Spring is in the Air

I sit here in Kemah, reading my friends blogs that have left and are living
their cruising dream, and I think to myself…grrrr…why isn’ t that us? Why
haven’t we left yet? When I first started dating Cory he told me about his plans
to go cruising and said he was expecting to leave in about a year….well that
was about two years ago. Now he says, in about another year or two. Damn it!!
Are we ever gonna leave! Well..it really isn’t Cory’s fault, there are just so
many things to think about, and to do, once you really get down to starting to
prepare to leave. We have tackled countless projects to get us closer to
leaving, but unfortunately there are still countless more. Seams  like the
minute you finish your list of must haves or to dos, then you come up with just
one more thing. So as the warmer weather starts, we continue to think about the
next big project that gets us closer to cruising. Looks like it’s probably going
to be dinghy davits.
The warmer weather makes me happy because at least we
can have some more local adventure’s in the sun as we prepare for our biggest
adventure. We miss our friends terribly and wish we could have shared in the
adventure with them….this spring and summer won’t be the same without them.
There are lots of fun things on our calendar this year though, so we will make
the best of all that Galveston Bay has to offer.  All the while, further
preparing the boat, for that big dream. My goal this season is to keep up with
pics and blog post everywhere we go, and every upgrade we make, so everyone can
share in the fun.

“The days pass happily with me wherever my ship
–  Joshua Slocum

Varnish, varnish, and more varnish!

I just finished re-varnishing our cabin sole and what a job that was. I have a
new respect for people who do it for a living now. I never realized what an art
form it is. It is extremely vital that you have the right tools and varnish for
the job to come out well and not take twenty coats.  I ended up going through
two whole cans of varnish, by the time I figured out the right stuff I needed
and I can’t remember the number of coats. Now I know what to use and next time I
need to do any varnishing I know what to do. Here is what I

Supplies you need:
Deft brand varnish (in desired
finish..satin, semi-gloss,etc)
-This stuff lays really well and doesn’t have
to be diluted.
Plastic cup to pour varnish in
Filter to pour varnish
through (usually given to you when you check out)
Stir sticks (usually given
to you when you check out)
400grit sand paper
Tack cloth

What to do:
-First use sand paper to sand the piece well, but
don’t sand too hard.
-Then use tack cloth to get all dust off, changing to
clean side as you need to
-Now open the can of varnish and stir with stir
stick slowly as to not create bubbles and pour small amount (enough to do
section your working on) through filter in to plastic cup
-Start applying
varnish with foam brush, being careful to smooth out all bubbles as you go,
before it starts drying.
-Lightly sand and tack between each coat.
applying coats until you reach the desired finish.
-If you do it correctly
and your floors aren’t in too bad shape, it should only take about three

Maybe this will help everyone have an easier time than I did.

So There!!

Well finally…. after being told for years that I was worthless, a quitter,
stupid, would never accomplish anything, and countless other self esteem
boosting comments by my ex-husband, I finally feel like I’m getting back to my
old self.  I haven’t seen that feisty, opinionated, girl who thought she could
do anything if she tried, since I was 16, but I think she’s finally starting to
come back. I actually feel excited about the challenges ahead in my life. I have
a part-time job at Portofino Marina, where we (Me and my wonderful boyfriend
Cory) live. As well as my own custom canvas business that I have started and
it’s gaining more interest and getting busier every week. Now I am starting to
get into freelance writing as well.  Before, the thought of having possibly
three jobs would have given me a heart attack, never in my wildest dreams would
I agree to work that much. Not the case now, I love the work I’m doing and the
busier I get the happier it makes me. I feel a great sense of pride, being able
to say those words. And to “you know who”….I proved you wrong…..so there!!

2011..New Year, Better me

Well, here it is 2011 and besides the usually new years resolution everyone picks (eating
healthier, exercising, etc), my real new years resolution is to be more
positive. This sounds like a fairly simple resolution, but really it’s me trying
to change my whole way of thinking. It’s gonna be a challenge, but I know I can
do it. Any of you that know me well, might have noticed that I tend to complain
a lot, and find something negative about everything I do or everywhere I go,
even if it’s where I said I wanted to be. I have a tendency to constantly
analyze and worry about things and expect the worst out of people and
situations. The bad relationship I had with my ex-husband is mostly to blame for
that, but I’m not gonna dwell on that. Time to move forward…..from now on I
will find something positive in everyday and every situation. I may need a
little nudge every now and then to keep me on this path, but I know I can do it.
So to start me off I am going to list a few good things from 2010!

  • Feb 2010 Cory and I had been together for a year
  • March 2010 our friends Deana and Troy (s/v Storyville) and Steve (s/v Anchor
    Management) moved into Portofino and we were able to become even better
  • We were also able to become much better friends with or friends Alan and
    Donna (s/v Sunshine)
  • Through out the spring and summer we went on lots of fun trips in the boat,
    mostly with our F-dock friends mentioned above and we had a blast.
  • We went with our F dock friends in our boat on  the Harvest Moon Regatta and
    had a lot of fun despite the conditions and not finishing, we made it our
    mission to have fun no matter what.
  • I started working in the Marina office part time which I like doing and also
    I was able to start my own business (TRS Canvas Creations), which I love and is
    doing well. I am looking towards moving into my own office if I keep doing
  • Cory has slowly, but surely, been installing all the good things we need and
    want to be able to go cruising…..we’ll be gone before we know it. (I get more
    excited with each item he installs)
  • Storyville and Anchor Management were finally able to live their dreams and
    took off cruising.

I have had a lot of help and encouragement from all my friends and everyone at Portofino, and would not have been able to get my business going without everyone’s support. I am grateful and excited to see what this year brings and WILL have twice as many positives for my post  at the end of this year.

Our new friend since Storyville
and Anchor Management went cruising.

2010 Christmas Boat Lane Parade

Well…we started out the day with a PHYC (Portofino Harbour Yacht Club), yacht
club for the marina we live in, meeting and the officers for the new year were
elected. Cory was elected the new Vice Commodore and I was elected the new
Secretary.  Cory went and picked up Abby (his daughter) for the weekend and she
got to spend the day playing with Kayla (Deana’s granddaughter). There was a
potluck for the yacht club in the evening before the boat parade started. I made
cheesy slow cooker mashed potatoes, which were requested by our friend Rick. We
invited my parents to the marina and my mom brought some spice cake for the
potluck. My parents came and so did our friend Mike and we all had dinner out by
the pool. The yacht club was having a silent auction and I donated a $50 gift
certificate for TRS Canvas Creations (my canvas business ) to help raise money
for the flagpole fund.  Cory won some winches that he bid on. Once the boat
Parade started we moved our chairs down onto the dock by Troy and Deana’s boat
and sat with them and their family to watch the pretty boats go by. There were a
lot of nicely decorated boats,  but it was quite cold and windy and it was
obvious the boats were having a hard time going slow and staying in line in the
strong wind.  After the parade went by we hangout with Deana and Troy on their
boat and had a great rest of the evening.

Here are some pictures of a few of the best boats!

Thanksgiving Double Bayou 2010

We decided to leave for Double Bayou this year on Wednesday.  Troy and Deana
needed their car down there to use to visit family on Thursday.  I had to work
Wednesday so I drove their car to Channel Marker 17 after work.  Cory, by
himself in our boat, Troy and Deana, and Steve all left  in their boats earlier
in the day.  I get a call from Cory in the afternoon, his voice is all frantic,
and the first thing he says is “Oh my god..I should not be alive right now!”  Of
course this immediately freaks me out and he proceeds to tell me the story.  I
guess the wind was pretty strong and he slowed down just a little too much and
got blown into the shallow side of the channel at Double Bayou and ran aground.
He then decided to get into the dinghy and push the bow to get off….well he
ended up flipping the dinghy head over heals with the motor running full out and
him in the dinghy.  He made it back to the boat and the dinghy was fine, but he
lost the gas can.  Troy and Deana came in their dinghy to help him get unstuck
and he made it into the bayou and tied up just fine.

Dead cow behind our boat that
went floating up and down the bayou all

Since he lost the gas can I had to go by West Marine and buy a new one and fill it with gas to take with me, so we would have a dinghy for the weekend.  Well I managed to spill a bunch of gasoline on my hip when I went to put it into the car.  Of course I had no way
of changing, so I had no choice but to call Cory to bring a change of clothes to
Channel Marker 17 when he picked me up, and drive to Channel Marker as quickly
as possible.  The skin on my hip was burning the whole ride over.  We all made
it to CM at about the same time.  I gave Cory the stuff to get the dinghy motor
running.  I took my clothes, got cleaned up and changed (I have a nice chemical
burn now).  We all had a nice dinner and hung out at CM and then had a great
dinghy ride back to the boat.  There were fish jumping and phosphorescence all
over the water.  Our three boats were the only one’s there at our spot till the
next day.

Storyville at Double
Anchor Management at Double
Menestheus at Double

Thursday everyone else took their cars to go visit with family so it was just me and Cory.  We did some organizing and things on the boat and just hung out.  We also did a little target practice with Cory’s new pellet gun.  The first TMCA boat arrived that afternoon, John and Peggy (M/V Traveling Star)  the coordinators of the TMCA French Picnic.  Evening came and we had our scheduled Thanksgiving dinner with John and Peggy and everyone else was back and joined us to hang out by the fire.  Then the weather started to
come in and it got real cold and windy real quick, we had to put the fire out.
We moved to Storyville for awhile.

Cow skull the kids found when we
came at Halloween.
Cory messing with our

Friday was rainy and cold for most of the day, till afternoon.  Cory and I watched a movie on the boat in the morning and went for a short dinghy ride.  Then after the rain everyone hung out by the fire.  We put tarps up to protect us and the fire from the wind.  Then we all
brought a dish to share for dinner and had a great dinner together.

House on the banks of Double
Cory driving the dinghy…trying
to avoid the camera

Saturday was a gorgeous day not as cold, no rain and sunny.  More TMCA boats started showing up around noon and kept coming throughout the afternoon.  The guys helped the boats get tied up and everyone hung out.  We went on a long dinghy ride pretty far up the bayou to see what there was.  We tried to find the fabled orange grove but the water was too shallow for the dinghy’s down the creek.  Deana went in her kayak later and
still didn’t have much luck finding it.  Then we all got our dishes together for
the French Picnic.  Deana won first place in the desserts for her Sopapilla
Cheesecake and Steve won honorable mention for his Zaya Rum Cake.  We had
another group fire and had a great evening.

Troy and Deana in their dinghy
ahead of us
Line of TMCA boats there for the
French Picnic

We left early Sunday morning for home.  We had a great, fun and relaxing holiday weekend

Harvest Moon 2010

This year we decided to do the Harvest Moon Regatta (a sailboat race from
Galveston to Port Aransas) in our boat. Deana and Troy (s/v Storyville), our
other good F dock friends Alan and Donna (s/v Sunshine), and our friend Mike who
has a boat in another marina.We made a lot of pre-race preps. I made a cover
for the TV in case it got wet, also made a stopper for our cutting board shelf.
Cory added latches to our cockpit lockers. Alan installed a man overboard pole,
as well as jack lines, and other things. I even made special T-shirts for the
whole team.

Cory, Troy, Deana, and Alan in
the background. Headed out to the jetties.

Everyone brought their bags Weds. night before the race and we headed out to the
Galveston jetties about 7:30am Thurs. morning. The ride out to the jetties and
race start was beautiful. It was pretty light winds, calm seas, sunny, and
beautiful. We were at the race start pretty early, so we killed the engine and
watched the other boats show up.

Start of

The start of the race was beautiful, boats everywhere, all with full sails out. We sailed past the start right on time. We headed out away from shore and found the rum line. The wind picked up some and we were cruising pretty good. We tried doing some fishing off the back of the boat. We had a few hits on the line and lost a few lures, but never caught
anything.   The wind steadily increased after the sun went down. Me, Cory,
and Mike had first watch. Donna and Alan stayed up with us for a bit. Donna
started to get sick towards the end of our watch. By the end of our watch the
wind was steadily blowing around 15 knots. Our main sail was reefed once. Deana
and Troy got up for their watch and me, Cory, and Mike went down below to try to
get some sleep.

Sunset Thursday

We really didn’t get very much sleep. People’s bags were falling all over the place. The boat was flexing and making noises we don’t usually hear. Cory and I were in the v-berth and it was taking all my strength to keep myself from rolling over on him because the boat was
healed over so far. I was gripping the cushion so hard I was almost taking it
with me. The wind and waves had obviously picked up more and about every 10
minutes we hit a super wave, much more than 5′ or 6′ and it would send me in the
air, up off the cushion. Around 1:30am Fri. morning Deana came down and woke
us up, Troy wanted to talk to Cory. He said Donna was still sick and not getting
any better. The weather said the wind and waves were only supposed to get worse
the closer we got to Port A. We also still had twenty something hours to go.
Other people were starting to feel sick and no one was having fun. Since we
decided to do this race just for fun and no one was having fun anymore, we
decided to turn around and head in to Freeport.We made it to Bridge Harbor
Marina about 3:30am Fri  morning, tied up and everyone went to sleep. We took
our time getting up and I made everyone breakfast. We each got to take a shower
and once we were all settled we wanted to try to salvage some of our time off
and have a little fun. So we decided to take the ICW and stay at Harbor House in
Galveston on The Strand.We made it to Harbor House in the early evening.

Cory and Troy in front of Harbor

Our friend Ted  and his girlfriend drove down and meet us for dinner. After dinner we went to a bar for a bit and then went back to the boat, drank, and had some fun hanging out.Everyone ended up having a good time, even Donna, who was feeling much better now. We got up at a decent hour on Sat. morning and headed down the ICW to the Ship Channel and home to Kemah.

Old ship wreck outside the ship
channel in Galveston

All and all it turned out to be a great trip and interesting experience.