Saturday, March 31, 2007

Yard Sale!

Well, we sold my beautiful teak furniture by email, and now we're in the midst of a yard sale. Hopefully most of the small stuff will go in the yard sale. Satellite Beach is having a big 'community sale' this weekend, and we advertised in the paper and have a sign out on the curb.

Dave is a great salesman. He even sold his 300 Mhz Windows 98 laptop to someone for $35. (It still worked fine).

Friday, March 30, 2007


We are starting the house renovation today. Dave and I stayed up til midnight getting everything in the kitchen moved out.

The cabinets come out today, we do a yard sale over the weekend, and new cabinets go in on Monday. New appliances get delivered on Tuesday, and the countertops get installed some time next week.

Left, Cabinets for Less removing old cabinets.

Monday, March 26, 2007


We had incredible weather this weekend. We all managed to make it to the park on time (even early!). The sun went down on cue, and it was as near perfect as we could wish it. Everyone had a nice stroll over to Cheryl & Nick's after the wedding and lots of good food and a little drink. Many many thanks to Cheryl & Nick and those incredible women I sail with (the 'Sailing Femmes') who pitched in to make this happen for me with very little worries and effort on my part.

There were about 6 people with digital cameras at the wedding (plus the crew from the MYC Scavenger Hunt who stopped by briefly to take a picture in the middle of the wedding), and I've only gotten pictures from 2 of them. As soon as I get the rest and get them sorted out, I'll post them here.

Dave and I spent our wedding night on the boat... a little bit symbolic, and a little bit practical (we gave our bedroom to guests). But it was really nice waking up to hear the pelicans fishing in the canal.

We both have agreed that our real honeymoon starts when we shove off and head south. So yesterday I went on my next-to-last race with my 'Sailing Femmes' (snif) and Dave played golf with the guys.

I finally snatched a few hours here and there yesterday to help Nicki get sorted out. She also has had to sort thru her 'stuff' and decide what to keep and what to throw out. And we had to get her finances settled, as I'll be out of easy touch for weeks at time. We had originally planned this as an open weekend for us to spend some quality time together. But when Dave proposed and we decided to get married before we left, it was the only weekend that we both had open, so events overtook us and we didn't get much mother/daughter time. But we did have a cool time working the cockpit together in the race yesterday.

Dave and I had about an hour this morning to catch our breaths and look over our calendars. It's another busy week for us... the canvas people are coming this morning to do another fitting on the rest of the dodger. We have to start the paperwork to turn me into 'Mrs. McCampbell'. We have the cabinet people coming on Friday to take the old cabinets out, so we have to get cleared out of the kitchen by Thursday and out of the house by the following Monday when the construction crew arrives. Plus all the ongoing boat preps... a full time month-long job in its own right.

We'll be more less moved onto Soggy Paws by next Monday! (whew!)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Wedding Preps

Dave and I managed to get the house cleaned up in time for friends coming from out of town--to at least not find our house a disaster area. We pushed the twin piles of 'boat stuff' and 'stuff for the yard sale' into a corner of the living room and threw a blanket over it. And we got the upstairs back bedroom emptied of 10 years of my accumulated paperwork and 'computer stuff' and set up with shelving to use as a storeroom. Dave supervised this operation and it looks now properly ship-shape, and will be perfect in the long run. (in the short run, 2 days before the wedding and under time pressure, it was somewhat if a traumatic effort)

We exchanged several emails with 'the preacher' to finalize the wedding ceremony. Dave's good friend Tom Service suggested his good friend to perform the service, as being a man of God but one whom understood free spirits. Ken suggested a near perfect approach in his first draft to us and we only made a few edits. (The only mistake we made was selecting vows to say to each other that were too complicated... now we had to practice to make sure we didn't screw them up.)

Nicki and my brothers and sisters made it to town early and we got to spend a nice evening together tonight at the Islands Fish Grill, before things get busy tomorrow.

Well, we are as ready as we'll ever be. No cold feet.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Apprentice Diesel Engine Mechanic?

Dave is amazing. He has taken the whole engine apart and put it back together again. With hardly any parts left over. And it still works. So I told him I would like to be his apprentice and learn at least enough to troubleshoot if we got in a tough situation and he was disabled. I can sail, and I could make my 2.5 hp outboard go on Fast Lane, but I know very little about diesel engines.

While Soggy Paws was in the yard I got to help him put the transmission back on. The transmission is so heavy we had to lower it into the engine room with a block and tackle, and then swing it into the pit where the transmission goes using a mini block and tackle (called a 'come along').

First, we had to paint the bilge, where the two new (larger) through-hulls had been put in. (Through-hulls compliments of Ron Sheridan; installation of through-hulls compliments of extra-special friend, Tom Service)

(Note: I got demerits on my Diesel Mechanic's Helper evaluation because I got a dirty thumb print in the new bilge).

See shiny new bilge (pre-thumb print), above.

Then we had to hook up the main halyard and swing the transmission from the cockpit down into the engine room area. That thing was so heavy that it took two of us just to move it a couple of feet by hand. And of course we're trying to put it in a very small spot deep in the bowels of the boat...

Once we had it NEAR the engine, we transferred it to the "come-along", which was hanging from a temporary gallows we erected over the engine. See the transmission hanging to the right.

And then we muscled it into place and put the bolts in. It is difficult getting such a heavy thing aligned properly in such and awkward place. By the time we got all finished, my back and knees were killing me. I don't know how Dave does it all the time.

(Above: Me trying to tighten inaccessible engine bolts)
100% on the Sailing Endorsement Test last night... Towing Test this morning.

Then all I need to do is submit my paperwork and I will have a 50-Ton Masters license with the Sail and Towing endorsements.

Link to Sea School site. I heartily endorse them.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


I had a beachwalk and an omlette for breakfast. What a great way to start the day!

Unfortunately rather than relaxing and napping and reading books for the rest of the day, we have a hectic day and a hectic month ahead of us... getting married this weekend, the cabinet guys come next Tuesday (meaning I have to have new appliances on the way and my kitchen emptied by by Monday). And the renovation crew for the rest of the condo shows up the following week (meaning the rest of the house needs to be emptied and we are supposed to be moved onto the boat!)

The wedding seems mostly under control... mostly because we are pushing hard to keep it very small and very simple. And also because my friend Cheryl and my Women's Crew are doing all the organizing of the 'reception' afterward. Cheryl has cleaned up her patio and garden and we're hosting it there, and Cheryl's doing most of the organizing of food. We only have about 30 people coming, all very close friends and family, so it should be an easy time. We got the marriage license yesterday, the rings (ordered online from a custom jewelry place) came in on Friday. What more do you need but friends, a license, and a ring? Good weather?... I've got my forecaster friend Winnie working on a nice afternoon. Current forecast looks good. 78 degrees and only a slight chance of rain.

We are heading over to St. Pete (Largo) this afternoon... I am trying to finish my Towing Endorsement and Sail Endorsement for my 50-Ton Masters License. Submitting it altogether as one package saves a little money. So I had the towing class last night in Melboure and the sail class tonight in St. Pete, and a test on Weds. Then all I need to do is submit the paperwork to the Coast Guard (and wait).

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Wow, what a weekend!

First, our crazy friends at MYC put on a whole regatta as a surprise going-away party for me. I knew there was a regatta, but was totally blown away when I walked into the 'Skipper's Meeting' and everyone yelled 'Surprise'!

But it WAS really a regatta, so we got to go sail in some really nice sailing weather. My old crew pretty much all came along, so it was really fun even though we didn't win. We started the day with a halyard failure, and had to send Cheryl up the mast to recover the halyard.

Dave got some pretty good pictures of my crew in action. My friend Rochelle (and fiend who planned this whole thing) finally got a chance to beat us.

Can you believe the regatta trophies were bags and towels embroidered with "Sherry Beckett Honorary Regatta"?

And they made regatta T-shirts with my favorite Mark Twain saying:

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

They even had a raffle and prize giveaway, with Dave Noble MC-ing as usual.

Dave (sneaky guy) had fed them old photos, and had that going on a slide show on the big screen TV. Including photos of me in kindergarden (!!), and all the highs and lows of my Fast Lane racing career.

And then... they did a "Roast Sherry".

All my friends came up and reminded everyone of all the fun we've had on the water and elsewhere. Everyone from Gary Smith, who pretty much taught me everything I know about racing, to Cheryl, who managed to make me cry with some of her insight into how much my crew of women have "grow up together" while racing over the years.

Finally, Jack Bibb and Jerry Ross sang me a song of their own making. By then we'd all been partying since about noon. Jack told me later "that song sure sounded a lot better when we practiced it sober!"

It was a great time and MANY THANKS to Rochelle and Cheryl and Nancy and Rachelle and Dave and all the other people at MYC who obviously spent a lot of time, money, and effort to pull this off. You guys are nuts and I love you!

Right, Rochelle, the friend (fiend) who orchestrated the whole thing, with Gerry Moores, our faithful Women's Racing Chairman.

Below: My wonderful Fast Lane crew... Hugs and Kisses to you! (and come visit us somewhere!)

Monday, March 5, 2007

I love to bottom paint!
Today turned out to be a really nice day. So we applied the first coat of bottom paint. Dave did the large area with the 9" roller, and I did the close-in work with a small roller and a small paintbrush.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Dave got the Engine Started Sunday!

After about 2 months of work on the engine overhaul, he put it all back together again, and it still works!! Installed new valves, machined the head, magnafluxed it, and cleaned and painted all the pieces (Perkins Blue!). He also installed rebuilt injectors and injection pump, and replace all the hoses and gaskets ($150 worth!). It is the most beautiful diesel I have ever seen.

On Monday morning, Dave and friends Jim and Jim motored up to Port Canaveral to haul Soggy Paws at Cape Marina. Dave didn't tell our friend Jim the sailor that he'd taken all the sails off the boat (they are stacked in our living room right now). The wind was perfect for a sail up the river, but they had to motor. Jim said "I'm so embarrased to be motoring on the river in a sailboat, with a fair wind".

The haulout is well underway ...
- The prop shaft is out and off to a machine shop (to cut a few inches off the shaft)
- New 2" cockpit drains and seacocks are in process
- New cutlass bearing is underway
- The transmission is out being cleaned and repainted.

Dave has a finite list of things to complete, then a few coats of paint on the bottom and back in the water by late next week.