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, July 1, 2011

more time with the birds

Today we banded pelicans on New Dump Island off of Atlantic, NC in Core Sound.

The concept is the same - pick up the juvenile birds before they mature into flight and place a metal band on their right leg.  Since pelicans are much larger and less agile than the terns we do not use an impoundment, but rather use groups of people to hem in groups of birds.  Once a group is surrounded we wade into the crowd and pick on the birds by the beak.

We banded approximately 250 pelicans.  Anne and our friend Becky joined the team of volunteers today.

If you would like to see additional images from either day of banding here is a link to my picasa web album - Banding Birds in the OBX 2011.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

today's time for boat projects went to the birds

I spent the day today banding Royal and Sandwich Terns at the north end of Core Sound on Wainwright Island. We have participated in this project in the past and are always eager for the opportunity.

Aluminum bands are attached to the juvenile birds before they are able to fly.  The process involves setting up an impoundment pen and herding in the young birds into the pen.

Next, groups of less and 200 birds are then herded into a smaller  pen where the species are separated.  Once identified the appropriate band is attached to the birds right leg.
Today 12 volunteers banded 3000 Royal Terns and 400 Sandwich Terns.  Each band has a unique number.  If you ever find a dead or injured bird with a band on it's leg, then please record the number and report it via www.reportband.gov

More images from the day are available via my picasa web album - banding birds in the OBX 2011. Tomorrow we will be banding pelicans!

Monday, June 27, 2011

juggling boat projects

How many boat projects is too many?

At dawn I, applied the final coat of primer to the starboard side of the kayak hull.  Then Bud and I headed out the the boat yard to remove the windlass.  On the way back from the boat yard we stopped in the machine shop to check on the bobstay repairs. The repair is moving along and should be complete by the end of the week.

Once back and the house, Bud and I began to disassemble the windlass.  The removing the aluminum cover plate on the bottom of the windlass exposed a foul mass of fatigued grease that ranged in color from eft red to toffee tan to aged banana brown.  Salt water corrosion  had breached the plate in a couple spots so Bud volunteered to take the 1/8" aluminum cover home to Mooresville and fabricate a new one.

Lunch time internet research yielded exploded diagrams of the windlass assembly and an supplier in England that sells spare parts for the windlass.  Hopefully no replacement parts will be required.  A couple of the bolts refused to part ways with the windlass body.  Rather that force any fasteners I am attempting to encourage the bolts with afternoon applications of vinegar and an overnight soak in penetrating oil... remember replacement parts must be shipped from England don't want to force anything.

Reaching an impasse with the windlass, I turned my attention back the the head plumbing.  I did not have the time to remove all the valves and fittings from the hoses or the holding tank on Saturday.  So I brought the old hoses, fittings, and tank home to deal with them at a later date. 24 hours of curing in the backyard and the need to deal with cleaning the salvageable parts of our toilet plumbing would no longer be ignored.

A couple hours of removing hoses and scrubbing crevasses yielded the assortment of plumbing hardware pictured above.  The majority of the fittings removed from the plumbing are serviceable.  All the old hose is retired.

As  mid-afternoon thunderstorms begin to rumble, I return my attention to the kayak hull.  Baked in the coastal sun throughout the day, the morning's coat of primer now beckoned.  A session with some 220 grit sandpaper and the hull is ready for tomorrow's application of primer.  

So tomorrow's projects will start at dawn with the application of the final coat of primer on the port side of the kayak hull.

add another project to the list

Part of painting the decks is stripping off deck fittings that will prove difficult to work around.  One such deck fitting is the Sea Tiger 555 windlass.  The windlass is a mechanical winch that assists us in hauling and generally managing the anchor rodes.  Here is an image of the windlass rigged with two rodes as we prepared for Hurricane Earl last summer.
We are very pleased with the windlass and she works well, but judging by the peeling paint some maintenance is due.  The Lovetts were in town to celebrate Anne's birthday so I recruited Bud to assist with  removing the windlass from C'est la Vie's bow.
 Extricating the windlass progressed smoothly.  The only surprise was the existence the second hole in the deck, likely the original  hawse hole for the anchor rode.  We will properly glass in a patch prior to progressing with painting the decks.  Since the hole is covered by the windlass, I'm not too worried about the cosmetics, but structurally I'm not fond of having two large holes in the the foredeck that are less the an inch apart.

My plan is to refinish the cast aluminum windlass body.  This process will likely involve sandblasting.  In preparation for sandblasting the inner gears/mechanism will need to be removed.   Here is an image of the port side of the windlass. 

Being a creature of habit I have created a web album to record the progress of this project - Refinishing the Windlass