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Archive for the ‘Lessons Learned’ Category

IMG_2387All work and no play is no fun at all, so we decided it was high time we took a break from the daily grind which was beginning to feel like it was grinding us up into lifeless pulp. We needed time to unplug and refresh our outlooks with some sunshine and fresh air.

We considered camping and hiking in the desert canyon BLM lands southwest of Moab, Utah, but since we’ve been there and done that many times, Clay and I agreed on riding our bikes through a portion of southwest New Mexico where we’d never been before. We invested in a couple of New Mexico maps and planned a 507-mile circular route beginning in Truth or Consequences (known also as T or C). The name of our starting point should have been a clue of things to come. (more…)

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Late last night, I posted this on Facebook:

Wow! Exciting night, but not what I planned. Dark, cold solitude. An angel disguised as a CSU freshman boy. A tow truck that never showed up. A son who did. Another tow truck that finally showed up. Home now. Just ate. Going to sleep. (more…)

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Ready, get set,...

Ready, get set,…

Two hundred miles. That’s the total of our first-ever—but not  last—bicycle touring trip. We completed and a four-day, out-and-back trip that started in Edgemont, South Dakota, on the southwestern “edge” of the Black Hills and traveled through Pringle, Custer and Hill City to Lead and back.

The couple we traveled with are preparing for a cross-country tour beginning in September. They plan to ride from southern California to Florida, and considered this a shakedown cruise.

It was a shakedown cruise for Clay also, as he was taking his new Surly Trucker Deluxe  on its first real ride. A couple months ago, he built the bike from the frame up. He chose this frame because “…it splits into front and rear halves, and is joined by brazed-in stainless steel threaded sleeves…” meaning it folds in half and fits into a traveling bag—the perfect bike for taking on Sundown with us. (more…)

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One of the features I really love about our Hans Christian 33t is the floor plan, especially the Pullman berth (Master bedroom) that’s off to the port

hanschristian33-layout

Hans Christian 33t interior layout

side rather than jammed forward as a V-berth. If Sundown is going to be my full-time home one day (soon, I hope), then I want it to feel as “normal” as possible, which includes having a rectangular shaped bed like I’ve slept on my whole life.

The galley layout, on the other hand, needed some redesign. Since Clay and I like to cook and entertain, we need as much useable space in the kitchen as possible. Therefore, the bulkhead next to the stove that strangely divided the sink counter from the cooktop had to go. By opening up that space, we would shorten the possible sleeping area by the dinette, but we felt what we’d gain would be better than what we’d lose. (more…)

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LCI_jump.jpg

We did it! Clay and I, plus 10 of our new closest friends, completed the League of American Bicyclists instructor course! After an exciting ride through downtown Fort Collins on Friday night, several skills tests, group and individual presentations, and many teaching scenarios and discussions about how to teach bicycling safety, we are now “LCIs in Training.” (more…)

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s/v Elusive

When you live in a land-locked state, it’s a great opportunity to have all your expenses paid to captain a sailing vessel. I had that very opportunity when a friend asked me to move a 1978 Morgan Out Island 41 from Islamorada in the Florida Keys, to New York City last June.

My friend, Larry, and his son, Sean, had purchased the above vessel in Florida and arranged with a local marine electrical engineer, Tim, to be our mechanic and get the vessel ship shape for the passage. I volunteered my son, Kyle, to come along as an able hand and we set a departure date. (more…)

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Paul Coelho quote

Last night we had dinner with two couples who live in Fort Collins, Colorado. While that’s not extraordinary in and of itself given we live in Fort Collins, too, it is VERY extraordinary when you consider that all of us plan to move aboard boats in the near future and set sail to parts unknown. (more…)

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Green, dull, 30-year-old built-up tarnish. This was the state of everything bronze on Sundown."Green" tarnish remover = 1:1 flour and salt. Add enough vinegar to make a paste.

“No problem,” I thought. “Surely there’s a solution like Tarn-X we can just dip all those port lights, fixtures and hardware in. They’ll be back to their showroom shine in no time.” Well, that was a nice delusion. (more…)

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I had this awesome idea for a surprise Christmas present – matching coats for Kim and I with our sailboat’s name embroidered on them. For years I have purchased my EMT Reserves’ uniforms from a local shop, Encore Uniform and Apparel, and they’ve expertly completed all my orders, so I knew this was a job they could handle. (more…)

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woody station wagon

I took last week off of regular work to work on the boat. It was relaxing and productive. With the intermittent help of a friend, one of our sons and my wife, we were able to strip all the varnish off the exterior of Sundown and start sanding. As we made progress, I recalled the little things about boat work that I love. (more…)

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