Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

We here on Ceol Mor are all about going all out for any holiday we can. Valentine's Day is just another excuse to really lay on the lavish gifts and be all Hallmarky and stuff. You didn't buy it, did you? Maybe just for a minute?

Actually Mark gave me the most romantic proof of his love for me ever. He spent Valentine's Day slaving away on the boat to ensure that I have rock solid plumbing on the boat. Nothing says 'I love you' more than upgrading the sanitation hoses and putting in vented loops. That is love I tell ya.

Meanwhile, I reciprocated Mark's generosity by making romantic gestures such as laundry, running Kitty to gymnastics and the playground, getting Maura to school and by generally making sure everything back at the Casa runs smoothly so he doesn't have to worry about it. This weekend, I will further demonstrate my adoration of him by redoing the crooked buttons on the salon cushions and repairing the crap job I did on the salon curtains. Swoon.

Divide and Conquer. Sometimes it is a necessary evil if you want to keep moving forward.
Today it was largely just Kitty and I kicking it while Mark and Maura attended to other aspects of life. So today, its just shots of the wee girl.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Mardi Gras and the Master Cabin

Work is slowly progressing on the master cabin. All traces of the former head compartment have been removed and construction has begun in earnest. Just look at this boat- we are NOT even playing. There is some serious reconstruction going down.

The area on the port side, just at the top of the berth where the yellow portable light is currently sitting will have drawers for storage at the bottom, a fiddled shelf such as the one on the starboard side and the upper cabinet will mostly be taken up by a plumbing run. The low box on the port side will provide additional storage as well as a seat. You really appreciate those little seats when trying to get dressed underway!

The insert for the berth will be permanently attached so no more sleeping on a total of 3 cushions- a real mattress will fit. The area under berth insert will be enclosed for sail storage and there will be a step installed on the port side to make getting in and out of the berth easier.

Yes, Mark has turned the galley into a full on wood shop. Its not as if I would be whipping up any culinary masterpieces anyway. This is the look Mark has when he is thinking "big thoughts" and by 'big thoughts" I mean thinking of how inadequately designed X is and how it can be improved by reengineering it all and designing it with functionality at the forefront. Sometimes I let him think his big thoughts but other times I remind him that the best is the enemy of the good enough. I never tell him that about the master cabin though.  Can not wait for it to be done!

While the sawdust was flying, the girls enjoyed some pre Mardi Gras festivities. I am a big fan of small town, homely Mardi Gras parades. Still fun, still plenty of libations and indulgences, but much more family friendly. A community based event rather than a commercial blow out. A lot less boobs and vomit than the tourist attended parades of New Orleans. (A NOLA resident doing the puking is rare, its usually the tourist!) The kind of Mardi Gras fun I like. The Kemah parade was just about perfect. Decorated golf carts full of local kids we know, a few pirate filled floats, dogs dressed up festively, drill teams and beauty queens and lots and lots of beads. Once Kitty figured out the items thrown were intended for her she had a blast. Maura lamented that Kitty has 3 times as many beads. Ah the advantages to being tiny....


This may have been the Ultimate fun Trifecta for Kitty : pirates, dogs and 'beans'. She really likes her shiny 'beans'.

Friday, February 1, 2013

And the head goes bye bye

Words can not adequately express my excitement at the interior destruction going on aboard Ceol Mor these days. Things might currently look to be in an absolute state of upheaval but its all for a very good cause.

 I love our boat. She is a great sailing boat, large enough for our family to cruise in relative comfort and has a beautiful teak interior. Since ANY boat has trade offs and no boat can ever be perfect, there are a few things that really annoy me. One of the biggest annoyances is the front cabin. Since the rear cabin is too small for Mark and I, we have opted to commandeer the v berth. The plus side has been awesome ventilation. The down side has definitely been the lack of floor space.

When Bob Perry designed the Nassau (Tatoosh, same boat. Really.) He designed it for the typical American sailing family who will typically feel that 2 heads are absolutely necessary. I guess we are not typical because we found the squeezing in of a forward head to be completely unnecessary and to make the front cabin feel cramped, stuffy and uncomfortable. So we are ripping that sucker out!

Mark has finally found a boatwright who can put up with his perfectionist tendencies and whose level of craftsmanship is on a level he is comfortable with- Rick. Rick is an artist and has a tendency to perhaps over embellish on the fit and finish but Mark has found a way to get on the same page with Rick. You guessed it- really, really detailed drawings of what he wants. Drawings that look a lot like this: 

You didn't really think Mark would be able to just do some rough sketches on a napkin did you? So with Mark's detailed instructions and plans and Rick's excellent craftsmanship, we should soon have a truly spectacular Master Cabin. WHOOPIE!! I can not tell you how very happy this makes me.

As to the naysayers who say "but what will you do when your only head breaks?!?!" The answer is- fix it.Quickly. And use a porta potty until such time as the repairs are affected. We are keeping the forward holding tank as the rear one is on the puny side and will have a secondary pump installed so that we have the one head plumbed to both holding tanks. I plan on being completely OCD on the head maintenance and preventative use so if you come visit us, be prepared. A small price to pay for a comfortable master cabin with additional usable storage.

I am so excited about this portion of the refit that the current state of the boat doesn't even phase me. Even though right now it looks a lot like this:

Its gonna be messy for a bit but oh it will be worth it!