01/17/2011, Palm Coast Marina Fl
Inspiration and Dizziness
My morning routine is coffee in bed and time with my little HP computer. I search my favorite blogs for recent posts. I get inspired by reading these blogs. They make me want to be a better blogger. My most recent conundrum has been a desire to resurrect the knitting blog I started a year ago. But I have decided that its hard to be a dedicated blogger (for all kinds of excuses, which one do you want) to one blog let alone two. Since my passions are knitting and living on a boat, that is what I want to write about. The problem is, I don't want the cruising people to be annoyed about the knitting drivel and visa versa if /I resurrected the knitting blog. SO after MUCH agonizing I have decided I'll just write what I want on sail blogs here. If the moderator kicks me off for inappropriate content (ie, not boat related) then so be it.. Although on occasion under recent posts I see catch lines for adds on how to make a penis larger etc, so my musings about fiber pales in comparison. However if some one had a boat called "Sea Alice" I might be inclined to take a peek. I'm certainly in a rambling mood today. Doing brain housekeeping so to speak. A new year always breeds hope of new self improvement. Rebecca our friend on Zero to Cruising has launched a new blog on fitness on a boat and land (http://www.strengthplus.ca/ . ) This blog is not for the faint of heart. I was breathless, perspiring and exhausted just reading it. Her work out could possibly end my life. yikes
01/15/2011, Palm Coast Marina Fl
What I Forgot
Told you, CRS. On yesterdays post I omitted that we took the family into St. Augustine to tour the old town. We had walked and walked had supper and had tickets to tour the lights around town after dark on a tour train. The lights were absolutely spectacular and the tickets were normally $7/pp. But we got a $5/pp deal because my BIL (brother-in-law) was wearing a Toronto Maple Leafs cap, The sales gal was a hockey enthusiast and I'm unsure why the discount as I doubted she was a Leafs fan, maybe she just felt sorry for us?????????
PS. I have been bad at photo taking lately so featured is Buddy, our neighbor and a friend of Bridgets.
01/14/2011, Palm Coast Marina Fl
The road to hell is paved with good intentions. I have been neglecting you. I get terribly distracted by yarn and pointy things. But it's a new year and I will try to be more attentive to you.
M/V Close Knit
We went to a great "little" Italian restaurant on A1A just south of St. Augustine, the name escapes me. Or as our friend Pete says CRS (can't remember shit). Pete and Sandy (MV Bewitched) drove and Pete & Pokey (MV Prim) went as well. The restaurant had 6 tables, the food was made to order by this lovely 4 foot nothing woman. The company was delightful and the food amazing. We returned home by 9:30 to await Santa. We awoke to the smell of coffee on Christmas morning Alistair played Santa and brought me coffee in bed with a side of Grand Marnier, and the cards and gifts Santa had left. We each had a card and 2 gifts to open. Mine was an adorable giraffe pin for my coat. That is the name Al has pinned to me since meeting. He says that was his first thought of me as I slinked long legged around a corner on our first date. So Giraffe has stuck, as his term of endearment. Al got wine glasses and a much needed Henkel's knife sharpener. We had invited our neighbor Neil for a Christmas Morning Wife Saver breakfast. Neil brought Bloody Mary's to enjoy. Photo is of the marina Christmas morning, the water just like glass, blue sky and MV Prim in the background. Then our neighbor Howie brought 2 boxes of donuts for the dock to share but we were too full after our own feast. About a dozen of us shared pot luck just after 2 pm outside since it was warm enough. After a fill of food and socializing we retired to Close Knit and snuggled up for some TV watching. We were now on a count down for our anticipated guests. My bro and sister and their spouses were leaving early am on the 26th to come here for a visit. Their plan was to drive straight through from Kingston, Ontario. We were expecting them on the 27th........sometime.
December 26 (aka Boxing Day).
We used this day to tidy Close Knit, make lists of food and things to do with our guests. We watched some TV and tried to keep busy all the while feeling the mounting excitement of anticipating guests. We were in bed at a decent time anticipating they would arrive some time in the morning, their plan was to drive nonstop but we thought the might have decided to stop as we were getting conflicting weather reports.
At precisely 6:15 am there was banging on our door. I bolted and screamed "they're here". Sure enough there was my sister beaming at the door in frigid weather. She gathered the others and we settled in for coffee and Chris requested a beer after 21 hours of nonstop driving. John was still bundled in his winter coat which was good since the temperature was around 30F. They couldn't check into their condo until after 8:30 (a respectable time). We got the scoop on the drive where they seemed to skirt the worst of it all the way down, ...just. We gave a wee tour of Close Knit, got caught up on news from home and outlined the planned activities. When they got into the condo, which was lovely, naps were had and when all were rested we got to the grogery store, hit Walmart, and of course ABC. I cooked meatballs, rice and salad which was easier eaten nd repared in the condo.
Rest of the visit
I'll outline our activities here as best I can because as our friend Pete says CRS, (Can't Remember Shit) a good argument for blogging more frequently (Dear Blog: I'll try to do better). We took a day trip to Daytona, went to the race track, saw it and browsed the gift shop. My SIL (sister-in-law) Beverly is a HUGE NASCAR fan so she enjoyed browsing and massaging the economy there. It was a warmer and sunny day so we drove on the beach and took a walk. And of course they teased me and allowed me to go to the yarn shop. Teased in that there was no browsing for me just a brief in and out I barely had time to get intoxicated by the smell of yarn. As Chris was craving a steak we ate out at Outback. There was lots of walking and nights were filled with imbibing and card playing. New Years Eve day we drove to Flagler Beach for a walk and shell picking then we purchased fresh flounder, sea scallops and shrimp for our New Years feast. Pete & Pokey of Prim and Linda and Frances of Skye. Saturday morning the 1st we had a date with the electric boat and took our guests on a breakfast mimosas cruise up and around the ICW. We had mimosas', fresh fruit and pastries, it was sunny and warm. The highlight was seeing dolphin up close. I think that was the best and truly a gift from the universe. During the week Al and I decided since there was going to be room in the van that we would ride back to Kingston with the fam. We needed to get more out of country health insurance. We busted early Monday morning, stayed in Virginia overnight and arrived at Frontenac Street around 7:30 on the 3rd.
So we spent several days in Kingston, mostly saw family, I saw my hair stylist, I had a great time with my daughters, just doing our crafts and chatting over tea. It was the best unplanned visit. We mostly stayed and ate in. We took the train to Montreal to see Al's girls, we hadn't seen them in a year. We flew from, Montreal; on Tuesday morning and P&P picked us up in Orlando. Bridget was inside out with excitement. She's been a bit off this week. We are not sure if she's worried about us abandoning her again OR if she's missing the boys. We would like to take the opportunity again to thank P&P for looking after Miss B. although we wonder how spoilt she was.
12/24/2010, Palm Coast Fl.
OFF THE COMPOUD
This past weekend we rented a car and got off the compound. Once we got the car we picked up Miss B and took her for a long beach walk at nearby Hammock Beach. There were very few people so I treated Bridget to a few moments off leash to try to chase sandpipers and seagulls. She quite enjoyed her freedom. Saturday we delivered B to PRIM for a play day with the boys. We had a list of places we wanted to "support" in Daytona. First on Al's list was the Over Stock Marine Store where he scored Bilge hose, sanitation hose, oil pads and electrical shrink things. His score was such that it eliminated needing to spend money at West Marine, but we went there any way just because it's the first time we have seen a West Marine that was actually part of a marina. We have become convinced that their policy is to be as far away from a marina as possible. I guess this stimulates the local taxi companies and car rental places. We did buy the current Living Aboard there. A favorite magazine. My only request was to visit SHE SELLS YARN which is just across from the harbour marina. Coincidentally I BOUGHT YARN and 3 new sets of needles which my beloved questioned. I quite nicely told him it was like needing a specific drill bit. I simply needed certain needle sizes and lengths for certain projects in my cue. I gently reminded my man of HIS urgent trips to Lowes or Canadian Tire when we were in Kingston, for just the right drill bit, right grade of sand paper etc. He got IT.
I also got a lovely super wash merino for a Christmas gift that is in progress for a friend here at the marina, I need to bust a move or it will be given as a UFO. Al bought me a tee shirt there that says KNITPHOMANIAC. I also got a button that reads "If knitting were exercise, you could bounce a quarter off my ass."
We did a SAMS run (Costco-like)and we will return there again in the new year to purchase our golf cart batteries that are about 80 bucks each there, much better than the $130. From the local battery place. Since we were feeling like we were on a date we ate out at The Olive Garden and returned home by 5. Tim & Gina (s/v Double Exposure)joined us later to see Tron 3D which was pretty spectacular. Great effects. The night before we saw The Tourist which I liked. The theater is new and state of the art. The chairs are super comfy and rockers. Yowzah
Sunday I knit and attended a workshop on card making and of course Al needed to make one more trip to Lowes. We made Pizza aboard PRIM and invited S/V Skye.
The car was returned on Monday. This week is flying by, We found out we are expecting guests on the 27th. My sister and husband and my eldest brother and wife are coming for New Years. There was availability at the Celebrity Resort next door at the marina guest rate. So we are very excited to have family come for a visit. I'm planning a seafood feast for New Years, cards and dancing and arm wrestling my sister-in-law for a bath in the tub while they have the condo. Close Knit sends out Christmas Wishes to out family and friends; sea and land base.
12/13/2010, Palm Coast Marina Fl
Week at a Glance
Over this mornings coffee I pondered if anything was noteworthy. I can't believe how time flies, and we are at Monday again. Its turned very cold here, enough so, that we are now pondering further south sooner than later. Of course these thoughts always beg other thoughts and projects, like what more can we do to Close Knit to be self sufficient. Further south marina prices increase so in an effort to live within a budget we (Al) made a list. This is what our immediate needs will be. Four golf cart batteries and a larger inverter. Al has spent numerous hours researching the internet and talking with the testosterone here determining what our needs will be. He has been making internet purchases of AC marine wiring. There is lots of house hold wiring coming from our panel that needs replacing, currently it looks like spaghetti. So Al has been tracing wiring and replacing wires. This week he also installed two new 12 V lights, one in each head and one yet to be installed, when more wire arrives over my food prep area. Al also spent several hours in the bilge this week, wiring, painting, getting rid of miles of wire that had been attached to the old generator & heaven know what else. Because the floor was up I was relegated to the settee or the back cabin. This was not a hardship for me, it meant quality time with my knitting needles. I finished a pair of socks and started a pair of slippers. Earlier in the week I completed a loomed scarf. I was glad to finish it because although it was a lovely black merino the fiber was a bugger to work with and split a lot. Al was also glad to have the loom dismantled. It does take up space and we constantly shuffled it around for space. Not sure I'll be looming a lot on the boat. Yesterday I prepared mini ham quiche for happy hour today. We had to get creative with tin foil when I discovered that the pan I bought was too large for my oven. DOH Note to self: measure the oven for future purchases. Al thinks he can cut the pan down with his Rotozip.
I prepared a beef stroganoff supper, salad and cheesecake on Tuesday night and invited our neighbors Tim and Gina. They are a lovely couple who have moved aboard a 30foot Gemini 2 months ago after leaving their jobs. They are heading to the Bahamas Dec. 26th. They have never sailed. We wish them luck. The weather has not allowed Al and Pete to take them out to show them how to hoist the jib and main YIKES. We wish them luck and well.
Bridget continues to be a bright light, she's a little like Lindsay Lohan, she's cute, but she gets into trouble.
There is a neat European Village condo complex within walking distance. It has condos for rent weekly/ monthly etc and has shops and restaurants. So Saturday night in a much needed boat escape we walked over and had supper at the Red Sphere. A Japanese restaurant. The owners had brought menus and gift cards over for the liveaboards so we took advantage of the generous $20 Gift card and enjoyed our evening out. It was so cool I dressed in my fashion boots, slacks a jacket and wore a scarf. Its been so windy here it is blowing the water out of the marina so we are sufficiently lower than the dock at the moment. Al just checked and we have a foot and a half below our keel. The good thing is we are warm and cozy inside here. Its sunny today and blue sky. Still cool though. Today I hope to finish the slippers and I've promised myself to finish the several UFO's (unfinished objects) I have on various needles before I start anything else. I'm also reading a charming knitting book. it's the third book in The Friday Night Knitting Club series called Knit the Season by Kate Jacobs. it's a fun series to read whether you are a knitter or not.
12/08/2010, Palm Coast Marina Fl
Bridget & me in our festive hats.