Friday, September 30, 2011

Wine safety equipment

Some might say that wine is a vital boating fluid aboard Eolian.

They would be right.

And although box wine is now more frequently what is found in the liquor locker, the traditional wine bottle still makes appearances too.  Among other reasons, because no one would ever suggest that a "message in a box" would have any staying power in the ocean.

But now, this brings us to the crux of things.  Most of you have seen those "rabbit" wine bottle openers - you know, the kind with the two handles that grip the top of the bottle and the third handle that you push down and then lift up to withdraw the cork. 

You want to be wearing steel-toed shoes when you run one of these suckers. 

Like most things, I learned this the hard way.  I was (hurriedly) opening a bottle of wine in the main saloon.  It was summer, and it was hot - I was barefoot.  In my haste, I failed to properly engage the bottle in the clamp handles... and when I pushed down the handle which drives the screw into the cork, it instead pushed the bottle out of the clamps.  It fell straight down, and landed on my big toe nail.

The good news?
  • There was no damage to the cabin sole - my toe protected it
  • The bottle did not break - no broken glass - my toe protected it
  • The wine was not wasted
But the bad news was that I lost the toenail as a result.  Did you know that it takes nearly a year to grow a whole new toenail?  And weirdly, did you know that the fingerprints on your toes (toeprints?) wrap up over the end and into the area where the nail would be when there is no nail?

No, I didn't know these things either.

Now I do.

Question:  Do you think it will be awkward for everyone if in the future I open the wine wearing nothing but shorts, teeshirt, and industrial steel-toed boots?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Boat basil

I once read a science fiction story that had aliens coming to Earth specifically to obtain basil, which to them was a drug.  And of course, pesto was their equivalent of heroin.

Now, we don't crave basil that much.


We find that basil goes well with almost everything, but it is not easy to grow up here in the Northlands (our friends in the Midwest tell us that there it is a pesky invasive weed!  Oh to have their problems!)

Captive basil
Nevertheless, we have a near-constant supply of the drug herb.  Because the grocery stores up here have discovered that many of us will buy hydroponically grown basil that we can take home with us and keep alive, captive.  This is ours - it lives in a beer glass right next to the sink.  And as long as I don't cook Panang Curry more than twice a week, it lasts for an amazingly long time - a month or more.  Eventually the new leaves get smaller and smaller - missing some nutrient in our tap water I suppose.  Eventually, it's RIP basil.

And then we go to the grocery store for a fresh captive.

Monday, September 26, 2011

*That* call

On Saturday, we got that call.  You know, the one that no boat owner ever wants to get.

Brent & Jill, our next door neighbors (bless you guys!) called us Saturday morning (we were away from the boat) and told us that our bilge pump was running every 20 minutes or so.

Yeah, THAT call.

I jumped in my TransAm and may have grazed some speed regulations getting to the marina.

Thankfully, what I found was not serious.  We were not in danger of sinking.  As Brent pointed out, the pump was no where near to running continuously, so the situation was stable.  But it was not pretty.

In order to describe what happened, I need to backtrack a little.  Remember when I told you that our refrigeration was seawater-cooled?  And that we had a small telltale stream running into the sink?  Now imagine that someone left the sink stopper in the sink, and that it managed to seal up the drain (something which we never seem to be able to get it to do).

Yeah, the sink filled up with seawater.  And because of our current state of trim, when the sink overflowed, the water ran outboard... and into the freezer.  Yes, we had a freezer nearly full of frozen seawater.  Not quite full of ice because of the near continuous stream of warm seawater which kept coming, but certainly full of seawater.  When the freezer overflowed, the water made its way behind the cabinetry attached to the hull, and then into the bilge, where the bilge pump took care of it.

There was no damage.  But do you have any idea how many pans of boiling water it takes to melt a block of ice that big?  No, I didn't either.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Top 10 Aspects of Living on a Boat

By now you probably know that I really enjoy Brittany's writing.  Recently, she condensed into a Letterman Top Ten list much of what I have been trying for years to convey about life on a boat.  Now bear in mind that she and Scott are not living tied to a dock in Seattle, but rather are freely roaming the Caribbean, so some of this does not directly apply to us.  But I think that item 6 is absolutely key...

Copied from Windtraveler with her permission:
In the last installment of Top 10 Tuesdays we gave you the ten things that drive us mental as live aboards.  But fear not friends - where there is a yin, there is a yang! This week we bring you the things we love best about living on a boat.  So, with no further ado - here are the:

Top 10 Aspects of Living on a Boat

  1. Cost of living.  Our boat is fully paid for.  We owe nothing to anyone and everything we have is ours and ours alone.  Our bills are minimal.  Right now, because we are at a marina, our expenses are significantly higher than if we were at anchor.  They are still, however, much less than our former "land based" bills!  All of our bills (slip, electricity, water, gas) combined are about $460 per month.  When we are on the move - our bills are considerably cheaper (we don't have slip fees, we make our own water, we replenish our batteries with solar power...etc - we do, however, have to buy diesel from time to time).  If there is one way to get yourself stuck in a rut - owe money to the bank.  Too many people overburden their lives with bills.  They buy way too much - they owe on homes, cars, expensive toys, credit cards and can you break free when you need to stay on the hamster wheel to pay off all that stuff?
  2. Living simply.  Living on a boat is a simpler life,  period.  We don't watch television.  We read.  We walk to the grocery store.  We take pleasure in daily chores and routines.  We cook simple meals.  We maintain our boat ourselves.  We don't rush from place to place.  We don't overextend ourselves.  We have no real timelines or deadlines and stress is something we don't see too often anymore.  We love it.
  3. Less clutter.  I'm talking about minimalism!  Because our home is small by anyone's standards, we are forced to have less 'stuff'.  If something comes on the boat, something must go off to make room for it.  While this was challenging at first (I would not call myself a "minimalist" at all!), it is a fantastic way to live.  Filling your life and home with "stuff" is a symptom of our "more, more, more" society and really good marketing.  The perfect example of this (because it has become very relevant!) is babies and children.  Have you seen how much "stuff" people have for their kids nowadays?!  Home's are overtaken with it all.  It is literally mind boggling to me.  My friend's on boats?  Their babies don't even have an eighth of this stuff and are just as happy (if not more).  You too might find you live a fuller life, with less.
  4. More self-reliant.  When you live on a boat YOU are the electrician, the plumber, the carpenter, the mechanic and the handyman (or woman).  While these individuals are available in certain ports - if something happens at sea (and it will!) - you'd better be prepared to get right down to it and figure it out or learn to deal without.  Nigel Calder has something of a cruiser's bible that will help you greatly in your plight and get you started, but you'll learn a lot as you go (whether you like it or not).  While I've switched out a dampener plate, re-routed hoses and know what a butt-connector is; Scott has taken to this particularly well.  He is not only incredibly handy, but a skilled perfectionist too - meaning his work is almost always impeccable.  No "honey do" lists here!  There is a tremendous amount of satisfaction (and money saving!) in knowing you don't need to pick up the phone to get something done.
  5. Living green.  I will probably expand on this more in a later blog post - but this is one of the things I like best about living aboard.  While I have always been environmentally-conscious, I definitely didn't live a "green" life when I was on land.  I have found that living on a boat has made me much more conscious.  Not only do we use less resources like water, electricity, fuel, paper...etc, but we have discovered the incredible world of natural products as well!  Because we no longer have the stores we were used to in the USA to buy certain products like cleaning agents, we have had to improvise and have found the uses of things like vinegar (literally, can do anything), ammonia (laundry), essential oils (citronella, btw, is a natural bug repellent) and more.  Our lives are greener, and less toxic because of it.  Win/win!
  6. Sunrises and sunsets.  Life on a boat usually means you have at least one unobstructed horizon right outside your companionway.  Sunrises and sunsets just never get old - there is nothing like sipping a warm cup of tea in the cockpit while the sun is rising or enjoying a nice glass of pinot noir while the sun is setting.  The stars in the night's sky are icing on the cake - if Scott and I open our v-berth hatch, we have the most incredible view and can just lay on our backs and look up at the Universe's nightly beauty.
  7. Wildlife.  There is SO much wildlife to be seen!  Tropical birds, monkeys, iguanas, whales, tropical fish and (of course) dolphins can be daily sights to the cruising sailor.  
  8. Adventure in every day.  Whether it be a hike to a beautiful waterfall high up in the hills, a wild ride on a local bus, a trip to the market or a faulty duck valve in your marine head - there is sure to be at least one adventure a day!  Some adventures are good, some are not so good - but they almost always leave you with a good story.
  9. Freedom.  Knowing we control our own destiny every. single. day is incredibly liberating.  Sure, we both work - Scott on a boat, me on my computer.  But you know what?  It sure as heck beats sitting in traffic and going to an office every day!
  10. Being able to our home.  This is unanimously the best aspect of living aboard.  The fact that we travel with all our belongings around us is wonderful.  No need to pack bags, no need to worry if we forgot something.  We simply float around the world in our home and go wherever our little heart's desire.  All we need to do is point our bow in the right direction, trim our sails and away we go!
What do you love best about living aboard?  Or if you are not living aboard, what do you think you would love best?

Brittany & Scott
For more from Brittany and Scott, you will want to check out Windtraveler daily.  I do.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Double anchor, double kudos

Friday, Sept 16 and Saturday Sept 17
(delayed due to sparse internet connectivity in the South Sound)

On an out-and-back trip, one of the problems is that the return trip can be kind of anti-climatic.  As soon as you turn around, you are in territory you covered only a little while ago, and there is a mixture of the beginnings of nostalgia and the undeniable draw of home.  We try to minimize this by stopping in alternate places where possible.  But portions of the trip are inevitably repeats.  Nevertheless, with the wind as propulsion, it is unlikely that both the outbound and inbound legs will be identical. 

We rose early again (rats!) and motored out of Filucy Bay ("wind as propulsion"?  not on this leg), heading for Gig Harbor once again.  It was a strangely uneventful trip...  We only saw three other boats in the entire distance:  the strange part was that these were three Canadian military vessels (#60, #61, #62).  We met them as they traversed Balch Passage, and we speculated that perhaps Olympia was about to be invaded by Canada.

A view of the Tacoma Narrows
bridges that most will never see
Passing under the (now dual!) span of the Tacoma Narrows bridge is always a rush - literally a rush if you do it properly, with the tide. 

We moved to the back of the harbor in Gig Harbor once again, in about the same place we had been a few days prior.  Tho the depth shown on the chart was a uniform 23 feet, as we drifted back and forth on the anchor, we occasionally saw depths of 14 feet.  I joked that perhaps there was a wreck down there.

It was a pretty evening and nite, and I experimented again with long-exposure pictures.  Normally I would have discarded this one, but something in the colors and shapes interested me, in an abstract sort of way.

Next morning: final, or final but one leg.  The wind forecast for Monday was for 20-25 kt at Shilshole, and I didn't really want to dock in that much wind.  So we hoped to use Sunday's 10-15 kt southerlies as travelling wind and get tied to the dock ahead of the big blow.

The first setback occurred as we hoisted anchor.  I was down in the bow, flaking the chain as it came aboard as usual.  I noticed that the windless seemed to be running unusually slow...  and then Jane called me up topside.  Uh oh.  There really was something down there.  Tho I can't say for certain if there was a wreck, there was certainly an abandoned old-fashioned anchor and its rode.  Kudos to our windless for being able to hoist this mess up to the surface where it could be dealt with!

The time-honored way to clean up this situation is to pass a line under the offending object, securing both ends on deck.  Then you lower your anchor, away from the now-suspended object.  In the picture I have started reeving the line.  The procedure worked for us (the second time we have had to do it), and the old anchor is back on the bottom of Gig Harbor.  It would have made a really neat souvenir, except that we really had no way to carry a very heavy and very rust-corroded object.  If anyone is interested, I can forward approximate coordinates - it would be good to get it out of the harbor.

We motored most of the way up Colvos Passage, with the current at our back.  Near the north end, the beginnings of a travelling wind appeared and we unrolled the yankee for a downwind run to Shilshole.

Unfortunately, by the time we reached West Point, we were seeing 20+ kt at our backs while making 7+ kts.  We briefly discussed running off to Port Madison and anchoring to wait it out.  But the forecast was for more (perhaps much more) of the same.  West Point partially shelters the Marina and the breakwater adds some protection.  We decided to explore and see how bad it was right at our slip - with the option to bail and head to Port Madison if it was bad.  Jane called Angela on the phone, and she rallied up a crew on the dock.

Things seemed tenable as I turned into the waterway, and so I committed to docking.  All went well until the boat was halfway into the slip.  Then a BIG gust hit us broadside, slamming us into the corner of the finger.  Kudos to Angela and our good friends and neighbors for saving us!  We already had one line ashore at that point - that meant that the bow could be kept under control; the rest of the crew fended off and took the other three lines.  No damage, thanks to all the help!

Tied to a dock again, for the first time since Sept 9... and the beer never tasted so good!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Filucy Bay Leaves

Thursday, Sept 15
(delayed due to sparse internet connectivity in the South Sound)

We rose pretty early and bid adieu to Olympia.  Early because we are now northbound, and the ebb tides are in the morning right now.  Up until today we have been very genteel with our cruising - the tides have dictated (!) that we not leave our anchorages until afternoon.

We threaded the needle back out the long dredged channel (note: Tho there were for the inbound course, there are NO range boards* for the outbound course - thank heavens for our GPS!), back out past Boston Harbor, and into Dana Passage.  About 2/3 of the way thru Dana Passage, the wind picked up enough that we could kill the engine.

For the rest of the morning, we quietly sailed, anchoring about 15:00 in Filucy Bay.  (Do you say Fil-u-see or Fil-u-she?  Those locals we have asked called it Fil-u-see.  I always go with the locals.)

Filucy Bay is special because Ken's parents (Jeff and Sue) have a beach house there, and as it turned out they were at home.  We shared dinner with them and had a nice long chat, until way after dark.  Motoring back out the boat in the dark was a really cool experience - the phosphorescence was spectacular - the discharge from the prop of the outboard looked like a pale blue searchlight pointing astern underwater, and each of the two tubes of the dinghy trailed a smaller beam.  There is no possible way to make a picture of this, unfortunately.  You will just have to go out on the water with us at nite if you want to see it.

The final bit:  Sue gave us a big bunch of bay leaves from their plantings.  Aside from their obvious use as a seasoning, we use them to repel weevils in the floury things on the boat.  We even leave some just laying around on the  pantry shelves, just in case.  It really works!

* Range boards are two boards, spaced our both horizontally and vertically, each with a stripe.  They are positioned such that if you line the two stripes up one above the other and keep them there, your course is the desired one.

Un Clear

Our Clearwire cell system modem has apparently died.

I have a couple of posts to finish out our cruise, but I can't do them from my iPhone.

So. Know that we are safely home at the dock, and still have stories to tell.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

On to Olympia

Wednesday, Sept 14

This morning we took a harbor tour of Boston Harbor, and ended up at the Boston Harbor Marina for breakfast.  This is a delightfully random place.  It reminds me of some of the stores we saw in Desolation Sound - over a friendly uneven floor they sell beer, ice, boots, gifts, food, clothes, books, chandlery, fresh seafood, and more that I have forgotten.

Later, I put the final coat of varnish on the port caprail and pulled the tape (cruising = working on your boat in exotic ports).  Then we relaxed until mid-afternoon when we hoisted anchor and motored off for Olympia at the south end of Budd Inlet.  This is the southernmost anchorage in the South Sound, and is also, completely coincidently, the capitol of the State of Washington.  In fact, as soon as we turned left into Budd Inlet proper, the capitol dome was visible in the distance.

It's a little tricky getting down to the far end of Budd Inlet - you must traverse a long dredged channel (35' deep; 3' deep on either side), but there are range boards, and the GPS is definitely your friend for the passage.  We ended up anchoring right in front of the Anthony's restaurant, and virtually under the capitol dome.

When you anchor directly in front of Anthony's, you must, of course, eat there.  We had a great dinner, and enjoyed watching Eolian resting peacefully while we munched on northwest seafood cuisine.

The capitol dome is illuminated at nite.  This is pretty neat, but they do turn off the lights later in the evening, presumably to save us taxpayers some money.

But the huge yard filled with logs waiting to be loaded onto a ship was also illuminated, and the work there continued all nite.  This did not contribute to my personal sawing of logs.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Boston, but not in Massachusetts

Tuesday, Sept 13

For breakfast this morning I made cornbread.  Aside from the corny, yummy goodness, this provided cabin heat, which was welcome this morning.  The hot days of summer are over, and Autumn has fallen with a crash.  After breakfast we masked, sanded and got a coat of varnish on the port caprail.  And after lunch, we threaded the needle out of Vega Bay and drove the entire distance to Boston Harbor, over at the top of Budd Inlet (wind was non-existent).

This is a shallow bay (both in terms of the water depth, and the amount it intrudes into the coastline), and is not easy to anchor in.  We took a tour of the mooring field, looking for a spot that had perhaps been overlooked in the placing of mooring balls, but there just wasn't one.  So we ended up anchoring at the outside of the mooring field, well exposed to the pretty substantial current. 

Usually I am pretty good at picking a spot to drop the anchor, but here I failed; the current flowing thru the bay threw me off.  We ended up too close to a moored boat and had to move.  The second time I did better.  But still, we were unsure how things would sort out after the tide change.  So we set an alarm for 15 minutes before the change (01:00) and went to bed. 

Then in the middle of the night (it was a warm nite), we sat in the cockpit and watched the dance as moored boats and empty mooring balls rearranged themselves in response to the changing water flow.  Being on deck on a boat at nite in a quiet anchorage is like no other experience.  There were no waves, so I was able to take some very long exposures with my digital camera - up to 15 seconds.  These approximate the view that you actually see, but they don't convey the sound of gently lapping waves, a soft breeze, and the intense quiet.

As it turned out we were OK, and we gladly snuggled into our berths for the remainder of the nite.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

South Sound: alone

Alone in Vega Bay

One of the interesting things about boating in the South Sound is the dearth of boats here.  Compared to north of the Narrows, there are very, very few.

After spending a non-moving day at anchor in Gig Harbor, we are now at anchor in Vega Bay, one of the southernmost anchorages in the South Sound. There is no internet here, and tho there are two boats at anchor in the bay, they are unoccupied.

Yesterday in Gig Harbor, we shopped around in town, and bought some art (direct from the artist - how could we resist?), and had lunch at the Tides Tavern. We also finally got the long-sought ice cream and hamburger buns, at a small store across the road from Anthony's at the back of the harbor. Finding this store was a bonus, since the big QFC over by the Tides has closed up shop.

These were necessary items for the happy hour/dinner visit by the Maranto sisters, Breanna and Courtney (Fujita nee Maranto), and Aaron (who never stopped moving the entire time!  What a busy, curious little guy!). It was a fabulous afternoon, and thankfully we were on the water - it was just plain hot on land.

This morning, we motored out of Gig Harbor and the overcast into sunshine. After the always exhilarating ride down the Narrows with the tide, we raised sail.  The forecast southerly turned out to have enough west in it that we were able to sail close-hauled all the way to Vega bay. We flew the mizzen, main and staysail, but did not unfurl the jib. This made the rig completely self tending, so that tacking involved only turning the wheel. Call us lazy, if you wish.

And now we are here in Vega Bay, alone.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sleigh ride

Tho I have said before that the current in Colvos Passage always runs north, that is not strictly true. On big tidal changes, the tidal flow can prevail. Yesterday we had a change from 0.7 ft to 10.9 ft - that was sufficient to give a 0.5 - 1.0 southerly flow.

And yesterday we were blessed with a 15 kt northerly wind. This made our run down Colvos Passage truly a sleigh ride. Hours of 5+ kt sailing without having to adjust anything. Absolutely idyllic.

Comparing the knotmeter with the gps, we travelled 21 miles, with two of those miles provided by the tide.

And this morning we awoke at anchor in Gig Harbor - one of our favorite places to be.

Life is good.

Saturday, September 10, 2011



We are starting our decompression vacation following the wedding. Last nite we sailed to Eagle Harbor as the first stop on a South Puget Sound cruise (we have no planned itinerary - that's the way I like it).

I captured this picture of the Seattle skyline just as the setting sun gilded the skyscrapers with light - did I mention that the view from here is great?

Today, after a dinghy ride ashore for some last minute provisioning, we'll head down Colvos Passage to Gig Harbor - another lovely anchorage! Where do we go from there? Don't know. But we'll figure it out...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

And then two were one

The deed is done

(After a brief period of rest, we will return you to our regularly scheduled living aboard blog)

Friday, September 2, 2011

How I like a song

A little introspection here.  But not entirely off topic because for me, music and sailing are natural partners, intertwined.  It's a little tricky doing this kind of analysis because the observer is the observed, and the analytical instrument is the target of the analysis.  But here goes:

It is extremely rare that when I first hear a song from a new-to-me artist (say, for example Gillian Welch, my latest musical acquisition - thanks Kaci!) that I immediately like it.  "Liking" a song, for me, is not an event; it is a process, and it goes something like this:
  • First, the song must be interesting.  That is, there must be some aspect of it that snags my attention and holds it.  It could be the lyrics, but if this were the case then it would have to be something repetitive  - like the chorus, or something that strongly resonates for it to make it thru the layer of distractions that is always present in my brain.  More likely it will be something musical (this bypasses my distraction layer) - an unexpected chord or harmony, an unusual beat, something in the artists voice, something.  If on the first hearing of a song by a new-to-me artist I don't find something interesting, that artist gets relegated to the huge pile of singers that I ignore...  and perhaps not surprisingly, a second chance is harder to arrange (but not terribly rare).
  • If there is interest, then I will listen to the song again.  The song that is destined to be in my "like" pile will have additional features that reveal themselves after the basic structure of the melody is grasped by my feeble brain.  So I listen to the song again.  Perhaps I now pick up a word that makes a phrase now become clear.  Or an unnoticed harmony - that happens - a lot.  At first listening, a lot of the music slips right by me, while I am working on grasping the broadest cut at the melody and lyrics.  At this stage, after the second or third listening, I'd say that the song has become "intriguing."
  • OK, now the song has its hooks in me.  I will listen to it over and over, gaining more and more detail at each replay.  I will now appreciate all the harmonies and lyrics.  I will start to sing along.  I officially "like" this song.
  • The terminal stage is "obsession".  In this stage, my left hand starts to form chord shapes, and I am listening to the finest structure in the music.  I am even listening to the non-verbals the artist makes in the course of singing.  And I will now seek anything else I can find by this artist - to contrast and compare with this song.  This is the stage where the other songs in an album round out my appreciation of the artist.
At least for me, that's The Way It Goes.

Did that one hook you?  It did me.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Replacing ice with foam

Eolian's freezer is about 12" square, which doesn't sound like much, but it is 38" deep.  Lying on the counter top, I can just barely touch the bottom; Jane's arms are not so long as mine - she cannot.  Also, the two (!) holding plates do not reach all the way to the bottom - this means that if a not-yet-frozen item is dropped to the bottom, wedges under the holding plates and then freezes like that, it cannot be removed until the entire freezer is defrosted.

So.  The Previous Owner put two of those "blue ice" packs on the bottom, to keep things from going too deep.  And over time, a layer of ice also forms down there, entombing everything.   My idea was to fill this unused and unusable volume with extruded polystyrene foam instead of ice, thus improving the insulation of the bottom of the freezer dramatically.

Step 1: Defrost the freezer.

I removed as much of the freezer contents as I could get out (see "wedged under holding plate" above) and positioned a small fan over the opening to the freezer in the evening.  By morning, I was able to remove the remaining unidentifiable food items and expose the blue ice packs.  But they were still encased in about 2" of solid ice.

In a rush  to get this done before I had to go to work, I boiled some water in the tea kettle and poured it in there.   After letting it sit long enough to prevent getting burned, I swirled it about with my hand, spreading out the heat to melt the ice.  Two of these treatments melted all the ice and allowed removal of the blue ice packs.

Then I bailed out the freezer and mopped it dry with a sponge.

At that point, with an empty and clean freezer, I put the lid back on it and turned on the refrigeration system again to chill down the refrigerator, and went to work.

Step 2: Measure and cut foam.

There may not be any ice in there, but it is frosty, and it is *very* cold.  Stick a tape measure down and get a reading both ways - it comes back out icy cold.  Mark the pink foam (Scotty from Ghost said it looks like raspberry sherbert) and then cut it with a knife.  Well, not really cut it, but rather score it and then snap it on the score line.  Because of the presence of the two holding plates, it was clearly not possible to put a full-sized piece of foam into place.  So I cut each piece in half lengthwise (top to bottom in the photo) and put the two pieces in place, outside edges first, leaving the inside edges sticking up.  I got the sizes close enough that the halves snapped into place when the meeting center edges were pressed down.

Step 3: Install the foam

Drop the pieces in there and snap them into place... no real procedure here.  The final of the three layers (making 3" of additional insulation on the bottom of the freezer) had to be trimmed some to fit around the bottoms of the holding plates and their retainers.

This solves a problem and provides more insulation - a double win!

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