LAHOWIND » Just you, me, + the dog.

Spotted! Flock of Green Parakeets at the City Dock!

“We got no food, no jobs…our PETS HEADS ARE FALLING OFF!”

Okay, none of that is true. Thank god.  But the classic line referencing parakeet Petey from the movie Dumb & Dumber is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of parakeets.

Lately, this awesome flock of 100+ green parakeets, actually known as rose-ringed parakeets, have been frequenting the Naples City Dock. Jereme’s seen them a few times, but this was my first sighting. Turns out, these parakeets have populated Olde Naples for 30+ years.

Massive importation decades ago by the pet industry and releases by pet owners enabled feral flocks of these popular cage birds to roost in many urban areas. Florida is believed to be home to hundreds of thousands of these non-migratory birds, which have established breeding colonies that have easily adapted to our ecosystem.

Lucky for us, the Dock was rather deserted on Saturday evening around sunset, so these parakeets were flying from boat to boat without much disturbance. I snapped a few photos of these pretty birds before they were eventually scared away. You never know what you’re going to see at the Dock.:)

>>Thanks for visiting LAHOWIND sailing blog! We’d love for you to get to know us and follow our story as we attempt to navigate a whole new world of sailing.

susanSeptember 11, 2013 - 2:14 pm

OMG CRAZY!!!! and these pics are SO fab :))

One Hell of a Timely Tip from Cruising World Magazine!

Last Tuesday after work, Jereme planned on heading down to the boat to install the last 1.5-inch tank fill fitting on our new 90-gallon water tank.

He had been to Home Depot THREE times to find a way to attach the fill hose to the tank using PVC fittings.  Finally he went to the local Marine Trading Post trying to find a hose fitting that was barbed on one end (to fit inside the existing hose) and threaded on the other end (to screw onto the fittings on the tank).  He found three of them, all the same size but all a litte different, so he bought them all.

Jereme knew it was going to be difficult to insert the barbed fitting end into the hose (since he had recently done the same thing while working on the shower sump removal project).  The existing hoses on our boat are metal reinforced hoses that really just don’t stretch.  On the shower sump project, Jereme and his buddy Chris tried to use AstroGlide (I know, pretty hilarious right? — two guys just hanging out on a boat using astroglide to fit a hose) and were only able get the hose on about 2 barbs deep out of the 7 barbs in total.  Needless to say, Jereme knew he was in for a struggle with the water tank fitting.

As luck would have it, just before Jereme left to head down to the boat, he was leisurely flipping through the latest Cruising World mag and stumpled upon an article about boat hoses.

I kid you not…the EXACT.SAME.HOSE.FITTING.BATTLE he was about to fight that evening was discussed in the very article he had just flipped to.  What are the odds?!

The article mentioned how hard it can be to insert these fittings into metal reinforced hoses. Yep! That’s accurate! 😉

The million dollar tip of the day… grab the visible end of the metal wire with pliers and pull out enough of it to make the end of the hose flexible/expandable.  Who woulda thought?

So that night, Jereme went down to the boat, grabbed the little metal wire and pulled about a foot of it out the end of the existing hose.  He then inserted the fitting and, voila!!! it went in all the way without excessive force or struggle.  A couple of stainless steel hose clamps later and the project was complete!

Thank you Cruising World!:)

Viva Las Vegas! Our Labor Day Weekend Rewind

We took a weekend off from boat projects and reality to jet off to Vegas with Jereme’s Aunt Bren + Uncle Mikey for a fabulous Vegas vacation!

Hello Vegas! #roomwithaview

We spent the long weekend at the Bellagio soaking up the dessert sun while drinking Limonda Rosadas at our pool cabana, enjoying some amazing dinners at Tetsu Masa, Prime, and Olives, watching Uncle Mikey win huge in the casino, taking in the Beatles LOVE Cirque Du Soleil show at the Mirage, enjoying a spa morning and facial, and lots more!  Gosh it’s hard to come back to reality after a weekend like we had. Here are a few iPhone pics from our fabulous weekend… I already wanna go back!  😉

susanSeptember 11, 2013 - 2:15 pm

love love love love LOVE!

Update! Water Tank Replacement – Installing the New Tank

Well, it has been a couple of weeks since our last post about the water tank (10 Simple Steps to Replacing Our Water Tank), where we had just ordered our new custom tank and were awaiting pickup.

Two weeks ago, Jereme drove over to Lake Worth, Florida to the Dura-Weld shop.  He met with Gareth, the owner, who was extremely knowledgeable, helpful, and brought Jereme right into his shop where he fabricates all custom plastic orders.  Our new tank was waiting for us, so Gareth pressure tested its airtightness while Jereme looked on.  Jereme talked with Gareth for about an hour, then loaded the tank into his jeep and was on his way back to Naples.

When Jereme returned, he ordered a replacement 6″ Beckson clear access port as the one that came with the tank was solid white and we want to be able to see the tank level without having to unscrew the cap.  This came in the mail within days, and was a simple switch-a-roo.  Jereme made a trip to Home Depot to purchase all the fittings necessary to reattach the existing hoses on the boat.

Prior to installing the tank, Jereme rebuilt the wall at the forward end of the bilge area where the tank sits (it had pretty bad water damage that needed to be removed).  He used a piece of 7″ wide PVC “wood” that is actually made for outdoor trim around doors on homes.  Using his Dremel, he cut this to size and used stainless screws to patch up the wall as needed.

Jereme and I lugged the new water tank down to the boat last Saturday.  I will say, the new tank was much easier to handle than the old aluminum tank and only took us about 5 minutes to get it on the boat and in the hole compared to about an hour (and lots of bickering) to get the old one out.  😉

^^working hard or hardly working?^^

Jereme’s custom measurements turned out pretty perfect! Thank god!  He thought he had designed the new tank to be one inch shorter than the previous tank so that we could install PVC boards below the tank to help drainage through the bilge.  However, once installed, we noticed that it was actually the same height as the previous tank and therefore there was no room for boards underneath. ??? That’s okay, it will actually work out better because we get more tankage volume and, since the bottom is a little narrower then the previous tank, water can actually flow pretty well around the tank edges if needed.

Jereme spent all day Sunday hooking up the fittings, which have turned out flawless (so far).  He filled up the tank a quarter of the way, fired up the water pressure, and opened the taps.  This also tested out our new water lines that Jereme installed on the boat a few weeks back.  The only leaks we saw were right at the head sink fittings, where the brass compression fitting screws onto the plastic threaded nipple on the sink.  Jereme unscrewed those fittings, used a little more Teflon tape, and reinstalled the fittings.  No leaks!!!

So, our new water tank is officially installed, waters flowing out of the sinks, and now were off sailing!  There is still some follow up work needed to make sure the new tank won’t shift in the bilge area.  We’re thinking this will be in the form of custom wood or rubber work, but the bulk of the water tank project is complete and we are extremely happy with the install!:)

[…] UPDATE: The new tank has been installed!!! Read about the last two steps here.  […]

[…] were some super stinky projects, a few dirty projects, lots of difficult + time-consuming projects, and even a few crazy simple projects. But we tackled them all!  And learned lots of new skills […]

A Boat Project for Kim! Replacing Our Propane Tank Valves

We have two, 10-pound aluminum propane tanks on our boat. Our marine survey revealed that both tanks would need valve replacements in the very near future to update the old style valves that lacked the much-needed safety features.

Somehow, this boat project was assigned to me. Probably because it’s generally an easy fix.:)

Our tanks had the oldy-goldy valves, which means our tanks were manufactured before September 30, 1998.  Do you know if you have a propane tank that was made before September 30, 1998?  Well, you might be in for a bit of a surprise the next time you go to fill it.

After chatting with the folks at Grill+Fill here in town, I learned that as of April 1, 2002, all new cylinders must be equipped with an Overfill Prevention Device (OPD).  The OPD valves have a safety feature inside the container to prevent overfilling the cylinder.  More specifically, a float inside the tank that will close the valve when the tank is 80% full. It won’t measure how much propane is in the tank, but it is supposed to keep it from being overfilled. An overfilled propane tank can explode violently because of physical damage or exposure to moderate heat. And we certainly don’t want that!!!

It is now illegal to fill cylinders (from 4 to 40 pound propane capacity) if they do not have the OPD valve.  Don’t worry though, there are about 40 million obsolete cylinders still out there.

So, how do you know if your tank needs to be replaced? The new propane cylinders have a triangle shaped valve knob. Older models had a five-prong, circular knob. If you have the triangle knob, then you should be fine. These were the old valves we replaced…

I also learned that the actual propane tank (or cylinder) is subject to recertification (also known as requalification) twelve years from the date of manufacture and every five years thereafter. In our case, our tank is older than 12 years, so we just got new 5-year recertification dates etched on our tanks.  The recertification process (or inspection, if you will) is simple and does not take too long to complete.

I left our tanks at Grill+Fill on a Thursday night, and they were ready to go the next day!  So with two new OPD valves and recertification on both, our tanks are ready to hit the high seas!

Total Cost: $88 (2 new OPD valves at $21.70 each; recertification at $8 per tank; and refilling at $13 per tank)

Project complete!:)


Brian BellSeptember 4, 2013 - 5:51 pm

Impressed with your blog-site, writing, photography, and your endeavour!!
Keep us vicarious sailors posted on your successes and stumbles!

Sail On!

B. (wanna be cruiser stuck in Central Cali)

LahoWindSeptember 4, 2013 - 8:18 pm

Thanks B! We’re trying to keep these boat projects moving so we can sail more and work less. 😉 -Kim

[…] projects, a few dirty projects, lots of difficult + time-consuming projects, and even a few crazy simple projects. But we tackled them all!  And learned lots of new skills along the way. Like how to maintain our […]