Our continued adventures in varnishing: Spring 2012.

We’ve closed out yet another season on the hard.

Once again I have to thank the universe for the boatyard where we both found and currently house the Compass.  For almost eight months we’ve taken over quite a large patch of asphalt there, and they still treat us like family.

Epifanes Rubbed Effect on the salon table.

During the spring, we settled on a matte top coat for all of our interior wood.  We applied Epifanes Rubbed Effect on most large surfaces, and it worked out pretty well. At first we were using Epifanes Rapidclear for the build coats, but then we heard that West Marine’s WoodPro was a rebadged version of the exact same product.  We haven’t attempted to confirm this, but we suspect it’s true.  Both go on with extreme ease, and sand well for the finish coats.  We’ve had no adhesion issues so far, no peeling when sanding or weird shine-through.  While it’s been a lot of work, it’s been a relatively simple, satisfying project.  And the Rubbed Effect top coat is a pretty nice matte.  I mean, it looks nice, doesn’t it?  Too bad we won’t be using it anymore.  I haven’t chronicled the galley refinish project yet, but I’ll give away one part of the story here:  Epifanes must have had a labeling problem for a while, because we wasted about six hours applying, sanding, reapplying from a new can, and again sanding some sort of gloss varnish that was living in Epifanes Rubbed Effect cans.  Our local West Marine was good enough to take both cans (which had different batch numbers on the bottom) back for a refund.  In the post about the galley, I’ll be writing to you about how much we now love the finish of Interlux Goldspar Satin.  Heh!  At least we’re trying a little bit of everything.

Charlie performing the initial sanding of my very thick application of filler.

Have I mentioned that the yard we’re at is awesome?  Now some of you lucky salts may be wondering what the big deal is.  Maybe you live up north and get to haul out every winter in a yard that lets you do all of your own work.  We’ve been there, too, but here in Florida, things are quite different.  Self-service yards are few and far between, and once you find one, expect to dole out big bucks if you’re staying more than a day.  We’ve been on the hard almost eight months, and you haven’t seen me cry over money (yet).  Yes, I know how lucky we’ve been.

Before the barrier coat went on the Compass, management at the yard gave us a few days to fill and fair the bottom of our boat.  As with most things on the Compass, we got very lucky with the bottom.  The bottom was in good shape, and everything we did was either preventative or cosmetic.  We started out using epoxy and filler we mixed from ingredients we purchased from Fiberglass Coatings here in St. Petersburg.  This was fine, but we were having a hard time maintaining consistency, so we switched to a two part 3M marine filler.  First we machine sanded, then we finished off with hand sanding.  This little bit of extra effort got us a very nice, fair bottom, if I do so say myself.  We’re not experts by a long shot, but we’re always willing to learn new tricks in order to get the best possible result.

Ultramar.  Now I realize it’d be pretty ironic for a sailboat.

Charlie and I haven’t named the boat yet, and I have a feeling that when we do finally agree on something, it’s going to be pretty darn generic.  He and I have different ideas about what makes a good boat name.  I think it should be something personal – something that tells everyone a little bit about us.  Charlie thinks it should have more to do with the boat, and prefers Afrikaans names.  While we were doing the bottom, I came up with what I thought would be a great, and by great I mean extraordinarily generic, name for the boat.  Both Charlie and his dad liked the name, and I was feeling pretty cool.  Too bad Ultramar is the name of a Canadian gas station.  Live and learn.

So, those are some of the highlights of our spring on the hard.  Take a peek at the photo album Ive thrown together for a closer look, including pictures of our never before seen aft head, me, under a table, and our nav station … naked.  Oooooh.  Saucy.

Fear not, people of Korea! AKA: My foray into Korean television.

(This is seriously, no joke, a post about a Korean soap opera.  Like the rest of my blog, this may be worth skipping.)

I hear you like to be called Korea, Korea.  So, instead of South Korea, or the Republic of Korea, I’ll just call you by your first name.  I hope we’re close enough for that.

Anyway, Korea, I just wanted to let you know that I won’t be judging you or your people by what I see on the soap opera Winter Sonata.  There’s no way that a civilization which has supposedly been around since 2333 BC has that high a percentage of emotionally retarded  inhabitants.  I mean, seriously, I’m getting sick of characters insisting that Yujin not grieve for Junsang for the sake of Sanghyeok’s iddy-biddy feewings.  Grow a pair, Sanghyeok.  So, I won’t judge you by Winter Sonata because that would be like you judging me by episodes of Days of Our Lives (though, I was thinking of burying a beautiful young woman alive.  Hmmph.)

I have to say that I really am enjoying the show.  I’ve watched seven of the hour-long episodes and I plan on finishing all twenty.  I point this out because I really figured I wouldn’t care for the show at all and that I’d give up on the first episode half way through.  I just wanted a little exposure to some Korean television and lucked out by finding this title on Netflix.

*Spoilers ahead!*

Team Pacey.

I can’t help but compare the first couple of episodes to my favorite teen soap opera, Dawson’s Creek.  In short, Yujin, our leading lady, has known her best friend Sanghyeok her entire life.  Enter Junsang, the handsome new-kid-in-school.  Everyone insists that Joey … I mean, Yujin, should be ga-ga over her BFF, but she’s falling hard for the new guy.  While it’s not an exact match, I couldn’t help but be annoyed by the Dawson Leery like assumptions Sanghyeok has made about what’s best for Yujin.

What’s worse is that everyone in the show acts the same way.  Male and female characters alike continually insist that Yujin and Sanghyeok are soulmates, and, worse, that Yujin should never, ever, ever show any sadness when reminded of the death of her first love.

If Winter Sonata is the norm, Korean dramas involve more buffoon-type comedic characters than American shows.  I think there are four characters who exist only to be made fun of.  Maybe that’s just what the place is really like, which really makes me want to visit.  Furthermore, if this show is really a glimpse into Korean culture, 80% of Korean people bleach their hair once they become adults.  It’s like smoking is in America, without the coughing fits and stained teeth.

Another thing that’s killin’ me is that none of the female characters seem to be able to hold adult conversations with men, especially if they disagree with them.  Korea can’t be that patriarchal, can it?  Neither Chaerin (conniving twat, though she is) nor Yujin can do much but nod and agree with their respective male partners.  Why shouldn’t Chaerin be upset when Minhyeok is flaunting his flirtation with another woman in her face?  What is with all the deference and obvious silent suffering?

I also can’t help but wonder why the writers of Winter Sonata seem to want me cheering on, at least what I understand would be, an incestuous relationship.  My subtitle reading can’t be so bad that I misunderstood that.  Unless the writers of this show are much more talented than I am giving them credit for, Minhyeok is Junsang with amnesia.  Gross.

OK, this is actually pretty steamy.

But I am – cheering it on, that is.  Winter Sonata is addicting enough that I want some good old Korean brother-sister lovin’ to go down.  Not that “lovin’” means over there what it means over here.  Two characters that are engaged can barely hug each other with out feeling guilty afterward.  Someone from Korea, please email me and explain whether or not this is true-to-life Korean culture, or just plain old TV-style morality.

One thing translates though; it may be our major shared cultural experience.  Sanghyeok’s mother despises Yujin, though I cannot figure out why.  I guess the crazy daughter-in-law hating mother is a universal stereotype.

So, I’m about to start the eighth episode, and I’m sure lying, sinister little Chaerin and annoyingly Dawson-like Sanghyeok are about to get their hearts broken.  Even if I don’t get that wish, I will forever be satisfied knowing that I watched a Korean TV drama that used Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Any Dream Will Do from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat while a character was daydreaming about his love interest.  Now you know the real reason I can’t stop watching.

White Bottomed Girl (You Make the Rockin’ World Go ‘Round)

As you can see below, the Compass now has a white bottom.  Charlie has always wanted a boat with a white bottom, and if you’d seen him talk about it, you wouldn’t have been able to say no either.  My only request was no blue.  Charlie loves it, and I think white suits the Compass just fine.

AKA: “Big Fat Fanny,” “Great Big Woman”

… and, since I made the reference …