Monday, January 17, 2011

January in Fort Myers

Working on the boat has taken up most of the last two weeks.  She now sports two coats of wax, with the exception of a third of the cockpit.  I also added red LED lights to the back of the electric panel, thus illuminating the breaker switch labels in red for night time sailing. 

On a more serious note, we had to ship our Track It TV device in for service.  Corrosion had caused a short in the remote control cable, sending the unit as far as it could go in one direction.  The unit spent several hours trying to move further than the allowable 720 degrees of rotation and broke a gear in the gear box.  The good new is that the unit is still under partial warranty, so we will only pay part of the repair.  The bad news is there was a snow storm in North Carolina, where the unit will be repaired.  The unit arrived in Asheville on Wednesday the 12th of January, but was not successfully delivered on Thursday or Friday.  Hopefully, it be delivered on Monday the 17th, a full week after I shipped it.  In the meantime, I rewired the power supply to its own switch, which I had to install near the electric panel.  It was sharing the stereo breaker, and the stereo was playing when the corrosion forced the unit to self destruct.  We are still watching tv with the dish temporarily mounted to a mop handle!  However, this will not work once we leave the dock and start anchoring.

We also purchased some lumber and made the frame to carry the mast on the Erie Canal next May.  It was easier to do this now when we have a car and easy access to borrowed power tools.  However, Lucy must share her cabin with six pieces of 2x6, which we will carry around all winter and spring.

We haven't just worked however.  On Friday the 7th of January we met old sailing friends Al and Barb Breninger for lunch at Dean's in Punta Gorda.  It was great catching up with them after not seeing them for two years.  We then went to Fisherman's Village to see the folk duo Patchouli perform on the outdoor stage.  The evening was cold and windy.  When Sue found out that they didn't have bulbs for their heat lamps, she volunteered "us" to go buy some.  As we walked away from the stage where they were setting up, Sue suggested that I drive to the Ace hardware while she checked out the shops at Fisherman's Village.  So that is how "we" supplied the heat lamps to keep Patchouli's fingers warm!

Julie and Bruce are excellent guitar players who sing and play only music that they have written themselves.  The cold weather kept the audience very small, and we visited with them during their breaks and purchased a few of their CD's.

On Friday the 14th we drove up to Venice to visit Vince and Jo Tate.  Sue taught with Vince at Maple Heights High, and they have always kept in touch.  We had a wonderful lunch at The Crow's Nest Resturant just inside the Venice Inlet, and then took a look at the Gulf of Mexico.

We had a very nice visit.  We learned that Vince, a physics teacher, has written a series of short books; but although Jo says they are wonderful, he is not interested in publishing them.

We left Venice in time to be back in Fort Myers for Friday Night Live at the Patio DeLeon.  Patchouli was performing, so we had the opportunity to see out favorite folk duo twice in the span of one week.

On Sunday the 16th Sue and I drove to Bonita Bills in Fort Myers Beach.  We met cruising friends Jerel and Tammy Roe from Kokomo, Indiana for lunch.  Jerel and Tammy were in the mooring field and dingied in to meet us.

After we explored the boaters flea market going on in the Bonita Bill parking lot, we enjoyed a pound of peal and eat shrimp for lunch.  Actually, Sue tossed a few of hers on my plate, so I ate a little more than a pound.  Anyway, we had a great time catching up with Jerel and Tammy, whom we hadn't seen since we left Marathon last March.  Jerel showed off his new AB dingy, and we were impressed by the dingy chaps, or cover, that he made himself. 

It was wonderful seeing them.  They are headed to the Bahamas soon, so we will really miss them in Marathon.  We had many exciting adventures with them last winter.

Becky and Del Gladrow will be flying in on Wednesday the 19th.  We are looking forward to visiting with them for a few days, and then they will be driving our mini van and dingy trailer home.  After that, we will finally be leaving for some cruising.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Welcome 2011

We had a very quiet Christmas Eve at Legacy Harbour Marina.  At sunset we walked past the Edison and Ford museums on McGregor Blvd to view the luminaries in the Edison Estates development.  In many areas of the development, homeowners put out paper bags weighted with sand and lit with candles.  It is much prettier than our photo shows.

We then enjoyed a nice dinner aboard and listened to music on my ipod.

Christmas day we went for our first sail of the winter.  There was a nice breeze on the river, so we beat down to the next bridge and then sailed back downwind.  Everything on the boat worked great!

My daughter Kim and son in law Jeff gave us a Spot GPS Messenger for Christmas.  It is a nifty little GPS device that sends signals through satellites to show our position or call for help, if necessary.  We put a link on this blog so that anyone can see where we are each evening as we travel.  Just click on the Spot GPS link on the right side of the blog.  You can zoom in and out, and switch to satellite or Hybrid mode to see a Google Earth photo of our actual location when the device is activated. 

Between Christmas and New Year's Eve we enjoyed another record cold front, with night time temperatures in the low 30s at the marina. We did drive down to Fort Myers Beach to have lunch at Bonita Bills.  We each enjoyed a pound of peel and eat shrimp for under ten dollars each.  This is up a bit from the eight bucks they charged last year.  It was a great lunch, though, and the waterfront atmosphere is excellent.

It warmed up nicely for the New Year's Eve celebration in downtown Ft. Myers, where we watched the ball drop at midnight just like people do at Times Square in New York City.  Well, maybe it is on a somewhat smaller scale.

Anyway, you can see the lighted ball in the background.  It was an interesting night for two sober people.  People watching was very entertaining.

Right now we are enjoying temperatures in the upper 70s.  We are still waxing Passage, but hope to be done this week.

Finally, we are very pleased to say that our longtime friends Del and Becky Gladrow contacted us after our last blog entry.  They are flying down to visit on January 19th, and they will drive our car and dingy trailer home for us on about the 24th.  It will be great fun visiting with them.  We both enjoy their sense of humor, especially Del's.  Their visit will spell the demise of many pink gulf shrimp, too!  We cannot express how grateful we are that they will be helping us out with our vehicle.