Monday, December 30, 2013

Is it all worth it?

Our keel. Hint: It's supposed to all be the color of the
bottom paint (black), without the chunk taken out of it.
Matt finally got a chance to dive on the boat to see the damage caused by the anchor chain during our St. Augustine adventure. This is the unhappy state of the keel. Apparently, the chain wrapped itself around the back of the keel and was acting just like a saw across the fiberglass. Did I mention that this all happened just a couple weeks after we were put back in the water? So we'll have to haul out again and fix it, at a not insignificant cost for the haul out. At least we think that this time on the hard will be more straightforward since we won't have all the projects that appeared during the last haul out. Yeah, what could go wrong?

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Great Guana Cay

Every morning in the Abacos, volunteer cruisers and local businesses in the area put on a VHF radio "net" on Channel 68 that provides information to cruisers about events and activities. Just like your favorite radio station, if you listen to it for any length of time, you get to know the personalities of many of the participants. Cheerful Troy from Dive Guana is one of the most helpful contributors, providing information about weather and sea conditions. Nippers' famous Sunday pig roast is another perennial announcement ("Nippers! Nippers! Nippers!"). Both are based on Great Guana Cay, and since we'd never been there before, decided to give it a  try.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Shhh...ixnay on the aconbay talk ('cause the pigs might hear)

I'm pretty sure that pigs would be walking around with the cockroaches during a nuclear winter. They are resilient as heck. Just throw them on a deserted, nearly barren tropical island and somehow they find something to eat and a way to spawn. The pigs on No Name Cay, with piglets in tow, came running when they heard our approaching motor, having learned that people in boats bring food. We have heard that they have adapted to eating crabs and decimated the crab populations on some islands. They could tell that Matt loves bacon and gave him a wide berth.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Bahamas again

We arrived in Bahamian waters on Sunday after a very fast passage and have been making our way down to Marsh Harbour. This is our third time bringing s/v Perry to The Bahamas and it definitely feels more familiar and comfortable than it did that first time.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas on the boat...let's try this again

Last year, we had our first Christmas on the boat but we didn't decorate (or even give gifts until about a week later) because all our stuff was still packed up in a moving/storage pod. With all the boat work delays, Conrad, Mark and I didn't even get to the boat until Christmas Eve. We were still happy to be together but there was a distinct lack of holiday flair.

This year, we broke out our box of ornaments and added some homemade snowflakes and garlands to the mix. No tree, but plenty of gingerbread from our decorating party with the kids from Cascadura. The boys are happy and that's all that matters.

With our new anchor chain delivered to us and installed, we were planning to leave Sunday for the Bahamas, if the stars align. We may not have internet for a few days so we'll let you know how it turns out.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Bright shiny objects

Since we arrived a week ago, there has always been something going on in West Palm Beach. This past weekend was the Marathon and accompanying races. Here are some shots from the West Palm Beach Farmer's Market: warm red velvet donuts and chocolate croissants. Need I say more?

Jellies and fish made of plastic water bottles.
Think pets, not bacon. This pig had pink painted toenails.
You can rent these near our anchorage.

We also went to the Kids' Holiday Fest, which was chock full of crafty holiday activities, bouncy houses and kids performing impressive Capoeira.
Under where?
We are waiting to hear about getting our anchor chain replaced (it is getting rusty even though it has been used for less than a year; other cruisers who have 10-year old chains aren't seeing much rust so we know something's not right). If we can get the chain delivered here, we will plan to leave for the Bahamas from West Palm. Otherwise, we will have to head down to Ft. Lauderdale at some point. It might be hard to leave this place though.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Not neutering them yet, but...squirrel!

The facilities at the St. Augustine Municipal Marina have numerous signs sternly advising boaters that pets are not allowed in the showers nor allowed on the furniture, underscoring the fact that many cruisers consider their pets to be their children. Of course, kids (at least ours) and pets DO have a lot of similarities. In the small confines of the boat, we have noticed some behaviors that remind us of this. When Mark feels seasick, he refuses to take the 1/2 tablet of Stugeron, even though it helps him feel better, because he hates the taste. So after he refused it even in a spoonful of syrup, I buried it in a piece of cheese and fed it to him. He noticed it and, though he didn't spit it out, refused it the second time. This next time, I had to wheedle him into taking a tablet crushed up into sugar syrup with a cheese chaser.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Have you left your comfort zone today?

At the entrance of an awesome park in St. Augustine: "Travel
the Universe on the wings of your imagination."
Just when Matt and I start to get a little complacent (I mean, it's been ages since we have had the windlass stop working while our anchor was halfway up or down), the universe slaps us right down. After getting beat up just coming in, the anchorage in St. Augustine handed us our ass these last couple of days.