Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A day in the Grove


We got up and about early today to get some chores done. One chore was to schlep water. I now use a 25 gallon bladder tank in the dinghy which i fill in a once in a while empty slip designated for us mooring types. Sometimes there's a sailboat in the slip getting pumped out and refilling their tanks. Sometimes there's a sailboat in there enjoying free dockage for the day or night as well. Cheap bastards. 
I use a DC pump to move the water from the bladder to the tanks. Notice I said DC not AC. I needed to move the pump closer to the tank and, well, an electrical controls engineer getting electrocuted in his wet dinghy is not how I want to be remembered. The whole process is slick. No sore back or busted nuts. Now I can say I empty my bladder in the dinghy. 
Yes, I told that whole story just to type that sentence. 

We hit the streets to spend more money today. Deb and I both needed some things. We hopped the bus to head to the marine store, Crook and Crook. Yes, that's their name and they live up to it. Like the law firm Dewey, Cheatem and Howe. 

On the bus there was an old woman with a walker sitting across from us. She seemed nice. She told the driver she wanted the next stop near her home. We were getting off there too. The bus stopped and she couldn't get up from the seat so I helped her. Before I could snag her arm she dug both hands and her boney fingers into my forearms and clamped on. We got her up and off the bus but her fingers were like sand paper and she broke skin with her witchy nails. Crap. I'll probably get exema on my forearms. 

The bus driver got out and was talking to the woman asking her where she needed to go. She seemed confused. I felt concerned for her but also wanted to get another look at her hands and check for a rash. While watching the driver and the old woman and not where i was walking I stepped right into a huge pile of dog shit. I wear Keen sandals. The ones with all the tiny slits for wet traction. Damn. I did the usual swearing and wiped my sandal in the grass. When I looked up I thought I saw the old woman look at me and smile.  

While walking the aisles at the marine store I kept telling Deb it smelled like shit in here. We got back on the bus and I could still smell it. So could the cute girl across the aisle from me. 
We decided to eat lunch in town and I decided an outdoor cafe would be a good choice considering I smell like a kennel.  We ate at Greenstreets Cafe. Good food. I had this portabella sandwich where the mushroom was breaded and fried. Awesome. Add some sweet potato fries and a Sea Dog blueberry wheat beer and I was a happy camper. The occasional whiff of dog shit didn't even bother me. 

We popped into Fresh Market for some groceries. I had to visit the little sailors room but some guy beat me to it. I waited in the corner by a drinking fountain. I could smell it. A girl wanted the fountain to wash off an apple for her break. She smelled it too. I had thoughts of washing the shit off my sandal in the bathroom if this guy would ever get the hell out of there. Try some flomax buddy! He finally finished up and when I got in there I just couldn't get myself to wash the dog crap off in a public sink. Kind of gross. I did take the time to wash my forearms. 

Cheers from Coconut Grove. Still. 
P




Sunday, December 28, 2014

Comments screwup and a nice holiday.

I must have changed something in my blogger settings for comments because I see that I had at least 20 comments that required moderation. Huh? I never touched that setting...I think.

So all this time I thought nobody was really reading anything. Sorry folks.

I get to the kids house with broad band and I load blogger only to find all these nice comments on my posts. You guys must have thought I was rude or something. Oh well. They are there now and I changed the settings. We have been so caught up in prepping for leaving the States that I completely overlooked the fact that I had comments to moderate.

I admit to slacking off on the posts lately. Been busy and too lazy to get to the marina office to couch it with the locals getting good wifi. The few times we did manage to get to the couch we met some nice folks. Problem is we get to talking and then I never get the damn posts out there. We are having fun with the kids and about ready to get back to cruising. I hated being in one place this long but it made for a relatively short drive to Savannah from here.

We will be back to our adventuring real soon and with lots of things to write about. Stay tuned.



Hope everyone had a great holiday so far. Christmas was fun this year with our immediate family in one spot for a change, Our Grandsons are amazing. We will really really miss these little men and their wonderful parents. Deb's mom made the trip up from Florida as well so it was extra special for us. Good times.

Now it's back to the business of cruising. 

Cheers!
P


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Fleece navidad

It's cold! Yes it's fifty degrees but we have no furnace to warm things up before we kick the covers off. 


I am hoping that this weather is just a brief taste of winter. 



I'm not much of a sock guy anymore but waking up to 50 degrees was too much for my old toes. Good thing we have a sun room. 


I was busy yesterday building a temporary new mounting base for our crude radar support pole. If this doesn't work I am either going to mount it on an expensive pole/motor lift or put it on the mast. Pulling the mast is $$. So let's hope this works. Pics later. One nice thing about having jury rigged shit on your boat is that other cruisers see it and they refrain from asking you for any help with their shit. :)

I couldn't make tea fast enough this morning. Needed warmth and caffeine. I then remembered I had this horrible black tea. I thought it was loose leaf when I bought it but opening it I found this:


Tea bag you say? Why no, it's a Sachet. Pinkys out! I would go back to coffee if it didn't destroy my stomach. All those years at GM with that acid we called coffee didn't do me any favors. 

My blogging has been done by iPhone lately. We were charged for more data recently as we went over our limit so we are using it up. The laptop is pretty lame when running on batts. By the time windows gets done with all it's power up horseshit the battery is half gone. There is no wifi in this mooring field which I find pretty lame as well, so we are internet deprived right now which is probably a good thing. We have plenty to do. 

Here's to warmer weather and an awesome Christmas and holiday!
Safe travels. 
Cheerz!
PJB





Saturday, November 29, 2014

Why Fi?

Our goal today was to buy some cheap veggies and do some online chores. Things didn't quite work out for us. 

 Our last purchase at Fresh Market was broccoli which didn't make it two days without spoiling so we hit up the hippie farmers market today thinking cheap and fresh. We got shocked at the register when it totaled $51 for two zucchini, radishes, 5 potatoes, one squash, blue berries, broccoli and some tea leaves. What the hell!


I have to take a closer look at those tea leaves because I definitely paid way too much for just vegetables. Maybe that's why they threw rolling papers into the bag?


After getting fleeced at the market we went to Starbucks to pay $3 for a cup of coffee and use their wifi. The coffee sucked and so did the wifi. I ordered an Americano figuring that was as close to a regular cup of joe as I was going to get. I asked for soy milk instead of cream. "How much?" The gal asked. I said a splash. She stared me down and asked if an inch was ok. Geezus. Awfully technical aren't they? Ok an inch then. "Steamed or cold? Ugh. Steamed sounds good. Apparently steaming soy takes a half hour and then some ass hat grabbed my coffee by mistake. I asked him what he ordered. He got the same thing only with milk. Dude, this has STEAMED SOY! Back off. 

Fully jacked on caffeine we strolled to the library to use their wifi which also sucked. Turns out the folks behind us which looked suspiciously like cruisers, were streaming a movie. Really guys? We attempted to use it anyway but it was useless. I wish I knew what movie they were watching so I could tell them how it ended. 

On the way out of the library some homeless guy coughed in our faces and crossing the street some kid yelled something at us from a car. Maybe he said get a job. Do we look like bums? We had backpacks and a grocery bag. Not like we were pushing a shopping cart! Little shithead. Must be the backpacks. I see a lot of homeless folks in the park with backpacks. Could be why that store manager followed me around CVS that one day. Maybe I should shave more often. 
 
We got in the dinghy and pounded though the two foot chop of this unprotected mooring field feeling totally defeated today. 

Tomorrow is a work day. Boat chores are calling so we will ignore our internet woes. Somehow, some way, somewhere, we will find good WiFi and get some important things done. 

The wifi we pull in with our antenna is spotty at best and it sometimes takes hours just to do a blog post. Not quite what's needed to order boat parts or enroll in health care. Monday we will try again unless the homeless guy gave us a nice gift for the holidays. 

Cheers!
P

Your moment of zen:

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Pungo Pots

One of our favorite anchorages on the ICW is after the Pungo River on the South end at STM 127.4. We were there on our first trip south from NY. It’s a quiet spot with relatively deep water and room for many boats. It’s not the most protected spot but if it’s not blowing stink it’s OK. We like it because it’s quiet. There may be a few yahoos shooting the bark off of trees and the occasional dog barking but for the most part it’s just you and the fish.

After our adventure with “Snakes on a Chain” at the north end of the river, Deb was determined not to anchor there again so we were pretty excited to pull off the waterway and spend a peaceful night in a favored spot. We came out of the river and glanced to the north towards our refuge. Pots! Crab Pots! Hundreds of crab pots littered the area as far as the eye could see. Our hearts sank and for once I was the calm one while Deb swore like a sailor. It was late in the day and we were tired. We had motored to  the point where we would turn into the anchorage and I said, “Let’s go in and look around.” Deb said, “It’s full of F@#&ing pots!! They are everywhere!” You wouldn't believe the field of pots we saw. We were ready to give up and just find a spot off channel for the night but I thought why not give it a shot.

We bobbed. We weaved. We worked our way toward a spot that looked good while watching the depth sounder. The target area showed promise. It looked full of pots but as we got closer a clear spot opened up for us right in the middle of a small cove surrounded by pine trees. Yes! We tucked in and dropped the hook in mud and settled in for the night. What are the odds that the very spot that was most protected was empty of pots?

After a night with dead bugs staining the deck and motoring in fog, this was a pleasant ending to a long day. I slept like a teenager after his first pot party and snack run.

It’s amazing how time on the water has reduced our anxiety over some things like crab pots. Well, for me anyway. When we first started out I was freaking out over all the damn pots everywhere. They used to drive me nuts because everywhere we wanted to anchor or sail there were pots to dodge. I know some of you folks reading at the time were like, chill dude!

I still want to avoid them and snagging one means I have to get in the water with a knife, which would probably lead to being in the water with blood. Being in the water with blood usually means you will have company. I like to swim alone thank you. 

Now I see pots as a sign of shallow water. They keep you honest on the ICW. There were a few times I was almost out of the channel on a turn, but the pots kept me in deep water. We have even anchored with pots all around us, which I really do not like but hey, we all have rights to the water. I remember one crabber getting all pissed off one morning because a sailboat next to us literally backed up over his marker. He was shouting some unintelligible nonsense about keeping the hell away from his pots. I couldn't help but laugh. I saluted him with my coffee mug. How’s it feel asshole. 

Recently in Florida I got all worked up about dodging a pot in mid channel. “Bastards can’t be laying pots here!!” Turns out I was avoiding a coconut.

Life out here sure is amusing and amazing. We continue to gain experience and learn something new with every day. We are now suffering anxiety over the upcoming crossing of the Gulf Stream. I'm sure we will over plan and lose sleep over it until we actually do it. Next year at this time we will be giving advice on how to, or how not to do it. Until then we have projects to complete and some quirky technical issues to solve. 

Cheers!
PJJB