OK, first the ugly. I ended up spending most of the day Friday working on the plumbing - not really very fun. The holding tank vent was clogged which was causing problems I shall choose not to describe. Anyway, it took a lot of effort to get it cleared and I found spaces on my boat I'd never before seen - or care to see again. There is practically a cavern in the space above the holding tank, but you need long, skinny arms to get in there. I was contorted into weird awkward positions trying to remove hose clamps & and cram wire through the vent fitting to clean it. But after a couple of hours I completed the job and then passed out in the cockpit for a much needed nap - dreaming of an iced cold drink and maybe a composting head.
Saturday I made a batch of pancakes and then tidied up for a sail. It only took a few minutes to stow stray items - and I lashed my Kitchen Aid mixer/bomb to the compression post. After having a close encounter with the mangroves while retrieving one anchor, we left the others tied to DJ's boat and headed out. After a quick stop at Burdines for ice, gas, beer and chocolate bars we made out way through the pass at low tide. The sea was a bit lumpy which made it fun getting the sails up. After we left the lee of the island we had enough wind to make us pause and put in a reef. Things settled down a bit after that, but it was still very lumpy and I had a rough time making lunch. We had a great sail for a couple of hours and then slowly tacked our way back and forth to reach the entrance. I had DJ and Coleen on the jib sheets, and Coleen - after about 10 tacks, finally got the hang of it. It was truly a lovely day - the kind sailors dream about.
We made homemade pizza and watched Night at the Museum. The nice breeze helped keep the no-seeums away and we had nice cool temps - just perfect for a good nights sleep.
Sunday, was a beach day. After making a batch of banana bread for breakfast, I packed up a picnic, loaded up the kayak, and Coleen and I headed to the beach. We spent almost the whole day there. The sky was a perfect blue, amazing sounds of the breeze in the palm trees, lovely sailboats on the horizon, beer & iced tea in the cooler - and a good book - The Cost Conscious Cruiser. Coleen had fun on the playground where she met a bunch of kids. We arrived back at the boat around 5 p.m. - grilled pork chops, zucchini, potatoes, and made a spinach salad.
The past couple of days have not been the best --- feels a bit like something from a Survivor episode. Although the rain let up yesterday and we enjoyed the sunshine, it brought with it a heavy dose of no-seeums. It was brutal, so many bugs you had to stay inside, but it was hot inside... a bit of a no win situation. But in case you are ever wondering, heat is better than bugs. Poor little Coleen was sitting over there trying to concentrate on school while sweating and swatting bugs. She didn't complain - but I was close to tears!
Late in the afternoon, we braved getting in to the dinghy and heading to shore so Coleen could join back to her Keyboard lessons at the local Methodist Church. They were about as excited to see her as she was them. I spent the time in the marina laundry room, washing all the bedding that was ingrained with 6 months worth of boat smell. The only nice thing about a laundry mat - is that all 6 loads were done within 1 1/2 hours.
We then headed over to Keys Fisheries to have dinner out and celebrate DJ's birthday. It was a long dinghy ride back piled with plastic bags of clean laundry. The bugs were still in full force. By the time I got it all put away I was beat.
I have the day off tomorrow and hope to finally get everything completely shop shape.
After a very long break we are finally back at home on the Glass Slipper. We arrived late last Wednesday and have been busy getting things organized, working and back to school. We had a bit of mildew, and every surface and locker had to be cleaned. Thankfully nothing was ruined, except a few craft items that were damaged when rain leaked into a locker.
We managed to get all those boxes unpacked and everything stowed. Amazingly we still have a some leftover stowage space.
On Saturday Coleen and I volunteered for a Beach Clean Up. The goal was to not only clean up the beach, but all count the various types of trash we found. By far, the big loser was plastic bottle caps and cigarette butts. I've never figured out why smokers use the beach for an ash tray :-(
Yesterday we awoke early to a driving rain. It rained hard most of the day. We fought our cabin fever by firing up the generator and using the toaster oven to bake a batch of oatmeal cookies. Not only was it tasty, but it also dried out the cabin a bit.
We had to get new house batteries as the old battery was completely shot. We ended up with a couple of golf cart batteries, which should do well to meet our needs. We're also recharging partly using solar power now, but really need a couple more panels to keep up completely. We'll still need to run the generator at least an hour a day in the meantime.