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I own the last Wauquiez Centurion 42  (hull#55).

Friday, May 5, 2017

Next week is my CT scan and then the following day is with Dr Pollock the colo-rectal surgeon.  Pretty nervous about this I must admit.  I haven't slept well for about a week and my jaw hurts from clenching it all the time.  Teeth ache as well.  Hopefully it will be all good and I can wait for the next 6 months and do it all over again.
Going sailing to Poulsbo tomorrow.  Parents, kids and friends.  Cooking mahi-mahi on the boat and doing a bit of tequila/margarita tasting.
Here is the link to the BVI video I made about our trip in February.

It is a bit long and I decided against doing small short vids.  But the kids enjoy watching it and that is all that matters to me.  
I'll post more later.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Blog or Vlog?

Snow in Seattle.  What a winter.  This is my buddy's boat after our most recent snow"storm".  Schools closed and then next day, even though all the streets were clear, we had a two hour delay for all schools.
I have all but given up on blogs.  I used to follow almost thirty blogs and now that number is down to two.  I watch vlogs almost exclusively and I imagine that the viewership of this blog has dropped off dramatically especially as I hardly post anything here anymore.  I never did this blog for the viewers though, it was and is my personal record of my life that is whizzing by.  Will my kids read it?  Maybe.  I doubt it though.  But at least I won't saddle them with a ton of photo albums and stacks of papers that they will have to dispose of when I die.  And people say I'm self-centered...
Tomorrow (Feb 9th) we go to the British Virgin Islands for a bit more than a week.  At 2200 tomorrow we will be wheels up to JFK and then to St. Thomas.  The flight to JFK is overnight and then, hopefully, with the kids in a sleep-deprived stupor, we can catch the flight to STT.  Catching this  flight depends almost exclusively on the snowstorm (not the kids) that is barreling towards NYC as I type this.
Airports.  I love them.  When I am at work and talk travel, I get the usual backlash about wait times and all that stuff.  I am old enough to remember when you could RUN through airports to catch your flight!  No security lines.  Nothing.  Get out of your car and run to the gate.  It really wasn't that long ago.  Thinking of travel as a privilege helps.  Pay your fare ( it is cheap as hell compared to what it was), be nice to the stewardess or steward and sit in a chair that eventually reaches 36.000 feet into the sky and wait till you land.  I mean it is damn near magical!  You are sitting in a chair, in the sky!!! 
Not that I ever showed up prepared.  Winged flight and I have had a rocky relationship.  It wan't that long ago that I had almost a 50/50 chance of making my destination back in my wild and woolly days.  Berlin?  Passport with no wallet.  Galapagos...well, I only talk about that when I'm face-to-face.  Generally though I was better at international flights than domestic.  Las Vegas was particularly hard for me to fly into and then out of.  No idea why.
Had my three month checkup last week.  Just me.  I think I swore that I would never do another checkup without someone there with me but things change.  It is a weird place that I am in right now.  Family here, friends here but yet...well, everything is fine so far as cancer goes.  So far.  Gold says CT scan in three months and we will see about that "spot on your liver and lung."  Both of which have grown in between scans.  Nothing to be done about that though.
So I will post a youtube link to the videos that the kids and I make during our trip here.  I think I might make three or four small videos about 4 minutes each rather than one large one.  My son Ben seems to want to do some video taping and I'll encourage that.  He asks me about me editing software and I'll include him on that as well.  Not sure if we will do voiceover, "live" voice or just music with subtitles.  We will see.  What the kids want and what they help with are two different things.
Here is our video channel

Friday, April 29, 2016

Bad news?

What do the songs Running with the Devil by Van Halen and Tom Petty's I won't back down have in common?  Heard them in my MRI last night.  Let's back up a bit. 
I thought that I could give the cancer aspect of my blog a rest but what fun is that? Wednesday the 27th I had my 6 month checkup. CT scan, blood work and rectal exam. I went alone.  Some offered to go with, others stayed silent and waited for me to invite, but I denied them all. How hard could it be?
The lead up to the appointment had me a bit nervous but really, what was there to worry about.  I had been run through the wringer chemotherapy, radiation and surgery wise. What could withstand that?
Arrived at 0700 at the Swedish Cancer Institute and started to drink my contrast for the CT scan. Banana flavored. While doing that I also had blood drawn and my port accessed. I thought ruefully that this might be my last time with my port as the plan was to get this test series done and have it removed. 
0700 in the morning!
Banana CT contrast.  All the better to see you my dear...
Alright enough setup. Had the CT scan and waited for my results.  Had about an hour till my appointment with Dr Gold.  Vitals, weight taken and charted, and then he walked in. Sorry was the first thing he said. You don't want to hear that from your oncologist unless he hits your car in the parking garage. Spot on your liver. Sorry he said again. I start to think what does that mean.  Liver cancer races across my mind. Death chases it. Familiar feeling creeps across me, touching areas I thought I'd buried. Fear. Deep fear. The not seeing my kids grow up fear.  I hope you never have that feeling.  This is twice for me.
I remember making the appointment for the MRI. Dr Gold telling them to make it for today.  I made some phone calls and then had to stop. I was coming unglued. For sure they will never ever let me go to my checkups alone. Ever. I was a wreck.
I had 45 minutes till my rectal surgeon appointment so I sat in his office waiting room. Quiet reflection I think they call it. My head felt like a bunch of monkeys fighting over a bucket of marbles. Jen calls and says she is coming. No is not an option.
Get called into the back to see Dr Pollock and he is on me. Immediately opens my chart and looks at my results. He goes over everything with me. Not optimal he says but treatable. And...one step at a time. Get the MRI. You can worry after that he says. This is why you have a good team treating you. Gold is one type of doctor and Pollock is another. I need Gold sometimes and others I need Pollock.  Rectal exam happens. I tell Dr Pollock "Either I am getting better at this or you are."  We all laugh and I feel much better. Jen walks in then. All is well.
My mom and dad come over for the MRI that night. 7pm. I have my port accessed in the cancer treatment area. There I run into two people who have given me chemo last year. Like old friends we chat and have fun joking around. I almost miss that chemo routine. Almost.
MRI done. Home to kiss the kids goodnight and then wait. 
This is waiting for me at Jen's house when I got back from MRI!  I also asked the 8 ball if everything was going to be OK.   It said Yes...
Had Chinese food after the MRI.  My fortune. 
Got up after fitful sleep and went to the boat to check on progress. Just marking time till 1:30 pm. I'm getting better at waiting although I'm still no good at it. 
Just prior to leaving for the MRI results.  I have my cancer shirt on.  For luck.
My mother and I met Jen at Dr Gold's office.  Dr. Gold, Alice the RN and Peggy the scheduler are waiting for me. With smiles. MRI shows nothing. Nada.  CT was wrong. I am cancer free. Disbelief just about shuts me down. I have no words for how I felt. Elation and relief with a hint of mistrust maybe. Stunned into silence. You have to understand that I am worse case scenario boy. I felt like the rug was pulled out from under me.
Hugs, handshakes and we are out the door. Visit was so brief, we didn't have to pay for parking!
Thanks and love to those of you that had to deal with my panicked first reaction. 
Next checkup in three months.  But first a colonscopy.  I'll get that every year now.  Easy peasy.

The two main reasons I'm fighting this goddamn disease.  Cancer!  Back the hell up!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

The blog is almost caught up now.  After this post, I'll be current.
The boys started Friday the 15th of April doing the fine grind inside after I knocked the gelcoat off.  I am NOT replacing the gelcoat after the new glass goes on.  Can't anyway as it won't stick to epoxy.  Not painting the bilge either.  I am leaving it in all it's unfinished glory!

The partners in grind!

These next couple of pictures shows the bulkhead.  The cracked piece with the fiberglass pulled off it.  Totally rotted.  Unreal I crossed the Pacific with the boat like this.

the mast goes right where the wrench is sitting.  You can see the cracks in the bulkhead and the rot!

That's it for now.  They'll be at it later today and then Monday.  Two more weeks they think.  I am for this to be done.  So much damn money!!!
Week 4 or 5 now.  I lost track.  Between working, school, kids and life, I just plod ahead.
This is the final layers going on.  The front of the keel stub is getting 7 extra layers to build up that gap we saw a couple posts ago.

Sam standing next to a wooden fishing boats prop!

helping me clean the old Mercedes!

I think this is the final layup.

This is 14 layers of fiberglass

You can see the old and the new

New holes drilled.
The stub has all it's laminates on it now.  The next part is "potting" the keel.  The top of the keel and the bottom of the stub are not perfectly flat.  I hired the boat lift guy to come over to Appa and lift her up.  Then we slather on thickened epoxy to the bottom of the stub and the keel top.  The top of the keel has a plastic sheet on it that does not allow the epoxy to grab it.  We are making a mold in a way.  The boat gets lowered onto the keel and allowed to sit overnight while the epoxy hardens.  Then after it is all set, the boat is lifted again (again I pay at $150 a pop) for the travel lift to come over and do the lift.  The boat and keel should separate nicely.  Which they did.  Now the bottom of the stub is a mirror image of the top of the keel.
We let that sit and get to work on the inside of the boat.  We have to tear out the bulkhead and also grind the keel sump grid down to accept new fiberglass.  A TON of work.
The aft keel bolt with 1/2" plywood acting as the new backing plate.  The real backing plate will be G10.  Strong stuff.
After the "potting"

Tearing the plastic off the epoxy.  It went perfect!!

Travellift at Appa once again.  We have to use it twice more.  Once to put the keel on a final time and once to splash the boat in the water.  

I was feeling left out so I asked to start grinding the inside of the boat.  Watch what you ask for...

This was all covered in brown (??) gelcoat.  I grinded this crap off for 6-7 hours.

The dust gets everywhere

Me in my bunny suit!!

Here we are at week what, week 3?  The fiberglass dude is making a template for the layup. 

Alternating between woven and biaxial.

Off the keel and on to the table to cut the glass

Biaxial I think 12 oz

Woven.  14 oz

One of many trips to Fisheries Supply for repair stuff
First five layers of glass going on.  Peel ply goes on over this.  The guys spent a ton of time getting air out of the layup.  This is critical to strength.  

Gallons of epoxy are getting used

Peel ply off and getting ready for the second five layers of glass.

Second five layers getting laminated to the stub.

Getting the bubbles out.

More to come...