What the other one has been up to…


One of the cool things I noticed when we started writing was that very few other blogs had two voices consistently providing content. I thought it was great that you could hear from both Michu and I; we have pretty different writing styles, and what we have to say is obviously not the same. But Michu’s been absent from the blog lately. Maybe you’d like to know what he’s been up to?

Since we left the boatyard up the Milwaukee River, Michu has:

  • Connected the solar panels
  • Installed and configured the solar charge controller
  • Wired in and attached the (useless) Wifi antenna
  • Installed a professional-looking loud hailer on the radar arch (doubles as fog horn, not just for yelling at drunk college kids)
  • Installed lifting points in the dinghy
  • Marked the anchor chain
  • Installed a thwart and oars in the dinghy
  • Rigged the dinghy to hoist off the arch
  • Finished installing the autopilot
  • Installed the inverter
  • Fabricated and installed a panel at the nav station with a USB charger, A/C power and our sat phone
  • Installed the sat phone antenna
  • Replaced the drain hose for the galley sink
  • Installed a flag halyard
  • Fabricated and installed a new panel for the automatic bilge pump control panel
  • Wired in a new bilge pump
  • Installed a new high-capacity backup bilge pump
  • Replaced the throttle cables and gear-shift cables for the diesel engine
  • Repaired the diesel engine cooling system after a near-catastrophic failure
  • Caulked the cockpit floor
  • Repacked the stuffing box
  • Fiberglassed repairs to the hand rails
  • Aligned the diesel engine
  • Planed down various cabinet doors to insure latching
  • Tuned the rigging
  • Resealed the lower unit on the outboard
  • Installed a new mirror in the head
  • Changed the oil in the diesel five times
  • Finished installing the remaining LED cabin lights

This doesn’t include the many, many hours of general engine futzing (that’s what the professionals call it), both with our diesel and the now-defunct outboard. It’s also important to keep in mind, too, that everything takes much longer on the boat. There is no running out for the part you’re missing; there’s no setting up the table saw; there’s no leaving your project sitting out until tomorrow—someone probably needs to walk or cook or sleep in that space. If you spill diesel oil, it is a serious disasterville.

We are currently anchored next to a couple who’ve been cruising for almost seven years. They’re very do-it-yourself folks—they built up their boat from a blank hull—and when Michu opined about not yet having things done from his launch list, they laughed. They still have unfinished work, too—things they had felt were important before they left. In the meantime, though, they’ve been all around the Caribbean, to Colombia and to the San Blas.

So that’s what Michu’s been doing, instead of blogging. I would argue that our time overall has been better spent doing this work while we travel; obviously this is easy for me to say, since I’m not doing the work. Michu might argue that his life would have been much easier if we’d left a year later, and he’d been able to get more done while availing himself of certain crazy luxuries like “a car”, or “income” (and yeah, some of these projects have made a noticeable dent in our budget; see: outboard motor). But I’m not sure it would have been easier to pull F out of middle school; T might have had an even harder time leaving his friends. So the work will continue, at anchor or underway, as it does on all cruising boats, and hopefully someday soon, Michu will be able to tell you all about it.

Marking the anchor chain in Manistee. Holy cow, that was a long time ago!

Marking the anchor chain in Manistee. Holy cow, that was a long time ago!

4 Comments on “What the other one has been up to…

  1. Oct. 11 in Duluth is no longer Columbus Day but Indigenous People’s Day, which Mpls has had since 2014. It was a glorious day here, 72 degrees and I played golf. Dennis was especially interested in Michu’s tasks — at least those listed. D has a blood clot in his arm to elbow and is on Xarelto. Love to all.

    • There’s an equally long list of things we still have to do…

      Hope Dennis is ok!

  2. Thank you for the listing of all Michu’s accomplishments. Still… a simple entry on “anything” (e.g., the installation of the solar panels and/or the autopilot, the work on anchor chain, changing the oil on the diesel) would be greatly appreciated by the “readership.”

  3. October 18, 2016
    Hi Michu,
    You are a wonder!
    Sounds like you need a vacation!
    Bert and Ernie would be proud of you.
    I am proud of all of you and very impressed.
    Rebeca says I can call you. Will get the nu amber and try soon.
    Smiles, hugs, so much love,

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