Saturday, January 30, 2010

Tiller, George & Silas

Tiller seems to think everything is his. If I put a jacket down - an instant bed. If a neighbor comes for dinner ( Blair ) he jumps in their dingy. I just opened my computer case and he hopped right in it. I really don't need cat hair on everything !  While we've been here is Stuart we are more just living - call the boat a small cottage - so we are off the boat a lot. Tiller has been petty patient with all of this but he has started to meow and cause a ruckus in the neighborhood when we aren't on the boat.  If he sees someone else on their boat nearby apparently he has started meowing a lot.   Not like him.  So he is ready to leave Stuart as well. His wolrd is so much smaller on the boat than in our backyard and beyond in Maine.  He is far more famous here than he is in Bayside.  he will heel on a leash like a  dog  - I ( until I hurt my knee yesterday - yes the one that took 2 years to heal ) jog with him on the dock and can can get going pretty well.  He loves our neighbors dogs at home but it seems most of these boaters have dogs about Tiller's size or smaller - it's very confusing or maybe he is out of practice - he runs the other way.
    Tiller is far from the only boat cat around we here -we had dinner with our friend George and his parents last night. They have a little one year old cat - about 1/3 the size of Tiller - way more rambunctious and still straching - we are lucky Tiller never scratched anything but the sisel doormat we have so we cart tat from home to the boat and back again. 
George is really our nephew. you tell me - hmm that's Silas with his sister Molly in front of the cornfield - And here is George -  George is 17 and we are comparing him at that age. He has Silas's laugh - is tall and gangly - nice kid. he and I spend more time working in the lounge on our computers than anyone here - and George more than me - I'm doing rentals - he's doing physics.  What a great kid and disappointing there aren't any other kids out here even close to his age.  I introduced him to the i touch today - he has been way too deep in his studies for toys like that. His father cooked us an incredible shrimp/scallop dish last night - mmmm. We'll miss George - he has been a real bright spot in our trip here to Stuart and a good lesson as his family politics are opposite ours but that is the great thing about our democracy and the wonderful thing about being in the same boat  - I remember someone saying once we are all more alike than we are different. That might be a good one to think about today - So... Silas - know we have been thinking about you everyday - I'm not kidding being around this kid is being around you at the same age !

Thursday, January 28, 2010

More Winds - departure rescheduled

The tides aren't quite right - the winds are quite right - we would like to head to Lake Worth and then go outside to Ft. Lauderdale.  So we will sit in Stuart a bit longer. We find it hard as our new friends leave - the winds were right today for those going to the Bahamas - so our "neighbor" - as Il ilked ot call him - Blair on Oddisea XX  left today in a line of 3 boats.  There has been much chat about the entrance of this river now being to shallow for us to get out.  Blair's 46' Morgan draws 6 1/2 feet.  Not good when boat with 5 feet have been going aground. The photo is Don helping Blair go to the dock last week.  Blair's wife can't join him yet so he is alone on that long thing - Wow ! after he left this morning we have a whole new view of the opposite shore of the river.

Monday, January 25, 2010

More Winds - departure rescheduled

I'll finish that story below later today !

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A hero and a tragedy at sea

At 8:30 this morning we were enjoying our morning coffee out side when a "mayday mayday" came over the marine radio. This story ties into our fears about the older couple in our last post. The boat "Infinity" was in the St. Lucie River inlet - waves this morning were 6 feet on the ocean and the inlets gets all churned up with an out going tide and an east wind - very dangerous -waves, current, wind all opposing.  A boat had overturned with 2 persons onboard.
The captain of "Infinity" called the coast guard on channel 16 with  mayday and clear detail of the conditions, the 2 men in the water, his gps position and that he was circling to try to get to the swimmers.  The coast guard called back with a "pan pan". The difference being if life was in danger or not.  The end story is that we weren't 100% impressed with the coast guard on this one.The voices that come over the coast guard radio sound very young and at times with only a script to help them. They continually called the captain asking his position over again and the welfare of the capsize victims. The captain of "Infinity " did an amazing job of getting back on the radio , repeating his position and assessing the entire situation giving the coast guard enough detail so he could get back to the work of holding his boat in the churning water while trying to get a line to the men. It sounded like he had perhaps only one other person on his boat.At a time like this the radio goes silent so the rescue people can communicate.  The Martin County Sheriff's office, Tow Boat US, and the coast guard helicopter and boat all became part of the rescue.  After short bouts of silence the Coast Guard continually broke in with questions.  We could hear the captain at one point say" I am busy trying to get a line to these guys I think I have only one chance at it" and we could hear him shout to someone else to get the line out. Finally he broke in again and said he had them. We couldn't believe it - the waters were very tough and that inlet can have higher waves than the ocean under these rage conditions.  So now more ammunition for the Coast Guard to break in and ask question after question," Are you giving him CPR ?" " No I'm trying to navigate my boat through the inlet" - "Can you tell us his condition ?"- "No I'm trying to navigate my boat through the inlet ; one of the men looks in really bad shape." "How long will it take you to get to Shore?" and on and on - A few times the Martin County Sheriff's office broke in and said " He's busy " the Martin County SO was very professional and apparently came along side once they were into the river and tried to I think get a man on board or it was to get the man who was in real trouble off the fishing boat and onto the rescue boat - at any rate what they tried was not successful as the man was apparently quite large in size.  Even after the fishing boat captain got his boat to shore - the Coast Guard broke in to say "When will you be at the point? We have emergency vehicles standing by" The martin County SO broke in again and said - "We have this all under control - they are on shore and the captain is busy with his boat.  The captain finally came back to the CG and said "I think one of the men is dead. " Now the CG wanted him to remain against the sea wall at the state park so they could come (they had not yet arrived at the scene ) and ask him questions. The captain very clearly and adamantly gave his home slip information so they could come find him. Apparently his boat was being damaged by the wind and waves pushing it against the sea wall.  At this point we found out his name is Charles Burns.  It has taken me several days to finish this story as I had much business work to do and couldn't commit the time and battery power to my blog.  We found out form the newspaper that  the 2 men were 50 & 65 yrs old - they were not wearing life jackets - the 65 year man drowned and the other man was rescued and will be fine. They had been in a 20 foot fishing boat - a very sad and poor decision on that day with the winds so strong.  We had delayed our own travels due to the winds and our boat weighs 11 tons. Mr. burns owns a sport fishing business and had come back in early that day because one of his 3 clients was sea sick.  If he had not been there , had not been so experienced, cool headed and absolutely knew how to use his radio - loud and clear - the exact information needed to get help - both men would most likely had drowned.

It was so ironic to me that the very day before this happened we had the incident with the older couple who did not know how to use the radio to just call the marina - In danger of repeating myself - we do have  a lot of fun out here but it can be serious business as well.  it is not easy moving a boat - this floating thing - it can't stop on a dime - we are vulnerable to the elements. We are often alone, whom ever is aboard and the sea.

Charles Burns put a chill down my spine and gave me an incredible lesson. We pulled down the Chapman's piloting book and reviewed how to do a may-day and a pan pan - we reviewed proper radio speak and we talked about life jackets and decision making.  We find ourselves in Stuart, as much as we love it, longer than we planned. It's ok - it's only recreation. Thank you Charles Burns for the lessons you gave us and thank you for putting yourself out there - all the way- to save a life and those of us who heard you on the radio know you and your crew gave your absolute best effort under lousy circumstances to save 2 lives. It wasn't until the rescued men were off his boat that he even worried about his own property getting damaged. Our hearts go out to the Cozzi family who lost a husband and a father. Mr Cossi had served in the Air Force and was enjoying his retirement from IBM in Florida. So to our fellow boater please do not let Mr Cozzi's death go unnoticed and let's take the lessons learned from this incident forward on our travels whether it's just fishing for a day or cruising for a life time.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Boat Handling

With strong winds and lots of waves I hung onto the rub rails of our little "fatty knees" dingy as  Don navigated us back out to our boat. the last thing on God's earth I want to do is fall in this water. We are nearly the furthest mooring form the marina so our boat ride is 10 - 15 minutes each way.   I could see a huge boat that looked like it was on top of ours from the distance. As we got closer we could see this 48 foot boat trying to pick up the mooring next us.  Our neighbor, Blair was in his dingy trying to help them by looping their line through the mooring  - Don and I got up on to our boat and couldn't believe the size of this boat now just feet away from us, the captain clearly not able to skillfully handle the boat. As Blair looped the line the captain immediately put his boat in revers at about 5 knots  - WAY to fast - then he would go forward fast again right towards Blair. Oh dear - it is difficult in a heavy wind  - there were 2 questions - why is this huge boat on the mooring next to us? Why do these inexperienced people have such a big boat? The marina has the moorings organized so that when we swing if there is no wind to pull us back we won't hit each other - the 30 - 36 ' boats in one line   the 36' - 42' in another line and so forth.  Blair finally go them on the mooring and stopped by our boat. Apparently we had missed some of the frightening boat handling of this older couple on a million dollar yacht. The wife was frightened and didn't know what to do. They had onwed the boat 2 days. Ironically Chapman's piloting school is right here in Stuart .

Don called out and asked them to try to  pull the slack out of the mooring line but we could still see this boat was going to be terribly close to us.  I suggested we call the marina on the phone - we did and they confirmed the captain was on the wrong mooring.  We have marine radios. Channel 16 is hailing and distress station only. you call the marina on 16 and he will answer and get you to switch stations leaving channel 16 open for emergencies. When the marina called back to this captain he said go to 69 - so the captain went to mooring # 69.  After our phone call we could hear the marina calling the boat and they did not know how to use their radio - Don had to go on the bow and shout to them that they were being called on 16 and then to change to 69. So.... now - the wind still howling - they have to move - Blair went out yet again in  his dingy and we swear this captain nearly killed him.  He would race up to the mooring ball - the minute Blair had it looped he would race in reverse not giving his wife a chance to cleat the line.  Blair fell and nearly went overboard - he finally had to shout at them instructions of what to do.  This is all frightening and worth blogging about because we have a lot of fun out here but handling a boat is serious business. People can get very hurt, property can be unnecessarily damaged. We all have a responsibility to know the rules of the road, to know how to use the radio. These floating things, large and small can be difficult to move, to park, to stop - it's not like a car - it takes practice and we have all had bad dock landings and we have all made mistakes but it frightens us all that these 2 older people are leaving today and heading for Texas.  They will go west through the Okochobee - they will learn a lot and we just hope the only thing they damage is their boat. ~~~~ As they were leaving this morning I heard Blair on the radio - I popped my head out to see them nearly on shore - Blair warning them that they were in very shallow water - oh my .... from the mooring to the channel is just a few hundred feet - off the go - So while I'm at it don't text and drive and please learn how to handle your boat and please observe no wake zones for all of us.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Wind, dead fish,work

Life continues to be busy here - I've spent 2 days holed up a the library getting my 45 1099 tax forms out to our cottage owners and cleaners.  Reservations are coming in a few a day - that is great ! I'm not getting it all done and haven't had time to blog. The elements play a large role in what we do every day. Always have to dingy to shore - The wind howled all night and has been blowing 20 - 25 all day today. WE had 2 days of calm and continue to be amazed a the dead fish.  The marina now smells - there are fish of all sizes dead from the cold water. We saw a huge fish someone said was a tarpin - I don't know but it was very fat and had the most gorgeous silver scales I ever saw.  It's been a  real devastation to the marine life here - our friend Carl now in Key Largo says the fish have died there as well. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Wow ! Life has been busy here - now time to move on.

As you can see from my posts( I mean lack of ), we have been very busy here. Bayside Rentals reservations have been coming in pretty well and it takes me a couple to several hours a day  - of course everything here takes longer as it's not as easy as just sitting at my desk at home.  I am often on my cell card which is like dial up.  If I work in the common lounge on shore there is much camaraderie and chat that I end up getting only the necessities done. We have met so many great friends we have had dinner either at the on shore pot lucks or on someone else s boat nearly every night and of course have had friends to our boat as well.  We feel like we got gypped out of about 2 weeks of our Stuart time with the weather. We have not been able to keep our promises to 3 sets of friends that we would take them sailing. We have not seen our shore friends nearly enough but we have developed wonderful friendships with a core group of cruisers who were here at Christmas.  Now many of them have moved on and we are planning our leaving as well. Unlike many we are not going to the Bahamas but are anxious to explore Ft. Lauderdale, Miami and the northern Keys by boat.  not an easy task as each day needs to be planned carefully so we have somewhere to tie up or drop anchor for the night. this gets trickier around the cities.  We hope to run off shore from Lake Worth to Ft. Lauderdale. That would bring us in the inlet called Port Everglades. The largest cruise ship and many others almost just like it dock there and go in and out that inlet - Yikes !!!!! It's felt sad to say good bye to Carl & Laura, Dick and Libby, LT and Sandy, Gail and Gary, and lots others. Hopefully we will find them "down the road". So we've started studying our charts, gathering information from our more experienced cruiser friends. We have a calm day today so Don has been fixing our broken stantion post and other necessities on board we thought would be repaired long ago.  We have cleaning to do, provisioning to think about and weather to watch. The St. Lucie River where we are has lowered in depth since our arrival. All those strong winter northerlies literally blew the water out of the St Lucie and the Indian River that houses the ICW.  Many people have gone aground the last week at the crossroads of the St. Lucie and the Indian. We will plan our departure for high tide ( only a foot of tide here ) and hope for the best. Sunday is our target date ut that can change in a heart beat. I couldn't resist another photo of Tiller in the dingy - he perches right up on the rub rail - the longer we stay the more famous he has become.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Jensen Beach

Ahhhhh..... you know I love a good craft show. Saturday we had fun going over to Jensen beach to an annual craft show with about 100 booths. It was really fun to see different art - Jensen Beach is right on the ICW and a funky little town with shops, galleries and Island music trying to lure us into the crab house.  These next photos are not of the show ` Libby made this gorgeous basket for our friends Rod and Doris. We had a great time on Sunday at our friend Doris and Rod's rental cottage again working on baskets.  Here are some photos of the beautiful basket Libby made for Doris. Practice , practice - these little buggers are really hard to make and Doris and I continue to have much frustration - we have both had to tear out and start anew.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Richie Havens

Stuart FL ~ We had the privilege to see this legend at the Lyric Theater in Stuart Fl. last night. The Lyric holds just 500 people. Not a bad seat in the house.The LYRIC THEATRE was built in 1925 as a silent movie house and was operated until the depression when it was closed and eventually sold. Over the next 50 years it was bought and sold to various concerns and used in a variety of manners. In 1987, a downtown redevelopment effort was underway. A group of community minded individuals saw the LYRIC THEATRE, situated in the heart of downtown, and realized there was an opportunity to save a historically significant structure, thus contributing to the redevelopment effort, as well as to provide a much needed location for various types of events presented to the community. This is our second show at the Lyric ~ wonderful that a few of these old theaters have been preserved.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


This is a really great community of  people. Who are we meeting while living on our sailboat for the winter? Young, old, (mostly middle aged ) , rich, poor and everything in between.  We don't generally know what many of our fellow boaters have done over their years of living and on any given day you can find almost any skill in the crowd.  We have needed help recently to fiberglass the hole in our dingy and to install some wifi antenna things on our computers.  It was not hard to find help. Carl was great in helping Don despite the cold weather get the dingy fixed and Niel is our books a computer genius. One recent afternoon there were 10 of us in the lounge working on computers. Niel helped nearly everyone ( Niel is in the red shirt ) with some little problem or another.  In the meant time we have a car here as most don't so Don has ferried people to get propane ( one of the hardest provisions to get on foot ) and to Wal-mart and many other places.  We have also occasionally just lent the car out.  We are strangers who became instant friends with a common goal that is more than to just get out of the cold.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The fish

The fish are literally dying around us and now the birds are circling overhead, dozens of birds, dozens of fish. It's so sad.  Florida is a beautiful natural wildlife sanctuary. That is - the spots that man and woman have not spoiled.  Even in some of the spoilage - where houses and condos plaster the waters edge - from our life afloat we still see amazing birds, sea turtles, manatee, dolphins and so much more.  To see the dead fish floating just feels so sad, how do these waters, how does the wildlife recover?  They already have to many things to fight with us polluting the water, over fishing and generally disregarding wetlands.   This morning we first noticed the birds - circling along the shore and this afternoon their numbers had grown.  I have been without news from the tv or newspaper but I am sure this must be a topic of conversation - a reminder how fragile our environment is.

Our dingy - notice the hole covered with gorilla tape - I chose to ask the neighbor for a ride to shore this morning !  Don and Carl spent a good part of the afternoon working on a fix, taking the baler out and fiberglassing over it - Warmer air would be better for a bond but i am trusting they know what they are doing and Carl said his epoxy was cold set so we can only keep our fingers crossed.  A hole in the boat is a serious issue ! :) ~~~_/) ~~~

Sunday, January 10, 2010

30 degrees last Night the Florida fish are dying.

We bounced all night again with winds 15 - 20 knots and now mid day they are blowing 20-25 - so for the second day in a row we go no where. the wind chill is in the 20's - our neighbors Carl and Laura jsut stopped by to see if we needed anything they are off to the movies - we'l stay hunkered down - have everything we need aboard. Don braved the cold, put a double tie on our mooring so we could rest easier and started the generator so we have an hour or so of computer time. We had a wonderful dinner here last night with Carl and Laura who appreciated the good food and cheer must most of all out heat ! -I'm off to curl up with a good book. :)

This cold - more than record breaking here in Florida is killing some of the marine life.  The cold sinks to the bottom in small lagoons, up in Vero in the anchorage Dick and Libby can see the bottom and it is littered with dead fish. Very sad state this environment of ours seems to be in.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Basket, Storms, Dingy,

Here is the finished pine needle basket I made. The first sewing project of my life though as I write this I think that is not true. In 8th grade I took home ec and we sewed something - I can't remember what it was. I do remember cooking in that class and my mother coming to dinner as part of the class but more than that I remember what the shop looked like. The boys got to take shop - I had to take home ec. All the tools - that is what I really would have liked to do - But who knows perhaps 8th grade home ec gave me some of my love of crafts. I sooner think it was my mother and me making sequined Christmas ornaments when i was a kid. My family still has some of these old, tired and a little squashed styrofoam balls covered with hundreds of push pins, one sequin per pin, carefully pushed into the ball and overlapped like fish scales.Very fancy.    The shape and size sort of made themselves - Unfortunately Libby who helped us learn this craft had to go back to Vero before I could get more instruction. I am going to try to sweep the next basket out more instead of having the sides come straight up.                We won't be going anywhere today - our dingy has a hole in it. It always has - a self baler - a problem waiting to happen - my father will appreciate that as we had boats in the past with pesky self balers. I don't think there is one in the world that doesn't leak.  Ours has leaked for a while but yesterday when we got back from grocery shopping the water was over the floorboards and you could see it pouring in. Don got in and started to pump our hand held baleing pump - we loaded the groceries, pumped some more and went straight to the boat with the water just up tot he floor board,  It's scary because water weighs so much that with 2 of us in that smallboat if we got waked or slipped to one side - hmmm... we'd be nice and wet.  We hooked the dingy up to the halyards and raised it up onto the boat.  our neighbor, Allen from Nova Scotia who built his own boat over heard us talking to another neighbor who had stopped by to see Tiller - Allen came over and let Don know he has lots of fiberglass and know how. So when this storm blows by - it's again very windy , raining and about 40 degrees, they will pull the dingy up on shore, take out the baler - which has unattached itself from the bottom of the boat ( rusted ) - plug the hole with wood and fiberglass it.  I will feel so much better not running around with literally a hole in the boat just waiting to open.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Successful landing on dock

We made a soft landing on the dock this time to get our boat full with water, diesel and to have our head pumped out.  A week ago or so when we did the same we had a terrible time a the dock.  The dock here is very tricky with the posts on the outside of the dock without ANY padding on them what so ever.  There is a lot of current here and I have already mentioned the sport boats that zoom by creating a hellish wake.  We can not for the life of us figure out why the channel that goes by this anchorage with 69 boats, and docks with at least that many more is not a No Wake zone. 6 years Don has been handling this boat in all kinds of conditions and last week was the first time we have done any damage to the boat.  We took a chunk out of the cap rail. It's only a boat but upsetting at the same time.  This time we got up very early in the morning ans we know tomorrow is going to be more wind, rain and cold and the forecast for today was calmer and sun.  Slack tide was at 8:30 so we were on the dock by 8:00 - we had just one sport boat wake us unnecessarily - after he did we saw him for 10 minutes waiting for the bridge to open - was it worth pushing and pushing our boat into the dock?  We have wonderful friends who are Floridians but we have to say we have never seen such boat antics and frightening automobile drivers as here in Florida.  Quite a few of the boaters ave commented that no one will stop even when you are in the cross walk here - that was our experience 2 years ago as well.  Ahh... enough of that - it's a beautiful day - the sailors are upbeat - we've got our supplies and don't care if we are hunkered down tomorrow - we have our generator to give us power to run the computer for a while. We have books to read and games to play - Our friends Carl and Laura will come over for dinner - so another great day on the water  - I wouldn't be saying that if we didn't have heat in our boat ! 


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Florida heat

Another really nice thing about the cold is that the Floridians are way too busy trying to figure out how to get their heat from the ceiling mounted heater down to the floor to be out in their boats.  In this river we regularly get waked by motorboats speeding back and forth - other than wind driven waves it's been very calm.

After a trip to shore this morning I feel like I'm in a ski resort.  Lots of attractive, athletic looking people bundled up in parkas with their faces to sun - milling around the lodge, drinking coffee and hot chocolate.

Independence ~ I finally started the dingy motor all by myself - now let's see if I can do it again ! I even made a perfect landing back at the boat - How do we lose all those skills we had as a kid?

Photos of our lounge where we have tv and computer access -

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Florida has record lows

Another cold and windy night - about 4 AM the wind really kicked up -when it does we bounce - we are in the St. Lucie River and it is quite wide open at the anchorage - yesterday there were actually white caps.  This means any travel in the dingy and we get a litte wet especially me - of course because I'm up front ! The good thing about it being in the high 20's last night - low 20's with the wind chill - the chocolate I have on board is not in danger of melting. The unfortunate thing is that we are not getting work done on the boat that is necessary and part of the reason we are parked in Stuart.  My reservations for Bayside Rentals have picked up and it is nice to not be travelling - just much easier to keep everything organized.

Tiller has developed some kind of wound that we are keeping our eye on - we htink while we were paying witht he super ball ( one of our gretest nightime entertainments ) that he whacked himself. We are hoping that is all it is.

I've been working on my pine needle basket. We've continue to meet a great bunch of people and had dinner with Carl and Laura from Sweden who have travelled the world. Very fun to hear traveller stories.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


On Sunday we went to a free Jazz concert on the waterfront right in downtown Stuart – they have a beautiful boardwalk on the St. Lucie River.  The one disadvantage on a cold windy winter day is that the seating faces north – usually an advantage for a warm Florida day.  It was so cold and windy – out of the north. I had on wool sock, jeans ( Lon those 50 cent jeans from the tag sale are great ! , a long sleeve t, a thick zip up shirt, windproof vest and my parka. What I didn’t have was hat and gloves.  We got chilled to the bone but the music was great and the atmosphere festive.  During the break we went the block to town and grabbed a cup of chili at the in town diner then back for another set of music. We were about the most bundled up people there – I can’t imagine keeping my flip flops on when it’s that cold. Floridians think a hooded sweater is a jacket ! Most dress for fashion – no one in this anchorage is dressing for fashion – believe me !

Yesterday we ran errands and stopped at a diner for lunch – you must think we are diner hopping – a guy sat next to us – asked us if we were sailors – yes – “where are we from/” – Maine – he said – “Of course only sailors would have on such expensive jackets.”  He looked like a yacht broker – you know – like an insurance salesman but somehow more yachty – We chuckled – my Northface parka was $35.00 at the outlet in Freeport and Don’s Vicking foul weather gear 100% waterproof jacket from Hamilton marine in Searsport was $55.00. I guarantee the guy’s shoes were a lot pricier than that !

At least when it’s cold out I can think, I’m more apt to get exercise  we burn more calories in the cold from shivering – what I really don’t like is the heat !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:) (photo is of the river front stage )

Monday, January 4, 2010

Paradise turned chilly - 35 outside - 48 inside

Another windy cold night. We do have heat on board but we don't leave it running while we sleep.  Though we are happy to report our heater is working flawlessly this year. Those who have followed our travels may recall right from the start we had so many problems with  the heater - turned out to be a faulty regulator - 2 fall trips, a couple of diesel spills in the boat, a fume filled boat that almost kept us from ever waking up again  and many calls and emails to Dickinson - we solved the problem. It's funny because my friend Amy recently noted we didn't look as cold in the photos as we have at times remarked in our notes.  Part of that is that if we are cold and having to schlep everything we own into the dingy to get to shore - we often aren't carrying the camera.  The other piece is that though the Florida sun shines bright we are living in the weather . Camping - so the tent is real cold in the morning but with coffee and the campfire we warm up while the sun tires to warm the world.

Living in the weather has its bright side. Instead of being hunkered down avoiding the chill, the wind or the sun and the heat we are out and about.  We dress in layers if it's cold, but we feel alive, we have seen more sunsets, more moon rises, more birds, more sea life in our three boat trips than I have seen in the rest of my lifetime together.

That said this all a whole lot more fun when it's warmer out.  The lounge is completely full - a lot of boaters don't have any heat. It's hard to concentrate and answer my business email with so much activity around us.

We've been doing some work on the boat - Installing insulation around the inside of the fridge - a 2 hour job turned to 4 - but well worth it though with this cold our fridge isn't using as much battery anyway.  We have been organizing our cabinets - a different year as we didn't do the run down the eastern sea board - we just hopped aboard and started living.  Taking some time to get organized and do some repairs.  Tiller loves exploring cabinets as we organize. He's been pretty good though at times we have felt he may not be up to par - not sure if anything is really wrong or not - I don't think he is getting to land as much as he likes.  Libby and Dick left the anchorage yesterday - had to head back to Vero for Dr appointments - Tiller will very much miss them as will we. he still loves his dingy rides and often hops in the dingy the moment we get back to the boat.