I had to laugh when I went back to this post draft, originally labeled Winter Projects. How quickly time passes when we aren’t paying attention!  Spring came and went and we are now pushing into the end of June…the summer month….but at least we are pushing forward.

When we relocated to our little paradise on the east coast four years ago, we lucked into this mostly perfect (for us) little space, RED by the Sea, as of this writing, an almost 100 year old abode  fairly recently renovated with wiring and plumbing and structurally sound.  We had to do next to nothing when we moved in except maybe refresh with a coat of paint. (OUR FIRST RENO) (CROW’S NEST )

This winter, the plan was to finally get doors made for our two bedroom closets.  Up to now there were tension polls and window curtains to close the space.  They served their purpose, but it was time.  The problem with old homes is that nothing is square and each of the two openings had different measurements so they required custom build.

The Door

Another challenge was the configuration of furniture in the guest room.  We had purchased a bed that nicely transformed from single to king sized as needed for visitors so that when the bed was at its maximum there was no way any standard door would open, custom or not.  I found a reasonable compromise with an accordion style….not the prettiest but it sure beats those old curtains inherited from the previous owner.

The Compromise

The other project was to do a bit of a facelift to the basement bathroom.  It’s functional but has no character…and after all of this time, do I ever need a decorating project!

The laundry space just outside that bathroom is small but again, functional….barely.  The side by side washer dryer takes up so much precious space that I thought, why not stack those babies.  The machines were at least five years old when we moved, also Sears models, but with a bit of internet search I found out which company made those particular models and located a stacking kit to fit.

So now we have stacked machines and a laundry tub to make washing up so much easier.  Also F’s bathroom have been refreshed with a coat of paint and some new furnishing.  He chose a fresh sunny colour and a nautical theme with some fun kitschy accessories.


Zula, the Road Warrior update: our now six month old kitten loves the outdoors, harness and leash, backpack and sling, car rides and walks to the beach, welcoming visitors and as of this writing is moderately comfortable placing her two front paws into the water. She is the proud owner of a life vest but it still remains to be seen that she will wear it for water excursions. We try to make her a part of daily activities as much as we can.

Grocery pick up

First car wash

First Camping Trip

She loves intently watching F at his renovation projects.  In the galley she is much less likely to ‘watch’ and has become more ‘paws on’ in her approach. The first time she found the nerve to mount the counter top, I was preparing a grilling supper enclosed in  foil packets. On first leap her paws grabbed each piece of foil as our whole dinner dropped to the floor. I emitted several very salty words, cleaned up the mess, and laughed.  Was the first but no doubt will not be the last…and who could stay mad at that beautiful little innocent face?

Miss innocent

For the Battle of the Atlantic ceremony this year we were able to have a full parade.  My son Luke gladly agreed to participate and marched with pride with the rest of the Legion veterans.

Battle of the Atlantic Parade

We recently attended the Bluenose marathon. Two grandkids, aged 7 and 5 both ran it this year in the 2km and 1km respectively.


My daughter works as Marketing and Communications Director for Brigadoon Village, an organization that provides camping experience for kids with health challenges.  Several months ago we attended a fund raiser.

My Girl

The aim was to raise 12.5 million to complete an expansion project.  Having met their goal, they held a grand reopening to mark the success…

Grand reopening

Adding a bit of culture to our country existence we attended a very interesting exhibit highlighting the life and works of Van Gogh…

Van Gogh

Van Gogh

Another proud grand parent moment was watching my grand-son live on TSN, chosen from high school players from across the country (the only one chosen from New Brunswick/and one of three from Atlantic Canada), for a CFC Prospects match…


Our gardens are flourishing and a duck couple blessed us with ten babies, seen below in front of Duck Pond island…

New residents

And finally for all of you RED fans.  We are still in touch with her current family who continue to send us news from the Yukon.  As much as we miss her, we can’t be more happy for her to have the life she  was meant to lead…

Northern RED

I’ll leave you now as we make preparations to jump into our summer months full tilt.  It’s looking like a busy one for the crew of RED II at RED by the Sea. Camping trips.  Guests from away. And the times in between filled with the  day to day…

…peace and love…



The last in our Winter/Spring 2015 series of changes

to make life on our lady more accommodating.

This one addresses one of my biggest beefs

…the companionway door.

It’s awkward, cumbersome and a pain to store.

Boat modifications seem to be one big chain reaction…

We had a rubbing problem…

Companionway hatch was wearing away the gelcoat…

Solution, via more great social media group suggestions,

apply tephlon tape.

And since we had to remove the hatch and rails to apply the tape,

why not replace the white rails with wooden ones?

And since we were replacing the wooden rails,

why not re-design the companionway door.

…and so on and so on…

Plexiglass was considered…nice modern touch,

but Captain loves his wood accents

and we were definitely on a wood path.


…our final Winter/Spring project #5…

…Francois first measured out the bristol board template.
…a glass of wine (lower right corner) always helps the creative process.
…confirming the correct dimensions
on a sheet of 3/8″ baltic birch.
Condo life has its advantages as we can lock our door and leave for indefinite periods.
..but although François would kill to have the space for a proper workshop,
he has made good use of our kitchen,
living room,
dining table
and little guest room
for our winter projects.
Using a skill saw and improvised wooden guide
he made the intial straight cut.
…then back to the boat,
making sure the overall shape and dimensions were correct.
…the porthole…
oh, how I do love this idea!!!

16″ x 8-5/8″

…to be installed in the upper half of the door.

with a 3/4″ backing plate to strengthen the structure.

Then back to the boat to make sure all the pieces fit…

…the main door components now in two sections.
…with 2 additional screened sections.
…a little mix of this…
…with a little match of that…
…then back home to the guest room ‘workroom’
for stain and Cetol.
After 4 coats of Cetol,
the project is moved to the kitchen ‘workroom’
for cocktails…
…and installation of the porthole…
…countersunk holes…

…Butyl caulked screws…
…for a good water tight seal…
For the screened sections…
Francois chose aluminum mesh for more strength…
…secured with stainless steel staples…

…mitre-cut oak trim, stained to match…

…covering the staples to make a cleaner finish…

1-3/8″ oak overhang on top section…
…with weather stripping for a little added seal…

…all ready to go back to the boat.

All that hard work needs protecting when not in use,
so I found a travel bag for $15
and a yoga mat for $10
that I cut up to fit between each piece.

We couldn’t find a lock that suited the Mac,

so instead of re-inventing something that would fit,

we used the one from the original door.

Porthole, the perfect size….
….for all those important small things!
Galley Kat
Major Pig (ret’d)