Thursday, December 25, 2014


I am making sawdust again! The ripping has begun.
Mast, boom, yard, rudder and leeboard will be constructed first. When the hull is complete, it will be ready to splash, and not waiting for the other essential parts.

I had to make a couple sawhorses, and made them the same height as the table saw. It worked out great.

When I was in Houston, I had a good collection of clamps. I have to improvise this time. The poor man's clamp. They work pretty well, and cheap!
4" PVC cut into 1" lengths, then split.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Key West Sailing Community

I was feeling like something was missing in my life. but I couldn't put my finger on it. I had a good job, a wonderful boyfriend, living in a beautiful place... and then I went to Sail OK. I realized I really missed the whole building and sailing small home built boats. That is the void that I need to fill.

The other day, I was filling in at the register at my work. Along comes Walter, a member of the Key West Community Sailing Club (KWCSC). He was buying a wheel barrow handle... just one. I made a comment about just buying one, and he said it was going to be a tiller. That opened up the conversation about building boats. I shared with him that I had built a boat, and wanted to build another. He said I should come and join them at the sailing club. I politely said I would, but was hesitant. Don't know why, but I was. A few days later, he came in again.  Walter said they needed a "boat builder" at the club, and that there was a 14' sharpie he had built, but it needs some work. I asked what it needed. He said it needed to be sailed.

I dropped by KWCSC to look around. Walter was there so we talked a while. He showed me the boat he built, then asked where I was going to build mine. He pointed to the corner of the property where there was a covered work bench. He said he would like to see me build it there, and he would bring it up at the next board meeting. A few days later, I received an email asking me to attend the board meeting. I did attend, and the proposal for my build, was passed.

I tend to be very organized, sometimes to a fault. Before I start my Mayfly 16 build, I made a copy of the plans, so I can cut it into sections and make notes on it. I don't want to mess up the original plans. I have put them all neatly into a notebook, along with an envelope that will hold all my receipts.

I will document this build as it progresses. It will go slow for a while, because there isn't much daylight after work. Most of the work will be done on the weekends.

I'm excited about this! There are a few changes that I will make, but only to the cockpit. I want it to be comfortable and every space used wisely. I will keep in mind the needs for a week-long adventure that I may happen to participate in... maybe in 2016 on the Texas coast.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Thanksgiving in New Jersey

This year, I spent the Thanksgiving holiday with Chuck and his family in New Jersey. This was my first time that far north, and my first time with his family. Yes, I was more nervous about this adventure than I was crossing the Gulf a couple years ago. However, this adventure was a lot more calm and relaxing.

New Jersey's climate was a bit colder than Key West, so I did buy a coat for the trip. I didn't see snow, but I did feel below freezing temperatures.  

We made a couple trips to Atlantic City. The weather was nasty, so I didn't get to enjoy the boardwalk. I've been to Las Vegas a couple times... if you've seen one casino, you've seen them all. Although, Bally's Wild West had some pretty amazing murals in one room.

Things I learned on this trip:

1.  It is illegal to have a radar detector in Virginia.
2.  If you carry a gun in New Jersey, you go to jail.
3.  You can play 2 1/2 times as long at a $10 Black Jack table, as you can at a $25 Black Jack table.
4.  New Jersey is famous for their diners.
5.  The Philly Cheese Steak really is better in Jersey.
6.  Buy the 5-hour energy drink before you get on the road, not every convenience store carries it.
7.  Just "breath" and it will be okay! 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

SAIL OKLAHOMA 2014: part 2

photo by Sean Mulligan
It was cold and wet, but I had a BLAST!! I got to see friends I haven't seen since my Texas departure, and made many new friends. Mike and Jackie Monies did it again!

My flight out of Key West was not smooth, but I did make it, and Jackie was patiently waiting for me when I arrived in Tulsa. Jackie is a sweetheart.

This weekend, the Monies' backyard was filled with tents, campers, and excited boatbuilders. The rain changed the schedule at times, but gave everyone the opportunity to visit with others instead of isolated in their boat on the water. There was still sailing time, and the weather was good on Sunday.

photo by Scott Widmier

On Saturday, SCOUT was put in the water. Sean graciously offered me the opportunity to sail her. I had already sailed her a million miles in my mind, but had never had my hand on the tiller… today was the day. Sean and I climbed in, pushed off, and Sean took us out. After we were past the stumps… yes there were stumps above and just below the surface. This made me a little nervous, I didn't want to be the one to knock a hole in Sean's boat and sink her with all the spectators on the beach with cameras. Once we were out a ways, Sean and I switched places and I took the tiller. There were many people watching, a couple of boats came out to take pictures, I almost felt like the celebrities with the paparazzi following them. All eyes on us for a moment.

I do have to add, my original plan for splashing her would go like this: I would quietly take her to a nearby lake. Put her in the water, take her out, clumsily learn to sail her and then take her home. The next week, I announce her splashing and invite friends. I don't do well with everyone watching. This weekend, there were many eyes on us.

Two sets of those eyes were The Laydens. Yes, Matt and Karen Layden. For those of you that don't know who this couple is, Matt designed the Paradox. I was nervous, and excited for Matt to see my build. I am a novice boat builder, and Matt is the MASTER! When Sean and I reached the shore, Sean went to Matt and asked if he wanted to take SCOUT out for a sail. Matt commented that nobody had ever offered that before. He took a quick look at the way SCOUT was rigged, turned her around, gave her a push and jumped in. WOW!. How many get to watch Matt Layden sail a boat they built!. I stood at the water's edge shivering, waiting for Matt and SCOUT'S return. I was not leaving. I suppose he enjoyed the sail, because he was out for a while. It didn't matter how long he was out, I wasn't leaving. When he returned, I got to watch years of experience sailing a Paradox in action. His comment to me was that she sailed like she was suppose to. You don't know how good that made me feel. My head did swell a little, and I was so proud of what I had built. Matt Layden had put the stamp of approval on my work.

I tried to insert a video of Matt sailing SCOUT, and I just couldn't get it done. SO, here is a link to that video:

The next morning, Sunday morning, Sean and I were suppose to give a presentation on the building and sailing of the Paradox. I was nervous about standing in front of these builders with many years of experience, professional designers, the designer of the Paradox… and my brother that had ridden his motorcycle 10 hours just to see me give this presentation. No, there was NO PRESSURE AT ALL. I fumbled through it, mostly showing pictures but it was received well. Sean's part was great, he is used to speaking in public and played awesome video and pictures of SCOUT. Matt even commented that he would like to have one of the photographs of SCOUT under sail. Again….WOW!.

All the lights work on CHEVY DUCK.

photo by Kelly Attebury
That afternoon, my brother, Kelly, and I went to the beach where all the action was. There was a Puddle Duck race, which is always fun to watch. Next, there was a Marshmallow Scoop race. Marshmallows (actually they were peeps) are flung out into the water and the small vessels maneuver around and scoop up these marshmallows with a net provided them. Whoever gets the most marshmallows, wins. I was standing on the beach with Kelly, when I hear my name called out. I turn and my friend,John Goodman, the proud owner of CHEVY DUCK, asks if I would be his scooper. YES, I join him and take the net. I have to tell you that this was a blast. John is very skilled with CHEVY DUCK, and was able to put me in perfect position to scoop those peeps. Not long after we got started, the handle broke off and I lost my net. We skillfully recover it, but when Chuck Pierce lost his net due to the handle breaking…John and I went into pirate mode and snatched Chuck's full net from the water. But, we politely returned the net… empty. When the count was done, the winner of the Marshmallow Scoop race was team "Lezlie and John Goodman in CHEVY DUCK" with 224 peeps!

It was an awesome weekend. I finally met Jackie Monies and Sean Mulligan, attend a Sail Oklahoma, met many wonderful people, and I got to spend time with my brother. I was able to see the boat that I spent so much time with, and sail her. There are so many memories, good and bad, attached to that boat named SCOUT. She knows many secrets told her during troubling times in my life. She was my BFF. There are blood, sweat and tears, literally, soaked deep into her wood. When I saw her for the first time since I left Texas, my heart jumped and tears came to my eyes. I was glad I was alone with her, we had our moment. Do I regret selling her? In a way I do, but I have started a new life, and I don't want to drag the bad memories attached to her, into this new life. She is where she is suppose to be, and if I want to sail her, Sean has extended the offer to visit any time.

I was asked if I was going to build another boat. Probably, I want to, and have two in mind. A place to build and then store, is the only problem I have. But, this weekend has awakened the building bug and you will have to stay tuned to see which one I build. But first, I will help my boyfriend finish building his bait boat. What is a bait boat, you ask? Check back next week and find out.

Sunday, October 5, 2014


Yes, it's that time again. Stone crab season begins October 15th, and you can lay your traps on the 5th and pull them on the 15th. Guess who has five traps with her name on them this year? Give up? ME!

If you have a fishing license, you can have up to five traps. They come five to a box, and you put them together.

After the sides and lid are assembled, concrete is poured
to make the bottom. It needs this weight to keep it on the
 bottom, otherwise, it would float away.
Here they are with the concrete set up,

Next, the line and buoy is added.

The "R" stands for RECREATIONAL. We are not commercial. 

They were baited with pig feet, loaded on the boat and we took off to set them.

In just 10 days we will have a feast on stone crab claws! I can't wait.

Monday, September 29, 2014


Yes, you read that right.

BULLY NETTING: The art of catching lobster at night with a net from the boat.

After a delicious spaghetti dinner at sundown, Chuck and I loaded the new skiff…. oh yeah, I forgot to tell you about the new boat, but first, I'll tell you about my first experience at bully netting.

We gathered our flashlights, nets and tickle sticks, and hopped on the boat. Lobster come out and feed at night, so they are walking around looking for their dinner, instead of hiding in holes during the day.  There are two different lights mounted on the front of the boat, shining in the water. When the light hits their eyes, they glow red. Sort of like the freaky way a cat's eyes do.

The 12 volt light hanging off the bow has a shield above it so the light won't blind you. With both lights on, the bottom is clear and you can see very well in shallow water.

We ran out to the shallows close to the mangroves, just out from the house. Chuck took the net and climbed up on the bow, while I got behind the wheel. I have not had much experience behind the wheel of a power boat. I thought that was very brave of him to stand at the edge of the bow while I drove. We trolled around for about 20 minutes and didn't see a one. We got into some very skinny water, and Chuck thought it was best he took the wheel. If we hit something, he wanted it to be him driving… so did I. I took a net and positioned myself at the bow. I am not the most graceful person, and I couldn't help fear falling off if we suddenly ran aground. Within a few minutes, I saw my first lobster, but the water was too deep, and I was a little too cautious and let him get away before I could get the net on him. After three attempts, I gave up on him. It was getting late, so we headed back to the house. While coming through the channel that leads to the canal, I again took my net to the bow. I caught one, but he was a shorty. A shorty is a lobster too small to keep. He was thrown back and I quickly caught another. He was a shorty too. but man was that a blast.

The ballyhoo were just going crazy in the channel, and they are a good bait. We went to the house and got another net, went back out and caught 13 ballyhoo, stuck them in the freezer. By the time we got back to the house it was midnight. I had a blast!

Now about the new boat. Chuck is known for being a boat collector. . .

A couple months ago, a neighbor walked across the street and asked Chuck if he was interested in buying his boat. Chuck asked, "How much?" The number given had too many digits, so the answer was a quick, "No thank you." Chuck turns to walk away, and the neighbor asks, "How much would you give me?" Chuck came back with an amount just 1/5th of the asking price. Some haggling was done, and shortly thereafter… there was another boat parked in the driveway.

This boat needed some work, but will be a cool little boat for diving, lobstering, and working the stone crab traps. It is a 19' Sundancer with a Yamaha 4 stroke engine hanging off the back. It will be great on gas and low maintenance.

The motor needed work, new trim motor, new running lights, new battery and the gas tank cleaned. The upholstery was trash and was replaced. The bimini was not in bad shape, but the tie-down straps needed to be replaced, and a bimini boot will probably be added at some point.

She is in the water now, and she is a sweet ride. Last night the weather was perfect, a little moonlight, on the water with my Sweetie … what more could a girl ask for!

Friday, September 26, 2014


Ever since I got to Key West, I've felt off a few degrees. I finally figured out what has contributed to this feeling. First, I stayed with my daughter and her family. It was a temporary situation until I figured out my next move. The decision to stay in Key West was made, so I looked for a place to rent. Rent is VERY expensive here, so I took the cheapest route and rented a room from a lady. It never felt like "my place"… I was "staying" with someone. This lady put her condo up for sale, so again, I must relocate my belongings. The other day it hit me, I know what I need to make me feel more settled. I now have a legal mailing address all my own! A PO Box, and I got my first piece of mail. It may seem a little odd to some of you, but I have the need to have something all my own. Someday I will live in a space that I can decorate to my own taste, paint the wall if I want.  Who knows the future shape of "my space". It may not have four walls, it may have bulkheads and a cockpit to sit and watch the sunset. Anything is possible….

Thursday, September 25, 2014


We all have our favorite Jimmy Buffet song, and know the words to many of his songs. I have many of his songs, but I didn't understand some of the lyrics until I moved to Key West. Jimmy has spent a lot of time here in Key West, and even has a little recording studio by the water.

"All of a sudden I wasn't  alone picking' country music with old Joe Bones. Duval Street was rocking…"

Joe Bones plays a lot of Buffett's music and played at Margaretaville on Duval Street, here in Key West. 

"I'm goin' down to Fausto's to get some chocolate milk…"

Fausto's is a small grocery store on Fleming, just off Duval Street in Key West. It's within easy walking distance of the dinghy dock we always tied to when we first got to Key West. I didn't know it was famous, I just thought it was really expensive. Who knew!

Monday, August 25, 2014


After I published my last post, I received a message from Sean Mulligan. Sean bought my Paradox, SCOUT, and has been taking her on adventures and making memories. Sean was asked to make a presentation during the upcoming Sail Oklahoma. This is an annual boat festival hosted by Mike & Jackie Monies at their BOAT PALACE on Lake Eufaula, Oklahoma. This event is held each October, and attended primarily by boat builders, and has been described as a messabout on steroids.

The first event was held in 2010 and was a big success. It has grown every year, and about 100 boats are expected this year. Sean will be taking SCOUT.  As he said, he knows how to sail her, but doesn't know anything about the building of her, so he has asked if I would take part in this presentation. I have wanted to attend Sail Oklahoma, but never had the time or finances to do so… until this year. My flight has been booked, and all arrangements have been made. While thinking about my presentation, I realized I was fuzzy on details. I looked back at the past posts, but still needed more information in some areas. I contacted Sean and asked if I might have copies of the plans, this would help me. I sent the EVERYTHING to Sean when he purchased her. He offered to send me the whole notebook I had used during the build. I was touched. I received it today! 

When I pulled it out of the box, I was flooded with memories of the endless hours I spent in the garage making sawdust, spreading epoxy, planing, painting……. and it still has the faint odor of sawdust.  And yes, the envelope of receipts are still there. Will I pull them out and add them up? Probably not.

Sail Oklahoma is scheduled for October 9 - 13, 2014. I encourage you to come and join in the fun. There will be lectures, demonstrations, sailing and lots of sea stories told. I'm looking forward to seeing SCOUT, but I also want to see a Mayfly 14. That will be my next build… if I do build again.

Below is a schedule of events, please try and attend. I would love to meet you all, come by and introduce yourself.

For more information, contact Jackie:



Thursday, October 9              
7-9 Continental Breakfast and Coffee
8-5 Private class/ John Welsford “Epoxy and Fiberglass”  Coffee breaks and lunch included $150

8-4 Private classes/ Richard Woods “By Appointment”  analysis and instruction  $50 per hour

8-5  Family Boat Building/ Dave Gentry “Building Kiddyak Skin on Frame  $350 kit/material

8-5  Registration  at Boat Palace  (No charge)  Includes classes above if space available

Sandwiches and snacks available  For Lunch

4-6 Richard Woods/  Multihull Program /  Video and Slides / Tent  Boat Palace / Free Class
8-5  Independent sailing or Group sails at Beach Launch Area

6-7:30  John Welsford/ “Care and Sharpening of Tools”  Boat Palace/ Free Class

7:30-10:00  Group Buffet at City Wok, Main Street, Eufaula  All You Can Eat Chinese Buffet-
                  General Discussion and  Visiting/  Meet and Greet

 Friday, October 10, 2014

7-9  Breakfast Continental and Hot Breakfast Choice/   Boat Palace

8 :00 a.m. Dave Gentry “Family Boatbuilding Skin on Frame Kidyak” Continues / Observation Free

8-10 Michael Storer/ “How To Increase Performance Without Sacrificing Economy / Free Class

10:30  Cruise Across Lake/ Five Mile Cross Lake Eufaula/ Belle Starr Park and Back

Lunch / Sack Picnic Lunch Available in Boat Palace

3-5  Doug Snider  “Heavy Weather Sailing”  Beach Launch Area/  Free Class

5:30 “Ask the Designers”  Panel Forum/ Welsford,  Michalak,  Storer, Gentry , Woods/  Boat Palace/ Free

7 :00  Dinner / Benefit for  VFW Auxiliary- Cooked and Served by Women’s Auxiliary / Boat Palace

8:00   Bob and Virgene Trygg  “Building Our 32 Foot Tahitian  Ketch and Sailing to Keys” / Boat Palace/  Free Class

9:30  Shawn Payment/ Michael Storer  “The Canoe Trip of Doom”  Building canoes and paddling Loire River, France / Boat Palace/  Free Program

Saturday, October 11

7-9  Breakfast/ Continental  or Hot Breakfast Choice/  Boat Palace

9-11   Jim Michalak / “Design Your Own Boat” / Boat Palace/  Free Program

11-12  Richard Woods/  Program  Beach Launch Area/  Free Class

12:00  Noon  Sack Picnic Lunch Sandwiches   Beach Launch Area

1-5  End Cancer Duck Races and Other Races /  Beach Launch Area / Free

6:00  Tom Pamperin  “Jagular”  Reading and Leads Panel on Writing For Publication with Other 
     Authors / Boat Palace /  Free Program

7:30  Dinner / Fried Chicken and Southern Eats /  Boat Palace

8:00  Boat Show Awards and Racing Awards

8:30  Captain Ledge Band Concert and  Kelly McGuire- Redfish Records

Sunday, October 12

7-9  Breakfast / Boat Palace Continental  or Hot  Breakfast Choice

9-11  Sean Mulligan / “Paradox by Matt Layden” and Sail Havasu Presentation/  Free Program

11:00  Pirate Poker and Naval Battle / Beach Front/  Boats 12 Feet and Under/  Free

Lunch  Sandwiches and Snacks Available at Beach

12:30-2:00  Recovery and Flotation Seminar / Richard Woods, Dave Gentry, Jim Michalak, John  Welsford,  Michael Storer/  Free Program

2 :00  Marshmallow Scooping and Bombardment/  Beach Front/  Boats 12 feet and Under/ Free

3:30  Free Sail Time or Improvise Programs

7  Los Arcos Mexican Restaurant /  Highway 9, I mile east of Boat Palace /  Sail or Motor/ 
     Drive  / Menu 

Saturday, August 9, 2014


For over a year, I was able to push back those thoughts of losing s/v TARDIS, my baby. When I saw an email in my inbox from a Paradox or boat building forum, I usually just deleted, did not read. I was in denial, 'just don't think about it' was my attitude. One day the door to the room that held all those feelings of the two years I spent in the garage and driveway building my dream boat, flung wide open and I could not get it closed and locked again. I grieved. To replace TARDIS, I have adopted another boat... Chuck's boat; m/v Jeannie II.

Jeannie II is a 29' fishing boat, and she is Chuck's pride and joy. Chuck wanted a tower on her, but when she's parked on her trailer, she sits right under power lines. The solution; design a fold-down tower. So, he did.

When asked to describe Jeannie II, Chuck told me this:
She has a volvo penta D-6 350 diesel engine with a duroprop outdrive. The engine produces 350 hp and will top out in the 40 knot range, 50 if I am bleeding.
I am adding a foldable tower. The hull is a Mirage hull, manufactured in Gainesville, FL. She is a fish killing machine and has a very large bow flare. If you take a wave over this bow, you should not be out there.
I have added a 9,000 BTU AC unit which uses a 20,000 watt inverter with a battery bank rather than a generator so there are no carbon monoxide fumes to worry about.
Not being familiar with power boats, fishing, or water in the Keys, I asked the question, "What is the purpose of having a tower?" The answer, "You can see the fish better." My next question, "You mean, you can see the fish? Just how far down can you see in the water?" Chuck's reply, "About one hundred feet." I had no idea. I was used to the waters of Galveston Bay, where you might be able to see 12 inches.

View from starboard, the tower folded forward.

View from port side, with tower in place.

It sounds like a big tractor!

Jeannie II needed a few modifications and repairs before she hits the water again. She has a cabin that sleeps six, but was in need of a few changes for a comfortable weekend on the water. First, an A/C unit was installed. The small sink was removed, and the A/C unit installed in it's place. This will make those hot weekends very nice.

The cabin door did not have a good seal, therefore, it leaked. Chuck installed a new door with a window. This door is wider and can be locked.

She has two 150 gallon fresh water tanks. Plenty of water for a weekend, or a week even. The shower below was removed, but there is a hose on deck for a quick rinse.

Jeannie II now is adorned with 34 rod holders. I'm sure many of you just gasped and thought, "34"!!! Before I started fishing with Chuck, I would have done the same. But, you use different setups for different fish. I'm sure at times, they will all be filled. As Chuck tells people all the time, "I brought home the tackle shop one piece at a time." And I believe he did.

After a couple years of living on her trailer in the front yard, on July 24, 2014, Jeannie II felt the cool salt water against her hull once again as she slid free of her trailer. It was long over-due, and Chuck is a very happy man. There are still a few more things that need to be done: re-cover the chair cushions and make cushions for the berths down below. This is my job.

Tied to the dock in the canal, she eagerly awaited a long over-due romp out the channel and in the Atlantic. And she got that chance for Lobster Mini-Season, which was July 30-31. I took those days off from work, and we went hunting lobster.

Last Christmas, my brother gave me a GoPro and I made good use of it during our snorkeling & diving. Here is a video of one of the stops we made. I LOVE LIVING IN KEY WEST!!!!


If the only short cut to your house, involves a boat… 
you're in Conch Country.


Thursday, June 26, 2014


Who wouldn't want a swordfish bill hanging on their wall! It would be a good conversation piece for your office.

One day, I was expressing an interest in making extra money. Living in Key West is not cheap. It was suggested that I paint on swordfish bills and sell them. I had never heard of doing such a thing, but when I found out what they sell for, I said, "I'm in!"

Preparing the bills for painting... well, I'll just say it's a stinky job and a long process. Chuck and I are both painting, and we have had positive feedback with our finished product. The hard part, is coming up with a design that prospective customers would fall in love with and be compelled to buy. My question to all of you guys; if you were vacationing in Key West, what would catch your eye? Would you want something that reminds you of your time in Key West? And what would that be: coconut, palm trees, fish, beach, boats, sunset on the water...tell me.

The surface to paint on a bill, is limited in size. Most are only 3 inches wide and they average 36 inches in length. I also want to try and make swords from bills. I've seen pictures of this done, and I think it is really cool. My only obstacle is the grip. I would prefer to buy a grip, but am having difficulty finding such a thing. I may have to build one from wood. It can be done, but I would like to have it made from metal. If anyone has any ideas, I am open to suggestions.

Years ago, I played around with oils, but never acrylics. Acrylics are a better medium for the bills, so I am learning the ways of the acrylic paints. They do not blend like oils, and I get frustrated because it doesn't come out like the picture I have in my head. Maybe it's my talent lacking, not the fault of the paint... nah, it's the paint.

Click on the image to enlarge the picture.

Monday, June 23, 2014

TX 200: DAY 2

Lot less "exciting" than day 1 , but no less the learning experieince. I should have filmed going aground but was too busy dealing with it. I'm sure it would have been least now! LOL Then, though,.... I was watching the duckers disappear ahead of me and I needed to follow them to find the impromptu destination that was setup for that day after we reached camp 2. They had agreed to sail to Padre Islnad Yacht Club for the night...a distance of around 10 miles....and nighttime was coming fast. To say I was in scramble mode when they said.. "uh aren't gonna make it through here (as I slid hard aground) ...You'r gonna have to turn around...find a channel around the other side of this island that'll get you to the ICW" would be an understatement. In was no big deal. I mean what's the worse case? Maybe I end up camping solo that night..I wasnt gonna die or anything.... least not as long as a stingray ..or gater....or bullshark didnt eat me while I was slogging the boat back upwind to find sailable water. HAHAHA The audio is very weak on this video...sorry.... if you use earbuds and crank it up it's audible... but barely. Operator error on my part. Had the waterproof back on the camera housing and it really muffles everything.
Sean Mulligan & Scout

Sunday, June 22, 2014

TX 200 : DAY ONE

Sean put this video together of his first day during the 2014 Texas 200. I wanted to share it with you, thought you might enjoy it.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

SCOUT in the TEXAS 200

200 miles in fives days. The Texas 200  2014 is in the books. There was lots of wind, very little wind, broken masts, broken rudders, capsizing, towing, and a lot of sea stories told. If I looked on Facebook once, I logged in a million times, keeping up with Scout and the Ducks. Sean and Scout had an amazing trip, and Sean came away with some wild sea stories, and a new appreciation for home built boats and the sailors that sail them.

Here are a few of the pictures from Sean and some of the other guys.

photo by Charlie Jones

photo by Charlie Jones

photo by Sean Mulligan

photographer unknown

photo by Paul Moffitt
 Photo by Capt. Votaw
Scout looks like Momma Duck leading the way for the Ducklings.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Texas 200 2014

No, I won't be there, but TARDIS... I mean SCOUT will be. Sean Mulligan, SCOUT's owner, is taking her back to her homeland. It was my dream for TARDIS to make the trip up the Texas coast, because I know she can make it easily with her shallow draft. I will not be at the helm, but I am confident that she will carry Sean safely for those 200 miles, and they will make fond memories together. Sean was kind enough to offer me the tiller for a couple days, if I would make the trip this year. But, I just can't get away from work that long.  Maybe someday my ship will come in and I will have the opportunity to run and play as much as I would like. Okay, y'all can quit laughing now... it's a nice dream though, right?

There is something special about this year's cruise. LIVESTRONG. Chuck Pierce decided to honor cancer survivors, and those that have lost the battle, with their name on his boat.

For a donation, a name would be placed on his 8' Duck sailboat that will sail this year. Word spread, others wanted to join. Many will be sailing this 200 mile journey in a Duck, at last count there were 13 Ducks in the flock. This is awesome. Sean is not sailing a Duck, but is participating in the fund raising... SCOUT is an honorary Duck.

"Every single name on every boat that has them will serve not only as a way to honor cancer survivors and victims, but as a way that they can be with us on the trip, if not physically, then in our thoughts."

To read more about their trip, go to Sean's blog:
Sean has SPOT if anyone wants to keep up with them. I know I will.

Sunday, May 18, 2014


My first day back to work after vacation, I approach the time clock. My boss tells me that my other boss wants to see me after I clock in. This is not just my boss, it is one of the owners of the business. My first thought was, "Oh crap, what did I do wrong! I'm in trouble for taking time off." Come to find out, a position opened in the business office. The Accounts Receivable position. I was shocked, and a little hesitant to take it, but there was a raise involved. Of course I accepted it.

I have been working in the business office for a couple weeks now. The best thing about this new position..don't have to wear the ugly white T-shirt anymore. I can wear anything I want to (as long as it doesn't have a bar on it), but that means I have one more decision to make right after getting out of bed. I think I can handle that.

Not only do I handle the accounts receivable, I take care of the in-house accounts, payroll, balancing the registers, updating sale signs, and misc. projects. Another responsibility that comes with this position, I get custody of "the children". Who are the children? The paint department, but I love them all.

There are many personalities in the store, and it is a good place to work. We have many "long-timers", the longest being the Store Manager... 36 years. Next in line, in the Special Orders office, 19, 17 & 12 years. Eight other employees have over 7 years with the company, and I'm sure they are "long-timers" also.

But, we also have the "short-timers", as they are called. Customer service is strongly stressed, and it is a fast-paced store. The majority of our sales are workers just trying to get a part for their job, and they want in and out as fast as possible. This work environment is not for everybody.

I started out at the register, was there for about 5 months. Then I was asked to balance the registers also. I enjoyed that, getting away from the register for 1 1/2 hours in the morning. A couple months ago, I was pulled from the register and started receiving deliveries. I really liked this better, but I did miss seeing our regular customers. Now, I've moved upstairs in the business office.

My only request before employment at Strunk Ace Hardware.... I need my weekends off. I have stood firm, and I've been granted my wish. I want to enjoy life, take those weekends on the water. Life is too short. Take every opportunity to do something fun, don't pass it up.




Wednesday, May 7, 2014

PURA VIDA : part 2

If asked what surprised me the most about Costa Rica, I would have to say, "The fences." Fences, you ask? Fences for pasture are made from barbed wire, and post are branches cut from trees. The soil is so rich and the weather so perfect for growing, the "post" form roots and sprout branches themselves becoming trees. As a child, I remember our family used commercially treated post for fencing. It was treated to prevent rotting in the ground. The post in Costa Rica don't have that rotting problem, because they are living structures. Amazing! 
The post in the foreground has sprouted a branch from top.
The volcano is amazing. It is still active and the lava is visible on the sides. Since it is still active, there are several hot spring resorts. We visited one called Tabacon. It was wonderful with many private pools and small waterfalls. The water was very warm and flowed quickly. The last pool, complete with a water slide, had a bar at the far side. I couldn't resist trying out the slide. It was as much fun as I thought it would be.

It was dark and I couldn't get good pics.

Lake Arenal is very large, but we only saw one boat on the lake. Chuck, being a true angler, packed his travel rod and reel in hopes of catching something on the vacation. The fish were not cooperating that morning, so we took the 4-wheeler to the Butterfly Conservatory. I learned that butterflies have host plants. They are picky eaters, only eating one type of plant. The butterflies were very active, and very pretty. 

After the butterfly museum, we visited the snake museum. There are vipers in Costa Rica, and we saw one while horseback riding. Both of these museums were very interesting. 

Our last day there, we went to Sky Trek. You ride a gondola up into the mountains, and the only way to get down, is the Zip line. It was so much fun.

See that little white dot... that's me coming in!!!
Coming in fast!!!
On our last night, we had dinner with three of our friends. It was a fabulous meal, I had the Gordon Blue Chicken. Okay, I think they meant Cordon Bleu. The food was excellent, and the company even better. After dinner we all gathered in the hot tub at the Majestic Lodge. It was a perfect end to a perfect vacation, and I know I will get to do it again some day.