hole I was working on is the one the pumps the stuff in the toilet out to the water when we are far enough away from shore…. Yep it’s the poop hole. Fortunately it doesn’t seem quite as bad since this is not my first experience working with the head plumping system. Josh had me test our 2 bilge pumps shortly after moved aboard, it needed to get done anyway and it was a great opportunity for me to learn a little more about the boat. The first bilge pump worked great I suck a little water out of a brand new container we got to store food in and Josh watched it come out a hole in the back of the boat. I was so excited to be helping and Josh seemed please with my eagerness to get involved and to really learn! The second bilge pump is the one that is supposed to turn on automatically if the bilge gets too full of water so it was pretty important that it worked properly. I held it in the water but nothing happened, “Hmm that’s not good.” I thought to myself, when in doubt call Josh. He came in took a look and got me a bigger water container, the grinding noise came on and there went the water, success! I pulled the pump out of the container and all the water came rushing out of it, I was pretty sure that the water should have gone out the back of the boat, when in doubt call Josh. He went and stood in the back of the boat and watched as I tried sucking the water up over and over, eventually a small trickle came out the back of the boat. He came up to check out the hoses, as I was sitting there holding a container of this gross water I was looking at the floating little chunks and thinking to myself “That would be really gross if some how those little chunks were poop… No it’s couldn’t be, don’t be silly! No one would connect the holding tank to a line that runs back in the the boat!” I was really trying ( and half successfully) to convince myself that my imagination was running away with me. Meanwhile Josh followed the lines to the cockpit and gave it a little wiggle, up went the water and josh went back to see that it had come out the back of the boat. He had me refill the container and he watched as half the water would come out the back and the other half would come running back into the bilge. He got a light and looked into the cockpit “Huh…” I knew right then that I wasn’t going to like what caused him to say that. Josh let me suck the water back up with the pump and flow back over my hands a few times before he had me follow the lines and connect the dots for myself. The holding tank vent was spliced into the same hose as our automatic bilge pump, and it seems that possibly the holding tank overflowed at one time and clogged the hose. I’m pretty sure he wanted to see if the water would work it’s way through on it’s own and he figured I would not want to play with it  anymore once I discovered what I was covered up to my elbows in. 

So after that little misadventure checking the through hull  in the head today was small beans in comparison. We found a small leak and Josh tightened it up. For the most part we just puttered around getting things ready and checking make sure everything worked properly. As we were out checking the lights in the early evening we were informed we had a package in the office. It was our brand new stock pot! I was so excited since I had already gotten stuff together to make soup tonight. We got our stuff and headed down to the room to relax, the pot worked beautifully and I anticipate many more soups and stews with it!

7Feb12

Today was my mom’s birthday so I gave her a call to wish her a happy birthday and thank her for the package she sent us. Josh had me call a local company to order a sticker for a new hailing port for the boat and after 10 minutes of “can you hear me now?” we got it all worked out. Over the last month or two I have realized that Josh could honestly live on peanut butter sandwiches and Top Ramen, so before he realizes he can make his own sandwiches and boil water I decided to take a proactive approach to position security on the boat. I rolled up my sleeves and got to work cleaning the cabin, I started with a dusty jar sitting on the cutting board, filling with a little water and swishing it around. I popped up to the deck and tossed the water over the side over boat right onto the laptop bag that I set down there and forgot about! After giving Josh’s laptop a bath I proceeded with my cleaning spree, pulling out the shop vac that we used to clean up the sawdust with last night so I could empty it. Before I could get out of the cockpit the vac fell open and saw dust dumped everywhere! Josh came trotting up the stairs to see what happened only to find his laptop drying in the sun and his boat a mess… and I bet he was starting to wonder what he was thinking when he brought me along on this adventure. Fortunately the worst of the day was over with and I was actually able to get the cabin clean and have a small list of thing to get done tomorrow before we put Full Moon in on Thursday.

Josh and I have decided that I should keep a a daily log from my perspective. Since we spend a good portion of most days together our logs will over lap in content, we hope this will give everyone a better and broader perspective of what our life is like. 

29Jan12

Josh was eager to check on the dingy he filled up yesterday to see if it had any leaks and sure enough one section of it had deflated. We got soapy water and located the hole, fortunately there was only one. Russ and a couple other friends came up to check out Josh’s handy work on the cabin top. We spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning up the clutter that had started building up in the cockpit and on the aft deck. While we were on a roll organizing we checked out some of the stuff that the previous owner left for us in a storage shed.We brought most of the stuff back to the boat and found homes for it. We wrapped the boat for the evening, hoping for another day of good weather.

28Jan12
Well so much for my daily log…

Today I smelled some funk in our ice box so I pulled everything out to find that something had leaked. I couldn’t figure out what it was or how long it had been doing it’s thing but the funk had to go. I scrubbed it out with bleach water and sprinkled baking soda around to absorb the moisture and smell, leaving it open to dry. I spent most of the rest of the afternoon working on the rub rails. Josh started to do some more sanding on the roof but another bearing went out on the sander so we will have to wait for the replacement part. Russ was kind enough to let me use his shop vac so I could finish cleaning out the ice box before I put everything back into it. I have been wanting to try growing some herbs on the boat, and after looking though some Thai recipes with friends yesterday I am even more eager to try! Josh and I ordered a couple of used Thai cookbooks and a mortar and pestle to encourage our culinary exploits.

20JAN12

Today, Josh made a good attempt at explaining how the wiring for our solar panel is supposed to work, I appreciate his patience while I get the hang of life on a boat. This afternoon I helped Peggy in the kitchen, we have been planning to make a chocolate fudge pudding cake and finally got a chance. Being the chocolate lover that I am I eagerly got to work mixing the ingredients; first the  dry: flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt, carefully mixing them together before adding the liquids; milk, oil, and vanilla. Topping it off with a brown sugar/cocoa powder mixture and pouring boiling water over before sliding it in the oven, letting it form into to the warm, gooey pan of rich chocolate goodness we were anticipating. About 40 minutes later we sliced into the dessert only to realize that sometimes recipe titles are misleading. I am not saying the cake didn’t turn out well, just that it was not extreme punch of chocolate that I was looking for in a chocolate fudge pudding cake. We made a chocolate whipped cream to give it a little something extra and called it good. Josh and I have been missing pumpkin desserts and were thinking maybe pumpkin chocolate chip muffins sounded good, I can’t wait to try the next recipe! Hopefully soon I can give our oven a try!

Format and series for reader to fallow. Timeline

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7 Comments

7 thoughts on “Dear Anna… (Shea’s Journal)

  1. Trent

    Oh boy living on a boat egg? Me too except I got it like a Hilton that is almost ready to cruise!

  2. I feel so happy you decided to do that! You have been a wonderful friend to me as well, and I look forward to reading a note here from you everyday. (or at least most days.) 🙂 What an honor, thanks Shea Shea!

    ❤ Anna

  3. Anna Breedlove

    Oh goodness! I so wouldn’t have wanted to be touching that stuff if I had figured it out either! You are such a good sport. I read Josh’s account of Full Moon being put in the water today. So happy for you both! Yippee! Tonight you get to sleep with the rocking of the gentle waves… if there are any gentle waves. 🙂

    • It was a good day 🙂 I had the best night’s sleep last night! I put my post up today, I just get too sleepy at night to do it.

  4. Hmmm… I keep checking this log – but 23 feb is the last one. 😦 Maybe you could log at least once a week? Hope you are doing well! 🙂

    • Teehee that was just me being a doofus! It should be from March 23rd but I dated all of March’s entries for feb. I fixed and will try and be better about logging 🙂

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