Saturday, May 31, 2014

May 30, 2014 Visit with the Sweeney's

We had been conversing through texts with friends of our from Orlando that we met through Ski for Light about 20 years ago, Brian and Kathryn Sweeney.  It has been about 5 years since we have seen each other.   We originally planned to go straight to St. Augustine, about 50 miles north of here today.  Then spend a couple days there as tourists and catching up on computer and boat projects.  We were hoping they could meet us there over the weekend.  They were going to be spending Friday night to Sat noon in New Smyrna Beach with Brian's mother at her condo that she had for the week.  So we decided to spend Friday at the city marina in New Smyrna Beach so we could get together there.

We moved the boat about a  mile up the ICW into New Smyrna Beach (NSB) marina.  They only chagre $1.25/foot, so we splurged and got a slip.  With a slip, we can hook up to the shore power and water and use all the electricity and water we want.  Woo hoo!

Dave did some work outside cleaning the boat.  I started a bread recipe we have been wanting to try since we were in Alabama.  Our friends on another sailboat gave us some to try and the recipe.  It is a flat bread you make in a pan on the stove.  A cross between pita bread and a tortilla, made with yogurt.  I mixed it and let it rise while I cleaned out our refrigerator.  I made a pasta salad for lunch with most of the last of our fresh vegetables and some ham.

I also got Dave started on looking up figures of all the things we have added or upgraded on our boat.  The new insurance company wants those figures.  I'm not sure I want to see the total.

Dave helped me when it came time to heating the dough in a pan, because it was a little too sticky yet and I was messing with adding more flour.  Well, we tasted the first couple ones and decided they were too salty and we wouldn't eat it anyway.  I remember as I was adding ingredients thinking that I didn't remember the last time I had to measure out a tablespoon of salt.  Well, I think it was a misprint.  So we ended up throwing it all away.  And I think it's a little too labor intensive for the 16 pieces it makes.  I think I'll stick with loaves of bread.

I cleaned the heads, we took turns showering and were ready for dinner with the Sweeney's by 7:00.  They picked us up and took us to their favorite restaurant, the Garlic.  It was a fun place with several bars and almost jungle like atmosphere in their outdoor section.  The food was great.  When they bring the bread with the oil and vinegar, they also bring a plate of roasted garlic.  We all took leftovers home.

 It was great catching up with them and hearing about our mutual friends.  Just love those friends that you don't see for years and you pick up right where you left off.
This is the largest bird nest in the world near our boat in the marina.  It's great as long as they don't decide to do their business on our boat. Looks like even the birds live in condos in Florida.
friends for over 20 years

At the Garlic-specials were written on a piece of lasagna

Brian, Kate, Mary, Dave, Rita-colorful place

May 29, 2014 Cape Canaveral to New Smyrna Beach

We pulled up anchor at 9:40am, the earliest yet!  We decided to stay on the ICW again today.  There were possible thunderstorms, so wanted to be able to stop if needed.  We used a channel on the VHF for an automated radio check.  Our radio sounded very static-y.  But the bridge tenders haven't complained.  So we'll have to check that further.

Today we passed the John F Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral.  There is going to be a launch in about 2 weeks.  So I scanned the horizon with binoculars and saw the rocket in place already.  I'm sure they have plenty of preparations to do.  It would have been quite an experience to watch the launch from our boat. 

About 11:30 we saw a lightning bolt  out ahead of us.  So we took all our hand held electronics and put them in the microwave.  A metal box is supposed to protect them if you are hit by lightning. 

Today I put about 8 CD's in our stereo.  It really helped the time pass.  When we had a good view of the Space Center, Elton John's "Rocket Man" came on.  Had to laugh at that.

We also listened to Kenny Chesney.  I hadn't really listened to the words of this song before, but it hit home today.
"Soal of a Sailor"
I was born a son of the sea
I can't be still, I can't be tied
The only time I feel alive is
When the wind fills my sail
Riding on a lifelong swell
Let my heart take me where it wants to go
That's the soul of a sailor, the soul of a sailor

We passed under a draw bridge where the bridge tender told us to go slow because there were manatees in the area an area.  We saw their tails flipping at the surface.  But by the time we reached them they had gone under water, so no photos today.

 We anchored at New Smyrna Beach just off the ICW about 6:00pm.  While checking out the depths to decide exactly where to anchor, our keel touched bottom and the boat stopped.  Dave was able to back it off of the sandbar that we hit.  We then moved a little further south and anchored.  We ate dinner in the cockpit, just leftovers.  Once inside the boat, we heard a noise from the anchor chain and went out to investigate.  Here is the technical explanation: the snubber came off the rode which caused the chain to jump off of the windless gypsy.  That's what made the noise.  So- the anchor is attached to a chain (rode) and the snubber is a line that makes a bridle coming from both sides of the bow and attaches to the chain.  It take the pressure off of the windless, which is the mechanical device that raises and lowers the anchor. The gypsy is a channel that grabs the chain or rope, whichever you are using.  Here is the reason:  the wind was from the south, so that is the way we point our bow when anchoring.  But we were in a river that had a current running the opposite direction and turned our boat 180 degrees.  We decided to reset the anchor.  This time we faced the boat west to set the anchor, we swung 180 degrees and faced the east and set it again.  We had a feeling we weren't done for the night. 

We both showered and got ready for bed.  We realized that we had left a screen off of the hatch above our bed and put it in place before getting into bed.  Well it wasn't long before both of us were swatting and scratching.  We turned on the lights and there were hundreds of little bugs in the boat.  We call them No See'ms.  They bite, but don't leave any marks.  We quickly closed up all the hatches and started our generator so we could run the air conditioning all night.  We then spent the next hour trying to kill the litter buggers.  Finally, we felt comfortable enough to sleep.  I actually felt a little sea sick from looking up at the ceiling so long with a little rocking motion of the boat. 

What a night: we got stuck, had to reset anchor and had bugs biting us.  Always and adventure.

The Falcon 9 rocket is next to a red tower.  Next launch is scheduled for 6-11-14

JKF Space Center

May 28, 2014 to Palm Shores

We had a later start this morning because Dave was working on our autopilot.  Right when we turned off the ICW yesterday, our autopilot malfunctioned.  The screen showed a message about the compass being off and it was making a beeping noise.  So we shut it off to concentrate on anchoring.  As an afterthought, I should have taken a picture of the screen, then we would have remembered what it said.  So he went through the re-calibrations he could do at anchor.

We were able to grab a weak, slow wifi, so I spent some time posting one entry for my blog.  I hope to get caught up this weekend.  I guess if you are reading this, I did. 

Did I mention that we have been using powdered eggs for breakfast?  They have been fine scrambled with whatever meat and veggies we have leftover and some cheese.  Not sure they would make  a pretty omelette.  Dave’s comment “everything tastes great in paradise.” 

We had to finish the calibrations for the autopilot while underway, so we decided to stay inside the ICW, just incase it wouldn’t work.  We had to wait until we were in a long straight stretch to keep it on one compass heading.  Everything seemed to work fine.  But we didn’t use it very long today.  On the ICW, you have to change directions slightly to stay in the channel, so we actually spent the day steering the boat.  On the ocean, you can pick one heading and stay there for several hours. 

This part of the ICW is actually a wide body of water.  But the channel is dredged to 11 feet in a section only about 50 feet wide.  Just outside of the channel, it can get to 2 feet real quick.  And there are some areas where the channel markers are far apart.  We would steer towards one and scan the horizon for the next one.  They are on the radar screen, but I like to have a visual to reinforce what I am seeing on the screen.  Going from marker to marker reminded us of skiing in the Swiss Alps in a blizzard in our early 20’s.  There were signs in the gondola that said “stay close to the orange poles to avoid crevices in the glacier.”  It was snowing so hard, that we would ski to one orange pole, stop until we could see the next one, then take off again.  This was after learning to downhill ski in MN and skiing once at Terry Peak in SD.  I think that 2 year honeymoon in Germany, compliments of the US Air Force, sparked our sense of adventure. 

There was only one draw bridge today.  The rest were fixed bridges that had 65 foot clearances.  So they didn’t slow us down.  And there wasn’t as much traffic.  So we made good time, even though you have to meander a little, like a river.  Actually, we were on the Indian River all day. 

We saw dolphins today for the first time since we left the Florida Keys.  About 3:00, there was a thunderstorm with rain off to the west of us.  I always get concerned about lightening hitting us, but we escaped that another day. 

We anchored near Palm Shores just south of Cape Canaveral.  The next launch isn’t for 2 weeks.  That would have been pretty cool to see from our boat.  Just outside of here is Cocoa Beach.  If we had a car, we could have gone to look for a Genie bottle (you have to be at least 50 to get that one). 

Every night, I have been logging how many miles we go by boat.  We have been averaging 50 miles a day since we left Marathon, Fl.  You have to remember we only go 5-6 mph.  So we have gone about 300 miles this week.  BUT, we have gone about 1000 miles since leaving Mobile Bay last December.  When you ask people how long they have been cruising, they tell you the years, but many also say how  many miles they have gone.  So I decided to start logging that about 500 miles ago.  At first I used some distance charts for estimates.  But now I have learned how to do it with an app on my phone.  We have so much information at our fingertips with technology today compared to sailors even 30 years ago. 

I spent the evening researching hurricane preparedness.  Our insurance company wants to know our plan.  I hope I don’t have nightmares.

May 27, 2014 Off to Ft Pierce

We are definitely in retirement mode.  We can’t seem to pull up our anchor before 10:00.  Today while eating breakfast, we watched a huge yacht come into Lake Worth with a pilot boat navigating them through the deeper water.  It looked like there were just a few crew on board.  They had a yellow flag flying.  That is the quarantine flag that boats have to fly until they clear customs.  Only the captain is allowed to go to shore with the appropriate paper work.  I guess this was their first port entering the US.  The owner probably wasn't even on board.  They probably flew back to the US.  We have owned a yellow flag for many years just for that purpose.  But we missed our opportunity to use it in the Bahamas.  We’ll just have to wait until after hurricane season.

We headed out onto the ocean today.  We went out the Palm Beach inlet with very little traffic this morning.  The water was a little more rough with 2-4 ft swells, but not bad.  We generally go off shore about 3 miles.  Then you usually miss underwater hazards and a lot of traffic of smaller boats.
When studying for boat licenses, you learn about how to use the VHF radio.  I have a cheat sheet for May Day, if our boat is going down, I won’t remember the proper protocol.   We say May Day, but it has a french origin, M’aider, which means “help me or aid me”.   Pan-Pan is used if there is a danger in the area that any boat may need to assist if they are in that area, like man over board, trouble with maneuvering a boat (engine or captain problems). Securite’ is used mostly by the coast guard to warn you of a hazard in the water or sudden change of weather.

Today we listened to a pan-pan for about 30 minutes that really should have been may day.  About 11:15 we heard the coast guard announce pan-pan.  A boat was taking on water and they gave the location by latitude and longitude.  They were further south and east of us (further off shore).  I keep a pen and paper in my pocket while we are on the move.  I make notes of time, weather, conditions, periodically our location, etc for our log book.  But I can also write down the location of a distress call in case we can be of assistance.  Or if someone’s transmission is not being heard by the coast guard, we are obligated to try to pass on the message for them. 

We could hear the USCG asking location, how many people on board, whether they had life jackets on, name of vessel (Dr’s Orders).  But we couldn’t hear their transmission.  Pretty soon Tow Boat US and the Navy were all involved.  2 people were in their dinghy, their boat was taking on water, and within 15 minutes their boat had sunk.  Then within the next 15 minutes, they were spotted and the pan pan was dismissed.  I’m thinking it was a fishing boat to have sunk that fast.  No matter what it was, it was a little bit of an eye opener for us. 

We had locked our dinghy to the boat a couple nights ago when we were in the crowded party harbor.  So Dave unlocked it and made it easier to deploy.  Makes you think through scenarios you hope you never face. 

What a beautiful, relaxing day it was on the water.  We would occasionally see little flying fish skimming across the water and then diving back in.  We even saw schools of them together.  Funny to watch.  The water was only in the 45-50 ft deep range today.  Still a beautiful rich blue color.

We reached the Ft Pierce inlet about 5:00 and decided to turn in for the night.  The next inlet would be too far away to turn into the ICW before dark.  We anchored in a bay by 6:00.  We had a great Mexican dinner and Dave even had a beer with me!  We had leftover grilled pork that made awesome tacos.  We keep tortilla shells in the freezer.  And I made Texas Caviar about 3:00, so it was ready to be consumed.  It is a combination of black eyed peas (or black beans), rotel tomatoes, corn, seasoning, little oil and vinegar, and fresh pepper and onions if, I have them.  Lime juice tops it off. 

Before going to bed, I had a nice telephone visit with my friend, Lorraine Himrich, back in Custer, SD.  Her son, Aaron, just graduated from Pharmacy School and will be taking his boards later in June.  We may find a way to connect on the east coast for a little fishing.  More to come of that adventure in a few weeks.

West Palm Beach
Mexican night

May 26, 2014 Boca Raton to West Palm Beach

I can usually sleep through anything, but Dave hears noises or gets chunks of sleep.  So I usually let him sleep in.  I prepared a breakfast we could eat on the go.  Hard boiled eggs, bagels and apple sauce and coffee.  But once in the cockpit, we decided to eat before we left the anchorage.  So at 10:00, we pulled up the anchor, circled around and entered the ICW again.  When we rounded the first corner, there was our first bridge.  It only opened on the half hour, so we just missed the 10:00 opening.  Should have eaten on the go-or checked that ahead of time.  Lesson learned. 

Our day consisted of rushing to the next bridge, then looking up the next one and rushing again.  Or waiting for a bridge to open for us.  There were 11 total today.  The one at Ocean Ave in Boynton Beach was beautiful.  One bridge tender held the gate open a little longer for us to make it through.  Then there was one that our guide said only opened once an hour at 15 minutes past the hour.  So we were working our way towards it about 30 minutes early and all of a sudden it opened at 2:45 instead of 3:15.  So we tried calling the bridge tender to see if they would hold it for us.  He didn’t answer us right away.  Not sure if he was busy with the bridge, or didn’t hear our transmission.  We were going to make it, so we kept calling asking for them to acknowledge us.  Finally, at the bridge, he scolded us because we didn't call him 5 minutes before the opening.  Well we just apologized and let him know we had never heard that rule before.  We didn’t go into the fact that we didn’t think he was opening for another 30 minutes or that we had been calling him with no response.  There have been several bridge tenders that would reply letting us know that the next opening was in X minutes, which was less than 5 with no problem. 

So we learned 1) you must announce our intention to pass under the bridge with the name of your boat for their records 2) at least 5 minutes before their scheduled opening.  But that sure isn’t standardized.  There are lots of different personalities for the bridge tenders. 3) Being at the helm all day in traffic instead of using the autopilot can make you weary. 

We were approaching the opening to the ocean from the ICW at West Palm Beach.  We were tired of the ICW and the bridges, but we weren’t sure we could make it to the next inlet to anchor for the night before sunset.  So we decided to anchor early, just south of the inlet to go outside in the morning.  And we made sure there were no more bridges to wait for either. 

We spent some time working on our boat insurance paperwork, looking up hurricane preparation information (insurance company needs to see our plan), and just resting.  It is more stressful rushing through these canals than it is on the open water.  And some of Dave’s road rage starts to appear when a bridge tender is moody or he thinks their schedule is stupid.  Or when jet skis come close enough to splash us or cut close in front of us.  We can’t stop our boat if they lost someone off of the jet ski.  And large boats cause big wakes making us rock and roll.  He’s much more mellow when we are out on the sea alone.  He DID correct me.  It’s not road rage, it’s TDS-Traffic Dave Syndrome.  If you say it right, it explains how he views traffic- TeDiouS.

We anchored in Lake Worth in West Pam Beach.  Across the ICW was the Rycovich Marina.  There are some big boats in that marina.  I checked out their website, but it didn’t list their fees for docking there.  They did have a “crew campus” which listed the facilities for the crew of the boats, something I hadn’t thought of before.  We were in the cockpit shortly after sunset and I noticed some of the huge sailboats in that marina had red lights on the top of their masts.  When you anchor you have to have a white light on all night.  After thinking about it, I think they had the red lights because they were so tall.  It was to warn aircraft.  See something new everyday. 

We had a very peaceful evening and a great dinner of sautéed shrimp and rice pilaf made aboard our boat.  Team effort.

Prettiest bridge of the day
Rycovich Marina on Lake Worth at West Palm Beach.  The splashing on the left are jet skis beside the boats

May 25, 2014 Miami and Beyond

We had a nice breakfast as more boats came into the harbor for the day.  Dave asked another sailboat about using the Cape Florida Channel, closest to the island.  They said we should have no problem with 5 foot draft.  So we left at 10:15am and took the short cut back to the ocean.  You could take the intracoastal waterway through Miami, but we thought that would be too slow and busy.  Besides it was another beautiful day with flat seas.  Actually, it would have been perfect weather to go to the Bahamas, but neither one of us brought that up. 

We went about 3 miles off shore to avoid hazards and a lot of traffic.  The water was a beautiful deep blue color. I checked the depth to see if that was the reason, it was 600 ft deep.  I guess that’s why I’ve never seen that blue before.  Later, Dave read that the Gulf Stream comes that close to Miami, so we could have been in the Gulf Stream.  We were making pretty good time. 

We rounded Key Biscayne and headed north along the coast of Miami.  It was 12:00 by the time we were at the south end of Miami Beach and 1:30 when we were off of north Miami Beach.  Seemed like we looked at the Miami skyline for half a day. 

At some point, we wanted to go into the IntraCoastal Waterway (ICW) to spend the night.  We had called on the VHF radio to ask about the best entrance into the Intracoastal waterway for a boat our size.  We have insurance with, but we were told that they would give anyone up to date information about any channel to avoid having to be towed.  And it worked.  They recommended Port Everglades Inlet (into Ft Lauderdale), or Hillsboro Inlet about 10 miles further north.  We wanted to stay outside of the ICW, but the Hillsboro inlet sounded like there might be a strong current with the tide rising when we would reach it.  Wanting to avoid drama, we went in at Port Everglades.  About 2:30 we turned towards shore.

What would have taken us 2 hours on the ocean turned into 4 hours on the ICW.  Heavy traffic is to be expected in a city, but this was also a holiday weekend. First, in the channel coming off the ocean, there were all sizes of boats roaring past us, which makes our boat roll side to side.  There were about 4 boats with blue flashing lights right at the shore line of the entrance.  They cleared out by the time we reached there. 

At 3:30, we turned around the first bend and approached a bridge that is said to be 55 feet, the 17th street bridge.  Our mast is 54, with an antenna.  so we called the bridge tender to see if we should wait for the next opening.  He said we’d have to come up to the bridge to read the tide level and decide for ourselves.  We see the tide levels all the time when we pass under bridges, but it is usually obvious whether it’s tall enough to pass under or to wait for the opening.  We didn’t want to get right up to the bridge and decide we would have to turn around, especially with all the boat traffic, so I got out the binoculars to read the water level.  There is a board that looks like a large ruler.  It shows you how much clearance there is depending on the tide.  It read 57 feet, so we went under and crossed our fingers and made it.

Twice we saw wide spots in the ICW that had about 50 ski boats anchored and people walking between them with drinks in their hands or on floaties.  I guess that was more calm than going to the beach.  We also saw huge homes along the waterway, huge boats, open air bars, some with steel drum music.  Lots of activity. 

The rest of the day was spent racing to the next bridge to catch the timed opening or waiting for the bridge to open.  At the second bridge we came to, East Las Olas Blvd bridge, we just missed the opening at 3:45, so we had to wait 30 minutes by circling around the channel avoiding other boats.  Another sailboat came up and called the bridge tender.  We were so smug thinking we knew when it would open and didn’t need to call the bridge.  When we passed though, the bridge tender called us with his loud speaker.  So we responded on the radio to see what he wanted.  He kind of scolded us by saying he had to log the name of every boat that goes though the bridge.  So we apologized and gave him our boat name.  I guess that other boat knew what he was doing, not us.  What bugged us was later that day, some tall power boats would wait for bridge opening, but they only needed to log the names of the sailboats going through.  Need to research the reasoning behind that. 

4:30 Sunrise Blvd Bridge
5:15 Oakland Park Bridge-had to wait 30 minutes.  Waiters at the bars along the ICW tried to talk us into tying up and getting a drink while we waited.
6:00 Atlantic Blvd Bridge-now we are racing between bridges to catch the next timed opening.
6:15 NE 14th Ave Bridge
6:30 we passed the Hillsboro inlet and wished we had taken it instead of the ICW. 
7:00 Hillsboro Blvd Bridge
7:20 Camino Real Bridge

We came to Lake Boca Raton on the ICW and it was suggested as a good overnight anchorage.  It is also known as a party area.  It was just a rectangular area off of the ICW surrounded by condos.  When they dredge the outer rim, they pile the spoils in the center.  So it is very shallow and to be avoided by sailboats with keels, like us.  But there were plenty of power boaters anchored there and 2 huge catamarans rafted together with people celebrating the holiday weekend.  The view was nothing like a night at a

We had dinner and after dark, moved our boat.  We felt we were a little close to shore with traffic going to the slips at the condos.  Several boats had left, so that gave us room to move more to the center, but still in 8 feet of water.  We could hear party music from a bar on shore across the “lake”.  Again, we liked the music, just wanted to go to sleep. 

We mapped out a distance to travel tomorrow, but we’d have to get an early start to go half way in the ICW and then half way outside.  So we’ll see how we sleep.

Key Biscayne lighthouse

Miami Beach

Tide level for our 54 ft mast with antena

partiers on the ICW in Ft Lauderdale

Lake Boca Raton
lake in South Dakota. 

May 24, 2014 To Biscayne Bay

 24, 2014 To Biscayne Bay

What a quiet peaceful night!  There was one other sailboat at this anchorage and no noise of civilization!  This morning, there was a fishing boat between us and Rodriquez Key.  It was a flat boat with 3 people in it.  The one in the rear was up on a stand and poling the boat through the water.  It looked so peaceful.  We watched them while we had breakfast.

We left our anchorage at 10:45 am.  Not sure where the morning goes.  It was a sunny 84 degrees, flat calm seas with 4mph East wind.  We motored all day, but put up the mail sail along with the motor.  About 11:45 we put up the genniker, too.  That increased our knots, so we were able to back off the engine and save fuel.  If we only used the sails, we probably wouldn’t make out destination tonight. 

About 12:30, we were near the John Pennekamp National Park off of Key Largo.  We considered changing course to snorkel the submerged statue called Christ of the Abyss, which we did about 10 years ago.  But it would have been tricky crossing the reef to get there and it would have added about 2 hours to our day.  If we hadn’t been there before, we would have planned that better.  Well worth taking the time to see if you are a diver or snorkeler. 

About 2:30 we could start to see the tall buildings of Miami, even though we were still about 15-20 miles away.  It wasn’t until 5:00 that we turned into the channel into Biscayne Bay to our anchorage for the night.  We had heard a lot about No Name Harbor from people going to and from the Bahamas.   This is an area where people wait for the right weather to make the crossing.  BUT no one ever discussed the approach to the harbor that was on Key Biscayne.  It looked like you could follow Cape Florida Channel around the south end of the island near the lighthouse.  But the guide we were reading said deeper draft boats should take Biscayne channel and approach from the north.  So to be safe, we took the long route.  On the charts, it looks like there are tons of islands in the opening of Biscayne bay, but it is just very shallow areas that are submerged.  So it is very important to follow the channel markers to avoid hitting ground.  There were about 6 buildings on stilts right out in the bay.  Now that’s what you call “ocean front property”.  Once you go west into the bay, you go north, past  more submerged islands and follow a couple channel markers closer to land to head back south to the opening of No Name Harbor.  

We also read that this is a popular harbor for day use by the locals, with state park access.  But most of them clear out for the night.  Well, there were lots of boats in this little harbor.  And they were here to party for Memorial Day weekend.  We found a spot to anchor near the opening to the harbor.  There were boats along the seawall just here for the day.  And there were large power boats rafted together with some great Cuban music coming from them.  360 degree difference from last night.

But it was Saturday night, and we couldn’t help but get into a festive mood.  There was a restaurant at the deepest end of the harbor.  We didn’t want to remount the dinghy motor, so Dave offered to row us to shore.   It was the first time we put in the hatch doors and locked the boat, just to go to shore. 

Boater’s Grille, was an open air restaurant with many fish and seafood options with a Cuban flair.  Everyone working there spoke English and Spanish.  And I think at least 1/2 of the patrons spoke Spanish.  There was a lady singing some lounge type songs and some fun calypso type songs. 

Dave rarely drinks anymore (health issues), but he does enjoy a cheap red sweet wine.  He felt like having their Sangria, so we ordered a carafe.  It reminded us of when we were in our early 20’s, Dave was stationed in Germany and we were Spain for a week.  When we arrived at our hotel, Dave wanted to use his Spanish from high school.  He called room service and ordered “dos vasos sangria”, 2 glasses of sangria.  Well they brought us 2 pitchers and that’s the way we drank it the rest of the week.   

Dave ordered a whole red snapper, lightly fried, head and all.  I had the grilled mahi mahi.  the waiter said the snapper and mahi mahi were the freshest fish on the menu, caught right in the bay. 

Dave rowed back to the boat in the dark with the light wind in our favor.  We also locked the hatch when we went to bed for the first time.  Just too many partiers still in the harbor.  There was still loud music when we went to bed.  We liked the music, just can’t imagine how loud it must be on the boat it was coming from.  Does that make us just kind of old? 

morning fishermen at our anchorage

enjoying the view

Our sailboat is the farthest away in center of photo

Sangria and black bean soup

Dave's red snapper, with fries and plantain

May 23, 2014 Leaving Marathon

Happy Birthday, Lori, my friend for over 45 years!

WE FINALLY LEFT MARATHON!  We spent a  couple hours wrapping things up on the boat.  There are several things that need to be stowed before leaving.  I made one last trip to shore to take out the garbage and turn in our cards for the showers and laundry (like hotel room cards). Said a few more good-byes.  We took the motor off the dinghy and stored it on the motor mount and put the dinghy on the davits.  We will travel faster with it out of the water.
The last thing we do is close all the hatches and through hulls (all water pipes are shut).

We left our mooring ball about 10:45am and stopped at Burdine’s Marina for fuel on the way out of the harbor.  As we were untying the boat, I saw a nurse shark under the dock that was about 5 ft long.  We left Boot Key Harbor in Marathon at 11:30am.

It was a beautiful day with light winds.  The seas were the flattest I have seen them when making a passage.  All day, it was that beautiful aqua marine color.  There were times when we were in 15-20 feet of water that we could see the ocean floor. 

We started 2 hour watches at noon.  It’s not really necessary to take watches if you are only sailing during the day.  But this way, if you wanted to nap or do something else, you waited for your 2 hour shift rather than having both of you tired at once. 

Our autopilot wasn’t working today.  That lets us set a course and take our hands off the wheel.  Dave ran through the reset tests, but no luck.  He said sometimes the drive gets dirty
and will stick, so he reached down into the aft starboard lazarette and thumped it a couple times.  Believe it or not, it started working.  Then he said “drives and wives, you gotta thump ‘em.” :)

We motored all day, but put up the main sail to gain a little speed.  Dave also used a hand line for fishing that he let drag behind the boat.  We didn’t get any bites.  When he pulled in the line at the end of the day, the hook was bent. We would have liked to have seen the one that got away. 

We anchored on the south side of Rodriguez Key which is outside of Key Largo by 6:45pm in 8 or 9  feet of water.  It was heading into low tide, which meant it could get 2 feet lower.  Our boat draws 5 ft, so we should be fine without hitting bottom.  It took us 7 hours to go about 50 miles.  So that gives you an idea of how this year is going to go.  There was one other sailboat and one power boat anchored here.

I won’t mention any names, but a friend of ours is going to be on the west coast of Mexico.  They said “why don’t you sail there and meet us?”.  I explained that it would take us about a year with going though the Panama Canal.  Puts things  into perspective.  This is a SLOW life.

Once anchored, we relaxed, made dinner, had showers and called it a night.

May 20, 21, 22, 2014 Last days in Marathon

We spent this week preparing to leave Marathon, Florida.  First we had to unpack from our MN trip.  Besides doing laundry we had to store our warmer clothes that we took along and store our suitcases.  That involved lifting up and folding back our bed mattress from the end closest to the bow, and lifting the wood slats that cover the storage areas.  All while you are on top of the bed .  Dave usually crawls up there and I hand him things, and document what is going into each compartment (for future reference).  I was explaining the phone app I have for “what’s on my boat” to a friend in SD this week.  She said she wished she had that for her kitchen. 

We are always reorganizing where we store things.  And I am finding things that I now realize we won’t need.  So we occasionally get rid of a few more things.  I am realizing that I have a “bag fetish”.  I have a stash of bags for hauling groceries, ones that are strictly dry bags (will keep contents dry because of the material and the way they close), stuff bags, ziploc bags, and traveling bags.  We bought carry on size suitcases in MN that will fold up into a bag about the size of a briefcase.  Great for storing once we’re back to the boat. 

Our boat insurance expires in about a month.  So I have been talking to our existing provider and another company suggested by another sailor.  I hate insurance.  They all have their pros and cons.  Some people don’t even carry insurance.  But we have no other home to go to if something should happen to this boat. 

Dave spent part of 2 days cleaning the hull of our boat.  He used the air compressor/air hose system we have to be able to stay under water for 1-2 hours each day.  The prep and clean up time added a few hours each day.  I have always said “we don’t have to mow the lawn, but we have to clean barnacles off the boat”.  Now it’s really happening.  It looks like if it were done on a monthly basis, it wouldn’t take as long, and the boat would move smoother in the water, especially once the prop is cleaned.  Dave’s not sure about doing it himself when we get farther north and the water is colder. 

Dave also opened up the bilge and engine compartment to cover the hoses for our water maker in areas where they may chafe.  Any area where hoses go through fiberglass, they can wear through if not protected.  He had trouble with getting this done at the time of installation (there was a lot of cursing), and he wanted to get it running.  So now he went back with thinner material.  He rolled up thin, flexible cutting board material to make a channel that the hoses could go through. 

The rest of the week was filled with routine cleaning of the heads, galley, floors, and laundry.  I have graduated to cleaning the toilets without rubber gloves.  Does that make me a big girl now?

We went out to eat at Florida Keys Steak and Lobster across the highway one last time before leaving.  Their food and happy hour specials have been great.  Dave had a unique dinner.  His meat and vegetables were brought to him raw along with a 700 degree stone.  He then cooked his own meal at the table to the level of preparedness that he chose.  12 oz of beef tips, were all meat, no bone.  We are looking forward to the leftovers.  I had a wonderful veal piccata. 

We have made some good friends here in Marathon.   And I am sure our paths will cross with a few of them again.  I wouldn’t be surprised if we came back here again in the future.  

Marian shower house

Marina tiki hut where we had potlucks and jam sessions on Sat nights

Main building from the water

dinghy dock near showers and laundry

same dinghy dock from shore view. showers and then main building of marina are on the right

May 19, 2014 Tour of the Bay

The Killion's last day with us.  It was still very windy today, so we had a light breakfast and decided to go for a tour of the bay in our dinghy.  With the wind, there was only a little splashing at the stern end where the dinghy was sitting deeper in the water than usual.  5 people is the recommended max for this dinghy.  We had fun checking out other boats.  We ended up having lunch at Castaways.  We could tie up our dinghy at their dock.

On the way back to our boat, Jackie decided to sit in the bow so she wouldn’t get wet again.  Well we were going against the wind this time.  No matter what speed we went, the bow kept splashing and getting the 3 women on the front half of the boat wet.  Jackie was soaked and laughing so hard that I said the one good thing was that if she peed her pants laughing we wouldn’t know.  Of course that made her laugh even more.  At least it was warm enough that we weren’t cold even though we were wet. 

Devyn is home schooled through on line courses.  She had a live computer class at 2:00 today.  We we set her up in the marina where she could be online (after changing clothes).   Then Jackie and I showered and put on dry clothes.  After her class, they took off for Cape Coral, about 5 hours away.  It’s always great to see them.  They may join us on the east coast of Florida as we move up the coast. 

We did some unpacking and watched a couple movies that evening.  Dave’s mom gave us a bunch of their DVDs that they don’t watch, mostly westerns.  Relaxing night.

May 18, 2014 Tourist Day

We had  hoped to go snorkeling today, but the winds were 20-30 mph.  It would have been pretty rough.  So after Dave cooked breakfast for us (us and the Killions), we drove to the 7 mile bridge.  We walked out on the 2 mile section of old railroad bridge.  We had biked this with Pete when he was here.  The water was pretty rough, so we didn’t see the wild life in the water like we did the last time we were here.  But the view was fantastic, and we watched a few fishermen. 

We had lunch at the Key Fisheries Market.  Dave’s favorite is their seared tuna sandwich.  And Brian loves tuna.  So we had to go there.  Jackie and I had shrimp quesadillas and Devyn had fried fish that was really fresh.  Sitting outside on their deck, Jackie spotted a seahorse holding onto a floating stick.  We watched it swim between the stick and some blades of grass.  Pretty cool and rare to see. 

We took advantage of having a car and went to Home Depot and the grocery store.  At this point, all we needed to replenish was fresh milk, eggs, fruits, vegetables and bread while we could still get it.  We have irradiated milk, powdered eggs, canned fruits and vegetables, some frozen breads and lots of flour, yeast, etc for making bread.  We’re ready to be self sufficient.

After unloading and storing most everything, we went across the highway to a happy hour and invited the people that watched our boat while we were gone.  We wanted to do something for them.  Afterwards, we went back to the boat and one neighbor joined us.  We sat in the cockpit enjoying more cocktails and snacks, with Dave cooking hotdogs later, too.  Beautiful evening. 
Devyn, Jackie and Brian Killion on the windy old railroad bridge next to the 7 mile bridge

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

May 17, 2014 MN to FL

Our flight wasn’t until 10:00am.  So we were able to have a cup of coffee with Jerry and Barb and visit a bit before leaving.  Since we were returning a car, we thought we’d get to the airport with plenty of time for the unexpected things to happen.  But traffic was fine.  That left us time for a nice breakfast at Ike’s in the airport. 

We switched planes in Chicago and Miami.  We landed in Key West just in time for our friends, Brian, Jackie and Devyn Killion to pick us up.  They live in Cape Coral, Fl, which is where our storage unit is located.  So they brought our 2 Dahon collapsable bicycles with them.  We had stored them earlier while Dave was doing so much work on the boat because they would have been  in the way.  But there have been times that they would have been handy to have. 

We went to Schooners for dinner.  It is an outdoor restaurant on Key West Bight, the harbor near the Old Towne part of Key West.  They  have about 6 tables on an second floor deck.  We decided that was as good a place as any to see the sunset.  It was a little late to make it to Mallory Square.

After dinner, we walked to Duvall Street.  Jackie and Devyn have never been to Key West.  We went down to Captain Tony’s (to get out of the heat-J Buffett line).  Devyn was immediately carded and had to leave.  So now we are telling everyone that she was kicked out of Captain Tony’s.  She is only 15. 

We walked as far as Margaritaville, shopped a little and headed back to the car.  Then we had to drive about 45 miles back to Marathon.  We reached the boat after 11:00pm, made beds and hit the pillows.  We were all tired.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

May 16, 2014 Dental CE ad dinner with friends

I was able to attend a dental meeting this morning for 5 hours of continuing education.  I need to have CE to keep up my dental licenses in SD and AL.  There were 5 people from my dental school class at this CE, Kordie Reinhold, Chris Swanson, Jeff O’Neil, Todd Tsuchiya, and myself.  It was fun visiting with them.  Chris and I went out for a 2 hour lunch afterwards.  Love those friends that can pick up where we left off after a few years.

Friday evening, we met friends and family for dinner at one of Jerry’s favorite restaurants, ChinDian, in NE Mpls.  It is a mix of Chinese and Indian and everything was fantastic.  Besides the two of us, Jerry, Dean (Dave’s brother), and Joe and Erin Clausen rounded out the group.   After dinner, Jerry headed home (end of his work week) but the rest of us wanted to visit longer.  Since we were in NE Mpls, I recommended going to a place I hadn’t been to since dental school, Nye’s Polonaise Room.  It is an old restaurant/bar with vinyl seats and booths.  There is a classic bar with a piano bar with seats at the piano.  There was a guy playing and singing.  But people could request songs and use a microphone to sing them.  There were plenty of celebrity-wanna-be’s.  Most were pretty good.   We sat at the bar and were entertained by the bartender and each other, of course. 

Made it back to Jerry's in time to visit with him a little while before setting an alarm to get to the airport in the morning. 

May 15, 2014 Mpls and LaCrosse game

It’s been very nice to be able to spend time with Alice and Hap, and hard to leave when you don’t know when you’ll be back.  It was always like that when we lived in Rapid City, but somehow it seems different when you are returning to a boat instead of a home on land. 

After Alice fed us once more with ham and eggs, we headed to Mpls.  We did a little shopping before meeting with Dave’s niece, Dena, and her kids at 4:00 in Bloomington.  We were done early, and her plans changed to 5:00, so we went to a sports bar to watch the end of the Twins game that went into overtime (Twins won).  We were planning to watch Mateo play LaCrosse at his high school in Eden Prairie at 6:00 and ended up just meeting there.  Interesting game and fun to see Mateo play.  Mateo, Julianna, and Malichi are growing up!!  We don’t see them often enough.

Spent the night at my brother’s, Jerry and Barb’s.  Nice to visit with them and get caught up on life, and share a couple beers. 

Had to layer what clothes we brought with us.  Only about 50 degrees

Had to find Malich's face under his mother's arm

May 11-14, 2014 Week in LeSueur, MN

Sunday:  It was so nice to be able to get into a car 15 minutes before church and drive directly there.  No dinghies, no buses, no taxis.  Ahhhh. 

We went out for dinner at Alice and Hap’s favorite restaurant on a lake about 30 minutes from their home.  We have been here with them before.  It’s a  typical bar/restaurant on a MN lake and brings back memories of fishing with Dave’s family at MN lakes. 

They always like to put in $5 each to buy pull tabs.  They are $1 each and have 3 tabs you pull back to get a match to win money.  Out of the 20 tabs, we won $104.00.  So we each got $20 back and we bought 24 more.  We won $4 out of that, bought 4 more and were done.  So we each came out $15 ahead. 

We enjoyed our meal and when the waitress brought our bill, she said the couple by the door wanted to put $20 towards our tab.  We thanked them on the way out.  They stood up and shook Hap’s hand.  They said it was because of him.  Hap was wearing his WWII Veteran Hat.  They thanked him for his service.  Pretty cool. 

Monday:  Alice had gift cards for Kohl’s since Christmas that she hadn’t used.  So we decided to go to Mankato for a girl’s shopping day. (Not like Tracy and I shop and end up at a bar.)  We each found a few things at Kohl’s.  Then we went to Panera Bread for lunch.  She also had a gift card to use there.   

When we got home, Alice made us a chicken pot pie with mashed potatoes on the top.  Mmm, Mmm.  Good home cooked meal. 

Tuesday:  Another lazy day at Grandma’s.  Dave made spaghetti and meat balls for the 4 of us. 
Dave and I spent some time updating the phones and computers.  Also started looking into renewing our boat insurance or switching to another company recommended by other sailors.  Watched Twins win with a home run.

Wednesday:  We were able to do some laundry before leaving here.  I should take that into consideration when I am packing.  Could have gotten by with less clothes.   
Updated the “What’s on my boat” app today.  I brought my lists of what I have stored where and entered it into my phone. I hope I keep it updated to make it really work for us. It’s been fun watching the Twins on TV, but they lost tonight.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

May 10 2014 Mother's Day gathering

Alice and Hap had planned a Mother’s Day potluck for Saturday before they even knew we were coming.  They live in an apartment building, but have a party room they reserved.  We surprised Dave’s sister, but Dave’s brother did read the blog early Friday and figured out we were here.

3 of Hap’s daughters were there, with one husband.  One of Hap’s grandsons, wife and 2 year old daughter also came.  We hadn’t seen them in many years, so it was nice to visit with them, too.

Dean and Debbie stayed until about 10:00 visiting.  It was nice for all of them to be together.  They had some  quality time to share what was happening in their lives.   


May 9, 2014 Relaxing day at Mom's

Hap and Alice Ziebarth
Dave and I have been practicing being lazy with no schedule so we would be ready for a week in LeSueur.  Dave and his mom picked up Dave’s favorite local pizza for lunch, which made good leftovers, too.

Alice and I did a little shopping, everyone took turns taking naps, watched the Twins play baseball.  Typical day at mom’s.

Alice had a Kindle and has been able to use it for e-mail using her neighbor’s wifi.  She finally got her own wifi and router and Dave helped get that set up for her. 

May 8, 2014 Dental Day

I called Kordie. my dental classmate and friend, at 7:00 am to get a recommendation of an endodontist.  She again told me that Peter would like to see him.  She checked the schedule and asked if we could be there at 9:00 am for the root canal on #6, upper right and routine.  And he would evaluate #31, lower right to decide if he would retreat it or refer him to a specialist.  We would have just enough time, if traffic wasn’t bad.

I woke up Dave, and we headed out.  They were going to see the new “sailing Mary and Dave”.  No showers, casual clothes, and no make up for me.  We didn’t even have breakfast or coffee.  When Alice and Hap got up, Hap thought Alice had only dreamed that we were there last night.  We made it to their office right at 9:00.

Peter had no trouble treating #6.  It definitely was infected and needed treatment.  He was done about 10:00, and they wanted Dave to return at 2:00 to treat the other tooth.  We went to a great restaurant in their neighborhood, Zumbros, for breakfast.  Then we went to a AAA store for some travel items.  I shopped for over an hour while Dave napped in the car.  We found some awesome items for travel, like carry on suitcases that can be folded into a small size to store when not in use.  There were also some waterproof and water resistant items. 

Dave was really impressed with Peter’s treatment. Very gentle and very skilled, and efficient.  I had a chance to visit with Kordie and Chas Salman, another class mate or ours that now works with them.  The first sailboat I was ever on was on the St Croix River with Chas while I was in dental school.  We also had fun remembering some good times in dental school.  Dave even got a couple of his staff with his “dog jaw” joke.  He explained how the crazy dentist in Florida tried to tell him he had “dog jaw”.  Then he gets them to feel his jaw.  And when they reach for it, he turns his face toward their hand and barks like a dog.  Of course they jump if it goes over good. 

The best part was the nice discount Peter gave us.  Thank you Peter and Kordie, if you are reading this.  We didn't come to MN for a discount.  We came for reasonable fees and to see someone we trusted and to see family.  So this was a bonus. 

We headed back to LeSueur about 3:30 and it was really raining hard.  The sky looked green, like tornado weather.  We turned on the radio, and there were tornado watches and severe thunderstorms in the area.  We even had to pull over at one point because the wipers couldn’t keep up with the rain.  But we made it to LeSueur and listened to forecasts for more severe weather heading our way.  Everything stayed to the west of us and passed us by, thank goodness. 

Dave’s mom had a great dinner of pork ribs waiting for us.  We were pretty tired and just fell asleep watching TV (something we don’t get to do on the boat). 

Dave and I are both happy to have the treatment done.  Now we can just enjoy the time with family and not have to think about several trips to the Cities.  We’ll head there the last couple days before flying out on the 17th.  My brother and sister in law, Jerry and Barb, assured me that they will be home and will have a bed and beers waiting for us.  

May 7, 2014 Traavel Day

Our flight wasn’t until 4:30 pm out of Key West.  But we had to get there by bus for $4 each.  We had Shelly, our friend watching the boat, take us to shore about 10:30 am with our suitcases and our garbage.  It all goes in the same trip by dinghy.  That way we could leave our dinghy at the boat.  We had to finalize things with the marina before leaving.  Then we walked to the bus stop a couple blocks away and waited for the bus.  We were there about 30 early, but we didn’t want to miss it.  I figured the bus would arrive in Key West at 1:00 or 4:00, so we had to take the earlier bus.  But once we reached Key West, the airport stop isn’t until the bus circles the island and is heading north again.  So we didn’t get to the airport until about 2:00.  Glad we had time to spare.  

We decided to eat lunch at the airport.  The restaurant was pretty slow.  We started visiting with our waitress.  She was from the Czech Republic but had lived here 10  years.  She ended up sitting down at our table to visit with us while we ate.  That was a first. 

Dave’s teeth started bothering him this morning after improving over the last few days.  So he started taking pain meds, which he doesn’t care to do.  Before leaving Marathon, I called the dental office in MN again to see if they needed to see Dave Thursday or Friday for an evaluation.  Today, they told me that the dentist was going to be out of town and they would have to reschedule his appointment on the 13th.  Would 2 weeks later be OK?  I tied to be patient while I explained that, NO, that would not be OK.  I had to remind them that we are flying to MN today and will only be there until the 17th.  They were going to talk to the dentist and get back to me.  OK, this may change our trip to MN.

I have heard all kinds of stories about the nasty patient on the phone being demanding about being seen NOW, or the WIFE of that patient.  And I didn’t want to be that patient.  So I called the dental office back.  I told them that if it didn’t work out to see Dr. Stec, could Dave see his associate, or would they have a recommendation of another office.  Again, they said they would get back to us today, but we were about to get on an airplane.

We changed flights in Ft Lauderdale, so I called again.  Well, the office was closed for the night.  We had a stop in Charlotte, NC, but didn’t have to leave the plane, it continued on to MN.  That’s what you get when you book last minute.  From Ft Lauderdale to Charlotte, I had a 5 year old boy siting behind me that kicked my seat the entire flight.  He was also pushing some buttons of his mother’s.  Dave was ready to defend the mother if she decided to use corporal punishment.  But he redeemed himself when we landed.  I got such a giggle out of his comment.  He asked his mom where we were.  She said Charlotte.  He said “is that still on earth?”  Maybe his kids will be asking him someday “are we on earth yet”? 

In Charlotte, I decided to text my friend, Stephanie, married to the endodontist.  I wanted her to let Ed know that we totally understand if Dave can’t see him, and would they have a recommendation.  I think maybe they were just afraid to turn us away and were trying to figure would where to schedule Dave.  She replied that Ed was really swamped and that may have to happen.  She gave us the name and number of another dentist in the northern part of the Twin Cities. 

We are staying with Dave’s mom in LeSueur, which is about an hour south of the Cities.  So I decided to use what my dad used to call “Good old American know WHO.”  I called another classmate, Kordie Reinhold.  I left her a message with the basic details and asked for a reference to an edodontist in the southern part of the Cities. 

When we arrived in Minneapolis, I listened to our return message.  She said her husband, Peter Hinke, also a classmate of mine, is great at root canals, and he would like to see him to evaluate the situation.  And to call in the morning.

We arrived at midnight, picked up our rental car, and drove to LeSueur.  We arrived about 1:30 am and visited for 30 minutes and hit the bed (our queen air mattress that we gave Dave’s mom).  I set the alarm to call Kordie at 7:00 am. 

May 6, 2014 Preparing the boat

I have made plenty of lists.  Now it’s time to get into action.  I sent a couple e-mails this morning with information about leaving our boat (from my phone, which I hate to type anything lengthy, but that is our wifi connection when we’re on the boat in this marina). 

We ran the water maker to fill our tanks.  Then we “pickled” the system.  You have to run sterile water through the lines if you aren’t going to use them for awhile.  Dave says the mixture is the same thing he used to use to wash beer bottles when he was  making his own beer. 

Dave was in the bilge looking for parts he needed to replace in the forward head.  He figured he could store them in the bilge because it wouldn’t matter if they got wet.  While we were in there, we decided to store more items in the bilge.  We ziploc bagged things first.  Then we stored boxed wine (sorry, but they are easy to have on a boat), and different cooking oils under our floor boards.  If they broke open, at least the liquids would be contained.  I have made of list of what I store where on the boat.  It’s not like I can open a cupboard door to see what I have.  We have an app on our phone called “what’s on my boat”.  Now I just need to load it :)  It’s not like you can run to the store to pick up an ingredient.  It’s interesting to try to figure out what you want to stock the boat with and how many you think you should have on board. 

After Dave replaced the parts needed in the forward head, he replaced the gasket on one of our port hatches.  It took 2 hours to remove the old gasket and place the new one.  During this time, Thomas brought over the videos and photos he took of Peter singing at the jam session a couple weeks ago.  We gave him a  tour of our boat.  He said he could never let his wife see our boat, because she would want a bigger boat. 

Our friend, Miami, came over to check out how to access our bilge and where our through hulls are located.  If the boat starts taking on water while we are gone, he will check out where it could be coming in.  Otherwise, he is just going to watch that nothing goes missing.  Really, this is a pretty safe place to leave a boat.  He doesn’t think we have anything to worry about.  But this is the first time we are leaving our home and everything we now own.  Strange feeling, especially for Dave.  He hasn’t left the boat for more than 2 nights since we moved aboard in October 2013.

May 3, 4, 5, 2014 Boat tasks

Hot lazy day! 
Saturday:  We were working on the boat most of the day.  Dave also took a nap, since he’s not sleeping great with his toothaches.  Seems like there is always something that can be tinkered with.  About 5:00, I decided I wasn’t going to cook anything for the potluck tonight.  It was 88 degrees.  I threw together a great salad.  We needed to get rid of our fresh vegetables if we were leaving on Wednesday.  We always enjoy the potluck.  We get to visit with other sailors and always learn something new.  There was only one guy singing at the open jam, but he sang a lot of songs from the 70’s and we loved it. 

Sunday:  I was able to ride to church with my other catholic friends this morning.  Then we sat and made a list of what we needed to do before we leave the boat.  We haven’t left it for more than a night since we started living on it.  To be able to leave your boat in this marina, we have to give them the name of someone that will watch our boat for us.  We asked a neighboring boat.  Then Dave asked a second boat to watch the first boat,  because he knows the guy on the first boat wants our anchor :)  We still have to pay the same thing as if we were here using the facilities.  Bummer. 

Dave spent most of the day working on our forward head.  We have started a maintenance routine to break up salt crystals and lubricate the fittings.  Well, something must have distorted a fitting as the salt crystals worked loose.  Dave had the unpleasant job of removing the fittings and repairing things.  If this doesn’t take care of the problem, he will have to replace some parts. 

It was only in the low 80’s today, but still a little warm to cook on the boat.  We had wanted to make meatloaf, so we decided to try it on the grill.  We wrapped it in two different foil packets.  And we put potatoes in foil, too.  We have a new grill, so we are cooking things by trial and error.  There is a shelf in the grill.  So the top shelf wa3, 4, 5s fine and the lower level was a little overcooked, but edible.  Live and learn. 

Monday: Today, we realized his repair on the head was not sufficient.  You don’t want to know how we knew.  We have replacement parts, but Dave is going to pick up new parts while we have access to them at a West Marine store.  Then he will still have the replacement parts for a future repair.  Sounds like that is the life of marine heads, especially in salt water. 

Today, Dave worked on the dinghy.  Our bench seat has started to wear on the inflatable sides, so Dave beefed up those areas.  He added some “fins” to the outboard motor to help it plane better.  He mounted navigational lights.  So far we have been holding our white light after dark.  But it actually seems more dangerous because you can’t see behind you because of the blinding light.  And he is always trying to clean off the outboard motor.  The barnacles are endless. 

We spent part of the afternoon in the marina using the wifi.  We also had to line up some things with the marina before we could leave the boat.  And we took advantage of using the showers on land. 

We ran into our friends Thomas and Renata from Lithuania.  We gave him a flash drive to download the videos he had of Pete singing at the jam session while he was here.  Maybe I will learn how to attach a video to the blog.