Thursday, June 25, 2009

I Love Mr. Clean


  • We are not going to be angry at the person who put the camera where it does not belong. We are just going to be grateful that we still have the camera and the photographic evidence of the wonders of the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.
     Bad scratch sadly upon our hull...
    boat 002
    But wait! Mr. Clean says he can clean it!
    boat 003
    A little bit of effort, and...
    boat 004
    No one knows about my infamous docking tragedy! Yay for Mr. Clean who is now my boyfriend because I puffy heart love him forever. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

All That and a Side of Sweet Potato Fries

You may recall that I previously mentioned an "inglorious docking manuever" on our eventful outing on Ceol Mor. Well, I wasn't the only one to have a bit of a tussle with a dock. Apparently, the previous owners decided to take the boat out for one last sail before we transferred the title. It seems that they found 42 feet of boat a bit much to handle as well as evidenced by the deep scratch along the port side hull. My screw up was on the starboard side and I would like to add, was quite a bit smaller in scope.

Here is the damage report- Starboard side 2 feet of intermittent scratches, fender rub Port side, 5 foot long deep scratch. Normally I would post photos of the damage but somebody (who shall remain nameless) left the camera out where it could be easily pilfered. Next week, digital camera shopping!

Since our hull has been painted with Awlgrip which is notoriously finicky about which products to use, my first thought to clean up the hull was using the recommended polish Awlcare. Well, no one had any Awlcare in stock and the stuff is ridiculously expensive. So I put on my thinking cap and had a light bulb moment- Magic Eraser!

The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser has worked on everything in my home- flat finish painted walls, shower glass, ceramic tile, perfectly. I thought that I had nothing to lose so I thought I'd give it a shot. Mark was dubious as to whther or not it would work and whether or not it would damage the finish.

The Magic Eraser not only worked, it worked easily and efficiently leaving no evidence behind. No one but Mark and you dear readers would ever know about my bone headed docking manuever. Hurray! I should point out that our hull is white. I do not know how the Magic Eraser will work on a dark painted hull so if you are trying to hide evidence of a bash up, do a test area in an inconspicuous area before taking the Magic Eraser down the hull.

Now we are ready to clean the hull, the properly polish her up with Awlcare after her haul out. MagicEraser

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Owning a sailboat doesn't mean you will actually SAIL

While I was busy escorting Maura off to the piney woods for a fun filled week of horses, S'mores and swimming, Mark was busy working on the boat. His good friend Bill Blizzard keeps his lovely boat Moondance at the same marina. (The photo of Maura and Mark on Maura's first sail was taken on Moondance). Bill happened to be at the marina on Sunday and was able to take the time to lend a hand so that Mark could take Ceol Mor out for a spin. Bill is an accomplished sailor and it was good for Mark to have a mentor to further his sailing skills. Other than a near grounding in what proved to be a bit of non-worrisome sludge, they had an uneventful little sail out in Galveston Bay and by all accounts, thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

 On Tuesday, seeing as how we were sans children Mark and I decided to take Ceol Mor out for a bit to practice manuevering under power and sailing a bit to get used to Ceol Mor's size, which is quite a bit larger than what we are used to and yes- size does matter. We removed all of the covers, checked the fuel and oil and prepared to take off. Here is Mark preparing to leave our slip, on our boat, for the first time alone.
  • Mark at helm
    Doesn't he look happy? A man with the boat he loves, about to go sailing with his AWESOMELY COOL WIFE on a perfect day with winds out of the south at 10-20 mph. No clouds on the horizon and 6 hours of sunlight left. Perfect
  • .
    We managed to nudge Ceol Mor out of her slip with only a momentary bit of panic from me. I was acutely aware at how much larger Ceol Mor is than anything I had sailed previously as we approached the boats moored up behind us. 42 feet is a lot of boat. Everyone assures me it will get easier but I am a big chicken. The sailing doesn't scare me, but the parking does!

  • Mark handled Ceol Mor beautifully, got her pointed down the channel and off we motored towards the bay. As we turned into to the primary channel, I noticed the engine sounded a I questioned Mark about this. I should have known by the way he said " we're fine" that something was off. Mark has a way of becoming rather terse when under stress and I noticed he was very short in his response. All the same, he kept Ceol Mor pointed towards the bay and since I have infinite trust in his superior mechanical skills, I figured he would mention if there was a problem so I continued to watch for oncoming boat traffic, debris in the channel, etc.
  • I waved as the new owners of the very little Island Packet I had so wanted to purchase motored smoothly past us on its way to its new berth, just 4 slips down from ours on the next pier over from ours. I was feeling a bit wistful for the little IP. I think Ceol Mor sensed my longing for the little tug because it was at this moment that Mark said " We're going back" and began to turn the boat around. I turned my head to ask him why when I saw this:
  • boat 029Let us speak briefly about things you do not wish to see pouring out of your companion way.
    1. Water
    2. Smoke
    That about sums it up. Smoke coming out of your companion way is bad. Water pouring out of your companion way is worse so we should all be grateful and thankful that it was the lesser of two evils.

  • I immediately stuck my head in as far as I possibly could to offer what assesment I could to Mark without pulling a Sylvia Plath in all of the diesel fumes. "The good news is there don't appear to be any flames. The bad news is, we now seem to be gathering a bit of water in the cabin" I told Mark. Mark was cool as a cucumber as he carefully eyed the temperature gauge and motored as slowly and carefully as he could back to the marina. I was offering up prayers to any and all dieties, spirits or powers that be that we manage to get Ceol Mor back to her slip in one piece so that we could assess the situation from the safe position of her berth, rather than in the middle of the channel. I am not certain which one picked up the hot line, but I was feeling grateful as we neared our marina.

  • The smoke from the exhaust seemed to gather in its intensity as we made our way back. This was the longest 20 minutes you can imagine as we glided by in our smoking hot boat (HA!) past the other sailors going out for an evening sail.
    boat 030
  • We once again, passed the little, non smoking IP with its new owners snug in its new berth. *sigh* After an inglorious docking manuever ( Mark did fine, I am the reason Ceol Mor now has a skid mark on her starboard side. Again 42 feet is a LOT of boat), we managed to get her tied up and assess the situation. We are down one exhaust pipe. Apparently, the exhaust pipe decided it was time to retire and blew out in spectacular fashion.
  • While were underway with an open exhaust line, the water intake for the engine cooling continued to do its job, intake water. Unfortunately, at this time the bilge pump which we had already decided needed some companions decided it wasn't going to work solo and retired as well. That explains the water in the cabin. Here's a photo of me perfecting the fine art of manual bilge pumping. Fortunately, the manual bilge pump works GREAT!  boat 032

    After such a stressful outing, Mark and I did what any prudent Old Salt would do in our situation. We ran to the pool to cool off and get the smell of diesel out of our nose and off of our skin. Then we had a dinner at a dockside restaurant with scallops, fish and copious amounts of adult beverages.  Nothing soothes the bruised pride that sailing provides quite like a good rum, except maybe two rums.
    Coming up next week- diesel engine exhaust repair and bilge pump installation 101! WHEEEEE! Owning a boat is F-U-N! I almost wrote some different letters after the FU...

Monday, June 1, 2009

Lyle Lovett - If I Had a Boat

Ceol Mor is officially, really and truly ours today. All that is left to do is to sign the paperwork, which we are doing in three hours time. YAY! Oh...wait...its the beginning of hurricane season. EEK! Hopefully, having had Ike hit last year we should be statistically safe from a direct hit for another 5-10 years.
I've been singing this song all weekend. It perfectly sums up my mood just now- enjoy.