Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Jigsaw Planet

Hi, my name is Laura and I'm a puzzleholic.

When we were in Costa Rica waiting for the Captain to recover from his surgery, I was desperate for some entertainment other than the TV (which was all about the election) and I stumbled across Jigsaw Planet. It's a site where people create, share, and play jigsaw puzzles and it's totally free.

You can search for popular subjects, follow people, and spend hours just playing anonymously. Or you can start your own account and create your own puzzles to share with others.

I found the site to be a perfect diversion and played many colorful and interesting puzzles while we waited for the Captain to heal. When we came home I continued to do puzzles in the evenings and realized that since I take lots of photos, I could create an account of my own and use all my own photos.

So here's my account: Fortunes Afloat. Contrary to many accounts, these are all my own photos. I've gathered them from my old blog, my present blog, and my jaunts around town.
When you create puzzles you can adjust the number of pieces from 4 to 300. You can also select from seven different styles of cut and select "rotation" which forces players to not only find the piece, but rotate it before placing it into position. You can create albums of similar items that interest you. I have six: Food, Signs, Travel, Still Lifes, Boats, and Nature.

Another thing the site does (and I have no idea how they choose them) is to present "featured" puzzles that everyone sees and frequently plays. This gets you exposure and helps you get followers. And one of my puzzles, Custom Converse, was a featured puzzle today!

If you visit my account at jigsawplanet.com, you'll undoubtedly see photos from my blog, and others from St. Augustine. I hope you enjoy them, but try not to get addicted!

Monday, January 30, 2017

One Month In

We've been working on the decks for one month now and we've gone from chiseling the teak off.....
and scraping polysulphide where the deck met the cabintops.....
to repairing sections of wet balsa core......

and incorporating the piece of deck that's under the caprail into being part of the caprail.

We've also had to route rabbets in the deck and reset the deck drains. We used "Bed-It" (a butyl tape) and are very pleased with it. We'll used it when we re-install all the deck hardware too.

We've skimmed lots of Bondo over the rough spots, and sanded off lots of Bondo.
And we think we are getting close to applying primer. As usual, this project has taken longer than expected, but we're doing it ourselves, and for some reason we can't work as hard as we used to. Go figure!?

Friday, January 6, 2017

If we make it through this

It will be a miracle.

I knew removing the old teak decks would be difficult, but the reality of living aboard while it's happening is just ugly. To remove hardware we have to take everything out of the locker right below it to access the bolts, so there are bags of clothes, toiletries, and foodstuffs scattered everywhere.

Then we have to remove the trim and keepers and headliner, and sometimes shelves, so there are boards and pieces of wood everywhere too, and of course all the hardware, cleats, windlass, and bags of bolts.

Sometimes the nuts are hard to get to; above bulkheads, behind unremovable pieces, behind hoses and wires. Like this one. Not only was it above a non-removable piece of the bulkhead, but the hole in the plywood spacer was too small to fit the socket into even after we drilled an access hole. After a little work with a chisel we got the socket on it and removed it.

It took three hours to disassemble the port quarter berth area, two hours to remove the genoa track and two stanchions, and another hour to clean up the mess and put stuff back.

Another problem is that every nut was slathered with goo on the bottom side of the deck. Not only does that make it difficult to get the socket onto the nuts, but it serves no purpose and DOES NOT help to stop leaks. The sealant needs to be on the outside. In fact, if it's on the bottom it only helps to conceal leaks and actually can force the water into the core causing rot.

And we did find some rot along the port genoa track so the Captain removed the fiberglass skin, replaced the wet wood, and fiberglassed it back together.

We've been working on the decks about three weeks now. Above is what it looked like in the beginning, below is how it looks today. Weve filled about a million holes and the Captain is smoothing and fairing now.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Flagler College

aka Ponce de Leon Hotel

The Ponce de Leon Hotel was built by Henry Flagler in 1888 as a winter escape for wealthy Northerners. He and the movers and shakers of the era came here for the three month "Season" from January to April. A season's lodging cost around $4000, which would be $100,000 in today's dollars.
This beautiful four story building boasted many modern amenities for the era; it's own pressure water system, electric lighting, and poured concrete construction. It's Spanish Renaissance Revival facade contains precious works of art including murals by George W. Maynard, windows by Louis C. Tiffany, and ceiling murals by Italian artist Virgilio Tojetti. 

This grand dining room has seen a fascinating sweep of history and on March 31, 1964, the first sit-in of the civil rights movement occured right here. In fact, St. Augustine has a rich history from the civil rights era with many buildings in the Lincolnville neighborhood boasting "Martin Luther King was here" or "an important site in the civil rights movement" on their historical plaques.

This is the ladies' drawing room, furnished much as it would have looked at the turn of the century. The faculty and students at Flagler created some period dresses which are also on display here.
The history of St. Augustine and the legacy of Henry Flagler have been an interesting diversion from working on our boat and we hope you've enjoyed it too.