Saturday, April 28, 2007

Yes, we're still here! (as planned)

How many people have expressed surprise at seeing us still here! (I knew this would happen when the going away party was in mid March...)

We are still here, but still going at it frantically. The house is complete (except for the piles of boat stuff stacked waiting to be stowed). (and a list of minor things here and there, and a little cleaning)

We are working down thru our 'must do' list and starting to feel that May 5th may be ambitious...but haven't given up on it yet.

Here's what we've done in the last 2 weeks:

- Carpeting in the house
- Storm shutters ready for the next hurricane
- Plumbing preventive maintenance done in the house
- Dodger finished
- New main sail cover
- Riding sail finished (modifed from an old sail by Mac at SouthSails )
- New Batteries aboard (4 Rolls CH-375's) Ka-Ching! $1000. 4 120lb batteries aboard and 5 old ones off, and the new ones installed and wired in.
- Inverter repaired (non-working one swapped out for spare, and old one sent off to repair place)
- Fabric ordered for new cockpit cushion covers (will do underway)
- 2 Membranes ordered for watermaker (will complete watermaker while underway)
- Engine transmission off to fix leaky rear main seal... this project stalled waiting on gaskets, but scheduled to complete Monday
- Dave's storage unit in Largo emptied and consolidated with Sherry's storage
- Property manager hired for Sherry's rental condo on the beach
- LCD screen mounted on swing-out arm for underway navigation
- Whole bunch of electronic bits n pieces ordered to complete spares for our computers and electronics
- Helped Nicki get set up with a summer job and a place to stay (in her old bedroom)
- Propane hose ordered to install our instant-on waterheater, someday. (this was the typical "10 minute job turns into a 4 hour ordeal" due to the length of the run, and nobody stocks the right stuff in those lengths, and you can't just buy hose like that for some reason)
- Sherry's passport renewed as Sherry McCampbell
- Sherry's 50 Ton Master's License (with sail and towing endorsement) paperwork submitted to the Coast Guard
- Income Taxes done for 3 of us (Dave, Sherry, Nicki)
- Another marine flea market (we still have a box of "good stuff" Dave won't dump).
- Found a place to stay when we come back in December (thanks to Paul and Joyce Alexy)
- Sherry working with Amy Lacy to finish transferring over websites, etc
- Sherry has worked on new or updated websites for people who just *had* to be done (Colorado Ranches, SailAwards, and our friends on Tackless II )
- High-powered wifi setup for the boat (400mW transceiver w/ 15db gain omni antenna)--mounted & checked out
- Skype installed and checked out on the computer

The major tasks we are still working on and must be done before we leave the States:

- Boat insurance (Soggy Paws insurance renews in May and they want about $4000). Many circumnavigators just "go bare" because coverage is just ridiculous if you only have 2 people aboard and want to go trans-oceanic.

- Rental condo insurance. My insurrer of 30 years (USAA) has reacted to the Florida insurance situation by 'non-renewing' insurance on other than my primary residence. I have til July to sort it out, but need to get it done before we leave.

- Medical emergency meds & shots. We have a joint appointment for 1 May to try to get a doctor to write a set of "just in case" prescriptions for everything from antibiotics to demerol to anti-malaria pills. We still need a few shots, too.

- Provisioning. We will be in fairly populated areas in the next 9 months or so, so we don't have to go crazy, but it will probably never be as cheap or convenient as right now. So we need to do a major stocking of the boat.

- Finish up the engine repair. Besides re-assembling the back end of the engine with the new rear main seal (a few hours for two of us if everything goes right), we have one head bolt that has a thread problem. Optimistically, Dave could resolve this in a few hours. Pessimistically... I don't even want to talk about it!

- Put sails and Monitor wind vane back aboard

- VIP all our scuba tanks

- Drop Dave's car at his friend's ranch in Clermont for storage (and pick up repaired inverter in Orlando)

The current latest plan is to push off from the dock on Saturday morning, May 5, and participate in the MYC Seafood Raftup Sat night. Hang out in the river off MYC on Sunday and get organized. Drop Dave's car in Orlando on Monday and head south Monday afternoon. We have a family comitment in the Keys the following weekend, so if we don't make that schedule, we'll have to delay a week and drive down to the Keys.

But hurricane season is coming... so we may just have to say "the end" and head south, and wrap up the minor bits later.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Another big milestone... sold my car yesterday.

We sold to a friend of Dave's, sight unseen (on Dave's say-so). Cruiser friends currently in Panama who were coming back to the States for a 6 month stay were looking for a car. They finally made it back Thursday and came by to pick up the car yesterday. (snif!) They got a good deal and I unloaded the car with almost no effort on our part. Now we're down to 1 car, which we plan to store at a friend's 'ranch' in Orlando.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Dolphins in the canal this morning...

Wow, what a place! (I love Satellite Beach and the Indian River). We are moved onto the boat and sleeping aboard. I was having coffee and reading email in the cockpit and a pair of dolphins started playing in the canal. They stayed around for about 10 minutes. They were hanging out right next to the boat for awhile, nuzzling each other (woo-hoo, we know where that usually leads!).

I hope we humans don't completely destroy this beautiful place.

Progress the condo! (coming soon)

Friday, April 6, 2007

Disaster Area!

We now have 5 construction workers working in the house. I am not quite fully moved out. It's a mess!

"Uncle Earl" is painting, and so everything has to move when he gets started in an area. This has turned what was 'orderly stacks of stuff' into jumbled piles in the middle of the rooms.

Mike and Keith are working on replacing my sliding doors and windows. The first step there is to tear the old one out. They have had to grind on the concrete here and there to get the new one to go in properly (mess, noise, dust, etc).

"Mikey" is working on turning the wall between the kitchen and living room into a bar. This will all look really good when they're done, but for now it's REALLY a mess. I think Mikey really likes the tearing out part.

The 5th 'guy', Courtney, is taking all the closet doors off to be cleaned and painted. She is also in charge of logistics, and is the 'runner'... "Courtney, run down to Home Depot and buy us..."

They are all using Nextel Walkie-Talkie cell phones and so they're continually talking with the boss (my brother Jimmy), who's running 3-4 jobs at the same time. He popped in for a day here to see how things were going and remind the "boys" that "this is my sister's place you are doing, so do a really good job".

Meanwhile, Dave and I are trying to get other things done (boat stuff, health and financial stuff, taxes, etc, and stay on top of our 5-ring circus. We are not in charge but need to be there to answer questions ("Do you want rounded corners or square corners on your countertop?" "Which tile goes in which bathroom?").

We decided that the new tile in the bathrooms clashed terribly with the wallpaper in 2 of the bathrooms. In one, the wallpaper was stuck pretty good, so we just painted over it (after proper priming and prep). In the other, I got assigned the task of removing the wallpaper. At last! Something I can contribute to the mess. That's what I spent all day yesterday doing.

One of the interesting things we've had to deal with is juggling the bathroom situation as they remove toilets to do the tile. We essentially have 7 people living here (the guys are staying at the house during the reconstruction, since they've all come down TDY from St. Augustine). We are on the boat, but using the bathroom facilities in the house. We are down to one shower and one working toilet. Sometimes there's a line!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Moving onto the boat (in a hurry)...

Well, the renovation contractors arrived this morning. We're (I'm) still getting stuff out of the closets and trying to get it sorted and onto the boat (or out to Goodwill). Dave has been bugging me for 3 months to 'do my closets'. I did do a pass on them about 2 months ago to get the really old and 'hasn't fit in 10 years' stuff gone. But I saved a lot for after I quit working. Now I have to really get serious to get from 8 feet of closet space to 6 inches. This is a little painful because everything left (in about 4 feet) either has a good memory attached to it, or is something I really like.

We are mostly there, but I finally had to quit sorting and just throw stuff into boxes and we'll haul it out and sort it after they've left.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

New Cabinets are in!

We highly recommend these guys. They were reasonably priced, great quality and very professional.

Call Scott at 321-960-0512. Tell them the McCampbells sent you.

Monday, April 2, 2007

New Cabinets!

Woo hoo! New Cabinets going in. They look great! (More pics later)