Friday, August 31, 2012

Living the Good Life

Yup. This pretty much sums it up.

When the temps get over 90 degrees, its too dang hot to do much of anything here in Georgia.  As a result, when not taking the dogs to Jekyll Island to swim,  we do pretty much what Ruby is doing in the above photo.   Well, I'm usually sitting at my laptop solving the world's problems by giving people my welcome and sage advice on Al Gore's internets message boards, or reading a book, or watching old westerns on TV.  Pam plays Angry Birds on her iPad.

Did I mention that I'm reading a book?   Its called "Living the Good Life; How to Live Sanely and Simply in a Troubled World", written by Helen and Scott Nearing and first published in 1954.   The Nearings moved from New York City to a small run down farm in 1932, the height of the Depression.  It seems that being a vocal communist anti-war college professor didn't set too well with some of the folks down there, so they decided to change course and move.   Scott was 49 and Helen was 28.

The Nearings decided to live as self-sufficiently as they could.  They built their own home and outbuildings using stone from their own land using the Flagg Method (forms and stones and concrete).   They grew most of their own food and bartered maple syrup and other crops to get what they couldn't grow.   They didn't keep animals, and grew organic vegetables. 

After making their Vermont farm a success and living independently for many years,  they decided to move to Maine.  Scott didn't like the new Stratton Mountain ski resort being built nearby.   The Nearings had purchased their farm and subsequent farms for $2,200, but with all the improvements they had made and the new ski resort driving up land prices, their farm was then worth $6 million (in today's dollars).   The Nearings were a different kind of folk.  They didn't believe in making profits from their work.  Scott kept detailed records, and when building and selling a stone house, for example, he would price it at the cost of materials plus their labor at local rates.  so instead of selling their land for $6 million, they donated their 600 acre Forest Farm to the town to be used as a town forest.  Yep.  Gave it away.

Not surprisingly, this book is often credited with being the inspiration for the hippy communes of the 1960s and 70s.

One toke over the line, sweet Jesus...

I guess their chosen lifestyle worked.   Helen passed away in 1995 at the age of 91, and Scott died in 1983 at the age of 100.   I wonder if Willard read his name on the Today Show?   If he did, Scott wouldn't know.   He didn't own a TV.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Back to Jekyll Island

Jekyll Island has quickly become one of our favorite places.   Its just a short drive from Brunswick and we decided to take the dogs there again to swim and play, something they enjoy and we enjoy as it tires them out real good.   There is a $6 per car "parking fee", but we decided to spring for the $45 annual pass.

Jekyll Island is a Georgia state park, but not part of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.  It is operated by the  Jekyll Island Authority who is responsible for the development and conservation of the island.  It gets its operating revenue from park fees and leases.  Besides its beaches, Jekyll Island has several hotels, a marina, golf course, water park, sea turtle center, shops, campground, hiking and biking trails, horseback riding, a museum, and a fishing pier.

Yesterday was a warm, humid, overcast day, just like every day here.  Although not good for photography, I took my camera along anyway.  Always, always, always, always bring the camera.

As you can see, the place was pretty much empty, being mid-week.  This is the eastern beach which faces the Atlantic Ocean.

Olivia bounded through the water like a gazelle through the veld.   She was after Chevy and Ruby, no doubt to torment them like she does on the boat.
The tables turned.
Since the sport seemed to be "let's get even with Olivia by drowning her" we decided to take a walk.

We took a drive down the road that goes to the fishing pier and the beach on the north end of the island.

Fishing pier.  The lines hanging straight down are to catch crabs.
Driftwood on the north beach.

Pam picked up a small piece of driftwood.  To Ruby, Pam picked up a stick.  Throw the stick momma, throw the stick!
Pit bulls love to wrestle.   Here, Chevy is ready to pounce on Ruby, while Olivia runs in circles around Chevy.
Chevy gets set, while Olivia circles...
Olivia's timing couldn't have been worse.   Chevy sprung just as Olivia was jumping over his head.
Thunderstorms are a daily occurrence here.  Looking north towards St. Simons Island, you can see a thunderhead building.
One of the nature trails.
We stopped by the horse rental place to pick up some information.  Maybe we'll go riding one day.

Last night, after the afternoon at Jekyll, we attended the Wednesday happy hour.  Two weeks ago it was just us and Rod and Patty, but last night there was a couple of dozen people there.   There was plenty of snacks and the good company of other cruisers and liveaboards, most of whom will be heading south after hurricane season with plans to head to the Bahamas. 

As for us, that's planning too far ahead.  I haven't even started thinking about lunch yet let alone where to spend the winter.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Another Sunset on the Marsh

Sorry about the late blog post.  We went to Jekyll Island again, took lots of pics which I'll post tomorrow.

Meanwhile, since you came all the way over here, here is another Brunswick sunset for you.

Nope, not photoshopped at all.  That's just how it is.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

One Toke Over the Line

This post isn't related to cruising, really, but bear with me.  

Most people out cruising full time are now baby boomers.  No, I don't have any facts to back that statement up, but I'm guessing its true. 

Do you remember when you were a kid and the old folks listened to Lawrence Welk?   Stick with me here.

People my age, 60 and over listened to music from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Rock and roll and folk music, and a blend of the two.  Much of the music was anti-establishment.  It was about war, it was about peace and love, and it was about drugs.

Reading my Facebook page this morning, there was a YouTube link to "One Toke Over the Line" by Brewer and Shipley, a great tune from 1971.   I loved that song, but what got me was that I  thought the words were "one toe over the line".   LOL!  I couldn't hear even back then.

Anyway, what I usually do when confronted with something contrary to what I thought I knew was that I googled the lyrics and their meaning.   According to, Brewer and Shipley wrote the song while in a dressing room at a coffee house.  It was a song about excess, overdosing on weed in this case, or being "one toke over the line".

Here is a snip of some of the lyrics...

One toke over the line sweet Jesus
One toke over the line
Sittin' downtown in a railway station
One toke over the line

Awaitin' for the train that goes home, sweet Mary
Hopin' that the train is on time
Sittin' downtown in a railway station
One toke over the line

Now here is the funny part.  Gail and Dale sang this song on the Lawrence Welk Show.

Lawrence Welk - "And there you've heard a modern spiritual by Gail and Dale." And here is the original version by Brewer & Shipley...
No, I know its not cruising related, or liveaboard related.   Its just a flashback to my youth.   One toke over the line, indeed.  I wonder what Lawrence thought when someone told him?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Jekyll Island Beaches are For the Dogs, in Pictures

We're here in Georgia's Golden Isles, which consist of Jekyll Island, St. Simon's Island, Little St. Simon's Island, Sea Island, and the city of Brunswick.  This is an upscale touristy area because of its climate.   January lows are in the 40s, and the summer highs in the 90s.  The Jekyll Island Club was formed and, limiting membership to 100, was once the exclusive playground of the ubber-wealthy.  Golf courses abound.  Sea Island is the most expensive place to buy a home in the Golden Isles with prices averaging over $3 million.

Jekyll Island is owned and operated by the state of Georgia under the Jekyll Island Authority, a self-sustaining entity.  The daily entrance fee is $6. 

Jekyll Island has a shopping area, a waterslide park, and many nature trails and bike paths.  But the big attractions here, to us, is Jekyll Island's beaches.   Dogs are welcome, off leash.  So yesterday we loaded the dogs into the Tacoma and hied ourselves off to Jeckyll. 

The weather was clear and warm, but the breeze was up to keep us cool.   The breeze also had the surf up.  How would our dogs deal with surf?  They've never seen surf and have only swum in calm water. 

Here is the day, in photos. Lots of photos.

The Great Dunes bath house and pavilion.
The great dunes.

We walked them on leashes until we got to a place with not too many people.

Surf's up!

A couple relaxing and reading on the beach.

Ruby found a kid to play with!


Even the puppy enjoyed the beach, salt water, and waves!

Ruby needed to "rescue" the swimmers by chasing them out of the water.
She even tried to swim out to "rescue" this guy, but the waves kept pushing her back to the beach.

So she had to content herself with drowning Olivia.
Payback is a bitch. Hey! I wonder if that's where that phrase came from?

Pamela gets pooped by a wave.

There is no greater joy than a dog running on a beach.

The poor horseshoe crab was dead.  Chevy was sad.

The screen and stakes indicate a Loggerhead Turtle nest.
All good things must come to an end, and so we left.  Back at the marina, we needed to wash the sand and salt off the dogs.  Each of them HATES this.

I don't get it.  They LOVE the water and will swim and splash in it all day if you give them the chance.  Turn on the hose though and they scatter.   I stood in front of the steps to the boat so they couldn't get on while Pam dragged each one to the hose to rinse them off.
An annual pass to Jekyll Island, I found out, is $45. On our next visit, I'll buy an annual pass.  We need to come here more often, maybe even make a day of it and bring a cooler of frosty beverages, lunch, and beach furniture.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

How To Make a Gasket

We took Drift Away to the fuel dock to be pumped out last week.   Before doing so, I ran the fuel polishing system to check for water in the tanks.   Not only will a diesel not run on water, but it would mess things up real good.   I turned on my homemade fuel polishing system and let it run for a bit and as usual, I removed gallons of water.   Where is it coming from?   The tanks are molded into the hull.   Do we have a hole?  

Jim on Sea Eagle suggested that rain water could be leaking in through the deck fills.   That much?   It seemed unlikely, but I decided to remove the caps to inspect them.   The gaskets were intact, but kind of hard instead of soft and pliable like they should be.   As part of my spare parts inventory, I have gasket material of the right thickness so I decided to make new ones.

I removed the old gasket and traced it onto the new material.  I then simply cut it out with scissors.

LOL!  Yeah, I know.   It looks like crap.  But would it seal?   Maybe, maybe not.   Time to try something else.   How about an Exacto knife?

Not looking too bad, eh?

New gasket on the left, old one on the right.

~sigh~.    Although it looks awful, I figure it will seal better than the old one and so I used it.   I think, though, that I'll take Jim's advice and simply take one of the deck fill caps to the hardware store and get O-rings to fit. 

Sometimes I take the long way around the barn.