Life on the hook is different than what you'd expect and it's all about compromise - as is most of living on a boat. When the wind blows we have a wonderful cool breeze compliments of our wind scoop in the bow hatch. Thankfully the wind blows most of the time - and we don't even need to run a fan. Now when the wind is blowing and we're cool -the boat is usually rocking & rolling a bit. As soon as the wind stops it is instantly unbearably hot. The wind scoop comes down and the fans go on. I'm lucky if it's the same time as when I happen to be running the generator because that means I can run my super fan-the regular land kind. When the wind stops and it's unbearably hot - the boat barely moves. At least once or twice a day a storm rolls through - often bringing rain. It's a mad dash to get the wind scoop down. Yes - it seems like that wind scoop goes up and down several times a day :-) I often joke that it is my most used sail.
I tend to get up early often before sunrise. It's very beautiful with the lights of Bradenton twinkling in the distance - and it's also very quiet. Often there are dolphins about -- and always lots of birds. I start my work day early sometimes sitting on the deck - work for a couple of hours, then make breakfast and get Coleen started on school.
When my work schedule permits we try to have a swim or take a walk sometime during the day. After school Coleen spends most of her time reading and playing with dolls. She also likes climbing all over the boat and is quite good at climbing up to sit on the boom and read. She's often found there with a pillow and a book.
Coleen is having a bit of a rough go of it these past couple of weeks. She is very, very homesick and we have tears about it at least a couple of times a day. I think this is due to spending too much time being spoiled at Grandma's house-- with too much t.v.
After work we usually try to take a long walk and of course there is always a boat chore that needs doing-which these days seems to involve lots of barnacles. One of the things I really enjoy is cooking and I seem to manage to come up with some pretty amazing meals out of this tiny galley. I'm learning to use the Magna Grill as an oven which involves a little trial and error to get the cooking temps just right. I really love to bake and have managed cookies, pies, muffins, and even bread. I'm yet to try a cake- but it's next on my list.
We spend a lot of time reading and usually enjoy reading a book together after dinner. We're still working on the Narnia series for now. Sometimes we watch a movie - but after my busy work day I tend to like peace and quiet. We fish a little now and then -- but we are admittedly horrible and are yet to catch a fish (except for my shark).
The other evening we made a grocery store run. This involved taking the dinghy to the beach and walking down a trail to the street and then a 2.5 mile walk to the store. Coleen rode her bike and really enjoyed it. Unfortunately by the time we finished our shopping a storm was brewing and it was almost dark. We opted for a cab ride back. ($8 plus tip). I'm sure the cab driver wondered about us- as he dropped us and all our groceries off at a trail head in the dark :-) It's against the rules to be in the park after dark so that was a bit worrisome. Thankfully DJ had a flashlight. We found our way back to the beach and Coleen and I waited while he went further down the beach for the dinghy. Of course lightening was everywhere-but at least it didn't rain. We had to wade through a bit of water to load the groceries. Quite a lot of effort for food!
Every three or four days DJ makes an ice run in his fast dinghy - which keeps me happy as I do enjoy my iced tea. Sometimes the weather is too rough for the dinghy ride and we've had to go without ice for a couple of days --which is really not that fun.
I have to run the generator for a couple of hours every day to keep my batteries charged. My biggest power drain is using my computer for 10 hours a day. Although the it's a "quiet" generator - it's still not that pleasant to hear the noise - but at least I can run my fan!
We're also careful about water-- and this time our water lasted almost 2 weeks. We generally take a solar shower just before bedtime - which is more pleasant than using the shower in the head. There's just something relaxing about an outdoor shower. Plus it keeps the shower water out of the bilge and uses less water too - and less mildew to clean in the head.
Surprisingly there are few bugs at this anchorage - only rarely are their mosquitoes--- just if the wind is quiet in the evening which usually doesn't last long. An occasional fly -- no spiders or mud daubers.
There are lots of boats in this anchorage and a couple seem to have some rather undesirable neighbors-- but thankfully they haven't bothered us.