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Changing Pace
Join us as we leave the safety of our "normal" life and head south on a new adventure.
Iguana Huntress
Sunny and Warm
02/17/2012, Boot Key Harbor

The above picture is of a young girl, Miranda, who lives here in the harbor. Like most of the boat kids she spends a lot of time outside playing. In fact hardly a day goes by that we don't see Miranda out doing something. A few days ago we were talking to some other cruisers on shore and along came Miranda carrying her friend. Turns out that she is quite a good stalker and huntress. She followed this iguana up a tree and grabbed a hold just before the pair of them fell out of the tree. Miranda held on and ended up with the iguana.

What we learned from watching and listening to her is that, obviously, she is afraid of nothing and iguanas calm right down once you get a hold of them. I also learned that of the four adults talking to her, I was the only one willing to actually touch the iguana. When I should the picture to Ben he claimed that not only would he not chase down an iguana he wouldn't be in a big hurry to touch one either. Both of our girls were even less thrilled with the idea of touching the iguana then Ben when we sent them pictures.

Two days later we ran into Miranda again and she had another iguana, much smaller this time. She found it in the mangroves. She claimed that they are quite fast when climbing through the mangroves, but apparently not fast enough.

George and I think that it's really too bad that Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom is no longer on the air. Clearly Miranda could easily have filled in for Jim whenever he was unavailable to assist Mr. Perkins.

Other than that excitement the only other news is, despite a week of high winds and rain, most of our friends have left for other shores. Several are spending the rest of the season in the Bahamas. Steve and Kathy from s/v KIT are on their way to destinations much further south, as in Trinidad, and are not sure when they'll return this way. Fortunately, there are still lots of people around including many friends and more arrive everyday. Ben is on shore now hunting down Christie from s/v Kitty Wake who just arrived today.

Tomorrow we are off to the Miami boat show. George is hoping to hunt down some kind of a deal on solar panels. He's getting ready to install a new charger today and then he's going to buy four new batteries. Right now we have to run the generator way too much. He hopes to get at least two panels installed quickly. We'll see.

I've almost finished the sanding of the teak on the deck. Once that's done I think the next project will be new deck paint. We've had several friends who have used Kiwigrip. It's water based and was designed specifically for boat use. Everybody we've talked to likes it and recommends it highly.

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Houseless NOT Homeless
02/03/2012, Marathon, FL

We're back on the boat after being in Michigan for two weeks. We managed to empty the house by storing the things we wanted to keep, giving away the things that we could to neighbours and friends, making multiple trips to Goodwill, and leaving the remaining furniture in the house for the new owners. The closing when well and we are officially without a house and it doesn't feel too bad. In fact we're quite happy to be out from all of the responsibility of home ownership. Mostly the upkeep. Now we can actually stay on the boat and travel during the summer months too. Of course Ben is thinking we should stay in Marathon for the summer. (For the record I don't see that happening. As much as we like it here we like moving around a whole lot more.)

Now that we are back it is time to get back to the boat job list. The first thing on the list is a solar system. We spend way too much time running the generator in order to keep George's computer and the fridge running. I believe that George will start on that project tomorrow. He'll have to stop planning at some point so we can participate in a wine tasting party at the tiki hut tomorrow. We're supplying the wine and our friends are supplying the food. When we emptied the house we had 40 cases (12 bottles) of wine in the cellar. We managed to cart 16+ cases down with us. The remaining cases we gave to friends and Jordan. Of course we can't actually store that much wine on the boat so we decided a tasting party will get rid of some wine and then we'll store what we can of the remaining wine. After that we'll go back in the giving away wine business. We know a few people down here that can store a bottle or two on their own boats.

That's the news for now. We were a little disappointed that we came back to rain, but at least we can wear flip flops and shorts again. Much better than socks and parkas.

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02/04/2012 | jennifer
Your house looked charming. I hope to be houseless, maybe this year too. Who needs all that work. We will get an apt. to store our life when we are not on the boat. We are taking a break from the boat because US customs says I've spent too much time here , doh. Marathon is way too hot in the summer, maybe thats why we didn't fall in love with it. Gunkholing on the west side is nice.
Weather break
01/18/2012, Where else...Boot Key

Things have been quite quiet around here lately. That may have to do with the less than seasonal temperatures and quite high winds on occassion. In fact on Tuesday, which was the first really nice day in quite awhile, the laundry room was so full you couldn't even find a chair, never mind a washing machine. But according to Chris Parker, the ssb weather guru, the weather is supposed to improve and be nice for the next two to four weeks. Sunny skies, east winds, and warm temperature. Yeah.

Not much has happened since the last post. We managed to get out to a local bar with 12 other people to watch the Blues Brothers. They were good and we enjoyed an evening off the boat. I went to the flea market with Gale (s/v Aeolus) and Barb (s/v Providence) down on Big Pine Key. It was pretty good, I manged to pick up some vegies and some sunglasses for Ben and George. (George already lost his overboard.) This week they have a nautical flea market but with any luck at all George and I will be packing up our house starting this weekend. We're just waiting to be sure the buyers have the financing in place before empty the house. An un-staged house doesn't sell nearly as well as a staged one. Our only other outing was to s/v KIT for dinner. Always as interesting time. Steve had a selection of strange beers that he, George and even Ben enjoyed while Kathy and I passed. I don't like coffee so I sure don't want to ruin a good beer with the taste of expresso. It was George's dream beer...dark, bitter beer with a hit of coffee. He could drink and not worry about falling asleep.

Not much else happening right now. Ben is going to spend the next two weeks taking care of the boat while George and I head north. He thinks he's going to be on his own with Kooper. What he doesn't know is that a quarter of the harbor is aware of the situation and will be keeping an eye on him. the dog, and the boat. I've already had people offering to feed him at least some of the time while we're away. I think he'll probably pass of those offers because he's planning on spending as much time doing things he knows we don't want him doing. Hey he's a teenager. We're comfortable with the fact that he won't do anything too stupid and manage to stay out of trouble for the most part. I'm curfew will be the biggest item at risk while we're gone.

We'll post again when everything is settled. In the meantime we'll have to enjoy the above sunset picture since we won't see one for a couple of weeks ourselves.

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01/25/2012 | Al & Jennifer Holden
Congrats on selling your place. We are headed back to Kingston by March 6th. We are leaving the boat in Charlotte Harbour. Until mid Feb. we will be cruising the west side.

Live large.
Weekly Update...Sort of Weekly
01/08/2012, Boot Key Harbor

With the holidays over things are starting to return to normal. George is back to work and Ben's actually getting some school work done. And the big news is that the weather is starting to warm up again. We're back into the 70's. Fortunately even when the highs were only in the lower 60"s the sun kept shining.

On Thursday night we were treated to a space station flyover. It passed straight over Ishmael. It was dark enough to get a good view, the flyover was one of the longer ones we've witnessed and it was early enough in the evening, just past 6:30, that we didn't have to stay up and wait for it to happen. It's flown over each night since but it has been lower in the sky and it has been earlier so it's been more difficult to see.

Today we're off to Dockside to participate in the activities going on to honor Wounded Warriors. Ben was supposed to go out sailing with Lisa and Kurt. The wind is just around 8 to 10 knots and the waves low so it would have been a great day for them to be out. However, they decided that the shrouds are not set properly and her radio isn't working.

Also this week George was reunited with an old friend. (Well not any older than George.) They went to high school and university together and hadn't seen each other for over 15 years. Mostly because we moved and George hadn't bothered letting Doug know. He just got caught up in the whole immigrating to the USA thing. It was good to see Doug and his son. Ben missed the reunion because he was off getting lost in Key West with Lisa. Another first for him. Lisa's been to key West on her own but Ben has always gone with us. Kurt and Chris were supposed to go with them but Kurt bowed out and Chris missed the bus.

Other than that the only news is it looks like we've sold the house in Michigan. If all goes through we'll be rushing up there at the end of the month to empty the house. They've set a closing date of January 31st. Ben and Kooper will stay and take care of the boat. I don't think he really wants to be part of packing everything up. It's the only house he remembers living in and in fact I've never lived in any one house longer than that one. but it will be great to have that settled.

Hopefully we'll manage to get more regular with blog postings. That may go as well as most New Year's resolutions. lol

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01/09/2012 | Terry Swisher
Great to hear about your house, but sad to see you really leave the area. You've been away alot but not really gone. Keep posting
01/18/2012 | Doug
Well, it was a great pleasure to see you both. I'm sorry we missed Ben. You have chosen a most interesting course and it was really nice to visit you there. You seem to have adapted well. I've been meaning to send one of the pictures but I haven't loaded them yet as I've been busy on basement renos. Take care and keep up the regular posts.

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