Sunday, March 18, 2018

Boat life is sometimes messy

     It seems like I have to eat my words every time I make mention of the weather, so I'm feeling a bit of trepidation even saying this. Is spring at last worming its way in and kicking our long-lasting winter out? For the sake of my skiing-loving kids, I hope the snow can hang on in the mountains a couple more weeks, but otherwise, I'm so over this cold! The docks are clear of snow, we're wearing shoes instead of boots, and watching the temperature reports to decide when we can take Kyrie's winter cover off.
     A few not-so-fun things to deal with these past few days. No surprise, we have a dehumidifier on board to dry out all the moisture that develops from a marine, temperate rain forest environment and five people living in such a small space. The first one lasted a little less than a year and then stopped sucking up moisture. Unfortunately, we didn't buy any sort of warranty with that one. We learned our lesson and when Joe bought the new one, he made sure to buy Home Depot's extended warranty. Money well spent as the second dehumidifier lasted about 13 months. Early last week, we realized the reservoir wasn't filling up at the normal pace and on Wednesday, it didn't have any water in it at all. However, the humidity level inside Kyrie was noticeable. Yuck! So, it was off to Home Depot for a new one. Thankfully, the warranty was accepted and we walked out with a brand-new dehumidifier that is actually quieter than the old one. Hooray!
     Next fun event happened Friday night. Backtrack a bit. A little over a year ago, Joe and I made the decision to replace our old Lavac toilet with a composting one, to avoid living in constant fear of one of the kids clogging the toilet in the middle of the night, among other reasons, of course! After a bunch of research, Joe decided the C-Head composting toilet system would serve our family of five the best. After a bit of a learning curve (those things are a bit tricky to figure out for us girls), I have to say I'm very happy with that toilet. Keep a stash of gallon milk jugs for the urine, and wood shavings from our local pet supply store for the bucket and we're in business. One thing our big girl discovered Friday night though--you have to make absolutely certain the jug is placed properly, or else the funnel squishes the opening, instead of threading inside, making a mess whenever someone tries to use the toilet! I discovered a few things I really appreciate about the C-Head that night. A) Everything stayed pretty well contained, instead of going all over the floor. B) The different pieces can be removed for ease of cleaning. C) Once the jug and bucket were out, the rest of the system came unlatched from the floor easily and Joe and I could lift it and dump it out with no difficulty. The verdict: Easy to clean, but I would be extremely happy to never have to do that again! Of course, it could have been much worse.... No brown navy awards for us, thank you very much!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Ski bums and cruising videos?

     The latest bit is that the kiddos got to finally go skiing! First day and both of them were up on the bigger runs off the Ptarmigan chairlift. Rachael informed that next time, she really needs to have poles so her instructor doesn't have to tow her across the flat sections! They both have been looking forward to skiing all winter and this winter has just been a weird one.
     In fact, I don't know if it's been helpful or not that we've been watching YouTube channels of others already out cruising. It helps seeing what we're in for, both good and bad, but it sure is giving us a wicked case of cabin fever. But, as a little shout-out, we've been enjoying watching Sailing Uma, Sailing Catalpa, and Gone With the Wynns, especially. Joe and I watch your adventures, sigh, and say, "That will be us in just a year-and-a-half!" Thanks for all the hard work you put in to your videos so the rest of us can enjoy watching.
      I also wanted to put it out that that Cruising Kyrie now a presence on Facebook. That page should get some updates and photos a little more often, so check us out there also. I may regret doing that, but hey, we'll see what happens!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Winter just won't quit!

     It is March, isn't it? What with the east coast getting blasted by winter storms and the National Weather Service issuing a warning of 5-10 inches of snow for the Juneau area, it's obvious Old Man Winter isn't done yet. I seem to remember us getting dumped on last year around this time too! The big kids are happy though, because our local ski slopes have finally sent out word that the homeschool kids can sign up for lessons, so even though it's a much shorter session than it's supposed to be, my little ski bums can finally get back up on the mountain. They start on Friday and I'm bracing myself for absolutely nothing in the way of school work being done that day. That's okay though. I'm excited for them and I doubt I'll have the heart to try to get them to work. It will probably be one of the few times Levi may be up and out of bed before me!
     We made our plans for the summer--weekend trips with the sailing club, a couple of cruising vacations for us--and now I'm feeling really antsy! In about a month, it should have warmed up enough that we can remove Kyrie's winter cover and then head back to our usual berth in Douglas. We need to get back and claim our spot because I've already heard of several people asking if our spot is available. That end tie is apparently a hot commodity!
     I don't have any photos yet, but Joe and Levi worked last weekend on an update to Kyrie that has been a long time coming. Somehow, we have managed for two years with five of us using Kyrie's tiny little table. The project in the works is a new table that will be the full length of the seats. As much as we love the wood, with three kids using the table eating, doing school work, and everything else, this table will be covered with white Formica--easy to clean, just like the new vinyl seat covers. As soon as it's done and installed, I'll show it off with another picture or two.
     You know, looking at that photo, I can see we didn't get the new covers as tight as would be preferred, but considering that was the first time Joe and I had ever made covers like those, I'm still pretty pleased with the job!
     There is always something new to do to make Kyrie just right for us. For instance, Joe put a guard over the fan in our dish cupboard to keep fingers from getting chewed up anymore! It hurt when the fan bit my finger, but I sure am glad it was me, and not one of the kids...

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

You know you live on a boat when....

... you know your husband is home from work because the boat tips slightly as he steps aboard.
... you don't buy gallons of milk because they just don't fit in the fridge.
... your kids consider it normal to put backpacks on over life jackets before a walk to the car.
... lifting up a mattress and drying underneath is a regular chore.
... it's completely understandable to have to remake your bed after putting groceries away in the fridge or a pantry.