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



Thursday, July 29, 2010

Harvey's lil secret

Well brace yourself, Harvey is not who he said he is and Sue Ellen is playing on the wrong side of the tracks! The whole sordid affair came to light just a few nights ago when my friend Dennis pointed out that Sue Ellen is a black crowned night heron. This observation lead to the discovery that Harvey is a green Heron, a totally different subspecies..sigh. So the love was doomed from the start (snif snif), aint that just the pits. My dream of hearing the little pitter patter of mini Harveys running around the dock bumping their heads and falling in the water are shattered. Sue Ellen seems to be completely unaware that she is playing with fire, she was just seen following him around this very morning. Hmmm, I now remember how elusive she was when they first met, now I know why. He must have worn her down and she finally melted into his arms (uh er wings) and gave way to the bliss of a forbidden kiss...sigh. As you can see I am a bit of a romantic. That is Ocean Girl (the girl), a single gal waiting for her prince charming to swoop down and sail her off into the horizon (oh and fix he ac system too :-) ) but I will not fall for a subspecies (landlubber) like Sue Ellen fell for Harvey. I still love Harvey, but his figure is a bit tragic now... less like Cary Grant and more like Groucho Marx.

I am off today and will work on my dc system. My Volvo water pump to heat exchanger hose came in and was the wrong size of course, this is the way of Ocean Girl (the boat) it can never be the right part on the first try.


If I held you any closer I would be on the other side of you. ~~Groucho Marx

Insanity runs in my family. It practically gallops. ~~Cary Grant



A few hours later....
ok will try again to upload a vid from OG. Here is a clip of a cool storm that blew through over the weekend. Funny how the vid doesn't really show the whole picture of this blow. The boats were "dancing" in their slips. Also notice how the water is almost completely undisturbed, the wind seemed to be about 20 feet off the deck and only a few puffs actually reached the sea level. God I love the weather, so very interesting. I made another "tour OG" vid but it is still too long (too many megabites or somethin) so will make a mini tour as soon as I get OG the boat and OG the girl tidy, it is 12 o'clock and I am still in my pajamas,(giggle) my plans of work have fallen to the wayside. I'd be a lazy bum if I didn't work so hard.


A few more hours later.....
DAGNABBIT, the vid failed again.. dag-nab-bit! Ok this tears it, it is my mission now to find out how to properly post a video, and the best part is I can do it in me pajamas :-) don't tell my mom, she hates laziness when there is boat work to be done.

Cheers,
Erika

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A riffraff has moved in and we aint happy about it!


Actually I kinda like him, but Harvey and Sue Ellen are feeling a bit put off. The new arrival has taken Harvey's favorite fishing spot (photo). This new guy doesn't have the flare Harvey has.
Harvey was so funny the other morning, it was raining and he was just sitting right outside my port looking so wet and bedraggled, so pathetically adorable! I got a picture of him but I had forgotten to put my memory card back in the camera(Blimey!). Before I could fix the oversight Harvey got wise of my plan and flew off in a huff. Man that would of been a great picture! I know he is just a silly bird but he provides so much amusement, he is such a character. I hope this new guy doesn't run Harvey off, lord I sure would miss him. BTW still don't know what kind of bird Harvey is...?




Here is a shot of Sue Ellen, she is such a pretty lady :-)

Friday, July 23, 2010

I am so mad I could just spit!! ...paw-tewi !


Well, as you might of guessed I am spittin mad. I bought two deep cell batteries about three months ago, one of the batteries never really would take a charge and I have determined that it is bad. I tried to exchange it at the store that I purchased the batteries from but they wouldn't even pro rate it, they did graciously offer to take it and give me a core charge! (spittin mad)... So I officially boycott Blackburns Marine (period) they are now dead to me (period).
I really should of bought the batteries from west marine, their prices may be a bit higher but dagnabbit they would of taken those batteries back and made this deal good, they know customer service. So tomorrow I will go cry on Nolan's shoulders (manager of West Marine, known him for 20 years), beg forgiveness for wandering, and see what kind of deal he can give me. Plus Nolan has a load tester so I can check to see what my other battery looks like, I wonder if the bad battery ruined my good battery.

My new volvo parts are waiting for me at the office (Yahoo!) but this weekend is all about preparing for a Hurricane. TD Bonnie isn't going to hit us, but I need to refine the exact line configuration, add chain cleats, and get my other supplies together. I will post my Hurricane "box" prep, so you all can give me some feedback if see something I might have missed.

Cheers,
Erika

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Avocado ice cream...mmmmm



















OK first I must warn you, the ice cream is green. Plus is is made with avocados. BUT I implore you to put those two oddities aside and be open to a new and delightful experience. This recipe is from my Philippine friend. I call it avocado ice cream and it is heavenly.
Here is how you fix it.

1 ripe avocado (1 big or 2 small)
1 mango
2 tbsp milk (or half and half is good too)
sugar to taste (usually only a teaspoon if you have a good avocado)

Scoop out avocado and mush up well, sprinkle a tbsp or two of milk or half-n-half to give a creamy texture. Add sugar to taste, usually only a teaspoon. Slice up the mango (remove skin and seed) add to avocado and mix well. Chill or freeze for one hour. Will stay fresh 12-24 hours in refridge, or much longer if frozen. If you freeze, allow to thaw a bit before eating.



Mabuti iyan! ( Tagalog for "Oh, thats good!")

My booty


Here is a pic of my $25 purchase.....drool away.










But wait! that is not all, along with my $25 purchase my friend threw in for free....a beautiful replica of the Star Trek USS Enterprise!(sci-fi nuts commence the drooling)









My friend is cleaning out his boat and car of all the stuff he has collected over the many years of dumpster diving. For those who do not know about this elite sport with its very savvy and tenacious group of athletes let me enlighten you. Dumpster diving is the sport (art form to many) of picking through the dumpster at your local marina and boat yards. It is amazing what people throw away and if you are man enough to weed through junk and debris you may just find a real treasure. I tried this sport in my younger years but just couldn't get the courage to touch trash (a proud germaphobe). So I have stayed on the side lines and cheered my dumpster diving friends to victory! As you can see from my purchase (did I mention it was only 25 dollars?) dumpster diving is a sport where everyone wins...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Not feelin the love for Honeybunny.






YOU WANT ME TO GO DOWN THERE?



ASSUME POSITION! YOU WILL KISS FIBERGLASS, AND YOU WILL LIKE IT!





















































































The alternator belt is loose, when I climbed down to tighten it I found a missing nut on the tension arm. The now bare bolt rubbed a chafe hole in my water pump to heat exchanger hose...sigh (loudly). So I ordered a replacement hose for the Volvo and two new lock nuts for the tension arm (one to replace the missing lock nut, the other to drop in the bilge while replacing the missing lock nut). Next is to remove the alternator belt to check the mount for any other issues.........

Well, it nearly broke me in two but I got the belt off of the alternator. All looks good, no more loose bolts or studs that I can tell, and I have learned much about my engine who I named Honey bunny. The engine, a Volvo MD2020 D, is a real beaut. It is also a vdrive, which means that the engine sits backwards and the belt is under the cockpit sole. In order to get to the alternator belt I must crawl into the lazarette, hang upside down, and smush my face up against a grimy old fiberglass partition just to "feel" my alternator. Or I can fold myself in two, twist my neck in an un natural state (similar to what you saw during the movie "The Exorcist") in order to actually "see" my alternator. Neither position gives me good access to the back of the engine, both positions induce an intense desire to buy an outboard and slap it on OG's stern. Plus it was about 100 degrees today so grimy and sweaty, fun.

I am very tired, will sleep like a baby tonight and will dream of a beautiful sailboat (OG) sailing in deep blue water, under a starry sky....sigh (sweetly). I love my boat.

P.S.
A shout out to all my peeps at Cruisers Forum for helping this mechanically "disinclined to be inclined" gal through the maze of basic alternator understanding.

Two simple act of kindness


Two remarkable things happend to me this week.
So yesterday I am at work, and as usual it is a crazy day :-). Towards the end of my shift, out of the blue, I am given this wonderful gift. A girlfriend and her mother gave me a charm bracelet with a little sailboat, a globe, a trasure chest, telescope, and a paper chart charm on it. The bracelet is all about travel and adventure and Geraldine said her mom just had to get it for me(little old me!), her mom insisted that it was perfect for me. I had met Geraldine's mom at Geraldine's wedding shower two years ago, and I haven't seen her since. Actually I don't even know Geraldine too well, we work together and have spent time at BBQs and such, she is so funny and we always laugh when we get to hang out with each other. Anyways, funny how someone you barely know pegs you so well. You see, I don't go for diamons or gold, I don't pine for expensive baubles. If I do wear jewelry I prefer silver and love anything nautical, one of my favorite bauble is a pair of seashell earings I bought for $4.99 (so I can hear the ocean all the time :-) ). It was such a sweet thing to do for someone she barely knows, I am amazed by the kindness of people around me.

Then the very next day a friend (who I have never met in person) sent me a book called the Out-Island Doctor, can't wait to dive into it, it is the first book I have seen about a sailor who helps the locals in the ports he travels to. I feel like God is giving little hugs of encouragement about my journey towards cruising. Anyways, THANKS Andrew! I am so blessed to have such kind friends.

Cheers,
Erika

Cruising Women Are So Beautiful!


Well, life is moving along here on OG, though not as quickly as I'd like as far as the boat is concerned. I have been working at the Heart and Vascular Institute all week, so a heavy dose of serenity (and sleep) is needed when I get home at night.



Still having trouble with my bed, or uh my bunk. Seems I am unable to sleep in the vberth comfortably, I wake up with a stiff neck(?). I moved my bed out into the main salon (foam and all), I sleep like a baby again. Same bed, different location. Very strange and a pain to have my bedding in the middle of my main salon. The only difference between the two locations is in the vberth my toes point to the bow, in the main salon my toes point to the stern. Maybe I will try sleeping in the vberth with my head at the bow. I am bow light (no anchor chain in the chain locker yet) so I do use a wedge to stay "level".


Had breakfast with Linda aboard SeaYawl Later. Linda and her husband Rusty just came back from an extended shake down cruise to the Exumas. They are now ready to really disconnect from the burdens of land stuff, sell everything and go cruising. Cruising women are so beautiful! they always have a sparkle in their eyes and a carefree smile upon their sun kissed faces. She, like Ann on Como No, told me to get my buns out cruising, but "getting out there" seems a bigger challenge than I anticipated. Or rather, at times it seems pretty darn far away. BUT I am getting closer, and I can hear Obi-Wan Kenobi say...patience my young friend (yes I am a sci-fi geek).




Cheers,
Erika

Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy 4th!



Well, it isn't 4th of July without me shaking my fist at a powerboat or two. It brings me to one of my many pet peeves, the no wake zones! I think many people look at a no wake zone as a small wake zone or even medium wake zone...it is No Wake as in NO wake, got it buddy? I have a behemothpowermegayachtthingy that lives across the way and he absolutely loves to tear in and out of the marina, last night I stood on the end of my finger pier and shook my fist at him, I must of been quite a spectacle (look out, grumpy sailor at three o’clock!) but frankly I didn't care, a gal has got to stand up to bullies when she feels the calling. But my fist shaking did not have the desired effect, in fact I don't think the party goers even noticed me, they were too busy having fun. So I grumbled to myself and crawled back down below OG, I felt like a grumpy old man, maybe the hermit in me is having a bit too much influence, time for a sail.


I installed the anchor storage with the needed drainage holes and attached it with two heavy duty hose clamps, it took less than 30 minutes and is much stronger.












Now I am about to crawl down in the lazarette and tighten the alternator belt, wish me luck.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Day Three Of My Five Day Vacation

SOCCER UPDATE:
Well Argentina sure disappointed me, not because they lost but because they were such poor sportsmen. So by 22 minutes into the game I defected over to Germany, though I just couldn't seem to warm up to them either..I miss Ghana sniff sniff. At least I still have the Netherlands, hope they make it to the finals, I am not sure where I will watch it. I have one friend that enjoys soccer (only one! we Americans gotta get with the program) but it would be great to go somewhere to enjoy the game with more than our army of two. We liked Boondoggles over in Seabrook, guess that is where we will go (?).


So today's accomplishments to find the "serene Erika" included:
1) watch the Germany v Argentina game (2)then I went over to the spa for a massage, and (3)back to boat for a nap. Are you getting the idea that I am a lazy bum? Well I am. Today I embraced laziness with a bear hug and a big sloppy wet kiss (ahhh 100% bum, forgot what it feels like). I do have a nagging voice in the back of my head telling me to do a project or two, but I choose to ignore it (gleefully in fact). It is kind of funny cause I love to work on the boat. So why pray tell is it so fun to ignore boat work too? Am I the only one? Is this a blonde thing? Or is it just the exhaustion talking? How can I still be so tired when I have taken a nap? Hmm soon I will be pondering my latest snack for the day, sorry to bore you with this dribble. I am beginning to see that this posting stuff shouldn't be done on a daily basis, I am not interesting enough. So, in light of this discovery I will back off and post when something profound happens. See ya next year ;-).

Cheers,
Erika

Oh wait I must explain the creepy mermaid picture (so more boring dribble but hey it my blog after all ;-) )

I love the octopus. I am strangely drawn to them but also equally terrified of the beautiful creature. I would rather face a big great white shark than a medium sized octopus (that is no exaggeration!). One of my earliest memories is of sitting on the beach in Hawaii playing in the sand with my seashells and coveted sharks teeth, I couldn't of been more than 4 years old. There were adults standing all around me talking intently and pointing out to the dive boat sitting just off the beach. These people were my parents dive buddies (I think) and they were talking about their friend that was killed by an octopus. The octopus knocked the respirator out of the mouth of the diver, he was unable to get it back in his mouth because he was all tangled up in the octopus. Well, 36 years latter I still remember the fear in the air from those who always seemed so fearless. Anyways, I love this picture, though it seems dark, it has a dangerous beauty about it which describes the ocean and it's creatures rather well too I think, beautiful and frightening all at the same time. It also has a mermaid in it and as you can tell I have a thing for those too.
Cheers,
Erika

This is the only octopus I'd swim with, but I'd still keep a close eye on him.

Friday, July 2, 2010

DAY TWO OF MY FIVE DAY VACATION...



Day two has been wonderful....except poor Ghana lost to Uruguay. I have to say though, it was one of the most exciting games! My friend Brian was supposed to meet me for the game but had to work, thankfully he was able to haul butt over to Skippers restaurant where I was watching the match to catch the exciting overtime shootout. How anyone can say soccer is boring is just baffling. It was so intense I needed a nap after watching the overtime match that ended in a heartbreak loss for Ghana. What a heroic fight Ghana put up and the show of respect for one another was something to admire. This Ghana team is younger and less patient then the team that was at the last world cup. With more experience and wisdom I think they will be a force to reckon with by the next cup. Anyways, I hope all of Africa is proud of that team. Tomorrow is Argentina v Germany and I am all for Argentina.


My to do list on day two included
1) watch soccer (check)
2) buy hose clamps to fix botched anchor storage project (check)
3) download the last few episodes of Stargate Universe (it is downloading as we speak :-) )
4) add ac light to vberth (check). *I am having trouble with my DC system, I think one of my new deep cycle batteries is bad. I need to talk to an electrician because I don't know if I should replace both or just the one bad battery...can a bad battery turn a good battery bad? I think the answer is yes but since the two batteries are only three months old has it ruined batt#2 already? sigh. Thses are the many mysteries I ponder aboard OG, but since I am on vacation (giddy laugh) I just buy a little ac lamp and forget my dc troubles (for now).

Tomorrow (saturday) I will watch soccer (Go Argentina!), eat, drink, and be merry :-)
I will do one project of whipping of cutting all my hurricane lines (unless a nap gets in the way :-) ).

Cheers,
Erika

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!



OK, I am a bit late in this post but I realized I never posted a salute to my mum for Mother's day! my excuse is that life was pretty crazy in May. Here is a photo of my mom and I. The idea was to take a picture as I give her a free face lift by grabbing her ears and pulling (took ten years of of her I tell ya!)I wanted her to reply in kind but she was laughing too hard. If anyone wants to know what I will be like at 60ish just look to her. BUT on the other hand, I am much more normal!! here is a list of my mums unique qualities

1) she loves to ride her lawn mower tractor thingy on their 2 acres of land down in the coastal town of Palacios, does it nearly every other day!

2) big feet. I have little petite feet, she is a whopping 7 1/2!(don't let her borrow your shoes)

3) She's written a couple books and acts like she likes writing, is that strange or what?

4) sailed around the world with my dad, navigating hazardous reefs and shipping channels but can't figure out how to post a comment on this blog ;-)

5) She drives the speed limit (I rest my case)

One normal thing about her is her love of the ocean. Though my parents live on land now a day hasn't gone by that she doesn't miss the cruising life.



Her book is about my mom and dad sailing around the world, it is so funny and has many profound beautiful moments. If ya want to buy her book just let me know and I'll send you the info, you can get it on Amazon but it won't be autographed as it would if you buy directly from her:-).

OK gotta go get ready to meet my friend Brian for a Futbal match (Go Ghana!) the Netherlands just won!!!!:-) :-) :-).

Cheers,
Erika

Thursday, July 1, 2010

VACATION! DAY ONE...







I have the next five, count them, five days off!!! I woke up giddy with the idea I didn't have to go to work. I love my work but it can suck the life outta me like a vampire devouring a young maiden (have you guessed that I can be a bit dramatic at times?) Last night we had another emergency with a patient coming straight up from the emergency room, VERY crazy. I work with such great people, I am the youngest of all the nurses on my shift. In fact, I have three years of nursing experience and they each have over twenty, so you can imagine the great wisdom I get from them. Plus we really work well as a team. It is amazing what we can do when we work together, prime example is our patient making it out of the OR alive, that was the work of at least 12 people in the OR alone (say a prayer for this person God will know who you are talking about).
Anyways, I thought I'd document how a spiritual sailor girl nurse spends five days with nothin (giddy laugh) and I mean nothin to do. BTW all work on OG is on hold because I am solely focused on getting back to the "serene Erika", though not sure how well I can adhere to that plan (the work part not the serene part..actually serene part too :-) ). So over the next five days (giddy laugh) I will spend time hanging around the boat, watching soccer with friends(go Ghana!!), and catching up with family, who I have neglected these last few hectic weeks.

So far on day one of my five day vacation to do list titled: accomplishments to find the "serene Erika" again:
1)write in my blog (it is a bit healing, like a diary)
2)catch up on the correspondence I have neglected (sorry my wonderful friends!)
3)more to come...

*word (s) of the day - Five days or giddy laugh (you pick) :-)




***Update to day one of my five day vacation to do list titled: accomplishments to find "serene Erika" again:

3)Drove through the remnants of hurricane Alex to spend time with my family (sis and husband, two nephews, a niece and her best friend). They are quite fun for dirt lovers. I mainly hung out with them, we played our own version of the pictionary game, and I was introduced to that show "Top toys" made by the brit who does "top Gear" (can't remember his name but really cool show). Only one hiccup in my serenity today is that my niece wants me to spend the night on Sunday when I go to katy for the 4th of July celebration, but that means sleeping on land (read no sleep). I hate sleeping on land!! Actually I hate being away from the water for more than a few hours, I get very ancy (spell?)to get back to where I clearly belong (I put the ocean in ocean girl ;-) ). But when my little Erika Lily looks up at me with those big beautiful dark eyes and asks so sweetly, how can any self respecting aunty say no?




She is so adorable we keep this protective face shield on or none can resist the lure of her adorableness (yes that is a word).













4) fixed all the apparent typos in above post (though it is now 2:30 am so I know I didn't get em all (I am a lousy writer but it doesn't seem to stop me from writing - go figure)

5) and finally on my accomplishments for the day I saved my floating dock from "floating" away. It broke loose during one of the many squalls that rolled through thanks to hurricane Alex. *Add re-drill the cleat bolts to OG's to do list (where is my soul mate? the work is piling up! :-) ).

BTW-I can sleep just fine on land when in a hammock so I figure my brother-in-law can install some big bolts in the walls of the guestroom and I can bring my favorite bliss hammock. He hasn't actually said yes to that idea but who would mind big steel bolts sticking out of their walls? seems perfectly reasonable to me, but they are landlubbers so who knows what they think!

OK that is it for now, as I type this the last few megabytes of Stargate Universe is finally finishing it's download..he he can't wait to watch em.


Cheers,
Erika (reaching 36% serenity, hoping to top out at 100 any day now)