Thursday, September 22, 2016

Escape to Mexico!

If you haven't been following our Facebook page, you may not know that since our last post we escaped to Mexico for 8 days!  We left on Friday morning, September 9th & returned Friday night, September 16th.  We've been back 5 days already and I swear I'm still dreaming of Mexico when I'm in our bed!  When I got up in the middle of our first night back home, I was disoriented .. thinking (hoping) that I was still in our Mexican hotel room.  We didn't wanna leave and we can't wait until we can anchor Nirvana in Isla Mujeres!

Ken & I spent our first night in downtown Cancun since we arrived that night, then we got up the next morning and caught the nearby ferry to Isla Mujeres!  We spent 3 nights on this beautiful little island, then caught the ferry back to Cancun for 3 nights at a beach hotel.  

Here's a sneak peek of our adventures ...

There's no better way to see Isla Mujeres than by scooter!  It's a tiny island that is easily explored in a day, but we could spend a lot more time in this beautiful place.  There's a lot of cool beaches, restaurants and bars tucked away and waiting to be found!

This is a beautiful reef on the South Shore, but for more details you have to stay tuned!

While Cancun is much more developed and commercialized, we enjoyed relaxing on the beach under an umbrella.  The picture below was just outside of our hotel!  We also enjoyed playing in the waves, which are a bit harder to find on Isla Mujeres .. unless you wanna brave the rocks of the Northshore!

We also rented a boat that we rode through the mangroves and to a great snorkeling spot!

The whole trip was fantastic, and inexpensive too!  I have a ton of thoughts, tips and photos to share from our getaway, so look for a couple of posts next week! 

Hasta luego ... until then!  Mid-Life Cruising!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Back Together ...

Just like Humpty Dumpty, we're slowly putting Nirvana back together again.  Wait, I think Humpty Dumpty couldn't be put back together again ... even with all the King's Men!  We're hoping Nirvana isn't as difficult as Humpty ... especially when we get to those clutches, blocks and all those little pieces. How good is our memory?  Hope we took good pictures before we took all the hardware off!

As shown in the picture above, Nirvana now has her bow sprit back on.  This was not an easy task, but not as difficult as the stern pushpit!  The pushpit sat in our little living room for a couple of weeks until we had time to re-bed it with 4200.  

Re-bedding the stern pushpit was a difficult job!  Imagine trying to get bolts on the bottom of the pushpit, which is at the top of a skinny little "wall" that makes up the stern.  There's nothing like working on a boat!

The stanchions weren't as difficult as the pushpit, but with the high temps (and adding backing plates) we broke this project into two mornings.

Before re-bedding, I cleaned the stainless pieces with Never Dull.  We've used this product for many years on our motorcycles so why not Nirvana?

Our stainless isn't new, but have you checked into the prices of these parts?!  We're happy to use what we've got, especially since we had to buy a few stainless latches .. over $20 bucks for one latch! We'll also use the lifelines that we already had,which are in good shape.  We're in no hurry to put these back on until we're finished with the other deck installations and projects.

We have other projects also in the works, including trying to come up with a solution for our companionway hatch cover that doesn't slide so well.  Luckily, Ken has a contractor's mind and came up with a fix that we hope solves the problem.  We're not quite done with this project yet, so more details coming soon.

As time allows, we'll finish the hatch and re-bed the winches, handrails, blocks, etc. on Nirvana's deck.  We're also planning on tackling the plumbing soon ... the hose to our water tank is disgusting!

Ken and I are getting excited about finally putting Nirvana back together again, and we can't wait to take her motoring on the lake.  Ken's been running the engine while in our slip, and he's been replacing a few hoses and doing minor engine maintenance as well. With hurricane season in full force we'll probably wait until November to put the sails & canvas back on Nirvana, as well as new halyards.  Any suggestions on where to get the halyards online for a good price?

We've been searching the internet for parts & spares, and researching our cruising needs on Nirvana. We're looking into ideas for solar panels (we're thinking 300 watts with a Honda generator), storage on the boat, and for a primary anchor set-up with a windlass. With a small anchor locker & a 30 ft. boat weighing only 10,000 lbs, weight on the bow (and everywhere for that matter) is a concern.  Some folks suggest 50 ft of chain, and others say at least 100 ft. of chain ... with 200 ft. of line.  How do we fit 100 ft. of chain in our anchor locker?!  Do we really need that much to sail to the Bahamas?  Yeah, we may need more going further South but we could deal with it then, right?  Maybe we'll start with a compromise ... and 80 ft. of chain.

As we start getting closer to becoming liveaboards, we get closer to shutting down our businesses.  Ken's starting to go through his tools & storage shed ... and it's gettin' real!  It's hard enough to walk away from an office (my real estate), but try adding getting rid of years of tools and parts from your construction business!  Ken's been mentally preparing for this a long time, and I gotta say he's doing pretty well with the whole thing.  It's scary for us to make such a drastic change in life, but the adventures we've been dreaming of can't be ignored.  Staying put seems pretty boring now that the seed has been planted ... it's time to let it grow!

Hasta luego ... until then.  Mid-Life Cruising!
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