Boat work: posted by Mark


Our friend Lee came out to our boat yesterday and today.  We have been replacing a homemade navpod with the real deal.  Monday when Jason from Nance and Underwood came out to work on our reefing system we discovered one of the supports for the running rigging was missing where it attached to the base of the mast.  It had broken at some point in the past.  Lee welded a new support back in place returning the brace to its former strength.

Lee adding a brace at the base of the mast.

After two days we completed the work on the new navpod.  We relocated the auto pilot to the port side of the cockpit.  I had to have a new bar fabricated to hold the navpod.  The work was done by Stuart at JTL Marine Engineering.  He did a great job bending the new bar for us, it was a prefect fit.  Lee was a big help working on the navpod and moving the autopilot to say the least. It was like the cavalry had shown up when he arrived with a welder and tools in hand.

Relocating the autopilot.


This morning Cole caught a Checkered Puffer Fish at the dock.  He was using a piece of shrimp on a jig head.  The puffer had 4 little bony teeth, 2 on the top and 2 on the bottom and he puffed up when we took the hook out to let him go.  They are very comical looking fish.

Checkered puffer fish.

Christine splicing the anchor line.

Yesterday, Christine finished whipping the anchor line and we started provisioning for the trip.  We bought about $300 worth of canned goods at Wal-Mart.  The boys wrote the names of the contents on all the cans just in case we lose the labels in the bilge.  We completed the task of clamping 2 boards between the stations where we will attach extra fuel and water jugs.


Logan and Cole helping each other on yet another boat project.

I finished the work on our engine hoist yesterday.  Essentially, I mounted an L-shaped bar upside down and next to the outboard on the stern.  The bar rests on a flange that allows it to rotate the outboard over the side of the boat and be lowered to the dinghy using an old mainsheet pulley system that we brought with us from Idaho.  A couple of U bolts keep the bar firmly against the stern rail but not so tight that you can’t rotate the bar.  At $85.00 it was a low-cost, low-tech solution to moving our outboard to and from the dinghy.

Logan tries out the outboard hoist.

Last week we replaced our anchor chain, which was only 27 feet long with 70 feet of new chain.  Christine used her braiding skills to splice the rope rode to the chain.  The combination of 2 boat lengths of chain and our new Rocna anchor will help us rest easier when we are at anchor.

The door of the anchor locker was another project, which took some time to find a solution to.  When we bought the boat, it had a windlass mounted to the locker door but the door wasn’t mounted to the boat.  My solution, was to cut the door in half, hinge one half for access to the locker, then permanently mount the other half with the windlass to the boat. Since the windlass would be putting a great deal of strain on the door, its attachment needed to be robust.  I used 2 stainless steel bars through bolted to the deck and a piece of aluminum angle iron to anchor the door at 3 points on the deck and to keep the door from flexing when you walk on it.

Top if anchor locker.

Inside of locker showing reinforcements.

In all we are pretty close to being done with all the work we need to do in order to go on our cruise.  The projects have taken longer than I expected them to take.  It’s hard to believe that we have been working on the boat for almost 2 months now.  The upside is we have addressed all the areas of greatest concern and we have learned a great deal about our boat in the process.

Fair winds,


Living on a Boat: posted by Logan

There is a lot of different things to living on a boat.  When you want to turn on a light at home, you just flick on the light switch, but on a boat you go to a big control panel that turns on everything on whatever area you want on the boat.  For example you turn on cabin lights at the control panel then you can go and turn on the lights.  You also can’t leave them on for long because we have a very limited amount of power in our batteries.

This is the control panel where you turn on areas of the boat you need power to.

Another thing we have to conserve on is cooking because we only have a small gas tank so we can’t run the stove for a long period of time.  As you can see, we only have 3 cupboards so we have to pack all our food in very tightly.  We store food in other compartments that are not meant for food.  We also do not have an oven on our boat so we have something called an Omni Pot.  It acts just like an oven but you put it on the stove top or grill top because we have a grill on the back of our boat.  Our refrigerator is not exactly how it would look at home.  It’s more like a cooler sitting inside a counter top.

Kitchen on Truansea.


The Omni Pot that takes the place of a stove. We can cook breads, cakes, casseroles, etc. in it.

We also have limited water.  Our tank is only 70 gallons.  To use water, we go to our control panel and turn our water pressure on and then we go to the sink and turn the water on.  A water pump from the tank pumps the water to the sink.  When we brush our teeth, we only turn the water on for 3 seconds or less.

We have 2 air conditioners on our boat.  It is rare to have 2 on a boat and in other parts of the country it is rare to have any.  We can only use them when we are hooked up to shore power.  We are hooked up to shore power by a big, thick cord that runs from a plug in on our boat to a special plug in on the dock.  Also on our control panel we have a DC side and an AC side.  We can only run AC when we are hooked up to shore power but we can run DC when we are not but we can’t use much because of our limited battery power supply.

If you want to know anything else about living on a boat, let me know.


Everglades Trip: posted by Cole


The Everglades is a vast area of swamps and marshes.  There are a lot of hammocks.  Hammocks are a group of trees that are home to many animals.  There are 3 kinds of mangroves.  A white, a black and a red.  We saw all 3 of them.  We also went on an air boat ride.  They are powered by fans and go pretty fast.

Plume hunters used to come to the Everglades to shoot birds for their feathers to put on lady’s hats.  They do not do it any more.

More than 30 different species of birds have been recorded here.  There are bald eagles, osprey, Roseate Spoonbills, brown pelicans, egrets, herons and many other species.

The Everglades are from Lake Okeechobee to the southern tip of Florida.  Florida gets lots of hurricanes that will destroy some of the Everglades.

We went to an alligator farm.  That is where we took the air boat ride.  We got to hold baby alligators.  Luckily their mouth was taped shut.  Its belly felt like a snake.

Cole holding a baby alligator.

Alligators in the Everglades.


Hurricane Sandy: posted by Christine

Many of you called us as Hurricane Sandy was moving through the Bahamas towards Florida to check where we were and if we were in a safe place for the storm.  Unfortunately, we had internet connection and computer problems this last week and were not able to get a post out to let all of you know we were okay and safe at our slip.

The calm before the storm. This is a picture out the back of our boat over our canal, Isle of Venice.

We prepared Truansea for Hurricane Sandy last Wednesday evening.  The hurricane’s path was not forecasted to reach us; however, we would be on the edge of the storm with wind gusts possibly reaching 60 MPH.  We decided it was not necessary to take down our jib or main but we did take down our new dodger, the bimini, life sling, throwable pfd, lashed down the dingy on deck, tied down the main in the stack pack, removed the propane from the BBQ.  Mark also picked up 2X6’s to make a stronger fender system than the 2X4’s we had.  The larger fender boards ended up being quieter which was an added bonus when trying to sleep.

Larger fender board.

Extra lines were added from Truansea to the pilings and dock and we are ready.

Truansea stripped down for the storm.

The next evening the wind was picking up.  We went down to the beach to check out the surf and the wind.  The salt spray and sand quickly coated us requiring a shower for all when we returned to our dock.  We could hear the wind through the night and the boat was rocking.  We are quite protected where we are at and the winds only gusted into the low 30’s.

The beach along Highway A1A.

The next morning we went down to the beach to see what the coast looked like after a night of high winds.  Sand blew across the walkways and roads and debris was scattered along the beach and up the streets.  Some streets were flooded.

Along Highway A1A the morning after the storm arrived.

There was flooding in a variety of places near the coast, including our dock.  We could not get off our boat without getting wet feet.  If you look in the picture, you can just see our wooden finger dock on the starboard side is under water.

Flooding at our dock, a combination of high tide, full moon,  and storm surge.

Unfortunately the northeast coast did not get by as easily as we did.

Sandy was a Category 1 hurricane, but it was an immense storm almost 1,000 miles in diameter.  A near-record low barometric pressure occurred with Sandy offshore Monday afternoon. The pressure bottomed at 27.76 inches.

This was our first experience close to a hurricane and hopefully this is as close as we’ll ever get.

Fair winds~Christine