I took my first shower this year …….. on the boat

Happy New Year everyone.
Last weekend was DIY time on the boat for me (as Jolanda is enjoying the warm weather in Las Vegas). The goal was to be able to take a shower, without flooding the boat. A couple of things needed to be fixed first:

1. The water connection on the kitchen faucet was leaking because of a brass connector, I found a plastic replacement (luckily the boat came with a lot of spare parts), installed it, and voila it was dry.
2. Due to the leak above the water tank was empty, unfortunately someone on the marina used the water pipes but did not open the valves on both ends, so the water in the pipes could drain. As the result the water in the pipe froze and I had to wait until Saturday afternoon when it melted and I could re-fill the water tanks.
3. There is a pump on the boat to pump out the shower water (showers are below the water line), due to my lack of knowledge on the operation, I kept it on constantly and of course i burned out after a while. On Sunday the new pump arrived and I was able to install it with the operation switch. Now that I made myself familiar with the operation I hope it will be good for some time. Good thing is, if you can fix these kind of things it will cost you not more than $200 in comparison if a mechanic would come it would be around $1000. Also you would not believe it but it is fun.


The pump is the white round thing and the switch next to it

After all of that I had the most incredible Hollywood shower on Sunday night. Yes I have some water left in the tanks.

On Sunday morning I had my next docking lesson with Captain Troy. It started off like that: Every time you starting an engine you need to make sure that it is cooled correctly, to check that you need to see some cooling water coming out of the exhausted pipe (cooling water is the water outside of the boat, being circulated around the engine and pumped out again). On the port (left) side water came out, on the starboard (right) side only once in a while and only on high power. So we concluded that there is no proper cooling on the engine and the engine might overheat.

Now it gets interesting:

– First we checked that the valve letting water into the boat cooling system is open
– Now we checked that the filter (sea strainer) has no dirt which prevents waterflow
– Now we checked the little propeller (impeller) which pumps the water through the engine. This took us for ages as the 5 screws were very difficult to access and our big fingers did not help. We had to disconnect a fuel line and we got covered in diesel and seawater. After a long time getting everything open and realizing the propeller was in good condition we ran out of ideas.
– Ok one last try, we put some washing liquid into the filter (sea strainer), in case anything that is in the cooling system may dissolve. I walked to the back of the boat, Troy started the engine and immediately the marina was covered in soap foam (sorry forgot to take pictures) ūüôā

So as a conclusion, the cooling system was running properly from the beginning, only the outlet of the cooling water was under the waterline so we could not see that. Drenched in oil, diesel and seawater we started our docking lesson. I successful docked the boat the first time on my own..

Here is a picture from Luna not being impressed with our service:

This post was not the usual “lot of pictures” post, but I hope you liked it and the boating friends might had a laugh or learned something.

Until then…..

Posted in Living on a Boat | 1 Comment

Merry Christmas

We want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a good start into 2019. This year was a though one but we came out at the other end.

We are off to Jamaica for two weeks to recharge the batteries for the upcoming year. As you know us there are more adventures ahead.

Posted in Getting ready in NYC | 3 Comments

Second week on the boat

The second week was as exciting as the first one. We still finding things out and learning a lot about the boat.
On Wednesday our favorite surveyor came to evaluate the boat for insurance purposes. After we have invested in so many “upgrades” we would like to insure the boat for a higher current value. Our curious cat Luna was constantly checking on the surveyor if he is doing a good job. Once again we were very happy with Jesse (http://www.baymarinesurvey.com/) and we strongly recommend his service around NYC and JC.

After installing a new battery charger my 2nd project was to replace some bathroom and kitchen faucets, I’m becoming a hobby plumber as well now :-).

On Friday it was time for the annual Christmas party, as you might know Jolanda LOVES to organizes parties with all our friends. This year we were a bit limited with space on the boat but we still had 30 people celebrating with us the Holiday Season. As there was not enough time to get all the food and catering, eEveryone brought some food and we are still enjoying the amazing leftovers. Getting on the boat and even more after a few drinks to get off was challenging for some people but we all had a good time and we can’t thank enough for so many good friends.

On the beautiful Sunday morning we had our first docking and boat handeling lesson with our Australian Captain Troy. He is very patient, calm and explains us things very well and we got to practice docking the boat on our slip. We are very lucky to have him. First thing we learned is that we should not hit things with the boat but sometimes it is unavoidable so it should be done in a controlled way. Here are some pictures of our first lesson:

Now we are preparing for our holiday vacation in Jamaica. Luna is at a boarding home and our neighbors will be looking after our boat. We are so fortunate to have the best people around us.

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First week in the new home

On Saturday we celebrated 1 week anniversary being back with The Sky’s the Limit. The boat is looking better every day. I installed a new battery charger, also did some minor electrical upgrades. Currently we want to make sure that no water pipe can freeze when we are away over Christmas in Jamaica.

On Monday I picked up Luna and she is clearly enjoying the boat, so many things to explore. Also we meet already our new neighbors, which are very helpful and always up for a spontaneous party.

But most important news is that we managed to get our waste tank pumped out. The friendly staff from Liberty Landing came over to empty our tank.

Overall we are very happy with our new home and we can even see the Statue of Liberty from the upstairs room and the sunset is incredible as well. The boat is currently decorated with Christmas items, more pictures to follow.

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Day 17 – WE MADE IT – Sky’s The Limit is home

What a relief, we made it back to Jersey City. A four day trip turned into a 17 day odyssey. A lot of ups and downs, very emotional but also very rewarding. We feel very proud of our persistency to accomplish our mission. It was one of the most challenging endeavors in our life’s. It’s such a good feeling to be finally home.

Can you see the happiness in our smiles when we finally saw the Stature of Liberty. The last 60 miles was a smooth ride, also thanks to our 3rd captain Jay. Yes, we had 3 captains on our “4 day trip”, thanks again to Rebecca, Troy and Jay.

As we arrived in Jersey City, we filled Diesel tanks, cleaned up a bit and invited our new neighbors for a small welcome party.

Luna is probably coming tomorrow and there is still stuff to do. We will keep you updated and hope you enjoyed our story so far. Now we can enjoy the holiday season by decorating the boat (Jolanda has already started).

P.S.: two pictures a friend of ours took on our arrival

Posted in Getting ready in NYC | 2 Comments

Day 14 of our experience

So as you have read I surprised Jolanda to accompany her on the last of our journey. I was very scared that she is calling me in the bus during the 3 hour ride and finds out, luckily everything worked out that night.

We went to bed and I had the alarm set for 3am to register for the Berlin Marathon 2019, it was a first come first serve draw. Unfortunately I took me 10min to find out were the registration button was, so I did not make it.
On the bride side we had a beautiful morning and engines stared smoothly.

We took off bright and early for our leg to Jersey City. The first few hours were beautiful, chilly but great views and sunrise. At Atlantic City we realized that the swells were getting much higher, wind picked up and visibility deteriorated. We were trying to get into an inlet just after Atlantic City but we could not even see the canal markers. So we continued in the Snowstorm. I can’t tell you what torture the next couple of hours were, BIG swells, sometimes the boat even diving into the swells and all things not secured flying through the boat. We were so lucky that our experienced captain Troy managed to get the boat into Barnegat inlet to get shelter. Even he US Coast Guard was watching over us that we made it through the canal safely.

Completely exhausted and relived we ended the day at Lighthouse Marina at Barnegat bay. So long story short we are still 60 miles away from Jersey City, but we learned a lot today (especially how much beating our boat can withstand). We have some bad weather forecasts the next days so we hoping we will be able to finally arrive at home on Saturday.

Stay Tuned……

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Day 13th – December 4th

So we are 13 days into our adventure to bring our beloved Sky’s The Limit up to Jersey City. So this means I have lived on our boat now for 13 days and nights ¬†:-)!

Day 13th was so beautiful! ¬†Gorgeous weather, beautiful heater running and looking forward to the next day to bring the boat up to Jersey City…..

Suddenly around 3pm I felt it’s getting colder and I turn the heater up, but I realize it’s not producing heat anymore…I checked the voltage…something wrong! After a few calls I find out that our super nice, expensive mechanic turned off the battery switch…. he wanted to come up to check…but even though I like him, I’m like – ¬†oh no – not another $210 per hour…. I can do this! ¬†Just tell me which switch to turn on and I did. I see the battery improving immediately. However after a while ¬†it doesn’t seem to improve the battery anymore. By that time Troy our captain arrived and our expensive, nice mechanic had an idea (maybe he felt a bit bad to turn off our battery switch :-)…he advised us to go and buy a battery charger…. off we went with Mr Uber Formula racer to make it before the automotive store closes. Troy our captain connected the charger to the battery and it seemed somewhat to work…. we looked forward to a relaxing evening with no worries, but we ended up concerned we can’t start our boat in the morning… while we were going through our options, I checked the voltage upstairs again and suddenly the door opens and somebody stands in front of me and I scream….. Marcus arrived to surprise me….Thanks ¬†to the late George H.W. Bush Senior. ¬†The banks closed Wednesday because of his funeral and Marcus got the day off and wanted to join us for the last leg. Did I mention lately that I have the most wonderful husband in the world?

I hand this blog over to Marcus to document day 14th after a sleepless night due to excitement, a bit of worries that the boat will not start and Marcus trying to win a lottery entry to the Berlin Marathon at 3am in the morning…..

Posted in Getting ready in NYC | 1 Comment

Scary

Marcus left Sunday night back to the city as he had meetings to attend. So I stayed by myself on the boat. I must admit I was scared. After 5pm there is not a soul on the marina during this time of the year.

Cleaning the boat calmed me down and after watching a feel good movie, ¬†I slept surprisingly well. This morning another beautiful sunrise in paradise and I started my day with a mediation. After I made my tea, I smelled burning and saw smoke in our downstairs living room…. panicked I run to the Marina office and asked if somebody could come and have a look…. I was so scared!

A nice guy with the name of Bob helped me to turn off everything. I called ¬†the Marina where our boat has been fixed up the last 6 months. They asked me to identify where the smoke is coming from and I just couldn’t tell for sure…. it was so smoky and smelly… After turning everything off again, helpless I went back to see if somebody could assist me again and I learned I’m on my own!

Devastated I went back and called Coltons Point Marina again… This time they asked me ¬†to turn on switches – one by one – and smell and investigate what happens before switching on the next one. For the first time I climbed into the engine room and the hot water heater compartment. ¬†Mark patiently helped me to troubleshoot everything. I was able to identify from which area the smell came from even from which corner, but couldn’t find for the world of it anything burned. Too make a long story short, we only turned the most necessary switches back on and I had no more smelling and smoke!

Miracles the starter (remember our right engine stopped working) already arrived today and another Mark from MidCoast Marina had time to come and install it this afternoon.  He had a look at my concerns about the burning/smoking too and he determined the inverter was the culprit. It was exactly at the spot where I smelled the burning.  Lucky this equipment is not doing anything for us at the moment so he removed it and took it with him for further testing.

In the beginning of today I had no confidence! I thought I couldn’t troubleshoot or find out issues and do something about it on the boat on my own! I was scared to be alone on the boat!

Tonight I feel empowered. I  have the believe that the next time I have a challenge, I can actually do something about it!

Good night world,

Jolanda

 

 

 

 

Posted in Getting ready in NYC, Living on a Boat | 2 Comments

There are worse places to get stranded

Today we were told: “Everything on your boat is broken, you just don’t know it yet”. Thanks Pam for letting us know :-). Today we had a beautiful morning with a bike ride to the lighthouse at Cape May. After Jolanda went shopping and I had a nice coffee in town. Then we went grocery shopping with the bikes the marina gave us for free:

During our visit in town we found out there is a famous Christmas parade tonight so we went home to warm up and booked a taxi for the evening to see the parade.

Jolanda realized today that the layout of the boat is perfect for us. She was initially concerned that she does not have enough outside space in the Summer. The heating works extremely well too and it is very cosy. We are loving our Sky’s The Limit every day more despite the challenges.

I have to go back to the city tomorrow as I have important meetings beginning of the week. Jolanda might stay on the boat. The next plan is that the new starter will be installed early Tuesday morning and captain Troy will come down on Monday night. Jolanda and Troy want to start Tuesday to go up North, they either make it in one go, or one stopover at Atlantic City. Tomorrow we will check the forecast again if that plan is reasonable.

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You think now you are good to go and then …..

Tomorrow we finally wanted to do our final leg back to NY. So we checked all the fluids, topped up the oil and steering liquid. I had the idea to switch on both engines to be able to start easily in the morning. Guess what? The right (starboard) engine did not start….

We did a lot of trouble shooting and could not find out what is wrong. The engine will not crank. So tomorrow we need to get a mechanic to look at the engine, that means that our weather window will close.
On the bright side I managed to get the heater running, so at least we are not freezing any more.

Let’s wait for tomorrow what the mechanic is telling us (if we get one).

Highlight of the day was a bike ride to the beach:

Posted in Living on a Boat | 9 Comments