~~~~~~~~~~~~~~RAIN DOG'S BLOG~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Saturday, February 28, 2015

Ocean Girl is Cruising :-)

Just a quick post to anyone who might be checking in here. I'm blogging here -- My husband and I are cruising aboard a 34 Crealock by Pacific Seacraft. I'm recovering from a long illness ( Brain tumors) but am healthy and strong enough to go cruising. My hubby does a lot of the work most days, but I'm getting stronger and my seamanship skills are slowly coming back to me. We are headed for the Bahamas, then East coast US most likely. Anyways, I hope this finds you well and living your dreams :-)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Where U At?

Just a reminder we are blogging at Woop Woop Blog,Woop Woop our landlubber site, until the end of hurricane season.
Cheers,
Erika


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Friday, June 22, 2012

Ocean Girl ( the boat) is sold

~~OCEAN GIRL~~ Is Sold



I will miss that boat, I think she went to a good home. If the new owner reads this and has any questions, I would be glad to help in any way. oceangirlcd30@yahoo.com

Some leftover issues that may help:
Holding tank, head, and hoses is new, I got the tank from Ronco it is templated from the original version. I have had an odor problem ever since a little six year old boy came aboard and used the head ( don't ask me what he did) if you have odor trouble, check the vent and the pick up tube. I keep the thru hull closed b/c I rigged the vented loop to be able to draw sea water ( I don't trust vented loops!!). On a port tack, if the joker valve dies it may leak into the head. Fair warning :-)

The autopilot works beautifully but was hard wired really weird so I removed it. Once you remount, it's best NOT to store it in the locked(on) position or it may freeze the helm( the belt sticks in position) use the normal edson helm brake. When I bought the boat the autohelm had been sitting for a long time in the locked position it took a good yank to get the belt to get unstuck. I actually removed it the unit always after seeing the wiring set up.

I have the original +1 survey( not including the one I already gave you) you are welcome to them. It may take a while to get them to you, I will not be back in Texas till October.

To fill the water tanks on the port side you fill straight onto tanks, the deck fill hose is original and leaked so I capped it. The starboard tank I cleaned but didn't use or get a chance to work on.

The fill for the fuel tank is seized so I fill straight into tank. I had a friend come over and try to un seize it. As you can see from the crazing he put way to much torque on the fitting, I should of just removed the whole fitting and soaked it in PBblaster or something.

The bowsprit is new. The teak I pick out myself with the help of an expert friend. It came from a 9 foot plank 2 3/4 thick. I replaced all ss with silicon bronze carriage bolts. I kept the extra length on the bowsprit incase you wanted to move the forestay forward to increase J measurement and to relieve some weather helm ( through research you will find some cape dory folks did this and were quite happy with the results). Or you can chop the extra 11 inches off the bowsprit and add a nice anchor roller ( Spartan makes a beautiful one). The plank was already well seasoned and did not need a marine finish, you should only see some minor checking but that us all. A nice washing with murphy's oil soap and salt water is the best for bare teak. No bristles should be used, it digs out the soft grain which is bad, 3M pad or sponge only ( I was a varnish lady for ten years) This bowsprit is strong, you can pick the whole boat up with it!!

I hope this didn't come off preachy. This is your boat now. There are projects I'm very proud of and there are some projects aboard that I'm not so proud of, you can probably spot these by the tell tale duct tape :-) Sorry!



There is more just write me if you'd like, if not that is OK.



Cheers and Godspeed to many adventures aboard your fine yacht.

OCEAN GIRL (the girl)


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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Ocean girl update, At the Beach, and Other Happenings



I was just at the beach. Brian and I have had our RV on the beach for a few weeks now after being inland for many months. Swimming in the ocean awoke something in me. Something I had to tuck away before they moved me onto that gurney and rolled me into that operating room. Silly. I was surprised and baffled that all the medications and the doctors visits and all the physical therapy wasn't helping me. I had plateau'd in my recovery. Nothing I did seemed to help, I followed every hair brained idea the docs had, even when I knew darn well I didn't need yet another stupid pill. Lord I am tired of pills!
But that the simple act of walking out into those breaking waves letting each one crash around me. The beautiful bluish green water, sagrasso seaweed floating about. I felt that old childish joy, the wonder of it all, the ocean. But again, Silly. My nickname is Ocean Girl, why am I surprised the real healing wouldn't begin until I could get my ass back on/in the water? It is about the ocean, it has always been about the ocean.
Sorry for the rant, but I haven't done it in a while so figure I was overdue anyway :-).

Brian is great, he swims with me too, that boy has saltwater in his veins I tell ya. This weekend is 'Boys' weekend. Brian and a bunch of his friends are taking Rain Dog out for a weekend sail and getaway.








Brian's nephews, his sister and brother-in-law were down for the weekend. Brian, my niece and I stayed on Rain Dog. Rebecca (Brian's sister) and family stayed at the RV. Avery (Rebecca's father-in-law) was also here, along with Abbey and Ron, with kids Roxy and Sly ( friends from Austin) Whew! So as you can see we had quite a crew!





I was a bit overwhelmed by it all, but my niece and I had a blast boogie boarding and flying kites on the beach. The first day the waves were rippin ( is that the right word?) I saw two small sharks between the first and second sandbar, but big not enough to get out of the water, they were probably 2-3 ft long( little babies!) Though as I write this I realize that the parents of my niece may read this, them being landlubbers may not quite understand or find this amusing. Anyways, Brian also took them sailing and on the Dolphin watch boat.







We are headed inland for a few months ( gulp). We are going to Wyoming , Minisota , and Michigan so will be in some really beautiful places. In September we are planning a Caribbean trip, not sure where, still hurricane season so no time to take Rain Dog, maybe fly out to the Exumas to scope out the joint for our next trip in RD. Maybe catch up with some friends on one of the islands. I've been wanting to visit 'See Yawl Later' a catamaran that used to live at our marina up in Kemah. Not sure, I am sure I need some warm tropical water before the long winter. Sabbatical ends October....maybe :-)







This is from an Australian poet Michael Leunig. This poem kinda grabbed me. The frustrations of a slow recovery, especially when it involves the brain, critical thinking, and higher functioning. To know I'm not functioning the way I was before surgery. It is a bit surreal. The other day I was fighting with the remote control, had me in tears because the damn thing was out smarting me. I was flashing to my grandpa fighting with the VCR.. Yep, I was crying over a remote control. Btw the very next night was joking with my husband about physics and made a quark joke. So all my cylinders must be firing, just not all the time....


"It's out there at sea that you are really yourself."
-Vito Dumas

Ocean girl update, At the Beach, and Other Happenings




"It's out there at sea that you are really yourself."
-Vito Dumas

Well ok, " at sea" may be a bit melodramatic. I was just at the beach. Brian and I have had our RV on the beach for a few weeks now after being inland for many months. Swimming in the ocean awoke something in me. Something I had to tuck away before they moved me onto that gurney and rolled me into that operating room. Silly. I was surprised and baffled that all the medications and the doctors visits and all the physical therapy wasn't helping me. I had plateau'd in my recovery. Nothing I did seemed to help, I followed every hair brained idea the docs had, even when I knew darn well I didn't need yet another stupid pill. Lord I am tired of pills!
But that the simple act of walking out into those breaking waves letting each one crash around me. The beautiful bluish green water, sagrasso seaweed floating about. I felt that old childish joy, the wonder of it all, the ocean. But again, Silly. My nickname is Ocean Girl, why am I surprised the real healing wouldn't begin until I could get my ass back on/in the water? It is about the ocean, it has always been about the ocean.
Sorry for the rant, but I haven't done it in a while so figure I was overdue anyway :-).

Brian is great, he swims with me too, that boy has saltwater in his veins I tell ya. This weekend is 'Boys' weekend. Brian and a bunch of his friends are taking Rain Dog out for a weekend sail and getaway.








Brian's nephews, his sister and brother-in-law were down for the weekend. Brian, my niece and I stayed on Rain Dog. Rebecca (Brian's sister) and family stayed at the RV. Avery (Rebecca's father-in-law) was also here, along with Abbey and Ron, with kids Roxy and Sly ( friends from Austin) Whew! So as you can see we had quite a crew!





I was a bit overwhelmed by it all, but my niece and I had a blast boogie boarding and flying kites on the beach. The first day the waves were rippin ( is that the right word?) I saw two small sharks between the first and second sandbar, but big not enough to get out of the water, they were probably 2-3 ft long( little babies!) Though as I write this I realize that the parents of my niece may read this, them being landlubbers may not quite understand or find this amusing. Anyways, Brian also took them sailing and on the Dolphin watch boat.







We are headed inland for a few months ( gulp). We are going to Wyoming , Minisota , and Michigan so will be in some really beautiful places. In September we are planning a Caribbean trip, not sure where, still hurricane season so no time to take Rain Dog, maybe fly out to the Exumas to scope out the joint for our next trip in RD. Maybe catch up with some friends on one of the islands. I've been wanting to visit 'See Yawl Later' a catamaran that used to live at our marina up in Kemah. Not sure, I am sure I need some warm tropical water before the long winter. Sabbatical ends October....maybe :-)







This is from an Australian poet Michael Leunig. This poem kinda grabbed me. The frustrations of a slow recovery, especially when it involves the brain, critical thinking, and higher functioning. To know I'm not functioning the way I was before surgery. It is a bit surreal. The other day I was fighting with the remote control, had me in tears because the damn thing was out smarting me. I was flashing to my grandpa fighting with the VCR.. Yep, I was crying over a remote control.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Port A

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Nother Blog?




Here is a link to our summer trip blog, so we don't crowd Rain Dogs blog with a bunch of landlubber stuff, which can be quite eye glazing to some sailors ( no offense to the dirt dwellers ) :-)
http://koala26sswoopwoop.blogspot.com/
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ocean Girl is for sale

Just thought I'd post it here that Ocean Girl ( the boat) is for sale,

see

http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listing/boatMergedDetails.jsp?boat_id=2336897&checked_boats=2336897&ybw=&units=Feet&access=Public&listing_id=77760&url=&imc=pg-fs



">

Ocean girl (the girl ) meets Rain Dog ( the boy)

We are married now, living aboard a pacific seacraft 34 crealock with pooch Kaela. We hope to have Rain Dog ( the boat ) cruise ready by next year.


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Saturday, December 4, 2010

RAIN DOG'S BLOG

I created a blog for my (now our) adventures aboard Rain Dog, here is the link. I am not web savvy so not sure how to tie these two blogs together so this is the best I got. I will have a permanent link at the top of OG's page.

I will put Ocean Girl (the boat :-) ) up for sale as soon as I get her all squared away with outstanding projects. She served me well that beautiful boat, a wonderful companion and teacher to get me back into the swing of boat maintenance and repair. It is kinda funny, I have settled into life aboard Rain Dog easier than I did aboard Ocean Girl. Even stranger and hard to admit is that I have not missed Ocean Girl one bit, maybe it is a sign of just how lonely I was and how happy I am now. However, I will always cherish those nights cuddled up in the Vberth feeling her rock me to sleep and the wonderful sunrises I shared with her in my hammock.


Anyways here is the link to Rain Dog's site for those interested .
~RAIN DOG~

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Harvest Moon

Our Harvest moon flag, the wind beat it to near death.




Here is a vid of the Matagorda Bay crossing. It was blowing about 20-25+ knots and we were hauling butt! Brian was down below taking a nap, Shel was at the helm sailing the hell outta that boat, and I was hanging on enjoying the ride.


video

We came in 2nd in our division for Harvest moon Regatta. I loved Port A and the ICW trip back to Galvestion. The race down was a bit rough and very wet. I learned that I do not like to race nor sail at 30 deg! So Brian and I now have a understanding, when he wants to race Rain Dog I will be his land crew waiting for him at the next port with a hot shower and cold beer. For all other cruising trips Ocean Girl (the Girl) is to sail at 15-20 degrees,call me a princess but when you cannot pee in the toilet for fear of getting it on the bulkhead (wall) it is time to reef! (sorry for the potty talk!)



The pack of boats behind us...272 boats started the race, 70ish dropped out due to heavy weather conditions and assorted gear malfunctions. One vessel was struck by a fishing boat (everyone was ok but boat was dismasted).



My guy, enjoying the calm before the hard sailing night.



There was a dolphin playing in that ship's bow wake but I couldnt get the shot (dagnabbit!)



My guy at the helm



Me. Salty, sweaty, hiding from the sun, happy as a clam.




The ICW was so pretty and the perfect refuge from a rowdy stormy Gulf.




Life is good :-)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cinderella finds her Prince Charming...

Well after beating the bushes for years and years I have finally flushed out my prince!! I have so much to say about it but words die at my keyboard. I guess it is so deep, theses feelings I have, that it is way too personal for a medium such as this. But I will say that I have waited a long time for this fellow, and nearly gave up the search.

I find it amazing that there really is such a thing as a soul mate. This admission is pretty funny coming from the gal that created a singles group with almost 200 members titled "single sailors seeking soul mate", but back then (before Brian ) I was running on pure 100% blind faith. I now have him in the flesh and find myself stunned and shaking my head in wonder saying there really is such a thing as a soul mate .

I apologize for the mushy stuff, a far cry from the boat repair and sea adventure stories, but this is the biggest adventure my heart has ever seen (period).



Brian..sigh :-) Cinderella finds her Prince Charming...I wont be single handing after all, yahoo!

More to come, when the words stop dieing at my keyboard.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Birthday Fun (OLD POST ALERT!!)

It was my birthday weekend filled with boat fun and even a recounting of my birth....
Alecia, mom says I was the most beautiful baby of us three! She also says I was the most well behaved baby, never cried, always smiling, and never fussed...a sister must rub it in.
This revelation that I was in fact a perfect baby contradicts the earlier accounting's of my beginnings. And so, at 41, I finally find out that the "pumpkin head" joke was all huey! Let me explain to the good folks at home about "pumkin head". All my life my sis and brother said I was born with a pumpkin head. It was said that my head dwarfed my puny body, so big that it could only be compared to a prized pumpkin! So the pumpkin head name was born. I finally have proof that I was in fact a perfect baby (moms words!), and the most beautiful baby she has ever seen (again mom's words!).

I will try to post the famed photo that was used to support the legend of the Pumkinhead...but I think all evidence has been destroyed (I think I got it all :-) )

Saturday, September 11, 2010

9/11


Amazing how that familiar feeling of shock and disbelief is still there, deep down it is right where I left it. I wanted to post a picture from that day but I just can't, way too sad.

I was in Rhode Island on that day, working for Sea Ray Yachts. A coworkers Aunt was on the second plane and one of my customers had missed a morning meeting in the First tower.

God Bless America

Friday, September 10, 2010

Kayaking out to the lake

Had a little fun this evening kayaking out into the lake then sat drifting in the shallows watching the boats.. and the waves.. and the birds.. and the sky.. and the clouds....sigh, I love this life.



How funny it is, my love for the water. No matter the boat I am in nor the depth of water below the keel, as long as I am afloat my heart is happy.





When I got home I sat at the bow in my hammock and watched Venus try to keep pace with the Moon as it sets to the west. The moon was a mere sliver but extremely bright in the deep blue black backdrop of the night sky, absolutely beautiful.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Ocean Girl has a sleep over!!

Here are some pictures of my niece and nephew when they came down for the weekend.



The hammocks were very popular watching the sunrise, sunset, and stargazing at night.




Erika Lily cleaned the boat while I yelled "swab that deck!"




Erika Lily likes to nap in the kayak too (just like her Auntie :-) )




Warren woke up with the sun and was the man about the marina, sight seeing and meeting the locals. Erika Lily is a natural onboard, she loves the boat and can't wait to go sailing. Erika Lily hints that I need a bigger boat, something with "four stories". She has what we sailors call "another foot itis", always wanting a bigger boat.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

K-5





Well its been 5 years since that horrible event, Katrina category five hits the Gulf coast. I cried many times for the people who died, were trapped, or injured. I cried today just remembering and I still have to swallow the anger of how miserably we failed to help the survivors. I was a nursing student at the time and it was surreal to go to class, to study, to eat and sleep knowing that there were so many nearby that were in big trouble. Many times I fought the urge of leaping up out of my seat and run out of class to do something..anything! Yet all I could do was pray, gather up what I could to give, and call my senator to chew em out. I think back and admire the determined people who threw their boats on trucks and trailers and drove to the waters edge to make their way into the the city to find survivors. I admire the rescue workers who were givin few resources for a Herculean job.










May Katrina's failures never happen again.
1836 lives lost, countless injured physically and emotionally.




A lot of heroes, big and small...











A lot of hearts broken...







I had the privilege to get to know one survivor and her family. Her name was Chaqita and she was from the 9th ward, she stayed at the shelter next to where I worked as a teacher in the Child development center. Anyways, Chaqita got out of New Orleans with her 5 kids before the storm hit. But her brother stayed behind with their uncle who had refused to leave. The uncle died in the dome (hell dome), her brother survived but was very traumatized. Chaqita lost everything, lost her home, her uncle, didn't know where half her family was, and yet she was always graceful, thankful, and positive.

Chaqita and I bonded from the very get go. We come from totally different backgrounds but we talked and hugged like sisters. I still think of her and pray for her and her family. This photo below of a woman and her kids (Katrina survivor) reminds me of Chaqita, strong, resilient, and loved. If I could of hugged every Katrina survivor I would of, we all would of.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Family fun

My sister and her family came by the boat today. It was so great to have them on board. My sis wants to have a girls sleepover weekend (yahoo) and my niece and nephew are coming to spend the night next Friday (Yahoo).

Here is Erika Lily (my niece) in Erika Leigh's (me) favorite spot aboard OG -the hammock. Yes, my niece was named after me, and Lily is my Brother in law's sister :-).




Warren, keeping an eye on his little sister. And my sister Alecia, keeping an eye on both of em:-).



Noel, enjoying the cockpit and the shade:).

Crazy Eyed Jack




I guess this is the way of living a transient life, you are always making new friends and old friends move on to new horizons. I believe Harvey has moved onto another pier and now this roughneck arrived today. I was out kayaking when he picked Ocean Girl for his turf. He is a young blood and a bit mean looking, hard to believe he is of the same species as Harvey. Harvey could never look mean, he has a weak chin:).(I know I know, I need to get over Harvey)



ABOVE:
I found my companionway canvas ajar as if a certain bird decided to be nosey..




BELOW:

Now tell me this new guy doesn't look a bit intimidating...I think I'll name him "Crazy Eyed Jack". This is who we Texans would describe as "ornery".



Thursday, August 19, 2010

Crack - what the hee-el is that!


Yep that is my strong language, but a gal gets a little excited when her beautiful vessel has a bo bo.
I was kayaking this morning enjoying the beautiful blue sky when my eyes light upon the prettiest boat in the marina....Ocean Girl, man oh man is she pretty! I decided to row around her a bit and take a look at her waterline and especially the bobstay fittings. I found this at the base of the bowsprit that meets the fbg of the bow. I don't know what would cause this, her bobstay isn't too tight, in fact I think her rigging is a bit loose. The new bowsprit is clear with no signs of stress. That area of the bow is so thick and strong with a big honkin steel plate glassed into the triangular nook of the bow. I will explore further but she should be fine. If the are is ok and stable, I will simply put some epoxy to waterproof the area and leave it.. but dang I wonder what the hee-el caused that?
If it was caused by an outside force it was probable the valliant across the way hit her, they are new to sailing and have had some close calls to OG bow. But OG has no other marks on her, if she was struck I think there would be other signs. Anyways, other than that Ocean Girl is coming along nicely. My volvo parts should be here in a couple weeks, she should be sailable once the engine is back in service.

Mashed Potato Mountain


Remember the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind? Remember how Dreyfus was obsessed with the mountain? Everywhere he looked he saw the mountain, he even sculpts the mountain out of his mashed potatoes. He finally gives in to the need to find this mountain, to follow the irresistible pull of his vision, no matter how illogical or crazy it seems. Once he is finally on his journey to find this mountain he meets others who have the same vision, the same need. It comes to light that people from all over the world find their way to that mountain because of this irresistible, unexplainable pull.

Well, I see many similarities to my sailor friends to the characters in that movie. My sailor friends come from all walks of life, from all over the world. We all have that same pull, that same need to be on the water. We all have laid awake at night plotting the moment we will have our boat and we all have dreamed of blue water. We leave our homes, some quit their jobs, give up their lifestyles, just to be with the sea.



Sometimes bewildered that we find ourselves here on the water, but all the while knowing that this is exactly where we belong. Inexplicable, illogical, and unexplainable to many (ie landlubbers). For some, this life afloat is as predetermined as the characters in the movie finding that mountain, to ignore the call is - unthinkable.

My co workers told me about a house that is for sale cheap, said it would be a great house for me. Frankly, it was the craziest thing I'd ever heard (borderline insulted to even suggest it). Why the heck would I live in a house? I looked at them incredulously and told them that even if they gave me a house I'd still live on my boat. Again, why the heck would I live in a house? What could possibly possess me to live on land? It could be a gold plated mansion and my answer would be the same. Living on land has zero appeal (ie unthinkable). I have told my friends at work that I choose to live on my boat but some just can't seem to fathom that I don't want to live in a big house with all the trimmings. I think some may think that I am too poor to own a house, maybe that is why I live on a boat. And some think I am just uninformed about a new invention called four walls and a roof,(sigh). I don't know, landlubbers are very weird (period).


A close encounter with a ship (excuse the pun), I think this is the Gulf of Mexico.


This week was a bit crazy at work. We had a patient code on the table, we performed CPR for over a half an hour. Thanks to an incredible team effort he is still alive today. I could never post all my thoughts about my experience as a nurse, but I will say that I work with some amazing and selfless doctors and nurses.
Erika