February 5, 2012


We pulled the boat out on the 30th. It was a great trip, but never long enough nor far enough.

The day was spent unloading the boat and getting things working around the house again. The “new” replacement refrigerator (Nov) still wasn’t working right so I made a call to their service department….they’d be here on Thursday.

We had enough supplies so we didn’t have to go into town until Tuesday. That way we could vote, check the mail and pick up groceries.

Jim spent a couple of days installing the propane drop in countertop burners and the heater. This is my kitchen area. The whole kitchen unit is from the old camper, with a cupboard added above it, and one to the R. They were extra doors from that camper.

The Catalytic heater should be all we’ll need. Jim doesn’t plan on spending time in the North when it’s cold. The roof air also has a heat strip, but that would require being plugged in at a campground. I don’t know if the 1000 watt generator would keep the batteries up for very long with that running.


Once the propane job was done,  he started filling in all the holes and dents in the trailer. They were all sanded and refilled if necessary and resanded. The greenish places are where old decals were removed. He spent days getting the adhesive off.

When you see the finished pictures, you’ll notice we painted the framework around this door. It lets the shape blend in easier. The front door is square.



Jim figured there were about 1000 bolt or screw heads in it. Every one had some rust on it. He did each one with a wire brush on his drill, then put Osflow and primer on them.



We then made a trip to the paint store.

Sat, the 4th, looked like a perfect day to paint. Rain is forecast for Sunday and possible Monday. We plan to leave for Carl’s on Thurs so we started hustling. Jim showed me how to mask anything that wasn’t supposed to be painted. Once I got started it was fun. I was surprised at how long it takes. Every time we thought we had everything covered…Jim would find something else.

It was afternoon before he got started painting and then the paint gun acted up. Nothing he did seemed to make a difference. By the time the trailer was half done he thought of something that could be the problem….cleaned it out and started painting again. By that time, the sun had gone down. I had set up 2 spot lights and he finished with them. I continually moved the lights as needed, so Jim could concentrate on painting. We have a few sags and bugs stuck in the paint…but they just add character. It looks really good.



Jim could hardly wait to get the masking off. He said that is the best part of painting something. It really doesn’t look like much in the picture above…and I thought we sure had a lot of white.

But once we started….everything took on a new look.


When I pulled the paper off this window, there was a green tree frog on it.


These windows are the ones that were in the old camper. (It is now a small flat bed trailer). This window is at the head of the bed. The full bed folds up against the front of the trailer. That is why there is no window there.


The finished product….



It has an inverter, 4 batteries and 2 30lb propane tanks.  They allow us to “dry” camp. (no electric hookups when we go camping in Brookfield NY and I go horseback riding with Tom and Regina, or an occasional Wal-Mart parking lot, truck stop, rest area etc.).

2 roof vents, 5 windows that open and can be left open in the rain. They crank out instead of sliding sideways. The back door has a screen door and there is a walk thru door between the camper part and the car hauler part. I am working on a screen for the front door.

The awning is from the old camper. Unfortunately it doesn’t cover either door. There wasn’t room enough to put it above the front door and the back door was an after-thought, but we’ll think of something.

Jim put new axles, brakes and tires on it before we left. Looks like we are good to go…..

The sheets have been washed and are on the clothes line. We are already packing…and it is only Sunday. May take time off to watch the Super Bowl…but maybe not…GO PATRIOTS.   I have to root for them…I spent a couple years in Foxboro Mass at the racetrack, right by the stadium.

February 3, 2012


Our last day on the water…..and it will be a short one. We anchored only an hour or so from Astor, FL, where we will be hauling out.

Larry and A Dollar More cruising off into the sunrise.


It was cool last night. The mist rising off the water makes for a nice picture.


I won’t be taking many more pictures of A Dollar More. She is headed back to OK. 


The Astor boat launch has 2 ramps. We take a little longer to load then most boats, though not as long as you would think, so Larry tied to the dock while Jim and I anchored. Jim put our dingy in the water and motored over to the launch ramp. He and Larry walked up to the Marina where the trucks and trailers were stored.

By the time they got back, I had all the vinyl side curtains down and stored. I will put the screens up when at home. Better air flow and less mold. If I left it open, it would fill with leaves, bird nests and mud dauber nests.

Larry has a long cable for loading A Dollar More. He has done so much single handing that his systems are all in place. Once the trailer is in the water, he walks back with the cable and attaches it to the bow eye, walks back and starts winching. He used this same system to load his Nimble Nomad. Works very well when working alone.


Once she’s on the trailer….all he has to do is haul’er out.  There she goes…..


I’m not partial to seeing Slow Motion on the trailer. Much rather she be in the water….but….when not in use it’s nice to have her in the yard. I usually climb the ladder at least twice a day, to open and close the sleeper and V berth for airing out, spray for ants and spiders if needed and generally enjoy being aboard. I’ve even been known to bird watch from there.


I never get the “hauling out” part in pictures….I usually back the truck in while Jim lines the boat up and drives it on the trailer. We made a rope and bungee cord set up that connects to the guide posts. It keeps the boat centered. Jim usually stands on the ladder at the front of the trailer and cranks it into position as I slowly pull it out. This time his cranking was off a bit and it was about 4” too far to the rear so I backed it back down the ramp into the water, so it could reposition and Jim cranked it up a little more. This time it was perfect.

A Dollar More loaded a little to the rear also, but when Jim built Larry’s trailer he used a lot of rollers..so if you want to move it a few inches….just drive forward and hit the brakes….Jim drove and Larry cranked. Worked like a charm.

Once home and the boat backed into place, I noticed a large flock of Robins taking turns at the bird bath. I leave a hose on a slow drip whenever I’m going to be away for awhile.


Winter is our dry season. I have a bird bath in the back yard and one sitting on the ground under the Tangelo Tree in the front yard. The raccoons, armadillos and other critters can get water too.

When we got back from NY we found a grey cat had taken up residence on our back porch. We weren’t going to feed her but she looked like she was going to have kittens or had just had some….so we started feeding her. A few weeks later she showed up with 3 kittens. We knew we’d be on the boat a month or more, so the neighbors said they’d feed them. Cindy wanted a kitten and I was hoping she’d tame one of these.

Here they are. No longer little kittens.


Cute little fellas. Don’t know if male or female. Need to gentle them and catch them up and get them fixed. Or we will be even more over run with cats. The hammock is a favorite place for dumping unwanted dogs and cats.

Is this a cutie or what? Looks like it has a butterfly stuck under it’s nose.


and this one?


This one is not as prettily marked…but seems to want to be friendly. I was able to pet it while eating. It’s a start.


What really surprised me was the number of birds still coming to the feeders. I’ve seen 2 male Painted Buntings, 6 green (either female or juveniles), Cardinals, Titmice and 2 Catbirds that bath in this same birdbath, and don’t forget the flock of Robins.

The kitten above, is sitting on the squirrel feeder and the squirrel came in later.

The cats hadn’t cleaned up their dry food last night and when I went to get the bowl, a Raccoon was finishing it up for them. I’ll have to get it sooner. I would rather not have the Raccoon coming onto the back porch. Though…it was a cute little fella.

I keep a blog about the critters and insects that frequent our back yard.   www.wildlifearoundus.blogspot.com   I’ve even posted some video of Monarch Butterflies emerging from their Chrysalis and the caterpillars pupating. When home I post there. Check it out.

Larry called yesterday to let us know that he and Diane had made it home safely with A Dollar More.

If you have a blog about your boating travels, please post a link in the comment section. I “boat” when at home by following others aboard their boats. Hira Reed has exciting travels aboard her Albin 25, Shatoosh  http://shatooshandpashmina.blogspot.com/   She’s another single hander. Though she does have a twin sister, and friends who travel with her at times. You will enjoy seeing some of the places she visits.

I just went to a blog from her site, people she met who live aboard http://mvvikingstar.blogspot.com/  I was surprised to see snow! So now I have other travelers to follow.

Fair winds to all you boaters. We’ll “see” you out there.