July 1-31, 2011 - Cruising Log for S/V Freedom - a Gemini 105 - Jim and Deb Faughn

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  July 17 - Ok, I get it! You don't want me to fade into the cyber zone of life. I get it already, I'll try to be better. I just thought that you would think my life had gotten routine/boring but then again - who takes on gutting a house for fun.....

So, I will try to be better. Does that sound like a reformed AA guy? Wait a minute, AA in the Bahamas means Alcohol Appreciation at happy hour but that would be disrespectful to people who have a problem. Remember, it's just a website so no more "hate mail/email."

So on with the semi update or should I say catch-up. I can't give it all to you at once or else I wouldn't have material for the next update.

I'm going to give you a bit of insight of how boring life has been on this house. Look at the pictures below. Looks like clean and dirty grout doesn't it. That is because it is. Problem is that 4 1/2 years of grinding dirt into the non-sealed grout means it is DIRTY and that is spelled in all caps in case you didn't see it. What do you do? I can tell you that you can buy multiple chemicals that don't work. How can I tell you that? Because I did and they didn't work. Here is what does work. First you wash the floor with a deck brush from your boat using Oxiclean. Let it sit for 15 min and then scrub it some more. Use the oxiclean about 3 times stronger than what it says. Once you are sick and tired of scrubbing then you mop up the soapy goop at least 4 times changing water many, many, many times. This gets off the top crud. Next you have to find a product called Grout 66 made by Armchem. This product contains an acid that eats away at the penetrated stain and you scrub it with a grout brush that looks like a tooth brush for dinosaurs. It does work. Finally, you have to put some professional grout sealer into a bottle that has a small brush on it and paint all the grout lines so you will never have this problem again. Believe me, don't cut costs here. Two weeks of scrubbing and believe me I never want to do that again. No shoes in our house!

Bottom line is Black color of grout to very light. It was worth it but it wasn't much to write about - although I guess I just did.

You remember I said I bought a scooter. It is a Honda Helix and it is vintage or close to it since it is an 87 model. The scooter is a 250 cc model and has a great reputation. This one had low miles - 9,000 and looked great. I took it on a test ride and it overheated. So what did I do - buy it anyway but at a somewhat reduced price. I figured that I may have up to 200 in parts so I reduced the price by 200 bucks and made the offer. I will give you that amount or you can take it out, get it fixed and I will pay you what you wanted. The guy, Tom, made the right choice and sold it to me. Ended up costing me 200 bucks and I fixed it. Had he taken it in to be fixed it would have cost at least 700 since they would have used original Honda parts and charged standard shop rates.

You can see to the left a picture of the inside of the radiator that I had to replace. Filled with crud.

The outside of the radiator had this rust stain and who knows what that was about. It also had a bad thermo switch that wouldn't turn on the fan. However, I was able to bypass the switch and the fan worked so it was just another part. Finally, I picked up a spare thermostat.

Bottom line - I've put 400 miles on the bike since I got it and repaired it. That is half the miles that were put on it in the last 8 years based on the maintenance data in the manual. I love it and Deb is kind of adapting to my desire to save on fuel. Kind of.....

In Florida, storms come every day at this time of year. Previously there was no rain and we were in drought conditions. We are making up on water every day. We just need about 40 more inches in the next 2 months then it all starts over again.

I really shouldn't tell you this but the weather here is MUCH better than it is in the midwest. Really! Just don't work outside after 11 am and you are back out as soon as a thunderstorm is over in the late afternoon. It really is much better but don't tell everybody because they will move here and traffic will be terrible. So just keep it between the two....... of us.


Just before rainy season kicked in the water got bad. Now I'm talking Algae bad. There are warnings up still that say don't get in the water. If you wanted to swim in this green stuff you would be stupid and you might remember what I say about that - you can't fix stupid. Ignorance, well that's an entirely different subject.

Thank goodness for the rainy season because we've had a big flush and all the green stuff is practly finished.

So you've seen our dock but we were still frustrated with the boat traffic even though a new No Wake sign was installed down at the ramp - thanks to Deb. Deb and I agreed that we wanted to protect our boat so I got on Craig's List and found some Mooring Whips that were made for a 50,000 pound boat up in Bradenton. We got a reasonable deal on them so off we went in the van to pick them up. The good news is that they work great as you can see below. Bad news is that we then needed new wheel bearings and brakes up front. Oh yeah, tires up front too. It wasn't the trip, it was just time and the money flowed right out to our mechanic who took care of everything.

I can't say enough about those mooring whips. They are wonderful and keep the boat secure and off of the dock. As they say - Don't leave home without them.

Not only did we get the grout clean, we then - finally, got all the trim up, caulked and painted. Time for celebration.

The house is looking finished and jumping to present verses catching you up, we are 99.9 percent done.

I have also put plywood up in the attic next to the pull down stairs. That has allowed us to put a bunch of boxes of things we want to keep but don't have to have on a daily basis up and out of the way but still labeled and easily accessible. It was really worth it. We have also sorted out the trailer and taken the trailer up to Okeechobee where it's new home is. That leaves some more sorting in the garage and we still have to paint the garage before we can officially say we are finished. However, all of that is on hold because I had a meeting I had to go to up in Amelia Island this last week and I now have hurricane shutters to sew and install.

That is all in my next update. A preview - 5 foot hammer head shark being caught, 3 other sharks, bunch of sea bass, and of course the 28 inch grouper I caught along with another just short grouper all on a charter fishing trip as a reward for all of our work last year. Then there are the details of how to sew your own hurricane shutters.

 July 31 - I've been completely tied up sewing the new hurricane shutters and now installing them. As it turns out there is about a remote possibility that we may need them. My guess is between slim and none but then again, the tracks are changing and I can't tell if the news media is trying to hype a low pressure system or if it may be real. Therefore it is slim to none in my opinion. Regardless, I have 2 days of work before I get the final work done and then posted on this site. Then I have another day of work to get the boat completely ready. I am putting screw in anchors next to our dock on-shore so that we can secure a 3/4 inch line to both corners of the boat. Also, I am pouring 50 pound kellet concrete anchors into some paint buckets that will help out the anchors holding us off the dock. Don't worry, we are fine and will be fine but I thought it's been 2 weeks so time to update. I should have a real update in about 5 days. 
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