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The First Mate's Journal
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Great Lakes to The Bahamas
Who: Wayne & Pat
Port: Jackson
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SweePee is loading the truck for home
05/26/2009, Deltaville

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

After coffee Wayne went over to the boatyard office to see when they can haul us out of the water and they said it would be late morning. They'll give us a call about a half hour before hand so we can top up our fuel and get a final pump out before heading over to the lift. As for the loaner car, we can't use it to go to Hayes to pick up the truck; it's to far away for their insurance or something. Wayne called Penskes to see if they could come pick him up - noooo... When he explained that he couldn't get to them, and asked if there would be a penalty if we canceled the reservation, she asked if she could get back to him and was checking to see if there was anything they could do for us. One of their crew was going to be going past routes 3 & 33 and she wanted to know if we could use the loaner to get to that intersection and her guy could pick him up since they'd be passing by there? With some pretty fast footwork and cooperation from the marina we were able to use the loaner car to get there (it was about 7.5 miles from here as opposed to 40). The marina gave me a map on how to get there and I dropped Wayne off at the fire station (their meeting spot) and came back and continued to pack up our stores (food items). I spotted Bella's (the pizza place) on the way back and they're 1.1 miles further than Taylors. So if we'd walked a little further the first night, we'd have found it...

Wayne showed up a half hour later with the truck. They actually brought the truck to him and he filled out the paperwork at the fire station!

The rest of the day was pretty much packing, moving stuff off the boat and into the truck in preparation for our haul out tomorrow. I can't believe how much stuff we managed to stow into the boat - wow...

We decided to go to Taylors again for dinner (hey I could get used to this - unfortunately our wallets couldn't). We chatted with the chef/owner and the waitress and a couple of elderly ladies that were raving about their crabs. The owner remembered us from last night and that we were from Michgan. After a discussion with them and their finding out that I'd never had soft shelled crabs before, I was talked into trying them out and Wayne got the Pork with onion marmalade that I'd had last night (that was what I was leaning towards again when I'd heard that they have it again tonight). Nobody could believe that I'd never had soft shells before and this was the time of year for them - they wouldn't be available when we returned in the fall, so after listening to the virtues of how tasty they are and how to eat them - one lady said use tartar, the other said just a little lemon, the waitress said just the way they come with nothing on them - I decided why not. Two ways that they cook them are sautéed or breaded & fried. The consensus was that "since I'd never had them before, to have them fried". I asked how you eat them and the waitress said you chop their head off and take their lungs out and eat everything else. Um, I was deciding that maybe this wasn't such a good idea... She said "oh no honey - you don't want to eat the lungs, they'll make you sick". I was already turning green around the gills thinking about having to take their heads out, then cut out their lungs... and was saying maybe I should get something else... They looked at me dumbfounded. I said I couldn't behead and delung them and that brought a good laugh from all three ladies. The chef/owner came out when he heard I'd never had soft shell crab before, during the laughing. "Honey, the cook takes care of the head and lungs, you just eat them you don't prepare them". Oops - don't I feel foolish and relieved at the same time!

Three breaded crabs came out to me and I was looking at them. "Just eat them?" "yep - just eat them". Okay... I started pulling the little legs/claws off and looking at them thinking, there's no meat in their little arms... as I put them on my plate. "Oh honey, what are you doing? You eat those..." "the outer shell part of their legs?" "yes" there is no shell really... I see your dilemma now LOL... they molt their shell and before they can start hardening up another one, they're put on ice and cooked up - so there isn't a shell, that's probably a misnomer." "Ahhhhh.... Got ya!" After that, the entire crab disappeared from my plate... actually all three did with Waynes help. So I've now been indoctrinated into the delicacy of soft-shelled crabs. Chris (the owner/chef) asked me if I'd ever order them again and I said yes, indeed I would. I think I'd try them sautéed next time though because I'm not an overly big fan of deep fried food. I couldn't get over the fact that you eat the whole thing... It was definitely an experience and I'm sure I'll be talked about around the restaurant LOL.

The owner asked if we walked or rode the bikes tonight and said he'd take us back, if we needed. We pointed out the window at our snazzy bright yellow truck and said we have our own wheels tonight! He was kind of sad to hear we were leaving in a couple of days & I was sad to hear they were closed on Wednesday s. I told him we'd have to try out Bellas tomorrow and they said to try their "kick mama lasagna" it was a real treat. I told him we'd see him again in the fall & he wouldn't remember us. He and the waitress said - oh yes he will LOL. He said if they were still open to stop in. Wayne and I looked at each other and said "oh no" Our favorite restaurants have a habit of going out of business which made him look aghast! I certainly hope they're still around! I'd hate to think we jinxed them...

08/31/2009 | Popeye
Hey SweetPea!!!
Deltaville - a nice little town
05/25/2009, Deltaville

Monday, May 25, 2009

Had eggs, cheese, 1 salmon filet, and some bacon left in the refrigerator so I whipped up an omelet with some onion for breakfast. It actually tasted quite good! Then it was pretty much a work day. I must have packed away enough food for a couple of years. After thinking about it though between the stores for the boat, then emptying out the pantry and cupboards at home (so I didn't have exploding things from freezing), I probably did store that much food. After loading crates and bags, and emptying the refrigerator (except for pop and beer) the day was pretty much over. I looked up the directions to Hayes where Pensky Truck is - that's the place where we'll get the truck to haul everything back home. It's a little over half an hour from here but I don't know if we can use the courtesy car to go there or not since it's only for use to the grocery store or for places IN the town of Deltaville. I guess we'll find out...

Still had a taste for pizza so I called Bella's to see where they are located. After walking a couple miles yesterday I wanted to see if they were much further, or if they delivered. They were about ¾ of a mile further down according to the gentleman that answered and said that they were worth the walk. Sigh... After consulting with Wayne, we decided a 5.5 mile walk for pizza this late in the day wasn't worth it and decided to go back to Taylors for dinner (they were a pretty entertaining place last night). They were only a mile & a half or two down the road and are one of the places that will come pick you up and drop you back off if you'd like to eat at their restaurant. We decided to try out the bicycles tonight - what a kick that was. I can't remember the last time I was on a bicycle - it has to be a good 20-30 years or so. The bike I selected was similar to one I had as a kid - a "one" speed, with the brakes on the pedals. By the time we got to Taylors, my legs felt rubbery and didn't want to go back together LOL but man it felt like I was flying down the road the unpaved and paved ones.

The evening was much more sedate and the folks that worked there were happy that things were back to normal. Bob (the bartender from last night) was there but this time in a customer capacity. He stopped by our table to chat before taking off. He finally managed to get a day off today LOL. He plays music and tends bar at another place across the bay. We'll have to stop back in there when we return in the fall and say hi. Tonight Wayne got the clams again and I tried their special - a large pork chop (oh so tender) smothered in an onion marmalade sauce that was incredible served with Alabama sweet potatoes, slaw, hush puppies and corn bread that was light and fluffy! Wow, heavenly...

The ride back to the marina was before sunset and I really enjoyed it.

Boy the boat looks a mess on the inside. There's hardly any room to move with all the packing going on .

A toast...
05/24/2009, Fishing Bay (N37*32.418 W76*20.203) to Deltaville

Sunday, May 24, 2009

2:00am couldn't sleep. Wayne couldn't either and went up top. I laid there until 2:30 thinking about the day yesterday. Our last day out on any big water. Last night, this morning... will really be our last night at anchor for a while. I finally got out of bed and got the wine out of the refrigerator, grabbed a couple of wine glasses and a candle and went up top to join Wayne. I lit the candle so he could see to pop the cork in the champagne, and then blew out the candle. We toasted to a successful launch of our travels aboard Kolibrie and sat in the cockpit looking at the stars and drinking the wine in the dark. We talked about this last year and what lay ahead in the future. It's amazingly quiet here on Fishing Bay for a holiday weekend night. Not like at home at all. We can see a couple of headlights along the shoreline - probably people closing the bars and heading home, but considering the marina and all the houses surrounding this bay, it's very peaceful - a mature bay I guess. I can't believe that it's time to haul the boat out and start the journey home. It feels like it's been forever since we've been home, but at the same time, it hasn't been long enough. But, it is time to head home... Looking back it's been such a year. We can do this. We have done it. Baby steps. We've taken them...

When I got up for the second time this morning and started to go up top I noticed my wine glasses were still up top LOL. Long night/morning I guess. Watched Kwakatu and Mia Bella pull out around this morning between 6:30 &7:00 am. Then made pancakes for breakfast. Wayne called the marina to see if we could come in for a slip and schedule a haul out. Yes, just give me some time to find out where to put you, and then I'll call you back. We got ready to head over to the marina at 11:00am, I turned the key to start the engine, and... nothing... the starter wouldn't engage. Something about this bay just wants to keep us here. On our initial way down south - we were held fast by the large fisherman's anchor. Now on the way back up north - the starter refuses to start. Wayne had to take apart the stairs and engine compartment to get to the starter and after a few whacks to persuade it, the engine finally started. The solenoid seems to be sticking - one more project to add to our growing list.

Getting into Deltaville was interesting. The channel is very narrow and the markers leading you into the sheltered bay look like they're going to run you right into shore onto someone's front lawn. 4.9 miles traveled today. We pulled into our final berth of the season at 1:30pm. We're 12ft wide and it's 13 ft. Looking at it I'd have never thought we'd fit, but we made it into the slip just fine.

After checking in I got a Yahoo and Wayne an ice cream cone, then Wayne went back to the boat to change the oil and I took a bag of books to the book exchange in the lounge. They have a huge selection of books there. The facilities here are really nice and the people very friendly. I guess there are less than 1000 residents that live in Deltaville and there are more than 3000 boats - that says something about the town!

Later we walked into town looking for pizza at a place called Bella's. We walked a couple of miles and didn't find it so turned around and came back to a place called Taylors. They looked busy and the sign said they closed at 8 but the guy seating us (Bob) told us ummm it's 5:00 somewhere isn't it? We sat at the bar to have a drink while waiting for a seat and ended up staying at the bar. I sat next to a fellow named Charlie (Capt'n Charlie actually) that was very friendly. He told us that they had one waitress, one cook and Bob actually didn't work here but was tending bar and helping out (he actually worked at another bar). I guess they figured it was going to be dead tonight (a holiday weekend?) and got caught with a group of 50 people and whoever else came in (like us). Anyhow, they were a bit overwhelmed and kept telling Bob to stop seating people because they were having a problem handling it and Bob kept seating people anyway - thanks Bob LOL. We chatted with Bob and Charlie and ordered clams - quite tasty but the tarter sauce container kept plugging up. It actually exploded on a lady at the table behind us (Bob had taken it and given it to her while I was chatting with Charlie so I didn't have a chance to warn him) that had been really giving him a hard time most of the evening. She ended up being a pretty good sport about it and the whole evening was quite entertaining. It was probably more entertaining because Bob made quite strong drinks, but I enjoyed the food and company. Capt'n Charlie gave us his phone number if we needed a ride or anything while here and he wasn't working (he captains a boat for SeaTow). But I think with it being a holiday weekend that people normally put their boats in the water - he'll be quite busy. He told us that he was amazed we made it into this harbor, being first timers, since the channel is quite narrow and shallow and people don't normally believe the markers go right up to shore (in front of that house) and end up running aground. I did feel quite lucky coming in since another boat was passing us going out and in that narrow channel. That was tight. It was quite dark out when we finally left Taylors so we walked back in the dark. My flashlight batteries were dead but I remembered I had more batteries in my camera bag. I managed to find and change them in the dark, so about half way back to the marina we had a light to shine on the path. What a day. Now the work to decommission the boat for the season begins for the next couple of days.

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