Monday, April 23, 2012

This sabbatical is hard work!

Just yesterday the wind had calmed and Dan went up the mast to take down the diamond stays..... one of which had busted.  Wish I had gotten a picture of that but I was too busy biting my fingernails.  That boy must be a former scaffold-rigger!  All is well and Dan took the stays to be copied.  One step closer to being mobile.  
Oh, and an entrepreneur who lives on this dock cleaned all the nasty sea grass and barnacles off the bottom of the boat.  He did a great job.  I think the boat will be able to move now once all the rigging is replaced.  We are getting antsy to sail.  The standing rigging is really the only thing keeping us from sailing.
Dale and Ray took Pearl out for a spin a few days ago and it is now in danger of growing sea grass just from being in the water since then.  Barnacles!
They keep wanting to use the motor, but first they have to be able to row, then they can sail, then motor.........
Dan started another set of bookshelves in the port side hull.  He has a very sturdy bottom shelf built.  He also built a "special shelf" for Dale in which she is keeping special stuff, like letters from friends.  She is really missing her classmates and friends and is looking forward to hearing from them!
Here is Ray being studious amongst the clutter
It's truly getting better every day in terms of organizing our living space.   But, it's hard work man!

We had to go check out the sand sculptures at the Sandfest that is held here on the beach.  Wow!  There are some amazing sand sculptors out there.  Couldn't bring ourselves to go when it was super crowded so we waited till it was over!   Most of the sculptures were still standing.

Dale started working on hers right away!

Dale surfing and petting a dolphin
Dale in her cabin
Thanks Aunt Patty for the pajama pants ( and thanks Ona for adding elastic!)  Thanks Barbie for the stick-on, peel-off animal critters to decorate with!
It was nice to see Dan's sister Pam on the way here.  
Uncle Bob and Dale hunt out Easter eggs
"me with the cute face, and braids like Hollywood in my apron dying Easter eggs.  P.S. I'm NOT vain!"
Extra bonus to get to see Jen and Dave! (Dan's brother)
The cousins got to play together!
Dan and niece Sara (eat your hearts out Robin, Hannah and Amber! Wish you could have been there too)

We really enjoyed our visit at your house Pam & Bob.  Thanks for having us!

Now, back to work....or is it play?  Dan is working on Olivia's outboard.  The controls seemed to have rusted away after it had a near-sinking experience.  It is getting all patched up.

It's fun being in Port A.  Hope to talk to you all soon.  Please let me know if it's OK to post a picture of you here.  

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Unpacking, upgrading and repairing.

We've been setting up Sunny Ray to be a comfortable, safe and functional ride.  Lot's of work.  We will likely be here in Port Aransas Texas until late May.  Then we'll start to boogie out of the Gulf before hurricane season.  A sample of things to do;  Clean barnacles off hull, replace all standing rigging (stainless steel cables that hold up the mast), build cabinets and a toolbox/workshop area, etc.  Just yesterday a new repair item landed on the list.  Our wind generator is starting to make a scratching sound when it spins and it's providing less amps so I get to take it all apart and soup it up.  I love this stuff.  Right now the only uncomfortable aspect is that we have unpacked boxes all over the place.  We brought too much stuff with us and now we have to figure out what to do with it all.  At least the boat can carry it all, the water line still looks acceptable, but we have trouble walking around inside with all the stuff in the way.
The kids want to keep buying more toys with their allowance, but their bedrooms are already full.  Last night some buddies of mine back in Tucson called.  We chatted for a while and it left me feeling a little sad about not being able to spend time with my good friends from Tucson.  We want to have visitors...  NOT YET, but soon.  We'll find some gorgeous tropical locale with an airport handy, pick up our guests and spend a week playing on the water.
Boat life rocks.  Friday night the kids and I walked a few hundred yards over to the city park to listen to a free concert.  The band was playing old surfing songs from the Beach Boys and Jimmy Buffet.  While we were enjoying the songs, the kids and I walked along a sea wall and got the latest fishing tricks from some local fishermen.  Then a little later we walked along the docks to look at the mega yatchs, and other unusual boats.  We met a crusty old sailor who was drunk as can be stumbling around on his boat.  He was telling us how he has sailed all over the world and lived on his boat for 25 years.  This guy was lean, tan and muscular and looked as healthy as can be.  Gray hair all over him and leathery skin.  He suggested we rig up the bosuns chair  and raise people up the mast to get a better view of the harbor.  I was a little concerned because this guy was loaded so I said "I don't need a bosuns chair" and I shimmied up the mast and sat on the spreader.  I love a good chance to show off.
Until next time...

Yours truly, Dan

Friday, April 13, 2012

Crazy couple of weeks!

Leaving for Port Aransas from Willcox on the 6th of April....... the theme from Beverly Hillbillies kept going through our heads....
Dan just built these awesome bookshelves in the kid's hull.  It holds all their books for school (unless I missed a box) and some more.  We are still unloading and organizing and re-packing some things and giving some things away.  Everyday it feels more like a home!
Dale and Ray have been enjoying fishing.  Dale caught 10 or 11.  Ray wants me to tell everyone that he caught zero!  It's been extra gusty the last few days.  Great for sailing but we're not to that point yet.  Dolphins welcomed us to Port A!
Thanks Aunt patty  for the wall tracks!

The top picture is from my aunt Pam's house and the bottom pic is from my cousin's house
Hi this is me Dale. I got lots of candy. Some people double dog dared me to jump in the pool  with my church clothes on just to get an Easter egg. Mackenzie stared at me thinking that I was crazy jumping in the pool with my church clothes on. Bye guys!
 And at my cousin's house, I got my favorite mound bars!

Thanks everyone for the wonderful send-off from Tucson and Willcox!  Thanks for all the good wishes and genuine emotion.  We are missing everyone and planning on some fun rendezvous!  We feel well-loved.  Hope you do too.
Let me know if I can post some fun pictures of you here.... wanted to check first.