Friday, December 19, 2014

Fuji Steps & The Flu...

Well, a lot has happened since I moved aboard and relocated the boat to a liveaboard marina.

First, if you followed my previous refit blog,, you know I have a "best friend". His name is Fuji.

After a good roll on the beach

He has been staying with my mother, (thanks're the best), while I refit Annie enough to get her in the water and move aboard. Now it's time to bring him home. The companionway ladder was way too steep for him to negotiate and since he weighs 108 lbs., lifting him up and down would be too much of a strain on him and me, (He's 10 years old and I'm just old). So, the ladder had to be modified.

I decreased the angle of the ladder and converted the ladder into something more like stairs. The angle is manageable for Fuji and makes for easier egress and ingress. Plus, the stairs individually slide in and out so they can offer more footing for my old friend. I still have to install the no skid indoor/outdoor carpet for step traction and stain the steps to match the interior boat stain. The only disadvantage to the new stairs is when I want to use the galley - then the ladder has to be put back to its original position allowing for galley usage but making the steps somewhat unusable.

In the down position
In the up position allowing Galley use
Of course all of this work took place at the end of last week - this week I caught the flu. It's amazing how you don't feel like refitting when you have the flu.

The boat is very comfortable... my contract with DISH is still in effect so they came out and mounted a dish on a dock pylon, and walla... I have TV, DVD, DVR, and HD.

My real Pirate Sword came in and is hanging on the bulkhead over the TV for decoration and if necessary, protection from Scallywags... ARRRRRRR!

I love living on the boat in the marina. When I do go cruising, these creature comforts will be whittled down considerably, but for now, plugged into shore power,... why not?

Fair seas and God bless!

Monday, December 8, 2014

New Home...New Head!

Well, now that we are in our new marina, our new home, the most necessary job was to install a new head. Yeah, not really a cool post but it's part of the refit process, so it gets blogged.

Remember, Annie has been on the hard for five plus years and I guess the installed head just dried out and gave up the stinky ghost sometime in those five years. Of course, I did not know the head was bad until she splashed and then there was no time to replace the existing head before the trip to our new marina.

Today, I tackled the job. I had to build a new platform due to the height of the old head verses the new head. Once that was complete, everything was hooked up and she is functional... sorta...

The Y-valve that directs waste overboard or to the holding tank is leaking. (That's not good and could be very unpleasant but I have flushed the system with clean water numerous times, so there's little or no smell).

Fortunately, I have a good friend who also owns a Westsail 32 and he has a Y-valve he wants to give me, (thanks Denis - you're the best). I'm not looking forward to replacing the leaky Y-valve but "a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do", (pun intended). So tomorrow evening I will finish this nasty but necessary job and move on the the troubled bilge pump situation, (more on that in the near future).

Fair seas and God bless!

The water on the floor is from verifying the thru-hull wasn't clogged... Not what you

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Our First Journey

Annie and I made our first journey together from Indiantown Marina, Indiantown, FL to Nettles Island Marina, Nettles Island, FL... 34 Nautical Miles! Annie did great... I, on the other hand, was a nervous wreck!

My anxiety stemmed from a number of things; my limited experience on Florida waterways, the unknown condition of Annie's engine and questions as to how it would perform running eight hours straight, unknowns, and other unknowns, etc..

Annie proved me wrong on her engine. She ran like a top, 6.6 knots at 2000 RPM's. I varied the speed during the trip to stretch her legs and she danced gracefully on the water for the first time in five years! What a girl!

The overall trip was uneventful with the exception of docking. Due to the dock orientation, Annie had to be backed in... She doesn't like to back up. I guess when you weigh 20,000 lbs. backing up is unnatural. After a couple of "in and out" attempts, she was secured to her new home and rocked gently in her slip as if to say she was happy in her new slip and glad to be back in the water.

Thanks to Dice and Jessie for help on-board. Thanks to the Dickersons and friends who came to the locks to wish us well.

Fair seas and God bless!

Here are some pics from the trip.

Leaving Indiantown Marina
Waiting for our first bridge...
Jessie James!
Jessie..."I'm the king of the world!"
Dice... "Me Too!"

Dice and Jessie manning the lines at the St. Lucie Lock
Salt Water... I could almost hear her say..."AHHHH!"

A new slip...A New Home!

Friday, November 28, 2014

A New Name and A New Beginning...

Today, "s/v Domina Mari" officially became "s/v Dreamboat Annie".

When I started this journey I thought I had this whole name thing all figured out. She would be called "Domina Mari" which is Latin for "Lady of the Sea". It sounded sophisticated, smart, and worthy of a blue water boat like the Westsail 32. Still, tough I posted to a blog bearing that name, something just didn't feel right about the name. It didn't really fit in some way...

Then, back in early October I was feeling nostalgic and was listening to one of my favorite bands of the seventies - Heart. One of the songs that popped up in the YouTube selection grid was a song called, "Dreamboat Annie". It was one of their early songs but being a child of the seventies, I remembered it. After listening to the lyrics, I immediately knew... "DREAMBOAT ANNIE" is the name. It fit the boat, the dream, and me... (The lyrics to the first part of the song are below).

Heading out this morning into the sun
Riding on the diamond waves, little darlin' one

Warm wind caress her
Her lover it seems
Oh, Annie
Dreamboat Annie my little ship of dreams...

The re-naming ceremony consisted of writing all her former names on a stone and then casting that stone off the stern into the sea giving those names back to the sea, (or back to Neptune if you believe in the Roman gods: Poseidon if you believe in the Greek gods). I even included "Domina Mari" though that name was never official. Then she was christened with a whole bottle of champagne while declaring her new name and allowing all the champagne to run over her bowsprit and into the sea in order that the sea could join in the celebration of the vessel's new name.

The old blog, will remain in place for the sake of history and reference. 

From this day forward, all new postings will obviously appear here. The Domina Mari blog will not be updated any further.

Follow me from here as Annie, "My Little Ship of Dreams", and I ride on diamond waves.

Fair seas and God bless!

Both previous names were given back to the sea.

Alex coming to get  her (everyone knows how long she has been on the hard).

Waiting for her ride back to the sea
Strapping her in!

Only 200 yards to go...