This post contains the answer to last week’s post of “What Is It?” and we found a Water Snake. What Kind? Who knows.
An Update and The Answer:
Last week we asked if anyone knew what this red contraption was. We weren’t sure it was for a sailboat.
We had some good guesses come our way, but they just didn’t seem to be right. Then the Captain’s brother, Chris posted our question & photos online. Nephew, Joey posted the question on Reddit. The inquiring minds from the Reddit world got involved and provided an answer and photos.
Turns out this is a Universal Mast Base for a Windsurfer….a vintage windsurfer since the design of windsurfers have evolved over the years.
See the part in action!
Whew! Mystery solved.
Thanks for the answer guys.
Now the Snake:
The marina is loaded with Hydrilla – a bed of prop-tangling floating foliage. Turns out it brings in critters. The other day the Captain walked past a raft of Hydrilla, right next to the dock, and spotted a snake resting on top of it just a few feet away! (Insert screaming here.)
The marina staff said it was a Water Moccasin. Then said it could jump four-feet. Of course, a Water Moccasin is poisonous.
We’re not sure if this is a Water Moccasin. Any snake experts out there?
Around here (in Seabrook, Texas) there are pelican statues of various styles posing through out the small city. When my parents arrived from Minnesota, we went to the visitor’s center and found an illustrated book of the 40 pelicans and a map to hunt them all down.
Driving around to check out the pelicans was a fun way to spend the afternoon and we found other interesting sights in the city, like parks, biking paths, boutiques and new restaurants to try. Below are some of my favorite Pelicans.
From the Pelican Spotting Boat Wife
These guys are even well read. This one’s by the library.
As the cold rain beats against the deck while I write this post, it brings home the fact that weather is important on a boat. Especially a sailboat.
Under sail, weather determines how to set your sails (full sail or reefed sails), what to wear (foulies or shorts)and if you’re going to have a fun ride with a brisk wind or a bumpy ride with high winds and large seas.
When living on the boat weather isn’t as big of a concern (well…unless a hurricane is coming). To avoid cabin fever, in today’s soggy weather, I will need to put on a rain coat, (no umbrella – the wind will blow it away) and walk with a fast pace to the car located in the parking lot, about a 100 miles away. (Okay, it’s only a distance of a city block or two but feels like 100 miles in this weather.)
On the boat, when it’s gusty, the boat rocks around from the waves created by the wind. At night it can be hard to sleep when the rigging whistles from hollowing wind that blows through it.
So you get my point about weather on boat, right? Great!
Over the years I’ve labeled weather.
Storms are angry
Sunny days are happy
Wind is energetic
Rain is depressing or therapeutic (this depends on my mood)
Fog…well, fog is creepy
Why is fog creepy? When the thick white wall creeps in, sound is muted. Your visibility is limited and everything you pass looks ghost-like.
We all know this. But when on a boat and you’re caught in fog, it’s better to be at the dock then on a passage in a busy shipping channel…that’s just scary.
Below are some recent photos of our fog covered marina and some without.
Our 42 foot Whitby had the name of Enterprise. This is an honorable name, one used on tall ships and battle ships alike. It even reminds us of Captain Kirk and the phrase “To go where no man has gone before.” But our name needed to have meaning for us and Enterprise was not what we had in mind.
Our requirements for the name is it had be female name with only one or two syllables. The name should not be a description like “Knotty Boat” (too corny) or have an element like “Comet” (bad luck, lightening might strike). Then Kelly came up with the perfect name of Trini. It was his late mother’s nickname and she had always encouraged Kelly’s dreams of voyaging to distant lands.
We ordered the vinyl letters and waited about 3 weeks to apply the name. What we waited for was a high tide of 6 inches so we could turn the vessel around. We’re in a shallow marina (that desperately needs dredging) and Trini has a 5 foot draft. Normally she hovers about a inch over the silty bottom.
Next was to heat and scrape off the old letters.
After the letters were removed, we discovered a problem.
Enterprise was still visible on the stern. The gel coat around the letters wore down leaving a ghostly image of Enterprise behind. It felt like embossed letters. The remedy? We painted the stern.
Next was to measure the stern and place the vinyl letters with tape.
Removed the backing and carefully apply the letters with no wrinkles. This is slow work.
Late in that morning, Trini had her name in place. Then out of no where we hear, “You got to have a boat christening party for good luck!” from our 80 year old dock-mate Jack. We agreed, went to the store bought some sparkling wine and cider.
The boat was christened with a few dock-mates sharing in the festivities while Jack had words of praise to Neptune to keep Trini safe in his waters.
So what is in a name? For us, it gives the vessel personality and makes her part of our family.
When I heard Jeff from vessel Bonnie Lou, a 31 foot Cal Sloop, had a composting toilet I wanted to see it.
Normally I don’t get excited over toilets. In a home, you do your business and usually the stuff flushes down without any issues.
But a boat toilet, known as a “head”, can be a different story. First of all there’s no flushing. Instead there is a handle at the side of the toilet that is used to pump down the #1 or #2 you just left in it. So your looking at it the whole time your pumping it down.
This isn’t so bad, but when a head malfunctions or clogs that’s when it can go all wrong. (Let’s just say the murky, smelly brown stuff can come back up in the toilet.) You can’t use a plunger to unclog it since it could damage the seals in the marine head.
Instead the hoses and other fittings need to come off to unclog the toilet. Over time the hoses get clogged and need cleaning or replacing. It’s a messy job for Captain Kelly. (I am grateful I’m not the Captain)
So what’s so great about a Composting Toilet? They have a simple system without hoses that can clog up. Urine goes into one compartment while stool goes into the compartment with peat moss or coconut coir. A few turns of the moss that’s it. (There is one hose with a computer fan used to air the peat moss compartment.)
Jeff mentioned he can go up several months before disposing of the moss and starting a new batch. The down side is composting toilets are more expensive and you would need to carry peat moss. But less hassle may be worth the extra expense.
Other things Jeff liked about his composting toilet
He doesn’t smell odors- maybe a little dirt smell at times.
The toilet’s foot print is small and fits in his vessel
It’s USCG Certified and meets the No Discharge requirements
Also a side note from Jeff regarding the composting medium: I use coconut coir instead of peat moss. Coconut coir is heated and pressed into blocks that are easy to store until needed. Heating and pressure kill any critters that may live in the coconut coir. Peat moss may have bugs. Or so I’m told. I order through Amazon and get either the 1 kilo or 5 kilo blocks. I think it’s about $20.
I want to thank Jeff for showing us his toilet and let you know he’ll be cutting his dock lines this January. His plans are to cruise the Caribbean with his kitty, Missy.