Thursday, January 6, 2011

Happy 2011 & Things to do While waiting for new Tanks

The bilge is painted and ready for the new Tanks

We started our exploration of Port Aransas by checking out the 1st Annual Christmas Golf Cart Parade!

Spent Christmas day with our winter Texan friends Ken & Sharon at the VFW for dinner & free beer & wine.

Then Ken took us to the Gaffe for the Belt Sander Races. This is the Track where the Belt Sanders duel Drag Race Style. Below are the Contestants souped up Belt Sanders.

The is the front of the Gaffe, sometimes drawing crowds in the hundreds for the belt sander races.

Later in the week we attended a benefit for the cook of the Beach & Station St. Grill for some BBQ. The Admiral won a silent auction coupon for Dinner at the Trout St. Grill

We wasted no time using our $50 coupon at the trout St. Grill, Had a great lunch and brought plenty home for dinner.

All the restaurants in Port A run specials for the winter Texans, so we tried Castaways Early Bird Special, the food was good but the portions small.

We went back to the VFW for Thursday night Taco Salad where we learned about the Port A Rockers, So we went over to Bernie's to check out the band of 5, 4 of the musicians are Winter Texans. They of course played oldies but Goodies.

Next we went to the free monthly Art show at the Art Center. They had a jazz band, and free wine and food.

After the Art center we found out a local Legend Cody Angel was playing 1 block away at the Wild Horse so we walked over for more Port A Flavor.

This is the still in High School Cody Angel playing his heart out, Muddy Waters, Jimmy Hendrix, Stevie Ray, and much more.

Jan 8th we attended the Bay Yacht Club Installation Banquet

I am not sure how this happened but they installed me as a Flag officer, Secretary. That is Lisa the new Commodore of BYC

This is the entire new board, out of ten seven of us are new to this world of Yacht Club management.

The next morning at 4am after the banquet we had a small Hailstorm, this ice was in the cockpit, we had 70+ mile per hour winds and about 20 minutes of healing 20 degrees in the slip.

This pic was taken about 10 am as the dock buzzards gathered to compare stories of riding out the early morning storm.

The boating activities change when you are waiting for your new tanks. Since we can not sail, nor risk motoring about in the boat we have searched out other activities to fill our days. We do have the sub flooring and the livable parts of the boat back in place temporarily so we can overnight on the boat. Most boat projects on the list have come to a halt until we complete the tank replacement. The focus remains on finishing up any details to prepare the boat for the new tanks. The most important of these details was getting the Bilge area cleaned and painted with "Interlux Bilgecoat", a paint especially formulated for the bilge area of boats. It is a super hard coating with a glossy finish to make it easy to clean up any of the messy stuff that can end up in bilges. The bilge on Wandr'rin Star is about 4 feet deep and long and narrow. On the forward end I can easily stand and move about but I have to crawl to reach the aft end. The first step was to use Palmolive dish soap to scrub all areas using a shop vac to suck out the waste water. The next step was to lightly sand the entire area. Since some areas was difficult to reach so I used the trusty Dremal Max tool to reach into the nook and crannies. This tool made short word of the sanding preparation stage. I used a painters mask and protective glasses for this but I knew I needed more protection since the paint I would be using was a bit more dangerous to breath. I bought a Respirator at Home Depot and opened up every hatch and port in the boat. I placed a fan blowing directly into the bilge to provide as much fresh air as possible. I used a small 2" brush with a long handle and painted myself into a corner where I could jump out of and used a small roller on a pole to complete the last of the area. The roller seemed to spread the paint better than the brush. So after 2 days of drying and another round of light sanding to prepare for the second coat second coat, I used the roller for all but the hard to reach parts of the bilge. The Bilge was now ready for the new tanks. It took at least ten days of drying to completely rid the boat of the paint smell. The Admiral has an Indian nose (read Labrador) and any offending smells are not tolerated.
We needed to replace our boating activities while we waited for our new tanks to be fabricated, since it was the Holidays we knew it could be as late as February before we had our new tanks in. After owning our Port A rental Condo for three years we really had not explored Port A much since we spent most of our Port a time on the beach. We did get into birding as this area is a major migration route and there is plenty to learn here and it is a free activity. Our neighbors Ken & Sharon are winter Texans who escape Michigan during the winter. they invited us to join them for Christmas dinner at the VFW and this is where we began to learn of all the activities the winter Texans enjoy in Port A. Most of these activities are either free or CHEAP and they all involve fun.
Ken took us to the Gaff to check out the Belt Sander races held the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month at 3pm. This often draws over 200 very eclectic people having a great time at the races. The Sand Belt racers all have very unique names which I will forgo since a child could read this and I would hate to corrupt the young. Our January started out with the BYC installation Banquet and Yesterday I attended the Jan. board meeting as Secretary, so today I will write up minutes of the meeting and send out to the membership in a email BLAST. One thing I was amazed at was the calendar meeting that preceded the board meeting. Each of the committee members jockyed for dates on the calendar to get their events scheduled. After everyone was finished I asked to get 4 dates scheduled for the Education activities as I also volunteered to be the education guy. It was hard to find 4 dates left for my activities, but we worked them in. These people want to stay completely busy with sailing fun year round.
We got an email last Thursday that our tanks are finally being drafted so hopfully we will receive the plans this week for approval and we can get on with the fabrication.