April 18, 2014
As we closed out the final ASF Florida Surf Competition this past weekend, we realized that from now until about August, our time is ours! It’s been a great experience for Brady and one that we’ll continue to help through, gaining the exposure and edge he needs to surf competitively, but I am so glad to see it as one less commitment we have at the moment.
Surfing competitively against all of the best surfers in Florida, Brady has really gotten a taste for the talent out there and it only helps him to up his game. He advanced pretty well this season, starting off taking last place in the first heat and ending up actually advancing to the second heat. So, he’s learned lots and has a good idea of what he really needs to put into this if he wants to surf professionally. He’s got all summer to prepare for next season!
In the meantime, we hope to be able to put our heads down now and get some real work accomplished with our restoration project. That is….after one more teensey weensey little dive trip. We need something to clear the cobwebs and launch us into another extended period of restoration. This will do it! West Palm Beach Dive Weekend….and thus, the reason I can’t write more today! Cheers!
April 2, 2014
Oh what a difference a little sunshine can make! The rain finally seems to be clearing after a long, cold, wet winter and the air is warming nicely here. We’ve been able to spend a little time with MoFilla and promise to get her dried out and re-glassed just as soon as possible so that we can release her from that big blue tarp! She needs to shine, she needs to breathe, she needs to be on the water with the wind blowing in her sails, and right now, we are her lifeline! We’re giving it all we’ve got to bring her back to life after all these years on the hard!
My parents (who are actually Dieter’s best whitewater paddling buddies from Virginia – he knew them long before he knew me) were back in town this week and had a chance to look over our work and reassured us that we are doing it right and once we finish, we’ll have one bad-ass, seaworthy sailboat. I trust their opinion. They spent six years restoring their wooden trawler and it was a hunk of abandoned rotting wood sitting on the bank of a boatyard when they found it. They’ve since then sold it and today, it’s out cruising the waterways and is absolutely beautiful. When I say they spent six years, it’s because they actually work professionally in boat repair for other people, so they had to fit their own restoration into their time off. The reason I’m telling you this is because working in this field for as long as they have, they’ve seen a lot of methods come and go and they really know what they’re talking about. So, having their vote of confidence that we are well on our way in the right direction makes us feel pretty good and has reaffirmed our faith in our project! The nightly reading has paid off…we actually know what we’re doing! Thank you Gougeon Brothers!
We’ve finished digging away all the rot in the keelson, or more specifically as diagramed here on the Newporter Site, the Apron, but most people can relate to the Keelson. We then saturated it with Tim-Bor Insecticide and Fungicide, and let it dry out good for a couple of months. Then, cutting small pieces of spruce to place back inside the void, we mixed up some West Systems Epoxy with 404 High Density Filler and completely filled the void in the apron. It’s solid as a rock and now just needs another sanding, some final filling, and replacement of the plywood. Once we beef up the bottom with several layers of 17oz biaxial fiberglass cloth, it’ll be bomber! That’s next on the list… Mother Nature – Please continue to be nice to us
March 27, 2014
Okay, so reading over the last couple month’s posts, it seems I’ve become quite the whiney little bitch! Sorry about that That’s not part of the plan! There is little I can do about bad weather, limited time off, endless boat repair, falling stock prices. Out of my control…It is what it is and my whining about it doesn’t help any. We’re in this for the simple life, right? Right! Taking it one day at a time and getting the best out of every day. No more negativity! Enough of my whining! Going to find the silver lining in everything from now on…
We’ve made some time in the last couple days to finish the production of a video we couldn’t wait to get out for you guys. We dove The Devil’s Den in Williston, FL about a month ago and captured such beautiful footage, it would be a shame not to share it! Trying out my new narrating skills, and trying to avoid the YouTube blocking that comes along with using popular copyrighted music, we’ve taken a stab at editing this video with more narration than music. Hope you enjoy it
March 24, 2014
What’s the one thing that everyone has, but never enough of? It’s free, it’s readily available, you get a brand new dose of it every day, yet there just isn’t enough to satisfy all the demands we place upon ourselves. What is it? It’s simple…It’s time! I know that sounds crazy. It seems like we should all have ample time to do the things we want, but it never works out that way. You throw in trying to satisfy your work and family obligations, responsibilities, and interests of those you share time with, and what’s left is your “free time”. I think for many people, that dwindles away pretty quickly.
If there is one thing I’ve learned during this boat restoration, it’s just how valuable free time really is. I thought we had plenty of it when we took this project on, but I suppose I was wrong. That’s hard for me to say, but it’s getting to a point where I’m frustrated by looking out weeks ahead and knowing the obligations we have. Family time, friends, work, and other interests besides boat restoration will really eat into 2 days off a week! Throw bad weather into the mix and we’re screwed! There just isn’t enough time for making much headway on the boat at all lately!
I guess we have way too many balls in the air… Work, stock market, boat restoration, school, surf comps, diving, blog writing, video creation…. What else? If it were up to me and I didn’t have to think about anyone else’s interests, I would work on the boat and nothing else every free minute of every day. But it’s not just me. It’s me, Dieter, Brady, and Chase and that only accounts for our immediate family. It’s amazing how much time you really need to take on a project of this magnitude. If anyone is out there thinking of taking on a project boat, be honest with yourself before you take the plunge. Think about the dynamics of your life and make sure you and your loved ones are willing to sacrifice 95% of your free time because that’s what it takes. Then estimate the time you think it’ll take you to accomplish your goals and multiply that figure by 10 because that’s how long it’s really going to take to do anything having to do with boat restoration! Same goes for money. Whatever you think it’ll cost you, multiply it by 10 because that’s a more realistic expectation.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to talk you out of it, but trying to warn you to be honest with yourself and really consider whether or not you have the time and money to take on a project like this. If you do, then go for it! I wouldn’t change anything we’ve done. I still absolutely love our boat and I’m willing to devote all my free time to it, but I have to be fair and share that free time with the rest of my family. So, we’ll continue to work away at it as we can and I know that when the day comes that we don’t have the drain on our time that we do today, it’ll all be worth it! When we can sit back and enjoy a sunset from the deck of Mofilla, I’ll be singing a different tune, but right now, it’s stressful trying to juggle all these balls at one time. We need a break, but we don’t have time for one… I yearn for a more simple life… I yearn for free time to do exactly what I want to do…whatever that may be at any given moment. We have to keep our eyes on the prize and we know that the time is coming when we’ll relax into the simple life. It just takes a lot of sacrificing to get there…
Take a look at Dieter’s latest masterpiece! A selection from Mike “Passenger” that’s all about longing for fairytales and firesides…
March 14, 2014
I can’t believe that my baby boy is growing up so fast. He’s 16 today and it’s becoming very real, how quickly the years pass. Raising Brady has been the greatest joy of my life. I truly couldn’t ask for more… I think the video below says it all. We presented him with this short clip on DVD this morning before school and it actually made him tear up. I think that means we did good Be sure to turn your volume up! Happy Birthday Bradybear!
February 27, 2014
What were we thinking when launching into this restoration project? Expecting that we could ever accomplish anything in short order has become somewhat of a joke. Let me tell you, living in “The Sunshine State” is not all its cracked up to be if you actually think you’re gonna find endless periods of dry, sunny days. We’ve barely accomplished a thing in the last two months because of the constant rain and what few dry days we’ve had have been too cold for Mofilla to bond with her new epoxy additives :-) So, we’ve done what we could and although it doesn’t look like much, we have finally reached the end of the bottom paint removal! Since I couldn’t really do anything topside in the rain, I left the deck work and hull repairs to join Dieter in the dungeons and get that nasty job out of the way. Attacking it together, we’ve peeled away, chipped away, pulled off entire sheets of glass, and of course sanded away until we finally reached bare wood on the entire boat! Now, we just need some good weather in order to get to work on the repairs in preparation for new fiberglass
So, as Mofilla sits alone down there in the boat yard, covered by a large blue tarp, she’s drying out real good for when the time comes that we ever do see dry weather again. Once we know that Mother Nature got the memo on our plans, we’ll be focusing our attention on repairing all of the rotten spots on the bottom, starting with that gaping hole we’ve created around the rudder. Then, it’s fiberglass, fairing, paint, and splashdown! Doesn’t sound too bad, right? Ha…see you in 10 years!
February 13, 2014
As I sit here this morning, watching the wind whip through the trees and waiting for the stock market to open, I’m reminded of how quickly life can change. One minute everything can be going your way and the next, you find yourself spiraling out of control until the wind settles, leaving you to pick up the pieces. It was a restless sleep last night because two major concerns were weighing heavily on me, with not much I could do about it but wait for the outcome, whatever it may be. In my last post, I wrote about stock trading and how if managed with the right amount of risk, one can make a reliable living on it. Well, the key there is “managed with the right amount of risk”. I broke my own rules! Yes, not the first time…..No, I did not learn my lesson last time…I got a little greedy. I’ve been on a roll this week, raking in the profits and in a matter of minutes yesterday, I found myself on the losing end, losing all those profits and then some. Apparently there were some other factors I wasn’t aware of affecting this stock that had been on a uphill swing all week. Well, remember what I said about “knowing when to cut your losses and walk away”. That’s much easier said than done. There is always hope. Hope can get in the way of logic. Rather than cut my losses, I closed the trading day holding onto a very very risky stock and now awaiting the market open, I could lose it all in the blink of an eye. This games takes nerves of steel…ice water running through your veins… and it is not for everyone. But, it’s a risk I’m willing to take! I’m rolling the dice on this one… Wish me luck!
The other issue causing me concern was the fact that we had 30 – 50 mph wind whipping through out of the west all night and it continues today. We’ve covered our boat with a 30 x 60 ft tarp in order to keep it high and dry as we approach the phase in our project of laying new fiberglass. Well, the dingy davits on the back are a problem and until we can remove them this week, we had a wind tunnel open on the back and all I could imagine is the wind getting up under there, lifting and shifting that tarp enough to budge the boat. I have horrible visions of that tarp giving the boat lift and causing our jack stands to budge. I have visions of a tree falling on it. I swear ever since we got the boat, I have just had this sinking feeling that our little spot down there is just too good to be true and something disastrous is going to happen. Every storm that comes through, you would think I was out on the high sea weathering it because I just worry myself to death about our poor little Mofilla sitting there helpless against the elements. I can’t wait to get her in the water and to move aboard her full time, so we can conquer and protect!
On a brighter note, Brady shredded his ass off in his surf competition this past weekend. This was the best he’s done in competition yet. He’s progressed so much this year and we’re so very proud of him! He needed a good run after his last comp. This one was bitter cold and windy as hell and he almost threw in the towel before his heat even began. His heat wasn’t until about 1:30 and surfing there since 9am, when the weather turned to shit, he was miserable, freezing, and ready to go home. He’d almost made up his mind to skip his heat and go home, until I let him know that if he did, he’d have to reimburse me for his entry fee Instead, we went and drove around for a bit, visited a thrift shop, and just got out of the cold. He came back a little more enthusiastic and donning his freezing cold wetsuit, he was ready to surf! Those poor kids were standing on the beach shivering like crazy, but they were still hitting it. He had a really good session and was glad he’d stayed!
February 3, 2014
Do you know the seven words you can’t say on television? I’m talking about the big ones, the ones that everyone should inherently know are really, seriously, the bad boys of the bad words…
These are the words that have been rolling around in my head lately as we battle the weather, the endless boat repair, and the stock market! They’re seriously so bad that I can’t even type them here…I can only think them. So, if you don’t know the words and you want the full effect of what it feels like to sit on a stock for over a year, only to sell it a week shy of making $20k, then listen to George Carlin below…he’ll fill you in!
Yes, we have been all in (meaning all our money invested) on this particular stock since October 2012, which was supposed to be a big win at the time and ended up being a year long process waiting on court orders, appeals, patent validations, and pending settlement agreements. Each time the stock jumped, it was on big news, not on actual value of the company. There were a few times over the course of the last year, that we made a decent chunk of change off news that made the stock pop, but it always came back down and like a good/bad drug, we kept coming back for more, waiting for the big pop!
The frustrating part of owning this stock was being stuck in a loss for months at a time. Making deals with yourself that if it just pops one more time, you’ll get out and never look back. Wasting all of that trading time on the one big pop just wasn’t worth it. But each time, it lured you back in, thinking the end was near. Dieter finally bailed on the stock in December and that left me watching him “back in the game” making money every day while I waited and waited for this stock to do its thing. The date of the settlement conference was upon us and I swore that come Jan 22nd, I was out of this stock with or without the big bucks. Settlement conference came and went, of course no settlement was reached and this left the stock with a pop large enough for me to make a couple grand, but not what I’d been hoping for. Dieter easily regained a position early that day and walked away with a huge gain and we both washed our hands of it, happy with the profits we’d made. It didn’t matter that it was not the huge lotto ticket we’d hoped for, I was out and not looking back…. It felt good to be back in the market, making a few hundred a day trading again…. Until….one week later, just one measly week, after holding this shit for 15 months…it popped big time and we watched all the loyal long holders cheer and collect their rewards while I added up what I could have made if I’d only held on a little longer! (So here, you insert the seven words you can’t say on television!!!)
I know, I know, this is an adventure blog! We’re supposed to be writing about cruising or diving or boat restoration for god’s sake, but who the hell cares about the stock market, right? Well, yes and no… Unless you were born into money or you’ve saved your entire life and are setting out cruising for retirement, you have to be able to fund your adventure. You might wonder how can you support a life of adventure when you’re working a regular job every day and only have a couple weeks of vacation a year. When you think about the ties that keep most people from setting off to parts of the world unknown to them, it comes down to money 90% of the time. You have to work right? How many people can make a living while travelling? That’s where the stock market comes in. If you can get started with say 10 grand, you can turn that money into enough to live on, fund your lifestyle, and have something to come home to. Now, I don’t suggest you take $10k and jump in the market without knowing a single thing. Start out slow, start out with what you can afford to lose and learn the trends of the market. You’ll find a few of your favorite stocks and trust me, you will lose some money, but it’s how you learn. When you start to get the hang of it, throw a little more money at it. Bottom line is, it takes money to make money. When I first began trading in 2011, I entered the market with $1,000. Dieter had already been trading awhile and so naturally, I was enticed to get in the game too. I said I was gonna learn it and if I lost, I lost, but I was taking $1,000 of my income tax and opening up a trading account. Boy, did I have a lot to learn!
I opened up an account with TradeKing, signed my life away and deposited $1,000 dollars. Then I sat on it and I watched the market, I looked for stocks that seemed to have big returns and I was so scared to lose my thousand dollars that I think it was like 2 months before I ever got the guts to make my first trade. Then I did it. I found a hot little ETF called AGQ. At $170/share, I could buy 5 of them! I was making daily profits of about 30 bucks and thought man, this is pretty easy money! 30 bucks a day, 5 days a week, well, okay, so we can’t exactly live on that, but it’s a start and I’m making money! If only I could buy more shares, at $5 – $6 profit per share, I could really rake it in! Soon, I added another thousand to my account and then another… Each time I added more money to trade with, I was able to increase my profits. So again, I tell you, it takes money to make money! It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, I lost some too, but I learned a lot and now with a trading account of over $30k, I’m no longer satisfied with $30 profits, but a couple hundred to a thousand a day isn’t unheard of. However, on the wrong side of the tracks, I’ve lost that much in a day too, so it’s important to know when to cut your losses and move on. That’s the hardest part of trading…knowing when to say “I’ve lost, I made a bad call”.
If you think you’d like to take off and live a life of adventure, exploring the unknown, pushing the limits and facing uncertainties, but you have no idea how you could afford it, then this might be your ticket. You can do this from anywhere in the world with an internet connection and you determine when you want to work. Make some money in the morning and spend the rest of the day doing what you want. Or, spend a week or two trading and take the rest of the month off. The beauty of this is that you set the pace in this world! Think about it… It’s tax season… Do yourself a favor with that tax return… Take a few baby steps to see how you could live your dreams now while you’re young and healthy rather than waiting for retirement! Give it a try, but remember, only trade what you can afford to lose because there will be times that you will lose! Be patient, learn good trading strategies, and if it takes you a couple years to get to the point of making a good profit, then so be it! Where would you be in a couple years if you didn’t take that risk? You’d have spent your income tax return on clothes, shoes, or a bunch of other crap you don’t need, but you wouldn’t have it turning over more money for you, would you?
There is a book that I would definitely recommend you read. If you haven’t heard of Bumfuzzle, then you should check out their blog too. Reading a few of their posts, you’ll get the gist for what they are about. They have a couple books out and the one that will help you enter the stock market is called Live on the Margin. They’ll teach you everything you need to know to get started and you’ll see that it’s possible for anyone to live this life, you just have to be willing to take risks. I have no affiliation with Bumfuzzle, I am not promoting their book, I am just saying that it’s been helpful to me and I think it would help anyone looking to better understand the world of stock trading without intimidation.
January 19, 2014
As I sit here hunkered down inside and out of the cold with my second cup of coffee, trying to muster up the willpower to head to the boatyard in 36 degree weather, I have to wonder “At what point does thrifty become insanity?” Now, you can tell by the stories we’ve shared with you in this blog, that we are resourceful people. We’ll come up with a way to accomplish just about anything and it’s not always what most would consider the traditional approach, but hey, it works for us! Well, let me tell you, I saw thrifty on a whole new level yesterday.
I spent a couple hours removing some of the clutter, cushions, bedding, etc that we had piled up on the starboard berth of the boat. I’d been wanting to do that for awhile, but always found better use of my time on the outside of the boat. Since yesterday didn’t see temperatures above 55 degrees, too cold for Epoxy to set up right, I used the time to declutter the inside of the boat. When I got it all home and began uncovering cushions to wash them and let everything air out real good, I had to laugh at the masterpiece thrown together to form a couple of wedge cushions for the forward v-berth. See for yourself…Now that’s thrifty!
I guess the push I needed to get the inside cleared out was….well, there were multiple things…
- Dieter was tied up with an inspection report of a 5,000 sq ft house he’d been called on in a hurry.
- It was too cold outside to epoxy and that bottom paint sanding didn’t sound like all that much fun by myself.
- We were meeting up with a fellow blogger who just bought a Leopard Catamaran and we were getting together that night to share in each other’s projects.
Besides, it was time to make some room on the inside so we didn’t have to keep piling from one side to the other every time we needed to access the bottom of the hull for repairs. Now, we just have more sailboat clutter in the house!
One of the blogs we’ve followed for a little while is This Rat Sailed. They’ve been boat hunting for quite some time now and finally settled on one in Daytona Beach. Scrolling through their blog one day, I recognized a picture of the Ponce Deleon Statue in St. Augustine and realized they’d made the move from Daytona to St. Augustine. Being so close, we had to reach out to Mike, the guy behind the blog! Turns out, they actually have the boat right here in the Hammock, just a few miles from ours. So, we decided to get together last night and share in each other’s projects. I did have to warn Mike that at this point, he would really have to be somewhat of a visionary to appreciate our project. I don’t know if that statement really prepared him for the intensity of the matter or not! LOL
We met Mike at his boat and took the grand tour. Now knowing that a Leopard Catamaran was what we started this dream intending to acquire, you can imagine stepping aboard this boat was like “wow, this is nice!”. They’ve got a few projects to accomplish, nothing too major, mostly a few hidden areas of neglect and then of course the wish list of all the things that would make the boat absolutely perfect…don’t we all have those! They’ve got themselves a really nice boat and what better place to start this journey than here in The Hammock?
Then we get to our boat. I think he may have questioned our sanity here and probably even whether or not he should climb aboard? Rusty jack stands? A gaping hole in the hull? Filler? What? Will it squish or crumble when I grab ahold? LOL… I’m sure all thoughts crossed his mind as he approached that ladder, but nonetheless, he climbed aboard to check out our beautiful Mofilla! We showed her proudly and I proclaimed to both he and Dieter to mark my words, stay tuned, 1-3 years and she will be the most beautiful sailing vessel on the water! But again, I ask you, “At what point does thrifty become insanity?”!
Rounding out the night, we took Mike to our favorite place to eat in St. Augustine, The Conch House. A bit too nippy to eat outside, we didn’t really get to enjoy the ambiance of the tiki huts, tiki torches, and wandering pathways around the water, but we sat inside and had a great meal with great company Appreciating the warmth and coziness of the nautical little restaurant, I actually didn’t mind viewing the tiki torches from behind the protection of glass windows! Nice meeting you Mike! Best of luck on your new adventure! See you on the water!
P.S. It was too cold outside and we had too much fun storytelling at dinner to remember to take a picture, so I had to swipe this one from the Conch House Website!
January 14, 2014
Ever wonder why people rush around in a great big hurry all the time, trying to meet the demands of society by cramming way too many things into their lives to truly enjoy any of it? It’s part of what made us want to sail off into the sunset on island time. Social gatherings, sporting events, dinner parties, work, school, play, keeping up with the Joneses….It’s all too much! Stop and think about what is truly important to you and your family and live life to the fullest. Live for you and nobody else. Make time to stop and smell the roses. Make time to stop and let the birds cross! Enjoy the little gifts each day brings because it’s times like this that you pay nothing, you owe nothing, and you can just sit for a moment in awe over the little things that make life worth living…
The point is…wherever you are…make time to enjoy the little things that come along with each new day!
Sunrise photos compliments of Mr. Don Bouer…Thanks for sharing each morning with us Don!
We made it back to work on our beloved Mofilla this weekend after taking a month off to fulfill other areas of interest in our life. From Thanksgiving break with the family, to surf competitions, to preparation for the Keys and a week in the Keys, we’ve been away far too long! All the tools I’d left in an acetone bucket had hardened to the bottom as the acetone evaporated over time. It took me a minute to get our usual pattern down of running extension cords, grabbing sanders, respirators, goggles, and getting down to the nitty gritty, but once we had tools in hand, we picked up where we left off and actually made some progress. The starboard side of the bulwarks is complete and the port side very nearly complete. I did just open up a new spot on the stern that had some strange looking black piles of what looked like eggs or something, but researching it, all I can come up with is that it’s some kind of wood rotting fungi. So, we’ll be treating the entire area with a product called Tim-bor used to kill this fungi and other wood destroying organisms. Dieter continues to slave away on the bottom paint removal and has uncovered a few more small rotten spots in need of repair. He really does have the worst part of this work with the bottom paint sanding…he must really love me Now I just have to get him to love Mofilla…LOL
We’re trying to finish some of the repairs we started before addressing the elephant in the room…the rotting keelson area in the stern. Meanwhile, it’s drying out real good now that we’ve dug all the rot away. We’ll treat this area with the Tim-bor too, making sure we kill any remaining wood rotting fungi before rebuilding the rotted area. Believe it or not, it’s coming together. Completing one side of the bulwark was a nice sense of accomplishment. We even sat on our deck and enjoyed a sunset one evening…So what if it’s from up on jack stands! We have the water at our feet and the wind in our face. Boating without motion sickness!
As for Brady’s last surf competition, he got beat up pretty bad out there. It was big and munchy and he was surfing a brand new board that he’d had zero time on. He hadn’t been in the water for the last 2 weeks, so he wasn’t on his game. He saw a lot of air, but couldn’t land it! He and that little board were being tossed all around out there. He was pretty down on himself, so much so that he asked me not to post any pictures. So…shhh…don’t tell him I think enough time has passed to ease the pain, but I have to share these awesome wipeout shots!