If you're lucky enough to live to 100, the years between 50 & 75 are your third quarter. That segment in life could be the waning of your physically agile years, so it's a good idea to stay active. It's also a good time to challenge your brain to keep things limber up there - by mastering something new. We decided to go sailing, and this is a chronicle of our journey.


A drink at the end of the day

Late October Sunset in the marina on s/v Florian
Up to now, our blog posts have focused on what some may call the less-than-exciting topics of boat acquisition; cleaning, trouble shooting, upgrading, etc.  Even though we're still having fun with these projects, in the interest of our friends & family who aren't boaters, and to those who would probably choose to walk barefoot on hot coals rather than, say, repair a boat toilet, or swab the decks, we're going to throw in some subjects that speak universal languages. Like cocktails. :)

This is one of our favorite drinks, by Douglas Ankra,
called a Jadoo, which is the Hindi word for "magic".
Sundowner, in colloquial British English, is an alcoholic drink enjoyed after completing the day's work, usually at sundown. (It's also the name of a particular drink recipe, but I'll save that for another post.) In boating, a sundowner is pretty much any sort of cocktail, sipped casually on board, as the sun goes down. Here's one of our favorite drinks - a cousin to the gin & tonic, but a little sassier.

Here is the recipe snapped directly from our favorite bar book.
We used New Amsterdam gin, and simple syrup, with lots of fresh Kentucky Colonel mint (mentha spicata) that we grow in a pot for just such occasions.  Keep the skins on the lime as you muddle it with the mint. The fragrance is outdoorsy fresh and green, and your galley will smell heavenly.

Our favorite bar book, by the founder of the London Academy of Bartending - Douglas Ankrah: Shaken and Stirred.


Cleaning our Life Lines & Dorade Vents

Z-Cleaner sample (two sponges in a sudsy solution)
 After successfully cleaning our white, vinyl cockpit cushions with Mr Clean Magic Eraser pads a few months ago, I tried the same product on a few of our life lines with pretty good effects. I hadn't even thought about using them on the life lines, and then I got a comment from Pete over at Sailing the Dream asking if the pads might work on brightening the vinyl coating. I planned to finish the job in between other projects when I found a Zcleaner sample given to us at last year's Annapolis boat show.
Mr Clean & Zcleaner at work on the boat

Mister Clean works pretty well with a bit of scrubbing on the vinyl coated life lines.

It doesn't remove rust stains.
While the Mr Clean pad didn't remove the rust from the life lines, that's okay, because the stains are like little red signs hollering that it's time to inspect and likely replace the lifelines. (The ISAF Offshore Racing Congress has banned coated lifelines because the vinyl prohibits inspection for cracks, rust and corrosion. We aren't racers, but it seems pretty common sense to want to see & inspect the lifelines.)

The Zcleaner worked really well on the lifelines.
And made it easier to see all the pits in the vinyl too.
After trying both products, our old lifelines are pretty bright and clean, and I'd say the Zcleaner was a bit faster at removing the stains.  Dane over at Cadence of the Sea left a comment on our post about re-painting the bronze dorade cowl interiors, pondering if old, plastic vents could be painted.   I had a spare Zcleaner sponge in the sample packet, so just for grins, I swiped it over one of our stained, plastic dorade cowls. Huge WOW!  No need to paint if you can make them clean and bright again!  I had previously used Simple Green to clean them, with little to no results (even though that stuff works great for most things on Florian), but the Zcleaner immediately diluted the stains and suspended them in the cleaning solution. They wiped off effortlessly.

A swipe of the Zcleaner pad, and all the dirt and oxidization just fell away.

After wiping the dorade vent with a towel, it's good as new!

Two, formerly yellow-brown, and now bright and white plastic dorade cowls.

The Zcleaner sample pad after cleaning the life lines. Ick.

Florian's whites, looking good.
Cold beer dispenser (Don) while I'm working. I love this boat!

In the last post, Don was using errant screws to open the tip of his cigars.
Now, Florian has her very own V-snipper. (Thanks, MKH!)