Tuesday, January 27, 2015

It's a Small World...When You've Got a Blog

Most of the time, I love the fact that we have a blog. It's given me a wonderful outlet to write, gotten us some amazing deals on gear, resulted in some cool sponsorships, and - best of all - has connected us with some incredible people all over the world.  The fact that our blog has a decent sized readership combined with the fact that we now find ourselves in the charter capital of the world means that we, at times, can be "recognized" while we are out and about which is pretty interesting, if not a little shocking. In the past week, we've witnessed no fewer than four "light bulb" moments when the people we've been talking to around the marina or by the pool all of a sudden either a) tally the children who are with us or b) see our boat and say, "Wait a minute! You guys have that blog, right? You are Windtraveler!" Yep. That's us. I must admit it's a tiny bit embarrassing (I mean, to be recognized by strangers for blogging?) but also pretty cool. We have yet to meet a follower who was not completely wonderful, interesting and kind. We have great readers, that is for sure.

The other cool thing about blogging is the blogging community itself. Right now there are quite a few fellow bloggers in the area and last week we got to meet up with Carly and her lovely family of Salty Kisses (if you think we are crazy, check them out! They are attempting the Northwest Passage with their three kiddos this summer). We've also had the pleasure to meet a couple long-time followers who'd emailed us in advance telling us they'd be in the area and would we be able to meet to say hello? Of course we are crazy busy at the moment, so gone are the days when we can kick back in the cockpit with a few cold ones, but I'm always happy to say hello and (if projects allow) give people a little tour of our boat. That said, I would particularly like to say thanks to Mark and his beautiful daughter, Lauren, for making the effort to stop by after their charter trip (Lauren - the world is your oyster, girl!) it was great to meet you both and I'm only sorry we couldn't have hung out longer. I also owe a very big THANK YOU to the Pingle Family (I'm talking to you Walter and Colleen!) who randomly recognized us by the pool, and then gave us a very generous cash donation for "all the blog entertainment throughout the years." Me being me, of course, got misty eyed at this incredible kindness and had a hard time accepting it. But then we went to Budget Marine and saw that the simple fan for Isla's berth was over $100 so we graciously accepted and thanked them in advance for keeping Isla cool at night.

In hindsight, I wish I would have gotten photos with all these great people but these days my brain is pretty fried. Between the tropical heat, my running around like a crazy lady all day long, and the fact that many nights I lay awake making lists and walking through scenarios in my head means I am usually a little "slow on the uptake" as it were. So I have no pictures of these great folks other than those in my mind's eye. It'll have to do.

As for projects, we have gotten a ton of great stuff done and while we're definitely feeling the pressure of our less than one week countdown (AJ leaves Wednesday, Grandma leaves Saturday - once our helpers leave, work will come to a screeching halt) we are feeling pretty good about what is going on. Our boat will seriously be better than ever in so many ways and this feels very good.

We have hired out some work in the interest of time, but the bulk of it has been done by Scott and AJ. Here's a list of what we have done - in no particular order- and what are working on, in case you are curious:

  • Bottom painted and hull polished (done by yard before we got down)
  • Replaced all zincs
  • Tested all thru-hulls
  • All lines re-run and sails put back on
  • Polished all (well, most!) stainless
  • Checked engine/genset zincs
  • Re-wired our Rogue wave WiFi booster (new antenna on the way)
  • Slowed leak on our generator heat exchanger (new end cap and assembly on the way)
  • Designed twin berth (the local sailmaker is tackling this, as it was too complex for me to sew)
  • Designed twin dinghy seat (local sailmaker tackling this as well)
  • Re-purposed old (very cumbersome) cockpit table into additional shelving throughout the boat
  • Added two more shelves in hanging lockers adding a LOT more usable storage space
  • Removed our old microwave (we never used it) and added a shelf for food storage
  • Added a fan in the walk through for Isla's berth
  • Designed a lee board for Isla's berth (local wood worker made this, we didn't have the length of wood we needed)
  • Designed additional counter space by having the local woodworker re-purpose an old countertop into cutting board covers for sink and stove
  • Moved light in the v-berth from port to starboard side so not in the twin bunk (little fingers would have found it for sure!) and added one additional light
  • Re-bedded leaky deck prism
  • Fixed leaking forward hatch
  • Serviced a ceased winch (checked all others - fine)
  • Added washer to bow roller shaft to eliminate clunking noise when boat swings at anchor
  • Checked all toilets to ensure they work (they do - phew!)
  • Mounted the brackets for Isla's lee board (her little bed rocks!)
  • Re-wired engine starter circuit (there were some fried wires in there from a previous issue)
  • Replaced DC outlets in the salon and moved DC outlet port from Isla's bunk to the nav station (important for a power-hungry bloggers' office!)
We have created a ton of space and, right now, our boat is more or less empty of personal effects which means we *should* have plenty of room for all our toys, clothes and (gulp) the provisions (have I mentioned how much I despise provisioning?) One of the many things I love about this boat is the fact that she has a ton of storage. We'll need it!

While there has been a lot of work going on, don't be fooled... There's been a little play as well. My mom and I take the girls to the pool almost daily (they are definitely the fish they were predestined to be!) and we take loads of walks around the lovely marina ground that is Nanny Cay. By 7pm when the kiddos are in bed, the boys and I usually head to the local beach bar for a nightcap to discuss the day's work and make a list for the next day, it's a nice way to unwind and lists made over cold beers are always better. 

Alight...Back to work! Here's some pics of progress and our daily life for you...
Added additional counter space over the stove
We added the middle shelf, and some more decorative bins for one of the main toy storage areas
Removed the microwave from this space (not pictured) and added a shelf for additional (easy access) food storage
Replaced the old starboard sink cover with a butcher block one. Much nicer.
Work and play, work and play. 
Carly and I enjoying some cocktails sans kiddos!
The beginnings of Isla's bunk!


Joy said...

Please keep us updated on the work bench bunk. We have an almost identical space that we are thinking about for our 2 year old. 5 months until we move aboard full time!

Unknown said...

What a lovely post. Cruisers are such kind generous people. Please come find us if Scott needs Carl's help with mechanical stuff, he really can work some magic. And remember to drink lots of water, you're busy busy busy!

Valerie said...

How fun that you were recognized out in public! I love all of your updates especially the extra counterspace. Can't wait to see updates on Isla's bunk.

Unknown said...

That is so cool! I have recently had the same thing happen - people coming up to me who have been reading the blog and its like they know us, but we don't know them. Kind of strange but cool as well. Happy sailing! :)

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Unknown said...

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