Saturday, June 30, 2012

105* and Living Aboard With Dogs

As any of you pet owners will attest, living with pets is both fulfilling and work.   Living aboard a boat with pets is even more work, and challenging.   Generally, boats are much small than houses.  If our boat was a rectangular box (Which it is not.  That would be dumb) it would be less than 1,400 square feet (46 feet long by 15 foot beam).   Eliminating the pointy parts, the side and aft decks, and the engine room, we're probably living in about  600 square feet.   Now, that's small by any standards.  Now figure in three people, three dogs, a cat and a kitten and you have a ridiculous scenario.   Which is probably why many of you read this blog.

Yesterday was a hot one, for sure.

It was 105 degrees and with the humidity the heat index was 133.  I kept the critters, and myself, indoors for most of the day.  It's coolest down below in the master stateroom, so I parked myself there.  I was soon joined by Chevy, who was followed by his adoring fan, Olivia.  Eventually Ruby and Gertie the cat ventured in, and we were all stuffed onto and around the bed.

I try to handle the four week old kitten as much as I can.  I heard once that it's important to do so.

Chevy the Ferocious Pitbull was very leery of the kitten, which rolled over on it's (don't know yet if it's a male or female) back so it was all fangs and claws to defend itself.   Chevy responded by hopping to the far side of the bed and barking like crazy.

But then, things settled down after I put the kitten back in its crate and all was quiet.

In the pic above, you can see how big three and a half month old Olivia is getting.

Late in the day, the Chevy and Ruby needed to get off the boat for their potty break (Olivia uses her astroturf piddle pad).  They went swimming to cool off, and later we stopped at the pavilion for happy hour.   No one was moving much.

Not even Jingles.

Today is supposed to be even hotter than yesterday.  So I will be even lazier and spend the entire day watching old TV reruns downstairs.

Friday, June 29, 2012

The People of Pot Luck

Yesterday was a hot one.

Here is today's forecast.

5-Day Forecast for Savannah, Georgia

Today:   Sunny,  High: 101 F,  Low: 76 F
Tomorrow: Sunny, High: 99 F, Low: 78 F
Sunday:  Partly Cloudy,  High: 98 F,  Low: 78 F
Monday:  Isolated Thunderstorms,  High: 95 F,  Low: 78 F
Tuesday: Isolated Thunderstorms, High: 92 F, Low: 76 F


Yesterday was also our last pot luck dinner at Isle of Hope Marina.  Maybe it's my imagination, but as I was sitting there taking in the company and comaraderie I thought everyone looked relaxed and stress free.  Is it the liveaboard life style?  Was it the good company and conversation?   Was it the wine?

Our dogs were part of the fun too.  Olivia decided she'd play hostess for Ruby and Chevy and made repeated trips down to the docks to fetch Oysters off the pilings for them.

Olivia, Megan's German Shorthair Pitbull Oyster Hound.

Do you know how hard oyster shells are?   And sharp?  Really, you can't make this stuff up.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Why Didn't Anyone Tell Me This?

5-Day Forecast for Savannah, Georgia

Today:   Sunny,  High: 93 F,  Low: 70 F
Tomorrow:  Sunny,  High: 99 F,  Low: 77 F
 Saturday:  Mostly Sunny,  High: 101 F,  Low: 78 F
 Sunday:  Partly Cloudy,  High: 98 F,  Low: 78 F
 Monday:  Partly Cloudy,  High: 98 F,  Low: 78 F

Our trawler park bakes in the hot Georgia sun, and our main saloon is like an oven, even with the A/C running full blast.   I think I'll be spending most of the upcoming days down below in the master stateroom where the A/C can keep the temps in the 70s.   Yes, watching old cowboy movies.

Tonight is potluck dinner night here at the marina.  I hope it cools down a bit by then.

I started both engines and spun the props on Drift Away yesterday.  I want to make sure everything is OK for our trip south.  Depending on the weather, we're thinking of leaving on July 3rd, arriving at Brunswick on July 4th.

Drift Away Pet News:

The four week old kitten had it's first meal not in a bottle.  It had to stand in the dish because it couldn't reach otherwise.

 The view from the bridge:

Thompson and his dog Bo are a stark contrast to the big expensive yacht.   Who's having more fun?   In other exciting Thompson news, he just got a part in a movie about the band Blondie.  He'll be playing the drummer.  Watch for him!

I found a home for this Force 10 stove.  I just have to get it to the UPS store.   Gump, I need your address.

Two deer on Burnt Pot Island watch Reel Play pass by.   They swim from Burnt Pot to Isle of Hope every evening to spend the night.  Fewer alligators in town, I guess.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ruminatin' from the Trawler Park

Yesterday was another rainy day here at the trawler park.  Pam's day didn't start off well.   She found a pile of puppy poo at the top of the stairs and then had to work all day, so I decided I needed to make dinner.  I borrowed a marina loaner car and hied myself to the Piggly Wiggly and buy the ingredients I needed to make Ruby Ann Boxcar's Sloppy Sloppy Joes, a recipe she got from Juanita Hix, Lot #9.  A pound of ground beef, an onion, a pepper, beef boulion, garlic, a can of corn, and a can of tomato soup.  Also buns and Kraft maccaroni and cheese.

I'm not much of a cook and I have a problem with timing.  I read the instructions on the mac and cheese and for the sloppy joes and figured out when I needed to do what.  I wanted everything to be ready at 6:15 when Pam would be getting home from work.   I started boiling the eight cups of water for the noodles at 5:30.   By 6 PM things were looking pretty good.

Bottom line, it all finished at the same time, just as Pam got home at 6:17.

I don't know much about cooking, but I've heard that presentation is everything.   I made sure it looked good.

Strangely,  Pam asked why there was a trash bag on the table.  This is right from Ruby Ann's cookbook;

"Trust me when I tell you if you serve this dish, you'll want to cover your table with plastic trash bags first!  This stuff lives up to its name!"

Since I always follow directions, I did.

I know.  MMmmmmmmmm!

After dinner, we relaxed on the aft deck with a fine box of wine and our dawgs.

Life can't get any better than this.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Rainy Day Blog Post

It rained yesterday and today, so I didn't do much and so really didn't have anything interesting to tell you.

That is, until this PIRATE SHIP passed by!

No really.   See?

Pretty exciting, huh?

OK OK, so it's not a real pirate ship.  It's all I got.  Right after he passed, it started raining again.

Monday, June 25, 2012

How to Make Boat Cards, and Why

We have a boat card.  If you're not a cruiser yet, you might even wonder what a boat card is.   Well, it's like a business card but with boat and crew info on it instead of corporate stuff.  Why have a boat card?   Well, because everyone else has one, that's why.

See?  These are some of the ones we've collected in the past few months.  Cruisers exchange boat cards.  It's what we do.  Exchange, as in they hand you theirs and you hand them yours.  If you don't have one to hand back, you'll get funny looks.  You'll be considered odd, and since cruisers are odd by definition, to be an odd cruiser is like being a geeky geek.  Big Bang Theory geeky geek.

I suppose the reason for having  a boat card is when, after anchoring your boat, you see "Wet Dream" anchored next to you.  You know these people!  You met them at the Isle of Hope Marina's potluck dinner, only you can't remember their names.  So you go to your stack of boat cards, shuffle through it and there it is.  Their names, their dog's name, cat's name, everything.  Saved! 

Yes, that's why cruisers have boat cards.  Poor memories.

Many cruisers have their boat cards printed by printing companies.  They look pretty slick, for sure.  Very professional.  We are not and do not.  Our crew seems to change too often for a run of a thousand and so I make ours myself.  It's an easy thing to do.  Here's how.

I have Windows 7 on my laptop.  It came with Microsoft Word Starter 2010.  I'm not sure exactly what Word Starter 2010 means other than they want me to pay them to buy the full featured version.   No.  This works fine, thanks.

The only tricky part for a non-geek is opening a template in Word Starter 2010, so if you don't know how just go to "help" and read about templates.  I use Avery Matte White Ink Jet Clean Edge Business Cards #8871, available everywhere.  The instructions on the package of Avery 8871 cards say to use template 8371, so I did.   It presented me with a screen where I could choose my background and type in Drift Away's information.  I filled out the first card and copy and pasted it into the other nine cards on the sheet.

We have a Hewlett Packard laser printer on the boat.  HP laser printers are the best on the planet, by the way.  I wouldn't touch anything else HP makes with a ten foot pole, but I love their laser printers.  It's only black and white, but that's fine by me.  I took my laptop down to the jun... store room and printed off a few sheets.

It is then a simple matter of breaking off the trim around the edges by bending it...

and then snapping off the cards.

As our crew changes, so too does our boat cards.  The latest version includes Pamela and me, and our daughter Megan.   And also Chevy and Ruby the Pitbulls, Olivia our German Shorthair Pitbull, and Gertie the cat.  "It" the kitten is not on the boat card because "It" isn't a crew member, only a passenger until we deliver her to Pam's mom in July.  Include your boat's name, cell phone numbers, email addresses, and your blog's URL. 

Yes, surely you'll have a blog, with really good photos.  I need something to read in the home that Pam puts me in.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Bring a Kitten to Happy Hour

First, I'd like to give a big thumbs up to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, and in particular Ranger Bryson. 

I had sent in the paperwork to get the Whaler registered here in Georgia over a month ago.   I hadn't heard anything so I called DNR.   The lady that answered said there was a hold up because the hull ID number on the old Whaler didn't fit their format, which changed in 1972.   I guess that means that the Whaler is older than that.  It would have to be inspected by a DNR ranger. 

Not having a trailer made it impossible for me to bring the boat to them, so they went out of their way and came to the marina.  They gave the Whaler a new hull ID number and even gave me a registration number.  Thanks Mr. Bryson!

Happy hour rolled around yesterday at the same time as the kitten feeding.  Pam brought "it" (we're not naming it) up to the marina pavilion where "it" was a big hit.  See for yourself.

First was Paula...

Then it was Jeffrey's turn...

and then Suzette...

and then back to Pamela for another feeding.


A fun happy three hours followed by a perfect sunset.

Another perfect Isle of Hope Day.  I wonder what the poor people did?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

the Black Duck R&D Center Goes Undercover!

The Drift Away crew is planning a trip back home to upstate New York in July.   Part of the travel will be to Westport Connecticut, home of the Black Duck R&D Center, for a long overdue employee meeting.   We were planning the trip in May, but Kent (head of R&D of the Navi-Nut Corporation) said not to come yet.  He said he needed some time to prepare for our arrival.  Why, I dunno, but I trust Kent's judgement.

As you all know, there are corporate spies everywhere.    Kent, Kurt, and LI Boat Guy, a few of our key people, said that they decided they needed to disguise our R&D Center, and it will be ready for our arrival.   Are you ready for this?  I think it's brilliant.

That's right!  They've disguised the R&D Center as a pub and restaurant!  Perfect!   Complete with t-shirts and everything!   Sure, it cost a small fortune, but what a great way to outwit the competition!

As an added surprise, Kent sent us a camouflaged bag of brand new edible navi-nuts.   This model, version 5, comes complete with barnacles on the hull, and like version 4, closely resembles a boat's hull with a bow, a stern, and a rounded bottom. 

The best part of all is how Kent and the guys faked out the competition by disguising the bag as "Trader Joe's Sesame Honey Almonds"!   LOL!  I LOVE IT! 

I know what you're thinking.   You're thinking "That's wonderful, Dave, but technology like that must be very expensive."   Well, admittedly, yes it is, but I need to recoup some of my hefty investment in our R&D.   Kent is very sensitive to our money issue though and often asks if we have any money left.   What a considerate guy.

We'll wring the bugs out of the Navi-Nut (patent pending) on our July trip south from Isle of Hope to Brunswick, Georgia and make a full report.