Saturday, April 22, 2017

LAW127: The End of an Era, and Other Events

Thursday afternoon at approximately 12:25 the Floating Empire left her home pier at Middle River Landing, bound for a new home and new adventures. It was a very bittersweet moment. Don was scheduled to work, so could not be here to say goodbye to our beloved barrel barge shanty boat. Likely just as well, as he is the more sentimental one about stuff like this.

With a little help from friends

Still, i will miss her as well. After all, she was our home for just over three years. We designed and built her in our backyard, arguing over every square inch. She went through a major renovation last winter/spring. And now, she will provide shelter to some one else. Lucky for her new owner, he did not have to tow her very far.

Hard work, getting her out of the slip

We learned a lot building and living in her. We will definitely put all that experience to good use. Soon too, i think. We are currently living in, and rehabbing at the same time a 29' 1976, Cal sailboat; Tesla's Revenge. Soon she will lose her mast, as soon as we can find a boat yard with a working crane in reasonable proximity to us. Then we we can build the wheel house, install the solar panels(on top of the wheel house) and of course the motor. Then we will be ready to motor off, very quietly to new adventures.

Yes, there were plenty of witness'

Magellan, our beloved ship's cat is adapting nicely to the new space. He has lots of new, little nooks and crannies to explore. He loves walking the fore deck. It is quite startling to see him stroll by the galley windows. He does however, walk the dock, stopping at the empty slip where Empire was moored. I'm sure he knows that something is missing.

Magellan loves playing with his water bowl.

Boats, particularly sail boats have a tremendous amount of storage, unfortunately, almost all of it is 'dead' storage, underneath, or behind something else. It is a challenge to remember where i have stowed everything. I don't even want to talk about 'my' quarter berth. I had to seriously down size my studio space, and i do have to move at least two things to get to anything other than my current needlepoint piece, or the altered book i am working on.

Speaking of the most current textile piece, i made a design decision about two weeks ago, which has altered the ultimate over all form of the Firebird. I chose to do away with the hanging 'dags' on either side of the bottom. I felt that they were competing with the central flame and tail feathers. I also have added one more tongue of flame to the lower edge. I just finished the one on the left, next will be the new flame on the right hand side.  Of course i feel the design is stronger for these changes.

One more flame, the rest of the sky......and

We plumbed our little cooktop this morning! Yes, no more small, expensive bottles of propane cluttering my counter top.

I made a lovely soup last night, sort of a homage to one of my favorites from Anna Thomas. Her's, a vegetarian potato and corn chowder from one of her first cookbooks. Mine had sweet potatoes and fresh corn, but it had a very definite Malaysian twist. I made a sweet/savory flavoring paste(cumin, fennel, cardamon, ginger, garlic, tumeric and fenugreek), coconut milk, a little shredded cabbage and shrimp. Absolutely delish!
Really, i wanted to eat it all, but i saved some for Don.

It has stopped raining, the cat has left the boat, and it is time for me to go to my studio and make stuff.

Oh yes, Happy Earth Day! Every day should be earth day, she is after all the only one we got.

More later,

Monday, April 17, 2017

LAW 126: Moving out/Moving in

We definitely have mixed feelings about leaving the Floating Empire. She has been a very comfortable. albeit, funky tiny home for the past three years.  Luckily, we found some one willing to take her; so some time this week the Empire will be leaving her home pier, traveling to new adventures.
Another victim of downsizing.

We are hoping to get everything moved out of her today; the weather, however, is not cooperating. Some how rain has developed. So much for decreasing clouds. Sigh. It does allow a little time to regroup and rearrange yet again here aboard Tesla's Revenge.

The EV Tesla's Revenge is a refurbished Cal 229, circa 1976. Next week we will be de-masting her, and will start building the wheel house.

In the meantime we are living aboard, learning to juggle the different space configurations. Sail boats have great storage, but so much of it is tucked away, under a cushion in the seating area; underneath more readily accessible storage in the galley, underneath and behind several more storage elements.

First dinner on Tesla's Revenge.

Vegetable storage, (which i think in almost all cases should be at room temperature) had to be totally re thought. We went from under counter, in wicker baskets, to the umpteenth re-working of a wire mesh frame and basket system that we have used since the mid 80's. Recycle, Reuse, Re-purpose, definitely the 3 R's in our house!
Clever coverup, i think!

The collage piece behind the wire frame is part of the bathroom wall of the Floating Empire. It covers one of the deconstruction errors of a previous owner.

pretty ugly, but hey, we got it covered.

We've had to adapt some of our old tools to the new space. The knife rack had to be mounted in a rather dramatic fashion, nothing like a good strong diagonal line to create a strong design element.
Hey, it works!

I think our hanging pot rack will be what i miss the most in our new galley space. Just not enough head space to allow it's use. Yet another element added into the 'where does it go' roulette.

old, favorite tools, new home.

Moving is one of my least favorite things to do. It is always stressful. It always feels as if i am leaving 'my only home'. Moving always uncovers my weakness; my belief that if i just keep this ...... (insert list of extremely odd and usually useless objects) i will one day, real soon now, make something beautiful out of said object. My studio space has ranged from, a two bedroom house, the entire basement, a room in a basement, a re-modeled sun porch, the back of the Floating Empire, and now,  the port side quarter berth. Well, that is actually art stuff storage, the real work will take place,  at the salon table, a very versatile object indeed. It swivels 360 degrees, and  folded in half. It also doubles as a bed.  Or maybe, most likely, in the wheel house, which has a much better view!

Sigh, it is still raining.
To many more!

More later,

Thursday, April 6, 2017

LAW 125: We splashed, or hurry up and wait.

Yesterday was the big day. After approximately two months of scraping and painting and putting back together and re-wiring and... we finally launched our new floating home, the EV, Tesla's Revenge. Yea us!

It is a little intimidating under here.

Don finally got two days off in a row, we finished painting the spots on the hull where the stands had been; he got the twelve volt system working, which meant that our bilge pump was now functional. This is a very important safety feature in a displacement hull boat. We were next! We were in the sling, time to touch up the bottom of the keel, buy the champagne we forget to buy when we were out this morning, and hurry up, splitting up these last few duties, because we thought we would be in the water in minutes, not almost three hours later.

Last minute painting!

Unfortunately, the gods were laughing at us, the barge with the work crew's pile driver was kind of in the way. They were at lunch, that is our new slip they are blocking.

Yes, that is our slip that is blocked

Boats do have a mind of their own!
Alright, back from lunch, the push boat is launched, and the barge is moved into the fair lead blocking our trip to our slip. At this point we are in the water, Don is happy as Tesla's Revenge is floating, and even better, as he says, she is floating upright. Now we just wait until the crew gets the old, broken piling removed, and yes that is at least as important as launching our boar. Still, hurry up....

Petitioning Poseiden to accept Tesla' Revenge
A small offering for protection.
We are in the water, in the slip. We re-christened The Gilded Lady, petitioning Poseiden to please strike her from his rolls and accept Tesla's Revenge. Most, but as you can tell, not all of the champagne went to Poseiden, we had to have a little!

Now it is our turn!

Drinking out of a champagne bottle isn't easy!

Well, we are in. we are floating, and yes, we do have so much left to do.

Contemplating the move

More later,