Friday, May 31, 2013

Getting Your Oxen Out of the Ditch

When a holiday comes around and we are blessed with a three day weekend, why is it we spend the time working on projects of various kinds?  We work 40 hour a week, plus travel time, and when we get an extra day off most of us like want to dive head first into 'getting our oxen out of the ditch'.   

This past Memorial Day weekend Michael set me up us up for a three day boat burnout project.  I knew it was going to be an exhaustive three days, but it never occurred to me that I would be crawling on my knees, (never should have sold my daughter's volley ball knee pads) and contorting my body into impossible positions while reaching over the side of the boat.  Michael had spent countless hours examining different products and methods of re-finishing the teak toe rail prior to our scheduled nail destroying, body baking, skin dehydrating mission.   His research on all the different products available led him to conclude Honey Teak was the best product to achieve the desired result he we wanted on Adventure Us 2.  Unfortunately for me us the required procedure to achieve the end results was long and involved : two coats here, three coats there, buff this now, then yet another final coat (or two).  All of this was subsequent to him spending several weeks, after his day job, stripping and sanding off the old finish.


I made a declaration to Captain Bligh Michael early Memorial Day morning that I was only going to work until lunch time; then I would mutiny and head out to our favorite watering hole on the bay for a bucket of Mexican libation and some raw oysters. At 2pm we finally finished and I was no longer in danger of acting out my interpretation of Fletcher Christian. After three days of bending and contorting every which way, I finally got my reward!

Ahhh, I love rewards.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

"JL! Please Come Down Here in Case I Get Stuck!"

By Janet Lee

After weeks of research and making a template to make sure it would fit, Michael and I decided that we would purchase a composting toilet for the forward head.  I thought what a great concept; we can have an on board garden with all the dirt we make from poop.  However the thought of extracting all the old waste, and water lines, plus the holding tank (in our case a large bladder) did not appeal to me in the least. To say that I was ecstatically happy when Michael did all of the dirty work while I was occupied with other things (nail appointment, fabric shopping, liquor store for disinfectant, catching up with my daughter for lunch) is an understatement.

After hours spent networking with various people I returned to Adventure Us 2 to discover my Michael had pulled out most of the crappy old stuff, but he still had to get under the forward head to extract the last remaining toxic waste lines and to begin the installation of our new, improved pooper. I was pretending to polishing the port lights (can't mess up a new manicure) when I heard the most obnoxious noise coming from down below. I followed the desperate crying and all I could see his were his cute little legs from his knees down sticking out from a small opening under the V-berth.  I thought to myself, "Good Lord!  I hope he is not stuck!"  I walked over to let him know I was there for him when I heard a muffled yell, "JL please hang close by in case I get stuck!"  Great!   How in God's name did he ever get in that little opening and contort his body to get where he was, and worse yet, how would I get him out if he did decide to get stuck?  "Hello, 911. My emergency is....."   I assured him that I was there for him, but in reality I was not very comfortable with what he was doing.  (When did that ever stop a man? Right?)

Fortunately, he completed his mission and extricated himself without my help or having to call 911. 

Now we just need to make dirt.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Stressful Fun By JLee

Stressful Fun
By Janet Lee

With a degree in Art and a good 'eye',  I feel comfortable that I will be able to make AdventureUS2 quite comfortable for Michael and I.  However, the journey from thirty-year-old angry-maroon salon seating to comfortable and appealing just may prove to be 'stressful fun'. 

When The Contessa came to us in July of 2012, I decided to redo the salon seating. Countless hours were spent amidst books and swatches at a local upholstery business.  I thought I knew what I wanted but once knee deep in sample books, I figured out that I only knew what I DIDN'T want! 

This was supposed to be fun.  When I told my friends what I was doing they would reply, "Oh! What fun!"  After a few weekends of searching for the perfect fabric I came to the conclusion that my friends had a sick sense of humor!

With my daughter Erica's wedding approaching, I decided to put this project on hold until after the big event.  I never thought it would take so long to decide.  But, if you think about it, there are many things to consider when choosing fabric. It needs to be durable and not hold moisture.  It needs to be peaceful.  It definitely needs to be stain resistant because we love our wine.  And, Michael and I both need to like it.  .... for a long, long time! 

Once the big wedding event was over, I was not in a rush to begin the challenge all over again, remembering how much 'fun' it was the first time around.

Phase ll
Keep on keeping on!
Michael suggested that we find someone we liked and give them a small project to see the quality of their work and how well they followed our instructions.  We asked around and came up with a woman who many people said was one of the best in the area.  I met with her and we clicked.  Her challenge was to make a windless cover.  I sent her a picture of exactly what we wanted.

What we wanted


What we got


Phase lll  
Find a new upholstery shop.

One afternoon I convinced Michael to go with me to Island Furniture in Seabrook, Texas..   I went in there once and discovered some wonderful items that we could use in decorating our boat.  While walking around, Michael noticed a fabric section.  Turns out they do upholstery!  With a store front as a middle-man, we assumed it would be pricy, but we liked Denise and decided to have her come out and give us an estimate.  To our surprise, it was reasonable! 


So, tomorrow I start the 'fun' all over again.  This time it will be different.  Denise knows what we DON'T want and I am hopeful she will have samples already pulled for me to view. 

To be continued....

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Sailing 101 By JLee

I now own this huge boat and I have no Idea how to sail.  What should I do? 

Sure, I have been on boats with others and we've chartered a few times in the BVI's, but knowing the difference between a bow and a stern?  Not a clue.  Michael kept telling me that I had to learn and be comfortable with her.  What if something happened to him and I had to count on me?  Now, that's a scary thought! 

Then one day my dear friend made this comment, "So you bought a big boat and now you are going to learn how to sail?  Didn't you go about it backwards?"  I guess I did do it backwards.  I hadn't thought of it that way.  I guess I need to start thinking about learning.

Then, on Christmas morning I opened my gift from Michael.  There it was in bold letters.  "Congratulations!  Welcome to All Points of Sail Sailing School".  Now all I had to do was sign up. 

There is a good reason I moved from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Houston.  I don't like the cold.  My plan was to wait until at least April before I subjected myself to going out onto the water so I did not freeze.  After all, If I was concentrating on being miserable, how much could I possibly learn?

A tidbit about me...Before I dive into something, I like to have all my ducks in a row so one week before my first class I opened my Learn How To Sail book and crammed my head with  vocabulary and terms.  Talk about system overload!  It was well worth it because I did great on my test and the actual sailing was a blast!  Our group consisted of four 29 year old college buddies and me. That was an interesting group!

I learned a lot, laughed a lot, enjoyed the time, and I now feel semi-confident with my knowledge.  Now all I need to do is get some experience under my belt to make Michael proud of me.

By JLee   
                                                              The Motley Crew