Wednesday, April 27, 2011


For months now I have been perfecting Radio Skylark, an interactive online music station created on Pandora. It has a great balance of cruising, Caribbean and classic tunes going way back. I have had good feedback from folks, so I thought I would post the link and let you all in on it. Tell me what you think, what's missing or what needs to go. Enjoy!


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Proud Pappa Moment

Been a busy week here on Skylark. Weather has been very hot so I have been moving slowly through the chores. I did manage to finish cleaning out the engine bed. There was at least a half inch of 42 year old oil, grease and dirt all baked together. It took some doing but I think it came out well and the boat lost that "enginey" smell already. Love it. It really is amazing how well fiberglass endures over the years. After scraping all the gunk off, the it looks brand new. It's incredible really.

So last night I was able to go to one of Zachary's baseball games. His team has been doing much better this year but he has been struggling a little with his hitting. Well last night, it all came together. He had a hit 3 of the 4 times at bat, made multiple plays from his second base position and caught a pop up that seemed to hover forever before dropping right into his mitt. He was also involved in the 9th inning rally that brought them back from a two run deficit to tie the game. And then, if it couldn't get any better, the coach gave him the game ball. I tell you, if there was ever a kid smiling from ear to ear, it was Zachary last night. And the best part of all, I was there to see it.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Happy Sunday

The winds have been nonstop since Friday. Been blowing in the 20 to 30 mph range and at times has been a bit uncomfortable. Sunday however is going to be a glorious day of 80 degree weather and a lite 5-10 mph breeze to keep things cool.

As usual, haven't gotten nearly as far as I had hoped. But, that's ok as Zachary and I have really enjoyed our time so far and that's really all it's about. Today though, I plan to get at the engine compartment and give it a really good cleaning now that the engine is out. Which brings me to the engine update...

After a thorough once over of the Atomic 4, it has been decided that the only future this particular engine has on a boat is as an anchor. 42 years of service is not a bad record and quite honestly, with a bunch of cash, it could probably be resurrected. But that's just not the way to go. In the end, you still have a 42 year old GAS engine that stinks up the cabin when running, is quite loud and vibrates the fillings out of your head. Nope, the end is here for the Atomic 4. I know, a bit disappointing but in reality, it's not that bad. So whats the solution?

Well, the Cal 34 was set up with a Vdrive system that saves tons of space by keeping a big engine and transmission under the cockpit and out of the way. Basically, the propeller shaft goes back under the engine and out of the boat (Like a V on its side or actually a < symbol) This system was revolutionary back in the 60s and was only used, from what I can tell, by Cal boats. Because of this, finding a new diesel engine that will fit the space and not take a huge amount of work is going to be tough. Don't get me wrong, it can be done and with enough money would be perfect, but at this point, the cost is to high.

So the plan now is to keep things simple and finally do some sailing. I am going to hang a 15 hp long shaft off the transom and have all the controls run to the cockpit. This gets the engine out of the boat and will give me plenty of power to do what I need to do. I will have no problem sailing this area, down to the Keys and even over to the Bahamas. I will leave the shaft in place from the old A4 in case I decide to put in something more permanent, but in the mean time, the OB will do just fine. And that's all I have to say about that.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sorry for the Delay...

...but things have been crazy with work and I haven't had 2 seconds to update the blog. The good news is, I am packing as I write this and will be in Jacksonville tomorrow late afternoon. YeeHaw.

We have made some progress on the Atomic 4 nightmare so I will give you the update once I am there and have a minute to soak it all in.
As well, I am hoping to get a lot done this weekend with Zachary. Specifically, I want to finish sanding all the exterior teak and get at least a few coats of oil on. And if all goes to plan, I would like to paint the "White" part of the deck. Weather looks OK, so we will see. Pics and updates to come.