Showing posts from February, 2010

Wake the Dead Alarm

I had a pretty good day not counting getting awakened at about 1 AM by Spencer to tell me that all was OK, no one was hurt, ... He quickly went on to say that the Avalanche had died in the middle of an intersection in Madison, the police were making sure he did not get hit and the tow truck was on the way. Things continued downhill this afternoon when he told me the cost of repairs. I was proud that he took care of everything, did some comparison shopping on the repairs, and hopefully will have a more reliable car when he gets it back. But we both would have been happier not to have to pay to have the car repaired.I spent most of today finishing up a bunch of electrical installations. The new radar was not working, I traced it to a "waterproof" plug that had corroded. I decided to use a thru hull fitting and get rid of the plug. Then I got the water maker power hooked up while I had everything apart.The ultimate install for the day was the "Wake The Dead" al…

Hanging by a thread

Actually, I am not hanging by a thread. I am hanging on an big anchor with a bunch of chain going up to a mooring ball that has three large pieces of 3 strand line leading to two different attachment points on Reboot. Even so, I am pretty sure I will never be comfortable with certain parts of long term cruising.
It has been raining all afternoon. The thunderstorms have abated but a very strong cold front is working its way past Key West. The winds are averaging about 25 knots with gusts into the low 30's. Reboot is bouncing around on the mooring ball, fortunately not enough to make me feel sick. But I am very aware that in the confined space of the Boca Chica marina if the mooring lets go I will have about 10 seconds before my home hits something very solid. Forget the wind in the willows - I can hear the wind howling thru the rigging above my head. It is not a very comfortable way to spend an afternoon and evening. It would be nice at this point to be blissfully ignorant…

SCUBA Training

It was inevitable. Going to Belize, one of the diving capitals of the world with the second longest reef system after the Great Barrier Reef, I had to learn to SCUBA dive. I have done 2 of 3 pool dives and have my ocean training dives scheduled for this weekend.Cheers

Craftsman Tools

They just don't make them like they used to.  Would you believe that my electric drill died?  After only 49 1/2 years?  Why can't they make products that last?

BTW, the reason I know I had the drill for 49 1/2 years is that it was a birthday present for my 14th birthday.


Butterfly Museum

You know the shots of the people dancing happily while surrounded by chirping birds, butterflies, and happy forest animals? You know, like meetings of Obama's cabinet. Or is it the Nancy and Harry show? (OK, those were cheap shots, however I feel much better.)Key West has a butterfly museum. I expected lots of dead butterflies mounted on panels - for me pretty boring stuff. Was I surprised to find live butterflies! The museum is built like an aviary. A walkway takes you through lots of growth that is of course the natural habitat for the butterflies. And they are alive and flying all over the place. There is also a small population of birds, fish, and turtles. Quite an amazing place. When you consider that the life span of a grown butterfly is only about 2 to 3 weeks it is even more amazing. People apparently harvest butterflies in the cacoon stage and then they emerge at the museum. Pretty cool.

6 months

It has been six months since I cast off from the Milwaukee Yacht Club to start this new lifestyle. We had an informal gathering on "Door Into Summer" for other reasons. But they served champagne which suited my feeling of the need for a small celebration perfectly.
In Milwaukee there was a boat called "Living the Dream" (or something close to that.) It should have been named "Experiencing the Nightmare" because the owner must have hated it given the damage done to the poor girl. Just before I left I met a young man who had purchased her and was investing a great deal of sweat equity to bring her back to pristine condition. He told me that I motivated him to work harder on his boat as someday he wanted to head down the KK River and live the dream.What is it like for me? Our standing joke in Key West is "just another beautiful day in paradise." For me, however, this is a necessary stop but not paradise. I have discovered that there are thre…

Evil Troy Lock

You may remember that the evil Troy Lock stripped the instrumentation of the top of the mast. Over the past few months (yes, it has been months!) I have been slowly getting the parts and getting the top of the mast repaired. Today I finally finished the project. The WQindex (with night light), the new Garmin wind instrument, and the repaired anchor light are all installed and working.I love Garmin! When I was a young man (back before electricity was invented) I owned a BMW 2002. It had been, in the parlance of the day "breathed upon." Very "breathed upon." It was my pride and joy. One day the turn signal flasher burned out. I went to Gert (my German mechanic, of course) to purchase a new flasher module. It was $35 - in the seventies. I said, I can purchase a bimetallic flasher for my Chevy for $1.98. Why so expensive? Gert said, "Mr. Jones, that flasher isn't precise, why, the flashes will not be the same length. Your flasher contains a chip th…