Carpe Diem

Whenever, I get the chance, I love to ask other sailors about their boat name. Our name, Carpe Diem, may seem self evident. However, it really goes much deeper than just “good advice”. A few years back, Scott was told he had less than 6 months to live. Colon cancer had gone undetected for too many years. After 6 months of intense chemo... he finally made it. Then a few years later, complications from a double-by-pass almost killed him again. Today he doesn't let his BP and severe diabetes slow him down. Two years ago he lost most of his vision in one eye and partially in the other...and the list goes on and on and on.

Having a boat to work on (along with a regiment of insulin and dozens of medications) keeps him sailing and out of the ER. This boat probably saved his life! I often think “SURVIVOR” would be a good name for our boat. But that would be a constant reminder of the past struggles. So, for now we try to live one day at a time, and carpe diem, “seize the day”.

BELOW ARE BLOG ENTRIES (full of photos) and on the LEFT is our LOG BOOK (full of thoughts , musings, and dreams). At the bottom of this page is a feature where you can become a follower and be notified whenever we add a new blog. Thank you for visiting.

January 25, 2013

December 2012: Hauling Out in Fort Pierce


 Well, the planets finally lined up right and it was time to leave Ft Pierce, to head somewhere new. 

However, before Carpe Diem  was ready to cruise, she needed her bottom cleaned and painted.  We decided on Cracker Boy Boat Yard, and it was a good decision.  They were professional, prompt, and finished all the work on budget. 

(The budget part thrilled now we didn't have to rely on Scott's fishing skills for dinner the rest of the month)
Being in a boatyard for 2 weeks is one of those  boat-life experiences this mate does not cherish. So Annie jumped ship and headed for Kansas for a few days. This was great timing for us, as my brother was having open-heart surgery and I had planned to go up while he was in recovery with his new heart valve.  He did very well is now up walking 2-3 miles a day. 
So Scott was on his own with all the repairs. The prop was damaged and he sent it off for repair. The rudder also had a big chunk missing. Scott was able to dry it out and repair it with West System Epoxy. It turned out like new as did the prop. The old lady had very few blisters. We also had the water line raised 6 inches. (So now I can have more books?)

By the way, she weighed in at 42,000 pounds on the lift. In the old gals defense, her water tanks were full. Yet, that still puts her in the heavyweight class for sailboats. (Personally we like big butts on our stable and seaworthy CSY.)                                                      

As soon as we ran out of money, they dropped her back in the water and we headed south. Our son, Evan, flew down to sail with us as far as Boot Key Harbor in the Keys.  It was such a rush to fly our  new main sail. 
We also did our first 'overnight' sail. Scott and Evan truly loved it.  All I can say was a long winter's night.  After clipping along in the dark for 12 hours,  12 miles offshore,  I was happy to see that first light. Even with a headwind we made Marathon before sundown.  

    And then after 36 hours at sea, I wouldn't even let them have a cigar in the cockpit. 

    It was a fun week. And no real adventures.  As Louis L'mour said about that,  "Adventure is just a romantic name for trouble"

     Well, we are happy to be back in Boot Key Harbor for a few weeks. We will keep you posted as our journey continues.  In the meantime...stop by for an adult beverage.

August 25, 2012

Raining in Florida!

Hi Everyone. My Goodness is it raining now,  as the summer tropical weather is upon us. Everyone is watching "Issac" hoping he won't rain out the RNC in Tampa.  

     It's been months since I posted and feels good to be back. We have been traveling so much this year, but unfortunately,  by air, and not by sea.  However, we are planning to head south and go sailing, as soon as the hurricane season ends.

 As we wait, we have been doing a few more projects to the boat.   Remember that leaky dingy?   Well, West Marine stood by their warranty and gave us a credit toward a new one. Gotta love that company!

And this time we got Hypalon   Yeah!!  No more leaks!
It just doesn't pay to try to save money
on a less expensive dinghy.  After 5 dinghies in 7 years, we know!
So the next project had to do with our new sail. Scott decided to engineer a 1-minute reef system on the main sail. I always wonder where he learns all this stuff...but after he ran all these multi-colored lines to everywhere and thru sets of new blocks, and ending up in the cockpit...then...whola!  He released the main sail and it fell so swiftly, into a double reef in less than a minute!  This was a beautiful thing.

Now we can't wait to get out and try all these new changes to our old way of sailing! This sure will beat crawling up on the deck and trying to tie bungees around the main!(And always in foul weather) The older we get the nicer it is to have all lines running to the so much safer. 

And it always warms the cockles of my heart to see Scott organizing his stuff. That was just an added bonus.
     Scott always wanted to be able to single-handed sail if need be.  We are getting closer to that all the time. Our next big addition will be davits.
Then we want a self-launching bow roller for the anchor. It never ends does it.  It just takes time to get a boat the way you want it.  And we understand that we certainly can't wait for that day to come before we can leave the dock.  We can always add stuff as we go.  (Surely,  they sell davits in the Bahamas)  Sometimes you just have to go with what ya got!

     Well I can't close today without adding this cool shot of my captain "bug eyes"! Scott's eye doc wants him to protect his eyes from the sun.
So do you think these huge shades will do it?

June 4, 2012

Nothing says "Well Done" like Old Scotch and Good Cigars!

Always a new project. The tools were not stowed away for long this time. Our son, Evan, from New York came down to help his dad with a wiring project. He should have known it was a trap! One project turned into many. He will know better than to volunteer next time.

First, he help us wrestle our dingy up on the dock so we could clean the bottom. Then, a leak was found, in the it has to be replaced. Another trip to West Marine. (Yikes. It never ends.) So stay tuned for the blog titled  "New Dinghy" (it will be right under the chapter titled "bankruptcy!! lol.)  

Wiring projects were also on the list. Evan's young eyes were so helpful.  For a young man with a doctorate in Medical Pathology, he sure knew his way around the systems on the boat! 

We also had some fun, did some sightseeing, and more scotch and more cigars. We had to celebrate his graduation from med school. He followed in his sister's footsteps. She became a doctor 2 years ago. So now we have 2 doctors in our family. Yes, we are very proud of them!!  

April 22, 2012

Will a factory thru-hull leak after 35 years? Does a standard thru-hull work on a CSY?

YES and NO!  And finding the leak was like a scavenger hunt. Yet, find it we did. And fortunately, it was right at the water line and not below. ( galley sink gray water thru-hull.)  So Scott and I were able to change it out ourselves, with him inside contorted into an almost helpless position under the cabinets and me in the dingy on the out side. This normally should have been an easy job….did I say “easy”? if anything is easy on a boat!... I amuse myself sometimes... Anyway, 1 wooden bung, 2 marine stores and 3 days later, we finally acquired a thru-hull that was long enough to go through the 3 inches of solid fiberglass in our hull!! The following picture demonstrates our problem:

We always heard that CSY ‘s were called ‘indestructible” and now we know why.  We had to special order a thru-hull long enough to leave any threads in the inside to tighten it down with.  Of course we didn’t figure that out until we tried the first one. Scott kept yelling (from his upside-down twisted position under the cabinet) for me to “hit it with the hammer and force it through the hull”. Well, I was in the dingy pounding away on it, with all the neighbors enjoying the show.  Oh well, we all have our turns, don’t we.

So that’s our big excitement for the month. Not much else has been happening. We are still slowly working our way up Florida’s east coast. If you know us, or follow our blog, you know that health issues are a big factor in our lives. It seems we just can’t cut that umbilical cord to the VA Hospital. After 7 eye surgeries, Scott still needs one more.  Yet, he never let’s this, or anything else, slow him down. "Carpe Diem" is his motto and always has been.

February 6, 2012


 While Annie flew home to see kids and grand kids, Scott continued to make improvements to the boat.
 Starting with a new MAIN SAIL made for us by a company out of Stuart Florida...Mack Sails. It seems to be a little larger than our old sail and with a deeper pocket. We can't wait to get out and fly it!!

 Above is a video of the first time we raised it. They installed a new track up the mast so the sail raised like a dream. We still have to add the reefing lines and Scott is also running all the lines back to the cockpit. This is a project we have wanted to do since we bought the boat.

We quickly learned that a brand new sail is extremely stiff and a real pain to flake. Mack Sails also makes a lazy jack system called a Mack Pack. It really works slick. The sail just falls into it and no cover to put on.

They say it takes about a year for the sail to "relax" and flake into the Mack Pack on it's own. We will keep you posted on that. Hope it doesn't take that long. Scott also had them add new sacrificial sunbrella to our genoa.  So many little things that needed done.  It never ends.  It's a boat!

 After inspecting and tuning the rigging, they suggested we add a halyard guard on top of the roller furling to keep it from twisting. Can't wait to go out and try all this new stuff out.

Carpe Diem is looking better all the time. 

January 2, 2012

Christmas Aboard Carpe Diem

     Hope everyone's holidays were as blessed as ours were. This was our 3rd Christmas aboard our sailboat home. Each year we string lights up to the top of the mast and down the back, and then around the lifelines. This really helps us and our dock friends get in the spirit of things.  It is sometimes hard to get that Christmas spirit when it's 75 to 80 degrees. (I am really looking forward to our 2 weeks of winter in January.)       

      Our little tree just fit on the deck, and our stockings were hung from the winch handle.   All things considered, Christmas on a boat is not that different from in a house. It just rocks more.  If all 7 grand kids could be here,  it would actually be paradise.  No icy roads, no snow to shovel.

      Our flat screen was set up and ready for some Bear's football.
(well not everything can be perfect)  While Scott was enjoying the game, I was busy getting ready for our company. Anyone who lives on a sailboat knows what that means...EMPTY the V-BIRTH! (usually into the trunk of the car)

       On the left is our EMPTY V-berth. I just had to take a picture, to remind myself what it looked like! On the right is our couch, which can also sleep a 6 ft person. Then we can put 2 more in the cockpit, so all together we can sleep 7 very comfortable.  So come on down!!!

   On the left is a picture of our family wall. All the folks we love and miss dearly.

   On the right, Scott even cleaned off his Nav station. Ofcourse, now he can't find anything. LOL.

We have made a few nice renovations to the boat since my last post. Scott replaced all three of our faucets with new contemporary ones. This was no easy task, because nothing is ever easy on a boat!

We found these at a marine surplus store in Ft Pierce.

The faucet actually pulls out to become a shower
wand, thereby eliminating that awkward hose. 

    The galley faucet is a work of art. It really gives the galley a new updated look. We love the way it fits with the new teak backsplash that we added last spring. ( I was so excited that I even made new curtains for the galley portals.) We still have some carpenter work to do behind the stove to allow for more storage, yet, that will have to wait.

Another little tweak Scott did was to add small blue LED lights inside the liquor cabinet. This really looks cool and adds another safety feature to the galley during the night.

So, as we start the new year, I can actually say that my little sign is true.....

But, our best friends, Bert and Carlene got to see it clean!!

November 14, 2011

New Canvas Work 2011

As we installed new equipment, we decided to protect it with a new dodger and bimini.

Here is a view of the boat "naked", with all the old canvas removed.

Here she is with new clothes!

No more leaks. All nice and cozy inside.

It is like having a new room added to our home. This is where we spend most of our time.

Here's another shot of that new anchor Scott calls his "sleeping pill"  :)