Month In Review: April 2020

Wednesday, 4/1/2020 – We woke up hoping for some “April Fools!” headlines about this whole coronavirus situation, but, no such luck. Eager to get things checked off our to-do list, Josh got started on tearing the boat apart pretty early, working on creating a new panel so that we can add some additional monitoring readouts.

Thursday, 4/2/2020 – We braved the chaos for a quick trip to pick up some groceries and household supplies from Walmart and Giant. No hoarding here, but, we do need to continue working on stocking our “new” pantry on the boat with staples that will keep us cooking on the boat instead of spending money on eating out all the time. We also learned that our adventure had been featured in Josh’s work’s company newsletter. Pretty cool, but, definitely a reminder that there wasn’t much closure on our departure from the Central PA area…We’re anxious for the coronavirus chaos to die down so that we can say proper “see ya laters,” in person, to a lot of people.

Friday, 4/3/2020 – Josh was busy today, installing our battery monitor and bilge high water alarm. The weather was pretty unsettled all day, heeling us over to our port side most of the day. In the midst of installing our new parts and doing some laundry on the boat, we determined that we’ve got a pretty significant propane leak. No worries, as our propane bottles are now empty so they can’t leak anymore. Time to source some parts! Mid-afternoon, I decided to make pudding and stick it in the fridge to set up. We hadn’t realized we had been heeled over at the dock so much all day until I got the pudding out of the fridge in the evening and noticed that it set up, leaning significantly toward one side of the container. Crooked boat pudding was pretty tasty!

Saturday, 4/4/2020 – We packed up a few small things in the early afternoon and headed back to our previous “refugee camp” for the weekend, since Josh had some things to take care of in the Central PA area. We treated ourselves to Taco Bell and homemade rootbeer floats!

Who knew we’d end up wearing these buffs to set foot inside a grocery store?!

Sunday, 4/5/2020 – The dog and I hung out at our refuge camp while Josh took care of earning his Emergency First Response Instructor certification. (One more step toward Josh becoming an Open Water Scuba Instructor!) In a moment of “I’ve got so much time on my hands, I should embark on a new project,” I decided to take advantage of some of one of the coronavirus “freebies” and enrolled in a free, online, 11-week “enrichment” class with Central Penn College. Back to school, back to school, I’m getting too old for this shit and it’s not cool!

The dog has no problem adjusting to changing environments, as long as he has a bed and a blanket.

Monday, 4/6/2020 – A big day of boat work around Moxie! We installed a monitor mount at the navigation desk to help with working remotely. We installed an additional outlet by the bed so I can charge stuff throughout the night (and play Candy Crush in bed without my phone dying). We installed boat hook holders on deck (after which I promptly lost the end of the boat hook in the water). We also ordered new house batteries (2 – 200ah Renogy AGM batteries) and took the nice weather opportunity to fill our water tanks, though we had done pretty well on water consumption and the tanks weren’t empty.

Tuesday, 4/7/2020 – We took advantage of the rainy morning to inventory spare boat parts onboard and make a user-friendly spreadsheet that, hopefully, will serve us well in the future. We also took a quick trip to Walmart to pick up 2 new propane tanks to replace the old, severely corroded tanks that were original to the boat. Despite Josh’s concerns, the new propane tanks fit into our propane locker perfectly so we saved $300+ by replacing our old aluminum propane tanks with the new steel ones. HURRAY! We got the new tanks filled and even hit the jackpot when the filling station got rid of the two old tanks for us, too.

Wednesday, 4/8/2020 – Things started with a duck loudly landing on our windshield this morning. I’m convinced that she was spreading the “it’s going to be a beautiful day!” vibes, because it was a beautiful day! We loaded up in the truck to head to take care of some errands before we came back to the boat and got busy installing our Kato Marine davits that we’ve had since the 2019 fall sailboat show. They look GREAT! We’ve been trying hard to make only essential purchases and be mindful of our unemployed status but, tonight, we splurged for pizza and ate it in the cockpit to end the first beautiful day of our liveaboard life.

Saturday, 4/11/2020 – We took care of some more errands to prepare our solar panels for installation and pick up rum, of course. The local auto parts store was giving away free loaves of bread, so, we monopolized on that opportunity, too. We spent the rest of the day wrapping the edges of the solar panels in auto door edging to prevent chafe, cleaning the filter in our washer / dryer which probably hasn’t been cleaned in 17 years and enjoying some deviled eggs that Josh whipped up.

Sunday, 4/12/2020 – Easter this year was our first holiday on the boat and it was pretty great! Before we left Pennsylvania, my mom put together an Easter box and sent it with us, for us to open, in lieu of Easter baskets, on Easter morning. The Easter box was great and reupped our snacks onboard. (Thanks, mama! It was a great idea!) Later in the day, we welcomed our former refugee camp members to the boat and ate way too much Easter dinner smorgasbord from The Jetty on the boat.

Monday, 4/13/2020 – The wind was OUT OF CONTROL today! We rode out the stormy weather for a while before we vacated the boat after 16 hours of rocking, rolling, hobby-horsing and bashing in our slip, eager for some solid ground and refuge from the South winds that were hitting us straight on the nose. It’s the first time ever that I think I started to get motion sick – head was spinning, difficult to focus eyes on anything – but it went away after we left the boat. We spent the day taking care of some picking things up in Annapolis. Once we returned to the boat in the afternoon, the weather had transformed to sunshine, bluebird skies and little to no wind. We were definitely thankful for a peaceful night’s sleep.

Tuesday, 4/14/2020 – I spent hours on hold, fighting with Home Depot regarding a refund for the poor service and hassle associated with the purchase, damage and reorder of the batteries for our battery bank. After the test in patience, we ended up saving $150 on our new Renogy 200ah AGM batteries and agreed that we would avoid using Home Depot for any future purchases. Josh also spent some time working on servicing the winches, which badly needed the attention.

Wednesday, 4/15/2020 – Since the morning was pretty calm and peaceful weather, we finally put our jib back up since taking it down for winter storage. We also got the spinnaker out of the back of the car and moved onboard. In preparation for installing our solar panels, we installed Loxx fasteners on the panels so we’ll be able to mount them directly to our dodger and connector. Josh broke out the grill this evening for our first burgers of the year on the boat. Spring must be coming!

Thursday, 4/16/2020 – We started the day by plotting the installation of a second water filter to enhance our onboard drinking water. A quick trip to Walmart and Lowe’s to procure parts (and some dog comforts) and we had everything we needed. Josh made quick and simple work of installing the water filter and it’s working great! We spent the evening eating bacon and working. A pretty damn good life!

Friday, 4/17/2020 – I worked while Josh installed our bow board to secure our gas jugs and gave the grill a thorough cleaning. Our new water pump arrived mid-afternoon and we went to work installing it. We’ve got crazy good water pressure now!

Saturday, 4/18/2020 – Today started off as a rainy morning and our third attempt at replacing our old propane hose onboard. We ended up returning the third replacement propane hose, and, instead replacing the entire propane regulator with an in-stock part from West Marine. After weeks without propane, we’re finally back, cooking with fire, literally. To celebrate, Josh baked me a belated birthday cake, since I’ve been whining every single day without propane that he owes me a boat birthday cake. It was FANTASTIC!

Sunday, 4/19/2020 – Big progress around the boat today! We got the solar panels mounted and cleaned out the junk hole V berth.

We installed 4 – 110 watt solar panels on the dodger and connector.

Monday, 4/20/2020 – The oil on both the main engine and generator are in need of changing (just like a car) so we took advantage of a sale at NAPA auto parts and picked all the fuel and oil filters we need for the job for much less than their name-brand alternatives. We also embarked on a “bleaching the water tanks” adventure to remove any bacteria that may be lurking.

Tuesday, 4/21/2020 – This morning, we finished flushing our water tanks and are really happy with the results. We’ll put this task on our annual list of maintenance tasks.

Wednesday, 4/22/2020 – We finally picked up our second new battery from Home Depot and spent the afternoon swapping out old 100+ pound batteries for the new 120+ pound batteries on the boat. I took advantage of the rare combination of no rain / manageable winds / plentiful sunshine to check out a double-crested cormorant that’s been hanging out a few docks over.

Thursday, 4/23/2020 – We finally got a few hours of no wind and no rain to work on hoisting the dinghy off the deck so that we could try out our new outboard dinghy motor and then get the dinghy and the motor hoisted onto our newly installed davits. We were SUPER happy to get everything done just as it started raining. And, the best part?! There was NO cussing involved! Once it started raining, we hunkered down inside, watched some movies and had french toast and bacon for dinner. It was a great day!

Friday, 4/24/2020 – Another rainy, cold day. No wind today, but, plenty of rain to go around! We spent most of the day inside, taking care of what feels like never-ending computer work. We both made some good progress on getting things checked off our virtual to-do lists. Also, an update on my hair-brained decision to take an 11-week enrichment class with Central Penn College. We’re four weeks into the class. I have diligently turned in all my assignments before their deadlines. I have passed all of my quizzes and exams. And, I’ve got a 98% in the class so far! I’m quickly realizing that this class isn’t a “hey, man, let’s learn how to weave a basket” type of class. There’s lengthy work assignments due each week and a pretty significant mid-term project coming up. Thank god I picked something that Josh can tutor me in!

Saturday, 4/25/2020 – We took advantage of the sunshine, lack of wind and break in the rain to put in a full day of work on our solar power system wiring install. We made a ton of progress, but, identified another handful of issues that we need to resolve before making the final connections to get our solar panels harnessing the power of the sun. No worries, though, as the next few days are supposed to be rainy and should give us plenty of time to work on things inside.

Sunday, 4/28/2020 – Another boat work day! Josh removed the defunct battery isolator and replaced it with a newer, functioning piece, replaced (2) 300 amp fuses that were blown and finished connecting solar power system.

Monday, 4/27/2020 – Today was the beginning of Josh’s IDC. While the original plan was for his IDC class to be in person at West Shore Scuba, coronavirus nixed that opportunity. Instead, the IDC headed to Zoom to keep things moving along. While Josh was working on his IDC, I worked on my school work for this week and my midterm project. Later in the day, I learned about some free online educational classes, provided by the Florida DEP Coral Reef Conservation Program, in celebration of Earth Month 2020. The topic of the day for today was reef fish identification and the seminar was great! I’m looking forward to participating in the classes for the rest of the week. Today was also our 1 month anniversary of living onboard Moxie! It’s hard to believe that it’s been a month already, but, it’s been a good and busy month, despite the coronavirus quarantine1

Tuesday, 4/28/2020 – Josh had IDC via Zoom and I spent the day working. This evening, we both participated in a seminar on stony coral identification, which was pretty informational.

IDC via Zoom. He looks so intent!
We’re loving be able to participate in so many educational opportunities remotely!

Wednesday, 4/29/2020 – Josh had IDC via Zoom while I participated in PADI Project Aware certification course via Zoom from the cockpit since it was such a beautiful day! I think we’re more busy since quitting our jobs and moving to the boat than we were beforehand!

Thursday, 4/30/2020 – So the story goes, April is supposed to come in like a lion and out like a lamb. But, the last day of April this year was anything but lamb-like! We had another round of pretty significant weather that lasted the majority of the day. Other than learning that our forward port piling is pretty damn loose and wiggly in significant wind, we weathered the day well and are optimistic that May will bring some better weather!

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