Thursday, February 10, 2011

Dock Life

As we continue our annual “vacation” from boating, it appears I am also taking a vacation from blogging. But the dockside days go by quickly and life isn’t quite as eventful on a day-to-day basis as when we are traveling.

Todd and I finally recovered from the nasty colds we were nursing at the time of our last update (January 14th) and have been tackling a long list of boat projects in our spare time. On Tuesday, January 25th, we took the boat over to Gulfport Marina to pump out the holding tanks so Todd could begin several projects that would require the engines to be out of commission for an extended period of time.

On Friday, January 28th, we headed to Lutz, north of Tampa, to spend the weekend with Lisa & Steve. That afternoon we did a little horseback riding before returning to their house for a marathon of games that lasted until 3:00 a.m.!

Saddled up and ready to go for a ride on Ireland.


The games started with Bop-It. Nothing like repeatedly banging yourself in the head with a hard piece of plastic!




And moved on to Quelf, which is always a bizarre game, as evidenced by the activities captured in the following photos.







This tie was part of the game, too. As I recall, Lisa was required to tie a Windsor knot in it and failed, so the Captain showed her how it was done! He had lots of experience in his “former” life.


Don’t they make a cute couple?


Late Saturday morning we headed to the horse races at Tampa Bay Downs, and it turned out to be an absolutely beautiful day to enjoy an outside activity.

A gorgeous day at the horse track.


But after having had such a late night Friday, none of us were very energetic that evening!



We all went back to the barn Sunday afternoon to spend some time with Ireland and Dakota. While we were there, Steve and Todd played horseshoes with a couple of the other barn people.



Have you ever seen a fatter pig in your life… seriously?!!!


Sweet Ireland.


And gentle Dakota.


Lisa goes for a ride on one of the other horses – Gypsy, I believe.


Then it was off to Vallarta’s for some yummy Mexican food and margaritas and back to the house to watch “Secretariat.” Well, three of us watched the movie. About thirty minutes into it, Lisa was sound asleep on the couch!

Monday we made our way back to St. Petersburg where our boat projects awaited. Todd has spent a good deal of time in “the holy place” taking the transmission coolers, oil coolers and heat exchanges off both engines, cleaning out the bilge and the sump pump, replacing fuel filters, etc. He has painted his two new oil coolers and two new heat exchangers and is currently in the process of putting the engines back together.

The Captain paints his new heat exchangers in Cathy’s garage.


On the home front, Todd has been working on various “honey-do” projects for Cathy, the most time-consuming of which was cleaning out and reorganizing her garage. But as you can see in the above photo, he did an amazing job and it looks wonderful!

We have also been tackling a number of projects in other parts of the boat: sanding and repainting the dinghy davit pole on the sundeck, sanding the remaining stain off the exterior teak, sanding and staining the inside of the front hatch, cleaning the rust off the stainless steel, etc.

Sanding the wood on the inside of the front hatch.


And, of course, there are still projects to be done: replacing worn parts on the VacuFlush toilet in the aft stateroom, sealing leaks around the radar arch on the flybridge, waxing the topside of the boat, applying gloss to the handrails, polishing the stainless steel, etc., etc., etc. The list goes on and on and on…. After all, it is a boat; need I say more? (I know our boater friends can relate!)

Today is Thursday, February 10th, and after a few hours of light rain this morning, it appears we are going to have a sunny afternoon. So, back to the boat projects we go as another week of our “vacation” from boating slips away.