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CHAT AND CHILL April 25, 2016

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Caribbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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Well she got home and back to school. Not wanting to go to school the first day, but back to Chat and Chill. She found out about cruising kids and wanders why she could not be one. They could move on the boat with Grandma and Grandpa. I just do not think that would work. Love my kids, but I did my time with them. Now it is their turn. They seem to be doing pretty good without our being in their daily lives. The grandkid want to insure we are in George Town next year. She also had her mother try to explain why they do not have ropes hanging from the trees above the picnic benches in their park. It is hard to explain the wonders of attorneys and their desire for money to an 8 Y.O.

My son and his wife came for an extended weekend in the middle of the grandkid’s stay. They got in on Thursday afternoon. Friday we took a tour of the southern end of the island. Learned about the islands history including the salt industry and the drug industry. You remember the Columbian connection to our east coast. All these islands have little airports. They also have a lot of fast boats. The tour stopped at a good little restaurant for lunch. Other then that, as tours go this one was a little above boring.

Saturday we had a leisurely breakfast and walk over to the Atlantic side of the island we are anchored by. While here, the grandkid must have collected 5 pounds of sea shells. She found some shells I have never seen before.

My son went Bone Fishing, Saturday morning. The high spot of his trip. He caught 4 of various size. He was fly fishing. He has done some fly fishing before, but never for Bone Fish. I understand that you stand on the front of a big john boat and cast in front of them. Have to get close enough to get there interest, but not to close or you spook them.

Saturday afternoon we were going over to Chat and Chill. This was before the grandkid had seen the place. Good thing. If you recall, My depth meter went out a few week back. Well my son brought a new one to replace the old one. I figured it would take the two of us a half hour to do the job. You unscrew the old one from the bottom of the boat and screw in the new one. What can be so hard.

The old one would not unscrew. Not even a little bit. I did a good job when I put it in 19 years ago. My son would take a breath and dive under the boat and pry the flange loose. I and my son-in-law, on the inside would chisel and pry out pieces from the top. It was about 2 ½ inches long. It was not meant to be broken out. My daughter and daughter-in-law were our communication link between my son on the outside and my son-in-law and I in the bottom of the boat.

Finally it starts to break loose. Oh, I failed to mention that not only is it 2-1/2 inches long, it is 2 inches in diameter and 3 feet below the water line. Do you have any idea how much water can come through a 2 inch hole in the bottom of a boat. Yes, we are in the water. A lot of water. The first thing out of my son-in-law’s mouth is “we are sinking!!” About now the flooding alarm goes off. It is a car horn. It is very loud. I went and disconnected the horn and my son-in-law is stuffing rags in the hole trying to slow our demise.

The grandkid thinks she is going to drowned. Grandma gets to stop the screaming and crying that was about as loud as the flooding alarm. Her father then got angry at her for screaming. He should not have done that. Grandma, wife and sister-in-law got all over him for saying we were sinking in the first place and scaring the kid. He was pretty quiet for the rest of the project.

The water was coming in faster then the bilge pump could take it out so I set up a second bilge pump. That stopped the sinking, but there still was a lot of water coming in.

After cleaning the old calk out of the hole, the new transponder when in and did not leak. The wires were plugged in and it worked. Job done. Only 3 hours. It was now time to go back to the resort, clean up and head for dinner. Grandpa turned out to be the Grinch that stole Saturday.

I was happy with a new depth sounder, the son was happy with Bone Fishing and coming up close and personal with a 3-foot barracuda that had taken up residency under the boat. Son and barracuda got along fine. Both were inquisitive and after staring each other down, they went back to what they do. The ladies were happy to not be sitting in the park with the sun beating down on them. The grandkid did not know what she had missed, plus got the excitement of being on a sinking boat…, for a few minutes.

The son went home Sunday and the next few days we traveled George Town, ate in more restaurants, and got to Chat and Chill’s. This is a beach bar with picnic tables with ropes hanging over a couple of them. Also a tightrope, a big rope swing, volley ball courts, and a beach. The beach is also populated by sting rays. And a bunch of people.

The grandkid met a girl her age that is a cruising kid. Something the grandkid had never thought of existing. A real different lifestyle that has swinging ropes in it. She should see what you can do swinging from ropes tied to the mast. We also got the grandkid driving the dinghy.

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NOW ITS OVER AND SHE IS GONE April 18, 2016

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Caribbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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Yep, and we are melancholy. When she came she was in the middle of a cold. Little did we know. Our daughter was also on the mend, maybe better then the granddaughter. The son –in-law was over a light case. He says this is the elementary school curse. As soon as you get symptoms of anything, you lift up your shirt and check for spots. You can hack, sneeze, sniff and still show up for work. Have a red spot and you better not leave your home. The end results. They were all back to almost 100% by the end of the first week. Now, they are back home and well, we, on the other hand are alive in Paradise with the Rock Mountain Cold. The germs did not get the playbook. One does not get sick in Paradise. This is the first sniffle since leaving 2 years ago. We even missed Chickengungha Fever. Thank goodness. That spelling is probably not right. But I know the symptoms.

As week 2 progressed the granddaughter was on the mend and a lot more fun to be around. Did not go sailing. Most of the time it was very windy. I did get her driving the dinghy. Also got her over to the beach bar, ”Chat and Chill”. It is on a beach with volley ball courts, a playground for the kids that have more used rope then a fleet of cruisers. They are tied up in the trees and the kids swing from picnic tables or jump out of the trees, hanging on for dear life.

My granddaughter is into skiing and rock climbing. During the winter they practice rock climbing at the high school wall. Not only is it vertical but also horizontal. That means you hang from the ceiling by your finger tips. She is waiting for spring thaw so she can get out on the real cliffs. I remember when she was in pre-school and repelling down cliffs. I thought then, “what could this lead too”.

At the playground, the older boys, 10ish are climbing a large tree, walking out on a limb while holding on the a higher limb. They catch the rope and jump off the limb. It is 10-12 feet in the air. Shoot, this is baby stuff for a rock climber. She goes up the tree with the best of the boys. They get to the walk the limb part and things slow. The difference in height between a 10 year old boy and a 8 year old girl is about 30%. The boys are balancing by holding on to this limb over there head. The granddaughter does get standing on the limb and catches the rope. She is hanging on to the trunk of the tree. That does not allow her to get out where one can have a clear swing. The upper limb is a good foot over her head. She chickens out, gives the rope to one of the boys and climbs down the tree. You think that’s the end , huh? Hell no. She goes back to swinging on the ropes from picnic tables and kicking off the trees. All the while she is studying that tree. The boys have another tree they climb and then cross over to the limb they jump from. That would put her 2 feet below anything to hold on to. Surprisingly, she did not try it. She was wearing a swim suit and the limb was gnarly, so she did not try scooting out on the limb. Back to swinging from the picnic tables.

I turn around and she is gone. She was playing with a cruising girl and they had built sand castles by the beach between swings on the ropes. The cruiser girl is on the beach, but no grandkid. Ah, grandpa knows. A little higher up the main trunk she is perched, rope in hand. The wheels in her head are in high gear trying to figure out how to get in position on the rope and get around the trunk of the tree while in free fall from her jump. The boys are up there saying, “na, that is not going to work.” She reluctantly give the rope to one of the boys and climbs down the tree. The wheels are still going and you know she is not done. Ah, but time at the beach has about ran out. She spend the last few minutes going off the picnic table and looking at that tree and limb. She was not defeated, only delayed.

Grandpa could have show here how to get out there without tearing up here legs, but grandpa is suppose to have wisdom at times. She will figure it out. The wheels are still spinning. And grandpa, well he had a grandkid driving the dinghy back to the boat and no scraped up, battered up grandkid.

The boys. They were impressed by her climbing the tree as fast as they could and getting out on the limb to the limits of her hand holds. There sisters do not do things like that. At least not that this grandpa has seen. They did not realize they had met a super fast downhill skier/ Rock Mountain rock climber…, in the making.

More stuff happened and I will add to it next week. It is Monday and the wind is blowing again. We are discussing where to go from here. Hope to get to Long island later this week. That is still under discussion.

WEEK TWO April 11, 2016

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Caribbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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About 2 days into week one and the grandkid came down with a large cold. She got 2 days in the cold water and that did her in. About 3 days later the Capt. came down with his cold. Today is Monday and I spend most of it getting better. The Grandkid is pretty good and tomorrow it is back to shell hunting on the Atlantic side of the island.

One of the goals of the week is to spend some time at Chat and Chill. It is a beach bar with great hamburgers. There are beaches on 2 sides of the bar, picnic benches on 1/3 and trash on what’s left. Beside the picnic benches are 2 volley ball courts. There are also various swings and tight ropes for the kids that have no fear.

On Sunday during the season (Thanksgiving to Easter) there is a beach church that is held at the picnic tables. The kids clime up into the trees. There pews. Last Sunday, a girl dropped her song book which went sailing down and right over the man giving the sermon head. The girl about 12 turned beat red for the rest of the service.

There is also a conk shack a little further down the beach. He makes fresh conk salad. He will give you the inners of the conk and you can wade into the water and feed stingrays out of your hand. That is really not a smart thing to do, but I have never heard of someone being stung while feeding them. They will gather around you weather you have food or not. When they are not being fed, they glide off and land on the bottom and flop sand over there bodies. Now you can not see them. If you step on one, you get speared with their tail. Venomous tail. Oh yea, the favorite food of hammerhead sharks is stingrays. Yep, they are lurking around also. Ah, living in nature.

One day we hiked over the island to the Atlantic side. Looked for sea shells. We have taken a couple loads back to the resort. Still at least one more load to go. Tomorrow while at Chat and Chills we will go across the small bay to another trail to the Atlantic side. This area is a little more rugged and has a lot more shells. Great.

Thursday my son and his wife came for a few days. It was wonderful. He muled parts I needed for the outboard and the boat. The new prop for the outboard replaced the new one I got in Puerto Rico. That one had the same numbers on it but just did not have the torque. This one is the right one and moves us along like it should.

Saturday my son went Bone fishing in the morning. He caught 4. The high point of his trip.

We had the who family on the boat for lunch. I convinced my son to help install the transducer for my new depth sounder. 15 minute job. ½ hour max. Three hours later we have the transponder installed. Yes we did that with the boat in the water and opened up a 2 inch hole in the bottom of the boat. Cleaned out the old calk and installed the new one. Probably took on 200 gallons of water while doing this. My son did the diving, the two wives were communicators between the diver and my son-in-law and I in the bottom of the boat removing the old transducer . Beating it out would be a more accurate description.

This ordeal meant we did not make it to Chat and Chill. This made Dad the Grinch of the day. But I have a working depth sounder. Something one really needs when cruising the Bahamas.

Dad buying dinner was the least we could do.

Son and daughter-in-law were leaving Sunday afternoon. So we went and had a big Sunday Brunch at a local restaurant. It was very good.

Today the cold really got hold. I was feeling about 60%. The mate went to play with the granddaughter and make home made bread. I finished wiring the depth sounder and slept away over ½ the day. Feel like I might get over this cold fast and enjoy the rest of the kids vacation. Tomorrow is Chat and Chill, and finding shell on the Atlantic side, or Grandpa is fish bait.

SHE IS HERE WAHOO April 4, 2016

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Caribbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing.
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Well some trips from Colorado can be a trip from hell. Frying from there to the islands get you an overnight at either Miami or Dallas. They got Dallas. Going through security even at 5:30 in the morning can mean standing in line. Not a hole lot of people traveling that early, but they just pull more inspectors off the line so it still takes an hour to get through. Then the plane is delayed. To the point that they will miss the flight to the Bahamas. Then you get a new plane. They roll it out from the hanger and put it in service. Oh, no radio in it. Just send a parade of techs to install and check out the radios. Finally off to Miami. They used to travel a lot. Along the travel they got to know about people who work and know the system. Before they leave Dallas they have arrangements made to get on the flight to the Bahamas. They do get to Miami and everyone scrambles off the plane and starts running to there next flight. Well, they get there and are greeted and shuttled off to there flight to the Bahamas.

They actually get in a few minutes early from the original schedule. Cool. They are tired and not happy with the being shuttled around for 9 hours. But, it all worked out for the best.

Today we ate breakfast on the boat and then off to the beach. That lasted till dinner time. Cool. A good day. The grandkid was very happy to spend today in the water.

Tomorrow a cold front is to pass through and bring strong winds and seas. That may cause us to take the water Taxies. That would be if it is to rough for us in the dinghy. Time will tell.