C'est la Vie is a 1966 Charlie Morgan 34.

Her home port is Everglades City, FL. Our typical cruising area is Southwest Florida, the Florida Keys, the Southeastern Atlantic Seaboard, and the Bahamas. We are C'est la Vie's third owners and purchased her in 2005. We continue to maintain and update this classic vessel. Please post any questions or comments about C'est la Vie or our travels via the comment links below.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Summer projects - where to start?

I've come to realize that boat yards are dirty places.  With inevitable steel cutter on your port side griding out some rust and the fiberglass cruiser to your starboard sanding on bottom paint, your dear vessel is destine to be covered in foul dust.  So my practice is to throughly wax all painted surfaces and polish all metal as soon as the keel settles onto the blocks.  With a fresh coat of wax most of the dust will disappear after a simple fresh water rinse.

Painting the deck and topsides is one of our summer projects so the last thing I want on those surfaces is a fresh coat of wax.  This cut down surface area needing attention.  I have knocked out waxing the hull and polishing the steel in the last couple days.

Now I'm turning my attention projects that will require outside contractors / labor.  Starting from the bottom up, I removed the rudder shoe this afternoon so that the bushing that keeps the rudder fitting snugly in the shoe can be replaced.  In the image included I am pointing to the bushing.
 The "play" created by wear on this high density plastic bushing can be felt in the tiller. As the bushing continues to wear the play can be heard in the hull in rough seas.  We last replaced this bushing in summer 2006.  So it looks like a 5 year life span.  Last time I only had the shop make one bushing.  This time around I'm going to have the shop make a few of the bushings.

Fortunately, I've never had difficulty removing the shoe which on C'est la Vie is held in place by four 1/4 inch bronze machine screws.  The screws pass through a solid fiberglass section of the keel and into threads on the opposite side of the shoe.  The screws are set in opposition with two heads on each side.  It is important to snugly block out the rudder so that when the shoe is removed the full weight of the rudder assembly is not hanging from the fittings above.   The image to the right is of the hull with the shoe removed. Moving left to right (forward to aft) are the four pilot holes for the bronze screws, the rudder stock, and the wood used to block up the rudder.

My plan is to take the shoe into the machine shop along with a measurement of the diameter of the rudder stock (1" on C'est la Vie) and have them machine the new bushing plus a couple spares.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Back at Bock - a pleasant homecoming.

After a 3 year absence from Bock Marine we returned for a summer haul out.  Kenny, Dale, and Randy all remember us from our previous summers.  Is it a good thing or a bad thing that the staff remember a particular boat/crew?  The re-acquaintances made us feel very welcome.  We have always had great service at Bock and recommend it to others.  Our only complaint in the past was the dingy bathrooms and lounge area. No more, well maybe a week more.  The yard has a brand new lounge / bathroom building that will hopefully receive it's final inspection this week.

Everything went smoothly with the hauling and blocking.  Here is an image of C'est la Vie's waterfront property for the summer.
She is looking out over the ICW along Core Creek.  The highway 101 bridge is visible in the distance on the right.

Once the dust settled around the blocks and jack stands, I cleaned the boat.  Paul from Omar Sailmakers came by to measure the rigging for our new genny and furling system.  We also discussed adding a Strong Track to the mainsail.  Projects, Projects.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What happens when you leave the hook down for 30 days in Taylors Creek?

Barnacles happen. 

Anne and I knew it would take awhile to clean the the two, 80' sections of rode that hold C'est la Vie to the two anchors dutifully clinging to the bottom of Taylor's Creek.  We underestimated the task at hand.

Step one - Jeff jumps overboard with a scrub brush and scrubs off the furry and slimy stuff while Anne uses the windlass to haul up the rode.

Step two - Jeff uses a flat bladed screw driver to pick the barnacles off each link one by one as the rode is feed back into the water.

Step three  - Repeat steps one and two on second rode.

Well after 5 hours of scrubbing, hauling, scrapping, releasing,  and re-hauling rodes we finally get underway to Bock Marine.

We had planned to haul out in the afternoon. Our 16:15 arrival is too late in the day to start a haulout so we tie up to the dock and will return in the morning.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Day paddle over to Codd's Creek

C'est la Vie remains on the hook in Taylor's Creek.  Our plan is to haul her next week and begin to attack our list of summer projects.

Anne is working in Beaufort at both Tierra Fina and Handscapes Gallery.  Handscapes is also displaying and selling Anne's jewelry - Ag Lovett Designs. Anne has hit the ground with her feet running.  

Since arriving in Beaufort, on April 30, yesterday was the first day we both had and entire day off together.  After a leisurely morning of breakfast and Scrabble, yes Anne won.  We loaded up a tandem kayak and paddled over to Codds Creek on South Core Banks.
We launched from Marshallberg, NC and fought a strong headwind for the 2.5NM crossing to South Core Banks.  This is our first visit to Codds Creek in three years.  The dock along the sound side is missing some lower steps, but the landing and approach to the beach remains unchanged. 

Arriving on the ocean side, I was pleased to find the picnic shelter still standing.  I believe this is the last remaining shelter.  I enjoyed a swim in the ocean while Anne soaked up sun on the beach.