Sunday, December 30, 2007

Warning and lizards

That's right folks, this is the last shopping day before the whole world's biggest party. You guessed it, it's Julie's Birthday tomorrow and she is a prime number this year! She loves mail and pictures, etc.
‎"‎Julie Hill‎"‎ jules at change "at" to @ with no spaces.
We began today with a new sound on the boat. Sort of a blub, blub, blub noise at about 6AM. I thought it was the coffee maker and rolled over. Florrie was already up and woke me with the news that the boat was making a new noise and should she worry. Turns out the hose from the water heater came off at the same time as (because?) we ran out of water so the water pump was pumping air. Air compresses, water doesn't. That's right, sounds familiar, but this time it was the other end of the same hose that went before. Put it back on, tightened it up and it SEEMS to be working again. All just a part of boating.
Hi All. It's Florrie writing now... Paradise ain't cheap. That's a sign over the cash register at Snappas, the restaurant/bar next door. We can get almost anything we need here but some of the food and all of the restaurants are pricey. It has to do with the cost of importing everything except locally raised chickens and pigs, I guess. We're "renting a hole in the water" right now. Usually we're only in one place for four nights. But once we leave here after the 2nd (weather permitting) we will not have such easy access to emails, phones, internet or good shopping until we hit the next big town.
It has been about 12 days since I arrived and we've had more social life here than in 12 months on land. Boaters sure know how to party! Christmas dinner was a gala potluck with about 15 other boats. There are dock gatherings to toast the sunset. To get a group together just whisper party and you've got at least five boats interested. The other night we had happy hour at Curley Tails, a couple of docks down the harbor. I want to tell you how it got its name. There are small lizards here that have their tails in a loop over their backs. (There are also other, regular, lizards too.) It turns out that the curl is like a life-saver, literally! I was drawing some palm trees with my new friend Camilla yesterday and "Curley" came between us and investigated her bag. We got a good look and saw that the forward end of its tail was regenerating. Something had grabbed the easiest "handle" and the little lizard got away. I wonder how many times they can grow a new tail. Maybe its something like a cat's proverbial nine lives.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Florrie's Art Show

I added a slide show on the left just below the picture of Harmony. It may take a while to load but it is worth the wait. If you click on it it should enlarge the slide show in a new window. The slide show starts with the "Study for Ice Storm" and "Ice Storm", two images of an ice encrusted tree. Ninety-six paintings and drawings were displayed in two rooms at the Monmouth Beach Cultural Center (NJ) from Nov. 23 - Dec. 15, 2007. They represent 44 years of artistic productivity. The final slide is of Mary Carol Day, wife of the show photographer, Paul Newland, and Florrie. Thanks again Paul for a great job! Let us know what you think.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The race

Yesterday I was invited to crew on a Bermuda 40, made by Hinkley in 1973, in a local race. I ended up at the helm for the second half and enjoyed it tremendously even though there was very little wind. This is the only sailboat I know which keeps appreciating in value over the years and I can understand why. Very light touch and yet a heavy sea boat with lots of wood to keep polished. Florrie spent the day by the pool drawing. We both were happy.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Catamaran Harmony Boxing Day

Today is the day after Xmas. Florrie is taking a day off with Camilla while Deve and Lew go racing on Tom's little Hinkley. Xmas was delightful. In the morning we opened presents, talked to relatives on our new Skype (a wonderful program to be able to use the computer as a phone), and got ready for the party. Lew went formal; a xmas tie over his tee shirt. ABout 20 couples got together for a pot luck dinner beginning about 2:00 in the afternoon. Food was great and plentiful. These things have to start early because the cruiser mentality is to go to bed soon after sundown. We managed to stay up until almost 8:00 befor crashing.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Happy Solstice

Yep. Today at 1:08 AM winter arrived. Todays weather report estimates a high of 77 and a low of 71. The front has passed through and the wind is about 15 from the west. Another day in paridise. Which reminds me...Do you know the derivation of the S word. It relates to the shipping of manure which, when wet soaked up water getting heavy and produced methane gas. Several ships exploded when the methane caught fire so manure was labeled "Ship High In Transit" aka "S.H.I.T." (Thank you Lisa for that info.)
Florrie is here and the boat is decorated for Xmas with lights and a cloth Xmas tree in the Salon along with a "Welcome Home" banner for her arrival. Otherwise, I am definately flunking Xmas this year. Just like I flunked Sarah's b'day on the 17th. Sorry bout dat, mon. We are working on a slide show of Florrie's exhibit in NJ but haven't mastered that yet.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Happy Birthday Melissa Dec. 18


Melissa is my only biological daughter and my firstborn so you know she has poor old dad rapped around her little finger. When she was little I used to tell her bedtime stories that went something like this:
"Once upon a time, there was a little girl who was just about the same age as you. She was very very strong because she ate lots and lots and lots of vegetables. Not just the good ones like peas and corn and carrots and potatoes and green beans and onions. She also ate the yucky ones like lima beans and even the awful, dreaded brussel sprout. Bleeech!
Because she was so strong, they called her Mighty Melissa. One day Mighty Melissa went to visit a friend who lived on a farm. And on that farm were pigs and goats and horses and sheep and dogs and really stupid chickens. But they also had some cows and a great big, huge, tremendous bull who was very very mean and liked to chase people and butt them with his head. That day, Mighty Melissa and her friend went exploring in a field. They thought that the bull was in the barn but they were wrong. The bull was in that field too. When the girls were well into the field, the mean old bull charged. Mighty Melissa's friend screamed and ran but Mighty Melissa stayed right there. It wasn't because Mighty Melissa wasn't scared. She was very afraid but Mighty Melissa was not going to let fear get the best of her. Ooooooh no. She stood there and just as that huge, mean old bull was about to butt her with his head, she punched him. She punched him so hard, because she was so strong from eating those vegetables, that she knocked him out. Several minutes later, the bull came to and said. "Oooooooooch, why did you do that?"

Mighty Melissa asked the bull, "Why did you scare me and try to hurt me?"

The bull replied, "I am a bull. That's what I do. I scare people and they run away or I butt them."

"Well", said Mighty Melissa, "I am Mighty Melissa and I don't run away from fear. Do you want to try this again?

"No" said the bull.

So Mighty Melissa and the bull became friends and the bull never chased people again."

Now, I don't know what effect these stories had on Melissa, but I like to think they had something to do with her ability to face events and deal with them when others, including me, might be frozen with fear or become depressed and never want to get out of bed. Melissa, you are my hero now. I love you, Pumpkin.


Saturday, December 15, 2007

Catamaran Harmony corrected

"I know the word is picnic not nitpic but,
those are 'characters' for harmony versus 'symbols'. Once a calligrapher always a calligrapher."

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tropical Storm Olga

As of 8:00 AST, Olga was at 18.8 by 69.5...over the Dominican Republic and headed West. While it is expected to produce high winds in the Turks and Caicos, we shouldn't be affected at all.
Yesterday we had a 5 foot and a 3 foot ray swimming around the marina. Ho Hum.
The real excitement was the report from the dock boy that the delivery people had delivered the diesel fuel into the gas tank and the gasoline into the diesel tank. One boat had just taken on fuel before this was announced and was very upset. Turns out that the report originated from a ferry that fuels here when the engine "blew". Actually the ferry had blown it's injectors and the fuel was fine, much to the relief everyone. Well maybe not the ferry captain. All is quiet again.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Street Festival

Street festival. Lots of food, singing groups, kids, local food, the prime minister, bands and even a local motorcycle "gang" with jackets saying "Motley Few" (all 6 of them). I can't wait until Florrie gets here and I have someone to share things with.

Friday, December 7, 2007


Well I am back. The first thing I did was to get sick and spend 36 hours in bed and bathroom Bleeech! So now I can't sleep. Then I find out that Florrie was the same way back in NJ so who knows. Anyway I am back and the boat seems fine. Tomorrow I will test the engines and maybe get an antenna for WIFI. I can get it on the boat but sometimes have a hard time connecting. Al sent me 200 pictures from the Beaufort to Marsh Harbour part and I will try to put them in where they belong so look back for new pictures. It is now 67 degrees at 3 in the morning. NJ is 23. Tee Hee.