Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pitbulls are Great Boat Dogs

A hundred years ago, pitbulls were the country's favorite breed of dog.  Families got them to watch over and protect their children, and called them nanny dogs.  Pitbulls, by nature, love and protect humans.

We took the dogs to the beach yesterday, and Pam was getting playful and swinging on a driftwood branch. See Ruby in the pic below?  She's the dark brown dog on the left.

Ruby is concerned.   What the heck is momma doing?   She's flipped.

Ruby looks at me with a WTF DO SOMETHING look.

OK, if you won't get momma down, I will.

And she did.

Ruby did her job and trotted off, and Pam climbed back up the branch.  This time on top.

Just out of reach of Chevy.

I know what you're thinking.  "Dave, uh... pitbulls as boat dogs is dumb."  Well, I guess so, in many ways.  Certainly people cross the street when they see us coming because pitbulls are kinda intimidating lookin'.   On the plus side, who needs guns on board when you have pitbulls?

But here on dock 13 everyone is in love with these guys.   Anyone who knows these two dogs loves them.  Ruby and Chevy bark hello when they see someone they know, tails and butts wagging like crazy.  We can even mention any of their favorite people and they go nuts, as in "Hey, there's Uncle Sammy!"   They respond by barking their heads off and running all over the boat looking for our Isle of Hope friend Sammy Moore.

Chevy and Ruby have made it a point to board Hunky Dory whenever EJ or Catherine are sitting on their aft deck.   The other day, Chevy even invited himself inside.  I didn't realize it until I saw him running around on the foredeck.  I suppose maybe our pitbulls are a little too friendly at times.

Hurricane Sandy

This hurricane is astounding.  Pam and I turned on the Weather Channel yesterday and left it on all day.  I'm mesmerized.   We watched as news of the loss of HMS Bounty unfolded... what were they doing there?  We watched as weather news reporters stood on beaches, waves crashing behind them, telling us that everyone should evacuate and only a nut would be standing on the beach watching the roaring surf.

I'm regularly connected to many friends thanks  to Al Gore's internets... some friends that I met through his internets... and many in harm's way.  I watched as this hurricane unfolded.  Many are hunkered down in the Annapolis area and New Jersey waiting for Sandy to pass.   One friend in Long Island had a 90 foot tall Douglas Fir come down on his house and into his master bedroom, as he worries that the dock his beautiful boat is tied to will survive.   My old employer, Sound Sailing Center in Norwalk, Connecticut is fearful that the docks at Norwalk Cove Marina may float over the pilings this morning and they'll lose their entire fleet of boats.   Record high tides are being set.

Sandy has had a tremendous impact here in Georgia.  For the first time since February, I've had to put on long pants and socks.  Feels weird.

This is a serious storm.  It's not over yet.  Waves 18 to 22 feet are forecast for Lake Erie today, and two feet of snow will fall in western Pennsylvania and Ohio.  I hope that wherever you are, if you are in the path of this storm, you are safe, warm, and dry.   Don't fret about material things like boats and houses.  You can fix those, or buy new ones.  They don't matter.  You do.

We have a hurricane plan here on Drift Away.  We call it RA RA, which is an acronym for "Run Away!  Run Away!".  We evacuate in ten minutes.  I grab our cardboard box of personal papers (passports, birth certificates, 1099s and W2s) and Pam grabs the dogs.  We pile into the truck and drive to Dick and Deb's house in Macon Georgia (friends we first met at Isle of Hope Marina).  I have no illusions that I should stay on Drift Away to fend a 50,000 pound boat off the docks, or fend off other boats.  That's why I have insurance.

Well... that's my musings at 4 AM anyway.  Things may change as I wake up.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Jekyll Island Photos

Yesterday was a bad day to be on the beach on Jekyll Island.  I expected that Hurricane Sandy would give us some awesome surf.  I was wrong.

Maybe these butterflies that we saw on the way to the beach should have been a clue that things were tamer than expected.

This was as big as the waves got.  It was flat calm on the ocean.

The dogs were wilder than Sandy.

Nope. No idea what Ruby had in her mouth.

And no idea what these birds were.  Maybe I'll check the bird book later and get back to you.

On a different note, this week's assignment on digital-photography-school.com is "scary portrait".  Everyone was submitting photos of themselves and friends in halloween costumes.  Not me.  I don't do what everyone else does.  Never have.  This is my submission, titled "Portrait of a Serial Killer".

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Dumb Joke of the Day, Plus a Video

Many of you seem to enjoy our dogs romping on the beach videos, so here's another for you.

This one is about nine minutes long, and I even brought my tripod so that the action doesn't look too much like a fight scene...  have you noticed how bad the camera work is in modern movies?  The latest camera techniques seems to be "hey, let's shoot this like someone filmed it with their cell phone!  We'll shake and jiggle all over and make it look really amateurish!"

One reason why I like old movies, and hate most of the new ones.

In other news, we did go to a car show yesterday, this one at the Sterling Church of God here in Brunswick Georgia.  It was a small show, maybe 40 cars, but we were entertained by southern gospel music all day.

This little girl seemed to really like the T-bird, so I opened the door so she could sit inside.

Then her big brother wanted to sit in the driver's seat too.  I showed him how to honk the horn.  Big mistake.

Joke of the day, from a lady on the stage at the car show, and appropriate for this boating related blog...

A ship was passing a tiny island, and a crewman scanned it with binoculars and saw a person on the beach, jumping up and down waving his arms.  The ship stopped, lowered a dinghy and motored ashore.  There, they found a bedraggled man with long hair and a long scraggly beard.

"Praise the lord that you found me!" he exclaimed.  "I've been marooned here for five years!"

The captain looked around, and said "Why are there three huts here?"

"Well," said the man, "I live in that one over there, and that other one is where I go to church."

"What about the third one?" asked the captain.

"That's where I used to go to church."


On a positive note, the Georgia Bulldogs beat the Florida Gators yesterday.  Yes, it is that big of a deal down here.  If you plan on cruising in the south, you need to get into college football.  It is not a matter of life and death here.  It is much more important than that.

Today, Sunday, I think will be a beach day.  Olivia the German Shorthair Pitbull was bouncing off the walls yesterday.  Literally, bouncing from one wall to another.  We need to tire her out, since drugging her is frowned upon.  Also, hurricane Sandy is just to the east of us, so the surf should be pretty awesome.

Pics tomorrow.

Saturday, October 27, 2012


OK, wise guys.  I bought a replacement USB cable so I could download photos of my boat project off the camera.  Olivia chewed up my cable for the fifth time.

I don't know how or when she got ahold of it.  Or why.  She must get peeved about something and seeks revenge.

But here I am, sanding away in my best work clothes.  I'm going to paint the superstructure, inside of the gunnels, and the decks.  I needed to sand off stray epoxy from when the decks were fiberglassed over.

I sanded the walls of the cabin as shown on the left of the photo...

as well as the gunnels.

A well deserved victory beer.

Yesterday I could hardly move.  

In other news, I was going to bring the T-bird to a local car show, but it's overcast and very windy.  It looks like it might rain, although radar shows hurricane Sandy and the nasty weather just offshore.  I'll have to decide in the next ten minutes or so because it starts at 10 AM..

Friday, October 26, 2012

Olivia Ate Today's Blog

Yesterday, I actually started on our next boat project.  A big one.  Pamela was out shopping.  I decided to sand the boat.  Not the whole boat.  The deck house and inside of the gunnel, in preparation of painting.  I borrowed friend Rod's big six inch orbital sander and went at it.  I was going to just do the port side, but it was back breaking work.  I could feel my chronically bad back going out on me and I knew I'd be useless for the next few days, so I kept going in the steamy Georgia heat.  I did the starboard side and the bow too.

Pamela returned while I was still working and even took a photo of me working away.  I was going to post it as proof that I do actually work once in awhile.  But nooooo.

I looked for the USB cable that connects my camera to the laptop to download the pics.  It was missing.  I looked on the table, and on the shelf where I keep it.  Nope.  Nowhere.  As I whined and groused about it, Pamela shoved me out of the way saying that I don't know how to look for stuff.  Well, if it's not where I put it, why would I look someplace else?   She found the remains of it on the floor, ripped to pieces.

This would be the work of Olivia, the German Shorthair Pointer Dog From Hell.  I held the pieces up to her face.  "Did you do this?  Did you??"  She skulked away and is now hiding down below in our stateroom.

So, I did all this boat work and have no pics to prove it.  I even took a pic of my well deserved victory beer.       ~Sigh~.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cool Trick!

Have you ever been racing to get to a marina or anchorage before the sun sets?  I learned this cool trick from a fellow cruiser here at Brunswick Landing Marina.

Extend your arm all the way out and hold up the number of fingers it takes to fit between the sun and the horizon.  Each finger is equal to ten minutes.

This works for adults, both men and women, as well as kids.   Kids fingers are smaller, but their arms are shorter.

ID this Bird!

We go to the beach often, and I always bring my camera.  I shoot anything that moves.   I took a couple of photos of these birds in flight.

Sorry that I don't have a good side shot.  They have short bills so they aren't sandpipers.  They have brown heads and backs, white undersides, and distinctive white stripes on their wings and a white stripe down their backs.  This should be a piece of cake.

I looked in our Georgia bird book, that supposedly contains every bird native to or passing through Georgia.   Not in there.  I went to Georgia's Department of Natural Resources and looked for birds there.  Nope.  I gave up.  Not Pamela.  She hopped on her iPad and spent a couple of hours until she came up with the Black Turnstone.  The only problem is that the Black Turnstone is only found on the west coast.

It is time to use the power of Al Gore's internets.   Anyone?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Video- Dogs on the Beach

Sometimes I think that photos don't do justice to certain things.  That's true when it comes to our dogs playing on the beach, so here's a short video clip for you.

They'll do this for hours.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Brunswick Landing Marina

Brunswick Landing Marina is huge.  317 slips.   It's also almost completely filled at boaters come in waiting for the magic November 1st insurance date.

This was shot from the flybridge...

 looking north at docks 14 and 15...

Looking south at docks 12 to 1...

Looking down...

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Classic Coastal Cruisers

HAH!  Gotcha.  You thought I was referring to boaters in the subject line.  Classic Coastal Cruisers is actually a car club here in Georgia.

Years ago, as I mentioned in a previous blog, I received a letter from a friend who was in American Samoa, living on his sailboat with his wife and son.  He discussed cruising.   He thought it was more of a mindset than a mode of travel.  He said he thought a true cruiser would be just as happy doing it in an RV, or at the end of  his thumb.  How about a classic car?

The car club I'm hoping to join is Classic Coastal Cruisers.  They seem like an amiable bunch.  There was a car show in Fernandina Beach, Florida that they were going to attend.  They were meeting up at exit 28 at 5:30 AM.  Pam and I decided to be fashionably late.  We arrived at 9 AM and were one of the last to get there.  We were number 223, and the last car was number 248.

Most of the action was on the main drag, Centre Street.  Since we got there so late, we were relegated to 5th Street, one of the side streets.

1967 Dodge Coronet R/T 440 cid.  My buddy Speedy just bought one of these in AZ.

Olivia was confused by the stuffed dog.

These are working guns.  Squirt guns.  LOL!

The Fernandina roller derby team.

On the way back down the street, Olivia needed to check out the stuffed dog again.

This Mercedes convertible's windows were yellow from UV.

Charlie Schott got it clear in minutes using his cleaner.   This would be a good product on any boat with eisenglass.  His website is www.UltraLuster.com.  

Bruce's '69 Camaro SS 396 is for sale.  It's a real beauty.  Leave a comment if seriously interested, and if you understand what these cars are worth.

Even on the side street, the T-bird got lots of attention.

Yep.  All different ways to cruise.