Friday, August 19, 2011

Still motoring along the GIWW (Gulf Intracoastal Water Way)

A typical evening aboard the Knotty Cat.

I'm sitting on our settee in the salon area which is also where we sleep each night. Wilbur may appear to be small in this picture but you wouldn't believe how huge he can become during the night. I swear he triples in size, oozes all over the place, and we wake up with him taking over more than half of our sleeping space.

I mentioned yesterday that we planned on zipping through the Franklin Lock at 9 AM so we could get on our way. But we weren't prepared for the poor man who docked next to us to run aground. Kevin is working solo and trying to get his newly acquired boat from Maryland to Texas, and even though he only draws a bit over three feet, he's already run aground too many times. Until yesterday he's been lucky enough to get himself off, but then his luck ran out and the Lockmaster at Franklin told us he'd hold the opening for us if we'd just give this poor guy a tow.

Well, the Knotty Cat tried her best but she just couldn't free him. We tried to pull him off by using both our port and starboard stern cleats but he never budged a bit. I'm pretty sure TowBoat US could do it but we felt like deserters as we entered the lock without him and went on our merry way.

We ended the day at Tarpon Point Marina. It's a beautiful place to stay and the staff is friendly beyond belief. We were pretty far away from the actual marina but it seemed like someone was always on hand with a golf cart to get Hans to and from the office.

We actually left Wilbur on the boat (with our new A/C) and ventured over to the tiki bar just a stones throw away from us.

It's that little gazebo over yonder.

They had $5.00 appetizers, and buck and a half drafts. We ended up enjoying an hour or so there before we came back to a wonderfully cooled down boat.

Our Knotty Cat at the dock.

We motored a good 37 or so miles today and found ourselves at Palm Island Marina, just in time for a typical Florida thunder storm. And once again we were greeted by a fantastic staff who helped us dock.

Poor Wilbur had a hot day today and finally felt like he could relax with the A/C. Keep in mind this is also our sleeping area.

Can you see why I don't get a good nights sleep? Wilbur tends to spread out and take up far too much room with his pitty dreams (paddling feet mixed with gulping and kerfluffeling noices), and I wake up with yet one more odd and unexplained bruise.

We hope to get another 40 or so miles under our belt tomorrow, but the port engine is having some smoking issues and we also have a ton of bridges to get through.

The cruising life is never boring. Believe me!


  1. You've made some good progress! Glad you've been greeted well in the Florida marinas :) Wilbur looks very comfortable on 'his' bed ;D

    Waggin at ya,

  2. Isn't it amazing how they transform in the night into bed hogging giants? Chopper is maybe two feet tall but stretched out he takes five feet of space. Yes I measured.

  3. T & M, I've actually awakened to find Wilbur on my pillow, curled around my head! He just has to have his body on a pillow!

  4. Hey Laura! Not sure if you got my latest note...I wasn't quite sure which e-mail address to send it to!

    Glad y'all are making progress getting to your "new home". And yeppers, Wilbur looks quite comfy up there....luckily for me, Noah won't sleep in the bed in the summertime...even with the AC on, he gets too hot. But as soon as the first chill is in the air, he'll be back, hogging the bed for sure!



  5. Cyndi, I just found your message and replied. We keep trying to convince Wilbur that he'd be happier in his 'bunk' underneath us but he's playing the deaf pitty.

  6. Glad that your experience at the marinas have been good ones! $5 appetizers and cheap beer is always a good thing ... and going back to the a/c is a real plus!

  7. Don't worry Wilbur - my hoomans accuse me of the same but I don't think I grow over night but manage to curl up on my mums lap the next morning... I just can't see how I could possibly manage. ;)

    Cheers from Sydney - Teal'c