27 August 2020

2020: It's Not A Very Good Year - For Anyone

 All of our plans for leaving the Keys went up in smoke - or I should say in pandemic.

This has, probably, been the most difficult year yet.

Keith goes to shore and does all the necessaries for daily life. I'm on the boat - all the time.

First, I can't wear a mask. I can't breath in one, never could. Remember the old Halloween costume plastic masks? I could never wear those either. A type of claustrophobia, maybe?

Second, I have a bit of a protest going with the marina we're in. When the head dude yells at someone to the point that someone's blood pressure rises, and paramedics are called in - well, I have a big problem with that.

This head dude has anger issues. And he has not one iota of customer service skills. When I did hang around the marina, I used to call him Smiley. Not once did I ever see him smile.

I was nice and polite whenever I had interaction with him, which was rare. Basically, because I witnessed how he went off on people (including Keith), and I wanted NO part of that! But, I gotta say, when his verbal abuse causes health issues in a Senior Citizen, it becomes a real problem for me. So, I have personally boycotted the marina. Sad to say, most of the marina staff have become carbon copies of this head dude, which makes it very pleasurable to go there.

We have had few days of pleasant - mostly they are Sundowners with photo's of the setting sun. I love sunsets. It tells me that we made it through another day.

11 March 2020

Back online

Know what happens when you kill your laptop?
It takes forever to get another one, but I finally got one.
I'll try to catch up, but will be online sporadically until I can get a new isp.

06 November 2017

Dinghy photo

Whoa, two posts in one day. A first.....or second.
I realized I have not posted what Lumpy looks like now.
So, here it is. Still needs some work. Been busy with things like.....weddings, memorial service, hurricanes....you know, typical stuff.

At the dock in FMB, after it was raised from the deep

Hurricane Irma

Well, here it is November already. This season has been a wild ride. 
Early September had us watching a new storm developing - and a doozy of a storm it was, too. 
Irma - the wicked sea witch of the Atlantic Hurricane Season - was projected to bear down on the Keys. And she did.
I'll post my story another time - maybe on my sailblog blog; but, needless to say, we packed up everything and headed out. We meant to head to Texas, but we quickly discovered the boat was not ready for that kind of trip, so we ended up in Fort Myers Beach and hunkered down with the help of a couple of friends. We made it through, just losing one dinghy (actually, both sank but our diving friend, Robin, retrieved Lumpy - the dinghy we made). Here are some pics of the Curse of the Sea Witch Irma disaster.
Leaving Florida Bay in a Circle of Cloud

Heading out of BKH

After taking on water, and having the engine cause us a bit of grief, we were towed to a public dock in FMB. He set us at the end of the dock where the Sue was pounding against the dock as the wind was off the beam, so we felt it necessary to haul her, by hand, to the inside dock for better protection against the wind. Unfortunately, she grounded near shore, and it took us the better part of the day to get her back to the dock where we wanted her, pulling and tugging and winching the lines until we could tie her proper. Irma was less than 24 hours away, but the winds were already picking up quite rapidly.

We secured the Sue as best we could, and dialed the number that was given to Florida residents for transportation to a shelter. But, having no television on board, we missed the newscast from a few hours prior, the Governor stating that if people hadn't moved by now, they were plum out of luck. We tried the police department for FMB. Their recorded message said they were closed on the weekends (it was a Saturday). We finally called our friend, Robin, who called his friend, Scott, and he came and got us, taking us to a Condo rental where he worked.  Just in time, too. Talk about cutting it close!

Irma made landfall the following day just south of us, in Bonita Springs.

Here are some pics from friends that posted online at BKH.

The Sue made it just fine - with the exception of about 2 inches of water in the cabin. As I said, we lost one dinghy. We spent some time in FMB, then made it down to Naples, and stayed a few days there before finally making it back about a month and a week after Irma. 
The Keys are still considered a disaster area, but much progress has been made since Irma. It will take some time before things are back to normal, but probably never as it was before that Sea Witch blew through.

17 July 2017


I know it's been a while getting another post on this blog. I actually have a fair few that I do. We've been relatively busy with other things - including maintenance (and systems going out) on the Sue. We also had a wedding to attend - ours. Here are a few pics.

15 May 2016

Dinghy Update

Sometimes, I think Keith is brilliant in his ideas, solutions, fixes. Other times, I think he's certifiable and needs to be committed to a hospital ward.
Such was the case a few weeks back when he told me he had someone to help him bring the "work in progress" dinghy to the boat. Okay, not certifiable, good idea.
Than he got certifiable. He couldn't get schedules to coincide with the guy to get the dinghy to the Sue, getting impatient and feeling the five bucks a night cost was wasting money (it was), he decided to tow the dinghy out with our "deflatable" dinghy (we call it that because the entire front end is flat and there are a number of leaks on the port side).
He couldn't find any of the transport carts for the work room, so he drags the dinghy to the front dinghy docks where the deflatable is located. It's actually quite a distance for dragging something, so I'm sure it wasn't good on the bottom of this work in progress.
A couple of his buddies saw him, and helped him get the dinghy into the water. So, he tows this sad looking dinghy shell out to the Sue.
Okay, this is where he is certifiable. He couldn't wait for a nice, sunny, low wind day. He did it on a windy, cold, cloudy, "we're going to get rain any minute now" day. 
He comes in the cabin and tells me what he's doing. Looking at the sky through the hatch, and hearing the wind blow, I just shake my head. I think, maybe, after 20 years, I'm getting used to "bizarre". 
Anyhow, the water is too rough for him to get the dinghy on the deck, but he tries anyway. He attaches the lifting line fore and aft and starts to raise it out of the water.....when it started to fold. Great. He dropped it back in the water, but now, it was half full of water. Now, he's depressed and pissed, convinced it will sink by morning.
Okay, nothing we can do about it now. If it's still afloat by morning, we'll haul it to the deck together.
Lo and behold, the morning brings decent weather....and it's still afloat. But instead of waiting for me to help him (impatience is not one of his best qualities), he hoists the dinghy up on the deck by himself, by clamping sturdy wood to the port and starboard shears and lifting it up to the deck.  
By the time I got up on deck the dinghy was set in place at the bow. Keith is still pissed, convinced that there is no saving it and wants to chuck it back overboard and watch it sink. We'll just buy a used dinghy, he tells me.
Oh, no...no...no. We didn't spend all this money to give up. I asked him if it could be saved. He wasn't sure. Okay, let's tarp it down for the coming weather (still windy....rain expected) to keep it as dry as possible (and to dry it out), take a couple of days and think about this dilemma. 
Bottom line.....he repaired the collapse the following weekend. He is now working on it once again, with it sitting on the Sue
I do believe he might be the only person to build a boat on a boat.
He's certifiable.

04 April 2016

Pause on the Dinghy

I think, maybe, a good rule of thumb for doing any planned project is to not accept kind offers of help. Sometimes, that can be difficult, as some just jump in without really extending the offer.
Such was the case in our third session of building our new sail dinghy. The form had been completed, and it had been time to fiberglass the outer hull. Things did not go as planned.
I have observed with a project such as this being accomplished in the public eye, there are different types of "looky-loo's" that wander past the project room.
The first type walk by and glance, but continue walking.
The second walk by, take a look, than walk a-ways, turn around and come back for a second look.
The third type walk by, stop at the bay door entrance, talk amongst themselves about the project, and, eventually, continue on their way.
The fourth type is like the third, but they will talk to Keith about the project, ask questions, etc.
The fifth type is like the fourth type, but they don't ask questions - they will tell Keith how to do it. They are the experts.
Out of the fifth type comes at least one person, who insists it is being done all wrong, and wants to help "fix it".  This type also, somewhat, blends in with the beautiful and well-meaning friends who just wants to help with such a tremendous time-consuming project, but does not know anything or have any knowledge of the task at hand.
Now, in my opinion, there is nothing wrong with any of these types of "looky-loo's".  The first four are simply curious. The fifth can become a lesson in patience, at times. 
It is the other two types that come out of the fifth that one has to risk offending, but say no, as politely as possible.
This is where Keith and I fail miserably. We do not like to offend people - or hurt feelings of people. So, we didn't say no.
As a result, the fiberglass applied to the outer hull now needs a grinding and sanding almost down to the first layer, or more, and the bow section needs to be completely redone. More time. More money. 
First lesson learned. It is better to politely say no.
On top of that, Keith has been told he cannot grind or sand in the project room. So, our only other option is to find a way to bring the project out to the boat and do that here. 
We did not work on the dinghy over Easter weekend. Keith worked on it a bit yesterday. He wants to get the inner hull done before repairing the outer hull. I did not know he was going to work on the inner part, but having been sunburned and energy-drained from Saturday's trip down to Boca Chica for the Air Show, I probably would not have been much help anyhow.
I guess the problem of transporting it out to the Sue will be a bridge we cross when we come to it. Keith thinks the only way is to tow it out, although he admits it will do some harm to the outer hull by doing so. He is hoping that if we get it out of the water right away, it will minimize the damage. I think we should ask around and see if anyone has a large dinghy that could hold the hull and we can tow it up out of the water. 
I'll just have to wait and see what Keith decides, I guess. 
Forgive me for not having photos of the fiberglass session. I forgot to bring my camera.

11 March 2016

Beginning the New Dinghy

Last weekend, we started building the new dinghy sailboat. 
Start of the Base Frame
Another view of the base frame. It's formal name
is the Set Up Frame.
Actually, our first major decisions had to do with what days to work on it, and when I would be up there to help. Keith and I - we're vastly different on time schedules. Because of his work history through the years, he is a morning person. Me? Well, it goes all the way back to Middle School when I was babysitting for my brother and sister-in-law who worked the night shift at the hospital. I am a night person. 
One of many Cut Out Forms
Our final agreement was to work on the dinghy on the weekends with Keith heading up to work on it from early morning to about noon. He would come out to the Sue around noon and pick me up, where we would work on it together.
Keith placing the Cut Out forms on the Base Frame
So, last Saturday and Sunday began the new sail dinghy - aptly named Runaround Sue.
When I arrived Saturday afternoon, Keith had the base frame done and set up. The base frame will hold the cut-out forms for the dinghy frame.
Keith setting the Stem.
We spent the afternoon, along with Sunday, finishing up the tracing of the patterns, cutting the forms for the dinghy frame, and placing them on the base frame for accuracy in measurement. 
Throughout this past week, Keith would take a little time out of his sail work to go over and sand out some of the rougher pattern forms and keeping the measurements intact.
Accomplishments by the end of Sunday
So, tomorrow continues the work on the dinghy. We have a tentative plan for possibly an hour or two of work on Sunday after the Seafood Festival.

17 November 2015

The Plans Have Arrived

The boat plans arrived in the mail on Saturday. Keith spent all evening going through them quite thoroughly. I will do the same after Thanksgiving, and after decorating for Christmas. 
We have been discussing the little "personal" changes we will make to the boat when we build it.
I'll discuss those as the changes commence.
In the meantime, we have been kicking around name ideas. We've always called the inflatable "Sunset Sue", but since this new boat is going to look almost identical to the Sue, we are considering a new name.
Names in the hat for consideration are - Little Sue, Moon Sue 2, Sue Two, MS2, or just keep Sunset Sue. 
Any suggestions?

 So, this is what happens when we leave Face out of our plans.
 He won. He will be getting his own little space set aside in the new dinghy.

08 November 2015

The Waiting won't be the Hardest Part

So, here we sit - waiting. Keith can't take care of the cataract in his eyes until he gets Part B on his Medicare. He can apply for it in January, but it won't kick in until July.
What to do?
Well, it won't be boring. We have had a bit of a problem with leaks in our inflatable dinghy. Not one, but a few burst out here and there. Keith is now calling it our "deflatable" dinghy. It's beginning to look like a floating patchwork quilt.
So, we have decided - with all this spare time until July- to build our own 1 off fiberglass "non-leaky" dinghy. 
It will be an 11' mini Moonlight Sue with a genoa, mainsail, centerboard, Hunter-style reverse transom, and outboard engine. I ordered the plans and patterns from Glen-L yesterday. We will begin construction after the first of the year, and we will be building it together. 
I'm stoked. I've never built a boat before, but Keith has - a 14' footer.
I will be documenting every step in this endeavor, so stay tuned. 
Hope it floats.