paying for things once, not twice

A few months after I moved aboard I tried doing a very simple upgrade: changing out the faceplate of an outlet. Not only did the outlet crumble, when I went to unplug the shore power so I could replace the receptacle the prongs came out in my shore power cord (not supposed to happen!). Since I’d had a string of unreliable people when it came to boat work, the only person who had been interested in helping me had a brother who was out of work and was an electrician. Not a marine electrician, but “it’s the same thing, right??? Right??” He did a good job and got my shore power outlet replaced, my outlets working, my cabin lights working, installed an automatic bilge pump, etc. etc. but generally speaking when mariners take a look at my battery or the way the wires are hooked up, it scares them.

So far everything has been working fine, except my automatic bilge pump. This stopped working probably over a year ago. I never really bothered to fix it because I still had a manual one as a back up and I was always around to pump any rainwater overboard and would pull out the wet-vac to get whatever was left over. If I had fixed this automatic bilge pump, I wouldn’t have come home to standing water after being gone for a week. Blarg! I hired a neighbor to help me replace the bilge pump and when we were taking it apart it was apparent where the water damage was. As we were installing the new bilge pump, it was apparent that the previous one was not installed with proper protection from water elements. There was no heat gun used to shrink the adapter around the wires, there was no heat-shrink tube that went over that adapter that was blasted with the heat gun again, and there was no liquid electrical tape pasted around the edges of the heat-shrink tube. That’s triple protection right there! All in all, I’m happy to see that there’s a new auto-b-p installed and I’m glad I got to see how he did it. It’s wired to it’s own switch, that can be either manual pump or automatic and is of course attached to the battery. Perfect timing, because it’s raining today. The moral of the story? If you pay for something to be done correctly the first time, yes, it’s going to be more expensive, but you won’t have to pay for it to be done a second time. 🙂


As for the boat search, I’m still searchin’. There are three boats for sale here in the marina that interest me. A Bristol 32′, an Ericson 32′, and a powerboat that’s 31′ and would give me time to find something before actually plunging into another project boat. Both the Bristol and the Ericson need a considerable amount of work. Haul out, new sails, new rigging, bottom and topside paint, the Ericson has a soft spot in the deck which is a problem. The Atomic 4 engine on the Bristol doesn’t work. If I got the Bristol, which is probably the more homey of the two sailboats, how would I get it over to the harbormastors office for inspection? The Ericson’s engine works, but, it’s not as homey feeling and needs a bunch of work to it. I’m hopefully going to look at all three this weekend. Even if I’m not entirely interested, it’s good to see what’s out there and talk to as many people as I can. Perhaps if someone knows of something they’ll contact me.

That’s all for this week, folks! Have a good weekend.

adventures progressions

a weekend in pictures

Too much stuff happened this weekend, I’d rather not bore you with the details and instead I will show you in pictures! Ok, and some detail too.

First things first: Since I’ve been trying to train Zita, I no longer let them onto the boat before I get aboard. Thankfully, I found another advantage to doing this! Check out this lovely beast that was hiding in the cockpit upon my return from running errands!


I called animal control of course, sadly the thing was badly injured and was hobbling around on three legs. They had been chasing him for two months and finally caught him this time 🙁

This happened as I came back from a run to the store for some parts. Get this: I not only removed, but I also fixed and reinstalled the manual bilge pump all by myself! Woot woot! I took it apart fairly easily, wasn’t sure what was wrong with it other than it wasn’t working. Taking it into my favorite store (I also used to work there part time) they helped me find a bolt to replace the one that broke off and showed me what it’s supposed to look like. I cleaned it off, reinstalled it, ran fresh water and bilge cleaner through it, and voila! It works again. The bilge is where all the water collects (rain water or sea water while sailing) and the pump is what allows you to remove the water from the boat.




The last picture shows the new bolt. Wahoo! That was exciting! I really wanted to get that done before hand because I was planning on taking the boat out for a raft up over at Treasure Island. Since I have somewhat diagnosed the water leak issue, I felt comfortable taking the boat out with the bilge pump working.

I inherited a fridge from my neighbor and wanted to find an easy place to put it. It would fit under the table if I just moved the leg over a few inches. So, I did!



My friend Peter came over to help me sail over to the raft up and I have to admit: it was a beautiful sail and it was also a little wild. The sun was about to set and thats one of my favorite times to sail. The wind was coming from the south west instead of its usual west so we had to try a few things to get out of the marina and get on the right tack. After the sun went down, I forgot about the crossing the area where the huge container ships along with the respective giant mooring balls (sans lights) live. I have terrible night vision, so thankfully Peter was on the lookout and alerted me whenever he saw anything. We came up to the raft up just fine, 11 boats in all, and we came in under full sail! I had just enough time to say “hi!” to people I knew. I took the kiddos to shore for a potty break, and in doing so I decided to check out the beautiful new Bay Bridge, all $6.4 billion of it. It’s beautiful at night and just a quick row over from where we anchored.


When I rowed back there was a movie playing on a raised sail. Say whaaaa?!


I got to meet quite a few cool people and it was all thanks to my kiddos. I guess its normal for me to row around with the dogs, but when people at the raft up saw us they loved it and asked all kinds of questions. Like “can I take your guys’ picture?!” I know, it’s blurry.


The next morning I finally got to see the raft up in daylight. And this trampoline on the water that everyone was talking about. And the dragon boat races whose chants I could clearly hear. I don’t know what it is, I really love waking up at anchor in such a beautiful place!



A new friend, Eric, was going to be heading out to the other side of Treasure Island to watch the Americas Cup race with Alex. I invited myself along, because that’s just how I roll. So glad I got to go, look how beautiful it was, how close we were, and we actually saw a race that the US won! I guess the Kiwis almost tipped over!!! We could see that something went wrong, and it was soo exhilarating being on the water witnessing this unfold right before us. It. Was. Amazing!





We returned to the raft up on a high, I knew not much could top that so I took a nap. Eventually people started breaking away to head home and it was interesting to see how to let one boat out of the raft up without completely losing the other boats. We did about four in a row, and got better at it as time went on. The sail back to Berkeley was pretty rough wind wise, so we sailed back on the main sail only. It was more comfortable that way. Speaking of Berkeley, I also had a sighting of Fortune, a boat whose owner I was friends with at one point. He had to go back to New Zealand, so here his boat lies.


We were able to sail out of the raft up as well as sail back into the slip without using the motor! My kind of sailing right there!!! Aaand last but not least there was a BBQ for my neighbor Ted who is leaving to a different marina. Sad face!! I’ll get over it, but here’s a picture of his 15 year old Ti-bug. I had just enough time to wash the boat and dinghy off, vacuum up the sand, and put everything back in its place. I am going to have a hard time keeping the guys here in place without Ted and Ti. Bon voyage!