April 13, 2010 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida

Sandy has stuff to finish up this morning on the Sailrite and I might end up trying to do some sewing of my own before the day is
out. I have 3 key pieces for the hard top Bimini that would be nice to get out of the way, as well as some sail work. We'll see how
the day goes. I also need to get to Home Depot to buy more sanding discs for the bottom work and some spare scraper blades. I
REALLY don't want to have to do too much scrambling for supplies once Falcon is out on the hard. The meter runs each day
whether or not I accomplish good work on the boat, so running for materials or tools gets expensive.

I got next to nothing done on the boat yesterday, though I did remain pretty active all day. Still, I feel like I made headway in a
number of areas and it was a productive day. I've been doing pretty good so far today and in a little while will begin the fairing for
the inside of the holding tank. I will also cut the top for the tank and get that process moving along as well. I need to finish up
the canvas track for Espin some time today and may have him just pull the crossbeam for me so he can charter while I install the
track. Or not. He just went out on a charter and I'm caught up in the holding tank right now.
The holding tank is coming along. I'll start fairing the
inside and fiberglassing it soon, then add the plumbing
fittings and hoses. There is still a lot to do, but it's
coming along. It's hard to work up in the tiny areas of
the bow. Still, it's coming along.

I did the final bit of work on Espin's Bimini track and we
agreed to trade out for his help with my measuring and
cutting the sails I have so I can suit up Falcon with her
white wings - eventually. Most important right now is to
get rid of most of the extra sails and sailcloth that I just
don't need and will probably never need.

I am making good headway toward leaving at the end of
the month and really want to get to that point where I
am starting and running the engine every day to shake
down and sort out the associated systems. I thing as
soon as I get the head, water, and holding tank systems
sorted out, that will be happening.
April 14, 2010 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida

Today I'll be doing the epoxy and fiberglass thing on the holding tank. It's a little bit daunting, but mostly because it's a job that
has been haunting me forever. Other than that, it's just a 25 gallon tank full of soupy crap that could break and flow all through
the whole boat at the worst possible time. So, yeah, there's some stress involved. Besides, it's one of the worst areas in the boat to
be working.

The weather has warmed up nicely and I'm finally wearing shorts again, but the wind is up, gusting around 20 knots, so I'll have
to take down the sun shade before it gets damaged. I just ran out to Home Depot and got $75 worth of odds and ends. Planks to
finish the sole forward, discs for the haulout, razor knife blades, epoxy/paint pots, gorilla tape, foam rollers for the haulout,
X-acto blades and a new GP Skill saw blade.

I got some good headway made on the holding tank and even sort of figured how to start the fiberglass lay-up. It's a tricky shape
in a difficult location and I'm working with a lot of 1708 Biaxial Fabmat - which can be a pain if it's been folded and stored for a
long time, which it has. Either way, pressing forward. This is really the last big hump I have to get over before heading south.
April 15, 2010 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida

I've GOT to get this infernal holding tank fiberglassed today. It's just not a strategically simple operation. I have a finite amount
of heavy fiberglass and cutting the shapes and holding them in place is difficult at best and mind-boggling with a head full of dust
and fumes.

I am gearing up for the fiberglassing siege I will need to complete today. All tools and materials at the ready, plus cleaning
supplies - nothing is worse that trying to deal with sticky hands. With any luck at all, this entire fiberglass job will be done today.
If it is, I might be inspired to throw in some of the tabbing that is desperately waiting to be completed as well. Better get busy.

I forgot to add the hardener to the first pot of filling/fairing compound I mixed up and applied, so I had to scrape and dig it all
out, add the hardener and re-apply it. Sweet.

It is about a quarter past noon and the first full layer of heavy fiberglass is on all surfaces inside the holding tank. I'll let that cure
and do a bit of light smoothing and then apply more where needed. Most of it actually has two layers and the bottom near the
drain has three or four - everything overlaps there. It's still a hard job, but it's coming along and it's not nearly as hard as
chopping all that lead out of the aft keel. I'll get this done today for sure.

Okay, the holding tank is done for the day. Tomorrow I will line it with a thick coat of barrier coat epoxy, the begin installing the
fittings. I was considering a heavy lining of coal tar epoxy to finish it off, but I'm having a little trouble locating a gallon of the
stuff. I just tried again and had little luck. Lots of various products out there, but nothing I'm willing to spend the high prices for
just now. There are some great products available to line a tank like this, epoxies, and some with Kevlar fibers incorporated, so
the right stuff is there, I'm just not financially prepared to spring for it at this time.
April 16, 2010 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida

Today I'll be working a bunch of things and Drew is coming by to blast the heavy growth off the bottom of the boat. I want him to
also verify the exact location of the flat section on the aft keel bottom so I can mark it on the toe rail for sling placement. The
slings on Falcon have to be tied together because the front sling will slide off if not.

I now have two heavy coats of aluminum powder filled epoxy inside the entire holding tank and under the lid. This will have to
cure before I can go further on the holding tank. That means I have two other projects to get into. One is bracing and tabbing the
shelf in the head and the other is sewing the three cloth fill pieces for the hardtop. I'll have coffee and gather materials for both.
It is now noon and the shelf in the head is done as well as the tabbing on the main brace beneath the computer table. The epoxy
in the holding tank is still curing. I think I'll be sewing next. First I have to round the edges of the four long aluminum strips I
cut from the edges of the big aluminum angles I bought to mount the solar panels, then modified to mount the Sunbrella to the
hardtop.

Drew finished scraping the bottom of Falcon. What a job! I could hear him coming up and panting. For an hour and a half he
worked like a dog, but he says he did a good job and I paid him well. Things are coming together.

I got the aluminum strips about 3/4 done but visitors put an end to it. I didn't struggle too much but just rolled with it.
Tomorrow I'll get the top trimmed to the holding tank and start getting the fittings installed, plus I'll get the canvas for the
hardtop going and get the cockpit emptied out so I can start running the engine every day. I'll also get the watermaker installed
onto the new shelf in the head. That will need to be secured well as it will be a disaster to have it fly off the shelf. It weighs about
160 pounds and would fall 39 inches - probably straight onto the new head.
April 17, 2010 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida

It is now 10 AM and I have installed the clamps on the Dorade scoops, dosed the sinus headache with aspirin and installed the
two thru-hulls into the holding tank. I am about ready to go outside and trim the excess fiberglass off the holding tank lid, then
mark it and fit the vent and deck pump-out access fittings.
Ken came by for the second time and we put the watermaker in
place on the new shelf in the head. The shelf is plenty big to
accommodate the watermaker and much more. I really wasn't
prepared for the move, but Ken was pressed to get it done because
of the expected weather tomorrow. Espin was busy down the dock
talking to someone, so I couldn't disturb him - he had asked to
help because of my hurt shoulder - so Ken and I just bit the bullet
and moved the unit into position.

I just bored the holes in the lid for the pump-out and the vent. I
still have to work out exactly how I'm going to situate the bottom
end of the pump-out hose - it has to maintain a fixed position very
near the bottom of the tank without interfering with the overboard
dump. I also just realised the three corners of the tank are high
due to the double cloth buildup and they are holding the lid up. I'll
have to grind them back and might have to epoxy the new surfaces
again. We'll see.
The lid is fitted and the deck pump-out hose is configured and ready to fix permanently. These final fits and adjustments to this
tank are wearing me out. Well, mostly the itchy powder from grinding fiberglass that has now coated my body is what is really
wearing me out, but, you know, either way. I am very close to sealing down the lid for good and finalising the vent and deck
pump-out. After that, I'll move into the head and get started with the head installation and the last plumbing connections. I
should also put a temporary cleat in front of the watermaker to hold it in position.

The top of the holding tank is on and secured and sealed and the deck pump-out tube is positioned properly. Tomorrow, when I
feel better, I'll complete the vent and pump out tubes and get started on the head and macerator. I still need the two fittings from
Jamestown Distributors to complete the overboard pump-out, but I can get a lot of other stuff done while waiting for them.
April 18, 2010 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida

These are the holding tank vent and deck pump-out connections. The 1 1/2 inch pump-out hose
continues to within 2 inches of the bottom of the tank to a small triangular spot about 5 inches on a
side. I couldn't put it any deeper for fear that it might partially block the ship overboard pump-out. I
still have to put a pair of little clamps on the vent hose.

The white powder on the walls is the fiberglass dust from the grinding yesterday and the areas where
it's missing is because it is now on my arms and my back. This area now needs to be cleaned and
primed and painted white.

The hot water heater will be mounted on the bulkhead to the right and has been waiting for this to
be done so it could go in.
April 19, 2010 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida

I am struggling logistically with just how to divide up the space forward for both chain and storage. I have some decisions to
make and wood to cut and install, being sure that anything I do doesn't need to be completely re-done in the yard two weeks
from now.

I cleared out the cockpit and searched EVERYWHERE for my boat keys and after almost giving up and changing out the key
switch for a spare I had, I found the keys, outside, on the dock, in a bucket of hardware. Don't ask. I started the engine and ran it
for a total of about an hour today, cycling through three and four of the batteries. The very first effort to start the engine was met
with a decidedly disappointing failure. I've been cycling the batteries through the shore power battery charger, the 'Charles'
charger, and tried to start the engine with the last two batteries that had been charging for two or three days. No soap. Just a
'dead', RRRrrr-rrrrrr, and nothing. Hmm. So I switched on all the batteries and the engine busted right off. After 20 minutes of
running, I shut it off and turned all the batteries off but one of the very first two I tried, and the engine busted right off again, no
problem. The rest of the running has been to cycle through more of the batteries and give each a taste of the 130 amp Ferris
Alternator with the Balmar regulator. That seems to charge them up MUCH better than the pastel little AC Charles Unit. Maybe
it has a problem.
I trimmed up the fiberglass on the holding tank and got a coat
of primer over the entire forepeak area. I missed some of the
overhead as I was becoming faint-headed from fumes and
had to get out of there. It would be nice to get a coat of white
over that tomorrow then mount the water heater.

Tomorrow will also be the day that Espin and I drag all the
sails to the lot across the street and mark them up so I can
cut them to shape and sew together a suit of sails for Falcon.
That will help get rid of all the extra sails and sail material
and make that big pile considerably smaller. I will probably
store all these things - sail fragments and sail cover materials
- up front in the forepeak. The bow of the boat is still light.

Mark Manley of Mark and Kim came by today and brought
me an awesome T shirt and - get ready for it - a complete set
of custom cushions for the new pedestal chair!! I couldn't
believe it! I can't show you now because the boat is so trashed
I can't find the pedestal chair.
April 20, 2010 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida

I'll be running the engine more today, this time from the other tank. I want to be sure both tanks are free of any water that might
have condensed in them over time. I'll get that coat of paint on the forepeak as soon as I can and start slapping together some
temporary wooden structures up there to control the storage. I'll also add a safety shelf fiddle in the head to keep books and
things I put on that shelf from migrating to the floor. I may eventually enclose the top of that shelf with Lexan to protect the
watermaker and other supplies I store there.
I've been busy this morning - oh, it's already 1:37 PM - anyway, the forepeak is well painted and looks good, I've been measuring
for the sails, and I've also been prepping the macerator for install. I got the two parts from Jamestown distributors. I should go
outside right now and finish clearing the deck - I've been doing that as well - and fire up the engine again, then get more sail
measuring done.
April 21, 2010 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida
Wrestling with the sails proved to be more trouble
than I'd imagined. By the time it was over - it only
took about an hour - my left arm was hanging like it
was dead and the shoulder hurt so much I had to
stop for the day. I didn't even finish yesterdays log.
It feels much better this morning, with only a hint
of stiffness and no centralized pain. It must be
healing.

Nine days left.

The hot water heater is installed and the rest of the
forward area is now primed one coat. I'll do a second
coat prior to the finish white, then install the water
manifold and finish the water system connections.
Then install the head and maybe even the head
door. The head door came off George and Kim's 28
foot Westsail. It was just a space problem there and
promises to be the same here.

Right now I have to retreat from the fumes and
April 22, 2010 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida

Eight days left. Yesterday, the three bouts of applying Kilz II in a small, tight place put me down for the day. I got so sick after the
last session that I spent time lying in the sun out on the dock - too sick to move - then spent the rest of the day in bed and feeling
MIGHTY poorly, if you know what I mean. Completely overexposed. I eventually staggered to the Seafood Shack and got a
chicken salad plate to go, ate that and passed out. I didn't wake up until 4:30 AM, rested and feeling good, but with no power in
the marina, or all of Cortez for that matter. The power came back on at about 4:50 AM and I watched some of the world news for
no good reason.

Despite the horrifying ordeal of my near-death experience yesterday, I'm committed to continuing the painting today. There will
be much less priming and much more finish white, which is practically odorless compared to the toxic Kilz II. Besides, I mean,
what are the options? I'm running out of time. Okay, not really, I can do anything I want. The thing is, I want to be out of here on
the 1st of May. Okay, maybe the second. The first comes on Saturday and leaving here just to spend an extra day on the hook
waiting for Sunday to pass so I can be hauled on Monday may not be the best idea. Still, until I call Rivertown on Monday or
Tuesday to confirm, I can't set the exact day.

I decided to clear off the sink counter and prime and paint behind it, so I did and just finished the primer. It would have been
nice to get away without having to prime at all today - risk being that my body is still saturated with the toxins from yesterday -
but I'm determined to push past this and get where I need to be inside here.
All the white finish done and dry, the new chain locker started with the transducer cover already installed below, and the clip to
restrain the hot water heater is made and installed. Much less toxic exposure today and a lot more done already. It's only 3 PM
and I'm about to start on the new shelves aft for the food containers. I should also get moving on the macerator.
Seven days to go. I was hoping to be ready to start the
electrical connections now, but I'm not. I'll see how close
I can come by the end of the day. I have to complete the
forward storage situation - which I should have finished
yesterday if I hadn't, instead, made a small pile of scrap
wood while trying to complete the food container storage
solution. A couple of hours of hard work that was just a
bad idea to begin with. Apparently. Hindsight being
20/20. Oh, well, no big deal. Toss out the scrap and get
the forward locker done and loaded, get the macerator
done and get the water manifold installed. It's not as
much as it sounds like, but it's still a lot.

To that I have to add, finish the shower sump pump,
complete the final water connections, install the head and
install the forward sole. I should take my son Matt's
advice and make the list again.

1.) Clean up inside and out and dispose of a bunch of
stuff.  
Done
2.) Complete forward storage woodwork and pack the area.
3.) Finish macerator.
Done
4.) Install water manifold and connect. Done
5.) Install shower sump pump. Done
7.) Install and connect head.
8.) Install forward sole.
Done

That seems like a full days work. For three people. I'll have to see what I can do.I'm not completely done cleaning and tossing
stuff yet, but I've already brought an entire dock cart to the dumpster, so that counts as done. The hard stuff on the macerator is
done - I only have to slap on some hose clamps, which I'll do right now. I also have to go down to Minnie Pearl and get a few
shots of Barbara and Espin applying the deck non-skid surface. It looks pretty good so far.

The water manifold is now installed and only needs to be connected.
It is now 2:52 PM and the galley sole is in - plus the start of the head sole. Now, I really have to stop and make the water system
connections before going any further. I have to run the watermaker tank filler, the cold water feed and the hot water return
beneath the sole before I screw it down. Once those pipes are run, only the two hot water tank connectors on the back of that
wall are left. Oh, and the shower head tube, but I have to make the shower head mount and mount it first.

It's a little after 5 PM and all the plumbing is done except the connection to the shower head and the water source to the head
itself, plus I did a LOT more cleaning up outside and will make another trip to the dumpster room before the day is over.

I keep looking at the forward storage area and think I finally have an idea that will work well with the materials I have left. I'll
make it work. The dock boxes are emptying out and the dock is getting clear as well. I will soon have everything I own aboard
Falcon and be ready to untie the lines. I got a lot done today.
April 24, 2010 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida

Six days to go. Wow, huh? It still seems like I have an awful lot of work to do, but it's coming along, and I'll soon be doing the
electrical hook-ups. Today, I need to get the forward storage done, the shower head in, and the head installed. I'd also like to do
some sewing outside and get the sewing machine stowed below, as well as getting the interior straightened up and packed away. I
still have some storage solutions undone that I will have to address later on, in Marathon I guess, and a very serious issue about
securing the computer for sea. I can't have it flying around with wave action or powerboat wakes. I may have to figure out
something either here or on the way, and have the materials on hand to do it.

The storage solution (for now) is done and packed. The sails and other cloth things up there will stay put in anything up to a
rollover or trip over Niagara Falls. I'll re-do the area after the sails are all done and mounted and sail covers are in place.

I also emptied the black plastic dock box and moved it over to the end of RJ's finger pier. I will try to empty out move of the last
dock box today as well. I think I can store the fishing gear in the front area with the sails, though I might need to weave in a
couple more cross-bars to temporarily hold the stuff in place.

I completely emptied the last dock box, then stuffed just the 5 gallon pails I had on the dock into it. I've been coiling lines and
straightening things out and stowing them in the great chasm forward. I may cram that space to the deck before I'm through.
Either way, it's okay. The bow is still a tad light and probably will be until some of the 100 gallons of fuel is burned off.
I just kept packing stuff up forward and now it looks like this. The up side is that the boat is almost perfectly level and there is
very little left to put aboard.
April 23, 2010 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida
maybe even eat something.

Finished the first coat and did half of the second. Another fume break. Next trip in will complete the priming and I'll be able to
blast on a coat of the finish white. It doesn't create the fume cloud this primer does. Anyway, once the finish white is on I can
install the manifold and head and blah, blah, blah. I'm so freakin' high right now.
April 13, 2010 - May 4, 2010
April 25, 2010 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida

I'm so happy with the results of the front storage area that I am encouraged to blast through these other storage solutions and
really round out and secure the inside of the boat. The head really needs to get done today as well as the additional storage in
there, and more storage beneath the sink would also be nice. The stormy conditions and rain this afternoon are going to limit my
ability to get the sewing done, but that seems minor. If I have to, I'll move the sewing machine up into the laundry room and sew
up there during the rain. No problem.

It is now 2 PM and I have gotten some things done on the boat and have had to make 2 runs to almost the exact same spot, 5
miles away. First, while working in the head, I ran out of screws and had to drive over to Lowe's and get the items.
April 26, 2010 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez,
Florida

George Pappas gave me this old door he removed from his
Westsail 28 'C Joy' and it has been stored on my bunk ever since I
got rid of the truck. This morning, for the first time, I tried it for a
fit on the head. It looks like all I have to do is trim the top to fit
the arch - I so awesomely included in all the boats interior
opening - and attach it. I will need additional fillers around the
edges and a latch of some sort, but admit it, that rocks.
I got more stuff safely packed into the storage shelf in the
head, plus hung the door. It works great but only opens about
halfway to being flat against the bulkhead. The first thing it
hits in the hull, so there'll be no more 'shaving' for a better
fit. The fore and aft bulkhead that it rests against is a tad
cattywhompus and interferes at the bottom so that the door
can't swing all the way over and seat the whole forward
section as well as providing privacy for the head. I might
adjust that aspect at a later date to see how it works. It might
also call for a window on the access hole between the sink
area and the computer desk. To tell the truth, the sink being
so close to the new location of the computer does make me a
little uneasy, splashing water and all.

I went up to Rivertown and talked with the guy there and
made arrangements for Monday at high tide. That figures to be
near 4:45 PM. I suppose if I'm there at 3 PM we can see how long
it takes to get into the slip far enough to get picked up. I will
probably have to be there for a week to get enough tide to get back
out again. That would mean getting splashed at about noon on the
10th of May.

These are the cushions Mark and Kim gave me for the pedestal
chair. They saw it online and knew immediately that they had a
set of cushions for exactly that chair. Yes, I know I put the arm
pads on backwards and have corrected them. Anyway, they are
awesome and things are moving along. The weather today has
been very windy and not much good for working outside. I did get
my laundry done and the door hung and a bunch of other odds
and ends, but the boat needs a serious final cleaning so I can get
on with more storage solutions and get to the electrical hook-ups.

I do have to replace one snap under one arm one the seat
April 27, 2010 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida

I didn't add the countdown yesterday, which should have been four days left, but it's just as well because it is now moved up to
five days left.

The inside of the boat is such a disaster that I can't find tools I'm looking for. I'll do the sewing outside today so I can stow the
sewing machine and really pack in beneath the bunk. I'll also move the stove outside and fire it up, then come up with a way to
mount it on the cook top counter I built - and have to finish somewhat.
I got the stove outside and mysteriously acquired a
couple of propane tanks, two of the three which were
empty. Soon enough there was a full compliment of
interested bystanders and we lit it up and tried it out and
marvelled at the low cost. We'll see how long it lasts. I
figure to use it for the going away party - maybe, I
should really have it installed then - and probably use
the small 1 pound bottles for a while, until I can get a
safe and proper propane installation aboard. The whole
thing of an explosion and burning to the waterline is one
of those 'try to avoid' situations.

I have been cleaning on board  and need to do more
outside and start sewing. RJ will be here soon and I'll fix
the storm jib and load a bunch of software on his
computer.
It is now 11:30 AM and the cabin floor is cleaned and vacuumed. Of
course, I've been doing other things as well, but this is the one that
shows the most. I have the dock a little messed up again, but not bad
and I'll take care of that after the sewing. The sewing is the big item
right now. I suppose I should also blast together a mount for the
shower head and get the very last of the plumbing done. And do
whatever needs doing to the head itself - better to make sure it works
now before I really need to use it. Always harder to work on a toilet
that has poo in it - take my word for it. Twenty-five years in yacht
service, of course it happened.

I fixed the jib for RJ and downloaded all the software onto his
computer. For a while, it tried to give us fits, but we cornered it and
forced it to submit.

I did a lot of trying and figuring prior to taking the scissors to the old
Bimini. It is going to require a bit more work than I'd originally hoped,
but not too awful much, and it will look good. All three of the sections
need to be extended by about 8 to ten inches. I half expected it,
knowing how much I had to widen the bows to accommodate the solar
panels. I had to carefully rip out a six-foot double-stitched seam, so
that took a little extra time as well. Obviously, I did not get the sewing
done today, but will easily complete it tomorrow. Then I will start
getting little screws and drills and make sure I have enough Alex Seal to install said cloth strips to the hardtop. I will also STILL
have to hang the shower head and mount the Outback Solar Charge Controller and Autohelm 6000 Computer and Power Pack,
then I can wire the solar panels to the Outback and start working with the programming to charge the batteries.

I will also install a good temporary restraint device on the lower part of the bunk to prevent the storage under there from spilling
out on the sole at will. I already sort of have the idea.

I did the mount for the shower head and installed it and plumbed it in. Now I only have to give the heads mechanical fixtures a
lube and 'once over' before starting to operate it.
April 28, 2010 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida

I'm already set up outside to start sewing, so it's time for me to get to work. I've done the majority of the sewing and am about to
start installing the canvas. Because the method of attaching the edges incorporates a 1/2 inch by 1/8 inch piece of aluminum flat
bar, I will have to drill and screw those edges down. That will take a little time, but should result in a 'wind resistant' installation.

Good grief. I am about out of energy. I have been sewing - the canvas is resistant, but it will buckle and be forced into shape -
hooking up the solar panels, and drilling enough aluminum to have a pile of shavings. I just emptied the port fuel tank stowage
and traced the solar panel leads into the cabin. I can hang the Outback unit any time and hook it up.

I also drilled 4 holes in the solar panels specifically to accommodate 2 bronze rods inside nylon tubing that will be used to lace
the center canvas to I need to get back outside, reorganize and get the grommets in the center section so it can be attached.

The center section of the canvas is on. I need to get the two end sections sorted out and installed in the morning and get the
sewing machine stowed and a bunch of other stuff stowed under the bunk. I also have 4 big blocks of foam to check out as
replacement for some of the mattress on the bunk. It won't take long to see if I'm going to use it or not.
April 29, 2010 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida
I am trying to figure out a way to lash up the ends of the side pieces
without getting too elaborate. I like the huge way these three small
pieces of cloth add shade beneath the solar panels, but I just don't have
the time right now to make artwork out of the lashing situation.

The canvas is finished - for now - I'll get a picture in a minute - and the
Outback and Autohelm are mounted, as well as the main DC selector switch for the main panel. I have all the materials I need
(now) for that hook-up and all the hook-ups I can think of at the moment, so I'm going to pack up under the bunk and get to the
back area.
I got the storage under the bunk packed and sealed. The panels lift and pull out and I might put one or two more in there just
because. I am really getting a short stack on the dock and can probably do well with packing the rest of the stuff aboard with little
difficulty. I just have to get some of the electrical systems hooked up and be sure I have all my mandatory equipment and
systems on board and working.
April 30, 2010 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida

By the end of the day I hope to be heavily into the electrical connecting stage, with everything aboard that's going aboard and
everything gone from the dock. I offered the sun shade to Eddie and Sandy, but wonder if I should really just toss it in the trash.
The thing is just about a rag. It shredded a bit two nights ago and I patched it together just enough to make it through when I
leave.

I will have to stack some stuff on the cabin sole until I make some more shelves beneath the counters and provide them with
high fiddles or doors. That won't take too long, but more time than I have right now. I will also be building in some bookshelves,
but that won't be happening until some time in Marathon.
The bunk is finally cleaned off and I have the entire unit to sprawl out on during these hot nights, and the stove is bolted onto
the cook top, the front bottom plate is on and the pots and pans are stowed below. The dock is almost completely cleaned off and
there are only 4 pails left to trim and reduce, then bring aboard. Almost all the paint is stowed below the saloon sole.
May 1, 2010 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida

One day left. I'm supposed to be excited, I guess. There's still a lot to do and a lot I'd like to get done. And there are things I have
to get done. There should be time in the boatyard to make some headway on inside stuff between coats of paint and such. I just
did a mini brain jolt where I suddenly traced out the path for the depth sounder transducer cable and discovered it was too short
to run the desired route, so I have to lace it through beneath the sole. That means that I just had to run up to the dumpster room
and retrieve some of the PVC pipe I put up there to dispose of so I could put it in the bilge as a conduit.
It's still a bit early for photographs, but I took a couple of shots of the dock to show how little remains.
May 2, 2010 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida

After a few odds and ends, I started assembling the electrical panel, installing all the components I bought about a year ago. It's a
good thing I keep so much documentation or I never would have sorted out exactly what went where.
The only thing I have to power up right now are the running lights and anchor light. Other than that, I can safely connect each
system as I can get to it. Many of the essential running circuits are already wired with fuses right beneath the engine instrument
panel.

Connecting the AC circuits is a bit more difficult than it should be due to the hybrid nature of my installation. Consequently I
will have to connect the wires to the circuit breakers before mounting the breakers in the panels. I will probably fudge a simple
connect for the running lights tonight and continue the wiring up on the hard in Rivertown.

Here's a sight most people thought they'd never see - the dock is cleared (except for the dinghy) and there is only a little bit of
stuff loose on Falcon's deck to stow.
May 3, 2010 - Seafood Shack Marina - Cortez, Florida

Zero days left. Yesterday was another long day, but with significant progress. Later in the day I moved Falcon down the dock,
alone, by hand, just see how difficult it was in the 15 to 20 knot Southerly winds. Not a problem.
Falcon is desperately overweight and needs to lose at least a ton. I will do it - I promise, I will. By the time I leave Rivertown I
will have pared off most, if not all, of the offending weight. Of course, I have about 650 pounds of fuel aboard and another 800
pounds of water, as well as a 160 pound watermaker and about 500 pounds of books and paper, 500 pounds of tools and at least
1000 pounds of extra materials and supplies to keep going on the boat. Wait, let me add that up. 3610 pounds and that doesn't
count extra bedding, clothes, foolishness and nonsense. I believe I can lose a full ton and still have some fuel, some water, and a
watermaker.

Late last night I connected a temporary hot lead and lit up all the basic running lights and the LED anchor light at the top of the
mainmast. I also tried out the LED lantern I converted, but it seemed a tad weak. It might be okay though. We'll see. I also
moved the boat out to the very end of the dock and took the pictures this morning.
It's 10:53 AM and I called Rivertown and they said to come on in at 2 PM. I am busy securing things on deck and below,
preparing for a rough trip and hoping for a 'not so rough' trip. I hope everything goes smoothly and I am up on the hard by about
3 PM and getting to work. The amount of work I still have to do before heading south is daunting, but the one real comfort is that
I know what needs to be done and that which would be nice to have done.

I will have to separate the computer components and put some of them of the cabin sole so they can't fall there en route and
destroy themselves. Naturally, it's hard telling when I'll be able to get back online to update, but I think it should be okay by
tonight sometime. I will have the camera with me in the cockpit and take pictures all during the trip. I only hope I'm not too tired
to log the trip tonight. I wonder if there'll be any stress or if it'll just be fun.
The jury is back and the verdict is in - it was one
three-hour stress-fest. First, the boat was WAY WAY
to heavy and plowed like bulldozer. Attempting to
get anything more than 3 knots over the ground did
nothing but make her ass squat and seawater
gurgled into the cockpit drain until there was 5 or 6
inches of it on the cockpit. Backing off to 3 knots
allowed the water to run out, but it made for a long,
wet ride. The new Garmin GPSMap 545 failed while
less than a quarter of a mile from the Seafood Shack,
so - once again - I had no depth sounder and no
charts and 20 to 25 knots of wind and nasty
conditions in Tampa Bay. Waves crashed over the
boat from the side and splashed water in through the
hatch. I had to call George Pappas for the marker
numbers leading to the Range Markers for the
channel up into the Manatee River. I was two hours
late getting there and had to remove both of Falcons
forestays to complete the lift. I helped scrape the
bottom with the two yard guys, then RJ arrived with
two ladders for me to borrow and brought me back
to get Don's car. When I arrived back, the boat was pressure washed and amazingly clean. A little while later, it was blocked and I
got aboard and got the camera. Below are some shots of Falcon out of the water and the yard around us.
Falcon is a big, healthy girl and no mistake about it, but she cannot
handle the excess baggage I have her loaded down with, and it is
about to be trimmed down to traveling size. I have already given the
watermaker to Randy - he has the same one on his boat already so he
can use it for spares - and it will be an issue with my mission here to
get at least a ton of weight out of Falcon.
May 4, 2010 - Rivertown Boatyard - Bradenton,
Florida

Something I forgot to mention yesterday was that, while I liked the
new seating position up beside the cockpit, the unsecured seat meant
I had to hold on constantly with the big waves and cross seas. I only
got badly waked by two of the huge powerboats and most of them
very courteously slowed to pass. Still, I was up early yesterday and
never got to lie down and rest until after 6 PM and by then, well, I
was about worn down to a nub. I turned out the lights and went to
sleep at 9:30 last night and didn't wake up until 5:30 this morning.

One of the first things I want to do is to is to start installing the
Depth Sounder transducer, which means I have to pull 200 feet of
chain out of the chain locker and pile it up on the foredeck. That's
pretty noisy and I won't be doing it until about 8 AM. I've decided not
to do a boot stripe this time. I'm going to save myself the added work
and aggravation by just running the bottom paint up the extra 2
inches. There are a lot of little cosmetic things I COULD do while
here, but I have to stick to what I can and must get done: bottom
paint, depth, running lights, strip out weight - tons of weight.
I thought it would be buggy here last night, but it wasn't. I'm going to be getting stuff moving soon this morning. It's still only
6:45 and I just don't want to make much noise, but I can start moving things to the cockpit to lower down to the ground as soon
as I finish this post.

It is now 8:23 AM and I have pulled the anchor chain and bored the hole and ground the outside flat for the depth sounder
transducer. Of course that means I am already dusted with ground fiberglass so this will be a pleasant day.

Eddie and Sandy just stopped by. Eddie dropped off his battery load tester so I can test the batteries and see what ones are good
and which are bad.
It's 12:08 PM and the epoxy has cured on the depth sounder transducer, the rudder is completely sanded and the waterline is
tapped off. I will blitz a pass of sanding and scraping over the hull - I have already gone over the entire thing once with scrapers -
and start painting on the Interlux 2000 barrier coat.

It's 4:36 and I'm waiting for 4 more minutes for the Interlux 2000 to metabolize or catalyze or whatever it has to do in the 20
minutes they say to wait. I'm about to go outside and begin applying the primer coat. My arms are telling me they don't like me
anymore.
This is as far as I got with the white primer before running out of the first batch I made and throwing in the towel.
The batteries are pretty 'iffy' and I should find a way to check which are worst (load tester - I think Eddie Bartels has one and he
said he'd be coming over) and keep them out of the loop. They only drag the others down. Below are some more of yesterdays
photos around the Rivertown yard that I took yesterday. Some are from Falcon's deck.
cushions, and carve away a little aluminum beneath the front edge of the seat to get clearance to snap on the center strap that's
just hanging in the picture.

Almost everything is off the dock and inside the boat. I have to adjust the daily countdown for Monday, May 3rd.