Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Laundry Day!

Bittersweet day.  Six sailboats left this morning.  We have been becoming friends over the last five days while waiting for a weather window.  With group cookouts, boat parties and conch hunting, we all had become best buds but the breakup finally came.  Winds and waves decreased and it was time for the travelers to move on.

Our friends off to the Berry Islands

We had another day snorkeling in the search of the elusive blue sea glass.  Walking along the shore on the way to Nathan's Bakery we did see a very large ray about 100 yards off the beach.   Other marina boat people reported the "swim by" of the local 8 foot bull shark this afternoon.

There is a laundromat (2 washers and dryers)  a short 15 minute walk from here but in addition to being expensive ($11 for one load - wash and dry) you are in competition for the machines with the ladies who do laundry for hire.  We washed laundry in a bucket on the dock and hung it on life lines to dry.

Bob rinsing laundry.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Another day picking


Going to the beach every day is now the norm.   Bob swims and I collect yet more shells as there are new ones with every high tide.
Back at K2F Bob found a fellow banjo player on the boat next door, so he and Rick spent the rest of the morning discussing music, frets, and playing together.

Rick showing Bob a new song

Winds are much less today and most of the sailboats are talking of heading out tomorrow.  The east wind is making it difficult as most people want to go east from here.  We have made a lot of good friends here so it is bittersweet to know so many will be gone tomorrow.  At least 4 sailboats are planning a 6am leave time.

It is finally time for the “Things To Do Tomorrow” list which for today meant “Find the dinghy leak.” After going over the seams several times Bob took off the motor so we could better inspect the bottom.  Still no luck until I heard a slight hiss.  We had a hole on the inside of the tube.  The cause – a conch shell we brought back from Conch Island had punctured the hypalon.  Butch had told us that the conch shell is the 5th hardest material in the world and we know for sure that it is harder, or at least sharper, than Zodiacs hypalon boats.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Dinghy Surprise and Cocktails

At 6:30am we were on the sailboat Honu listening to the forecast by Chris Parker.  Honu was trying to decide whether to shove off tomorrow or change directions to make it possible to go somewhere other than here.  They wanted to get some sailing in as all four people on board had finite time limits before returning to work.  They will be one of the few leaving on Tuesday as most of the sailboats will wait for better weather on Wednesday. 

Bob got in his morning beach run and dip in the ocean all alone this morning while I hung around the boat, answered emails, etc.  

The sun was out today!  Temperature was in the 80’s which was much nicer than the last few days of 70, overcast and windy.  It’s still windy of course.  Ed and Maureen from Manatee went at low tide and collected three large conchs.  We took the dinghy out to the island across the channel just after low tide.  The island is so covered in conch shells, all harvested, that I called it Conch Shell Island.  Then we ran up the harbor to the resort and back and discovered that one pontoon of our dinghy was leaking air.  After a filling it still leaked so it will be put on the list for “Things to do Tomorrow.”

We hosted an appetizer night at 5:15pm for all the boats and got a pretty good crowd and some fantastic food.  Summer sausage is an item we need to add to the cruising list.  Maureen and Ed brought their freshly caught, deshelled and chopped conch salad.  Some people left to attend the 6:00pm  Christmas Tree Lighting in front of the police station but some stayed on into the evening.  Reports were that the Tree Lighting was on “Island Time” and by 7:30 had still not happened.  About 150 people were in attendance and having a great time singing and otherwise making merry with each school grade 2nd through 6th having a turn.  It was reported to be terribly disorganized but everyone was having fun which is the point of it all.  

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Icecream, finally!


Another day at the beach in the morning and pancakes at CJ’s.  Bisquick pancakes and Log Cabin syrup but they tasted good eating them at a picnic table on the beach.  All the stores were closed today so we lazed around on the boat wherever we could find a sunny spot out of the wind.  The ice cream truck drove by and Bob chased it down so we could each enjoy an ice cream sandwich.  In the evening we visited Bill and Francine’s boat Honu, Hawaiian name for sea turtle, as Francine is Hawaiian or is at least physically from there.  As for the genetics part she described herself as a genuine mutt with Hawaiian, Chinese, Mongolian and some other part which I forget. 

Bill and Francine enjoying cocktails on K2F

They are both in the movie/TV business as a cameraman and a producer.  They also have a very nice 44 foot sailboat and are traveling with another couple, Mark (retired Air Force and now civilian employee) and Alice (elementary school teacher).   Ed from Montreal joined us and we topped off the evening with carrot cake from Trader Joe’s, complements of Francine and Bill!