CapnRehab’s windsurfer is operational

I purchased a windsurfer on craigslist.  It is really old and missing a mast, so I got it for $50.  It sat around on my back porch and remained on my “I should do” list for the last few months.   I figured I should go ahead and get the mast before I move, because parts may be harder to find up in the fridid north Maryland.

Last weekend when I flippedsailed the catamaran I finally had one guy look at my sail and the fitting that connects the mast to the board.  He said come by the shop and he could set me up with a mast and modify the connector for $400.  ouch!   I needed to find an alternate source

Yesterday was “Get a windsurfer mast” day.  I headed over to WaterSportsWest and talked to the owner Steve.

watersports west

watersports west

Steve was great!  He spent about an hour and a half showing me different options and setting up the board to go.  His guess was that this board is from the late 80’s to early 90’s.   I used to have one I got sometime in ’82 or ’83.  This one looks a lot like it.  So I got all rigged up for $260.  I got a mast,  a mast base with extension, a connector to hook the base to the board, a boom and sail battens.  What a difference in attitude from the other guy.  If you’re in St. Pete and need to buy or rent anything for water sports, this is the place to go.  They’ll even deliver rentals.

Since it is Florida and of course Sunny and warm I decided to take it out sailing.

Since my backyard is a beach on Boca Ciega Bay, I went there.

2012-11-17 16.25.08 Colorful sail

2012-11-17 16.25.08 Colorful sail

2012-11-17 16.21.18 CapnRehab Sailing a windsurfer

2012-11-17 16.21.18 CapnRehab Sailing a windsurfer

Sailing a windsurfer for the first time in almost 30 years!  It was harder than I remembered!

2012-11-17 16.30.34 returning to shore

2012-11-17 16.30.34 returning to shore

For some reason, it felt like I needed to stand way forward on the board.  You can see in the picture above that my left foot is in front of the mast and my right foot is just behind it.  But the board has foot straps for the right foot that are way back near the end of the board.  I haven’t quite figured that one out.

2012-11-17 16.22.19 Sailing

2012-11-17 16.22.19 Sailing

Here is a video – not that impressive but it’s me on a windsurfer.

And after the water fun, it was time to relax on the beach with  my favorite adult beverage and watch the sunset.  After dark we even had a campfire.

2012-11-17 17.27.39 Sunset

2012-11-17 17.27.39 Sunset

2012-11-17 17.37.53 Boca Ciega Sky

2012-11-17 17.37.53 Boca Ciega Sky

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Non-boat rehab

As I mentioned in the last post, CapnRehab has been busy doing non-boat things.  Last weekend’s adventure was replacing front brakes and rotors on a 2003 Toyota Sequoia.  Here is the repair in progress:

2003 Toyota brake and rotor repair

2003 Toyota brake and rotor repair

I had to remove a support screw clamping down the brake line.  It broke.  Guess what?  When I did the other side, it broke too!  Thank you so much Toyota Engineers!   I drilled out the remnants of the screw (it only took 3 drill bits.  apparently you should drill slow and use some kind of oil – how are you supposed to know this stuff?)    Sorry I don’t have finished product pictures, but partially complete will have to do.

broken screw

broken screw

drilling out the broken screw

drilling out the broken screw

brake pads installed

brake pads installed

Also, I’m sad to say that little red, the “little lawnmower that could” is out of commission.  His drive belt broke.  There are two, the one shown in the picture didn’t break, but you can see it isn’t looking too good, so I decided to replace them both.

Little Red Drive Belt

Little Red Drive Belt

Unfortunately, I didn’t complete the job.  Although Mrs. CapnRehab searched through the bin at Home Depot and actually found the replacement, I couldn’t get it on the driveshaft.  It looks like I’ll have to remove the drive belt pulleys, slip on the belt and then put the pulleys back on.   I did find a video on youtube showing how to do it but it does seem a bit much.

Removing a pulley from a briggs and stratton motor

It goes against my grain, but I may have to pay to have it done.  That sure is a slippery slope.  Next thing you know I’ll be paying someone to change the oil in my truck…. wait a minute – I already do that!

Happily things are back to normal (sort of) so here is a Boca Ciega Bay sunset picture for your enjoyment.

2012-05-03 Boca Ceiga Bay Sunset

2012-05-03 Boca Ceiga Bay Sunset

Boat School tag along and being checked out on boat handling!

Sunday I cruised over to BCYC to see if I could tag along with the boat school folks.  At first it looked like they would be full, but there was 1 spot open and they said I could go along.  (1 experienced boat captain and 2 students per boat) It was the final day of boat school, and the students were being tested to see if they could take out a boat on their own.    Test consisted of tacking, jibing, beating upwind, going downwind, man overboard and docking.   We both passed, so now I am qualified to take it out with me as the captain.  These boats are designed so that they really need two people to operate, so I’ll still be looking for people to go with – but they don’t have to be club members.  Also, I still can’t go as captain until I’m a full member.

No pictures of sailing, but I did go home and watch a sunset with some Zataran’s jambalaya and a cold Michelob Ultra.  This one was cloudy with no red at all.  I bet tomorrow’s weather won’t be that great.

2012-03-31 Cloudy sunset

2012-03-31 Cloudy sunset

Before sunset I took my fins, snorkel and swim goggles and went for a little swim.  Unfortunately, like most of the gulf, the water is muddy and visibility was about 4 inches.  I don’t think I’ll be doing that again.  Snorkeling will have to wait till I get back to the Caribbean.

Last little detail – I got stung by something  in the grass as I came in from snorkeling.  My big toe is swollen a little, but it won’t impact sailing any.  I probably stepped on a bee.

Safety tip – wear foot protection when walking in grass in the spring.

Fishing – round 2

A friend from work and I went fishing this evening near the Gulfport Marina.  It was a great evening, quite relaxing.  There is an inlet for the marina from the bay, and you can fish from the shore all along the inlet. One thing I like about the bay is that there is lots of wildlife around, especially birds.

2012-03-23 Great Blue Heron

2012-03-23 Great Blue Heron

Isn’t google wonderful?  I didn’t know before I uploaded it what kind of bird this was.

When we first got  there, we tried going on the Clam Bayou side of the inlet, but WOW, the no-see-ums were biting like crazy.  I borrowed some bug spray from another fisherman there, but it wasn’t enough.  We left pronto.

While there, I watched yet another beautiful sunset over Boca Ciaga Bay.

2012-03-23 Boca Ciega Bay Sunset

2012-03-23 Boca Ciega Bay Sunset

On the way to go fishing I stopped at Walmart and got a few things.  A bait bucket, an ice chest, beer for the ice chest and a CAST NET!  I’ve been wanting one of these for a while.  Can’t wait to use it.  Expect a post about that soon!

All I had for bait was some frozen fish pieces I kept from the last fishing adventure to Fort Desoto.  I’ve heard the fish are going for greenbacks now (Whatever they are) and live shrimp.  Not having either of those, I went with the frozen fish.  And I caught 3 fish.  I’m wondering if they were all the same catfish that kept coming back.

2012-03-23 Caught a fish!

2012-03-23 Caught a fish!

I don’t know if you can eat salt-water catfish, but I tossed all these back.

On a side note, the guy with me didn’t catch a thing – not that I’m competitive at all.

 

Kayak adventure

I went kayaking today.  Until I get a waterproof camera, I’ll not be able to post any action pictures.  I did take a picture of the kayak though.

kayak

kayak

It has a nice feature.  There is a rudder at the back of the boat that drops down into the water (it’s in the up position in the picture) and helps stabilize the direction the kayak goes.  It keeps you from doing that wobbly back and forth motion as you paddle.

I went out for a couple of hours and visited Clam Bayou right near my condo.   It turns out that Clam Bayou has LOTS of clams.  Pretty unexpected huh?

It was very peaceful.  I’m definitely going to have to go back with fishing gear.  For my first time in a Kayak I didn’t want to overload myself.  I had all sorts of worries.  Like, “If the wind starts blowing too hard, will I be able to get back?”, and “If the tide goes out and the water gets too low, will I have to walk back and drag the kayak across the mud in my bare feet?”.   It’s tough doing something new by yourself.  Fortunately, I used to teach canoeing at Boy Scout camp, so paddling was not an issue.

I floated out in the bay and watched the sun drop towards the horizon until I could see the sun was about to set.   It was a nice excursion.

2012-03-20 sunset

2012-03-20 sunset

Busy Weekend Part 2 – St. Pete Boat Show

So Sunday morning I scooted over to St. Pete to check out the boat show.  The St. Pete boat show is held in Tropicana stadium in the heart of St. Petersburg.  The stadium is a large landmark visible from the freeway as you come into downtown.

Tropicanna Stadium

Tropicana Stadium

Here is a sure sign that Americans are losing their grip.

Parking $5

Parking $5

My phone camera probably doesn’t show the details well, but here is a picture I took just as I pulled out of my FREE parking spot on the street right in front of the stadium.  It shows parking attendants charging $5 to go to the FREE admission boat show.  Notice there is a line of cars waiting to pay up so they don’t have to walk about 300 yards to the show entrance.  CapnRehab RUNS 3 miles when he goes out for exercise.   There is no way he is going to pay to save walking 300 yards!  (Notice here that CapnRehab is becoming comfortable with talking about himself in third person. He just may quit using first person altogether – or maybe I won’t)

There were also some nice folks from the U.S. Coast Guard auxilliary there and I found out they offer lots of safe boating courses, so I added that to my mental list of things to check out.

Inside the “boat” show, I found lots of power boats, but NOT ONE SINGLE SAILBOAT!!!!!

I think it would have been courteous of them to say it was a motor boat show and saved me a trip.

No Sailboats!

No Sailboats!

They did have several booths selling fishing supplies, so I picked up a couple of sets of hooks, and something called a Sabiki rig.  This is like a little Christmas tree of hooks and artificial bait designed to catch bait fish.

Sabiki Rig

Sabiki Rig

When I was on the fishing pier Saturday a guy told me about them and the very next day I find some on sale!  My total purchases and $$ spent at the boat show was $4 for two sets of hooks and two sabiki rigs.  I’ll keep you posted on how using the rig goes.

As a parting gift, here is a photo of another sunset on Boca Ciega Bay.  Notice the little sailboat with sails up that just went in front of the sun going from left to right.  It’s a hunter 16.5 and is one of the Boca Ciega Yacht Club boats that I expect to be sailing on soon.  Tuesday night races are supposed to start up again now that daylight savings time has started.  Enjoy!

Sunset on Boca Ciega Bay

CapnRehab is a Floridian again!

I am happy to report that my move to Florida has turned out pretty well.  It didn’t go so great at first.  The boat I thought I was going to stay in turned out to be a dump, and I almost called the whole thing off and headed back to Maryland.  However, I did finally find a nice condo to rent.  The great thing is that it’s on the water.  I live in St. Petersburg now, on Boca Ciega Bay.  Here is a view from my backyard at sunset.  It’s kind of strange here.  If you ever saw the Nicholas Cage/Meg Ryan movie City of Angels, there is a scene where all the angels come out and watch the sunrise (or set, I don’t remember which).  Well, they (people, not angels) do it here for the sunset.  Folks bring out their lawn chairs, sit on benches, and just hang around watching the sun go down.  It’s kind of zen actually.  I recommend it.

2012-02-27 Sunset on Boca Ciega Bay

2012-02-27 Sunset on Boca Ciega Bay

I took care of an abomination today.

Maryland Plates on the truck, argh!

Maryland Plates on the truck, argh!

Now it’s back the way it should be.

Florida plates on the truck,  ahhhh...