Saturday, December 24, 2016

We live on a sailboat

Motor sailing from Puerto Rico to USVI and back to BVI. The sail is up to help stabilize the boat and provide some power, but the motor is on because we are traveling too much directly into the wind to get where we want to go in a reasonable amount of time.

Monday, December 19, 2016

A Tale of Two Projects - part 2

Bob's project for the day was working on our windlass that finally arrived, mostly in one piece. When we ordered it from Miami we were told they had 3 in stock. Perhaps they have a different definition of "in stock" because it took almost 2 weeks just to get to the distributor. Nonetheless, we have it now, and Bob has been working on getting it installed.
The windlass has arrived

Sunday, December 18, 2016

A Tale of Two Projects

Today was a project day. Bob and I worked in parallel - each with our own projects -each fraught with frustrations, deconstructions, reconstructions and semi success.  I was working on the printer, Bob on the windlass.
An unrelated photo, because I had no photos of my project!
While we were in Oregon I was having a real love - hate relationship with the printer.  When it works,  it performs beautifully. I was able to scan a lifetime of photos and put them on my laptop and share them with my son.  However, when it does not work it is a very different story.  I spent days on the pe with a tech guy (probably in India) and his attempts to fix it. I thought the issues were resolved,  which is why the printer was included in the crate and lugged down to Rhapsody. 

Today I needed to print some financial pages for the sale of our house in order to sign them and send them back to the States, so it was the first time that I pulled the printer out of its hole and attempted to call it into use. 

Problem #1 - The cord that I had packed in with the printer was the wrong cord.  It looks like a printer cord, but it is obviously not the right printer cord.  I had visions of trying to find a Radio Shack or some store of their ilk and trying to find a replacement.  I looked at the plug that was needed, and a light went off in my head,  the shape was the same shape as half of the cord used to charge the laptop. I was able to cannibalize the cord and get the printer powered up. 

Problem #2 - The laptop and the printer were not talking to each other.  This is the core of the problem that I was having in Oregon.  This is what the tech guy spent days working on. 
Pathways on the sea

Attempted solution #1- At home I was able to get them communicating through our home network. On Rhapsody the laptop is not yet hooked to the Internet (a project for another day). I tried to facilitate communication between the laptop and the printer with a cord. No luck. The laptop could not see the printer, and the printer appeared to be insisting on a wireless connection.

Attempted solution #2- I noticed there was a slot for an SD memory card. It looked to be the size as the card in our underwater camera. I got out the camera,  took out the card, inserted it in the printer, and sure enough, it fit. I was able to view all of the pictures on the card, and I  could have printed them if I so chose. (It made me realize that I have a lot of pictures sitting on the camera that I should do something with!)

My next attempt at being able to print the necessary papers involved hooking the tablet to the laptop to send the desired documents from the first device to the second, hooking up the card reader, copying the files to the card reader then inserting the card back into the printer and printing the files.

Everything but the last step worked. The only files that the printer will read off the card are photo files. My next thought was to bring up the documents on the laptop, take a picture of them and use the memory card to print them off.

However, in pushing every button, and reading every menu on the printer, I noticed that there is an email address for the printer.

Attempted solution #3- While the laptop is not connected to the internet, the phone is. I was able to pull up the needed files on the phone and send them by email to the printer.

Big smile.


I have no printer paper!

I found one sheet that was printed on only one side, fed it into the printer, and voilĂ , sucess. Now all I have to do is find some printer paper...

Within 15 minutes a neighbor from an adjacent boat dinghied over to say hello.

"Do you, by any chance, have some printer paper?" I asked.

"Yes I do," he replied "which is odd, since I don't have a printer."

He turned his dinghy around, zipped over to his boat around and returned with a stack of paper.

Ahh, the sweet sound of the printer working.

A roundabout success, and I am not convinced it will work every time, the printer is just like that, but it worked this time, the papers are printed, filled out and signed, ready to be dinghied to the Post Office in the morning.

All this time Bob has been working on getting our new windlass installed. (Yes, it finally arrived). His saga continues in the next post... 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Where are you from?

It is interesting how this simple question can mean so many different things. Usually when it is asked of us as travelers it means "Where will you go back to when this vacation is over?" "Where is your home?" The people asking this question don't expect to hear that our home is our boat and that we have no place in particular go when we are done with it. We are interested to see where it can take us.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016


We have sold our home of 23 years. For our son, Rivers, almost a lifetime. The house that we remodeled and doubled in size, completely changed the interior and much of the exterior as well. Full of wood and storage and lofts and skylights. Harry Potter even had his own room under the stairs.

It was a work of art. We all put work into it, but none more than Bob. His craftsmanship was evident throughout the house. The first word our listing agent wrote on the description of the house- "stunning".

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Waiting for a fix

It has been two weeks of waiting to get our windlass. Two weeks of being limited as to where we can go and what we can do. Hoping that we made the right decisions. Anxious to be moving on.

Here is a poem Bob wrote about it:

Friday, December 9, 2016

Our first raft-up.

We had our first raft-up the other day. We motored our dinghy from Dakity harbor on Culebra, where Rhapsody is on a mooring ball, into Ensenada Honda, the main harbor in Culebra.  It is about a 20 minute ride with our little 6 HP motor.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Our first longer sail this season

St. James USVI to Culebra

Sailors often send the wish to each other of "fair winds and following seas" and that is exactly what we had today. Enough wind to propel us toward our destination, but not too much to make it uncomfortable. To have following seas means that the waves are going in the same direction you are, which makes for a much smoother ride.

As I look around I see deep blue water with hints of turquoise just below the surface. A deep rich color with just enough transparency to let the other colors show through. The sky is a light blue with the blue darkening as you look higher. The horizon is ringed with fluffy white clouds. Bits and pieces of brown Sargasso are floating by.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Consistency at Customs

Ahh, Customs, checking in and out of countries, gotta love it. It is so nice to be able to count on the consistency of governments. Rules are rules, right?

Oh, wait - that must have been in some other reality.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Out of the Marina at Last!

What a relief.  Away from the marina. We don't have a windlass to pull up our anchor so we will be relying on finding mooring balls to park ourselves in the evenings, a bit restrictive,but do able .

 We are off to Culebra, Puerto Rico to visit friends and we hope to pick up the windlass that we ordered from Florida.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

A Plan

I am happier now. Not everything is fixed- but we have a plan. We have parts ordered. We have places to go and people to see. We have friends coming to visit us.
I am much happier when we have a plan rather than sitting in a marina waiting for something to happen - especially when it is a rainy muggy day.

We are headed to Culebra, Puerto Rico to pick up our new windlass. The old one died and without a windlass we have less freedom to go where we want to go, when we want to go there.

Just knowing that there is a plan of action brings a smile to my face.

Onward and upward. Adventure Ho!