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The Very Expensive Swim

Posted in: Featured, The Ships Cat on Wednesday, July 8th, 2015
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It was a normal night, eating dinner watching the telly. We hadn’t thought it odd that Fluffy wasn’t with us, as some of his favourite spots to curl up are at the stern of the boat where we can’t see him. Suddenly our neighbour Christine was racing down the dock towards Tygress calling my name in obvious distress. I got up on deck totally unaware of how drastically our night was about to change.

“I found him swimming in the water, I don’t think he’s going to make it” she said has she handed me a small, soaking and very limp bundle of fur.

“I don’t think he’s going to make it” Christine repeated as I was coming to the jarring relisation that the small, soaking and very limp bundle of fur was our precious boy. He’d gotten out while I was up having a shower and I didn’t even realise (we were to later learn that he had figured out he could climb the screen door). Christine’s concern was palpable and despite the whirlwind of emotions I was flung into it touched me that she was just as concerned for our boy as we were. She had saved him.

Christine had, through the sheer luck of being in the right place at the right time, heard splashing in the dark and went to grab a torch so she could see what it was. When she realised what was in the water,  it was her quick thinking and her quick actions that had saved him. He had barely enough strength left to climb the life buoy thrown to him. Had Christine not been outside doing her washing Fluff’s old body would have very soon tired, his little head dropping below the water more and more and he would’ve drowned a lonely death full of struggle and fear, in the dark. We’d never have seen him again. The thought is almost too much to bear.

“Ben, quick! He’s gone in, I think he’s going to die’ I called through the door as I fumbled for a towel in the cockpit. He’s so light and thin, oh my God he’s so limp. “We’ve got to get him to the vet now”. Ben dropped everything, nothing was turned off, the boat didn’t get closed up and Fluffy was bundled up in my arms and we raced through the marina to the car. It was the longest that walk has ever felt. It was long enough for the grief, the shock, the guilt and chest wracking sobs to hit. I was a wreck. I sobbed all the way to the vet, all the fear, shame, guilt and love came pouring out. Shame because how could we have not known he was in the water? How could we have not heard him? Guilt because we weren’t there to save him. Fear that we were going to lose him. So much fear.

It's a hard life!

It’s a hard life!

For some people pets are just that, pets, animals that they look after, feed and water and go through all the motions. But for the lucky ones, they’re so much more. They’re friends, our companions, furry parts of our hearts that run around outside our bodies. We are the lucky ones. Fluffy has been with us since just after Ben and I met and we knew forever was going to be a thing, that’s more than 13 years ago. There has only ever been three weeks of just Ben and Sarah because on the fourth week we brought him home from the RSPCA and everyday since we’ve woken to his furry face. I don’t know what it’s like to be us without him. And the fact that we might soon find out was terrifying.

We got to the vets just after another car pulled in and out jumped another woman with a bundled towel cradled in her arms. The desire to run to the door ahead of her was strong, but I resisted. The state I was in was all the staff needed to know and we were taken through immediately. I had to put him down on the bench, but I couldn’t let him go, they coaxed him away from me and pulled back the towel so they could have a look at him.  They took his temperature in a rather undignified manner, listened to his chest and got him wrapped up in something that might have been called a bear hug. Basically it’s just a piece of heated flexible piping they wrap him in. We were told he had hypothermia but was otherwise okay, no water on his lungs and a strong heartbeat. What followed was one of the worst experiences I’ve had as a pet parent at the vets. “How long was he in the water?” we’re not sure. “When did he go in the water?” we don’t know. “You didn’t know he was in the water?” we didn’t even know he was outside. They were necessary questions but boy did they really ram home the shame and guilt. More tears.

They kept him on fluids overnight and put him in a humidifier to bring his body temperature up.  They told us to go home and to call in two hours for an update but he should be fine. It was hard to leave him but he was already starting to behave more like himself. Tygress felt so empty when we got home without him. Cold dinners were left uneaten, the telly stayed off and we sat and worried about all the what ifs. What if he doesn’t come home? How can we live on this boat without him? What if it’s all my fault?. But when we phoned throughout the next 12 hours they told us that he was alert and very talkative and doing well for a cat his age that had gone through the ordeal that he did. We picked him up the following evening and never has a cat been more cuddled.

So what have we learnt from all of this? First, despite being over 19 years old he can still scale screen doors so we need to pull the companionway hatch lid closed fully when leaving the boat. The thrill night time exploration still calls to him. Second, we need to have something in the water for him to climb should this ever happen again, either a towel or a thick line. The thought of his terror while swimming around unable to get out makes me so sad. Third, how completely unprepared I am for losing him and just how lucky he is to be alive.  I don’t think Christine fully understands what a service she did for us that night and how deeply and forever grateful we are. To this day she still walks past looking to see him on deck and always asks after him when we see each other on the dock.

A few days after and he's sleeping blissfully on my yoga mat. Note the shaved little leg.

A few days after and he’s sleeping blissfully on my yoga mat. Note the shaved little leg.

 

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Different Survey, Different Day

Posted in: Buying, Featured on Wednesday, July 1st, 2015
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and a different boat!

If you’ve never bought a boat before then an important thing to do before signing on the dotted line is to have a pre-purchase survey done. It’s a comprehensive examination of all areas of the boat, both above the waterline and below and is undertaken by qualified surveyor. For our survey on Runaway Moon we used Barry Colson, we had been very happy with his service during Tygress’s insurance survey last year and we felt we could trust his assessment of the vessel.

We woke at our version of ‘early’ which is a very civilised 8 o’clock and had some coffee while waiting for our broker Detlef and Barry to arrive.

It gave us time to think on the differences this survey day compared with our survey day for Tygress.

For a start we woke only two berths down on our own boat that we’ve lived happily on for over three years, last time we traveled across Brisbane to be here. Secondly, with Tygress, we went through the whole sale and survey process without ever meeting the owner.  This time with Runaway Moon we were very lucky to have Alan with us and available to answer any questions Barry had about onboard systems.

But I think the most important difference this time is that we’re boaties, boats are our thing and it’s second nature to be around them. We know a bit more about them and what it’s like to live on one. Last survey day we knew hardly anything about them except that we wanted one. And we got one.

Then we got another one.

Detlef and Barry arrived and spent about 1 1/2 hours going over Runaway in her berth, then she was moved to the marina’s travel lift so she could be hauled out. While Detlef and Alan moved the boat we walked back with Barry and were so heartened when he gave a glowing opinion of Runaway. We learnt that her fiberglass hull had been hand laid and as a result was incredibly strong and well made. A big relief to know as moving away from the strength steel was causing mild anxiety.  We learnt that Barry thought she was an exceptionally good little boat for her age and price, one of the best boats he’d inspected.

Watching a boat being hauled out and rolled back over land is always a bit nerve wracking but under Alan’s watchful eye the marina crew did a great job and got her lifted safely. Then comes the next uncomfortable bit, watching Barry bash all over the hull with his hammer checking it’s integrity and listening for any change in sound his thumps produce.

Barry inspecting hull

There was some small blister repairs but other than that she was in really good condition.  Back in the water and off for a sea trial in conditions that could be best described as flat.

We didn’t care though, this was our first experience with Runaway in motion and it was lovely. She has a full keel and hydraulic steering so she handles differently to Tygress but she handles well. There wasn’t much wind but we got the sails up which is always a magical experience and we floated very slowly around the bay. Too soon our time was up and we headed back in and the survey day was over. The day had left us buoyed and excited and ready to sign on the dotted line.

 

Don't we look happy?

Don’t we look happy?

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Pre-heat the Oven

Posted in: Featured on Saturday, May 23rd, 2015
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These are no longer depressing words to find at the start of delicious recipes!

If all goes to plan I will soon have my very own oven. I understand if you don’t jump for joy but excuse me while I do.

For the last three years aboard Tygress we’ve had only a two burner Lido Junior gas stove and grill to play with, I mean slave over, in the galley. And as you know we’ve managed quite well but it has been limiting. We packed probably more recipe books than we needed when we first moved aboard without realising just how many of them relied on having an oven. There have been many occasions when Ben and I have felt the urge to shake up our menu options and try masterchefing something new. We’d fish out the recipe books full of enthusiasm, it didn’t help we’d usually be doing this hungry, and we’d come across deliciously tempting recipes only to read further and find the dreaded phrase ‘pre-heat the oven’. After a while of pre-heating a magical oven we didn’t have books were slammed shut and stuffed back in the cupboard. “Steak and mash” Ben would ask? “Yep, you do the steak, I’ll do the mash”. No one ever gets sick of my amazing mashed potatoes, cream, butter, cheese and when i’m getting a little bit fancy, whipped with an electric beater into fluffy clouds of deliciousness…okay so maybe my waistline gets a little sick of them! But seriously folks they’re great.

Now, with the very exciting prospect of having my own oven again I’ve have fun compiling a top five list of the things i’m going to cook in it.

1. Lasagne 

Who doesn’t love a home cooked lasagne. I’ve only made one once before and yes it is a lot of work and mess, but when you slice down through that golden cheesy, crusty top layer to find the delicious mince and bechamel filling all the mess and effort seem like nothing. Served with a crisp salad, or a side of more lasagne it’s one of my favourite meals.

Lasagne

2. Bread

Why bother when I can walk up the road and buy a loaf? Well because I won’t always be able to walk up the road to buy a loaf and there is something deeply satisfying about the smell of bread baking. Homemade bread is an event for the senses unlike the thin white aerated impostor on the shop shelves. Home made bread gets sliced thick while still warm with butter melting dreamily into it. It gets eaten on it’s own because it doesn’t need anything else.  And I know I can work some cheese into the recipe, ooo and maybe some bacon on top! Cheesy bacon bread anyone?

Bread

3. Chips

Handmade, homemade, individually hand cut and all the frozen types too, basically any type of chip you can put in an oven will be going into mine (except maybe those hipster zucchini or kale chips, way to ruin chips guys!). Mmmm I can smell them cooking now.  There’ll be chicken salt, onion and garlic salt and regular salt. There’ll be aioli and tomato sauce. There’ll be me suffering from indigestion after eating too many chips. Totally worth it!

oven-baked-chips

 4. Roast Lamb, beef and chicken

Ben loves to cook a good roast and the only way he’s been able to do that on board is in our little magma bbq in the cockpit. It gets the job done but it’s difficult to judge temperature and cooking times and just a pain to find roasts and trays the right size. So one of our first dinners aboard our new home will no doubt be a roast of some kind. What a luxury to be able to take it out the oven and put it on the bench, without having to worry about getting it out the bbq or losing it over the side in the process. Or having to navigate the companionway with a hot roast and no hands.

Roast Lamb image

5. Baked goodies of every kind

I was never a huge baker before boat life but more and more over the years i’ve really missed being able bake a cake, or some biscuits or some quadruple choc muffins.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/91837455@N00/3533129731

If you’re lucky enough to have an oven, what is your favourite thing to cook in it? Do you have any oven based recipes you’d like to share?

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A Day on La Rose

Posted in: Featured on Tuesday, May 5th, 2015
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It was one of those perfect Moreton Bay days, with clear blue skies, mild temperatures and just enough wind to make raising a sail worth the effort.

We weren’t going to waste it.

Our friend and neighbour John invited us out for a sail on his boat ‘La Rose’, a beautiful Nantucket. It didn’t feel great leaving Tygress in her berth but a day on the bay on any boat is not something you pass up, besides she had Fluffy for company.

The breeze didn’t pick up until after lunch so in the morning we motored out of the channel and turned the bow towards St Helena Island. Most liveaboards don’t own a boat built for speed, we own what are generally referred to as cruising yachts, slower but built for comfort. Built for the journey as much as the destination. So what followed was a very peaceful and delightfully slow trip past Green Island in the direction of St Helena.

 

The chart for the area we sailed.

The chart for the area we sailed. Green and St Helena Islands are up the top right corner and our home port is bottom middle.

 

Ben and I had never been so close to St Helena, it was exciting to watch the indistinct horizon form into sights we could clearly identify. Through binoculars and the camera lens we could make out the ruins on the island. For 60 years onwards from 1867 St Helena was the site of colonial Queensland’s major prison, although the last prisoner left in 1933 thanks to the islands national park status the ruins are still there to see and explore through guided tours.  We were happy enough sailing past and enjoying the view from a distance.

 

St Helena and it's prison ruins.

St Helena and it’s prison ruins.

 

Entranced by the view we almost ran out of water, so we turned around and headed for a lunch stop at Green Island. Safely and expertly anchored I offered to prepare a lunch of roast chook on bread rolls. Simple fare yes, but what a place to prepare it, at a table with 360 water views and almost complete quiet. We weren’t that far from shore but the silence, when jet ski’s or motorboats aren’t roaring past that is, is almost perfect.  We ate, we talked and we waited for the wind.

 

Green Island off the portside, we had it almost to ourselves.

Green Island off the portside, we had it almost to ourselves.

 

Not long after lunch it came, not much, but enough wind came for us to set out and raise the sails.  Most motor boat owners will never understand the joy of turning off the engine and moving under the silent power of sail. For them it’s all ‘powerrrr’ and speed. But for sailors, the power of the wind is ancient, it’s free and it speaks to their soul.

 

Not much wind but we weren't in a hurry

Not much wind but we weren’t in a hurry

We were probably going even slower than we were under power but we didn’t care, we had no where to be other than in the moment. We headed toward King Island talking about boats, enjoying patches of silence and then back to boats again. John has lived aboard for almost 15 years, he has owned a few different boats and has many stories to tell. He has the kind of salty mind that unsalted, inexperienced sailors like to pick through for any pearls of wisdom, experience and ‘what not to do’s’ that they can glean. And if you like boats then spending an afternoon on one, talking about them with a fellow boatie is heaven afloat.

To top off our wonderful day on the bay John popped over to our boat, after an extremely frantic tidy up, and we spent a few hours drinking and trawling through boatsales.com and yachthub.com for our next boat! Life is good!

 

Captain John of La Rose and me.

Captain John of La Rose and me.

 

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In the bag

Posted in: Boat Improvements, Featured on Sunday, July 20th, 2014
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Our mainsail is now safely tucked away in it’s nice new navy sail bag, safe from water, UV rays and swallow infestations.

The old bag was deteriorating when we bought Tygress but the high winds of ex tropical cyclone Oswald finished it off, completely ripping the canvas away from the zipper and destroying other sections in large chunks. It’s been held together with rope ever since.  Not only did the ratty old bag give Tygress a slightly unloved look it was exposing our main sail to wind, rain and sun.

New Sail Cover

We engaged the services of G & S Marine Trimmers, our local trimmers here at the marina and once again we are extremely happy with the finished work.

Gary taking the old sail canvas off

Gary removing our deteriorating old grey sail bag.

The new sail bag marks the completion of the canvas replacement on Tygress and we love how she looks now. We may be biased, but we think she looks very smart with her red hull and navy canvas.

 

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From the Galley: Moroccan Chicken, Pumkin and Lentil Soup

Posted in: Featured, From the Galley on Saturday, May 10th, 2014
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Winter is coming and apart from hordes of white walkers from the North it also means it’s soup weather. YAY!

I cooked my first soup of the season Monday night.  A Moroccan Chicken, Pumpkin and Lentil soup.  Not only was it the first soup of the season but it was also my first pumpkin soup and it was soup-er delicious.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 chicken thighs, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon Moroccan seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1kg pumpkin, diced
  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh chives, chopped

Method

    1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Over medium heat add the onion and garlic and cook until soft, add the chicken thighs and cook for a further 10 minutes.
    2. Stir the Moroccan seasoning and ground cumin.
    3. Add the stock, pumpkin and lentils. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes or until pumpkin is soft.
    4. Puree the soup in a blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
    5. Spoon the soup into bowls and garnish with chives. Serve with crusty bread.

Notes

  • Butternut pumpkin is the best pumpkin to use for soups. It is easy to cut and remove the skin and it tastes real good.
  • We don’t have a blender on board. They are too big and power hungry not to mention we didn’t have one to bring with us. But we do have a Kambrook stick mixer on board that is finally earning it’s keep. It worked just as well.
  • Make sure you have a big container to store the left overs. Because there will be left overs. Ben and I got two meals out of it with a few lunches thrown in. A very economical meal.

 

Dice the onion fine and crush the garlic.

Dice the onion fine and crush the garlic.

Butternut Pumpkin is the best.

Butternut Pumpkin is the best.

Ain't nobody here but us chickens.

Ain’t nobody here but us chickens.

All together now, in the pot and cooking.

All together now, in the pot and cooking.

 

Mmmm pureed pumpkiny goodness!

Mmmm pureed pumpkiny goodness!

Served and ready to eat with crusty fresh bread.

Served and ready to eat with crusty fresh bread.

 

 

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A clean bottom

Posted in: Featured, Maintenance on Saturday, May 3rd, 2014
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Tygress has a clean bottom!

It’s been long overdue but we finally hauled Tygress out and had her anti-fouled.

For those who don’t know, anti-fouling is basically a special coat of paint applied to the hull of boats to prevent marine growth i.e. barnacles, algae etc. Once marine growth gets a hold on the hull it can be very hard to remove and not only that but fouling of the hull will affect the boats movement through the water.

 

Early morning in the channel.

Early morning in the channel.

Getting her from our marina berth to the travel lift was a short trip to the other side of the harbour but as with all trips made in such close confines it was a little stressful. For me anyway.  Ben, as usual, handled Tygress in his calm, competent ‘born-to-do-it’ manner.  We docked her without any major drama and before long she was being poled into the lift cradle.  This is the second time we’ve watched Tygress come out, the first time back in 2011 when she was undergoing her prepurchase survey. I was quite relaxed about it then, after all, she wasn’t yet our boat and if something went wrong we could just walk away. This time though we owned her, she was our boat and home of two years. So we watched like hawks, was she in the slings properly? I kept thinking please don’t drop her.

Being moved into the slings. You can see them hanging down into the water.

Being moved into the slings. You can see them hanging down into the water.

Before the lift reached full height they realised we hadn’t taken down our antennas which are quite high and were at risk of hitting the lift structure.  Ben crossed the large gap back onboard and working at a dizzying height from the water below slowly and surely removed all the bolts and brought the anttenas down. Then Ben jumped back off again and she was rolled over solid ground.

Up and out, Ben onboard taking down the antennas.

Up and out, Ben onboard taking down the antennas.

Watching Tygress slowly come out of the water we were surprised at the level of growth on her hull. It was bad, but we had expected much worse. Something along the lines of the hanging gardens of Babylon.

Pressure spraying the gunk away.

Pressure spraying the gunk away.

We were pleased to see that Tygress still had some her sacrificial anodes left. We had been worried that they’d been completely eaten away and that electrolysis was affecting the hull. Needless to say she now has three brand new ones.

Once out of the water, she had to be pressure sprayed clean. A process that revealed more than a few barnacles and blisters. But otherwise the hull was in good condition.   We were unable to stay onboard while she was on the hard so we stayed with my parents for the week and Fluffy had a holiday with the good people at Coltrandi Pet Specialists. There may have been a few tears when it came time to leave him and more than a few when it was time to bring him home.

Graeme and Karen from Bayside Boat Repairs handled the antifouling for us and did a wonderful job. Tygress is protected and ready for another year or two in the water.

Matt black and ready for another year or two in the water.

Matt black and ready for another year or two in the water.

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Swimming Lessons

Posted in: Featured on Friday, January 31st, 2014
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Of course I know how to swim. I can’t remember learning to but apparently I did and I used to be very good at it. My Mum to this day still laments that I didn’t take my swimming as far as it could go i.e. Nationals followed by the Olympics followed by International glory and gold.  She says “My darling first born, my favourite (She never actually said this part but it’s implied), It’s such a shame you didn’t do anything with your swimming. You had such a beautiful stroke” to which I reply “Yes Mum, but those shoulders!”. Those of you who watch the swimming on TV will know what I mean.

Image Source: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/cool-pools-for-hot-days-20121026-289g8.html

My local swimming pool looking peaceful before the screaming horde descends.

These days I don’t swim often but when I do it’s in the final days of summer school holidays. That special time of the year when on reflection the pool is probably 75% pee and the shrieks of 100+ children drown out all thought.  It’s during trips to the pool like these that you learn a few swimming lessons;

  • Don’t jump into the pool from the safety railing!
  • No running!
  • Lifeguards are rarely as hot as the television would have you believe.
  • Children have no concept of personal space in a swimming pool. They’ll elbow you, knee you, kick you in the head, the legs, the arms and if you’re really lucky in the face too. And keep swimming like nothing happened. If the children are our future, then the future looks dangerous.
  • Kids never want to get out of the pool. This usually results in parents yelling and threatening and begging at the edge. The smart parents, the battle hardened ones, the ones with that look in their eyes that says they’ve seen some shit and come out the other side changed people, just pack their stuff and go. If little Henry wants a ride home, three square meals and his beloved video games he’ll be out of the pool quick smart. Must remember this technique.
  • Children can go down a water slide over 50 times and still come out shrieking with laughter and wanting to go again. They have boundless energy and can indulge in simple pleasures for hours without a care in the world.
  • Every other kid in the pool is a new friend. There are no barriers in a child’s world, no judgement, just acceptance and a general ‘lets go have fun together’ joie de vivre.
  • This one is for all the teenage girls and young Mums out there, a less than perfect figure is made so much better by standing up straight. Yes it’s happening, i’m turning into my mother, stand up straight girls, shoulders back, stomach in and boobs out!

You can learn a lot from a trip to the pool and all of the above are great lessons. But** I think the most important lesson of all is that we grown ups, who think we have it all figured out and think we know how the world works, can learn a lot from children. We should laugh more, judge less, find excitement in simple things, treat everyone like they’re new friends waiting to be made and most importantly don’t worry about tomorrow because there’s too much fun to be had today.

*Banner Image Source: http://manlypoolbrisbane.com.au/

*Blog Image Source: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/cool-pools-for-hot-days-20121026-289g8.html

** Yes I can start a sentence with a conjunction, Oxford Dictionaries says so here

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It’s Curtains for bad Curtains

Posted in: Boat Improvements, Featured on Thursday, January 16th, 2014
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Psychedelic fish patterns aren’t for everyone…

and they weren’t for us.  These curtains were hanging when we bought Tygress and as much as I love bright colours I had trouble loving these. I feel bad saying that because obviously some one did love them at one point and took the time to sew them and hang them with pride in their home. But Ben couldn’t stand them and became increasingly determined to get rid of them.

 

Quirky and fun but not for us

Quirky and fun but not for us

 

Here they are in place, bright and colourful.

Here they are in place, bright and colourful.

One day after taking the time to wash them and painstakingly feed the elastic back through them Ben declares that he can bear them no longer, that they must go and I must make new ones. So despite my protests off we go to Spotlight where we became mired in indecision. Should we get that pattern, I like the spots. Or maybe this one with the curly swirls. But what about this colour. Oh this one over here is a bit cheaper. We settled on two fabrics and after going away and coming back we chose the taupe curly swirls.

Because he has a better head for it Ben took care of taking all the measurements and figured out how much fabric we needed which at under $7 a meter worked out very cheap. It’s thermal fabric designed to keep out 30% of heat from the windows without blocking too much light. The cabin still feels light and airy even with the curtains drawn.

To make the new curtains I simply used the old ones as a template. There’s a slight curve to the windows so all the hard work of making them fit the curve had already been done. The thought of redesigning them from scratch made my head hurt. The only issue I had and that held the project up was the lack of a large flat surface to spread the fabric out and trace the patterns. Lack of space is always an issue on a boat.

 

Our stylish new curtain fabric.

Our stylish new curtain fabric.

 

The new curtains hanging in the saloon.

The new curtains hanging in the saloon.

 

Eventually I got the fabric and curtains over to my folks place to take advantage of my mums huge sewing table. Patterns were made and my old Pfaff sewing machine (which incidentally is almost as old as I am) pulled out and set up on the saloon table. My Pfaff fits on the table perfectly and even though it weighs a tonne, and i’m pretty sure it causes the boat to list to starboard when I store it, i’m so glad I brought it with me.  Once I remembered how to thread it and fill a bobbin I was on my way. It wouldn’t have taken more than four hours in total to sew them up, and as straight lines are easy to sew I must say I’ve done a great job on them.

 

Tied back with matching fabric ties.

Tied back with matching fabric ties.

 

Tied back revealing our lovely big windows.

Tied back revealing our lovely big windows.

They are now hanging in the saloon generally just looking great and classin up the joint!

What do you think?

 

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Freedom Calling

Posted in: Featured on Wednesday, March 27th, 2013
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Freedom Calling  – Colin Hay

If you hear a voice call out your name
Saying you can stop yourself from falling
And if he strikes you in his fear and shame
Well you can leave him to his ruin

If your dreams they wake you in the night
And your heart it is a pounding
If you cry out as you wake in your fright
And the wind it is a-howling

Maybe it’s time to find another place
Where nobody even knows your face
There is no need to be afraid
For it’s only freedom calling

If your tears begin to overflow
As you walk against the undertow
There is no need to be afraid
For it’s only freedom calling

If you’re sad ‘cause you’re all alone
And your hands they are a shaking
And your miracle cure’s not working anymore
And the flood bank’s close to breaking

Suddenly you’re on an open unknown road
Passing all the heavy, long wide loads
It is time to make your great escape
And you can hear your freedom calling

I want to dive into the sea of love
But my knees they are a quaking
I can see myself high up above
And there’s no time left for faking

I no longer need to understand
What it is to truly be a man
Only when I gave up on my masterplan
Did I then hear freedom calling

Did I then hear freedom calling

 

The picture of our freedom

Ben found this song very early in our journey and I can still remember the incredible way that it moved us. We listened to it for the first time while sitting in the dark on our lounge room couch. Every word vibrated through me, by the end I was in tears and so emotionally charged that I could have run outside yelling at the stars, the moon and the passing traffic ‘YES I hear my freedom calling, I hear it and I will answer!’.

It has become our anthem. It has rallied us when energy and hope were flagging. It inspires us when the times are hard and our goals still feel so far away. Plus it has bagpipes! And who doesn’t love bagpipes?

I’ve lost count of the number of times I listened to it over the dying months of my working life while walking through busy Brisbane streets crushed in the press of fellow workers, or sitting on the bus stuck in traffic visualising tropical islands drifting by and white sand between my toes .  Thank goodness music these days is digital because if it was on a tape I would’ve played it to death.

I post it so that you may listen and perhaps hear your own freedom calling.

 

“Only when I gave up on my masterplan, did I then hear freedom calling”

 

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