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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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Smoke rings in the mist is it possible?
01/21/2009, Vero Beach, FL

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wow, it's cold this morning. It was 32 degrees in Vero Beach this morning with a wind-chill of 25. I wonder what the temperature is in Cape Coral - is it snowing yet? Elaine emailed and said that they'd gotten 2 inches in N. Carolina. From what I've heard on the weather and listening to people, the Artic fronts don't get down here very often.

Needless to say, with the cold, it's an oatmeal breakfast this morning and man it was difficult getting up this to make coffee. I stuck my head out of the covers to see if I could make smoke rings with my breath, then told Wayne it was his turn to get up and make coffee. It was to early for him to laugh in my face, so he guffawed under the covers at me. I whined a little (it didn't work), then got up and made coffee hoping the windows would sweat and drip in his ear before remembering that his head was still below the covers. It amazes me how much the windows sweat (metal frames) when we have cold weather. I watched the condensation form into drips in the galley then kept wiping them away while making coffee. I tried flipping on the heat so the cabin would warm up for him, only it didn't want to stay on - the batteries were to low - can I get an awwww poor baby? LOL

Later in the morning (after it warmed up), Wayne worked on putting in the macerator and Y-valve this afternoon and I worked on staying out of his way and staying warm. I saw quite a few boats pulling out this morning but from the weather patterns I've seen, it's not conducive to crossing the Gulf Stream yet. there's still a northern component to the winds which would set up nasty conditions so I can only assume they're getting south to get ready to cross once there's no longer a northerly component to the winds.

Wayne and I were talking about where to cross - at Lake Worth? But they don't sound like a very "cruiser friendly" place to get supplies, etc... so we'll wait until we're about ready to cross before heading there. Listening to other cruisers and reading about the place - it sounds like they'd rather not have cruisers going through there at all. This dumbfounds me because I've seen what we and other cruisers buy for our boats and our ships stores before getting ready to cross and one would think they'd want the money influx. Wayne says that it's a place where the rich live (or those of over-abundance) and they don't need our money. Hence they can be rude, as they like there. He could be right - it seems the further and further south we go, the larger and larger the houses, mansions and compounds become. But I don't know that they're all rude like these folks reputedly are... It does amaze me the amount of wealth that exists in our country.

I got a surprise today! Lonnie sent me a song that was so cool "old blue chair" that talked about Cinnamon Bay. I'd never heard it before but love it (how could I not when it talks about one of my favorite places in the world!). Played it a few times and added it to my favorites playlist - Thank you Lon!

Made a small meatloaf for dinner - I didn't realize how much I'd been missing it until I tasted it mmmmmm... I'm starting to learn how to cook for 2 people finally so I don't have to contend with where to put the leftovers but this is one time I wish I had an abundance. During the last stages of cooking dinner a boat came up to raft with us so we helped them tie up to our boat. Like us, they'd never rafted with another boat before and I sympathized with them on the lack of privacy - but hey - there's not much you can do if anchoring isn't allowed. They're a cute couple (Dana & Christine) with a very tired looking boat (Tosca). They grumbled that the last owner never did a thing on the boat (it shows), but I love their spirit of adventure. I just hope that that's not the boat they're considering going to Hawaii on (they're heading for the Keys but she talked about going to the University of HI for grad school) - it needs a bit of work. I wish I could have offered them some of our dinner. She'd commented when we came up to help them "ohhh something smells good" and my mind mentally started calculating to see if there was enough to feed 4. Not really - I know that kids have hearty appetites and along with the place looking like a cyclone came through it, and our not knowing anything about them; I just commented that I was making dinner.

According to the weather it's going down to 27 here tonight and 32 in Cape Coral (have to email Wendell) tonight. I just hope the windchill doesn't kick it down lower brrrrrrr... Time to throw on another blanket. Watched the news, and read some. Time to jump into the bed and warm my feet on my favorite foot warmer (Wayne).

Where were you on this historic day?
01/20/2009, Vero Beach, FL

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Wayne worked on the wiring during the morning, and then we watched the inauguration on T.V. It didn't really strike me as to how historic this was until I was watching it on T.V.

So many people were chanting Obama's name and seeing tears running down the faces of the older Americans brought it home for me. The scenes on the television were incredible - I couldn't believe how many people they could pack in for the inauguration at the mall! It was wall to wall people - all standing, and cheering, and waiting for Obama to be sworn in as our 44th president. The raw emotions of happiness and tears on the screen were testaments to how many Americans have felt so disenfranchised from their country and the "American" dream. You could see "hope" in so many faces that this new president, by virtue of his color, could change all the woes of this country. The expectations that he's being held to, by so many, are so unrealistically high. He looks like he can shoulder the burden for now, but when reality comes knocking - that he's just a man, that change comes - individual by individual, I hope that people won't judge him by their own expectations of him - but by what he can actually do with the powers of the office that were given to him. It's taken many years in racial equality to break the glass ceiling in our government. I wonder how many more years until it's felt in everyone's hearts? This next decade will be interesting to watch unfold in America's history. We're living in accelerating times of change.

After the inauguration, Wayne and I dingied over to the marina bus stop. There was a ton of people still watching the inaugural events on the TV - all the outside chairs had been dragged inside, around the TV. When the bus showed up, it was packed (like us, everyone must have waited to watch the inauguration before running into town). I got off at the Publix to pick up some odds and ends for dinner for the next couple nights and Wayne went on to Lowes for his nuts, bolts and ring terminals. I made it back to the marina an hour ahead of him and waited for his return while watching the parade on T.V. We had sandwiches for dinner tonight and watched the news, read a little and I stayed up to watch some of the Inaugural Ball festivities.

It's getting cold so I'm ready to jump into bed and under the covers (fully clothed again - its been a while). The Arctic front that's been blasting most of the nation is supposed to dip down into southern Florida tonight and with the way the wind is howling topside - I think it's here.

Martin Luther King Day & Working on our boat
01/19/2009, Vero Beach, FL

Monday, January 19, 2009

Martin Luther King Day - today, and inauguration day - tomorrow, are integrated all through the news today. I hope we get to see the inauguration tomorrow - our TV doesn't always work - so it depends on how much electricity we have in the boat. If there's not enough power, I may have to dingy over to the marina TV.

Worked in the boat during the morning & early afternoon feeding wire under the floor for the macerator, then we caught the bus into town to West Marine. We were going to go to Lows too, but, while on the #1 bus we heard the #2 bus come on the radio saying he'd been in an accident. At the transfer station they said it would be a while so we caught the bus back to the marina and took the dingy over to the Riverside Café for burgers and beers and back to the boat. Read some and that's about it...

By the way the Riverside has interesting stuff hanging from the ceiling - note the flag...

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