Sunday, February 25, 2007

A visit to Finn Slough

A trip to Steveson coudn't be called a trip without checking in on Finn Slough.

Established in 1890s by Finnish settlers in the south Richmond area, the homes are built on stilts and boats sit high and dry in the mud during low tide. It is a neat place and I know they have often as not had to defend their turf from those in authority. Historically and biologically significant it is a little jewel on the mighty Fraser as it winds it way out to the Gulf of Georgia.
The Dinner Plate Island School
I love the bike on the roof! Oh, wait...we do that.

How perfect to be able to pull your boat up
in front of your house? Oh, wait...we do that too.Who doesn't like mermaids?
"I think we'll have to wait for the tide to change..."

Looking westward down the Slough.

An update on the Sand Castle

Since Dave abandoned the Sand Castle, Steve took it over. Over these last few months, Steve's been doing a huge amount to clean up to it. Some 60 bags of garbage later, a couple of apartment-sized freezers, small fridges, at least one couch (though I think there were two) and umpteen trips to the dump later he finally could turn around in the thing.

I mentioned to him a couple of weeks ago that we should head down to the Mariner's Xchange in Steveston and have a boo at all the used merchandise in there. Currently, he's been using ceramic and a few other space heaters to stay warm. I suggested he find a Dickenson's.

Voila! Steve was tickled pink as they say. A bit rusty and in need of some elbow grease, for $60 it was PERFECT! Although I don't think he was familar with the name, it was just what he wanted in terms of size and shape. And he intends to use biodiesel in it. Yea!!

This is not it's final resting place. After I took this shot they heaved it down a hatch to below decks. Last update had him and Greig futzing with fuel lines and Greig grumbling about needing wine since Steve had no more beer. I'd best go water those horses.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Some perspective

When the Jamie and Greg from the KJ came to visit they took this great shot of the Bowie and Partnership. It was such a such a nice sunny day.

I guess there is a part of me that is a bit afraid too show all the photos as the place is just so messy. I figure it doesn't have to be fancy, it just has to be tidy and yet the moment I make a tidy spot, that spot is literally messy again within the hour. And in truth, it often as not facilitates yet another item to be crossed off the "to do" list. I have been working hard at lightening up about it all and trying to see more of the beauty in all the chaos. I think of the Malvina Reynolds song "Little Boxes" running through my head and the words...

Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes made of ticky-tacky,
Little boxes, little boxes,

Little boxes, all the same.

There's a green one and a pink one

And a blue one and a yellow one
And they're all made out of ticky-tacky

And they all look just the same.

And I look across at the overpriced leaky condos across the river and I am glad that I don't live in a box and we are doing something different. Greig took some new tenents out for a boat ride the other day and so I am now just getting round to posting them as we didn't have our internet running and the new modem arrived and has been installed. YEA!! Happy boats.

The last pic of the sunken boat is the Pineleaf. Nice wooden fishboat about 80' I think, that sunk up the river this winter as nobody was looking after the pumps and it filled up with rainwater. Greig has mentioned ambitions of raising this one too. I am trying to convince him that perhaps we've enough to do.

Tank removal pics

Looking down through the stern hatch at Dave
splayed across the top of the tank. Nice backside Dave.

Inside the tank room removing one of two tanks.

Part of the tank.

More tank bits.
Another profile of Dave's backside, hard
at work at this messy business.

Just Dave's left leg here and more
shots of said rusty tank.
Can you pick out Dave's elbow?

Looking astern where all cords and hoses are
coming down through the upper hatch hole. The fan is
dispersing the smoke from the plasma cutter.

Dave standing inside the tank.

One down, seven more to go!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Just like a hot knife thru buttah

Dave and Greig, well, mostly Dave, have been working on cutting out one of eight fuel tanks. It is a messy and mucky job. They have a big fan down there to disperse the smoke from the plasma cutter. The first cutter broke and we had to schlep back out to Coquitlam to replace it. Still, it beats the heck out of having to be doing all this with oxygen and acetylene tanks and ultimately, much cheaper Dave assures me.

Dave's cuts are quite straight and clean. He is a professional after all. Apparently Greig's "look like I am suffering from Parkinson's." All craft takes time to perfect honey. There should be lots of scrap metal left over for all to practice our plasma cutting techniques.

And I have photos! Though it is not that it is easy to tell what you are looking at. The telephone line is down again and I have to replace the main line coming from shore so I will up date with pics when I get the new line in and pics off the camera "Round tuit".

Monday, February 12, 2007

Some wedgies you just can't dislodge

We've had these two logs stuck under the boomstick dock for a week or two now. Pushing on them with the pike pole is unsuccessful. Tony, the our log salvage guy here on the Mitchell Island Slough came by with his bigger boat to give a yank on them.

The log on the right appears longer as it comes out from the underside of the boomstick dock and I can see it submerged beneath the bow of the Partnership.The Partnership's bow isn't in danger as it is in between the pontoons and the hull is steel.

When we stick the pole in between the logs we can feel they are connected with a deck so it appears to be an overturned dock.

It isn't moving. It did move from sitting on a left diagonal to now sitting on a right diagonal and is no longer under the bow of the Partnership.Greig is going to attempt to hook the anchor winch up to it and see if that can dislodge it at all.

And it is always fun doing this in the pouring rain. It stopped when we were done. Funny how that works.

Nothing says "I love you" like a Plasma cutter

Last week, Greig had sent me to the Depot to get more blades for the sawzall. As I was coming over the road he called me back on the cell.

G:"Where are you?"

Me: "Up top at the gate."



G: "I need you to pick up a new sawzall. I just blew up the other one."

It takes him forever to cut through those metal bulkheads and we need to remove the old fuel tanks. They are gross and rusty and the plasma cutter will cut through that much more cleanly than with the welder and faster than anything else. After a couple of hours on the sawzall the repetitive strain really gets at the hands and wrists.

It was on sale this week at KMS Tools out in Coquitlam. I'll have to take Greig there again. He'll find
his inner child there. Again.

So it is our Valentines/birthday present for each other and our crew. Here's Dave playing with the new tool and testing it out on the old fuel tank.

Happy V-day!

Blog buddies

I think Jamie and Greg from the MV Katherine Jane are our first visitors that have come to visit via the blog/website. Jamie first posted on my blog back in September and so we read each other's blogs regularly. The difference is their boat is done. (They have more than one too but they are both "done").

Jamie: "Would it be to much of an imposition to come and visit?"

Me: "Are you kidding me?"

Jamie: "Should I bring work gloves?"

Me: "Be careful what you volunteer for!"

Alas, we didn't have much time to visit as much as I would have liked. The docks weren't as bad as Jamie thought they'd be. (YEA!) Of course I have been at them quite a bit lately to clean them up when my folks come down again so they are much more negotiable these last few weeks.

Greg & Jamie, please come back. Tie the KJ up beside us. Keep your work gloves in the drawer. It'll be a great excuse to stop and sit down for a while.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Lights, check; toilet, check..

We were having issues with the switches and the GFI outlet. On the weekend, Mr. Billyard and I got it all sorted out.

Yea for us!

Plus we got the toilet installed. It wasn't without trial and tribulation as I had tried to do it myself and dropped one of the closet bolts down the drain. So off to the Depot for yet another hardware item. I really have to go through all those receipts and take the time to enter their survey to win that $1000 bucks they say I have a chance of winning. (Add that to the "list").

I was pretty happy to
install my vintage light fixture. I had installed it in the bathroom at my apartment some time ago and decided this would be a perfect spot for the fixture.

I have the vanity and have to put it together. I have been debating over tile or formica and drawn to this pretty slate that reminds me of the rocky beaches on Kootenay Lake. Lots of mica in the rocks. My friend Carmen and I went to the Burnaby Home Depot tonight and she echoed my entheusiasim for the tiles I had in mind. They have lots of these tiles as the Richmond Depot seems short so maybe I will hit it all on pay day and pick them up.

New vanity, new is all so exciting! The toilet is now working too and we have been using the shower for a couple of weeks

This just in from Tugster

A big thanks to Tugster just posted this great post on his blog about a lightship renovation and it is facinating! Thank goodness for all the other boat bloggers out there as I just don't have time to search out all these great ideas on-line.

Check out his post "Second Lives 3" on unusual hotels, a lightship renovation, and a link to their ship and the Nantucket Lightship WLV-612.

Must contact them for advice...Nice work people.

Too much to do: an update...

Items completed :
1. Cut out and remove the old wire in the upper bow suite (Marcus’s old room) to make way for more spray foam insulation. CHECK

2. Make way in Mark’s room (below Marcus’s room) for spray foam there too. CHECK

5. Install new toilet on Partnership and sort out switches and outlets in bathroom. CHECK

6. Move my computer off old bedroom on the Bowie to the Partnership. CHECK

7. Sort closet on Partnership and make room for ALL our clothes. CHECK

20. Make new docks. well...more dock fixin’ (see #22)

21. Delegate the kids to sort the videos/dvds to put back on the shelves on the stack.

22. Tidy the plywood decking and re-screw it down to lay more anti-skid/slip material (aka chicken wire).

26. Fix the back stairs. Again for the umpteethtime. Throw some chicken wire on them. (Still have to
do the chicken wire...) Mostly CHECKED!

37. Firewood!! (never ending...)

Cozy little thing

I didn't expect to find one so quickly. I had made the post last week about looking for a Jotul stove and the shiny new ones cost up to $2500, or thereabouts. I finished my post and went to the craigslist and lo and behold lookit what I found!

This is an Intrepid stove by Vermont Castings. A pretty perfect match and despite the odd bit of cracked enamel.

It heats up the Partnership really well. Too well as some nights it feels like a sweat lodge. But we're getting used to its pecadillos and we don't have to keep a fire going in all night to stay warm enough in this weather. It's pretty cute.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Always some fresh hell

Greig has Bui and Bui's friend Denis home from school this week so he is putting them to work removing all the old braided wiring.("progress). They were stoked at the idea of playing with the big bolt cutters and getting money at the scrap dealers for it all.

I came home, with groceries seeing a much loathed ventilation fan sitting askew on the back deck. I did a little dance. Ooooh I thought...finally that monster is out!!

"Don't get too excited," said Steve, knowing full well the fresh hell I was about to face.

All the food was pulled off the shelves, rotten bits of wood, paint chips and metal dust covered everything. That was at 7pm.

It took me until just before 9pm to get it cleaned up and the groceries put away. Now on to dinner...

Steve, always a trooper, repaired the external wall to which said fan was affixed, slapped up some make do shelving so I could put all our huge spice/herb containers back, and he cooked dinner.

YES HE IS SINGLE, though I am not entirely sure why...Probably just picky. He's handy, very handsome, always cheerful and optimistic and he cooks too! (More on the great Steve McD soon...)

I really gotta start some kind of dating blog for all the great single guys that I live with. Some girls are missing out.