Sunday, March 20, 2011

Time well spent....

For the first time in a long time, I was focused on one goal; finishing the swim board.  It should be a swim board, but on Mynrva, it is a counter or buffet or bar of sorts.  It sits off the bow, and although not used for it's original intended purpose, makes an excellent addition to the deck.

Since I am a bit in limbo awaiting a new roof, I decided to start sanding and somehow refinish this mysterious piece of dried wood.

One thing I've noticed about my dock family is that people are friendly and warm.  My car clearly displays that I am gay and liberal, yet no one wants to discuss politics.  They discuss their boats, their projects on their boats and what a gift it is to spend time on the water.  Yes, it's just a lake in South Carolina, but it's water and for those magnetically attracted to its ripples, reflections and sounds, it's a little slice of paradise.

Larry, a contractor, who is married to Brenda, who works for Merrill Lynch, pass by Mynrva frequently as they go back and forth, having pleasant but brief conversations with other house boaters.  Larry would like to live on a houseboat if Brenda would let him.  Brenda would let him is she could quit her job.

Larry stopped and commented on my 6 hour sanding job.  " You're enjoying yourself, aren't you, Chris?.
"Yes, I really am.  It just doesn't feel like work", I replied.
"That's going to be a beautiful swim board and you're going to feel proud."

Although it was a bit patronizing, he was right.  I am.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Learning the lingo.

  • Bow - the front of the boat
  • Stern - the back of the boat
  • Berth - the bed. If the bed is located at the bow of the boat, where the shape of the structure usually makes a "V" shape, the bed is called a V-berth.
  • Stateroom - the bedroom
  • Galley - the kitchen
  • Head - the bathroom
  • Cabin - a place where passengers can meet. A living room is also known as the salon.
  • Cockpit - the place where the boat is steered, also known as the bridge. The helm is the specific steering station.
  • Nav station - the place where navigation equipment is located, necessary for bluewater houseboats. This is where the boat's radio, charts and GPS will be.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

String some pretty lights.

It's final!  I've handed over money, signed documents and Mynrva is now mine.  As thrilling as it is to have a piece of South Carolina actually belong to me, I am nervous and feeling a bit intimidated by all that lay ahead.

First- The roof, the roof, the roof is NOT on fire, but only because it is saturated with that non-flammable liquid called WATER!  The roof is coming off and getting replaced with an ever so slightly sloped surface that will hold the weight of Chandra, his Guitar and the posse of people that seem to relish his 3 am serenades.  I am one said posse. 

Second- The electrical.  I am convinced the only blind electrician in North America is responsible for the wiring of Mynrva.  When I get a bid under $2,000, I'll jump right on that one. 

Third- New walls.  Each time I walk into the boat, I ask myself, "Self, have you been drinking?  Or do the walls really buckle like warm taffy?".  Each time, the answer is the same...."no, it's not the booze, it's the taffy walls".  THIS IS NOT WILLY WONKA'S FACTORY, I am not eating blueberry bubble gum nor is my name Violet.  The walls must be replaced.

Lastly- The head.  It still freaks me out to call it that, but now that it is officially ripped out, it must be replaced.  Until then, I'll use the facilities at the marina.

All of this work and the only thing I want to do is paint the boat a pretty color, string some festive lights and blast a Bachata.  Que esta Bachata? Link below.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Eyes on the Prize.

This will be my view each evening.  C'mon, you know this is going to be worth it.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Helm restored...minus the motor.

(Helm Before)

This weekend, I have sanded and stained the door to the bathroom and also the helm.  I am amazed at how much improved the helm looks.

(Helm After)

No, the hole on the right side is NOT intended for an 8-track, although it sounds enticing.

Glamour Shots ;-)

Mom meets Mynrva

I knew it was coming, or rather SHE was coming.  My Mother, Toni wanted to meet Mynrva and it happened today.  I spent a few hours today removing items affixed to the walls.  Shelves, random screws that once suspended an item upon the wall, four coat hangers, a broken toilet seat lid, two mirrors, a secretary desk top that had been used as a bathroom cabinet and so on.

The phone rang and as I looked out the door, I could see my Mother had arrived to meet the new girl in my life, Mynrva.  I felt as nervous as if introducing someone I was dating for the first time.  My Mother appeared quite nervous herself as she slowly walked down the dock....and then she climbed aboard.

Hugs, smiles and then.........."Okay, just let me take this in."

"So this is the living room?"  "Yes, Mom".

"Oh, the kitchen is larger than I expected."

" And this is the......Oh, Dear God!"                                        

She had discovered the bathroom.

Two full dock carts of misc. items later, we sat down to eat and announced almost simultaneously that we had a headache. I am lucky because my Mother supports this adventure.  She has remodeled or restored more homes than I can count and tends to be quite fond of projects herself.  Perhaps it is from her that I inherited the "take an ugly thing and make it pretty" addiction.   It's going to be stressful.  It's going to be costly (relatively speaking) and it's going to be more fun than I might be able to handle. There is something about the obvious insanity of it that thrills me to no end.

Tomorrow I meet "Billy Jr.", the roofer.  Cross your fingers he has good news and speaks in small numbers.

You could add a lattice and grow a clematis.

When looking at Mynrva for the second time, the Marina owner, Carl approached with some sage advise on reinforcing the roof, fixing the marine toilet and information about the slip rental.

At some point, a look of utter amazement and shock must have come over my face, particularly in consideration of the necessary roof repairs.  "You know, if you added another reinforcement right here, you could add a lattice and grow a Clematis." he stated.  Thanks Carl, I think I might want to start with electrical.

Now I don't think Carl is akin to a used car salesman. After all, it's not his boat, just his marina.  But I pretty well need to deal with a little more than aesthetics at this point.

Not to suggest that a lattice is a poor idea.......

First Weekend of Work

This Saturday, I'll head to the marina and start to assess the realities of owning this humble vessel.  I'll start with exact measurements of each area, replacing windows and removing cabinets, mirrors and coat hangers attached to the walls.  Once the walls are bare, I'll map out the areas of the boat (living/dining, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom) and design the interior.  I'll be removing the lighting and excess wires which seem to meander from ever possible corner in preparation for more permanent and intentional lighting.

On Sunday, I'll met the electrician and on Monday, the roofer. I hope they both have good ideas which are affordable and what I visualize.

In my mind, I fantasize about moving in, falling asleep to the gentle toddle of lake movement and waking that first morning to enjoy coffee on the deck.  It makes me smile and nearly giddy with anticipation.

The one thing I can't wrap my head around is the color of the exterior, particularly if I can paint the new roof.  Wouldn't it be great if I can add a skylight?  I'll have to look into that.

Limitless possibility and what's better, it's my brainchild.  There is no one with whom I need to consult on preference or decor.  Just me, myself and I.  This is the first time in my adult life I can make those decisions alone and I can hardly wait.  Each color, fixture or decision is mine alone and will be relished and devoured like it's own unique delicacy.  Delicious!