The Hard Life

We are two months into a hefty list of very necessary projects and I can feel my sea legs atrophying. It’s not the time spent on land that is causing the problem, it is living on the hard.

I have always liked that turn of phrase, “living on the hard.” It sums things up nicely. Nothing about living on a boat out of water is easy. It is completely and utterly unnatural.

Firstly, there is the whole fish out of water feeling with the boat being propped up, whether it is in a hole, on stands or in a cradle. No matter how secure it is, it still moves. And in the high winds that have been the standard here in the Philippines this season it down right shimmies and shakes…but mostly only at 0300, of course. Continue reading

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Boatyards and New Years

It seems appropriate that we are starting off 2018 in the boatyard. The New Year is, after all, traditionally viewed as a time of renewal, a chance to make all those improvements that you’ve been meaning to get around to for the past 12 months. An opportunity to take stock, address problem areas and make positive changes. And that is exactly what yard periods are all about, fixing, modifying and hopefully improving.

So here we are, slowly, slowly getting work done.

The engine has been removed and over a week ago the engineering firm who is doing the rebuild came and took it away. We have yet to get a quote for the work…which means it is mid January and nothing has been done to the engine. This is holding up a pile of other smaller projects involved in improving the engine bay. Until we have the engine back we cannot fit and size the new shaft, strut, engine mounts etc.… Continue reading

We now return to regular scheduled programming

And we’re back!

After 5 months (almost to the day) we returned to Kate in the Philippines. We decided to stay in Manila for a few extra days so we could catch a ride back to the yard with one of the Yard Managers. Sure we could have taken a 5 hour bus ride to the nearest town then hopped on a couple motorcycle taxis for the 45 minute ride to get us to the boat. But, when you are carrying a combined 5 pieces of 23kg checked luggage, three carry on’s, some groceries and a piece of 1″ stainless rod (the new propeller shaft) that is 6 feet long a direct ride just seems so much easier.

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The pack-mules reunite! Shaft not shown. 

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The more things change the more they stay the same

“I am about to spend the first night on the boat alone…yikes!”

That’s what I posted on July 9th, 2008 on Facebook (thanks for the reminder internet). At the time we were tied to a dock in San Diego, far from the threat of cyclones, close to grocery stores, good internet, hot showers and all the other mod-cons of life as most people know it. I was anxious about being the sole person responsible for Kate, the boat/our home, that we’d bought only a month or so before. But as Steve well knew, as he packed up his bags and headed off to a job for 6 weeks, there was little to be worried about.

I had lots of boat projects to keep me going, I went to town on the trolley once a week for groceries, the mail and for a little outside human contact, I frequented the gym at the marina and happily started on a little writing project I dubbed “Letters from Kate.” It was a solitary summer but not a lonely one. Continue reading