Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Back on the Boat!

28 February 2017

Why so long with no blog?  In a word...teeth:  broken teeth, missing teeth, dead teeth and the repair thereof! Finally after what seemed a long time of singlehandedly supporting the dental industry we were released to travel south.  We made a lovely stop at Port St. Joe, FL to spend some time with John and Lois, friends from Rochester and Jill and Bud, boating friends from Regatta Pointe.  

View from John and Lois' house at Port St. Joe

Jim, Jill, Bud and Matey
Seen near Apalachicola - A cautionary tale

We are now back on "Well, Why Not?" though the boat is not on the water.  It is on jack stands with hurricane tie-downs, looking rather sad with shade netting in somewhat of a disarray after the summer storms that came through.  Berries and bird droppings litter the deck.  But no mold nor mildew.

Shade netting did its job, but is a little worse for wear

Turns out we had had an unwelcome visitor (visitors?) during the summer....a cockroach!  Jim was a masterful hunter and did it in but in his unflappable style assured me that "where there is one cockroach, there are surely others". To add insult to injury what I first thought were dead no-see-ums turned out to be cockroach poop which was distributed rather generously throughout the main and aft cabin. I am not particularly squeemish, but I was not happy.  Obviously some massive cleaning was in order which given life on the hard, is not easy!  We do have running water on the boat from our water tanks, but no appropriate drainage other than a bucket under the galley thru hull.  
our drainage system
So with hot soapy water, (hot because I boiled the water on the stove) I scrubbed all of the nooks and crannies and dumped bucket after bucket, and put out cockroach bait.  No more signs of the nasty intruders, but based on everything I have read, it is not quite so easy to get rid of them so I am making no predictions at this point. Not sure what inspired them to come aboard. We had left no food on the boat, but there was a scented candle which showed telltale signs of having been nibbled on. Hope it gave one and all a gut ache!!

Jim has spent what seems to me to be an inordinate amount of time trying to fit too many tools into too small a space.  Gotta be prepared for whatever, whenever  he says.  And yes, he was a Boy Scout.  He has also been trying to get our internet extender to work.  So far unsuccessfully.

The boatyard painter has been working on the bottom - fixing a few small blisters, raising the waterline, cleaning the prop and shaft and sanding the old bottom paint, all in preparation for adding 2 coats of new ablative paint. So glad we decided to let the boatyard take care of it. Meanwhile we have been getting little projects done while trying to stay out of his way.

Egret and alligator at Myakka Lake
Great Blue Heron and alligators

Friends from Chatfield, Mary and Bill were in town for a day and a half and it was delightful to take a day off from the boat.  We spent a full day at Myakka River State Park in Sarasota where we enjoyed an airboat ride, a tram tour and a canopy walk! Lots of alligators, great blue herons, a limpkin, ibis, egrets, deer, bald eagles, ospreys and turtles.

Mary and Bill on canopy walk
Jim and Marg on canopy walk, tower in background

View of palms and oaks  from top of  the 75 ft canopy tower 
Living "on the hard" is a poor second cousin to being on the water.  No gentle rocking, no cooling sea breezes, no quiet anchorages, but it is a necessary stage for getting certain types of boatwork done.  One advantage which I am enjoying is eating out more and discovering interesting out of the way restaurants.  (Sandwiches on the boat get tiresome) We read about a great sounding fish restaurant on the water.  But when we found the address we ended up at an outdoor art and craft market. We wandered around for while, and after giving up on finding the restaurant we started to leave.  As we went behind the stalls and small markets, totally hidden from view, we found the fish restaurant. Clearly it was a place for locals - you would never happen upon it. It was full of personality, was right on the water and had great food - all served in the friendly, casual style that we enjoy.

Back to work.......