It's definitely been a while since Jacqui and I gave our poor little blog any attention, but the countdown is on! With just over 9 weeks left until we begin our journey south, it's time for an update on what's going on with us and our little Westy.
Somehow while living in the San Francisco Bay Area we've managed to maintain the island life we had in Mexico for months. Treasure Island mirrors the little Stone Island we lived on just outside Mazatlan. Both islands have incredible views and access to a major city. Both have an under-inhabited, under-developed, self governed wild west feel to them. Both receive a constant influx of tourists who spare just enough time to snap a photo before continuing their journey. Oh ya, and I can see the cruise ships pull in from this island too.
For now, Jacqui and I are taking advantage of the perks that come with calling this a home base. Jacqui, for one gets a 12 minute commute into the city where she is more than half way through a work contract with her old employer. I on the other hand, quit all my little day jobs, rented some shop space in the warehouse and have been working for myself. A 1974 VW Karmann Ghia, 1969 Chevy Stepside, two Burning Man art cars, a 70's forklift and a BMW I bought for $500 are more than keeping me busy.
Flashback 1 year ago and we hadn't even owned the Dolphin two weeks. Two weeks before that the idea of quitting our jobs and traveling was nothing but a daydream I had on a particularly slow, boring day at work. So now today, if you were to pull up Google maps and plot driving directions to Tierra Del Fuego from Treasure Island, some might say that we've started back at Square 1. However, we're obviously far from that. We've not only had time to prep for our journey, we even gave it a trial run!
That brings me to our current adventure vehicle, the Westfalia. When I last posted about her had just received a secondary battery system, a new poptop tent, and a lift-assist system. I can't say many upgrades have been completed since. Quite the opposite actually, I'm redoing some of the upgrades I've already done due to poor quality work on my part.
A quick weekend trip for some kiting revealed I had improperly installed our tent. It was too loose which allowed it to flap in the wind. Since Jacqui and I spend quite a bit of time searching for windy places, this was something that would have to be rectified. Since I already had plans to put new weather seals on the top and quite a bit of the hardware was getting rusty, I decided it was time to tackle the entire thing in one go, including some fresh paint.
Well... what should have been a 3-4 day project turned into a 2 1/2 week project thanks to my terrible painting skills. Even when I was a little kid I remember my dad dragging me outside to help him wax his car. He always wanted it to look perfect, and I was never up to the task. I had no patience and lacked the eye for that kind of detail, so there were always plenty of missed waxy spots on the side of the car. My dad was always far from thrilled.
Little seems to have changed today in my aesthetic abilities. To those thinking of repainting their Westy tops, do it in thin coats. Go to thick and you will spend an eternity scraping off paint that will literally never dry.
Regardless, with a lot of hard work, and borrowing my friends automotive spray gun, round two of painting is turning out beautifully.
5 weeks ago Jacqui's family got together and did a trip out to Yosemite. Unfortunately I had a family emergency and couldn't join them, but here's some of those photos.
Lots of photos of all the randomness that takes place in the shop.
Just some great photos from all the time we've been neglecting our blog.