Tag Archives: mike perham

Renovation, Restoration, Sailing & Garden Salvation

Blogging slipped off my radar in recent months so it’s catch-up time …

Some major things happenings in the last while (apart from the day job, which has been INSANELY busy!) are –

Keelboat sailing lessons – now complete
Front hall renovations – almost complete
Albacore sailboat restoration – just begun

The keelboat lessons, somewhat inspired by the sea-faring voyages of Mike Perham, Jessica Watson, the Bounty Boat and the much-overlooked Alessandro di Benedetto (still out there), were a lot of fun! Though now inflamed with a burning desire to rush off and buy a keelboat, this is not the right time, however, I’ve still managed to spend countless hours looking on-line at boats ads and I’m convinced a nice little 26-footer is in my future. In the meantime, I’ll hone my sailing skills in the Albacore (a 16-foot dinghy) … as soon as she’s seaworthy again.

The front hall reno started as a straightforward tiling project, then grew. I’m very pleased with the (almost) finished results and somewhat proud of my new-found skills at tile-laying, bamboo flooring and crown moulding installation!

And then there’s the Albacore …

I knew when I bought her last summer she was a bit of a project boat – I just didn’t realize how much!

Our one-and-only sail last summer highlighted two things; one, I still have a lot to learn about sailing (having only started last year) and, second, there was more to do on the boat than first thought – and hard to know where to begin. Without a garage, the boat ended up parked for the winter in an inaccessible location that meant her restoration was on hold till spring. Spring came and went with too many other demands on our time and so, now back home in the driveway, the boat remained untouched.

I was also just a little daunted by what to do and how to begin but I finally took the plunge a few weeks ago and got started. The next post will be all about the Albacore so check back to see the beginning transformation. Now that I’ve begun, it doesn’t seem so bad – sort of the way it is with most things, the hardest part is getting started …

When life gets too busy, something gets relegated to the back seat and, sadly, it was the garden. I bought two tomato plants (I had grown my own seedlings last year) and then left them sitting in their tiny pots for weeks … finally planting them only last weekend!!

Those two poor tomato plants looked so pathetically lonely in their 4 x 4 raised bed but then I remembered the pack of scarlet runner beans I bought years ago. I found it, along with a pack of nasturtium seeds, and shoved some of each into the ground. And guess what? Bean plants, now about 4 inches high after just 8 days and the nasturtiums are poking up too! I may just salvage something out of this growing season!!

So stay tuned – more on boat restoration, home renovation and garden salvation to follow …


Spring has Sprung with Boats on the Brain

Normally still cold and white here at this time of year, the snow has melted, the ice is off the river, bits of green are emerging, the geese are returning and I spotted my first robin yesterday! It’ll be tough to take if we get whacked with the white stuff once again …

Back about six weeks ago, while still cold and dreary, a good friend enticed me out for an evening at the Nepean Sailing Club, for a talk and slide show about sailboat cruising in the south Pacific. My friend, our two daughters and I had taken White Sail (dinghy sailing) lessons together last summer and now she wondered if I might join her in the upcoming season for a keelboat sailing course? I’d think about it, I said.

I was already thinking about sailing. I had avidly followed the blog of 17-year-old Mike Perham’s round-the-globe journey last summer and had recently started following the blog of Jessica Watson, the 16-year-old girl from Australia who embarked on a solo circumnavigation late last year.

In the next few weeks, I also began to follow the Talisker Bounty Boat prep for their upcoming voyage in an open wooden sailboat, due to begin in April. It’s to be a 4,000 mile journey, beginning in Tonga, in the South Pacific, that follows the path taken hundreds of years before by Captain Bligh (of Mutiny on the Bounty fame). Mike Perham, now 18, is one of the four crew members.

I’m also now following 16-year-old Abby Sunderland’s solo journey as she follows in the path of her brother, Zac, and vies with Jessica Watson to become the youngest to sail around the world.

All this blog-following is now bordering on obsession as I constantly check for the latest updates but, inspired by all the boating activity of those far younger than I (there’s also the girl who recently rowed across the Atlantic and the guy who rowed across the Tasman Sea!), yes, I am now signed up for the keelboat course.

And now I’m eying boats for sale …

But I bought that old Albacore last year. The one in need of all that work. And the snow is gone, which means we can now get in on the road to my sister-in-law’s cottage, where the boat’s been hiding out all winter, haul it home and get to work.

But now I want a bigger boat – not just the typical two-foot-itis familiar to most boaters, but rather a bigger leap into one with a cockpit and cabin.

I will restrain myself, however … for this year … and so the overhaul of the Albacore is set to begin sometime soon.

After the imminent tile job in the front hall. And between bouts of finish work to the front porch. But likely before starting on the finish to the outdoor brick oven (which may get fired up today!).

That’s the trouble with spring – as the snow melts, all the reno and restoration jobs are unearthed.

I’m about to be really busy but, in the end, I hope to be sailing come summer – stay tuned to see how it all shakes out!

PS – Cider Update – extreme carbonation now, but no blown bottles yet. It’ll make a fine alternative to champagne whenever the refurbished Albacore (still in need of a name so please feel free to offer suggestions) finally re-enters the water.