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Florida flat-lander refitting an Alberg 30, hull #329, for an eventual circumnavigation of the globe and the journey of a lifetime before I get too old!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Alot has happened, some good, some bad

I have purposely been dragging my feet concerning updating the blog. I have not lost interest in it or the boat, its just that other things have taken center stage recently. The most profound being the sudden death of a very dear friend.

John Bobbitt was the very first person that I met when I arrived in Kentucky four years ago this week. Little did I know then what a true friend he would end up being and how much I would come to appreciate him. John was a real Kentucky gentleman with a heart of gold and a sense of humor that could put a smile on the face of even the most miserly curmudgeon. John was also a career surveyor, like myself, so we tended to see things in the same way and shared a brotherhood of sorts in that regard. We also shared a love of boats and being on the water. John was on his boat with his wife when he passed away so at least he was doing what he liked the most when he was called off to the pearly gates.

After John passed, the company I work for sent in a grief counselor to talk to everyone that either worked with him or was close to him. Being the supervisor, I talked to the counselor first. We talked about the group and then about my feelings concerning John's death. I then went back to the group and explained that the counselor was here and that anyone who wished to talk to her was free to do so. Well, everyone declined the offer and take a guess at what happened over the next couple of weeks? MAJOR DRAMA! I wont say that all of the trouble was related to suppressed grief but I will not discount it either. It has been over a month ago now and the trouble makers are gone but there is still some mind games going on within the group and it is really getting on my nerves.

On a brighter note, Matt and Gary have arranged for a "Final Point" survey marker to be made which will be placed at the foot of John's grave. This is to monument and commemorate John's life long survey career and the geo-position will be documented by the National Society of Professional Surveyors Foundation. We hope to have the monument placed within the next couple of weeks. Here is a picture of the disk:

Boat wise, I have been busy but the recent heat wave kept me from getting much done. Fairer temperatures have returned but the boat is still like an oven during the day. Here is what I have accomplished:

Stripped the interior of all items that were screwed, glued or jury-rigged in
Removed old instruments and wiring
Removed all connections, controls and hoses to the old motor
Built a dolly on casters for the old motor (so I can roll it around)

The next step is to remove the motor. For this I will need a crane or a very tall tripod with chain tackle. I am leaning towards a crane because it will be a 30 minute job versus a few days. The crane can drop the motor on the dolly on concrete. With a tripod I would have to drop it on grass and then try to roll it to the concrete. I foresee problems trying to roll a 500 pound cast iron engine over grass!

On the procurement front I have made several important decisions and purchases. The most notable was the decision to go with kerosene as my source of cooking and heating fuel. To that end I bought two inexpensive items:

A Sea Swing kerosene stove via Ebay:

An Optimus 535 kerosene stove also via Ebay:

Why two stoves?!?!? The Sea Swing is gimbaled and is for cooking while underway. It is also smaller than what I thought it was going to be. The 535 is bigger and can accommodate a pressure cooker which the other one cant. By making the kerosene decision I have gone totally old school but I have saved myself a small fortune so I am happy with it. A propane setup would have cost ten times what I have spent, would take up five times the room on my small boat and would have been a constant headache worrying about fumes.
I have also purchased an S&L HySpeed 510 windlass in very good shape. Two lightly used, essentially brand new, safety harnesses and double tethers. Three new Carframo 12v fans with three spare blades. Two used Garmin 76S handheld GPS units. A whole bunch of other stuff that I will not list because I am getting lazy and this post is getting long. Oh, and I finished paying off the new Beta16 diesel motor!$!$!

I would like to wish my daughter Rene' a very very happy birthday!!! I love you!