Friday, March 25, 2011

End of March

Just an update for those following.  We have had to take a break from working on the boat to take care of family stuff.  We'll be back to the boat next week.

But, this morning as Carter and were preparing to leave, I was walking back to the boat to get more luggage when I spotted this guy staring me down!  Yikes!

This picture really gives you an idea of how close he is.  He is right in the center of the triangle of the dingy, boat and gangplank!


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wednesday, March 16th

Carter has completed the framework for the canopy and put one solar panel up just to get an idea of how it will look.

Carter the Daredevil~!

It is lovebug season here in Florida and it's time to try out the mosquito netting to keep them out of the downstairs living area.  Just like everything else on this boat, the vinyl cleaned up very well.

It blends in with the boat that you can't tell it's there.  There is a white vinyl hatch cover that snaps in at the bottom.  It's a hassel getting in and out but it sure does keep the bugs out.

Carter's latest catch...catfish.  He's getting pretty good at spearing fish.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Monday, March 14th - Wildlife Is Abundant All Around Us

We've been making significant progress with the canopy but pictures will come when it is complete. 

In the meantime, we seem to have been encountering some interesting wildlife.  As we were walking to breakfast yesterday we walked up on these turkey buzzards as they were drying their wings.

Last night as we were working on the canopy, we spotted this alligator so Carter throws in his line.  Here's the gator's reaction!  Pretty cool.  Freaked me out good.

I have a great video of Carter reeling this thing in close to the boat but I can't upload it at the internet cafe.  I'll try at the library tomorrow.  I just tried...No luck at the library...that's unfortunate, it's a good video.

A Halcyon (also known as Kingfisher) showed up this morning at our gangplank.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thursday, March 10th

We continued on the canopy project yesterday.  After a bit of trying this way and then that way we ended up with this style.

This shows the first two of three ribs on each side.  The panels will lay on the ribs and we will be able to adjust the angle above these supports only. 
It's raining this morning so we will resume work when the weather clears.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

March 9 - Beginning the Canopy for Solar Panels

With the new imperative for solar powered refrigeration after the flood, we've decided to slow down on sanding and painting and focus on the canopy for the solar panels.  As I have stated several times earlier, this entire project changes daily as we figure out what will work best.  We now plan to install all solar panels on a canopy above the superstructure and build a sundeck above the cockpit.

The project begins...

The extended colums on the canopy backbone will not only provide a place to mount radio antenas and such but will also allow for a system to lift the panels on a hinge to face the sun on one side of the boat or the other. This will serve as sort of a crude solar tracking mechanism that should provide significant additional performance from the solar panels in the early morning and late afternoon if we need it.
Towards the end of the day, a gunoe comes by with a young couple in it that landed a huge snooke right in front of the boat and then hooked and lost an even bigger one. This inspired Carter to finally get his fishing poles out. 

He's already been periodically trying for weeks to spear one of the talapia that are constantly swimming by the boat and finally nailed one today. 

 Fish for dinner tonight!

Then he got the pole out.
He caught two alligator garrs.  Check out the teeth!  These went back into the water.  The talapia went into the fridge.  :-)
He plans to keep stalking the snook.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Monday, February 28th - Swamp Cabbage Festival

We are in Tennessee this morning.  Time to check on the properties here and take care of a few details.

Carter finished up the hatch doors before we left and they look wonderful.  I love a beautiful piece of wood.

This shows the doors, the wheel and the control panel...all completely refinished and looking great.  Carter and I are both excited to see this boat painted. 


These are the engine room hatch doors but the main hatch doors were in the same condition before refinishing.  Quite a big difference and we are happy with the results.

We began the process of cleaning out, putting away, or getting rid of some of the things that came out of the boat upon arrival.  We started the process of inventorying the sails and determining the condition of each.

We ran across a couple items that are really cool such as a wind catcher for the front hatch.  We don't have any way of hanging it right now to show it but it's pretty cool and I will document it when I can.

We took a little time off to visit the Annual Swamp Cabbage Festival here in LaBelle.  It was a nice distraction and I got to eat Gater Tails and Frog Legs for the first time.  The main event for Carter was the armodillo races!  That was pretty cool.  There was also speed boat races, an antique car show, a parade and various other activities.

Snakes carved out of wood.
They had a boat race.  Check out all the boats lined up on the bank and more still arriving.
There were people coming on land and by sea.  This was a very nice yacht named Taboo went back and forth.  We saw this boat arrive in town a few days earlier.  They must have come to town for the festival.

We call this boat the houseboat hillbillies!

All in all it was a fun day and good diversion from the preparations to leave for Tennessee.