spring cleaning

Spring is finally here!! The weather is starting to get better, my back is doing a lot better, and I had company coming over so that prompted me to really get my act together and do some spring cleaning. I had stockpiled items for little projects here and there, but I hadn’t done anything with the items. One thing that I struggle with on a weekly basis is keeping my dogs hair out of my food, off my clothing, and out of everything else that’s on the boat. I have to brush the dogs every day, whether I get around do that or not is not important. Even when I do brush them regularly, there is still hair everywhere. On my food, dishes, cups, etc. Then I wash it off and go to dry my hands, and yes, there’s dog hair on my hand towel too. Enough I say!

I had bought a twin sized flat bed sheet when I was at a flea market. I thought I could cut it in half and put it over my dishes and food to keep the hair off. I could do that, however, that also meant I couldn’t see anything and that it looked like I was covering things because I was about to sand or paint. I wasn’t crazy about that look, but it was working at keeping hair off of things. I found a shower curtain that was on sale for $3 at Bed Bath & Beyond. Score!! Not only was it see through, it had some design element to it so it wasn’t completely boring, AND because of it being plastic I will never have to worry about washing it. Win-win-win.

I also had laid down a barrier in between the fiberglass and my food, etc. With the condensation, the cans of food leave stains on the fiberglass. I will eventually be selling this boat, so I want to leave it in as good of shape as possible.

I also put down a shower mat, also found at Bed Bath & Beyond. I put that over a floor board that has a metal frame. When wet, the metal is slippery and with my clumsiness that is also scary.

I almost forgot that I have light in my closet now! I had removed a strip of LED lighting that was in my v-berth. The condensation was killing the strips one by one, so I removed it and tossed it aside. When going through my closet I realized I had an open outlet in there. I plugged the light strip in, placed the extra wire on a screw base that was sticking through from the v-berth, and placed the strips above the cabinet frame on the inside of the closet. They fit perfectly! I might have to tape them down so that they will stay put, however, this is the FIRST time I have been able to hang my clothes at night. Ahh, the little creature comforts!


Last but not least, the fun that started all of these projects that I mentioned was a good old bath for The Late Boomer. Boy did she need it! Whenever the rain stopped, I would pull my tarp half way over the boom, and in doing that I allowed a lot of algae to grow on the side that still had the tarp. There was also an ungodly amount of mold inside the cockpit. I bought environmentally friendly boat wash over a year ago. Had I used it? Nope. So, now was my time. I put my shorts on and went to town. It took about 4 hours, but man it looks good! I’ve never seen the cockpit so clean.




I got some new toys this weekend. I’m starting to build a kennel for Zita, and before you freak out please know that she loves and needs this very much.

Of my new toys, my favorite so far has been the head lamp. I found out its going to rain tomorrow so I was cleaning up the cockpit and dragging the tarp back over. I had rearranged a bit inside this weekend as well, so I had a lot to put away. I grabbed the head lamp and blamo! I was able to reorganize in a matter of minutes! Whoa, why didn’t I get this sooner? I could have been so much more productive in the winter.

I also got calipers, wire cutters, several sizes of screw drivers (all Craftsman of course) and supplies for Zita’s kennel. I’ve reorganized so that I can bring my tools inside for easier access. That way I will have no more excuses for why I can’t get things done.

Let the fun begin!!!



a dark and stormy night

My friend Geoff, Captain of the sailing vessel (s/v) Alchemy, took a few friends out on his 37′ Tayana for a sail around the bay for a perfect view of the lights on the Bay bridge. The “Bay Lights” project was finally having its official debut after several years of planning, having funding issues, not enough media coverage, etc. A storm was moving in from the south. The winds were expected to be from 10-15 knots. This was quite an evening.

When I came up to the boat at Pier 1.5 in the city, I knew we were in for a bumpy ride. “You don’t get sea sick, do you?” I texted my friend who was on his way to meet me there. “No” he said. Phew!! Here’s a video of what I saw. You can see the masts dancing…

So, seven of us piled on to Alchemy and we decided which route we were going to take before the 9 pm light show started. Sailing around Treasure Island seemed the most appropriate, and it was really pretty nice… for 45 minutes or so. Suddenly I felt a few raindrops. The wind started picking up, and the swells got even bigger. Soon we were in the middle of the storm as the heeling of the boat got more pronounced. One unfortunate person suddenly became ill from the bumpy ride. She spent more than enough time bent over the side of the boat. The rain began stinging as it hit your skin. Somehow, a strong gust of wind tore one of the head sails, which had to be taken down. “We are experiencing 27 knot winds,” a guy said after looking up the weather info on a nautical phone app. It wasn’t ideal, and Geoff kept his cool the entire time.

I found a comfy spot and didn’t budge unless the Captain needed me to get out of the way to tighten or loosen the main sail. The sights of the Bay Bridge and the city fully lit up behind it were truly beautiful. It was difficult to get a steady picture, but that’s what memories are for!

The only other boat out there besides the occasional ferry was one of our neighbors from Berkeley. “How is Pier 40?” the Captain yelled/asked. “It’s OK!” they yelled back. Pier 1.5 was out of the question because the swells were too large and would have created a dangerous situation for us and the boat.

Slowly we made our way towards Pier 40 where we could hopefully find calmer waters to be able to dock the boat. As we made our way South, we could hear people along the pier cheering, lined up for the big event. I was admiring what a beautiful and stormy front row seat we had, and wondering just how many people were waiting just like we were for this virtual light show, but on land. Suddenly I looked over towards the bridge, and the lights had come on. It was so beautiful! Being a total lighting nerd, I really admired the uniformity of the lights and color temperature, the perfect color to mix well with the street lights already illuminating the bridge, not to mention that the lights were dimming ever so softly. Some patterns of the lights made it look like waves of the bay, some looked like the raindrops falling aimlessly around us. Other patterns were geometrically random, and all were simple, and breathtaking.

We eventually made it to Peir 40, soaking wet, cold, and tired. My friend and I had to make our way back to the East Bay, so we didn’t stick around long. As we were pulling in, however, Geoff said that he had chosen the wrong drink to make that night. He had chosen to make a ginger beer, called “Dark and Stormy.” He said “next time, it’s going to be a ‘Sex on the Beach!'”