Thursday, May 24, 2018

Is the doctor in?

The other day we visited the local doctor on the island. He's French. He's also an artist and well known for his work. He keeps semi regular hours and he might be in the doorway of his studio in front of a painting holding a brush or he may have his white coat on treating a patient. The first time we met him he was shirtless and painting. I asked if the doctor was in. He said, "I don't know, let me check", and he proceeded to put on his lab coat and when fully buttoned he said, "The doctor is in. Welcome."

So we popped into his office/studio for a consultation. My blood pressure meds ran out and I needed a refill but the pharmacy in the French islands required a new prescription. Most other islands do not. They just look at your empty bottle and give you a refill. So we went to see the gentle Doc and see if I could get a prescription. I was concerned that my BP was a bit higher than normal.

The good doctor asks why I think I have high blood pressure. I told him I have a device on the boat for testing it. "Huh. Is that so." he replied. He then took my blood pressure. "You do NOT have high blood pressure."

OK, but it's over the required limit set by...."Fuck them!"

Uh, but I'm taking these pills and...

"I am French yes? We see things different than American doctors. Your blood pressure is not high it is normal for your age and you do not need a prescription from me." He also checked Debra's and declared us both healthy and then asked about our sailing life. We chatted for a while and thanked him for seeing us. We bought some art work.

You might think this doctor doesn't know what he's talking about but Debra went to him with an issue that normally requires a round of antibiotics but he gave her a packet of powder to mix with one cup of water to drink. She was fine just hours later and has not had a problem since. This medication is not available in the US because it's a cheap cure for a common problem. We're being taken for a ride in the US by big pharma folks. Deb also got a refill on a prescription but they didn't have the generic version so it would cost much more. The cost? About $20. In the US it would have been $250.00.

Looking up the French guidelines for recommended blood pressure I see I am in the healthy range. In the US I would need to be treated with meds. When I ran out of meds my BP didn't change all that much. Interesting. In the mean time I am continuing to take my meds but I'm not freaked out about the whole thing and that probably lowered my BP even more.

I have to say that our worries about minor medical issues turning into bigger issues because of poor care here in the islands were unfounded. I'm not sure about anything major like a heart attack and I've heard the local hospitals are pretty rustic depending on the island. If one of us had a heart attack right now well, we might get lucky and make it onto the ferry to the main island for treatment but most likely we would just be prepared for burial at sea.


Doctor Chevailler

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Boost pump blues

As a manufacturing engineer I became one with the machinery I designed and maintained. No, I wasn't a cyborg. There were other names for me but we'll not discuss that now. The constant noise of running machinery was something I became assaulted with every day. It became a familiar rhythm. If the beat or pitch or tone changed just a hair I would hear it. "Somethings wrong". This also happens on the boat. Recently the boost pump for the watermaker changed its tune. Upon inspection we noticed a leak had developed around the pump. Further inspection showed water and rust marks around the base of the pump. Even further inspection (removal) showed the pump was on its last legs and barely functional as it was a complete rust ball inside. Son of a bitch Jabsco!

This Jabsco Par-Max4 pump is not even 6 months old. I had to service this pump once before for an electrical problem. Now when I look at it I see the diaphragm is too short in one corner, an obvious defect and that's where it leaked salt water. This really pissed me off because Jabsco has had shitty quality for a long time and now they've been purchased by another company yet they still screw up over with shoddy workmanship and inspection. I really have zero respect for the management of this firm.

So being completely pissed off I took it out on the pumps supplier, the dude who sold us the watermaker. This wasn't really the best way to vent but you know the most time I spend on maintenance on this boat is on the watermaker. We bought this pump from him and it has failed twice. Our initial start up of the system gave us a leaking membrane housing and we ran a season at half capacity in the Bahamas. The original boost pump (Jabsco) was a different style which also leaked but just could not keep up with the high pressure pump and caused the whole system to vibrate like crazy. So, add it all up and I vented. Now even though I was pissed off I still like the service and the product. We've been out here for four years and making water every three days except for time on the hard and the only problem has been the boost pump because it's made by Jabsco. So, maybe I was a little harsh because the pump was under warranty and they would just send me a new one.

The kicker on the warranty is YOU have to pay for shipping. Well, in order for the warranty to be worth anything you have to be in the USA or Mexico. Shipping to anywhere in the windward Islands will cost you more than the pump is worth depending on who you ship with and customs plus travel expenses so if you have one on the shelf at the local shop you buy it. That's what I did, but I also had the warranty replacement shipped to my daughters house in the States so that I can bring it back with me. Ha! Now I will have a spare.

Would I buy the watermaker again if we changed boats? Yes. Overall it's a good system and it suits our needs. Every three days we run it for an hour and get 30 gallons of fresh water. Not bad. We would not be out here without it. My water schlepping days are over and if it ever fails completely for any length of time Deb said she's flying home until it's fixed. No, I'm not going to pretend it's broken :D

So here we are, fully functional again and floating around for days on end in various anchorages on various islands. Unlike other bloggers we don't post about what cool stuff we're doing everyday because we're not doing cool stuff every day. Some days we just lay around and read books, go to happy hours, play guitar or work on watermakers.


Yes, I already know to mount the pumps vertical with the motor on top. Space, I need more space!

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Who needs sleep?

Not sure why but sleep is of no concern to me right now. We met with friends and had Thai food along with a couple buckets of beers. Buckets with beers I should say. We didn't slop beer from a bucket though that would have been so much more fun....if I was eighteen. So everyone went home to bed except me. I'm home but not in bed. Is it the green curry sauce keeping me up? Debra is in bed but I am listening to Floyd and typing nonsense.

This is like the best cheese right now. It's havarti and it's really hitting the spot. Why do we say hitting the spot? If there was an actual spot we'd all be skinny like the French because we would just hit the spot and not eat. Maybe they know where the spot is?

I love the French. They are so annoying.

So is facebbook eating our brains? I have been (sadly) reading posts in the cruising groups. They used to be fun but now they're all censored and nobody can offend anyone especially the authorities or god forbid you make a negative comment about the area. So, if I was to post to the BVI cruisers group the fact that we spent the most money in the shortest time while in the BVI compared to all the other islands and gave figures to back that up would it be removed by the moderator? I think so. Can't be negative and informative. Got to be positive people! Negativity is non promotional.

I'm slowly weening myself from the evil Facebook. Something about it all creeps me out now. Mostly because the creator of this menace is fking evil looking. Have you seen Zuckerberg? Is he high every day? I'm hoping those eyes are burned by Mary Jane and not from visiting hell daily for his report on enslaving the world. Douche is scary looking. Now the EU is telling him to fuck off and quit spying on their people while the US goes, Huh? Honest to god we can be the dumbest hicks on the planet at times. We'll screw anyone for a buck. Bend over John Q Public! It will not be long before we only have 3 news corporations, three cell phone corporations, three cable/streaming/internet corporations, three pharma companies, three car companies, and worst of all three beer companies. All price fixing for sure. Bad things happen in three's folks.

Oh god enough cheese. Off the havarti for a while.

Every time I go back to pee I wake Deb up. She's so incoherent when she's woken. She just stares at me a second and thinks "asshole".

I go up in the cockpit and I see a lone dude in a boat just floating behind us about a quarter mile in the dark. Now that's creepy. Bet if I stood there silhouetted against our lighting holding that cheese knife I could creep him out more. Is he fishing? He better be fishing. This place is odd. Yesterday we thought a guy was drowning. He was just swimming...a mile offshore. I couldn't even circle the boat twice without hodling on. Pathetic. Could be the cheese.

I've yawned three times now so it must be time for bed. Thanks for not reading.

Still floating.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Morning Tea, Bequia, St. Vincent

The Morning Tea posts are a rambling dump of my brain thoughts onto this blog. There really is no real reason for it other than clearing my head and making room for something more meaningful to write about. I tend to do this when we're not moving much and spending too much time in one harbour. Some people tend to find a underlying theme in all of it and maybe there is. I really don't know. It truly is random and gets logged over the course of a few mornings when my brain gets hit with it's first shot of caffeine.

Lately my mind has been a blank canvas.

If you stare at a blank canvas long enough you'll start to see things...

I need another hobby.

Is boat repair a hobby?

I look back on all the home improvement money I spent and cringe.

Some days I want a house.

Some days the blank canvas shows me mowing a lawn.

Renting is the way to go.

Why do sailors come into an anchorage at night? Poor planning?

Why do sailors anchor really close at night. Poor night vision?

Sailors get mad when you ask them to move at night. Really mad.

Everyone swears in English.

"Fuck You" is universal.

We're not good at growing things.

I take that back, the kids turned out just fine.

The aloe plant has some issues.

I was told my cruising days are numbered because of grand kids.

All our cruising days are numbered.

I wake up every day and start with the number 1

Someone told me once that every day is a gift. I need the receipts.

There are days I could just swim to shore and hop on a plane back to the States.

I can't afford to live in the States.

I'm a little over 2 yrs away from social security

In 2 yrs time social security will get privatized and reduced and the age moved to 65

The average American male lifespan is only 73

You could be 20 miles offshore in 20 knots of close hauled madness and a fly will land on your sandwich.

If you're introduced to someone and you don't like their face will you remember their name?

Have you ever not liked someone's face?

Some inebriated dude on a bus told us he liked our faces. "You have nice faces. I like your face." Thankful it wasn't "I lick your face"

If I went to all the cruiser parties or jams in the Islands I would be attending a meeting once a week. "Hi. My name is Paul. I'm a cruiser"

Our beer stocks are lasting much longer.

Is the party over?

Going home for hurricane season is a good thing.

Coming back to your home after hurricane season is good too.

Someone define home.

I make a lot of lists now.

I have a good memory but I'm easily distracted.

Are we addicted to Internet?

We pulled into a harbor and it was the first time I could not find a wifi signal. Oh no!

We finally got a SIM card for our phone.

I bought 3 gig. My daughter face timed us.

I need to buy another 3 gig.

I spent a day going through our food supply and listing it all. Then I made a meal plan. Then I made a grocery list.

At the store without the grocery list was painful

I do better at winging it for dinner.

I ate a lobster recently.

I feel shame when I eat seafood

I always thought vegetarianism was more popular than a vegan diet but everyone always asks us if we eat cheese.

Cheese is god. I mean cheese is good.

My blood pressure meds were increased last visit home, I mean the States.

Is cruising killing us?

Cheese is god

I went to a bar. The bartender asked me if I was off the cruise ship. "I've never been so insulted!" We all laughed except for the couple off the cruise ship.

I don't think I resemble a cruiser anymore.

I still refuse to wear crocs.

I need more sun

I've been shaving lately. Beard shaving not manscaping.

The gray beard is bothering me

The blank canvas shows an old man with a gray beard and a beer belly.

I'm still in my 50's

These beer nuts are hot

I know, morning tea and beer nuts? Breakfast has no rules

Will I flip out when I turn 60 or just accept it?

Maybe I'll get  a tattoo

When people with nice boats come visit we clean a lot

After people with nice new boats visit old rustic boats do they go, "Well that was something eh? Are you gonna shower or just change clothes?"

If you spotted a stray beer nut on someone else's cabin sole would you tell them?

Epic Tuna is a different name for a boat.

When I am ashore I usually make up a boat name when calling the mother ship. "Kelly Nicole, Kelly Nicole - Jetpack, Jetpack"

Deb is a little fearful of me calling over the radio.
"Kelly Nicole, Kelly Nicole this is Inflatable Doll, Inflatable Doll"

I miss watching the NCAA basketball tournament

I could not imagine paying for cable TV these days.

People always ask us if we have a TV. We have one somewhere in the V-berth. I think.

We've watched a total of 2 movies on board since we left to cruise. Zero TV.

I have eaten all the olives.

Does salt really increase blood pressure?

I once read that sugar is the root cause of all evil. I believe it

Is it wrong to want to be in bed at 9pm?

I should have slept more as a teen.

Why are all the good basketball match ups on so late?

Why would I watch a sport I was too short to play?

What am I talking about? We have no TV.

I haven't seen a hockey game in a hell of a long time

I always ask Canadians what their fav hockey team is and they get pissed because they don't all watch or follow hockey? WTF!

Is that stereotyping?

I haven't had poutine in a hell of a long time. It's food, look it up.

I can't believe I look like a dude off a cruise ship

Three cruise ships came in. We're not leaving the boat.

I love to see the cruise ship people on land.

Should white guys wear Bob Marley shirts?

Asking any local for weed makes them laugh out loud

I ate something bad yesterday and it wasn't an animal. I was up all night with stomach issues.

Deb ate the same things I did.

I'm like the canary in a coal mine. She's worried.

So far the morning tea is just affecting the brain not the stomach.

Friends hugged me goodbye and they broke my old sunglasses.

Bro hugs are costly

I'm going to buy cheap sunglasses for the shore

ZZ Top

Is it stupid to have the Spot Messenger device broadcast our every anchor drop?

I sometimes worry someone may want to stalk and kill me for my blog posts.

Guessing they'll be French and arrive in a Catamaran and anchor too close.

I need a Bequia sticker for my guitar case

The music jams in Grenada are too professional

I'm building a playlist

Singing and playing is not easy yet

Do you feel bad passing by all the craft tables filled with touristy trinkets in town?

All people need to make a living, somehow, some way.

When the boat boys find out you're a vegetarian they pass right on by.

Cheese! Bring cheese!

One guy held up lobsters. Sorry. Vegetarians. "Vegetarians! Good Mon. That is good. God Bless. This is a good thing for you but not for me! Hahaha"

Some guy just announced in Bequia that he has a brand new alternator for sale, cheap. Where the fk was this guy last year?

I still can't believe I spent $500.00 on an alternator.

I need a beach.

We anchor next to a beach we never go to.

This will change in the next few days.

I have a shoe problem

My Keen sandals blew out and my flip flops have holes.

I bought some new sandals in Carriacou and I think they're ladies sandals. Deb disagrees but I still think they're too pretty for me.

We visited a Turtle farm. Yes a farm. They raise and release. Apparently poachers steal the eggs and the turtles are becoming scarce.

There was a grill out back.

If I was desperately hungry I would probably find something else besides a turtle egg.
I don't know. Hoping never to be in that situation.

Every time the stock market tanks I'll be thinking of turtle eggs. Cat food is expensive.

Who was the asshole that decided the 401k was a good retirement plan?

Why do we let assholes run our lives?

Every time the stock market tanks I think of turtle eggs and assholes

We have a lot of Eastern Caribbean coins.
We have a lot of Canadian coins.
We have a lot of Euro coins.

You ever wonder what creatures a hundred thousand years in the future will think of our civilization after discovering an old coin?

I'm just assuming our civilization will not be partying in 100,000 yrs

Are the one percenters hoarding wealth because they were told the planet can not support all of us and the party is over?

If you had unlimited wealth and knew the world as you know it was over would you be a doomsday prepper or a eat, drink and be merry tomorrow you die guy?

Elon Musk is a billionaire. He builds spaceships and underground boring machines. Huh.

Is the future always dark when you reach a certain age?

We need more LED lamps

Our solar is keeping up just fine since the rainy season ended.

Our boat could use a wash

A very nice sailboat dropped next to us and they fresh water cleaned and mopped the whole boat surface before checking in.

I had a dead fish laying under the solar panel for days. Our guests tossed it overboard.

The V-berth is still NOT my man cave.

The forward head is a storage locker. God help one of us if we both have stomach issues. Not sure I could clean it out in time.

Some taco shells have gone missing. How is this possible?

The worst is thinking about taco Tuesday all day and then finding no shells.

We use soy bits for taco meat. Sometimes lentils too.

People make the same face over soy bits that we make over animal muscle scraped off the carcass and ground up.

The canvas is blank again. No wait....I see a skinny old guy with pretty sandals selling turtle eggs and begging for money from cruise ship tourists so he can buy taco shells.

I gave to the homeless again. $5 EC. I gave to this guy before. He gathers about $20 EC then pops into a bar for a solo cup of vodka. It's sad to watch.

Do you think sometimes we all have a role to play and this is his life performance? Maybe his interaction with some of us is to see how it may change our performance.

Elon Musk thought maybe we live in a simulation.

Dude put a car in space.

The canvas is blank and fading to black except for a Telsa roadster heading for Mars. It's been fun dumping on you.

Don't Panic.

Definitely girly shoes. I dunked them in salt water and left them in the sun. That might man them up a bit. Maybe. I'm not going to wear them am I? Damn waste of money.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Windward Ramblings

We're just hanging out in Carriacou right now waiting for this weather to settle a bit before moving on up the chain. The north swells were amazingly huge but not amazingly rough for us here. I think we caught a break. KN was gently rising and falling on those swells and it was not uncomfortable.

We watched a few people surfing those swells into the harbor which looked like awesome fun and there was a thought in my head about getting the surfing kayak out but there were also thoughts of bloody welts all over my body from the coral and a lump on my head form the kayak. You get smarter as you get older.
Life is pretty slow right now. We manage to have lunch or beach time with friends once in a while and we still meet strange people at bars. At this point it's difficult to talk about some of those strange people because they may be reading this blog. The cruising world is a small world.

We ran into some Americans from Oklahoma. They chartered a large cat and arrived at a restaurant for dinner. Deb and I were at the bar and I was approached by the woman from Tulsa and we all made some small talk. After a few meet and greet questions she asks me where she could buy some weed. Apparently I have taken on the look of someone who would know. I mentioned a spot on the beach and she took note but I told her I'm not speaking as a buyer. It's just what I've been told. She then proceeded to tell me how unfriendly the locals are. She said this with a local, the bartender, standing right behind her in the quiet bar. Damn embarrassing. I told her you need to engage the people with a greeting and a smile because it makes a difference. She wasn't buying it but I had to change the subject before I became associated with her rude behavior.

A European couple popped in and chatted with us before we were wrapping it up for the night. While in a conversation about European and American politics the Tulsa woman came over and asked me if I would take a group photo of the Oklahoma gang. Sure.

I get over to the group and the bartender (local) was taking the photo but they wanted me to take it instead. Seriously!?  I told them she's knows more about the iPhone than I do and they wanted me to make sure it was taken properly. Honest to god I wanted to slap them all for being so damn racist. I can't tolerate that bullshit any more. So I get back to the bar and the woman I was talking to leans into me and says, "So, the Americans did not trust the black woman to take their photo eh?" I just shook my head and asked them to not judge all of us based on the actions of a few misguided individuals.

"Oh no we don't do that. We know Americans do not get out of their country to travel much. We understand most are good people but they are just ignorant of how to act outside of their homeland". This was going to be a nice long conversation but it was getting dark and we had our fill of good cheer and crazy talk so...

We fled the bar because we did not expect to be out so late and we had no anchor lights on but I was damn glad to get out of that scene.

Some times you just want to run and hide from people.


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

A day on the Shopping Bus

From yesterday:

Damn, it's like someone pulled the plug on me this afternoon. I'm at zero energy level. I had nothing in the tank all day and it was a busy day.

We took the shopping bus this morning. After a stop at the ATM we split up. One bus goes to Ace Hardware and Budget Marine and then the Mall. The other goes straight to the Mall for grocery shopping and whatever else. Deb went to the Mall and I went the other way.

Typical bus loading cruisers

I was on the all guys bus. The one that smelled like Irish Spring, dirty sandals, Old Spice and weed. We got to the Ace hardware store. I found nothing on my list. I was done early. I went to talk to the Rasta Mon bus driver but he was on the phone. I walked back in the store. I looked at stuff. It all reminded me of home improvement so I walked back out but I stopped to see a sailor looking at a lawn mower. This froze me. It was just so bizarre a thing. I pulled myself away only to see another sailor looking and asking about patio furniture. Huh?? Another sailor had a swim noodle under his arm. OK, that's normal. I walked out into the sunshine again. "Are you done shopping?" asked the driver. Yes. "OK, get in da bus please." I didn't want to get in first because you get the back of the bus and it bounces too much. Damn it. Eventually all the smells came back into the bus and we were off.

When we got to Budget Marine they had a coffee pot brewing and it smelled wonderful. I was greeted by a very tall hyper dude in glasses who wanted to know what I needed. "A starter battery", I said. In a blur he ran towards the batteries with me in tow, grabbed the size I needed, peeled the sticker off the battery, stuck it to my finger and told me to take it up front and tell them where we are dropping it off. Dropping it off? "Yes, you can't buy a battery jus now. We charge it first and make sure it is OK then we deliver it to you" Then he grabbed the battery to put it on a charger and running away he yelled "3PM delivery!" and vanished.

I was standing there with a sticker attached to my finger and my mouth open. I slowly walked to the counter and stuck my finger at the woman behind it. She looked me in the eye and pulled the sticker off my finger and rang it up asking where and what time. Uh, 3pm at Secret Harbor. Click, click, click, done. Have a nice day! I walked away knowing there were other things I needed but everything happened so fast so I thought I would wander around the store and maybe get a coffee and then the other bus driver George comes up to me and says, "Excuse me. Are you all done shopping?" Well...I... "OK, we go now. Get to the bus and lets go". I got in line with the rest of the guys next to the bus in the bright sunshine and we started getting in the bus. "Don't step in the water!!" There was a puddle. I was about to step into it and then get on the bus. George does not like his bus to get dirty. I got the eye. The eye that said, "You filthy dog gonna just dirty my bus?" Nobody likes to be on George's shit list.

I had a sudden vision of my future.

My nursing home was having a field trip and I was herded into a bus with my other older grumbling pals and we were driven to a shopping center and allowed to wander around. If we touched anything we were scolded by a big orderly and if we purchased anything they pretended we bought it and after we left they put everything back on the shelves. When we got back to the home we didn't remember a damn thing anyway so it was all good fun.

We finally got to the mall and were unloaded. I swear some of the guys just stood there in the sun wondering what to do. I humped it into the mall and raced for the grocery store passing by the coffee shop. It smelled so good. I wanted to catch Debra before she checked out so I could see if she bought any good stuff. Debra tends to get the basics and nothing special. I needed to survey the cart and run around getting all the exotic fun stuff. I walked through the doors and there's Deb checking out. Damn.

The Mall

I just shuffled over to the cart and helped pack. On my dejected walk out of the store I noticed the hardware/housewares store. I remembered we needed something there but I could not recall. "Batteries and a shower curtain", said Deb. I took off to buy a shower curtain of all things. I hate buying housewares. I never buy the right thing. I finally found shower curtains after wandering around a bit and there was no white colored curtains. Figures. Huh, maybe purple would be nice, or this funny color of blue? No better go with beige. I'm buying a shower curtain and batteries. I wanted to add a hacksaw for masculinity verification but I'm too cheap. I was the only one in the store except for the employees gathered at a register. I stood there. "You go to that register", the young lady said. I go over to THAT register and nobody is there. I wait. Some dude comes up and asks if I found everything. Yes. I found my battery powered shower curtain. He walked away. A young lady then came by. Did you find everything? Yes. Did someone help you? No. I found all this on my own. She smiled. I paid. She smiled some more. I smiled back and left.

I assumed Debra was treating herself to a mango smoothie so I stopped by an electronics booth and bought some headphones. Not sure the reason but I break headphones or ear buds regularly. As I got closer to the food court where the bus picks us up I could smell that coffee. Yes!

I finally get to the food court and I can't find Deb. I look outside and she's getting on the bus. She waves me over. Damn it I wanted a Mocha Joe! I really needed a coffee. George is like, "On the bus please we go now!" I looked down first to make sure there were no puddles. We all piled in but we went in order. George puts us in by size. Little people in the back and tall in the front. I'm not a fan of this method. All us hobbits in the back all looked at each other as if to say "Someday the giants will pay". We drove on to the next stop with all the "shorts" popping up in our back seat on every bump.

The veggie store.
The veggie store is weird. It's a butcher shop with a shelf of vegetables. There's also a shelf with liquor. Mostly it's canned goods, eggs, liquor and meat. I don't get the name but I go in anyway because sometimes they have a good selection. Deb went to the pharmacy. I look around. I want nothing but I look. I'm looking at meat. I'm a vegetarian looking at the meat cuts. "Can I help you sir?" said a very tall and attractive woman. Uh. Um. Eh, I am uh...just browsing. I can't believe I said browsing. You don't browse for meat idiot. Geez. I just walked away while she smiled the "pity the fool" smile which I have been getting all damn day. I wander some more. I run into her rounding the aisle. "Are you sure I can't help you find anything?" No. Just...looking. She went in the back room only to pop out carrying some meat and I was blocking her way because I was reading the ingredients on these Cassava Crisps. Very few calories but lots of sugar. "Excuse me please sir." I finally walked out of the "Veggie Shop" and wandered over to the bakery and read their sign out front when I noticed a woman my age smiling at me from a table. Good afternoon I said. "Afternoon" she replied. "Don't be shy. Go and get some pastry". I could really use a coffee I said. "The coffee is terrible here". Oh. OK. I wandered off with my hands in my pockets and got honked at by a car backing up.

Some of the short people are holding coffee's. How is that coffee?, I ask. "We don't know. It's so damn hot nobody has tasted it yet!"

We got herded to the bus. Everyone knows their place now.

Next stop is the wholesale store. This is where you find out who all the drunks are. You can find out a lot about people just by following them around a store, especially a wholesale. Hey look, 5 giant bottles of fiber. Interesting. Preparation H 12 pack! Seven bottles of rum! Wow. Last week it was five. Must be the wife is arriving. How can someone possibly eat that much mayo? The Prep H 12 pack just bought a case of hot sauce!

We wait on the bus for the drunk plugged up mayo eaters to get back. I ask the back row about the coffee. "Still too damn hot!" The French woman next to me wonders how many more stops there are. Last one we tell her. She smiles and talks about all the stuff she forgets when at the store, like her list. We all laugh because we all do the same thing. She's having fun. We are too even though we complain sometimes. We all agree that these shopping trips are way better than the trips we make at home. We talk about where we are from and where we are going. We talk about kids, grand kids, things we miss, things we don't. Soon the bus is full again and we drive off.

We arrive back at the dinghy dock. George unloads our groceries because he doesn't want the parking lot gravel back in his bus and one by one we peel away to go back to our boats. "By everybody!" "See you later!" "Have a great day!" "Nice meeting you!" "Au revior!" "This coffee is delicious!"

Pauly B tired.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Things they never told us - Boat Snobs

"So, what kind of boat do you have?"
One with sails.
"Funny, but what brand? Who built it?"
I don't know who exactly. I'm sure it was more than one person but the brand is a Morgan. Catalina Morgan to be exact.
"Oh, OK. Nice. (insert awkward silence) Excuse me I need to talk to someone."
OK. Nice not talking to you. Dick.
"It's Bob!"

At times you meet other sailors at a gathering and the first thing they want to know is what boat you sail. If you answer correctly then the conversation continues otherwise you get the cold shoulder. Not everyone we meet does this but on the rare occasion it happens and it will piss you off or make you laugh.
There was one time I was surrounded by big money boat owners that all knew each other and I was the new guy. I was also the shortest but I'm sure that had nothing to do with it. I knew the question was coming and it was eventually asked. It's actually a question for more than your boat brand. It's a question about you and whether you are worthy of inclusion.

"So Paul is it? Nice to meet you. What are you sailing these days?"
Oyster 56.
"Wow! you don't look like Oyster material Really?
No not really. Actually I sail a 1989 Morgan 44. She only has one hull and two sails but 
I do have five solar panels!
"I see. Well here, stare at my back will you? I have a really cool dive shirt with a nice 
logo from a place you will never sail to."

That actually happened though the dialog was a wee bit different. It really was a cool dive shirt. Amazing it fit over his head.

There was this guy who stopped by the boat to chat once. He was looking to purchase our dinghy. He told me his sailboat was smaller, which I knew because he was anchored right next to us. Duh. He asked me if I knew the people on this other boat. I didn't. He explained that he had run into them at various ports all over the world. This was his way of telling us he was a CIRCUMNAVIGATOR. He looked at our boat and asked, "What is this?" My blood pressure started it's climb at that point because I knew what was going to come out of his mouth. I pointed to the Morgan Emblem in front of his face.

"Oh, a Morgan. I see that now. So you folks are just going to Island hop then? No big offshore plans right?" 
Yes, for now. We'll wait around a bit until the Arctic Route opens up. 

Asshole. We sold the dinghy to someone else :D

We were at a potluck once and a woman heard a story of our friends rough passage in the North Atlantic and asked the folks what boat they had. When she heard she loudly pronounced that she would never go to sea in one of those! "My Gawd that would be suicide!" I could not believe she said that. My friends handled it well. She then handed out her boat card showing her lovely "Blue Water" designed yacht that she motors around in up and down the ICW. Other than that outburst she was a very nice woman but I was starting to see a pattern here. Call it crowd separation. A bunch of people meet and then they separate out amongst their kind based on what they sail and where they've been. Eventually I was left sitting with the toothless drunk guy with the old Morgan.

"So what ya sailing these days Bob?"
It's Paul and we have a Morgan.
"No shit Bob! We sail one too. She's a 78. How bout yours?"
She's an '89.
"Ooh a fancy one. Need a beer?"
Absolutely. Nice to meet you.
"Same here. This beer might be a little warm. Was in my pocket."
No problem. Cheers buddy!

Most of us all get along very well and we really don't care what you sail as long as you're friendly and not a jackass. I have witnessed how helpful cruisers can be in our little community. The charitable giving of cruisers to one another and to the communities they travel in are amazing. If you are a sailor in need then it doesn't matter what boat you have because someone will be there for you.

I joke about the boat snobs but they are out there. Fortunately we do not run into them too often (Most are in a marina) and I have a sense of humor and can laugh at their self importance. They may not want to shoot the shit over a beer with you but I am pretty certain that if you or your boat were in trouble they would be right there to help because big or small, one hull or two, circumnavigator or island hopper, we really are all in the same boat.


I believe that's a Morgan. How did THAT get in here?

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Ten Years

I just noticed my blog is over ten yrs old. Wow! Over ten years of nonsense written down and published for the World (10 people) to see. It's been a long run of odd ramblings. I understand that I might be a little different than your average sailing blogger. That's OK. I wasn't going to be a blogger who documents our every experience every day. That's just not me. When some weird or peculiar thing happens to us then I will publish, or if I find the need to dump the random thoughts in my head, as in the Morning Tea posts. There is usually no lack of material to write about because I am very much a weirdo magnet. Not sure why but if there is someone strange in the area they will find me and talk to me. This magnetism has led to many blog postings. There are also complete fabrications that started with some small grain of truth in them like when I burned down a row of boats in the marina. I had to go back and edit the damn post so people would stop emailing me.

Here is the link: My Last Post. Goodbye.

I also noticed I picked on religion a bit over the years. I have no problem with God. It's her fan club I don't care for. For anyone who read the blog over all these years you probably know I'm not a very religious person.

I was such a poser. After the photo I wore the rosary on my head
and the bow tie was a mustache. On the way home I tossed a cherry bomb
through the front door of a funeral parlor. "Loud enough to wake the dead"
I said. To this day I worry I gave someone a heart attack with that stunt.

I might be more like a Pagan only without the creepy rituals. Actually I don't fit any spiritual mold. I have a feeling we're here and gone, just life and then atoms scattered into the universe. If we didn't worry so much about where we're going maybe we would take better care of where we are.

Reincarnation would be cool as long as I don't come back as a bug or anything that eats bugs, or a Horse. Holy shit imagine me coming back as a horse! No doubt I would be a pony. Deb says more like a Jack Ass.

Slipping into other dimensions would be completely awesome as long as you knew you were continuing life in another dimension. Maybe you get a glimpse of your other lives just before you wink out in one dimension and then you continue on in another. Like a collective conscious of your previous lives.

In other dimensions you made different choices. Maybe I chose not to ride my bike down the driveway into the path of a Chrysler thereby not missing third grade which helped me become a math genius and I grew into my head size and was now over six feet tall. I sell my tech company and retire early to a horse farm where my wife raises champions and I run the Church of Equine Spirit when not on TV as the New Bozo the Clown kids show host which got cancelled after I got elected to office and eventually became President. I destroyed the economy for lack of wars and became labeled the Clown in the White House which pissed me off so I resigned on the white house lawn dressed as Bozo and flipping off the public.

Flipping off the public didn't sit well with the Church of Equestrian Spirit members and soon it went bankrupt which lead to a divorce and half my income. As I leave the white house for the last time someone takes a shot at me with a crossbow because I banned guns and the arrow pierces my rubber nose and my brain. I become a martyr for the Clown Wars which divide the country into Red States and Clown States. Eventually the Bozo Republic is formed and prospers for a few years only to become a failed state because they were just a bunch of fucking clowns after all.

Maybe we're just bio robots programmed to rape the planet for our alien overlords but something went wrong. Maybe our overlords were sucked into a black hole and we were left to ourselves with no more firmware updates so we just kept raping the planet until we killed it and ourselves. We're basically proof that artificial intelligence is bad if left unchecked.

You may have also noticed I go off the rails from time to time exploring loosely related subject matter :D

OK back to the blog...
This blog covered many of our sailing mishaps and adventures. The mishaps continue and the adventures are a little less dramatic and infrequent. Is this because I'm getting older and boring? I don't know. I think it's because we are just enjoying where we are right now. We island hop and pretty much see the same stuff with some new experiences sprinkled in here and there. Maybe we need new adventures. There is still talk of sailing west to the ABC's and beyond but we're not ready. For many years I dreamt of sailing the Caribbean chain of windward and leeward islands and I'm not ready to move on. Still so much to see here. Maybe some day if the mood strikes us we will venture westward. Maybe we will head back to the States from here. We really have no plans anymore other than relaxing in the islands and spending time with the kids and grand kids back home. The pull on the heart strings is strong. I realize this is the so called "downfall" of a lot of cruisers with kids. We take it day to day. Some days I want to fly home and scoop up those kids and hug them all day long. Other days I'm floating beneath a waterfall or watching the sun set over the warm waters of the Caribbean sea. It's a balance. When the balance shifts we will make other plans but for now Latitude 43 is still a sailing adventure blog. OK maybe sometimes it's a sailing adventure blog and then sometimes it's a "What's wrong with him?" blog. Either way it's been fun writing stuff here.

 Read about Frenchy and his "kitty" here: Weirdo magnet in action.

Before I go and leave the blog for possibly another few weeks I would just like to say thanks for following along. I never anticipated anyone other than maybe some family members, close friends or flippin weirdos reading any of this. It was primarily meant for my entertainment only because I enjoy writing what makes me laugh and I am laughing most days. Even at the most wrong times to be laughing I tend to see the humor in all of my experiences. My daughters know instantly when I am finding humor in something. "OK Dad, what's so funny?" They know me too well. At work people would be wondering what the hell I thought was so funny. "This is serious Paul! Not sure what you find so funny about all this." You know how many times I heard that? All through school I got yelled at - "Wipe that stupid smirk off your face mister!"

Even at my Dad's funeral it happened. I was carrying his ashes around out in the lobby of the church talking with family members. Some were crying. I had a smirk. All I could think of was a time my Dad tried to leap into our old backyard pool with a running start, failing to clear the side with his knees catching the top rail which fell off, bending the side in and starting the rush of water that flooded three backyards and sent water into basements as my Dad got swept away into the grass. Funniest thing I ever witnessed. I got a few odd looks in church as I walked around laughing to myself.

So, when I start to see the humor in something out here I promise I will try to write some of it down for you. Some of you will laugh and some of you will shake your head.


You find all this amusing Mr. Bryan?!