Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Magellan: Master and Puddleduck Commander

So this evening at a lovely, calm sunset we went for a puddleduck row on our beloved Dharma Duck with our beloved ship's Cat, Magellan, Aboard.  I wasn't sure how he would take it.  As you can see, it wasn't a problem.

What the hell?!
It took our beloved kitty all of about six seconds to own the boat.

Master and Commander
He settled in on the Puddleduck bow and surveyed the river like he owned it.

All these boats are mine.
I do not fully understand the romance of cats and boats, but they do seem to have this astonishing affinity.  His comfort level when traveling pleased the both of us.  As we move into the summer and begin to sail and travel more, it makes me happy that our companion will be a part of it.  Gotta get the big moose a life vest.

This was tonight.  We live in a beautiful place.
More later

Monday, May 30, 2016

Puddleduck Paddling

Now that we're seemingly freed from the endless rain, we've been getting out and about as much as possible.  Everything is a blast of green right now, and we've been heading out to some of our favorite places.
Hiking the trail around the Vernal Pond at Marshy Point Nature Center
While we're waiting to get the new sail done for the Puddle duck, we've been taking her out for a paddle nearly every day.

The Puddle Duck Racer moves easily under oars, and there's so many places. . . .
. .  .cool inlets, wild grapevine, bird life everywhere. . .
And then back for an iced tea and lunch.  Oh, folks, summer finally got here, and I couldn't be happier.

So in coming days we'll be rigging an electric motor and new sails on the puddleduck and doing lots more exploring.  Stay tuned.  Hey, more stuff over at Life, Art, Water, check it out.

More later, enjoy your summer.


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Puddleduck Prep

Spent a part of this GLORIOUSLY unrainy day doing work on our little Puddle Duck Racer "Dharma Duck" for spring.  Over winter, during some of the storms, she had taken a bit of a beating.  The handle on the leeboard had caught on the edge of "Floating Empire" and snapped off, and the rudder had cracked from an impact with one of the pilings.  Sigh...always something.
You can see how we had to move the pintles down due to a crack up by the tiller.
So we cleaned the girl up and made necessary repairs and took her for a short, impromptu paddle up river.

Ready for her mast.
So I've gotten the material to make Dharma Duck a new sail for this summer and we'll be putting on a bit of a taller mast to accommodate a Lateen rig with a bit more square footage.

Stay tuned.  So happy to see the sun.


Signed Ebooks?!

Actually, yes, I just discovered a really cool site called Authorgraph that will let you purchased personalized, signed Ebook copies, including of my works:

Signed electronic copies?  Yep.
Interested in a signed copy?  Stop over HERE and we can oblige.


Friday, May 20, 2016

YET more galley progress

I know you guys have got to feel this is the "all galley, all the time" blog, but we've been making lots of progress lately.  Yesterday we finally got the center shelves in.  These will hold baskets with our veggies and fruits and also some of the heavier cast iron pots, etc.  The setup is already working well.

Turned out rather better than I'd hoped.
So over the next day or so we'll stain and seal the wood.  Stay tuned for more exciting galley details, along with a selection of galley memorabilia, tee shirts, coffee mugs. . . .

. . .okay, okay, we're almost done with the freaking galley.

Hey, you may have to thumb through the pages of givaways to find it, but the Goodreads site is giving away signed copies of my novel "The Ganymeade Protocol" in an online raffle sort of thing.  You can find the givaways here.  The book will move closer to the front page as time goes on, up to the givaway date of May 31, 2016, so, like I said, you may have to sift through a few pages to find same.  The cover looks like this:

I do like the new cover.
The site is a great place to win free copies of newly released books, btw.  Run over and win yrself a copy.

New stuff at Life, Art, Water, check it out.

More Later

Monday, May 16, 2016

Chimney Follies

So, ob cit, as part of our revisions here aboard Floating Empire, we decided to get as far off fossil fuels as we could (and off their expense) by installing a solid fuel stove.

Ranch tent stove in its final place.
Here's a bit better shot during the installation.
So in the course of our recent interminable spate of rainy, chilly weather, we got the chance to test the thing and determined a) that it put out a lot of heat and b) that the water jacket on the back of the stovepipe did a fine job of heating water for everyday use and--unfortunately--c) that it smoked the place up whenever we had a North wind.  Disappointing. (to read our original review of the stove and subsequent modifications and installation, go here)

We tried a number of things, carefully preheating the chimney by placing some tinder in the far back of the stove (which did help), building the fire more toward the rear of the stove, putting a different cap on the chimney......none of it seemed to fix the problem.

Then I finally bit the bullet and got more sections of 3" stovepipe and extended the chimney another two feet over the top of the boat.

No, these aren't the final brackets....just wanted to know if this would work.
Lo and behold, that was it.  The stove began to draw, even in the strong North wind, not a breath of smoke in the boat, and lotsa heat.  I'm sitting here drinking a cup of tea with water boiled on the stove.

Experimentation is a wonderful thing.  Make sure you give yourself the time to do that before you desperately NEED something to work.

In other news, it looks like the endless rain is . . .well. . . finally thinking about ending.  Today is cool, but sunny, and next week looks wonderfully warm.  The new kitchen setup is working well (as in, why didn't we do it this way in the first place?), and the new book is selling well.

Yes, it's available on Kindle Unlimited as well.
So, all in all, not a sucky week.  We're looking forward to warmer weather, more cookouts, and getting to finally mess with the floatation.

Stay Tuned

Hey, Morgainne has new stuff over at Life, Art, Water, with news of our potted duck.  Go have a look!


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Pretty. . . .

Getting a coat of acrylic varnish on the new countertop.  This new layout will get us another two feet of workspace.  Just wanted to pass it along.

Gonna be pretty, eh?
New stuff over at Life, Art, Water.  Also have a giveaway in progress of my nautical scifi novel The Ganymeade Protocol over at Goodreads.

More later

Sunday, May 8, 2016

New Galley Comes Together

So we're finally making progress--now that the freaking rain has stopped for a day or so--on the new galley set up, so I thought I would give you guys a look.

The new sink platform going in.

This is roughly how it will play out, surface mounting the tub rather than insetting it.

Of course, we have to deal with the pump.
So we disassembled, cleaned, and painted the thing.

And gave the new sink platform a coat of stain and varnish.
Here's the new setup, more or less in place.
Still lots to do, but we're getting there.

Hey more stuff over at Life, Art, Water and at Wild Shore Press.

More later.  At least it's sunny out.


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

More Galley revisions underway

Okay, so with the settee firmly under our butts and the woodstove installed, we begin the next phase on the galley.  Our first rude surprise was in taking down some of the corrugated steel behind the old hearth.  LOADS of mildew, caused by condensation.  Ugh.

So we cleaned up the black crap, sprayed the area with a bleach solution, and then wiped it down with a boric acid solution.  Hopefully this will forstall this happening again.

We put in more insulation and replaced some of the old tin with stained plywood to which we could attach stuff.

The wood wall let us finally get the spice rack and knife rack close to where we use em.
Pot rack back in place.
Then we re-hung our overhead pot rack. . .which was just as much of a chore as it was the first time.

Gettin There
Now we've got the big hunk of it:  replacing the countertop and moving the sink toward the aft to make for more work space.