I can't believe it's May. This has seriously been a few crazy months for us.
On the blog I left off in January when we were getting back on board the Knotty Cat after having left her on the hard for several months.
So here's our life on the boat from January through March:
On the boat Duct tape once again came to our rescue when we had to repair the connections to our solar panels AGAIN!
This is what we found the day after we put out the solar panels. Thanks to severe winds, one of them was ripped clean off its connectors. And this happened 'inland' in a very protected area.
We motored a whole 4 hours to Stuart, Florida where we stayed on a mooring ball for a little over 2 months.
Whoever heard of tornadoes in Florida in January? When we weren't worried about what the hell we were supposed to do if one were to hit, we were pinned down to the mooring field while we rode out 35 knot winds. And cold? Thank god we have a lot of blankets and a very warm pit bull on board as there were many days we couldn't get ashore
Our little barometer. One look at him and you know what the weather is like.
We had every intention of selling the car that we'd bought from our time up north and actually received an offer on it very quickly. But, for some reason I told Hans I thought we better hang on to it for awhile. I'm glad we did.
Our charger/inverter continued to be a stinker and refused to invert but at least it did charge. The electrician we hired (at 2 hrs minimum pay) unplugged it, peered at it, gave a wiggling Wilbur all kinds of scratches, plugged the inverter back in and said, " Well, it's working now and I didn't even do anything to it." Wilbur said it was worth it.
Trying to heat water would have been ridiculous so we took showers at the marina bath house (when we could get off the boat), and I washed my face every morning and night with ice water. So refreshing!
In an attempt to feel like 'normal' people, we ran the generator each night for a couple of hours in order to juice up the batteries and watch some TV (Oh my yes, don't I just love to depress myself with the nightly news). We have a small antenna that was quick to pick up Spanish programs, religious programs, religious Spanish programs, and one regular station. In addition to witnessing some of the most appalling behavior from all the presidential candidates, I got caught up with every Mike and Molly episode ever aired.
We learned early on that if we wanted to take an excursion on land sans Wilbur, we needed to take him ashore to empty him first or risk coming back to a smelly surprise. Wilbur does indeed have a potty patch and is an expert at using it while at sea, but that dog has gotten even smarter over the years and has us well trained (as long as we're on board with him there's never a problem).
We attempted to go sailing just one time (we do live on a sailboat!) and once we got both the main and the jib up, the wind died. Back to our mooring ball we went and that was it for the two months we were there.
In late February I received news that my dad was in the hospital and things weren't looking good. No sooner had we received that information than Hans and I took a trip into town as a couple and due to a sudden emergency I came back alone. I managed to flood the dinghy motor and had to be towed to the boat whereupon I flooded the generator. Wilbur and I were in bed by 7 PM.
For two days I relied upon the kindness of fellow cruisers who got me and Wilbur back and forth until Hans came home. Let me tell you the first thing we did was get the dinghy motor fixed and the generator got a new spark plug. I can now start both lickety split!
Waiting for Daddy. "If I sit and stare long enough, he'll come home.
There are no more splinters on the marina dinghy dock as they all eventually ended up on my person with an especially painful one embedded deep under a finger nail. It took days to remove it and I was terrified I'd end up with a disease as the Okeechobee water was full of bacteria.
Hans came home on my birthday (a good reason to celebrate), and a couple of weeks later as we were on the road headed north I looked over at him and announced, "Happy Anniversary (our fourth as a married couple)!" Both of us nearly forgot.
My dad passed away three days after my birthday so Hans stayed on the boat with Wilbur while I flew north for the funeral. I've flown a lot over the years and this just had to be the time nothing went right (maintenance issues on nearly every flight... and actually having to depart one plane after sitting in it for an hour). The real kicker was when I was nearly tackled by two attendants at a boarding gate. One of the ladies jabbed a finger at me, told me my bag was too big and it needed to be checked. I pointed out that I'd just come off of a flight without checking it and that I'd flown with it for years with no problems. Her cohort then got in the act and also exclaimed very loudly that it had to be checked. Not desiring to be added to a no flight list, I stopped arguing and checked the damn thing.
Great. This just meant I had to wait forever at baggage claim in Florida which then put us into nightfall and we had a very dark ride back to the boat in our dinghy.
When I got back to the boat we decided we should head up north for one more summer to lend a hand with family matters and just like that the Knotty Cat was put back on the hard. We stuffed Wilbur and everything else we might need into our car and off we went.
By car or by boat, he's a well travelled pitty.
A lot of people have asked us if we enjoyed our winter in Florida. Well, what with everything I mentioned above and the fact that the weather was actually nicer here in Pennsylvania this year, my answer is, "Not so much." But we're here in good old PA now, back to our jobs from last year, and enjoying our 'new to us' home.