Where We Have Been

Where We Have Been
Where We Have Been

Friday, January 23, 2015

New Name

Well it has been awhile since I posted. The reason is we had our kids here with us for three weeks at Christmas and then I went to California for two weeks. I just got back on Tuesday. It is so good to be home although I was called today and put on stand by for an oil spill in Montana. We will see what happens with that.

We have been contemplating changing the name of the boat from Island Queen to Walkabout, but made it official today and installed the new lettering. She has been Island Queen since she was christened in 1978 so it was a hard decision for me. But I have never been particularly fond of the name so I wanted something different. We learned the term "Walkabout" while we were living in Australia. It pretty well sums up where I am in life right now.

Definition of "Walkabout" by Crocodile Dundee (who else) "A spontaneous journey through the wilderness of one's choosing in an effort to satisfy one's itchy feet, a need to be elsewhere, the craving for the open road, that space over the horizon...yes... something like that... you can't quite touch it so you have to go find it because it's you just know it's there...Or maybe it just feels good to go walking around"

New Name Installed

The harbor is full with a waiting list right now.

Full harbor.

Friday, December 19, 2014

This is Why We Live on a Boat

We left Marathon today around 11 am and headed up the Keys with six aboard. Myself, Sharon, Michelle, Nef, Rachel, and Makayla. We had a beautiful run of about 5 1/2 hours to Matecumbe Bite. We anchored for the evening. The kids played on the kayak, we watched a beautiful sunset and had a fantastic supper. Then I got to lay on the floor and play with my first grandchild. I don't think life gets much better. As I am sitting on the flybridge writing this there is a gorgeous sunrise. Life is good.
Pictures just don't do it justice.

Rachel and Makayla

Me and Makayla

Thursday, December 11, 2014

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Some of the boats in the harbor are decorating for Christmas and Island Queen is no exception. We have the boat decorated and ready for the holidays. Rachel, Nef, and Makeyla will arrive on Monday. Michelle arrives on Tuesday. Six people on the boat. Good thing we all like each other. It will be an exciting time for us. We have lots of things planned.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Rain, rain, and more rain.

Pretty much the last 3 days.

I know I am probably not going to get much sympathy from the folks up north but it has been raining for the last three days. I did not get off the boat on Wednesday or today. Thursday I made three trips in the dingy to get water but never got on land, just pulled up beside the seawall and filled our containers. Tomorrow I am getting off the boat and going ashore no matter what. The Hunger Games is playing so I think we will go see it. Monday should be sunny and back in the low 80s.

It is so nice being out of the boatyard and back in the water. Life is getting back to normal. Next week we are going up to Indiana for Thanksgiving. We will be gone about a week. It will be good to see everyone. Hopefully we can take some warm weather up there with us.

This is what I would rather see when I look out the window.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Back in Marathon

We are finally back in the water and back in Boot Key Harbor. We went back in the water last Wednesday but had a leak where the drive shaft enters the boat. We had her pulled back out and fixed that leak. We went back in the water on Friday at 2;30. On Saturday we traveled back to Marathon. It took us 7 hours and was a perfect day to be on the water. We arrived in Boot Key at about 1:30. The next day we went to church and then took the bus back to Key West to pick up the car and scooter. I rode the scooter back and Sharon drove the car. Of course it rained and stormed on the way back. I had a head wind most of the way and could not get over 50 mph. Had one impatient pickup truck driver almost run me over only to turn off the highway a mile later. When I crossed the seven mile bridge it rained the hardest of the whole trip, but we made it.

We don't ever want to go to a boatyard again. It was miserable. I think another two weeks and I would have been ready to trade Island Queen for an RV.

Ready to go back into the water. 
Bow  thruster.

Modified rudder.

Island Queen's only through hull.

Headed back to the water.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

4th Anniversary

Today is our 4th anniversary of cruising and living aboard. We left Lighthouse Landing on Kentucky Lake November 4, 2010 on Morgan our 1970 Coronado 25 sailboat. It took us about 13 months to make it down to the Florida Keys. We then purchased Island Queen our 1978 Marine Trader trawler. We have been in the Keys now for almost three years. That doesn't seem possible, but that is what the math says. We are really looking forward to April when we will start up the east coast.

We are still in Key West at the boatyard but hope to be back in the water tomorrow at 11 o'clock, and happily at anchor by 1. It looks like we will have good weather on Friday to head to Marathon.

Locking out of Kentucky Lake 11/4/2010

On the hard 11/4/2014

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Working, Working, Working

Alot has been going on aboard Island Queen. The bottom of the boat is nearly done. The rudder has been modified and will be back in tomorrow. We replaced the cutless bearings and started installing the drive shaft today. It should also be finished tomorrow. It seems that everything I do opens another can of worms, but hopefully we are just about out of new cans.My brother Scott and my friend John came down. They were supposed to stay a week. John had to go back to Indiana after three days for a family issue. Scott ended up staying two weeks and helped with alot of fiberglass work and painting. It was a big help. He glassed in the bow thruster tube and did alot of other needed repairs.

It will be three weeks tomorrow that we have been out of the water. We have gotten so much done, but there is still alot to do. I am not sure we will get it done in our 4 week time goal. We desperately want to get done and get out of here. A boatyard is not a fun place to be, but this one is really bad. They do not have pump out service here so we have to use the boatyard bathroom. It is about the worst I have ever seen and I once lived in a third world country and traveled to others. It is gross beyond description. The owners do not take care of it. Sharon and I spent about two hours cleaning it when we first got here. Other tenants help clean it as well. There is no hot water for the shower. I finally got our water heater hooked back up yesterday and had my first hot shower in nearly three weeks. Soon though we will be done and this will only be a bad memory.

Metal cut and ready to be welded to the rudder. 
Scott fiberglassing the tube.

Bow thruster tube from inside the boat.

Scott gettin ready to mis up some more epoxy.

Me grinding off 37 years of paint.