Sunday, April 28, 2013

Can't Stop Repairing Stuff, or finding uses for CorrosionX

Since I have been in Houston I can't seem to stop repairing stuff.  Here is a list of the things I have repaired:

  • Main pool pump (Aaron & Lynn's old house)
  • Pool sweep pump (Aaron & Lynn's old house)
  • Main pool pump (Aaron & Lynn's new house)
  • Pool filter (Aaron & Lynn's new house)
  • Zachary's computer monitor**
  • Bob & Barbara's laptop**
  • Aaron's Hard Drive 4-drive Raid Array**
  • Rewire Aaron & Lynn's new house's network
  • Repair various electrical problems at Aaron & Lynn's new house
  • Repair Aaron's weed eater
  • Repair Aaron's high pressure cleaner (it is broken again)
  • Repair Aaron & Lynn's electric ignition on the kitchen cook-top**

Those things indicated with (**) were repaired using CorrosionX on microscopic corrosion on low voltage connections inside the components.  I first learned about CorrosionX while cruising from a retired computer guy who was anchored near us in the Caribbean.  My problem at the time we met was a 4-year old 12 volt PC that intermittently "Blue Screened."  I asked him to recommend a replacement.  That is when he told me about CorrosionX (  He suggested that I disassemble the PC and coat everything with CorrosionX using a small brush.  He said to be sure that I coated every connection.  I did and the PC is still working with no failures.  Since that time I have used CorrosionX to revive computers, electronic devices and other electrical components.  I have chalked up an 80% success rate and my $15 bottle of CorrosionX has saved me, relatives and friends of mine at least $15,000...1,000 times the investment.

CorrosionX is made by a private company located in Texas.  It is NOT flammable and is not petroleum-based. It is non-conductive, but increases the conductivity of electrical connections.  can be used to stop rust and corrosion on just about anything.  If you are the least bit handy and do not have CorrosionX, you have too much money because you must be able to afford replacing rather than replacing.

Bob Bradford's revived laptop

Filter Repair

Monitor Repair
Raid Array 4 hard drives

My emergency tiny bottle of CorrosionX

Saturday, April 27, 2013

BeBe is moved and we made short trip to East Texas

After some drama (exacerbated because we are such distance from the boat), BeBe has been moved from the hotel dock in Fethiye to the boatyard in Gocek.  Whew!!! Glad that is done!

Our berthing contract ended Monday 15 April, but weather was bad that day and the next so the boat could not be moved until Wednesday.  The guys arrived as scheduled but the starting battery was low; at least that is what we were told via email from another boat owner docked nearby.  But the guy who has been charging the batteries said the problem was that one of the red levers that control the batteries was not in the correct position.  That was corrected and the boat started fine. 

Then the Coast Guard guys from their base dock across the small anchorage directly in front of BeBe stopped the boat from moving.  Guess we should be appreciative that they noticed that local people were manning the boat and checked it out.  The Coast Guard insisted that the boat be cleared out of Fethiye before it could be moved to Gocek.  They said this is the newest procedure; the transit log must be stamped cleared out of Fethiye.  That delayed things so the boat didn't get moved on Wednesday.  Really?  They seriously are going to start making every boat clear in and out of each port?  Bet that doesn't last long.

Weather was bad again on Thursday so moving got delayed again.  Finally, on Friday 19 April Bebe motored the short distance to Gocek.  It was raining hard and winds exceeded 20 kts when she arrived so haul-out was delayed for better weather.   Riza at Emek Marin kindly hosted BeBe at his dock until weather improved.  

This morning we checked with Riza and learned that BeBe is now in the boatyard at D-Marin.  Electricity is plugged in and a battery guy will be out early next week to confirm the batteries are all okay.  Emek Marin is a 3-generation family business.  They have a huge machining facility and can manufacture anything from stainless.  Emek is handling BeBe in our absence and is the Amel authorized service agent and sales agent for Turkey. Riza has been very busy all week because his father had to have surgery in Ankara and Riza is doing his dad's job as well as his own.  We wish his dad speedy recovery from the back surgery.    

D-Marin in Gocek

Note that Turkish is a frugal language when it comes to vowels.  'Marin' is pronounced like the English word marine.  The Turks see no need to include that silent 'e' at the end of the word.  Most words are pronounced exactly as they are spelled. 

Pam inside the well-shaded cockpit
Pam & Larry's boat
One day recently I met my friend Pam for lunch and made a trip down to her boat in Kemah.  She and husband Larry plan to begin cruising next month and have been busy readying the boat for the first leg to Pensacola.  They have the best bimini and shade coverings.  Not going to sunburn in the Caribbean sun.  Hope they have great fun ahead.  Maybe we will meet up somewhere in the Caribbean in 2015.

 Last week we rented a comfortable car for a long drive through East Texas to visit friends. First up was a visit to Nick & Margie Koutroulous.  Nick & Margie were our next-door neighbors from 1978 to 1993.  That was the greatest neighborhood where many friendships just clicked in a way that rarely happens.  There were 6 houses of very close friends who socialized together literally all the time.  We moved away in 1993.  

Shortly afterward Nick retired and they purchased a travel motorhome.  Nick & Margie traveled all over North America from 1994 until 2008, visiting every state at least once and Canada from one side to the other.  A travel motorhome has many of the same systems as a boat, so their 14 years of adventures on land are not dissimilar to our years cruising the sea.One of the frequent social activities enjoyed by all in our old neighborhood were the Sunday morning Bloody Mary(s) with lox and bagels.  Margie surprised us with a taste of the old neighborhood as we enjoyed these delights for lunch.  Just like old times.  Both Nick & Margie looked great.  We wish them many more years of enjoying their home in the rural forest of East Texas.  It is a lovely and peaceful place for retirement.

Leaving Nick & Margie's house we continued north on Hwy 59 and then veered NW towards Athens.  Yes; there is an Athens, Texas.   Some of the names of Texas small towns are distinctive -- like Sour Lake and Gun Barrel.  

Backyard swing at Barbara & Bob's place.
Could there be a more peaceful setting.
The most notable thing one notices driving through the tiny East Texas towns are all the churches; maybe 98% of which are Baptist.  Occasionally we ran across a Methodist church or Assembly of God, and even one Roman Catholic, but by far the vast majority are Baptist.  Usually the smaller the town the more fundamentalist the church congregation.  It really is a different world than most of the USA and deserves its popular name of Bible Belt.

Side drive at Barbara & Bob's going back to
ranch hand's house & horse pastures.
Another thing one notices while driving through East Texas are pastures and pastures of cattle, with a few pastures of horses.   Typically, each pasture will house a single breed of cattle rather than a mixture.  I recognized Angus, Hereford, Charolais, Brangus, Brahmas (Bremmers to us Texans), and even a small herd of Longhorns.  

One pasture puzzled me -- a pasture full of zebras.  Why on earth would someone raise zebras?  What could possibly be the market for zebras?
Barbara & Bob's comfy living room

We arrived at Bob & Barbara's house shortly after sunset.  Barbara has been my friend since we were 4 years old.  This year marks 60 years that we have been friends with one another.  She and Bob downsized several years ago from a large ranch to a small 15-acre spread southeast of Dallas.  

Tiny part of lake

Their home is so relaxing and a pleasant diversion from urban Houston.  It is located near Cedar Point Lake, a large man-made reservoir, a very pretty lake with lots of nice homes built along its shores.  Being located so close to Dallas this must be a popular place for weekend lake homes for people with lots of money to spare.  

The pool house; could be a guest house.

Barbara & Bob have a horse or two; a swimming pool and pool house; a ranch-hand house where their groundskeeper resides; and let neighbors use one pasture to house a mare and young colt.  

The mom
Her full-grown daughter
They also have 3 large dogs and a tiny one, plus a cat -- all of which have free roam of the grounds and the main house.  Made Bill and I wish we could again have a  dog.  But we won't be doing that while living on a boat because it just is not fair to the animal.

Bob cooking dinner

Barbara got stuck w/dishes

We stayed with Bob & Barbara for 4 nights.  Didn't do much except visit and catch up, which is exactly what we wanted to do.  

Bill just standing around

One night they treated us to a lovely dinner at a restaurant 45 minutes away which is owned by some famous Dallas Cowboys football player.  The grounds were lovely and the meal delicious.  

Chef Bob

Another evening Bob donned his chef apron and prepared a wonderful dinner of chicken piccata and linguine.  He doesn't cook often, but when he does it is great.  I plan to attempt to duplicate his recipe once we are back on our boat.

We are again back in Houston and just whiling away time.  Bill continues to improve a tiny bit each day and hopefully soon will be fully back to his pre-surgery physical condition.  We are both anxious to get back to BeBe and start cruising again.
Judy & Bill

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Podcast interview with David Anderson

We recently participated in a podcast interview with David Anderson.  This podcast covered our costs of cruising and some discussion of piracy. Here is a link:

Podcast interview

 Be forewarned, we talked a lot so this podcast is kind of long at slightly over 1 hour.