Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Keys Disease

Here are some photos I took of our friends Elaine and Lawrence on their sailboat 'Elle & I' the morning we left Mantanzas Inlet off of Ft. Myers Beach   (was it really last week?).  We followed this power boat out and I couldn't figure out what in the heck they were doing.  Cut off, ram or chase....anyway all was well. 'Elle & I' out ran them  (fib, fib fib) and all was well. If they were playing Pirate they weren't very good....maybe it was just "practice".

After a long day...8 hours for us and over 10 for 'Elle & I' we met again in Little Shark River in the Florida Everglades.  Our halfway stop to Marathon and their halfway stop to Shell Key anchorage on their way back north.  We haven't seen them since lunch last year in Marco Island and this visit was even shorter. Gary was fighting off the beginning of a urinary tract infection.  Elaine turned out to be his 'Florence Nightingale" , Enough said...... Elaine & Lawrence you know we LOVE you both!

Tuesday, March 17th, St Patty's Day....Gulf of Mexico.....water and sky become one....perfect
that is of course until we ran aground.  Gary was having a very bad day with the UTI and I was driving the boat most of the way,  BUT.....I was (thank God) not driving when HE ran aground within sight of the Seven Mile Bridge off of the south tip of Vaca Key (Marathon).  I may not have been reporting this if it had been me, I would have already paid the price....anyway, we were 4 feet, just 4 little feet,  from 6 feet of water.  We need at least 4.7 feet and I think we ended up in 3. Anyway as I was  on the back deck looking down at the very clear water and VERY clear bottom I was 'gently reminding' DO NOT WRECK THE PROPS!  (been there, done that)....and we were actually listing quite a bit.  But of course the captain ascertained that the bottom was soft and if he spun the props and used the controls he could plow us sideways into the deeper water.  Of course he was right, isn't the Captain ALWAYS right?  No vibration followed and we made it into Marathon without further ado.  (And since he was not feeling well at all and had just been relieving me at the helm I dropped it)

There were no moorings available when we got there so we anchored in the harbor (a first here) and enjoyed our first Marathon Sunset.

                               It is still very busy of the two dinghy docks.

A new addition to the Harbor....the "Harber Hillbillies"....touting an Ozark breakfast at Ozark prices! We haven't tried it yet.

Is this squatting or what", though they do have FL numbers so I guess they are official.
                                                 Hey, do they get a pump out??

One of the low key houses on Boot Key Harbor and one of the views from our back porch.  Reminded me of 'old Florida'.....well the 70's anyway  (guess that's old enough)

Tie A Knot just past the black hull.  We are very close to the entrance which means we are in on ALL the action coming in and out of the harbor.  Not so good for nap time but good for 'boat' watching.

Saturday's very awesome vegetable market. a one mile trek from her but worth it..fresh from the fields in Homestead.

                                                 Grabbing it right off the truck

Last nights adventure was a dinghy drift from Boot Key Harbor off the dock of Dockside restaurant to listen to musicians who were raising money for a local veteran. That's me with the black tshirt.  It was a lot of fun for a good cause.

So that's it in a nutshell.  We haven't done much.  We finally got our bikes off the boat only to find out they are pretty much toast from the salt air abuse they have had over the last five years.  We think we may put together one usable one out of the two of them.  We are just now, after a week starting to meld into life here.  We have been napping, reading, napping, not able to make decisions, and thanks to our friends Terry & Larry from S/V Vixen who just arrived today we found out what our problem was.......
We have Keys Disease!!!  So glad we found out what was wrong...I was getting a little worried!

Sunday, March 15, 2015


What a wonderful day on the Gulf of Mexico...sunny skies, fair winds.....perfection......

As I sit at anchor in Factory Bay, Marco Island looking at all of the 'McMansions' around us I can't help but think how lucky we are. We live 'on' the water and we don't have to spend our weekends mowing grass and trimming landscaping, I don't have to clean a buzzillion room house, and Gary doesn't have to clean the pool...if we don't like our neighbors we can move ( unless like today there is no where else to go.... but there is always tomorrow :-)
The bottom line ...back on the water and smiling.

This morning we saw enjoyed the sunrise on Pine Island...

And  Bob agrees, what can I say..... he loves watching for Dolphins and today they were welcoming us on our new journey.  You may call me strange but the dolphins being there is key to a good voyage I think.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Day 26

The transmission is back, installed and as far as we can tell without leaving the dock, working!
 Oorah!!!  That's what the Marines say right?

Gary's volunteer helper ,Bill, getting the transmission back in the boat.  We have become friends with Bill and his wife Chris.  We found out they have often taken the ferry from Walpole Island to Algonac from their home in Canada, not many have even heard of Algonac before. I told them when I met them I wouldn't forget their names, as I had a daughter in-law, a sister, and a dad with the same names, no excuses for mindlessness there.
Cuddling up with Bertha and Beulah

Transmission with a "new lease on life"  (we fervently hope)

I think it may be day 26 it's hard to keep track...time flies when you're old ( it used to be when you were having fun).  Have we been having fun?, gee could be.... with a new definition of the word!

The upside of the downside, we have met many new friends in the boatyard, gotten some major projects completed while waiting and as always we have gained a renewed perspective on land life versus 'salt life'.
We plan to leave (you notice the word "plan" in what should be a final statement with a known "we WILL leave in the morning" ) tomorrow morning.  We were  going to leave today but along with the winds there was the FRIDAY THE 13TH thingy going on.  Enough for me to say "let's wash the boat instead"!!
We'll see how that works out for us.....fingers crossed!  Thanks to everyone who has expressed concern with words or thought, it has been appreciated.

PS....Bob has had enough!!  He would jump ship I am sure if it wasn't for Florida wildlife waiting patiently for a mutinous pup...

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Day 16

One thing we don't pay attention to anymore is the calendar.  I guess that is a good/bad situation.  You take a day at a time (good), but you don't know what day it is(bad)!  We all know the days seem to be passing so fast that we cannot keep track of them and when you are "on a mission" even more so. One may think that living on a boat is "the dream" (and it is for us), but the dream becomes your reality.
It is not living a life of leisure by any means, we may have 'happy hour' but that does not make up the day and we do not live a Jimmy Buffett song.  

Our transmission is still in Stuart and we know things take time but our faith in our "doctor" is wavering a bit.  We hope to have it back by the first of next week without the (dreaded) you need another part phone call.  Things are heating up at Charlotte Harbor Boat Storage....they are busier than we have ever seen. Tonight we have a sailboat rafted off of us waiting for a haul out.  There are a total of 5 boats at their very limited dock space.  

We are making use of our down time to work on "projects".... and I can always find us a project!!!

Removing the air conditioning unit to replace the rot we noticed in the locker floor.

Then onto sanding and refinishing the never ending teak in this boat.....


After I finished my sanding duties I tackled a job that I would rather leave to the experts but due to the fact that I (kind of) know how to do it, I didn't have a way to get out of it...If someone even thinks you "know how"....DENY IT!!!!!

Recovering cushions without patterns is not an optimal experience..( I may have mentioned once that someone I know washed and shrunk the previous covers ..which were, I will admit,  made on the fly in one of my 'don't care get it done' modes.)..and now I know that these shortcuts always come back to haunt!  Now I am putting in the time and doing it right. I am not a pattern maker and it has been a trying couple of days least here there is a great work space so I am taking advantage of it.

There have also been some great highlights to my days though.... 

This is MANGO....he is a 20 year old parrot that belongs to Carol and Richard. a couple we have known, since we have been in the boat yard, from Washington State.  Mango was taking a "shower" in the hut...(I think he pretends he is in the rain forest)..when I found out he is quite the troubadour.

"Singing In The Rain" and "Oh, What A Beautiful morning". sung by a was hilarious....

Carol said she taught him to sing when he was a baby by singing to him in the bathroom when she was getting ready to go to work.   

The Woodpecker who greets us every morning...

the occasional rainbow....

and the never ending beautiful moments on the matter what the circumstances...

Life Is.....always challenging....and always GOOD!!