Friday, August 14, 2015

Southpaw

I totally forgot yesterday was national left handed day. Yes, I am left handed. No matter how hard those nuns at St Matthews tried to beat it out of me I remain to this day left handed. I suppose somewhere in their education the nuns thought it was the sign of the devil. We all know that beating kids on their writing hand will force them to write with the other one. Stupid nuns.

There have been many studies regarding lefties. I found this article which discusses some of the findings. Some are funny and some are kind of disturbing, but a few explain a lot.

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/aug/13/left-handers-day-brain-research-creative-anger

So to all my fellow lefties,
Cheers!
P

Monday, August 10, 2015

Bombs Away

Yesterday I was getting a few projects done while nursing my sore back. I pulled or tweaked a lower muscle and it hurt like hell if I moved a certain way. I was being careful and trying not to do anything stupid. After a while I got a wee bit tired as I have not had much sleep with this back problem. I decided to lay down in the aft cabin for maybe a half hour.

I was reading for maybe ten minutes and then closed my eyes. I woke up five minute later with rain drops on my leg. If the hatch above the aft cabin is open we will know when it rains because our legs get wet. Damn. It was perfectly sunny out when I went below. Hmm, the rain stopped. I opened my eyes and looked at the hatch to see the blazing sun. Then I looked at my legs. Green. Green dots. Green dots and a blob of...
BIRD SHIT. Bird shit on me. Bird shit on the bed. Bird shit on the floor.

It was a perfect shot. The crap hit the screen and then formed a spray pattern which went everywhere. I told Deb about the mess out back while sanitizing my legs with Purell. I sprayed shout on the sheets and tossed them in the laundry basket and then cleaned up the floor and the rest of the area. Deb went off to do the laundry in a huff and I was too pissed off to lay down.

Nap over.

I remembered Deb had this hatch cover she made for WhisperIII, our previous boat. It was still in the v berth. I immediately took it and deployed the thing. All these years and it took a direct hit from a bird to make me put this thing to use.




When we were in Jax I was told of a day when people were sitting outside having drinks and lunch at a Jax beach cafe when a pelican flew low over the tables and unloaded. Women screamed, men cursed, children laughed. I'm glad I missed it. No pelicans here. Just small accurate birds.

Cheers,
PJJB 

Details

Most of you have noticed by now that my blog posts are random, and do not necessarily follow our cruising timeline. This can confuse people. Even smart people, which make up most, no wait, ALL of my readers. Yes, I'm flattering you. I know some of you are slow but it's all relative now isn't it? You just need to be with the right crowd. Move to Georgia.

I have never really followed a timeline and if I did it was purely accidental. If I come across something interesting or funny while we travel I will write it down on paper and post it later if I remember. Sometimes a port leak will ruin a perfectly good story and you will miss out. Sorry. I'm working on those leaks. Deb said if I used a regular ball point pen to write with I would not have a streaked unreadable post because the ink wouldn't run like a river down the page. Sorry but I love me Gel pens. Smooth they are. I write like a spaz and I need not be hindered by the Biro Brothers invention from the thirties. Does it make you sad knowing there are lost posts due to a leaky port or hatch? I thought so.

Now, if you are indeed curious at all about where we have been and if we ever take photos there, then you need to visit my mate Debra's blog. If you look at the tiny lettering I have in the top right corner of my blog, yes there. Look closely and there is a link to Debra's blog. It's my unselfish way of promoting my wife's creative writing abilities over my own.

Boat Hippies is the travelogue of our cruising adventures and Debra is now writing about the Bahamas and catching up fast. It's detailed, has photos and probably some witty criticism of her adoring husband. I say probably because I have not read the whole thing yet. This gives you a chance to get to any juicy parts before I can comment on or delete them. OK, maybe plead to have them removed, or threaten to post something hideously embarrassing about Deb. No that would never  happen. Women always win. Damn it.

So, check out Boat Hippies if you want proof that I didn't make this whole 'sailing away' thing up while sitting in front of a computer somewhere in upstate NY pretending to be a cruiser, my face smeared with potato chip grease and my apartment filled with cats walking through old pizza boxes.

Cheerz peoples,
Pjb



Monday, August 3, 2015

Many ways to communicate

As we sit in Brunswick I'm trying to figure out a way to get Facebook posts posted without wifi. We have the Iridium Go hotspot which sends texts and emails without much trouble at all. We were able to post to Facebook, but the stoops at FB removed the email posting feature. Iridium said they are working on a fix but I jumped ahead and figured one out.

Twitter. Yes, I now tweet. When I post a tweet it automatically goes to facebook. I have no other reason to be on twitter other than to do a facebook post from afar. So, no I will not be following the likes of The Donald or Kim Kardashian to read what or who they had for breakfast. I will have a widget on the Blog that shows my tweets. If you don't have Facebook you can still see no more than 140 characters of wisdom from me just by looking at the blog. Things like, "These waves are high. I think I'm gonna hurl", or "Our last 4 slices of bread and I burned the grilled cheese". You might also like, "There's a guy next to us with an actual Peg Leg!", or "They're French Canadian and they're all in Bikinis, and waving me over!", but more likely, "Deb took away my binoculars".

So, we most likely have things covered on the communication front. We have an unlocked phone with no contract. We have sat wifi from which we can make calls, text, email, tweet and post to Facebook and the blog. We get grib files through email and view them with Pocket Grib or Sail Grib. Chris Parker emails us every night and we can get text weather reports. We also have SOS features on three separate sat devices.



We appear good to go unless the USA pisses someone off enough to have them wipe out our satellites, and if that happens there will be worse things to worry about.

I didn't mention SSB because well, we don't have it. The cost of getting outfitted and learning to use it was prohibitive. There is a need for it though and I'm glad other cruisers have it. At one point last season my daughter was trying to get a hold of us while we were in the Exumas. She posted to Facebook and our friends on Magnolia saw this and used the SSB cruisers net to find us and get a message to us. We had a cruiser dinghy over and tell us that Nicole needed to talk to us. This was pretty awesome. Nicole tried to reach us on the sat but we were only turning the thing on in the evenings. With the install of an external antenna this will change.

That's all I have as I try to get back into the world of blogging. 

Have a wonderful day.

Cheers!
PB


Sunday, August 2, 2015

Mr. Wobbles goes Downtown. Eats Bush.


Every once in a while Debra and I feel like going out to a bar. It doesn't happen as often as people think, but sometimes we feel the need to hang out and have a few beers and get a bite to eat. Usually there is a happy hour somewhere with drink specials and typically this happens on a Thursday for some reason. Fridays can be crowded with locals getting out of work so we prefer to have a little more elbow room on the off nights. Occasionally, if conditions are right and the mood strikes me, I may get a wee bit carried away and increase my consumption just a tad more than usual. I try to stay on this side of happy but once in a while I cross that border.

It was a Thursday full of work on the boat in the blazing sun and I was ready for a break. This break occurred around three PM which coincided with the happy hour at the local pub here in Brunswick. "Hey Deb! Feel like a happy hour?" Deb mentioned that we never had any lunch and I replied, "We'll eat when we get there"

We arrived by bike at four PM. Debra has her own bike but I have to use one of the marina loaners. The problem with the loaner bikes is that they get abused and some are in rough shape. The good ones become private property because the boaters lock them up at their dock, afraid they will lose their good bike and have to take one of the cripples for a ride. This is a problem because I only seem to get one of two bikes, Mr. Wobbles or Skippy. Mr. Wobbles has a bent rim in the back so when you ride it your butt does the hippy hippy shake. It's comical to watch. Debra and I rode to the grocery store one day and she was behind me laughing while Mr. Wobbles shook things up. Skippy has a limp left pedal which skips. Very annoying. My choice for happy hour was Mr. Wobbles.


We locked up our bikes in the rack near the bar in a little park like square and proceeded to the bar. We grabbed a couple stools and talked to the bartender about the craft brews. For me, the first beer is always quick, especially when it's about one hundred degrees outside. Within twenty minutes I was on my second pint. Debra, being the smarter of the dynamic duo took her time.
Another pint and Deb is talking to some guy named BooBoo and I'm jawing with the bartender about craft beer and wondering if they play anything else but country music here. BooBoo seemed a bit odd so I avoided that conversation and was about to head off to the bathroom when I noticed we only had fifteen minutes left for happy hour. Shit! Not wanting to pay regular pricing on beers I ordered a few more "beat the clock" rounds. I excused myself and took off for the head. Hmm, maybe a slight wobble in my steps. Those extra rounds may not have been a good idea.

Back at the bar Mr. BooBoo was creeping Deb out and she hinted it was time to go. Hating to leave any beer at the bar I downed what was left. I never said I was smart. We popped out into the remaining light of the day and headed for the bike rack. Nothing like fresh air to let you know how wonderful you feel. I was seriously considering leaving Mr Wobbles in the rack and walking but Debra was already on her bike and waiting for me so I got on and took off.

Mister Wobbles and I got off to a fast start and drove straight into a row of bushes at the base of a tree not twenty feet from the bike rack. I was laying there laughing while Debra tried to help me up. She asked if I was OK and I told her I was fine. Just a little wobbly. Damn you Mr. Wobbles. I decided that speed was my best option. If you want to maintain your balance then speed is better. Everyone knows that. So off I went.

I went so fast that Debra lost sight of me. I took a short cut down a side street to the main drag and crossed it without any traffic. I misjudged the ramp leading up to the sidewalk and hit the curb. Mr. Wobbles and I remained upright but the basket flew off the front of the bike and the cable lock went flying like a live snake into the bush. Damn it. After I retrieved my attachments I took another shortcut through an office park. Meanwhile Debra is stopped in the marina parking lot talking to security.
One of the Marina security staff asked Debra if she needed help. "Just looking for my idiot husband", she replied. The security officer laughed out loud as he drove away.

I cut through the buildings of this office park and had one grassy part to negotiate before I hit the marina parking lot. I hit the grass, found out it was dirt and my front tire dug into it and down I went. I literally hit the marina parking lot. Of course the basket and snake like lock went skidding down the pavement. Again I collected my attachments and dusted myself off. Nothing but a few scrapes, so I took off for our dock.

I dropped that ugly bike in the grass, cursing him and possibly giving him a kick or two in the spokes before I made my way to the cockpit of our boat. I listened for Debra and I heard her talking to one of our neighbors on the dock so I went off to sleep. Debra found me intact and sleeping like a baby in the cockpit. 

In the morning I woke up in bed nice and comfy. No headache, no worries except maybe where I left that damn bike. Deb said he was tossed in the grass near the dock, unlocked. Maybe I was hoping someone would steal the damn thing.
Should we ever decide to pop out to a bar again, Mr. Wobbles, Skippy or any other bike will stay on the rack. Debra said walking is much healthier and I have to agree.

A perfect combination of dehydration, no food, exhaustion and beer could have been trouble had I drove Mr Wobbles into a tree or a parked car. I was lucky. Lesson learned. The problem I have now is the whole Marina knows of me and Mr. Wobbles. Word travels fast around here. Now when I'm pulling a bike out of the rack I may get a "Be careful on that thing!" and a smirk.

Cheers! (in moderation)
PJB