Friday, June 27, 2014

My MacGyver Crab Trap

 

I realize my title here is a bit misleading as, no, this is not a post about how to trap wonderfully edible crabs while living on a boat.

It's about how one might capture a fiddler crab that falls through a hatch in one's head in the middle of the night because one's spouse insists that a hatch must remain open in order to release shower steam. Of course the head is mine while a certain spouse's head remains crab free. Go figure.

Hans had no sooner left for work yesterday morning when I discovered a fiddler crab hiding in my head. If they didn't totally creep me out it may have been humorous as the poor thing thought it was being quite clever in a 'I can't see you so I know you can't see me' kind of way. Unfortunately for him, his spidery legs, wrapped around the hose (within inches of the potty) he was hiding behind, gave him away.

I shuddered, gave thanks that he wasn't hiding in my face towel, and shut the door.

I then spent hours hating the poor thing for upsetting my day and feeling horribly guilty about leaving it to die.

DamnDamnDamn

But imagine my horror when later in the day I opened the door and discovered.... it was gone. I blindly backed up and then nearly jumped out of my skin when I stepped on something slithery only to realize it was a shoe lace. I slammed the door once more and after fortifying myself with a Frosty from Wendy's (the short walk to Wendy's always makes things better) I gave it another go. This time I moved my bath mat and by god there he was.

 

I had to remind myself that during the many years I was single, I successfully dealt with things like bats and mice although it certainly didn't hurt that I had three cats at the time.

But sans cats, I came up with a plan.

Here's poor Chester without the cover of my bathmat (Hans is the one who names these creatures, not me). It would appear I need to scrub the floors of our heads sometime soon.


 

A rubbermaid container is the 'trap', the flexible cutting board slides under the crab, and the trimmed paper plate will add stability underneath the flimsy cutting board so I can carry it off the boat.

 

 

Of course Wilbur was fascinated



"What is that creature trapped underneath my mama's elegant cookware?"

Cue in the "Jaws' music; someone is very, very afraid

 

 


It's Chester the Curious Crab.



Eeeewwwe!

 

 


Just try to convince me they don't have faces!!!
 


I took a deep breath and knowing I had only one chance at this, I slammed my rubbermaid container over Chester. I'm sure if he hadn't been dehydrated he wouldn't have allowed this humiliation.

Then I slid my flexible plastic cutting board underneath him as he scuttled about with creepy clicking noises and giving me some major heebee-jebees. My final move was sliding a sturdy paper plate (with one curved edge cut away leaving me with a flat surface) under the whole thing for stability.

With Chester held out in front of me as far as possible and Wilbur hot on my heels we paraded through the Knotty Cat and then out into the cockpit where I dumped Chester back into the murky marina water. He landed on his back and for one brief second lay there stunned, and then with a burst of energy he waved a frantic goodbye to me with all his little legs and then disappeared under the boat.

I breathed a sigh of relief and then had a scary thought. What if Chester hadn't been alone? What if he'd brought a friend with him?

This is why I don't get out of bed at night if I can help it. Unless of course Chester or one of his ilk decides to drop into the hatch over our berth. This also might be why I don't sleep well at night. And if crabs can get in so easily what about snakes...

 

 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Summarizing our Summerizing

 

Wilbur has to burrow under his pillows if his clueless parents don't cover him up when he's obviously quite chilly

 

When we arrived back at our marina after our Shake Up Cruise we knew we'd better get a start on readying the Knotty Cat for another brutal Florida summer. This will be our third full summer here and we're finally getting a grip on ways to survive the tropical heat. And I just want you to know, I'm not the one who came up with the term 'tropical' for Florida. I read somewhere that the 'South' ends somewhere in Georgia; after that it's tropical all the way.

Now that we have many systems in place to combat the heat I cringe when I remember how unequipped we were our first year here.

We now have:

A phifertex sunscreen around our dead lights (or wind shield if you think of us as a car) which faces east. It's snapped in place and doesn't have to be removed when we sail.

A phifertex sunscreen dead astern (at our rear end and it can be unzipped and put away when we set sail) which faces west and keeps us from baking during the afternoon.

We can now sit in the cockpit (back porch) in the afternoon without getting fried.

 

A close up picture of Phifertex. Look at all the colors!!

(this picture is from Sailmaker's Supply)

 

Home Depot patio curtains (they are very porous and allow the wind to blow through without trouble) tented over our boom and the bow. While they look pretty feeble, they keep out a lot of UV rays and also deflect some of the heavier rains we get during the summer.

 

What a mishmash of crap. But it works!

 

Air conditioners. I could write a thesis on this particular subject. Well, maybe not, but almost.

We don't have built in air conditioners and most likely never will so while we sit here in our slip we use A/C window units. Back in August of 2011 we set sail from Indiantown (in central Florida) where the Knotty Cat had sat on the hard since May of the same year. We were going to transit the Okeechobee and there was no way we could do this without A/C. This was because we were going to have to dock every night. I can't even remember if there are any anchorages in this waterway but it was August and unless you've experienced it you wouldn't believe the size and volume of mosquitos there. They arrive like angry B-52 bombers as soon as the sun sets.

So we went and bought a horribly expensive (and we found out horribly inefficient) West Marine air conditioner. Each evening after docking we had to heave that sucker atop the Knotty Cat since it wasn't stable enough to stay in place while we moved during the day. We then had to sleep in the salon since it only (slightly) cooled this area. After we arrived at our Marina here on the gulf coast we were able to leave the air conditioner in place. However, we were still sweating 24/7. We finally draped tarps over the windshield (anchoring them with our fenders) and since we lacked hatch covers I would lay our cockpit cushions over them during the day to keep out the sun.

First summer. Tarp covered windows and up on top and to the right; the West Marine air conditioner. Pretty!

 

Luckily we paid for the extended warranty because our deluxe air conditioner broke down within about 3 months. Its replacement and its replacement's replacement also broke down within 3 months. We finally got smart, sold the last unit on Craigslist before it could break down, and the following summer bought 2 window units for about a 10th of the cost. BTW, we made sure the new owner knew about the extended warranty should anything go wrong with it. We've never heard anything from him so maybe he finally got a good unit.

Summer number two is when we bought two 5,000 BTU units and with one over the salon and one over our berth we were a lot more comfortable and I was quite happy that I no longer had to re-convert the salon from a berth back to a settee every day. Also that second summer we had the sunscreen for the windshield made and I sewed some hatch covers. We tried several methods at the stern where the western sun drilled its rays through our cockpit door. This included some straw-like roll up curtains we salvaged from the dumpster but they just didn't do the job. We ended up having that sunscreen made too and it made a huge difference. Some marina friends had draped their boat in Home Depot patio curtains so of course we hustled off to buy some for ourselves.

From the stern looking toward the bow: on the left you can see our phifertex windshield cover; it wraps all the way around to the other side. Straight ahead is the box that covers our berth air conditioner. Over head are our Home Depot curtains.

 

Every additional layer of systems helped but guess what? During the hottest part of the day our poor Knotty Cat was still uncomfortable. Trying to do anything; sewing, cleaning... would bring on a sweat storm.

So now, in this our third summer, we replaced the 5,000 BTU unit over the salon with an 8,000 unit and kept a 5,000 BTU for our berth.

Wilbur is the true barometer of whether the Knotty Cat is now set for summer. When he does 'the tuck', which involves lying on his pillows with his paws all drawn up under his body and gives us his poor-me-winky-blinky-eye look, we know to grab his blanket and cover him up. Only then does he relax, stretch out, heave a huge sigh, and go to sleep.

The fact that has happened now that summer is here...

Dare I say, "By jove I think we've got it!" ? Because I think we do.

 

Is that a blanket on Wilbur? Is this June in Florida?

YES!!

 

I don't even want to think about having to take all this stuff down when we get our first hurricane threat.

 

 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Shake Up Cruise (Day 6 and 7) Wilbur's Ruff Life

 

The private little anchorage we hated to leave.

 

While we really enjoyed the quiet and peaceful anchorage of Day 5 on our Shake Up Cruise, we didn't want to wear out our welcome and decided we should leave.

But where to go? Our original destination for this week of cruising had been Caya Costa. However, after motoring the entire way (we did put up the main which was basically ornamental) when we reached Sarasota we realized we'd have to motor like crazy to get to Caya Costa and would then need to turn right around and head back. If we've learned anything after living aboard these past few years it's that trying to keep a schedule usually means nothing but trouble.

So we stopped.

We left our little anchorage and headed back toward Marina Jack's. We'd been of the mind that we'd anchor outside the mooring field but after checking it out and seeing pretty slim pickings we went ahead and rented a mooring once again.

I really wanted Wilbur to get a little excercise (at least something other than diving off the boat in an attempt to save Hans) so we loaded him into the dinghy and headed ashore. Poor Wilbur. He's really the worst dog in the world to try to walk. He's been like this since he was a pup and let's face it, that's never going to change. Every blade of grass must be sniffed, every light post needs to be marked, and heavenly days!! who pissed on that hedge? Wilbur's nose goes into overdrive and it literally drips like a leaky faucet while he jerks me this way and that. I know some training would probably take care of that but I'm ashamed to admit we've not gone that route.

This time we left our dinghy at the marina and walked on over to O'Leary's (where we'd eaten a couple of days before). It took a bit of time since we were dragging Wilbur but we finally got there. After passing a woman talking a blue streak into her cell phone, complete with crazy arm waving, we found a spot at the bar. Wilbur was surprisingly good and after lapping up a bowl full of water he settled down under our bar stools. We decided to order a late lunch (which meant I wouldn't have to cook dinner! Yaaaay!) and of course it was just after our food arrived that I realized Wilbur had puked. Gross, foamy, green puke right under our stools. While reading the 'rules for dogs' sign hanging up for all to see, I yanked a bunch of napkins out of the dispenser and tried desperately to mop up the mess hoping no one would notice what I was doing. And then the hand sanitizer machine was on the fritz and I since my hands hadn't really touched anything I thought 'Oh the hell with it', and ate my quesadilla anyway.

In the middle of all this, the crazy arm waving cell phone talker we'd walked past earlier, yanked out the stool on the other sided of Hans, climbed up and never missing a beat continued talking up a storm about who had witnessed to her, who she had witnessed to, and who might witness to whomever in the future, while we witnessed her sucking down one of many drink specials of the day (at $7.50 a pop I hope they were special!).

 

Trying to keep Wilbur from jumping off the sea wall.

 

Outside of O'Leary's, that's our mooring field behind me.

 

We walked back to the dinghy with Wilbur sniffing and marking the whole way and then headed on out to our boat. Everything went well, the dinghy motor only stalled once, and then we were there. Wilbur always has to be the first one off and I've quit fighting him over this and out he jumped to get on board but the dinghy bounced on a wave and one of his front feet slipped. He caught himself and then as he tried to jump the rest of the way his back feet missed and Wham! he was in the water. We had him clipped to his leash at his collar so the poor thing spun around by his neck as he frantically pawed and flailed at the water trying to get back into the dinghy. Somehow between the two of us we dragged him back on and then he didn't waste any time hustling onto the boat where he shook salt water all over the place.

 

Yet one more afternoon storm started to work it's way through but we were lucky this time. The storm skirted our mooring field and as we sat in the cockpit enjoying the cool breezes it brought, we watched a rainbow off in the distance as it struggled to form. First we saw one one end of it start off to the east and it was surprisingly intense, and then way off to the west we saw the other end try to take shape. It was huge. Then way up in the sky the middle part got going and it was also very intense. By the time it was fully formed it had faded quite a bit but rainbows are always exciting to see.

Wilbur, however, after his exhausting day wanted nothing to do with all this nonsense and had long since gone off to bed. Wilbur is truly the most mature being on the Knotty Cat and on most nights he heaves a huge sigh before shooting us his most disgusted look before thumping and bumping his way down into our berth.

Hours after the rainbow faded away we finally joined Wilbur who was snoring heavily in our berth. We'd just climbed in when I asked why everything seemed so wet because smack dab in the middle of our bed (and right below the open hatch) the sheet had a huge wet circle, and then I found my pillow was saturated. On came the lights and as Hans and I poked around and tried to figure out what happened (we were pretty sure it hadn't rained) I felt a third being between us. It was Wilbur, and in addition to our noses sniffing at the sheets, he was right there sniffing along with us. What was really strange was; Wilbur seemed just as perplexed as us and had none of that hang dog 'Dear God You Found Me Out' guilt complex going on. I finally tossed the pillow out into the cockpit, threw the sheet into the laundry basket, and called it a day.

Honestly, I think that poor dog wet the bed and I believe it happened once before. Wilbur would prefer if we don't dwell upon it.

Wilbur's favorite roost when he's tired; our pillows

 

Perhaps he was having dreams of the good old days on the hard when his mama brought him home soup bones

 

We finally turned around to come home and once again after getting into the gulf we had no wind and motored the entire way home. We managed to get back into our slip with no major trauma and with that our Shake Up Cruise was over.

Now that we're back our major concern will be getting our air conditioners installed and monitoring this season's hurricanes.

 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Shake Up Cruise (Day5) Animal Planet

 

 

The main concern I had for our current anchorage was the snob factor involved when dropping the hook in a small waterway where the shoreline consists of estates vying shoulder to shoulder with each other and nothing more than shrubbery discretely keeps them from peering into each other's windows. What I mean is; these people pay god knows what in property taxes and flood insurance in order to enjoy the view and bragging rights, and then people like us have the nerve to anchor for nothing in said water.

I'm more sensitive to this since I'll never forget the time we dared to anchor in Sunset Lake in Miami and made poor Fred K's life a living hell the whole few days we were there. And from what I've read, things have really escalated cruiser wise in Sunset Lake and Fred has spent quite a chunk of change with all kinds of devices intended to keep filthy cruisers out. In my opinion he will always be an ass.

 

After we managed to get into our little anchorage here without running aground we took a small dinghy tour and found out quite quickly that there are no dinghy docks as this is very restricted and residential. If you need to get to a store you'd better anchor elsewhere.

But we were all set with everything and really just wanted to relax.

Now, something I noticed here that I've picked up in other areas of what I'll call considerable wealth is this; the only people we ever see are the hired staff. Today all we saw were yard workers and pool cleaners. All those lovely patio sets and swimming pools sat completely unused. The only thing that was utilized today was the home alarm system in one of the houses on shore that's been going off for most of the day. Quite frankly, these particular filthy cruisers are finding it to be quite offensive and it upset an otherwise idyllic day. For shame!

 

After we dropped our anchor we noticed a huge bird nest in the mangroves behind us but since it appeared to be vacant we forgot about it until we saw a hawk flying over us several times. I laughed and stated that the Knotty Cat might be a bit more than than it could handle and then we heard a lot of insistent high pitched screeching bird noises. Sitting in what we had thought was an empty nest was obviously a mama hawk, and daddy hawk was apparently late bringing home dinner.

Mama is none too happy in her nest (sorry, bad picture)


Mama Hawk screaming from her nest: "Where the hell are you, you bastard? You said you'd be right back and these kids are hungry!"

Daddy Hawk (whom we'd witnessed dawdling about for quite some time) yelling back from the piling of the house in front of us: "A guy can't even smoke a cigarette fer Christ's sake, give me a break!"

Mama Hawk: "I know you're out there! You'd better not be screwing around with that whore in the next tree over!" (Right about then Mama Bird's Boy Toy dropped in for a visit)

Daddy Hawk obviously pecking at a delicious morsel of fish trapped between his talons that he just caught: "Shut up already! When I catch something I'll bring it home to you and the brats!"

Mama Hawk (after telling her boy toy he needs to get the hell out of the nest before her deadbeat husband returns): "Tell that to my lawyer!"

And then with a lot of screeching and screaming, Daddy Hawk arrived home with the remainder of his juicy catch just after Boy Toy took off and headed on over to the ever popular whore's nest.

As far as I know everyone lived happily ever after.

 

We were also visited several times by three dolphins. It's so quiet here we could hear them coming up for air all around our boat. Wilbur was fascinated as always and stood stock still as he watched them.

After our little dinghy trip around the area Hans took some pictures of the Knotty Cat

 

I needed to add this. Our mooring at Marina Jack's from the previous night. Typical Florida weather system.

 

From stern...

... to stem.

This is what we wake to on a daily basis in our berth.

Needless to say this has been the quietest anchorage we've ever experienced and the water was completely flat once the sun set. All the lights of the houses came on and we still never saw any people and no one asked us to leave. We aren't going to wear out our welcome though and will be leaving this afternoon.

 

 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Shake Up Cruise (Day 3 &4)

 

With a storm rushing in this guy was trying to get home fast

 

Holiday weekends.

I guess I've been out of touch for too long and forgot how much I hate them.

But thanks to the past couple of days, I've been brought back up to speed (speed being the operative word here).

First of all, I had Day 3's post all ready to go when BAM! I deleted it. So now I'm back to sqaure one so I'll just combine two days into one and call it a day.

We spent a full day on Monday motoring down the gulf because there was no wind. That didn't stop Hans from putting up our brand new main because when you have a brand new main you're itching to use it. We're very fortunate to have an electric winch and all I have to do is push a button while Hans stands by the boom and guides the sail up the mast.

Should be easy.

But when Hans had difficulty threading the halyard's shackle through the too small loop at the top of the sail he let go of the boom and TIMBAH!!!! I've know Hans long enough to recognize when he's losing his balance and heaven help you you better get out of the way. Down he went but luckily he was able to pivot a bit and instead of falling off the starboard side of the boat and doing god knows what to himself, he ended up sliding down the dodger's windshield where his butt landed right on the cleats that control the halyard and furling lines and directly in front of my face thus giving me a full and entertaining view of a very large plumber's crack. From now on I don't care how overly cautious it appears, he's going to wear his life vest when hoisting the main (and perhaps a belt).

We exited the gulf and went into the Longboat Key pass. Of course it wasn't until we were finally anchored later on that I read you should only use this passage with local knowledge as it's greatly shoaled. No kidding! We saw depths of under 2 feet and we're pretty sure we scraped bottom at one point. Once we got through the bridge after fighting a very strong 2 knot current and literally weaving our way through fishing boats that insisted on motoring just feet from our bow we emerged onto one of the strangest scenes ever. It was like something out of an Ira Levin book (This Perfect Day meets Rosmary's Baby). Every kind of power boat imaginable were jockeying and jostling for position with people, kids, dogs and whatnot, crawling on and off and over and around like starving ants at a picnic. We hooked a left turn and got out of there as fast as the Knotty Cat could go.

Motoring through the Intracoastal to our anchorage meant zigzagging for about 15 miles through all the wake created while once again every idiot with a motor boat had to see how fast they could blast past us. Add to that all the jet skis buzzing us like angry wasps, needless to say we were very happy to get to our anchorage.

A lot of wind and rain cooled things down


We ended up with a late afternoon storm on Monday night. Our anchor held nicely through 27 knot winds, and Windy our generator was in heaven pumping up to 15 amps into our batteries. We did start our engines though 'just in case' since this was a new anchorage for us, and Wilbur sat very quietly through the whole thing.

 

Tuesday was a much quieter day as most of the motor heads must have gone back to work. We headed into Marina Jacks in Sarasota and picked up a mooring for the night. We put the dinghy in the water with minimal drama and the only casualty was a boat hook that we dropped but luckily it floats and we got it back. We ended up eating dinner at O'Leary's which is pet friendly and Wilbur enjoyed attention from many fans and was rewarded with his own water bowl and salty sticks (french fries).

Of course another storm was brewing so we finished up quickly and took off in the dinghy back to the boat. Just in time too, because the skies opened up and we could barely see the boats beside us.

 

So after a pleasantly cool night we will be leaving the mooring and heading to another anchorage just a short distance away. It's actually in a tiny body of water surrounded by huge 'estates'.

Why do I wonder what they're going to think of the Knotty Cat dirtying the view. I'll let you know.

So far this has been a very memorable Memorial Day Weekend.

 

This is Wilbur's favorite perch while underway. That's the captain's cooler and it's full of ice. It makes a comfy spot for a hot pitty.

 

 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Shake Up Cruise (Day Two)

 

Wilbur doesn't care what you do to him as long as he has contact with his peeps. Here, Hans sports his bloody lip from Sunday's adventure.

 

Why Hans doesn't just bitch slap me I'll never know. I'm pretty sure if we lived in a dog's world I'd be the irritating ankle biter and Hans would be the wise old Collie.

After our dinghy fiasco of 'Day One' we were sitting in the cockpit discussing our cruising plan for the following days when the wind kicked up. We looked up at the sky and admired all the different kinds of clouds and also noted some lightning off in the distance. Thunder started rumbling and Hans mentioned that perhaps we should roll up our solar panels. I disagreed and felt that they could be anchored down by the remnants of our sun pad (the main pad had abandoned us in the Chesapeake years ago thus proving as I've said before that inanimate objects are smarter than people). Hans, and this time he used his Captains voice, said once again that the solar panels needed to be stowed away. I continued to argue and insisted that we needed them to catch the early morning rays of the sun and insinuated that he was being overly cautious and petty.

It was when I was flinging and huffing my way to the bow in order to roll and stow those stupid (and not cheap) solar panels away, that a huge gust of wind picked one of them up and tossed it overboard.

I nearly choked and ran like a scalded dog (okay, scalded ankle biter) in hopes of catching it. I am one lucky pup because just a few months ago we had to have the connections to the panels replaced and these new ones are very secure. If we'd had the old ones, that panel would have been history. It fell into the water wiggling like an eel but thanks to that sturdy connection I was able to drag it back into the boat. I immediately rolled it and its partner up in a heart beat and slammed them into a locker.

Here are our portable solar panels. It doesn't take much wind to cause a problem

 

The new connections we had installed are what saved my butt!



Hans, being the nice person (or Collie) that he is, did not give me a hard time and don't think I'm not grateful; I gave him a huge kiss (avoiding the scabs left behind from Wilbur's rescue attempts on Day One) and let him mix me a Wilbur Wow-Wow.

Actually, today after a full day of motoring (the wind didn't kick in until after we anchored, go figure) I told him I needed to update the blog and was desirous, yet once again, of a Wilbur Wow-Wow.

My wish was his command.


Never, ever, underestimate an ankle biter!

 

Wilbur is stuck with us. The poor thing wonders what the hell we have planned next.

 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Shake Up Cruise (Day One)

 

At least one good moment

 

Hans finally managed to get a week of vacation and we decided to use it and take a small cruise down towards Caya Costa. We haven't gone away on the boat for more than a weekend since Thanksgiving of 2012 which I fondly recall as 'The Turkey Tour'. This trip is going to be remembered as the Shake Up Cruise (we've already experienced a couple of shake down cruises, this one is just shaking me up).

And just like the Turkey Tour where we managed to run aground within the first few miles and Hans broke a tooth, we've already had our first brush with excitement at our anchorage just around the corner from our marina. We had been sitting here on the hook for just a couple of hours and I thought I should write something on our blog to commemorate our first day of vacation but what's to write about sitting in an achorage you've sat in a bazillion times before?

And then honest to god, I'd just fired up my iPad when I heard Hans say, "What the hell?" I looked up and noticed a dinghy floating a few feet behind us and stupidly asked, "Why isn't there anyone in that dinghy?" And then I realized it was ours. Our painter had simply come apart in the middle and and the dinghy was bobbing away from us in a very jaunty see you later kinda way.

Everything happened at once; Hans jumped into his swimsuit, I opened the lazarette and dug around for his flippers, and Wilbur got in everyone's way. At first it appeared the dinghy was right behind us and not moving but in that minute or so of scrambling around it had drifted quite far from our stern. Hans leaped off the boat and took off swimming. And wouldn't you know it, Wilbur scrambled down the steps and only paused for a moment before he did his best Underdog impression and took a great dramatic leap into the water. Hans couldn't hear me yelling to him and found out the hard way that Wilbur had followed him when great big pitty paws raked down his back. I grabbed my camera and got a couple of quick videos but I had to put it down because things weren't going well.

Hans had to keep fending Wilbur off and then he had to turn around and swim back toward the boat in order to get Wilbur to come back to me. While I was yanking the dog back onto the boat I had to point Hans in the direction of where one of his flippers was floating because of course it fell off during his fracas with Wilbur. By now the dinghy was almost a distant memory and I could barely see it on the horizon where it was heading toward the eastern shore as there was apparently some kind of dinghy party it was late getting to. Now I was starting to worry about sharks (I always worry about sharks) and Hans was getting harder for me to see. I shot down below and turned on the instruments in case I was going to need to broadcast our location and when I came back up my heart jumped into my throat when I didn't see Hans. It took a moment but I spotted that bald head and he was still no where close to the dinghy. My heart jumped again when he turned around and waved his hands over his head in what I thought was a distress signal. I was about to grab the radio but I could see he was making good progress back to the Knotty Cat and soon he was back aboard. I forgot about the dinghy for a minute when I saw Hans' lip bleeding and his chest and back covered in bloody welts thanks to Wilbur's lifesaving efforts. If I'd been worried about sharks before... As for his arm waving, Hans was trying to tell me he couldn't see the dinghy and was trying get me to point it out. I'm just as glad I didn't know what he wanted because he was never going to get there on his own, and even if he did the current was so strong I don't know how he could have rowed back.

Wilbur was frantic and screaming up a storm while Hans was in the water and I had to tie him up to keep him from jumping back in

 

While getting the anchor up I managed to keep an eye on the dinghy and by now it was nearly on shore but still in water deep enough for us to manage. We were pretty close when a sailboat motored right past, snagged it for us and then shoved it to us as they went by. I caught it with a boat hook and secured it to the stern. Needless to say when we re-anchored that sucker got trussed up tighter than its ever been.

 

After his lip stopped bleeding

 

What a mess

 

By the time things settled down the boat was filthy. Wilbur shook salty dog hair everywhere, for some reason the floor of the cockpit was covered in muddy water, and all the stuff that I'd yanked from the lazarette was tossed everywhere.

When we finally got everthing squared away Hans stated, "Well, this was day one and we're only a couple of miles into this journey, what do you suppose will happen tomorrow?"

He probably shouldn't have asked that.