Aboard Astraea

Invest in experiences, not things

What a pretty view, just minutes from industrial National City
What a pretty view, just minutes from industrial National City

Another work week on Astraea

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Another busy week full of projects! Monday we went to our second birthing class at Best Start Birth Center. We learned about the signs of labor and when to call the midwife. We practiced supportive coping movements and positions for labor. We were also introduced to some things to pack when it’s time to go to the birth center.

My editor (Natalie) told me that I need to write about topics and not chronologically because I jump around from topic to topic. Here I go.

Eric installing the powder coated dorade vent

Eric installing the powder coated dorade vent

The portlight project has progressed well. Natalie picked the finished portlights and dorade vents from El Dorado Sandblasting on Monday . The portlights looked beautiful and white, and the dorade vents had a shiny new red interior. The price was reasonable too, only $425 for sandblasting and powdercoating 25 pieces. There were a few places where the sandblasting had eaten away at the corroded aluminum of the portlights. There was some pitting and a couple small holes where the metal was completely gone. We used some white MarineTex epoxy putty to fill the holes, and they’ll be covered by gasket material they won’t be visible.

I’ve been doing a lot of work preparing the outside of the cabin for painting with help from Eric of Coconutz. We’ve been filling cracks with MarineTex epoxy putty and sanding it down. My friend, Erick (from my first ship USS Juneau), came over  to help roll primer on Saturday. It took about two hours, and we got the whole area around the portlights primed.

Now that the aluminum portlight frames are powder coated the original glass pieces won’t fit in. We went to San Diego Plastics and decided to have them make new acrylic panes for the portlights and windows in the navigation station and master stateroom.

Natalie working on the wood window trim pieces on the dock

Natalie working on the wood window trim pieces on the dock

We’ve also been working on the window trim pieces. They’re wood and the outside pieces have lots of varnish on them. We removed most of the varnish by using scrapers and sandpaper. It took Natalie and I four hours to remove all the varnish from the big window trim pieces sanding by hand.

Chuck, Erick and Natalie removing varnish from window trim pieces

Chuck, Erick and Natalie removing varnish from window trim pieces

We moved the operation off the dock on Saturday and up to the picnic tables so we didn’t get varnish shavings and sawdust on the recently painted primer. Jan and Chuck from Wind Watcher came by with their groceries and Chuck recommended we use an electric sander to save time. He came by to help and we had a team of four people working on the trim pieces. We finished the rest of the trim pieces for seven portlights in about four hours! It was like an assembly line – Chuck and Natalie were scraping, Erick was rough sanding and I was fine sanding and keeping track of the trim pieces. They’re separated by window so the old screw holes will line up. Thanks for the help guys! What a timesaver!

Natalie and Koku are ready for a walk

Natalie and Koku are ready for a walk

It hasn’t been all work, just mostly work. Natalie and I have been able to take Koku on a walks down the jetty to chase the tennis ball and burn off some extra energy.

Natalie cutting a quesadilla I grilled

Natalie cutting a quesadilla I grilled

From the galley: We have giant burrito tortillas and made quesadillas on the grill. All you have to do is fill the tortilla with cheese and anything else tasty. We used leftover chicken and pork tenderloin. Then fold over and wrap up with foil. Have the grill on low and lay the quesadilla flat. Wait two minutes then flip and cook for another two minutes. Let the hot cheese cool down a little bit and it’s dinner time!

What a pretty view, just minutes from industrial National City

What a pretty view, just minutes from industrial National City

Our marina is in National City, just outside of the industrial port areas. There are machine shops, car terminals and military contractors all within a mile of us. The only loud noises we get are from the trains coming in to load up the cars. It really is peaceful and pretty place considering everything that’s around us.

Comment

2 Comments

  1. So glad you have such nice friends to help you with this project! I was going to call and have you send those pieces to us to sand for you … I knew we could do them with some power equipment and a little elbow grease much faster than you were getting them done! Glad that part of the project is done! Hugs to all of you (including all your helpers!)

  2. There is a homeless guy trying to steal the dorade off your boat! You really ought to teach koku to be a better guard dog.

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