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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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Haw, hawww, haughwwwww… Kicking Back today
01/18/2009, Velcro Beach, FL

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Haw, hawww, haughwwwww... Haw, hawww, haughwwwww... there's a bird that's been around the marina every morning since we've been here with a laugh like a villain out of an old "B" movie. Haw, awww, aughwwwww... Haw, hawww, haughwwwww... He makes me smile and chuckle every morning and I've been meaning to mention him every day - only by the time I'm writing my journal at night - I never remember to mention him. I'm not sure what type of bird he is - a black bird? Laughing gull? Only that each morning (except for 2) I've heard his sardonic laugh and I have to mimic his laugh in return, which in turn, makes me genuinely laugh and makes Wayne look at me, then grin. Good morning world! The sun is out and the boat is drenched in morning dew. I went up top this morning to see if I could put a face to my laughing friend but couldn't pin point where he'd been. The dodger windows are thick with water droplets (inside and outside) so I can't tell if the bird is perched in the trees beyond the mooring or sitting on someone else's boat. I did note that it's actually warmer in the cockpit than below deck though so I'm taking my morning coffee up top to enjoy the early morning sun (and to see if my friend will laugh with me again - only it's usually only once in the morning).

After coffee and English muffins & fruit, we took the dingy over to the marina dock for showers and to see if the buses run on Sundays so we could run into town (they don't). We have way more sanitary hose than we needed and when we run into town for the bolts, etc... West Marine said they'd take back the hose we didn't use (yay!). We did have two packages waiting for us in the Marina office - the heat dispersing unit and the chip for the chart plotter (Central America and Bahamas).

The rest of the day we spent reading and relaxing in the cockpit. It was neat looking at the charts on the chart plotter - of course I had to find St. John's and Cinnamon Bay, and of course my mind wandered to hmmmm - what if we set a course for there... But, my favorite morning coffee stump (of driftwood on the beach) will have to wait for another time. It's not in the cards for this leg of our journey.

Made steak, twice baked potatoes (this time not "well done") and a salad that was a rendition of tomato, avocado, onion, & left over broccoli shreds with a balsamic vinegar/olive oil dressing for dinner and thought we could polish off the left over French bread from yesterday's dinner sandwiches but we were to stuffed so I'll use the bread tomorrow.

Today would have been a perfect day for taking pictures around the marina but it was just too delicious to sit topside and read in the sun.

Somebody had told me that they thought we went cruising to escape life. We really didn't. The comment reminded me of something I'd heard before, but don't remember who said it: "...we went cruising not to escape life, but to keep life from escaping us". It was so nice to just kick back, relax, and enjoy the day. I thoroughly enjoyed the day.

Hurricane Kolibrie Part 2
01/17/2009, Velcro Beach, FL

Saturday, January 17, 2009

After coffee and French toast with sausage and juice this morning we decided to try our hand at feeding the sanitary hose under the bunk again.

One thing led to another and the rest of the day was spent trying to figure out how and where to mount the macerator pump, y-valve, and hosing. It looks like there may have been one at one time but there's only hints of it - a switch here and a switch there, both screwed to the off position. With most of the floorboards up, bathroom drawers and cupboards emptied, we went through various scenarios to see where we could fit everything. We have the sanitary hose fed through from the bathroom cabinet to the through-hull (hole with a shutoff valve) under our bunk and a good idea of where the y-valve (directing waste to the pump-out or pump "out") and macerator pump (chews up the waste into very small pieces before flushing it out) will go but now it's a matter of feeding more hose under the floorboards and fitting it to the existing hose and wiring up the macerator pump to that as well as the new hose, etc., etc., etc... In starting to hook up the hose to the thru hull Wayne noticed the thru hull pipe didn't have barbs on it (to help hold the hose on securely) so we'll have to replace that (another trip to West Marine) before hooking the hose up to it.

The way I'm feeling, I'm sure my body is going to look like a mack truck hit it. It's starting to feel bruised all over.

Vero (errrr Velcro Beach) Florida
01/16/2009, Vero Beach, FL

Friday, January 16, 2009

The winds were high today with the second of the cold fronts roaring across the states. I checked the weather back home - a high of 6 degrees with a wind chill in the negative 20s. A lot of people had snow/weather days today across the nation including my old school system (JPS). I am sooo not going to complain about our weather here with a high in the 60s and a low in the 40s. We'll just throw another blanket on the berth.

We went into town to the post office today to mail back the wrong chip for the chart plotter that was sent to us and to send back the water heater element to KISS.

I must say that I wasn't overly impressed with the amount of energy we generated with the KISS yesterday, and after hearing a knocking all night (metal on metal from the pole against the bimini supports?) I really wasn't enamored with it. But after watching it in action with the higher winds today - I'm impressed - to say the least. We didn't turn the generator on at all and our batteries are at 13.17 amps with my computer running too. Now if we could just figure out how to stop that knocking...

After we got back to the marina, we dingied over to the Riverside for a couple of their burgers then back to the boat to try and tackle feeding the sanitary hose down under the tub to the berth area etc... Interesting to be upside down for extended periods of time in the dark with a flashlight on the head trying to catch tubing, wire and rope to feed the pipe through it. Needless to say we ran out of time and patience too - so tomorrow is another day.

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