Friday, June 30, 2006


Our mission in Clearwater has come to an end. So we are heading back south to explore some of the places we passed over on the way up. We came to Clearwater in two hops: Key West to Marco Island and then Marco Island to Clearwater. I think there are some stops in between. Tomorrow we plan to sail to Egmont Key and anchor. That key sits in the mouth of Tampa Bay. Should be a great view of the Sunshine Bridge.

So Scott and Sue are on it again! No definite longer range plans. We may take a run out to the Dry Tortugas, maybe back to Key West. Not to late to make a run to Mexico. We'll just have to keep a sharp weather eye. So stay tuned for more (mis)adventures of Enee Marie.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Scott & Sue's New Drawers!

Extended stays like the one we are involved in in Clearwater Beach allow the completion of larger projects rather than the mundane day to day boat maintenance. This is especially true now that I have access to my Dad's woodworking shop. As you may have read earlier, we ripped out the old freezer compartment that was along side the companionway to the aft cabin. In this space we have now built 8 drawers and a nice work top. My new 'workbench'! Here's a brief blow by blow picture story of the building process.

Here in the shop I'm repairing the frame that was the front of the freezer compartment. This frame had two pretend doors in it. I'll not use the doors but use the frame and build 8 drawers to fit within the frame.

Finishing up one drawer. The fronts are teak and the sides and back are poplar. Bottom is eighth inch fiberboard. Yeah, it's hot in the garage!
Of course, all phases of the building project have to be checked and approved by the foreman.

The runners are built off of the frame. The divider in the center holds up one side of the runners and will also help to support the top when it is all installed. Of course it will all fit perfectly when I get it all back to the boat, right?

Hey, not bad. Of course the center partition will have to be trimmed at the bottom to allow for the shape of the hull. Back at the boat I only have one small (and dull) hand saw. But, several minutes of sawing allowed me to finally trim off the lower corner...but wait...why doesn't it fit right. ARGGGGG...After all that sawing I sawed off the upper corner! Time to quit for today. I'll buy a sharper saw tomorrow

Here's Sue painting the wooden handles we bought for the drawers. We're using Spar Urethane. Notice the drawers are different depths. The upper ones can be longer than the lower ones due to the shape of the boat.

Here's the finished product! I found a piece of melamine for the top. I used the old top to cut out this piece. Because it is in a companionway there is no good place to stand to get a picture. This is about the best I could do. The eight drawers will be used for tools and engine parts. I am going to install a better light above the table. This is a huge increase in available storage space. Always at a premium on any boat.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

A Retrospective: Enee's One Year Cruise

Scott and Sue have combed through their many, many pictures and consulted the Captain's log to put together a slide show detailing their long, winding trip from Chicago, IL to Clearwater, FL.

It's pretty amazing how much they have done over the course of the last year.

Click on the link to download in either: (pdf) or (powerpoint). PDF is recommended if you have the means to view it. If you can't view a pdf and don't own powerpoint, go here to download the free Adobe pdf reader. The files are pretty large so try to be patient while they download. My advice: click on the link, go make a sandwich, come back and enjoy slide show with sandwich.

If you have any problems downloading and viewing it, feel free to send an e-mail and Jason will be happy to help.

You can find the link to the slide show in the slide bar from now on.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Un-Freezing In Clearwater

Well, the big news is that Alberto was small news. Enee weathered the storm just fine. As Alberto approached we put on extra lines (but didn't remove the dodger) and headed for my Dad's in Temple Terrace. This morning we drove over and checked things out. No damage. Nice and dry down below (except for the drip on my side of the bed where we cleverly had placed a pan). We wanted to stay until high tide to see how high it would go in case we had to adjust lines. long as we're here...

Might as well RIP out the old freezer!

This boat originally had a large freezer AND a fridge. Fridge in the galley and freezer beside the walk-through to the aft compartment. They both worked off of a engine driven compressor. Early on I had converted the fridge to a 12 volt system and had already thrown out the compressor. This freezer is a beast of a box taking up valuable space for us. The boat actually came in two models - with or without this freezer. The front of this unit looks to be two hinged doors but in the freezer model they don't open. Behind these doors there's just a big freezer box with two chiller plates inside.

Things go together much more simply than they come apart. I wanted to save the front to use the frame for the starting point of turning this valuable space to a 'work bench' with maybe 6 drawers underneath. I couldn't find A screw to begin taking anything apart. Maybe a Sawsall is what's needed!

In frustration I began chipping away the laminate of the top surface. Hey! There's
some screws holding the top down. I'm on my way. Apparently the top is also glued down...with 5200. Many pryings back and forth (and much sweat) and I got the top off in one piece. I'll use this as the template to make the new top. Can't use this top as it has a square hole in the center to extract the no longer existant ice cream.

Now what? I'm hoping to extract the white tub that is the freezer box. First I lightened the load by removing the two chiller plates at the ends. I sliced off the remaining tubing with the dremmel. I found four screws that held the tub somewhat in place but the real thing I was up against was that they filled all the extra space with that foam that expands and fills all the available space. It is sort of a glue too....apparently! Much rocking back and forth and I was able to lift the tub out of its location. However, since they stuck all that foam in after the fact, the tub no longer fits down the walk-through. Many minutes of trimming that rotten stuff back with a bread knife. What fun. It's about 110 degrees down below. I'm sweating and all the dust I'm making is sticking to me. At times like this you just have to focus on the job, think of the shower and beer waiting for me at the club when I'm done.

We finally got the whole tub out and shoved out into the cockpit (after removing the companionway stairs). Last picture shows the new avaiable space (with those doors laying on the deck). Whew! We cleaned up quickly and did in fact enjoy that promised shower and beer.

Back at my Dad's in Temple Terrace we'll work on the design of my new workbench over the next few days. This will be a nice use of what was for us unusable space. Stay tuned for Welty Tool Time!

Make no small plans
- Daniel Burnham

Friday, June 09, 2006

A Year at Sea

GREETINGS! Yes, believe it our not we have now been on this adventure one year. Seems impossible that it was a year ago already that we shoved off from good old Burnham Harbor, Chicago but time flies when your whipping the crew of a sailing vessel. It's funny, I guess, that on this, our anniversary, we are holed up at my dad's house in Tampa while Enee Marie is strapped down to her moorings in Clearwater awaiting Alberto. Just a little wind and rain but we came here to be safe.

This map roughly shows our route. The website is really for logging your running routes but I liked that it calculated miles for me so I used it. When you go to the site you can move the map by clicking and dragging or zoom out. The program automatically puts in mile markers but only up to 99. That's why when you are zoomed out you see that fat looking line across Lake Michigan. Along the path there are 92 places where we actully anchored or moored the boat for at least one night. You'll notice a leg going from Baltimore up to Long Island. That represents us moving to the new boat via truck so those miles shouldn't be counted. In any event we sailed around 3200 miles.

It's funny to read the log for the early part of the trip. I was so possessed! We spent exactly 5 days "exploring" Lake Huron...and that includes a day with a breakdown! Remember...lakes freeze in the wintertime so we HAD to keep moving! I'm lucky Sue is still with me on this trip! Apparently I calmed down along the way as we spent over a month enjoying Key West!

Now for some awards...

Favorite Places: New York City, Baltimore, Savanah, Manhassat Bay (Long Island), Key West
Worst Places: Rome, NY on the Erie Canal
Favorite Sail: Hawk Channel along the Florida coast. 15-20 knot wind from the east with 1-2 foot waves. Whee!
Scariest Moment: The day I mistakenly put my bathing suit on inside out without noticing ( was backwards too!).
Funniest Moment: (See above)
Longest Sail: 57 hours from Long Island to Portsmouth VA
Best Deal: Elizabeth City. Free...two nights with wine and cheese party.
Worst Deal: Atlantic City $4.00 per foot per night PLUS they make you lose another $300 in the casino!
Favorite Anchorage: anchoring off into the 'weeds' along the intercoastal in South Carolina. Just us and the dolphins.
Worst Anchorage: St. Augustine - bad holding...really crowded
Most Loyal Readers (not including family nor former friends from Chicago or nearby suburbs nor people we worked with when friend): Sally from Lorain, OH and Stan from San Diego

Now we are sticking around Clearwater for awhile. Where will we be next year at this time...we'll just have to wait and see! Maybe we'll become Scientologists!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Some Pics from Clearwater

The camera has been acting goofy lately when it comes to downloading pictures onto the computer or into blogger. We think it's the usb cord. Perhaps it's time for a new one.....
In the meantime, here are some recent photos of our recent life in Clearwater!

Last week we sailed 3 miles out into the Gulf to take care of business, as it were. Here we are leaving the beach area then hoving-to in order to take care of the pump out business.

We caught a pretty good breeze coming back in and beat a 3 masted sailboat which is one of the more scenic boats on the water. There are several 'head boats' here including a very obnoxious 'Pirate Ship' that we think looks like a big shoe! They go out at least 3 times a day and yell and scream the whole way. It's usually filled with kids for parties and such but Scott just told me that there's free beer for the adults. Hmmmm, maybe this ship has possibilities after all.

As you've heard we joined the Clearwater Yacht Club as social members. We've been trying to be as social as we can ever since. We cool off in the pool almost everyday; have dined in the lunchroom a couple times (although watching the Cubs lose a 1-nothing game yesterday almost made me lose my appetite); sit in the breezeway or lower level to hook up to the internet; and visit the tiki bar whenever it's open, which is only on weekends, thankfully for our livers.

At left Scott 'works' on the computer in the lunchroom and bar area while I watch out the window for dolphins. We get a great view of them from this 2nd floor.

The pool is usually empty except for Tuesday and Thursday mornings when 'the ladies' do some kind of water aerobics. I think that's what you'd call it. They play music and move their arms around sometimes holding weights. I'm not sure I'm ready for such energetic activity.

We also see a variety of birds in our neighborhood and they all seem very friendly.

I believe this is an egret who does an amazing balancing act while waiting and watching to make his move on one of the tiny fish below. He snatches his lunch and keeps on swinging. By the way he's swinging on our electrical cord.

To the right is a blue heron. This guy was so big I was a bit afraid to get close to him for a photo op. However he never moved, although he kept a close eye on my every movement. I'm not sure if it's the same one but a blue heron appears in our yard almost every day. If the back door would be open to one of these apartments on shore I think he would walk right in. And I know I wouldn't stop him!

This bird is my favorite so far. We think he's a green heron, although I haven't seen any green feathers yet. They have the most intricate coloring on their feathers with a stylish brown stripe down their fronts. And of course very friendly. This guy is perched on the stern rail of our boat as we sit in the cockpit only a few feet away. Gracie? Where are you....there's a bird on your boat!

No Comment Necessary!!!

So what's Scott doing while Sue is taking all the pictures? Of course he's working on a boat project. This time it's a new table for the cockpit. With the help of the master, Les, he shapes the boards then paints them and installs the finished product. We're both pretty happy with the results.

Now we can actually eat a meal on the table instead of holding the plates in our laps. This ship is shaping up.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

What's Clearwater About?

Spending some time at the beautiful Clearwater public library. Always like to get a little in tune with a place that I know I'm going to be staying awhile.

Apparently this place started to become a vacation with the building of rhe Belleview Biltmore. Looks like there is some fighting going on as to whether to tear this beautiful structure down or not. Take a look at the links and I think you'll agree that that would be a shame.

We are located in an area that is rapidly turning from the classic 50's - 60's mom and pop motel with exotic names like "The New Yorker", "Stay and Pla", stuff like that to multi-story and multi-million dollar condos. I would guess that in a couple of years all the old places will be gone and you'll see a stretch of condos not unlike Miami. Oh well...things change

The other bit if infamy for Clearwater is that it is the world headquarter for Scientology! Apparently they bought a huge bulding downtown some years ago under another name. Only later did the city fathers find out that they had been invaded by these pod people. It is creepy to be downtown where 2 out of every 3 people is walking around in black pants and white shirt - The official Scientology uniform. Well, maybe Sue will get a look at Tom Cruise someday! Check out THIS LINK for an attack on Scientology. Some funny stuff.

Oh, and the name Clearwater comes from the fact that there are or were numberous springs in the area and in the harbor making for very clear water.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Scott & Sue join Judge Smails at the Yacht Club

Yes! We've become social members of the Clearwater Yacht Club. For a trifle each month we can use the bar, resturant, showers, pool and wifi. It is about a 50 yard walk from our boat so it seems like a good deal.

On Tuesday we went for a day sail. This is something we NEVER do! Why would we? We're usually going some place. There was a nice, 10 knot north wind that allowed us to reach out past the 3 mile limit and flush our heads. We also took the opportunity to see how this Enee Marie hove to. She did great. We drifted easily down wind at about 1 knot and could take care of our head business without dropping sails. Sailed back to Clearwater at over 7 knots! I guess the bottom is still pretty clean. Anyway, great to feel the boat move under us again.

It is warming up here in central florida. The days are low 90's and low 70's at night. We are sleeping ok with our wind scoop and fans but expect that to become a bigger chanllenge as we head into summer.

Going to explore St. Pete tomorrow and take in the Dali Museum.

No pics is being bad.