Saturday, January 24, 2015

January 15-22, 2015 SD road trip and friends

Thursday:  I’m always thankful when I have an uneventful flight.  I returned to SD to attend the annual Ski for Light event in the Black Hills.  It is a winter sports event for visually and physically impaired people.  But I went a week early to be able to attend my sister and brother-in-law’s retirement party in Aberdeen, SD.   I stayed with the Perdue’s while I was in Rapid.  They are on the Ski for Light board and Tracy is on the BH community theater board which was having it’s annual fundraising dinner theater that night and 2 more nights.  So I spent the evening with her sister, Tami Petersen, who is also a good friend.  We had dinner at her house with husband, John, and son, Cory.  Then we attended Cory’s high school band concert.  I saw several people that I knew and had fun visiting after the concert. 

Friday morning, I met my coffee girlfriends at 6:30am at BH Bagels.  We have been having coffee after working out on Friday mornings for over 15 years.  They still meet and I occasionally call one of them during coffee on Fridays.  So it was so fun to join them, even if I hadn’t had enough sleep.

After coffee, I met Toni Moore to ride 6 hours to Aberdeen.  Toni is Jim Moore’s sister and lives in Sturgis, SD.  Jim is married to my sister, Janice. 

We had a great dinner of homemade pizzas at the Moore’s.  I decided on the way to Aberdeen that I wanted to make some homemade Kahlua to take to Ski for Light.  I have been doing that for many years, and we call it a Fluoride treatment.  Well, we ended up making 4 GALLONS to share between me, Janice, Toni and her sister, Margaret.   That was crazy, but fun.  Toni has a blog for their family of recipes.  She had "Dr Roth's Fluoride treatment" in the blog.  Margaret had never looked at the recipe because she didn't think she needed to make fluoride for home :)
4 + gallons of Kahlua with the vodka and vanilla bottles.  Toni, Margaret, Me and Janice

My niece, Heidi lives in Aberdeen with her husband, Glen, and 2 kids, Garrett age 9, and Claire age 7.  Their grandpa, my brother, Don, was visiting.  So I met them Saturday morning to watch them both play basketball.  What a treat. 
Garrett in red guarding
Claire in pink socks making a basket

The retirement party was at the AmericInn in Aberdeen.  So after the ball games and lunch at McDonald’s, we went to the hotel, checked in early and went swimming.  Mom and Grandma were out of town and dad was working.  So Grandpa and I got to play. 

The party started at 5:00 and went until about 12:00.  Janice and Jim provided brisket, pulled pork, salads, beans, chips, desserts, and snacks.  There were about 150 people there.  Amazing to see that many people in the middle of the winter in South Dakota.  I had a nice time seeing family, reacquainting with several of their friends, but most of all playing with Garrett and Claire whenever they were bored and wanted to tour the hotel or go to my room to call their Crazy Uncle Dave.  Oh, and Garrett showed me a couple of functions on my iphone that I didn't know about :)
Jim and Janice Moore
Most family we could find together at one time: Jim Moore, Gail and Joe Zeller, Janice Moore, Don Zeller, Mary Roth, Clair and Garrett Crawford in front

Toni and I left late Sunday morning.  When we arrived in Rapid City, my friend, Cheryl, picked me up on the interstate in Rapid City so Toni could continue on to Sturgis.  Cheryl and I watched the football playoffs (bummed about the Packers, but what a game) and played cribbage and caught up on each others lives. 

Monday through Thursday was spent helping Tracy with Ski for Light preparation or running errand for her, meals with friends and Pete, and dental appointment at my old office.  I also went to the Black Hills Beauty College to have our friend, Morgan Killion, color my hair.   Her parents are the people we visit in Cape Coral, FL. 
Me and Morgan

I always like to hear my son, Pete, sing when I am in town.  This week he had 6 gigs in 4 days and I planned to make 4-6 of those.  Made it to Wobbly Bobby’s for Wednesday happy hour and to Paddy O’Neill’s on Thursday night. 


Thursday, January 15, 2015

January 12-14, 2015 GA Packing

Never sure where the days go, but I spent the week getting ready to go to SD.  We had to get under our v-berth to get a suitcase and winter clothes.  There’s not as many decisions about packing when you don’t own a lot of clothes.  I admit that I did look at photos from last year to see what I wore to the Ski for Light banquet so I wouldn’t wear the same thing. 

We spent a good part of one day organizing our manuals.  This is something we have been planning to do for a year.  I thought we would do this while we were staying at a motel having the boat repaired.  So I had them all out of our Navigation station and in bags.  I refused to just put them back.  We already had a binder with items relating to different registrations.  We organized 4 different binders.  One with manuals with current projects that Dave is working on.  One that is the complete Beneteau manual.  One for different systems, like the generator, heating/AC, heads, dinghy and related items, sails and spars, communications, etc.  Then one for miscellaneous add ons, like fire extinguishers and other safety equipment, water purifier, auxiliary heater, dehumidifier, bicycles, etc. 

We threw out duplicates and outdated material.  Dave wouldn’t let me make a table of contents for each one.  He couldn’t handle that much organization.  He looks forward to flipping through the pages.

Dave has been researching and working on setting up a GPS system to work with our chart plotter.  I  need more details from him and may add to this later.

We had downloaded a class on provisioning that had access to for 30 days.  It will expire while I am in SD, so I spent time listening to 3 classes that were 90 minutes each.  I learned a few new tips and picked up some good websites.  Not sure it was worth all the time I had to put into it.  Here’s on thing I will change.  I was told that when you buy fruits and vegetable, especially in foreign countries, you should wash the fruit in diluted bleach as soon as you get home.  But if the fruit doesn’t completely dry before you store it, it will start to ripen sooner.  Bananas are the exception.  They harbor spiders and eggs on their skins.  Sounds like it’s not unusual to get a full bunch of bananas (100 bananas) for about $1.00 in some countries.  So you need lots of recipes to use your fruit as it ripens.  But all produce should be washed before eaten.  She recommended a spray of vinegar to kill most organisms and a spray of hydrogen peroxide to kill listeria.  Then rinse with water.    Hope we survive these remote areas.  That is if we ever leave this country!!  I took a couple pages of notes, but that’s what sticks in my mind.

We picked up our rental car on Wednesday afternoon.  A 4 door pickup truck was cheaper than a compact car.  Go figure!  Since we owned a suburban for about 10 years and other trucks or vans before that, we feel more comfortable sitting up high.  And with the gas prices so low, we decided to go for the truck.  Then with a rental car comes freedom!!  We decided to eat at a restaurant we couldn’t walk to.  We asked our Dockmaster for a recommendation.  She recommended Bonefish Grill on St Simon’s Island.  We arrived in time for me to order one beer at the end of their happy hour, 6:30.  The Bang Bang shrimp appetizer was recommended, so we ordered that right away, too.  About 7:25, we were wondering what happened to our meal.  We asked our waiter and he said he had just asked his manager about it.  The manager came over to our table and apologized because our order had been misplaced.  They were preparing it right away and the entire dinner would be on them.  That was a nice surprise.  The food was excellent.  We shared ceviche that was served in a glass made out of ice.  I had an excellent house salad with shrimp and a cup of lobster bisque.  Dave had a kobe beef hamburger and took half home.  It ended up being a later night than we had expected, but I would recommend the Bonefish Grill anytime. 

isn't she a beauty?

bringing the boat up to the dock for weekly pump out

Monday, January 12, 2015

January 5-11, 2015 GA Haul out

We spent Monday getting the boat ready to haul out on Tuesday.  We also had to pack bags in case the boat has to stay out to be worked on.  We didn’t know if the repair would take one day or 2-4 weeks.  So it was strange to pack.  We had lunch at Willie’s Wee-Nee Wagon, an old establishment in Brunswick.  They had a large assortment of hotdogs, but also had hamburgers and their famous pork chop sandwich.  We had a couple different dogs, but may have to go back.

By 8:00am on Tuesday, we had the boat out of the slip and over to the end of the dock for a pump out.  Then we took the boat down the channel to the boat yard by 9:00 for our scheduled haul out.  The boatyard had to change a filter in their lift, so we had to wait about an hour for them.  It’s always scary watching them haul out your boat, but fascinating, too. 

Once the boat was out, the propeller mechanic did several tests to see where our vibration was coming from.  He didn’t see any damage to the prop or the shaft.  But Dave convinced them to reset the prop, because we didn’t trust the work that had been done by the marina that put this prop on for us.  Dave was in communication with the Maxprop company during the process.  It definitely needed resetting.  From the way it was set, the company didn’t know how we could have even moved the boat.  He said “it’s not supposed to work at that setting.” 

We’re still deciding on whether we are sold on the Max Prop.  There are advantages when it is in use, like less “prop walk” in reverse, where the boat tends to go to port in reverse.  And the blades can feather back when we are sailing and produce less resistance.  But mechanics don’t like working on them.  There are more parts and more grease involved when working on it.  We hung on to the prop that came with the boat, so we can always go back to that one.

Again, our zincs were gone.  So we still have an electrolysis issue.  The prop mechanic recommended a great marine electrician in the area to look at our boat.  We think it would be good to get his opinion on what else we can do. 

So after the prop was reset, we were able to put the boat back in the water!!!!  Finally, a boat repair that went as it should and didn’t drag on for months!!

It was about 2:00 by the time we had the boat back in the slip.  We decided to go out for lunch and spend at least one night in a hotel, since we had a car and were all packed. 

On Wednesday, since we had the rental car, I checked out St Simon’s Island and bought groceries while Dave put the boat back in order.  Had to move things away from the engine in case the mechanics needed to work in that area.  St Simon’s has potential for a family reunion.  Small town atmosphere, not condos and resorts. 

Another luxury when you have a car is going to a movie theater.   We went to The Hobbit.  We thought that would be worth seeing on a big screen. 

We found out that there was an excellent eye clinic hear in Brunswick.  So we called and made Dave an appointment here for Jan 20.  We aren’t waiting any longer for the VA.  Since the boat is ready, we are anxious to go to the Bahamas. 

Saturday and Sunday were spent watching football.  Our laundry facility had a little lounge with a TV.  So we had pizza delivered Saturday.  Another boater joined us.  We had a great time exchanging boat information and asking him questions about the Caribbean-he had a boat there for 12 years.  Sunday, we went to the Yacht club to watch the games. 
I enjoyed singing with the choir again on Sunday morning. 

Willie's Wee-Nee Wagon

boat lift moving out over the slip

"mon back"

lowering the straps to go under our boat

moving the boat over the straps and centering it

lifting 24,000 + lbs

backing up over land

December 31- Jan 4, 2015 Cape Coral, FL

Since we needed the rental car for the CPR class, we decided to go to Cape Coral, FL for the weekend and see our good friends Jackie, Brian and Devyn Killion.  We also have our storage unit there.  So we loaded up the car and made it there in time for dinner.  It's about a 6 hour drive, which turns into 7 or 8 with stops.

We spent the weekend doing some shopping for small things we needed on the boat, playing cards or board games, listening to foot ball (Alabama lost), and watching movies.  We all watched a weather video that Dave had downloaded from Chris Parker, our weather guru.  Dave and Brian spent an afternoon at their sailboat (our old Catalina 25).  I think both families just enjoyed the time together and relaxing-didn’t have to play tourist. 

at their favorite Thai restaurant

Saturday, January 10, 2015

December 26-30, 2014 GA online CPR & 1st Aid

We signed up for a CPR and First Aid class that you test on line, then you go to a center to be checked out.  So we spent a few days trying to get through the two courses online.  We don’t have a great wifi connection here, so it took longer than expected.  I ended up going to the local library on Monday to finish.  Even there, I would lose the wifi connections periodically.  In between studying, we listened to foot ball.

On Sunday, I sang with the choir again.  But that day, we only had 4 people in the choir.  They were so thankful to have me there. 

I decided to go back to SD for Ski for Light.  So I spent part of the weekend deciding what dates and finding the best deal.  I still had a $400 voucher from last year’s trip to SFL, so I needed to work that in there.  I have to take the voucher into the Jacksonville airport to validate it or mail it in.  Strange :(

We also spent time going through our storage areas on the boat.  We are going to put some things in our storage unit to make more room for visitors this winter.  

On the 29th, our boat neighbors invited us over for happy hour.  They are from northern Michigan and own a Bed and Breakfast there.  They have owned this boat for many years, but have chartered it out.  So now they are spending time on the boat, but still running the B&B.  After a few glasses of wine, I gave up on doing laundry.

Tuesday, we picked up a rental car to go to Jacksonville, FL for our CPR and First Aid test. 

First, we stopped at the airport to finalize my reservations with my voucher.  Then we drove to Green Cove Springs, our home town :) and picked up our mail.  We had several packages sent there knowing we would go there soon.  And there were about 5 Christmas cards that were still mailed to us, instead of e-mail.  So that was fun.

We decided to swing through St Augustine and stop at the VA clinic to check on the status of Dave’s eye appointment.  All they could really tell us was that there are lots of vets that need eye exams, but they’ll give them a reminder about his appointment.

Then we stopped to check out a marina that we may want to dock at.  Hidden Harbor marina is under new management.  It is a small marina and walking distance to a grocery store and West Marine.  So it would be smarter to be there than in the city mooring field, if we will be here for awhile.  Just checking.

Then we went to Jacksonville for our test.  We met Carlos at 5:00.  We went through the CPR for health professionals.  I need that to keep my SD dental license up to date.  That included using an AED.  Dave took the same class, so that was his first time using one.  The instructor is also an instructor for wilderness first aid.  They are planning to start a "First Aid afloat" class.  We’d be interested in taking that.

December 25, 2014 Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!
Celebrating Christmas on the boat for the second year still seems strange.  I guess we have to make new traditions. 
I made caramel rolls today using frozen bread dough, but I made the caramel from scratch, the way my mother used to with butter, brown sugar and cream.  Dave made his famous clam chowder.  After the rolls were done, be took half of them and walked up and down the dock, sharing them with other boaters, especially the single guys.  The last boat we stopped at was a trawler with a married couple.  We ended up visiting with them for over an hour. 
The best part of the day was visiting with our son, Peter, on the telephone.  Sure miss him!

Here is part of a Jimmy Buffet Christmas song that meant more to me this year. 

Merry Christmas, Alabama (Never Far From Home)

"Tis the season to remember
And to count up all the ports of call I've known
And to thank His mercies tender
For I'm never far from home

Merry Christmas to my saints and guardian angels
Who protect me as I roam
All the faces and the places that were home

"Tis the season to remember
That we're never far from home

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

clam chowder and jalapeno rolls (forgot to take a picture of the caramel rolls)

December 24, 2014 Christmas Eve in GA

Today at 2:00 pm, the marina provided dinner for all the boaters.  There was turkey, ham and all the fixings.  There were probably about 100 people.  The owner of the marina was there and gave a nice thank you for using their marina.  We ran into a couple we had met in Marathon, Fl last May.  Of course we are meeting more people every time we are at these functions.

I planned to sing at the midnight mass at the catholic church, so we just had a relaxing evening watching a couple older versions of “A Christmas Carol” and “Miracle on 34th Street”.  One of the choir members picked me up a little before 11:00.  In the choir loft, we shared wine, cheese, hummus, crackers, and grapes before mass.  That was a first for me.  There were people coming into the church early for midnight mass and here we were in the choir loft socializing.  We started providing music about 11:30 with group numbers, solos and instrumentals. 

Singing with the choir on Christmas Eve was great for me.  No matter where you are, you can find family at church in the choir. 

Sherrie the Dockmaster is serving food

Yacht club

small choir (one more male on right end of photo)

PRE mass party