Boat update…

Its been several weeks since a boat post so here we go.

White pelicans south of pine island. We use to see these guys from our house on Rio del Notre.

I have been both busy and at times bored out of my mind. I continue to do boat work which consists of many small jobs. One of the things I did during the big projects was to do it “good enough” just to get it done. I have been going back to to these installs and making everything nice and neat. Not a big task but each is a bit time consuming. I have also been ticking off a bunch of small jobs, trimming doors to close smoothly, tightening door knobs, organizing the hanging lockers yet again, organizing the front berth(tool storage). All the while moving the boat from place to place.

I do not have a permanent home for the boat so I have been moving around. I split my time between two anchorages and marinas. One anchorage is Pine island about 10 miles north of ST. Augustine and the other is Fort Matanzas about 15 miles south of ST. Augustine. My current plan, now that I don’t need frequent access to land, is to spend 4-5 days out on anchor and then go to a marina for 1-2 days. At the marina I can get fresh water, go get groceries, do laundry and stop at my mailbox if needed.

Weather moving in at Fort Matanazs
Fort Matanazs

Why don’t I have a permanent boat home? Glad you asked. It seems, depending on who you talk to, that the number of boat slips in the area has been decreasing over the years coupled with the increase of people into the area. Add to that storm damaged docks which can take months to go thru insurance and there is just not enough docks for all the boats. I do have my name on the wait lists of my top three marinas, however one list is 150 boats long! I am now going down the list of second choices to get added. I may also need to looks farther from St. Augustine, not a great option.

Sun rise over the GTM at Pine Island

The Less Than Perfect Day

Raven and Clover

Lots of people have stories to tell about their less than perfect travels. Today is mine. I woke up early to take the motorhome and tow vehicle to Everett, Washington where we are consigning the motorhome and wanted to sell the tow vehicle at the nearby CarMax. I researched travel options and thought I could drive everything over and had two plans to get back once I was without a car. One: I could get an Uber to the nearest light rail. Take it to a nearby station for the Seattle ferry. Walk to the ferry. Take the ferry to Bremerton and get an Uber home once I arrived. Two: I could Uber to the Edmonds ferry to Kingston. Take the ferry to Kingston. Uber or take some buses back to near my house.

I made a strategic error. I chose to go to Kingston and catch an Uber with a Kitsap Transit backup. Unbeknownst to me, there were no Uber or Lyft options out of Kingston and the Kitsap Transit had “suspended” their buses to the area for that day. Uber was kind enough to tell me they could not accommodate. Lyft, argh, said they could send someone in 40 minutes, then 10 more minutes, then 10 more minutes, then they couldn’t. I gave up on Lyft after forty minutes and tried to get the bus information from the mobile app. My phone would not successfully download the PDF of the bus routes, so I could not determine when a bus would come. It was getting chilly in the rain, but I did not want to exit the bus stop in hopes of getting a ride closer to home. I was sure that my research told me the buses came regularly, but there was not a bus, Uber, or Lyft and I had two ten month old dogs at home that needed to get outside to relieve themselves.

A bus finally showed up and I chased it down and talked to the bus driver. He was not the bus for me. Nevertheless, he felt pity for me and took me to Poulsbo to transfer to a bus that would get me close to home. He regularly ran from the Casino to Kingston but was able to deposit me in Poulsbo. By then, Regis was able to text that the bus in Kingston and my bus to Bremerton were “suspended”. Fortunately, I found one Uber driver to pick me up in Poulsbo and take me home. I was so chilled, after letting the dogs out, I sat in a hot tub to warm up.

I hated myself for not realizing I would have been better off taking the light rail to the Seattle and then catch a ferry to Bremerton where I could likely get an Uber. If not, it’s only 4.5 miles to my house and I could walk it. I spent enough time sitting in the mist and cold in Kingston to have walked 4.5 miles.

I was later told that the thing to do was contact the Clearwater Casino to pick me up. They would do that. Once at the Casino, I could get a ride anywhere home.

Today, I had to leave the house while pictures were taken for listing. I took the dogs to Kingston in hopes of going to a restaurant that was dog friendly. I saw the sign while waiting in the rain the other day. I was able to take the dogs for a walk, but the restaurant was closed today. Bummer. I went back to Bremerton to a Mexican food place I had been considering for the past year. I picked up some tacos at the drive through and they were amazing, especially at $4.91. The dogs were very interested and I was able to provide them my scraps. This location is about 1.5 miles from my house and I will now be visiting regularly.

I had mentioned in prior posts how Clover manages to undo any bandages I apply to her leg. I thought I had her beat when I got bandages with a bitter taste. It did not have any effect on her. We may have moved past her issues with her leg where the IV was inserted, but Raven recently took to licking his leg incessantly. I took the remaining bitter tasting bandage and put it on his leg. Clover said “I got this” and proceeded to remove it.

Abnoxious Dogs

My first dog as an adult was a wonderful Bedlington Terrier named Tess. She was actually our sons dog. We trained her well and showed her in AKC shows and she acquired her championship title. At that point, we bred her and kept one of the puppies and named him Dusty. At first, Tess appeared to want him to leave with the other puppies when they found new homes, but eventually accepted that he was not going anywhere and began training him at the same time we were. Both dogs were wonderful and we took them camping, hiking, and traveling and they always remained well-behaved companions.

Tess
Dusty

First Tess, then Dusty died and for a few months I thought I could not have another dog because I grieved so much. I eventually recovered enough to get my first collie, Copper. He was about three months old and I spent a lot of time training him. When he was about nine months old, I acquired a female collie, Tekoe. Copper spent as much time training her as we did. Regis and I took the two dogs to training sessions regularly and they were wonderful companions and we could take them anywhere. They easily achieved their Canine Good Citizen Awards.

Copper and Tekoe.

When Copper was around 7, I acquired Dart, my blue-merle sheltie. Copper and Tekoe trained him on good dog manners at home and I used clicker training to run agility with Dart. Dart earned his NADAC Novice Agility award and we had a great time. We traveled the country with him and he was a well-behaved, wonderful companion. Copper and later Tekoe died leaving me with Dart as my only dog for many years.

Dart.
Dart, Copper and Tekoe. When my sister first saw this picture she asked how I got them to do this. I told her I told them to “sit”.

When Dart was twelve, I acquired two collie puppies, Clover and Raven the krakens. At this point, Dart was barely able to walk, so he was not able to train the collies with me. I have been struggling to train them and was nearly in tears over doing so shortly before leaving them with Dan and Jason when I left for a month to help Regis move the boat. Dan and Jason took the krakens on as a project and worked with them extensively. I could see the difference when I picked them up when I came back to Washington. I felt there was hope.

Clover.
Raven.

That hope was dashed to pieces yesterday. My local realtor, Heidi, came to visit to discuss selling our house in Bremerton. The dogs fell in love with her. We do not get many guests and they would not leave her alone. They were pretty good about not jumping until Clover decided jumping was okay as long as it was over the top of Raven.

While Heidi and I talked, I left the dogs out front so we could have some peace. They began to crash into and scratch the front door. They have never done this before. I was sure they were going to destroy it. I brought them inside and put them in their crates. They started howling and yowling and crashing against the sides. It was difficult for Heidi and I to talk above the noise. They have never done this before. I then put them out back and closed off the doggy door. I came upstairs to continue my conversation with Heidi and it felt like an earthquake. The dogs were throwing themselves against the doggy door to get in. The entire house was shaking. Heidi and I had discussed whether to keep the doggy door in place once the house was listed. I calmy suggested it might be a moot point since the dogs were about to break it down. I let them back in but they were never calm while Heidi was here.

Oh my goodness. This is not okay. I have both dogs signed up for more official training starting next week. When I get to Florida, I may bribe my friends to come over and be victims while I use their presence to try to train these unruly krakens. Their behavior is totally unacceptable and I will not become a hermit because they cannot behave themselves. My next call may be to Cesar Millan.

Krakens and a Winter Mess

Clover recovering from spay surgery.
Raven recovering from neuter surgery.

It has been an interesting week. The krakens were scheduled to be spayed and neutered on Tuesday. In anticipation of the bad weather, I parked at the top of our hilly driveway the night before. On Tuesday, the sky began to drop a wet, slushy mix of snow and sleet. I got up our hilly driveway with the dogs, drove through our hilly neighborhood, and got to the vet to drop the pups off.

I got back home and parked at the top of the driveway and got a message from a place I called to try to sell some guns. Regis collected guns many years ago and I do not want to deal with them in a move back to Florida, so he agreed I could sell them. The guy told me the roads were fine. On his advice, I took off with my small arsenal after hauling them up them up the driveway in increasingly bad weather.

The roads were not fine. I only had to drive about 9 miles and it was terrible. I did not want to wreck with my cargo. That’s me. I worry tremendously about stuff like this. Once I pulled successfully in the parking lot, I breathed a sigh of relief. I could unload the guns but now had to make sure I could get the krakens after their surgery. At this point, I had not seen a single plow.

I sold the guns and Regis was pleased with what he got. Many of the guns were relics, if that’s the appropriate word. More interesting than useful. The guys in the gun shop loved them even though they thought only one of the guns was “good” which was the Beretta. One of the guns was my Mossberg shotgun I used to shoot trap and skeet which I loved. I shot regularly when we lived near a public trap and skeet range. After we moved, we never got near enough to a range to make it worthwhile.

While at the gun shop, I got a message I could pick up the krakens, so I headed that way. Still no plows. Lots of bad weather.

I got the dogs with their Elizabethan collars and they walked like they were drunk. I had a hard time getting them to the car in the slush and their inability to walk straight. Poor pups. I got them loaded in the car and realized that I could not make them walk down our driveway. I do not think they could. I risked driving down it hoping I would not wind up sliding into the house or sliding off the side of the driveway over the retaining wall and into the trees. That did not happen and I removed the dog’s collars when we got home because they were clearly too out of it for it to matter. They slept until the wee hours of the morning. Once they got rambunctious, I put their collars back on. It did not take long for Clover to remove her collar. I tried again with both dogs and let them out to relieve themselves. I looked out and both dogs had no collars. It was snowy and dark, so I planned to wait until light to find the collars.

The next day, I tried a different way to attach the collar to Clover. I thought it was successful and searched for a solution for Raven. As I pulled out the ties for Raven’s collar, I saw that Clover was free of hers. Geez oh whiz. I think their little dolphin heads may be too skinny to make this work.

I decided to spend my life sleeping with my dogs and bribing them through chew things, etc. to not lick themselves or play too much with each other. I was warned that Clover was the one most liable to have issues (because she is female) if the dogs got too rambunctious with each other.

The vet gave me medication to keep them calm and all was good for a few days. One evening, not long after giving out medication, Clover looked terrible. I was very worried that something was significantly wrong with her. I panicked and called the vet. The vet told me she was likely hallucinating and I should cut back on the medication. Within a couple hours she was fine.

The next day I cut back on the medication and the two dogs were difficult to manage. I spent a lot of time outside trying to clear the snow and took one dog out at a time with me so they were separated. Nevertheless, once I got back inside they were back at it. I kept giving them cool chews they like, but impacts their digestive system. Pick your poison. Bad stools or broken stitches.

While living in Florida six of the last seven years, I missed the snow. I do not miss the snow now. I have yet to see a plow. I saw someone clearing the driveway across from us and spoke to him. He said it rarely snows like this here so there is not much equipment to remove it. I grew up in Maryland and this weather is normal but there are plows, etc. to keep the major roads clear. Not here.

Eventually, a warm, wet atmospheric river of rain descended upon us and melted all the snow. It has been raining for days and I would love to see some sun. The days are short enough without all this. Perhaps that is why I spent some time looking online for a house in Florida. I promised my favorite agent in Florida, Maureen Nightingale, that I would wait until after the first of the year. I found a house a couple days before Christmas and Regis and Maureen scrambled to go see it. Regis is in a slip in St. Augustine at the moment. I got the all clear from several friends it was a good place to be and Regis saw “no reason not to buy the house.” That is a stunning endorsement from him. Long story short, made an offer that was accepted and we will have a house in Florida by the end of January.

There are complications at this end which means I am not sure when I will get to Florida, but Regis will have a place to stay with no furniture if he likes. I’m not looking forward to traveling 3,000 miles in the winter with me and two collies by myself. I plan to unload the motorhome and one car at this end, so hotels it is and Fido.com will be my best travel friend.

Back to the krakens: Everything has been healing well and the only problem is that Clover got razor burn where they shaved her leg to put the IV. It has been driving her nuts. I have been putting gauze on it to keep her from licking but she, of course, keeps removing it. Jason, my son, showed me a trick to tie the ends in a knot and it has been successful. I continue to sleep with them upstairs with me on the couch. They can stick their wet noses into my neck easily. Last night, Clover would not stop doing that. She also kept digging incessantly at her bed. I got so tired, I went downstairs, opened the doggy door, and went to bed where she could not reach me. She kept digging at her dog bed. I thought she had a screw loose. It took too long to dawn on me, her leg itched. I got some anti-itch medication and put it on her leg and re-wrapped it and she was fine until morning. Poor girl.

Yet, not poor girl. Occasionally, Clover decides that Raven is not allowed to eat. He accepts his fate and will not eat if she won’t let him near the bowl. She did it today and I had to separate them and caught her nastiness on camera. What’s up with that? He would do anything to protect her and she won’t let him eat?

As I was returning to the house today after wiring money for the new house, I saw the most beautiful stag I have ever seen a house away from mine. He not only had a beautiful rack but there were lovely white markings on his face. I desperately want to see him again.

For my Florida friends, the house we are purchasing is in St. Augustine Shores.

Back With the Krakens

Snow in Bremerton.

I have been thoroughly enjoying my reunion with the krakens. Jason and Dan were amazing in taking care of them. The krakens spent one month as Seattleites and have come back a little calmer. I have been walking them regularly with a collar, no harness.

Yesterday, I got my first snow in almost a decade. Way cool, but a little scary too. There is ice under the snow. If it was only snow, that would be fine. It is beautiful.

Last night, Clover was whimpering to go out through the doggy door but would not go. I thought she might not like the snow but did not understand since there are several pictures of her with snow in Seattle. I opened the slider for her and she would not go. I did not know what was wrong. I went to sleep and woke up with Clover outside but not willing to come back in. I did not know what was wrong but eventually realized that the broom that I keep on the back deck was lying down in front of the doggy door. It occurred to me it must have fallen down when she was going through the door and she was not in a good place. I removed the broom and all was well.

Clover seems to be going through a scary time. She is exhibiting fear in situations that she handled well before. I think it comes along with being a teenager, but I hope she overcomes her concerns.

Raven, who was a well behaved guy at the door to the garage, has regressed. Both dogs know they cannot come through the door without permission. I was loading things in the car and was going back and forth in the house leaving the door open. I told the dogs to stay when going to the car. While at the car, I turned to see my beautiful Raven standing next to the car. Fortunately, he did not come out to run away. But, he did not stay like he was told. Clover was standing in the doorway doing as told.

Nevertheless, the pups are amazing and behaving well and own my heart. They are beautiful.

Tomorrow, the dogs are getting neutered and spayed. Ouch. I love our vet and know they are in good hands, but I feel for them anyway. Life will be easier with them fixed. I am happy to get this done.

Raven loves to chew. He is a handsome guy.
Clover, a precious little girl.

Boat work = time warp?

Linda flew back to Washington two days ago and I used the rental car to the fullest. I was running here and there picking up bits and bobs for a couple of boat projects I want to do after leaving this marina.

As a Cold front was coming through today causing off and on rain, I started a project to keep me occupied for an hour or so. In a previous post we talked about the anchor alarm and it’s propensity to be inaccurate. (see post here). My hopeful solution was to install a dedicated GPS antenna and not rely on the built in one on the anchor alarm. Everything I had read pointed to this being the correct solution. My plan was to lay out the antenna, connect it, test for workability, and then install it nice and neat. Shouldn’t take more than an hour right? The testing part worked fine, getting it installed nice and neat took some work. There are wires running everywhere on the boat. They have dedicated places to run through to keep everything simple. Run a new wire through the pathway and boom done. Well…

I had found an old abandoned wire I could use to pull the new wire through the pathway. I taped the new and old wire together and started pulling. It only had to go about 20 inches (50 cm) through the ceiling but about half way it stopped. I thought the two wires taped together where too thick. I tried to pull it back but it would not move. I was stuck. Could not go forward and could not go back. Only one thing to do now, Take the ceiling apart.

Lucky for me this is a old boat, everything was built to be modular and accessible. If this has been a newer boat everything may have been molded into place with no hope of access. I set to the task of removing the ceiling panels and the overhead dash panel so I could get my hands in and work the wire free. Once everything was apart and the new wire run, it was just a matter of re-installing the ceiling panels and dash with about 30 screws.

And that’s how a 1 hour project turns into a 4 hour ordeal.

All nice and neat again.

The antenna works great.

This is after about two hours. there are no trails, unlike before when it would show the boat moving in a 20 by 30 foot box while tied to the dock.

Gift of the days…

Shortly after we starting RVing we came to understand things don’t always go to plan. Many times we would set off for the days adventure only to get shot down by one thing or another. During those times, more often than not, we would stumble upon something just as nice or better than that we were looking for. We started calling it “the gift of the day”. We have highlighted these in some of our posts.

After completing the 19 day adventure of moving the boat from Pensacola, fl to St. Augustine fl. I would like to highlight my gift from those days.

My wife Linda.

Linda has been determined to try and help me, in some way, to get the boat into the a position so I can enjoy it and not just work on it. What it came down to was helping me move the boat. She knew it would be a commitment to spending at least 2 weeks on the boat. Possibly crossing the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico and with that a long overnight passage.

She was willing to do a lot of things I don’t think she would ever chose to do. She did it and I am proud of her.

She has been my “gift of the days” for this trip and indeed for the many years we have been together.

Camachee Cove

Grand prize winner of St Augustine Boat Parade.

We had to move from the St. Augustine Municipal Marina at 11:00 to the Camachee Cove Marina no sooner than 12:00. It is within 3 miles. We had to get through the Lions Bridge drawbridge and arrived there within 10 minutes of the scheduled opening. There were three southbound boats ahead of us when the bridge opened. A large blue boat pushed ahead of us to the drawbridge, stopped, then held back. When the drawbridge opened, the three southbound boats went through and Regis squeezed past the blue boat and went through with the blue boat following close behind. We never heard it contact the bridge. As it went through, we heard the bridge operator admonish it and told it that it could possibly drop the bridge on top of the pretty boat for not letting the operator know it was going through. After getting through the bridge, the pretty blue boat passed us at high speed through a no wake zone. Really?

We tootled around the waterway looking for wildlife until we could enter the Camachee Cove marina. We arrived in our slip next to a boat with palm trees on the bow. It looked like one of Regis’ favorite boats in the St. Augustine Boat Parade the night before. It turns out to have been in the parade and won grand prize. The owners were aboard and let us take a picture of them with their trophies. I am embarrassed that in my excitement to meet them, I forgot to get their names.

Winners of the St. Augustine 2022 Boat Parade holding their trophies.

We went to dinner with some friends and when we came back, the winning boat was lighted up. We took a couple pictures and by the time we got settled in our boat, their lights went out.

Tomorrow, Regis and I will grab a rental car, run some errands, do the wash and then Regis will take me to the Orlando airport. It is 4 hours round trip, so I want to get out early enough that he gets back before dark. With everything we want to accomplish tomorrow, it will be tough to squeeze it all in, but we will.

I return to the krakens and Regis will move forward with his to do list of boat fixes. A wonderful friend is working on getting wood prepared for the new boat name. Regis will use the rental car to pick up supplies and boat parts and begin working on the many upgrades and fixes he has planned. Without a long-term slip, he will have to make do and move around or anchor as necessary. He plans to keep posting.

It has been amazing to meet up with several of my friends on this trip and I am touched that everyone was as happy to see me as I was to see them. I leave in great spirits having spent time with my friends and having survived this boat trip. I will miss Regis until I work out how to sync up as best we can considering I will not live on a boat. I am certain we will figure it out.

St Augustine Boat Parade

Night heron on the back of a boat in the St. Augustine Marina.

Since we were able to stay in the St. Augustine Municipal Marina for one more night, we got a view of the St. Augustine Boat Parade. The Bridge of Lions was between us and the parade, but we had good seats. A friend joined us and brought hot cider. I am glad we got to see it. We usually avoid large crowds and miss stuff like this. I asked Regis if we could reserve the boat for a viewing again next year, perhaps unobstructed by the bridge.

We mentioned in prior posts that we can hear sounds around the hull that remind of us Rice Krispies after milk is poured on them. We heard them in Sarasota and we started to hear them again as we came up the Atlantic coast. We are hearing them in St. Augustine. They are likely the sounds made by little shrimp as they snap their claw shut. Regis got a recording of the sounds. Be sure to turn the volume up.

We move to another marina where Regis has a spot until Friday. He plans to stock up and pick up parts for doing more boat work. It is chilly out and Regis is not comfortable. He may move back down south if it does not warm up.

I will get a ride to the airport tomorrow and see the krakens on Tuesday.

Kraken Friends

Clover and Raven.

I am looking forward to seeing the krakens on Tuesday. I hope they remember me. I am afraid they will have had so much fun dining out and spending evenings watching movies in front of the fireplace that they will miss Seattle. But I have more space for them. They have turned into goats with all the climbing and jumping off of rock walls. I have counted on them not trying to scale the rock wall in front of our house in order to keep them in the yard. Things may be different we when get home and the front yard may become off limits until they learn to stay in the yard and come, reliably, when called.

Clover and Raven.