Monday, March 25, 2013

Motivational Videos

I have been following Chuck and Laura as they cruise LeaLea, a 27ft Albin Vega, across the Pacific Ocean. They have an excellent website at and a YouTube channel as well. Over the weekend I did my usual YouTube check and found these 2 videos. The scenery and peacefulness in these videos is unbelievable. Thank you Chuck and Laura for taking us along for the trip!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Cabin Fever!

We live in what people consider the start of the South. Well I am here to tell you that it is not far enough south for this sailor! It has been rainy and cold for several weeks now, and as I write this I can hear the falling icy rain "wintry mix" tinkling against our windows. This winter season has been unseasonably cold; not freezing, but unpleasantly cold. Just two years ago at this time we were sailing our Sal home in 50-60 degree weather with sunny skies. 2013 has brought us one Nor'Easter after another, and quite frankly it is starting to grate on my nerves.
We have quite a few small cruising trips on the Chesapeake planned but as we have said earlier there are things like painting and fiberglass work that has to get done first....Spring please start already! A glimmer of hope is on the horizon though: I looked at the extended weather forecast this afternoon and it is looking positive. All we can do is wait and plan at this point.
Cozy V-berth, but all-original and like many boats of this vintage....dark.
Goal number one will be to finish the v-berth. October 2011 (has it been that long??!) I took the v-berth apart to clean the water tank that was built into the hull. Unfortunately to access this tank the v-berth had to come apart...and so apart it came. Once we had access to the tank were we ever glad we had never tried to drink from it! To say it was gross would be an understatement. It was full of dirt and black mold. I began by making a new lid as the original was aluminum and was heavily corroded.  40+ years of water had really taken its toll. I made a new lid of plywood covered with fiberglass and West Systems Epoxy.
You can see the original lid still in place but getting closer to accessing it

This was the foul mess found in the tank....

 Our heavily corroded lid

Tank all cleaned waiting for FDA approved epoxy coating

Here's the new lid, it has 2 layers of glass and 4 coats of epoxy on the underside. Bottom will have an additional coating of FDA approved epoxy.
Since these pictures were taken, I have done a bit more additional work. I have sanded down all the bulkheads and overhead. All those sanded surfaces still need final prep work, primer, then paint. Still deciding on whether to save money and use a quality home enamel???? Once we get some good weather and the temperature gets above 60 I will coat the tank and start reassembling the v-berth. One of the things we decided is we did not want a lot of wood in the berth. We want it to be nice and bright so we are going to paint it all and just have wood accent pieces.
As you can see we have our work cut out for us. We will keep you posted!


Thursday, March 14, 2013


 Perfect boat dog
 Supporting evidence he's the perfect boat dog
 Hey! Hey!What are you doing, wanna play?
Not much too say, That face says it all! He's a simpleton!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

N4WIS is on the Air

Time is chugging away, and thanks to Daylight Savings we just lost another hour. But spring is almost here, and not a moment too soon! There hasn't been any sailing on Sal in nearly 8 weeks, though we have been busy trying to make plans for a few extended trips with her this year. Before these trips can happen, a lot has to be done. We have to make our little ship habitable again by finishing the refit of our berthing area. For that to happen the weather has to be a bit warmer to complete the paint and fiberglass work. In the meantime we have been busy with a few other things we enjoy. The wife has been hard at work with her yoga teacher training. I have been busy with school and playing ham radio. This past weekend I had a chance to operate aboard the USS Wisconsin (BB-64/N4WIS) here in Norfolk. Having served in the Navy, it was very nostalgic for me, and I found that I honestly miss it more than I realized. Something about being aboard one of those ships just makes me feel like I belong there. Anyway, here are a few pics to keep you entertained.
Getting ready for the Rio 2016 Olympics...?

Sun setting on a rather chilly day

 BB-64 Berthed in Norfolk on the Elizabeth River
That bow is a long way away!

 KN4KL doing a little troubleshooting in the new Wisconsin Radio Club operating room
All bundled up as we visit Salacia on a cold and windy February day.