That last step is a doozy: Ending 2015 with a break … and a crash

Our apologies for the lack of blogging lately.  Things. got. crazy.

We had an action-packed December planned. There was going to be a tour of a sail loft with a “how it’s made” story about our new mainsail. I was so excited to see the sail loft and try the machines.  We were going to be reporting from the Kemah Christmas Boat Parade. We were scheduled to play our first boat band bar gig. We were even trying to schedule one last dinner cruise for the winners of our the United Way silent auction. We really were going to crank it up and end the year on a high note. We were honestly so excited for all of these plans! 

Notice I said, “were.” All of our plans changed two weeks ago on a sunny Sunday afternoon when Mary was just casually stepping off of a friend’s boat. She was wearing good shoes, the deck wasn’t wet, she had nothing in her hands, and we hadn’t had a thing to drink. She just stepped down wrong, and she heard the bones in her foot crack as she collapsed onto the dock.  I sort of stepped half on-half off the side of the step. I hadn’t even made it off the dock before I blacked out from the pain. 

A quick run to the emergency room confirmed not one, but two broken bones — one in her foot and one in her ankle. It looked like our boating was done for the year.

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As they say, when it rains, it pours. Just a day later she suffered another accident that totaled her car. Ironically, I was driving to the hospital to have a follow-up done on my foot. Thankfully I did not have to go to the hospital because of the crash.

I’ve spent the past two weeks trying to keep Mary as calm as possible, which is a challenge. If I leave the room for too long I’ll catch her hopping around the house working on various projects or trying to clean instead of resting and icing her leg. I think putting your wife in bed and taking away the crutches should be illegal.  I mean, I already lost my car…

The entire incident brought up a big question. What if this had happened while we were cruising? How would we have handled this if we were hours or even days away from a hospital? What kind of medications and first aid supplies should we have on board? What kind of health insurance would we need in a foreign country? The good news is last weekend we found out that I can navigate the boat on one leg without too much trouble — albeit somewhat slowly. 

Thankfully these were simple fractures. The only treatment is to splint the ankle and ice the foot while we wait for the bones to heal. In Scouts we used to practice making splints out of magazines and other random objects, so should we ever face a simple fracture in the future, I’m ready. However, if it’s a compound fracture with jagged bones sticking out of the skin, we’re probably calling the Coast Guard.

As Mary continues to recover we’re now trying to decide what kind of car to buy. Saying that our taste in vehicles differs greatly would be a mild understatement. Honestly we’re both making bad choices, but in different directions.

We want to wish everyone a merry Christmas and a happy new year. The 2016 GBCA Icicle Series begins January 2, so we’ll be kicking off the new year with lots of activity.

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Have a safe holiday, and watch that last step in 2015, it’s a doozy!

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Winter Sails have the best Sunsets

It had been four weeks since we got to go down and enjoy our boat because of our Texas RenFest adventures, and then Thanksgiving., and it had been even longer since we’d left the marina due to terrible weather. Saturday we were greeted by a beautiful sunny and “warm” day, temperatures around 65.

We had invited a couple friends over for a day of sailing and grilling, so naturally we started the day with the standard cleaning, prepping, and a quick trip to the grocery store.

While Fred was gone I took the opportunity to hang this wine glass rack that he hates.  😀  I can’t help but be stubborn about it. I really love it! I found a wood rack on amazon for around $10 and put it up with double sided tape.  I then took a little bamboo skewer and used it as a stopper on the back. [Editor’s note: The glasses fell down as soon as we were out on the water.]

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We were all ready for our guests a little before cast off time and took a moment to celebrate and relax with a cold drink.

All in all it was a beautiful sail.  We had hardly any wind, but it was probably for the best as it turned out our guest Mitchel gets sea sick.  DecemberSailing07

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It had been awhile since we’d been on the water, and I couldn’t stop commenting on how beautiful the sunset was.

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We topped things off with warm bread pudding and a couple hot glasses of tea.

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Despite having very stylish sweaters, the dogs were getting cold, so we motored on in.

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Hopefully that wasn’t our last sail of the year, but it’s looking like it will be a few weeks before we can get out again.

 

How to use a French Press to make coffee

Most of you are probably thinking, what kind of idiot doesn’t know how to use a French Press to make coffee. However, many of us grew up in homes with an electric coffee maker. Some of us even invested in an espresso maker with a milk frother when we were in college. However, I had never even heard of a French Press and had no idea how they worked until I went looking for a way to make coffee on the boat without electricity.

Therefore, we decided to shoot a little video during our regular Sunday morning brewing session to help spread the joy of the French Press to anyone else who may need their daily caffeine fix.

A little music for your weekend

We spent Thursday night hanging out with all of our musician friends at Jive Bar & Lounge Open Mic, and I shot a few videos this week. I’ll post some songs by Cerveza Road, Kristian Davis of Kollective Minds, and Jesse Avila of Poly Seude when we get back from the marina Sunday night after I have time to do some editing. Until then, I hope you’ll enjoy our cover of The Weight with our friend Justin Guy on bass.

Our visit to Doug Jackson and SV Seeker in Tulsa, Oklahoma

The boat the Internet built — that’s the slogan emblazoned atop the website we’ve visited the past few months watching Doug Jackson’s progress as he continues to build SV Seeker, a 74-foot steel origami hull, junk rigged, cargo, motorsailer in his front yard.

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Doug has come to the conclusion that the best way to realize his dream is to share it with everyone around the world. Readers from across the globe comment with their ideas and expertise, and Doug is willing to house and feed anyone who wants to make the trek to Tulsa, Oklahoma to work on Seeker.

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As we made our way back to Houston on a cold, rainy Sunday after spending a week visiting family, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take a small detour to meet Doug and actually see SV Seeker for ourselves.

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When we arrived we met Dave Fickle from Arizona who had spent the week of Thanksgiving helping Doug with wiring the ROV and welding the propeller shroud. He began welding cable guides onto the rudder quadrant while Doug took a break to give Mary and myself the grand tour.

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After a very busy summer the pilot house and hull are mostly constructed and some of the hatches are in place.

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The cabin is also beginning to take shape as Doug continues to leak-test his keels and tanks.

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The pile of portals is growing. If you look back at the hull photos, you can see that Doug has drawn in their future locations.

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The water-tight doors to be installed in Seeker’s cabin are also a sight to behold.

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We even got to check out Doug’s dinghy design, complete with seasonal elf captain.

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The tour was great, but no trip to visit SV Seeker would be complete without doing some work. Mary took an interest in the welding.

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Doug was kind enough to explain to her how the welder worked and gave her a quick lesson.

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And suddenly, Mary, who had never welded before, was attaching a cable guide to the rudder quadrant.

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And it turns out, her welding isn’t too bad!

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Doug said he estimates at least two more years of work before Seeker is ready to hit the water, and you’re probably wondering, how will Seeker get to the water.

Tulsa is actually an inland port city, and just 15 miles away from where Seeker sits is a shipyard on the Arkansas River where she’ll eventually be launched. Then it’s just a matter of making her way through the Oklahoma lock and dam system until eventually she’ll hit the Mississippi River and then the Gulf of Mexico.

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We could have stayed all day, but with dogs sitting in the car and another eight hours of driving to do, we had to say goodbye and get back on the road.

Special thanks to Doug for his incredible hospitality. We hope to see you again on the water.

Make sure to visit Doug’s site at www.svseeker.com. There’s also an SV Seeker Facebook Group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/svseeker/?fref=ts