Roughing it in TO

On November 06, 2010 In Boat, Captains Log

Jeannie and I have just completed on the Pathfinder at Pier 4 (more or less). Things have been going rather well even if the ship isn’t 100% complete. We now have most of the equipment ready to be installed but we’re still working on wood work. Today I hope to get the galley paneled and with Dad’s help get some electrical run. Although that sounds like a rather large amount of work Dad and I have decided that if we don’t get to it, then we don’t get to it. This week is our week of recovery since the mad rush we did the end of last week (where we did the majority of the wood work, finished 90% of the insulation and vapor barrier installation, and brought Pathfinder across to Pier 4.

Wow. You can really tell this is an early morning post. I’m just meandering all over the place with topics. Whew. Ok. I need coffee…

Back to how it was on board Pathfinder. Most of the time the temperature right now hovers around 20 degrees Celsius in the pilot house which has become our temporary master bedroom until the wood work in the cargo hold is done (right now it’s acting as wood storage and my workshop). The bathroom right now is by far the most insulated place in the entire boat… considering it’s holding onto all the last batons of insulation ready for installation when we have the rest of the framing up for the cargo hold. The galley right now has a picnic table in it along with some of the rest of our miscellaneous gear and kitchen utensils. We hope to have this mostly sorted out say end of next week but we probably won’t drop the mattress down to the cargo hold until the week after some time since next weekend we’re getting our HUGE Wabasto heater for the boat. This new heater will be total overkill for our purposes and is a bit pricey… But at this point a bit of overkill on heat for the coming winter is a good thing :)

Aside from the mess and general disorganized nature we’re living in, Jeannie and I are happy. We have our own space! :D

Pathfinder arrives at its winter home!

On November 02, 2010 In Boat, Captains Log

So Pathfinder made its final journey for the year from Toronto Island Marina to Pier 4 this year. Naturally since this is one of my stories things didn’t exactly go as planned as you can see by the map below of approximately where we went.

View From TIM to Pier 4 in a larger map

First was the break out from TIM that was a bit fun but not overly scary. As some of you know we were hard aground. Thinking back on it we may have been as much as 18 inches into the mud at times so a good portion of our propeller was buried… Mind you with a 40 inch prop that really amounted to a hill of beans really.

We cast off the lines… no movement.
Dad started the engine at low… no movement.
We throttled up higher… no movement.
We maxed it out… It slowly pulled itself backwards into the deeper waters of the middle of the marina. Marginally deeper that is. We were still dragging bottom but only a bit. We had a piling post put in for us for next years dockage which was in our way for turning out (our ship has a huge turning radius) so some of the TIM dock hands help push us around so we could get out easier and then we were off to brave the Deep Channel pass.

“Why ‘brave’ Josh? It’s a deep channel! No problems there right?”

Yaaaa. About that. It’s deep in places but that channel has had freak sand bars pop up with the crazy weather systems pushing the water around. Regardless though we did get out without hitting bottom and kept a decent amount of space beneath us most of the way. Part of the issue is that we don’t have a working depth sounder so we never really know how much water is beneath us at any given point so it’s all done by eye balling the depth (correction: we HAVE a depth sounder… it just doesn’t work well if it works at all). Once we got to the buoys outside of the channel we were in the deep water of the Toronto Harbour area.

There I called up Pier 4 to ask if we had permission to slide right on in since I knew that there was 1 guy that “needed” to get in before us. A bit of back story on that and why we didn’t go into the slip on Friday like we had originally planned because the other vessel needed the space around us to get into his slip for winter (the channel into the marina is just shy of 30 feet across and Pathfinder is a whole 18 feet wide so it makes it a bit tight for anyone to maneuver). That timing worked out well for us anyways so we had no issues. We decided to try maybe for Saturday then… The guy had to reschedule his entry date again due to engine problems. So we said we’d be in early Monday morning… Annnnnnnnnnd so did he. But that he’d be at latest noon… Mind you we got a lot of work done Saturday and Sunday so having a Monday departure was ok. Just the time was getting late especially with me having to work on Monday as well. We call up Pier 4 and the other vessel still isn’t there because he’s getting a pump out across at RCYC. So we end up taking a toddle around the harbour area completing 1 loop.

During this Pier 4 calls again and informs me that they’re STILL not there and that it may be a bit later. So we decided to do yet another loop of the harbour as you can see. At one point we thought we saw the other vessel and did a bit of zig zagging to let him get in front of us so we could just follow him right on in. But when he got closer to Pier 4 he veered to the west and headed for the western gap. Just then Pier 4 called again and said he wasn’t there yet so I called to Dad at helm that we couldn’t come in yet, but Pier 4 interrupted and said to just come in now since it was after noon anyways and the other boat would just have to shuffle in around us. So with some maneuvering we slid right on into our new home at Pier 4 on the western wall just passed the white draw bridge.

Thanks to all that helped out with the journey!
Mom, Dad, my number one gal (you know who you are), Skipper Cheryl, and Mitch!

The merry month of Rushtober

On October 19, 2010 In Boat

As my previous post said I’m not dead yet but there is a lot of stuff going on. To attempt to keep it straight in my head I’m writing down what has transpired over the past month and a bit.

First off since dockage has been secured at Pier 4 for this winter I’ve been given a rough date I have to be in by which is around the 30th of October. Reason for this is how the boats in Pier 4 are arranged to protect each other during the winter seasons. All normal liveaboards are on the West side of the marina on normal docks, the larger more sturdy ships are docked along the concrete wall on the east side effectively blocking the canal entrance for all the vessels. This has the effect of making sure large pieces of ice don’t come into the pier and wreak Titanic like havoc on the fiberglass ships there. The down side of this is that everyone fits in more or less like Tetris pieces and once you’re in you can’t move, plus I have to enter the marina at a specific time to make sure I’m in the right place. In this case I have to be behind a ship called “Challenger” and before a ship called “Kajama” both of which are larger than mine so much more difficult to maneuver than mine. Hence the requirement of getting in at the right time. To finish off the docking dance the entrance to the entire marina is blocked off by the “Empire Sandy” sealing us in for the winter. Since this marina is also closer to condo’s, other small vessels and more hoity-toity places and people we’re not allowed to do any serious construction. So end of this month whatever I have done on board is essentially what will be done for this winter.

So this month is BUSY with finishing the boat really is what I’m saying. As a result instead of having a sitting room in the cargo hold area of the ship it’s being converted into a master suite… sorta… for this winter so that NEXT year we’ll finish it when we’re back at Toronto Island Marina. This is pretty cool anyways since that means the master bedroom/stateroom will have it’s own wood burning fireplace. Not a bad thing in my mind or my girlfriends mind either. :)

On top of all this this month my 1 tooth that was bothering me a bit was joined by a new friend on the other side. BOTH need root canals now. FUN. As a side note to add to all this since they’re both in the molar area I can’t really chew properly so I have to go with more liquid or soupy meals. Needless to say I’ve been losing weight and I’m down to about 165lbs. Not so good but still in the ok range. The down side is that my body is used to taking in more calories so sometimes if I’m in a decent amount of pain I’ll get dizzy while at my desk from lack of food. This should be getting fixed though within 1 or 2 weeks… I hope…

Now on to some other fun I’ve had. My apartment from hell had a lot of drama at the end of last month. Near the end I was informed that since the Land-bastards… errr… Landlords didn’t get my written notice a full 60 days before my leaving date that I have to pay for an extra month. Which in my mind said “Congrats. You have to stay there for November.” so I was ready to stay there for an extra month which worked out well for the whole boat building thing. Then a week before the end of the month they asked “When are you moving out?” which I replied that since they’re forcing me to pay for an extra month the end of that month naturally. They informed me then that they had already rented out the place for the month of October. Since I hadn’t continued to pack since I was going to pay for October this meant I had to rush. I talked to them and said that they had essentially screwed me and to please give me more than 48hrs to move out. But to no avail. So in the end I had to move in 48hrs to my sisters place for this month (Thanks K!) until the boat was finished.

In the end I’m tired, sore, and ready for some R&R. UGH! Well 2 more weeks is all before I will be basically unable to continue work on the boat (except for painting and maybe some minor furniture stuff). The end of this week Jeannie will be here living either on the boat with me or up at my parents place while I bust my buns to finish the boat with my Dad (Thanks Dad!). And then a little madness at the end of the month to move the boat and some madness for Jeannie’s exams come the first week of November (and her B-Day! Don’t think I’ve forgotten hun! :P).

I’ve got my camera with me so I’ll take some more progress photos before I leave tonight and post them here.

I’m not dead yet!

On October 12, 2010 In News

Just a quick post to say that I’m still here. It’s been very busy lately though. I’ve been punted from my apartment thanks to the retardedness of the people that manage the POW Apartment complex, I’ve moved in with my sister temporarily (THANKS K!), the boat is coming along nicely (THANKS EVERYONE THAT HAS HELPED!), I need 2 root canals done, 1 on either side (THANKS ME! :( ), and work as always is nuts but I’m finally caught up just in time to get swamped again. So ya. Not a lot of time to sit down and regale the internet with tales of daring do sadly.

Anyways I’ll post pics, plans and stories later this week when the contractors are back over on Pathfinder again.


On September 21, 2010 In Media, Movies

So I got a request recently to do a quick synopsis of what the heck the movie Inception was about. So below are my thoughts and ideas regarding that movie specifically. Nothing too in depth but regardless I’m testing out the NEW “Spoiler” tag I have for my blog (style of it edited by my friend and owner of Scoopmedia. Look for her link in the links section to the right).

Spoiler Inside SelectShow

So there ya have it. Click on the show or hide button to see it or not. Cheers.

A wild floor plan emerges. It uses simplify. It’s super effective!

On September 10, 2010 In Boat, News

So just a quick update because frankly I haven’t had a lot of time to… you know… sleep. So a bit exhausted.

This past weekend we worked our butts off (Dad and myself) also my Dad worked on the boat (with my Mom) for part of this week as well. A number of things got done including a redesign of the upper floor plan. Before I explain that here’s a cut away of the boat itself and how the ship is more or less laid out.


Ok. The image is REALLY not to scale so don’t get too hung up on that. So in no particular order here are the room’s described:

  • Master Cabin: Basically the master bedroom you’d have in a house. 2 closets, bed side tables, queen sized mattress, and even a little sink.
  • Cargo hold: This is the tiled area from previous posts and will contain the bathroom (shower, toilet, sink etc), a sitting room that will span from port to starboard for about half the length of the cargo hold and can be converted into 2 additional cabins in the future if needed. Currently this has the wood burning fireplace in it. Also this is where the straight stairs come down to a little counter which will have the washer and dryer underneath.
  • Engine room: This has the engine (surprise surprise), the fuel tanks (500 gallons in each tank), the batteries, generator etc. A future plan for this is to get rid of the engine and put it into the Lazaret (different type of engine known as a Volvo Zeus Pod Drive System) and changing this entire space into a much larger master cabin and larger master bath, leaving the existing ones as a spare cabin and guest bath. Nice huh?
  • Lazaret: Currently a cargo hold and where the steering gear is.
  • Pilot House: Primarily where you steer the ship from but with the modifications we’ve done we’ve made it much larger and usable as a living room that happens to have a steering station up front and a dynamite view from the top.
  • Galley: The kitchen and dining room area (Stove top, oven, microwave, dish washer etc etc).

So the floor plan changed as to where the galley was going to go versus where it is now. The old plan we were trying to put the galley up behind the steering station in the pilot house. Which would be handy on long cruises (like REALLY long cruises) but ridiculously hard to put there with the size and space limitations. My Mom and Dad came up with the idea of why not put it where the living room was going to go where there’s a bit more space, closer to all the plumbing, AND we can use a rubberized tile in there as a nonslip surface that can take a bit of a beating (shoes from outside with the whole winter thing coming up would be hard on any other type of material we put down).

So ya. THAT’S the NEW plan. Also we figured out the final way to do the walls easiest so that may be started on this Sunday.

I may also have secured winter dockage… But it may be a bit tight to get in there. I won’t relay too many details now just to not get my hopes up too much. But it is looking good.

Thanks again to my Dad and Mom for all their help!

The weekend that wouldn’t DIE!!!

On August 16, 2010 In Boat, News

Hey! How’s it been? What did you do on your weekend? Good good. Watched TV? Nice… Anything good on? No? Sounds fun. Mine? WELL. Let me tell you about mine.

Overall it was a good weekend. Got some work on the boat done but not as much as we had planned thanks to mother nature turning on the broil setting with the weather. Regardless though we got the stairs back down and fastened at the top. We also figure out how we’re going to do the master cabin (the flooring in there currently would have been too… tedious… to do with wood and foam so instead we’re going to level it up with concrete and plywood on top of that. WAY easier), rearranged the galley design and figured out how we’ll do the flooring.

Sounds pretty typical up to this point right?

Well Saturday we started hearing some overly loud music coming from Center Island, some concert was going on, which is fine and all but was a bit annoying. Sunday rolls around and that concert became a LOT annoying. We spent a great deal of Sunday filing a police report. Ya. Some drunks stole one of my life rings off my boat which sounds like no big deal until you know their price (like $200 easily). But I wasn’t the only one it seems. There was a few paddles stolen, and one of the marina’s boats. What they figure happened is a couple drunken morons missed the last ferry and decided it’d be a good idea to steal a boat and get back to the main land. So ya. Fun.

After that we secured the boat a bit better and called it a day since it was getting late and the temperature was insanely hot and humid.

To top it all off the day that wouldn’t end continued… cuz it’s never ending and stuff right? *sigh*

I had (emphasis had) an issue with one of my 2 AC units in my apartment. 1 was leaking water because the humidifier to get rid of the water it accumulated from cooling couldn’t compete with the humidity that we’re suffering through right now. We solved that Saturday night with a large plastic bin under it. So last night at 12:30am the landlord bangs on my door to inform me that the tenants below have a drip coming from their ceiling. So I’ve disengaged 1 AC in light of that despite the fact that my floor is dry now and no more water leaks. Part of the weird thing is that they wanted me to go down and look to see the drip. Which is weird because all I’d be able to say is “Yup. That’s a drip.” Anyways they were supposed to talk to me today regarding that but I haven’t received a call yet. That’s more or less what I figured would happen so I had preemptively setup a webcam to monitor the door. Lets see what pics I have tonight. Hopefully nothing. But who knows.


The day I got called a filthy name by a smelly man

On August 11, 2010 In Weird People

Note: To my readers. I do apologize for the below article. It is rather sharp in wording and not up to the quality I expect from myself. I’m not going to delete it however, as it is a reminder to me to not write this sort of article while I’m having a bad week and generally I’m in a bad mood. That being said, however, my next post may be a bit of a rant as I’ve had one hell of unique weekend.

– Josh

So I was told recently that I hadn’t done a Weird People post lately. Which isn’t to say that I haven’t run into some weird people but I’ve been very busy with the boat, work, life, etc. I do in fact have a few posts that are 1/2 written just not posted yet. Anyways as I was saying I have run into a few interesting folks lately.

The last one I saw lately was when my Dad and myself took the contractors that did my tiling out to dinner at a restaurant called the Watermark. While we were sitting there a lady that you could smell before you saw staggered a bit on up to our table and asked an innocent enough question which was if she could sit with us. Now first off before people say “Awwh why didn’t you let her sit there?” there’s a few things you have to know about this lady:

  1. She smelled rather bad
  2. She was drunk out of her skull
  3. We saw the fake plants in the restaurant wilt near where she had been
  4. After we turned her away she tried to get other people to buy her more drinks
  5. Did I mention she kinda reeked?

So needless to say we said “No we’d rather not.” She tried to change our minds by saying she was from the country and tried acting “cute” I suppose… or spastic… Could’ve been both… But ya. So to add to the awkwardness she went back to her seat and glared at us for the next hour until she was escorted out blind drunk to pass out on the bench in the mall there. Fun times.

Next up on this retelling of people I’ve met was one that happened today. Homeless dude wandering around in the PATH tried to scoot around the lunch entourage claiming “He was on his way for business.” after growling at me. Full out growl just under his breath. Normally this would be the end of the story but he happened to continue our way and he was met by… an automatic door. This particular door is opened with a proximity sensor on the wall that you just wave your hand in front of for wheelchair access. He decided to start pounding on it. Despite the fact that the door was already open and had been for several minutes prior to his arrival. Ahhhh people.

Now the last person. This one got rather offensive but in unexpected ways. The office I work at had a cruise with the entire floor lots of fun was had by all (no photos sorry). After getting off the boat one of the guys I work with and I went for a quick walk to talk about boats (he found out about my “little” vessel and wanted to hear more). In comes the homeless smiley dude… or rather the normally homeless smiley dude. He kinda of Mr.Hyde’d out apparently that day and was very aggressive to many people. He demanded money from us or he’d bust in our teeth and other forms of bodily violence… Then called me a… Well… Derogatory term for an African American. Which is funny for 2 reasons. One is that clearly this marketing strategy of getting people to give him money wasn’t working to his advantage at all and I later found out he tried this on everyone that got off the cruise. Second if you know me I’m whiter than rice. I’m so white that Ray Charles complains about the glare off of any skin I actually bare to the sunlight.

So ya. That’s some of the fun from recently.

Tile progress on the boat

On July 29, 2010 In Boat, News

I meant to post this earlier but a lot of work has gone into the boat lately. Also with work being nuts as it is I haven’t really had any decent time to sit down and finish the load of 1/2 finished blog posts I have stashed away (most notably the next day in the article series on my trip from Eastport to Toronto). Anyways here’s a photo of the boat cargo hold before:


And here’s the after pregrouting


And here’s a series of the tiled cargo hold from in the cargo hold looking in various directions.

Excavation in the Pathfinder

On July 20, 2010 In Boat

Just a quick update on the boat progress now. The new hatch in the concrete floor has been cut and the concrete removed with GREAT difficulty and the wood for the walls for the master bath has been fastened to the floor. We’re now ready for tiling which starts this Wednesday. This weekend I’m taking off because I’m absolutely wasted and to giving the tiling and grouting some timing to finish hardening. The next big jobs are to put the walls up and run the wiring for the cargo hold along with clearing out the V-Birth to get ready for reno’s in there too.

HUGE thanks to my parents and my sister for all their help. I guess I’ll be doing slave labour for a few years now huh? :P

I’ll post photos of the work once I get back tonight.

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