Monday, October 23, 2017

Sleepless in Trini

There does not appear to be any urgency in getting the boat in the water lately. I am not sure why. Maybe we got a bit lazy. To be honest I have not had much of any drive to get things done. Today I am attacking the engine room with some cleaning and organizing and some engine running. Once this is done then all we have to do is put new bottom paint on and mount some new (used) solar panels. We then head over to another marina to have our tanks cleaned. We have to jump marinas because the guy cleaning the tanks works there plus he needs to weld up a new access hatch in the port tank. He doesn't have the power for the welder in the yard. If you really want to clean a tank you have to get your hands into it and that's why we need big access.

If we were ready to launch today we would not because of the oil spill. What a mess. Hopefully this will vanish soon and we can all go in the water. And when I say "all" I mean a lot of people launching one after another into a harbor with very few mooring balls and poor anchoring. Oye. It's enough to make you want to stay in Grenada for hurricane season. We have thought about it.

So I have been having trouble getting a good nights sleep lately. Some will say, "Get a fucking air conditioner!" but that's not the problem. "More wild monkey like sex?!" That could be the problem but I don't see that happening any time soon unless I die and get reincarnated as a monkey and I'm likely to come back as a short monkey with a big head, which would kill any potential for what I had in mind unless a big head is a turn on in monkeyville. I'm not sure what the problem is with sleeping but I came across a book about sleep that was recently published. It's fascinating. You find out about the chemical process that occurs in your brain throughout the day to keep you in your sleep rhythm. The Circadian Rhythm. I read some of the book yesterday. There are graphs. Graphs of the chemical process that makes you sleepy and the average timing of that chemical release. It was fascinating, but then I laid there awake wondering why the release of Melatonin has not had an affect yet. I'm tired so my circadian rhythm is good but no Melatonin? Why? Is it blocked somehow? Is it a tumor? Fuck!

So I slept a little bit I guess. I'm not sure. At one point I was playing a lead guitar on a Neil Young song so I must have been dreaming. Four in the morning I was wide awake thinking about tumors but now I'm starting to sag a little. I guess I will down a few cups of tea and carry on with engine room work. My eyes are so puffy I look like admiral Ackbar in Star Wars.



My guitar playing has picked up a bit. It's a lot more interesting when jamming with others. There are little tricks and short cuts that I didn't know about that make things easier and fun. And that's why we are out here. It's all about fun. With or without sleep.

Cheers!
PJ

It's harder to play while standing. I'll use that as an excuse.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Boat yards and Buckets - Trini



Up the ladder. Down the ladder. Up the ladder. Down the ladder. It's annoying as hell but it's a fact of life when you are living on the dirt. Right now we are waiting on a contractor to quote us on tank cleaning. We want our port tank removed and cleaned properly as it's always been a sludge bucket since we bought the boat. So we wait in the dirt.

We are not really sitting on dirt as you know it. When I first saw what we were sitting on I thought it was petrified goose poop but actually it's old crushed coral and shells plus dirt and gravel. This area must have been reclaimed from the sea a long time ago. You walk around in your flip flops and pointy shells stick in them and sometimes through and into your heel. It's basically unsuitable for flip flops. When I am working under the boat I wear my hiking boots. If I wear sandals the small shells and stone always get trapped under my foot.

One of the gross parts of living on the dirt is bathroom time. Nobody wants to take a dump in their boat because there is no place for it to go except the ground or in your holding tank. Neither is a good option so we visit the bathrooms obviously. Lucky for us the bathrooms here are very clean and most people keep them that way. The gross part I am talking about is the pee bucket. Yes, the pee bucket. That 2 AM pee break when you are not fully awake but basically sleep walking can be a dangerous event as you crawl down the ladder in just your boxer shorts or pajamas and walk across crushed coral and open mouthed and laughing security guards on your way to the bathroom, so you utilize a bucket.

The problem with the bucket is that you have to empty it. People are very discreet with their buckets. At first I was wondering if we were the only people that pee at night. It didn't make sense. Most people here are our age and older and the younger ones party most nights so there is no way they can make it all night without relieving themselves unless they are all androids which I have pondered based on observations. There's definitely some bucket dumping going on and if you get up early enough you can see a few stealthy people creeping around. I know this is gross but if anyone was going to talk about it it's me I guess.

Our first night on the hard in the boat and I was thinking, "I'm not going down a ladder at 2am to take a piss. It's bucket time." Deb just looked at me and I recall her putting her hand on her head and mumbling something about hating the boatyard. It's a very unattractive part of our life. OK, there are many unattractive parts of this life like when I replace the joker valve on the toilet. Our toilet has to pump uphill a bit before gravity takes hold. What I'm saying is, you better make sure it's all fresh water left in that section of hose before you pull that valve out. Speaking from experience here. There will be other sailors out there wondering why I even mention some of these things but it needs to be talked about so we can separate the people from the human like droids. Seriously though didn't you ever wonder where all the people pee at night?

One of the other problems with being in the boatyard is having a spiffy boat next to you. I always hope we get matched up with boats of our kind. You know, the older, weathered and ridden hard boats that are sturdy but not too flashy. Ha! Never happens. We always get placed next to people who clean their boats crevices with a toothbrush and polish everything to a blinding shine. They have pallets at the base of their ladder for their yard shoes and trays of water to wash their feet in. There is an older classic yacht next to us that is spit shined every day. They have white canvas. They wear white clothes. Their hair is even white! We have Mr and Mrs Clean next door. They are very sweet and friendly and they take very good and meticulous care of their boat. It's annoying.

We impressed the hell out of them the other night after Deb and I had a few beers in the cockpit with the bug candles going and some snacks to munch on. We even had some tunes on low volume. It was a fun night but we forgot about the beer cans. About 2 am (bucket time) the wind picked up and the cans blew off the deck into the cockpit. It was one hell of a noise at that hour. We both giggled a bit at the racket outside and when morning came I gathered up the wind chimes from the floor only to see Mrs Clean wiping down the deck of their boat. Good morning she said with a slight smirk. Good morning I grumbled to the sound of crushing cans. They love us.

I don't know if we will ever be at the level that some of these folks are at with their boats. Ours will be shiny and clean when she hits the water and there are a lot of things we would like to improve but right now we spend money carefully and on items that are required to function out here. The pretty stuff will come later when we hop on the social security trail and have some extra cash to throw at this old boat. In the meantime all of us pretty and worn, new and old, clean white and faded blue, sit in the yard and sit at anchor with the same view, the same experiences and the same buckets.

Cheers,
P

Actually, they have a nicer bucket too :(


Friday, September 29, 2017

Things they never told us - Blogs Die and there will be Naked People

"I got up early today. I washed my face, had some tea and read a book. The rain stopped and we went someplace. See pics"

When you read something like that you know the blog is dead. The blogger has no will to type anything of any worth or interest to anyone. The comment section is dead aside for some Ad selling cream to boost your manhood. How does this happen? They were so interesting at one time? Well, as far as I can tell life for them has become routine and there isn't much to write home about. If you are sailing around the Islands for a few years the pictures become the same and the people and boats become the same. Pretty soon your blog posts all become the same.

"Here's a photo of the mango tree on the hill along the way to Customs for the third time. Here's me holding up a mango next to my big head. I have a different hat this year."

When it gets to this point and even your wife stops reading the blog then it might be time to sail someplace different or to maybe get out more and do some different things like visit another mango tree.

It's not a mango next to my big head but if you see this pic again
next season with a different shirt then the blog is dead.



I have seen many blogs fade away like this. Some blogs I used to follow are now years old and you wonder if they died or drowned. No, they just got bored telling you the same old shit all the time or they moved to facebook to post one picture and a few words. WELL, this will not happen here. Even if we, the crew of Kelly Nicole become too boring to write about I will just make shit up.

"As we teetered on the edge of the volcano after sneaking around the barriers I stopped to take a photo of our travelling companions who were excited to be reviving their blog with a volcano pic. Out of nowhere a goat came flying into my view and knocked Gregorio into the volcano! He clung to the edge on a branch coughing until one of his Keens started melting giving him the strength to pull himself up enough for us to grab him! The goat was lost in a quick puff of smoke and a final half bleat."

See how easy that was?

I hope it doesn't come to that (maybe it has). There is enough going on in this cruising life to at least entertain the few people that still have me in their feed reader. By the way, thanks for the comments and letting me know you are still here. The best blogs are the few you visit but really don't know why. It's like something bad you don't want to see but can't stop looking. This is that blog.

So now that you know I will be around for a while let's talk about naked people. I really just added "Naked People" to the title to get you to visit the blog one more time and I think it worked but now I am feeling a bit guilty about that little trick so let's do a few paragraphs related to full exposure cruising.

Before we cruised we experienced nakedness while sailing the Great Lakes. The French Canadians love to get naked and jump in the water. Great Lakes water is cold. Cold water has a negative affect on impressiveness. The people did not care. At first it was a shocking reaction on both parties. "Shit! This water is cold!" (Merde! Cette eau est froide!) and "Holy shit those people are naked!". You try not to stare but you do. Then they stare back. Then you look away. Then you see them in the bar. Awkward. Now we see so many people naked that it's to the point where I might say, "Balls overboard!" or "Floating wrinkles!" and no one really cares or looks and we carry on. Amazing what you get used to but you have to because there are so many naked people around.

As soon as we see a German flag arrive we know they will be naked as soon as the anchor is set. The French pour wine first, then get naked. Americans? They hardly ever take their shirts off let alone pants. I can't get into every nations full exposure habits when in harbour because I would get into trouble. You never know who's reading and I don't need boats sailing past KN mooning me or showing me their junk in retaliation. There are some highlights in Naked People sightings though that need to be mentioned.

One day working on the bow I heard splashing water and thought some fish was feeding alongside. No, it was a naked guy snorkeling past the boat. Startling image when you're not expecting it. Before I looked away he did a back stroke to say "Hello". Thanks pal. Awkward wave. He continued to swim alongside all the boats at anchor.

One calm morning I made some coffee and grabbed the tablet for some reading in the cockpit to watch the sun rise. I made myself comfortable and as I took the first sip my eyes met the eyes of a large older hairy dude on the stern of the boat next to us covered in soap and completely naked. I nodded "Good Morning" and then realized he was soaping his dong. Yes, he was actively and in my opinion enjoying too much the soaping of his dong. I spun around fast enough to spill some coffee and decided the sun rise was not that important today. He actually started singing softly as I started laughing quietly until I heard a big splash. Not wanting to stick around for the rinse and dry cycle I went below to get another cup.

The worst is when you drive by in the dinghy and slow down to say hello then realize too late that it's bath time. Sorry, have a nice day. Don't forget behind the ears.

I guess I didn't expect all these naked bodies next to us in these harbors. The large yacht full of naked super models has not shown up yet so I just ignore all the splashing, giggling and soap bubbles now. It's just become the normal with the exception of naked snorkeling. Some day I may join them (Deb says please no) and see what that freedom feels like in the water. For now I will keep my pants on and rest assured there will be no soapy dongs on our stern. No place to sit on our transom anyway.

Thanks for reading and hanging in there.
Cheers!
PJ

Guitar work continues. Sporadic at times but I see improvement. Not ready for public humiliation.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Yoh

Anyone here? Thinking about blogging again and I wanted to see if anyone was still watching.

We are sitting on the boat in the yard in a marina in Chaguaramas Trinidad. The rain keeps falling which makes work difficult so I thought I might type a few words and see if this sticks. The whole facebook adventure is giving me a fucking migraine. I like posting to the Kelly Nicole page, that's alright but my personal page is just too mind altering to observe on a daily basis. It reminds me of little kids playing soccer (football) and the whole bunch of them just follow the ball around the field. You get the topic of the day on FB and the whole lot of my friends just beat it to death with witty and not so smart comments that go on forever. They just go around in circles arguing and never scoring a point. It's tiring.

So, from now on I am looking at FB only to see if my peeps have posted anything of any substance and then I will glance at the news of the day to make sure missles are not raining down and then I will write. I will play guitar after I write. Then, I will do boat projects. This will last until we launch and then things will change a bit because anchoring and all that brings on new schedules.

I had this feeling the other day (completely off topic. Was there a topic?) that we are socially inept and that our introverted selves from years past have come back in force (quietly taken over). Not sure why this is. I find myself saying the wrong things to people or while talking to them I see the WTF look on their faces and start thinking that I am maybe a crazy person. Speaking just for myself mind you. Debra is a very quiet person but when out on her own she tells me of people she meets and conversations she has. Huh. Could it just be me? Has facebook ruined me? Every time I am out on my own I meet nutty people. Nutty in a good way mostly but sometimes nutty fruitcake scary. Like the time I gave a dinghy ride to a sailor to his boat to feed his starving kitty. Guy was illegal and the authorities impounded his boat. I had no idea. Here I am pulled alongside his boat as he unloads shit (probably drugs) from his boat into my dinghy. Never did see his fucking cat. So I get some free time and I make a friend with a sketchy French guy/drug dealer who offered me Quaker Oatmeal for helping him. We poured out the oatmeal into the bay thinking it was mostly cocaine. I wonder what ever happened to that guy. I'm like a damn magnet for weirdos.

So, with all my time spent with weirdos maybe I'm one of them now. Geez. Can I survive without a social life? Will it be a social life with fellow weirdos? Not worried about Debra, she'll be fine. I'm a talker. What the hell am I gonna do? Deb can only take so much chatter and then I will have to go out there and...
make friends?

Cheers!
P



Good to be back writing weird shit again. I think. I have a Morning Tea post almost ready to go. I'm slow. Too much time on Facebook and not alone with my keyboard...or making friends, or even talking to people offline.
posted from Bloggeroid

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Things they never told us. Rolling at anchor.

When we were planning this adventure we were already sailors. We had been sailing for quite some time. Big difference though between sailing and cruising. Before we left to go cruising the longest we had stayed aboard the boat while traveling was 3 weeks. This was done on Lake Ontario and most of the cruising was in Canada. It was cold. We stayed in marina's except for the Thousand Islands where we dropped the hook from time to time.

To say we were naive about cruising was an understatement. When we bought Kelly Nicole and hauled her for the survey I looked at the prop and asked, "Are those barnacles?" The people around the boat just stared at me in silence for about 3 seconds and then continued scraping. It was like that scene in the movie Animal House when the frat pledge asks a group playing poker if they are playing cards.



Our only anchoring experience before we left was in Sodus Bay, our home port, so it came as a rude awakening when our first time to anchor as cruisers was in the Delaware River just before the C&D Canal. It was the night a tug and barge drug anchor and came within about 75 yards of making us just splintered fiberglass. That was some scary shit I tell ya. When the Captain of the tug calls you and tells you to get ready to drop your chain you know it's serious.

Since we left we have been anchoring nearly every stop. Our last marina visit was in Puerto Real in Puerto Rico. That was a long time ago. That's a lot of anchoring. Of course there were some moorings we picked up along the way but not too often. It is surprising we didn't quit cruising altogether after some dreadful anchoring experiences capped off with the Derecho in Georgetown. I guess this is what separates the Women from the Girls, the Men from the Boys, the Cruisers from the Day Sailors, the Cats from Kittens, the Alpaca from the Cria, the Democrats from the Republicans (Ha! Don't get all bent out of shape now. Just a joke you trolls).

From the time we started thinking about cruising and reading all those blogs and magazines related to the cruising life there was not a single article or post that I can recall which talked about ROLLING at anchor. Not one. If there was well it didn't stick with me. We had no roll in the Great Lakes unless a boat threw a wake at us. I had no idea that the motion of a powerboat wake rolling you can happen naturally and go on for days and nights! WTF!

Here comes the Derecho!

For a while there during our voyage it seemed every anchorage we landed in was rolling. We started thinking that this is how it is and no one fucking mentioned this and I really really want to slap some people, like maybe the staff at Cruising World Magazine or those overly positive blogger's, where their everyday lives are filled with cheer, happiness and sunshine while holding exotic rum drinks that were brought to their boats balanced on the heads of smiling dolphins. They never mentioned rolling and puking but we know, yes we know now you lying bastards. Those Dolphins aren't bringing you drinks, they are alongside your boat laughing at your green face hanging over the side.

The first rolling was just annoying. We laughed because we walked funny and bumped into each other and some things were hard to do like boil pasta without 3rd degree burns and peeing while standing. After we left that anchorage we said, "How amusing was that!"

We pulled into a highly recommended and popular anchorage and it looks gorgeous but you literally could not get off your boat because it's rocking so much you fear falling and missing the dinghy and besides, how the hell would you lower the outboard without stuffing it through the floor of the dinghy or losing a few fingers? People on the radio talked about the days they've been trapped on the boat. Days?

One of our first anchorage/mooring harbours where we experienced this was Dinner Key. It wasn't so much the rolling but the 3-4 ft waves racing into the harbour and sending the bow skyward and then diving down. It was like a sub surfacing over and over again. For days this went on. It was insanity. I would stand in the boat and feel my feet leaving the floor only to have it lurch up again. My knees were killing me while we were there. We were trapped on the boat for 5 days.

We were in Bimini and some crusty cruiser I was talking to told me he lives in Bimini now. He asked what we were doing. He then told me to not anchor overnight on the Bahamas Bank because the weather can turn and you'll be sorry as hell you were there. Said he almost lost his boat and his life out there so he never went out there again. Uhh, OK. Thanks  depressing Crusty Cruiser Guy.

We planned a nights anchor out there and we did. It was a beautiful star filled night. A most memorable night. Then morning came. The waves were growing. Growing fast. "Let's move!" I was manually hoisting the anchor (I do not miss Simpson the Windlass) and the bow would rise with the waves and yank at the chain with pretty good force. It was a bit nasty. I kept counting my fingers with every crash. Nine and a half, good. The radio was alive with other cruisers warning of the coming waves and for everyone to mind their fingers and toes. Oye. All I could think of was the crusty cruiser staring at his mangled hand and living in Bimini the rest of his life. We escaped and had a nice run across the banks.

The worst was Rum Cay in the Bahamas. Picture walking through a fun house where you can't avoid hitting the walls as you walk. The boat would roll 10-15 degrees and then back the other way, continuously, for days. It was enough where we had to launch the dinghy to get the hell off the boat and onto stable land else we would have just jumped overboard and let the ocean have it's way with us. The harbour was so bad we had a hard time leaving the dinghy to get ashore! The bar at Rum Key was crowded because everyone wanted off the boats. Now you have a beer buzz and you have to get back to the fun house. Fun!
By the way, a beer buzz and a rolling pitching boat do not go together very well. There was no hurling but sleeping was very uncomfortable. Now I have to mention that neither of us has ever really hurled from seasickness. Deb is the only one that ever hurled but it was because of food poisoning in Puerto Rico. Don't order the penis pasta.



When we got back to the rolling boat in Rum Cay we were sitting in the salon watching a jar of peanut butter, a tissue box and a flashlight slide back and forth on the counter while the door to the breaker panel opened and slammed shut repeatedly. Everything in motion with the boat, back and forth, back and forth. We broke out in laughter at all this and it eventually turned to tears and pleading to the Gods to make it all stop. When it was time to leave we took off into the wind and waves in conditions that were a bit rough but compared to the anchorage it was heaven. It was one of our best sails.

Now don't get us wrong, we aren't complaining...much. The majority of the places we have anchored are beautiful and the conditions have been just fine. We have also been getting used to the motion of the ocean and are not so bothered by it all. There are little tricks we can do to minimize the rolling and we have applied them all with some success at times. We do have our favorite spots where the water is flat as a pancake most times but they are everyone's fav's as well. Which brings me to my next Things They Never Told Us post, Anchoring Togetherness. Nothing like coming up on deck with your morning coffee and seeing your neighbors soapy dong.

Cheers!
P


I know, put on a shirt. 

See. No rolling. Nice.


So who will be the 1st one to tell me to buy a cat and avoid the rolling? We're not buying a cat so save your words unless they are really funny or super sarcastic because a cat vs mono battle in the comments section is almost as good as a Best Anchor comment.
posted from Bloggeroid