After a month in Marathon, we’re nearly finished with our DIY bimini. With just a few more finishing touches, including modifications for the backstay, the radar pole, and the solar panels, we’ll be ready to take off to The Bahamas.

While in Boot Key Harbor, our friends Jordan & Randi of Learning the Lines were so kind to gift us two lobsters they had caught. We, however, had never caught, killed or cooked our own lobster, so this was quite the learning experience. Besides the mechanics of killing your own food, we confront the reality of taking another creature’s life for our own sustenance.

We also discuss how our ePropulsion electric outboard has been performing, as well as our solar panels and Firefly house bank.

Hope you enjoy!

Lauren & Kirk

NOTE: This was filmed well before COVID-19 was an issue. We’ll discuss the timing of our videos soon in a future episode.

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Episode Dialogue

– These have been sitting on the foredeck for almost a month.

– So we’re on the home stretch right now. Trying to prepare to get to The Bahamas. Kirk.

– Yes.

– [Lauren] It’s totally calm out what is happening?

– It’s time to either become a vegan or continue to be a meat eater.

– Oh, all right. Last time we set to work sewing our Bimini. Back in the boat yard, we had purchased a three bow Bimini kit from Sailrite. Before launching, we built the frame and created templates for the canvass. Now in Marathon, this was our last big boat project to complete before taking off to The Bahamas. This is the first time I had to rip out a stitch because I messed up.

– [Kirk] It’s starting to look like a Bimini though.

– Yeah. By the way, the reason we decided to DIY this Bimini is because of Sailrite’s library of how to videos, they make it possible for a novice to take on big sewing projects like this.

– My hair is ridiculous.

– Is it?

– Yeah.

– Well, we got about a week left in Marathon. I’m about two thirds done with the Bimini. So once that’s done, we can look for a weather window and we’re free to go to The Bahamas, oh, we’re also waiting on a new shipment now, though. That we just made last night, and it’s coming from San Diego.

– I just ordered, a birthday present, it was one of the saddest days when I had to sell all of my surfboards in San Diego. And I was the most sad about having to sell my paddleboard. So I just bought a brand new paddleboard and it’ll be here in about five or six days. So we are gonna have to figure out how to store a giant paddleboard on our deck. But I think it’s going to get us out on the water more. And that’s the important part, so now we’re off to lunch. We’re taking a break between sewing projects and-

– [Lauren] Every other thing.

– [Kirk] There’s a really awesome little cafe, produce market, just down the street.

– That was good.

– Fun. Dang love, that’s a lock of ribs.

– Yeah it is, yeah.

– I’m done with the last couple of steps of this Bimini. I just finished sewing this backstay slit and attached vinyl underneath. So it gives a little bit of stiffness. The only thing left to properly fit it that I have to do, is actually cut a slit for the radar post, comes out right between these two zippers here, which if you have a look on the underside, looks like this, so the radar takes up this space right here, I think that’s where measured it.

– All right, well, let’s figure it out.

– So what do you think?

– I think it’s pretty sweet.

– We’re double recording. I totally forgot about the rigid back supports and how they clamp onto the back bow creates almost a half inch bump on the bow. So I’ve got a sew like a little pocket so that the fabric doesn’t chafe on that, and then wear a hole in it. Other than that, it’s coming together. I think we did an okay job. ♪ Oh man ♪ ♪ The mountains call my number and won ♪ ♪ I’m just a life size lottery ticket ♪ ♪ In the hand of the one ♪ ♪ The stress out make out a storm ♪

– 250, what do we need? 350?

– [Kirk] Yeah.

– All right, we were warming the oven for this. A gift from our friends, Jordan and Randi of Learning the Lines, live lobsters of course, come with a string attached.

– It’s almost killing time bird.

– We’re going to kill our first living creature to eat tonight.

– [Kirk] Ourselves.

– Ourselves, ever. Both of us were raised with meat as part of our diets, but not much thought was given to where it came from. As adults we’ve become more conscious about the food we’re eating, and we skew more vegetarian than not, but as occasional omnivores, we think knowing what it’s like to take the life of a creature you’re about to eat, is an important experience. We’re both the little tense. We both have primed ourselves with cocktails and also prepared the seasoning.

– [Kirk] Copious amounts of butter.

– Lots of butter and a cajun style mix. But Kirk, you should tell about how this is something that you’ve wanted to do for…

– About 10 years ago, I said I was not going to eat anything that I couldn’t kill. That was a goal of mine, was to eventually kill everything that I planned on eating.

– At least once.

– At least once, yeah. I wasn’t going to solely live off the land, but-

– Yeah, so, deer, fish, pig, I think cow would be pretty tough.

– Yeah, well, I’m gonna have to go down to a slaughter house one day and press the button.

– Really, press the button?

– That’s the little cattle killer. It shoots a rod.

– I feel like that’s getting off really easy.

– Yeah, well. My thought was this, can I look this creature in the eyes and take its life? And if not, then I should no longer be eating it.

– The two little lobsters that we have in our cockpit right now, calm as anyone could be.

– Okay, we’re making this way too…

– Awaiting their fate.

– Stop it. All right, we’re gonna go kill our food so we can eat. ‘Cause our stove is about to be…

– Yeah, it’s almost up to temp.

– It’s time to either become a vegan or continue to be a meat eater.

– Oh, all right.

– [Kirk] Here we go.

– [Lauren] You ready?

– Yeah, thank you very much for becoming lobsters and letting us eat you, you’re going to provide life sustaining nutrients for me and my lover. Okay, ready?

– [Lauren] Okay, uh-huh.

– [Kirk] Here we go, I’m just gonna be quick, okay?

– [Lauren] Okay.

– [Kirk] Okay, we’re gonna spare you the gory details here. No doubt, some of you may think that we’re making way too big a deal of this, and others may wonder, how could we possibly do this to another living creature? We don’t wanna get into a huge debate about whether eating meat or seafood is acceptable or not. Everyone has their own beliefs. We just want you to know that for us, this was a big deal. Are you okay?

– Yeah. That was traumatic, just stab it in between the eyes and no big deal.

– I think we did it right.

– If our freezer was large enough or if we had enough ice to make an ice bath, we would have preferred to chill them first.

– Their low level, nerve systems, what it was that. What’s that?

– Yeah, right, so that they react even after…

– Yeah, they twitch. It was a learning experience.

– All right.

– [Kirk] Okay, what do we think?

– [Lauren] Oh, it’s pretty good.

– [Kirk] Yeah.

– [Lauren] What do you think?

– [Kirk] Yeah.

– I think we did it.

– [Kirk] Okay, what are we having with this? I forget.

– Oh, some naan.

– [Kirk] And?

– Oh, I don’t know, and what?

– [Kirk] I don’t know.

– Another drink.

– [Kirk] Thoughts.

– I think I’ve had lobster maybe twice, otherwise in my life at a restaurant.

– [Kirk] I don’t think I’ve ever had it.

– And I honestly don’t remember like loving it and we might’ve overcooked it a little bit. I don’t know if it’s good enough to make me wanna go out and try to catch a lobster and then kill it again. But I think we need to have properly cooked lobster before we can make that determination.

– So lobsters, you are spared from us until we find someone who knows how to cook you. I think I like the stone crab better. ‘Cause you just rip off their claw and then they go about their business. Makes you think about the food that you’re eating. I think, ’cause it’s not just a package in a store and it makes you think about what you’re doing when you eat it.

– I feel like we might feel a little bit different if we caught them ourselves. Like if we were actually on the hunt, we would have experienced the other side of the whole catch and cook your own meat, I think. That’s the other thing too, is that if it would have been any other sea creature, it already would have been dead because that happens when you catch it.

– Why are you saying that? What does that mean?

– It means that lobster is the only thing where you could experience getting it gifted to you and not having to hunt it and then having to kill it yourself.

– Got it. Not the only thing.

– Wow, wow.

– I mean, someone could have gifted us a cow.

– I know I’m talking about sea creatures.

– Or a pig.

– Again, seafood, we live on a boat.

– Someone had a chicken gifted to him, and sailed around the world with a chicken.

– Yeah, he didn’t kill it, it was his pet.

– Yeah.

– [Lauren] With the radar pole cutout finished, we can now take measurements for the placement of our solar panels.

– These have been sitting on the foredeck for almost a month. Oh see these thing can’t get so close to the center line.

– [Lauren] We wanted them fairly close to the center line, but not so close to each other that the cables overlap the neighboring panel.

– We’re just about to get started on one of our last days of working on the Bimini. Kirk’s gonna be helping me attach the panels today. We decided to go with Velcro on the top and bottom edges of the panels, which would be secured to the Bimini via Velcro lined packets.

– So I’ve just cleaned all of our panels with isopropyl , to get any sticky, residues or oils or anything off of them. And what we’re doing is I’m going around and applying Velcro to the top edge of all of the panels. This stuff doesn’t have any sticky back. So we’re using some Velcro adhesive, it’s for plastics built specifically for this Velcro. The other tape that we have for some of the wider sections, those have a sticky back. So we’ve got two different types of adhesives. We’re also doing two inches of Velcro in the corners on the bottom. We’re hoping that one of them sticks well enough. I’m hoping both of them stick well enough.

– I’m working on the last of the side strips that are gonna roll over and be the top Velcro. And actually also the bottom Velcro will be in here eventually, these had to be specialized because they’re the ones that are gonna be on the side that had the wires coming out. Yeah, the hot knife actually stopped working a couple of days ago, it wasn’t getting hot enough and it was not cutting the fabric. And I got really worried because I was just about to start cutting 16 of these strips. The most of all the material that I’ve been cutting so far, the benefit of the hot knife is that it quickly and efficiently cuts the fabric and seals the edges, so it doesn’t fray, if I didn’t have this knife, I would have been totally SOL. The problem was is that these screws had come just slightly loose and there was no way to tell that. I just happened to look it up online. And someone had the same issue, where their knife wasn’t getting hot enough. Luckily I didn’t even need a screwdriver and I just hand tighten them. And all of a sudden it’s back to cutting, so.

– [Kirk] All of a sudden it’s back to cutting.

– All of a sudden it’s back to cutting.

– Put it up against the wall here. ♪ The streets fill up ♪ ♪ The mix with life ♪

– It’s so light.

– [Lauren] Yes, aw.

– Holy crap, wow. Feel how light this is.

– [Lauren] Whoa, that’s like a straw.

– Yeah, this is gonna go on our boat. Happy birthday to me.

– [Lauren] Yay.

– I’ve never actually purchased a brand new surfboard before, all of my boards have been used or I shaped one of them, so this is kind of like a super special treat to actually get a brand new surfboard. I am super pumped about this board. I’m really excited to ride it. And it’s gonna take up a ton of space in our boat. But, we’ve gotta have some fun once in a while so…

– [Lauren] Sweet as. ♪ Never let go ♪ ♪ So we drive to the show of the shelter ♪ ♪ You know how it blows ♪ ♪ So good to feel the rush again ♪ ♪ Aah ♪ ♪ And its never coming down ♪ ♪ We’re invincible ♪

– Okay, now do a handstand.

– No!

– Handstand. We have almost no battery left. I don’t know how long they have been lasting.

– [Lauren] I figured they’ve been lasting at least eight trips to and from the boat.

– I think we’ve been getting three days out of them. So between six and eight. Yeah, so far we’ve been charging it a hundred percent on solar. We’ve charged one of these batteries once on 120 volts. The rest of the time it’s been off our hundred watt solar panel, which takes about three days in full sun or directly from our boat, which takes about a day and a half. And by a day and a half, I mean, we plug it in when we get up and we unplug it when the sun goes down. So we’re not drawing off the batteries so far. Yeah, I’ve been pretty pumped with the batteries. It’s pretty awesome that we’ve lived a hundred percent off of solar for the last month. I lied, we went out to the reef once and we used the diesel engine. But for the most part, we are creating almost no carbon emissions, I got my computer set up so that I can charge it. Off our house bank as well. We tried an off the shelf 12 volt charger, but it kept overheating. So I cut the cord and wired it directly into a 12 to 19 volt DC to DC step up converter. And then I added some more length to the cable so I could charge it anywhere in the boat. Yeah, I think we have a pretty good idea of how much power we’re using and we’re making more than what we’ve been using. The batteries have been topped up pretty much every day around noon, and we only are using about 10% of the batteries on a regular basis. So when we have overnight sails and things, or when it’s been cloudy for a few days, it’ll dip a little bit lower, but I think we’ve sized everything pretty well. It’s time to put the big screen TV in.

– [Lauren] Kirk.

– Yes.

– [Lauren] It’s totally calm out what is happening?

– I’m cleaning our water tanks.

– We got something growning in our tanks. The water started smelling pretty bad. We haven’t been putting any bleach in it when we fill up, what did you read that it might be?

– Coliform, type of bacteria that’s a lot of times found in poo. But it’s the most common type of bacteria, we are trying to eradicate it from our water tanks.

– So we’re siphoning out the water tanks and dumping it right into the bilge, instead of pumping 60 gallons through the kitchen sink faucet, which requires the water pump to work nonstop, we figured the builds might be a little bit more robust. Right now, I’m dumping out the second water tank that we had just shocked with bleach. So after this, we’ve gotta refill up the tanks, empty them amount again with the whole round of freshwater, no more bleach, and then we fill them up again. And hope that they’re ready to be drank out of.

– [Kirk] Putting up the hair to put up the Bimini?

– Yeah.

– [Kirk] It’s business time, huh.

– It’s business time. So we’ve been in Marathon for I think about five weeks now, and we just finished the Bimini finally this week. I think we put it up, taking it down probably four or five times.

– [Kirk] Yeah to test fit it and test other little bits and pieces and…

– Test the solar panels and… Kirk bought these nylon washers. So we can prevent the frame from rattling so much. They’re gonna go in all of these connection points. Yeah, tonight we are gonna put it up for the last time. Oooh! that was definitely way more water than I thought.