Can You See Me Now?

Bye Polar was on the Town Dock on it's way south. Not too many boats going south these days, just the last few hold outs, and they're moving fast. We listen to a Net on the SSB in the mornings, called Cruiseheimers, (or Cruisetimers, or Cruisenheimers, or Cruiseheimtimers, depending on who's the Controller for the day). They have check-ins from boats underway and position reports from those of us staying in one place. We haven't heard anyone north of us for a week or so, but lots and lots of boats in Florida. Now that Christmas is over, the mass exodus for The Bahamas is in full swing.
We don't usually do any Christmas presents, but this year a couple of new hatches found their way under the tree. Well, not actually under the tree, they're bigger than our mini tree. We have been living with the original hatches, dark, crazed, really hard for me to open. Did I mention dark? To open one, I had to stand with one foot on the settee and one foot on the edge of the table, not easy when it's rough. These we can just push up and open! And we can see through! And they don't leak! And they open from the outside, too! We always say, it's the little things in life that are important.


Damn the Cold Showers!

Long on the list of “good idea’s” I finally got around to making this happen. Yes it may not look like much, but spending some time in a climate slightly cooler than we prefer does help the motivation. This inexpensive little valve and tee, four feet of line, and another tee below the sole make a nice creature comfort. Here’s what it does. Opening this valve for 8-10 seconds diverts water via the tee right below the hot water faucet to a tee into the feed line of the foot pump. The result: hot water right to the sink/shower without wasting a drop. While the hot water line fills with hot from the water heater the cold runs back into the storage tank by way of the foot pump feed.

It always amazes me just how little water is really necessary for a shower when conserving and just how much water the little bitty line from the water heater to the head holds. While I refuse to do the math for a explicit answer, whatever volume the two are, I assure you they are EQUAL! The first drops of “warm” always show up just in time for the second person. No more cold showers.


Twenty-seven degrees and frost on the dock this morning. The sun is out so it won't last long. No matter what, Adjima can always find a sunny spot, out of the wind. We're staying snug, working some long put-off projects, planning and cooking great meals, reading. Steve is working on a sourdough starter ( Yea!), my favorite kind of bread, so much for losing weight.

Soon after tying the dock lines, I woke up in a cold sweat one night, realizing that there is no library in Oriental. A very scary thought for me, my hands were shaking. I've been book rationing ever since. There is a small shelf in the laundry room for cruisers to leave and take books, so far most of them are mine. I may have to dig out my embroidery, if I could just remember where I stashed it.


Christmas: A Time To Keep Your Friends Close and Your Cookies and Fudge Closer

We got back from our whirlwind days in Florida, just in time for the lighting of the star and the singing of carols in downtown Oriental. It was a brisk 35 degrees and now I definitely know that I don't have enough clothes for this weather.

We went to St Pete last week to do all the medical stuff that we are required to do once a year, now that we're OLD. A colonoscopy for Steve, mamo for me, physicals and blood tests, teeth cleanings. We combined this with a stay at the North Dock, courtesy of our friend, Charlie, who let us stay on his boat. We saw many old friends and missed many others. Thanks to Charlie and Ellen for the boat swap, Wanda for the cookies, Dr P and everyone there for all their help, unfortunately, there just wasn't enough time in the days to see everyone we wanted to. Many thanks to all who offered their help and lodgings, food and friendship.
We did manage to get to the Commissary on MacDill, AFB, and stock up on all kinds of foodstuff and of course, wine and rum. We picked up materials for the projects we have planned: fabric for cushion covers, Plexiglas and wood for a new companionway door complete with cat door, guitar strings, shelving for the new storage room-that-used-to be-a-head. We drove back with the Kia stuffed full, not that that takes much. Steve was reading a new book on the way back, a scintillating tale called "DDDB: Drag Device Data Base, Using Parachutes, Sea Anchors and Drogues to Cope with Heavy Weather, Seventy Documented Case Histories". I'm not kidding here, he actually read it. I got to hear some of the really exciting parts, to keep me awake while I was driving.


A Change In The Weather

We were walking home from M&M's tavern last night, after Steak Night and Music Night (more about this in a moment) and the full moon was so bright and it was so still, the water was like glass. Armed with my new knowledge of camera ops, we set up the tripod and took some night shots. The ring around the moon was so big, I couldn't get it in one shot, even on the widest angle. This is 10PM (!) that's how bright it was and is taken through Celebrations' rigging. I always thought that a ring around the sun or moon meant that the weather was going to have a drastic change. Steve says it just means that there's a ring around the moon. Either way, the mild temps and sun of yesterday have turned into gale warnings and a cold, driving, rain today. Hmmm... seems drastic to me...
M&M's is a bar/restaurant a block away. They have a great Tues night steak special and then from 7 to 9 it's Music Night in the back bar. On Music night they take turns making CD's and hosting the evening. It's a very rowdy version of Name That Tune and this group is really good. A couple of them can hear the first part of the first note and shout out the song and artist. Last night's host was a Brit named Steve, who sang in a top 10 group, in England, in the 60's. All the songs were, at one time , hits in England, in the 60's. You can guess how well we scored. It was great fun anyway, a good meal and a good way to get to know our neighbors.