Sunday, July 27, 2014

Rain delay

(Admiral and Co-owner of The Floating Bear, and my Daughter Eldest, has absolutely forbidden me working on the boat today. So I thought I would see if this computer still worked and maybe scribble a few words born of yesterday's efforts.)

Florida can be a difficult place to get work done, and someone should do a serious investigation on how it got the name, "The Sunshine State". Pure marketing propaganda would be my guess. The rain came again this morning. It was that special kind of Florida rain that thunders straight down in torrents that would near drown anyone foolish enough to look up and try to take a breath. Which meant trying to rebed the missing port in The Floating Bear had to be abandoned. In fact all work had to stop since the tarp had to go back over the cabin to cover the myriad of other open holes yet to be addressed after all of the sailing hardware was removed. Trying to do major boat work in a Florida summer is to take a graduate class in patience and adaptability.

For a while Grand Son JJ and I, both already soaked to the bone, sat on the cabin top under the sun cover and sang "BOOM" back to the sky whenever it sang "BOOM" to us first. We watched the occasional mega-yacht go by, windshield wipers slapping back and forth, and called out "Big Boat" to the ducks paddling around the pier. Ducks don't care about the rain. Fine for them, they don't have ports needing to be installed.

After a time it became clear that the forecast for a sunny day with a slight chance of rain was more marketing propaganda. The Floating Bear was buttoned up and the crew dispersed for lunch and hair cuts. I still hope to get the cabin mostly sealed today with the hope of getting the boat "dock side livable". (Ed note: didn't happen.) She has shore power and one battery bank. The rest of the electrical work can wait. Plumbing needs plumbed and the glass work in the cabin has priority. There are still weeks of work to do, and Kintala is waiting in the wings for her own projects to get started.

It would seem that, after a short taste of the cruising life last winter in the Abaco Islands, Kintala's journey has taken an unexpected turn. She has moved just once in the last three months and isn't likely to move again for at least three more. Our friends in lake Carlyle will do far more cruising this summer than will we. Basically we have taken up residence in a hurricane hole on the New River, just at the end of the Ft. Lauderdale River Walk, and become journeymen shipwrights. Work is now an all day, daily affair; but one that is depleting the cruising kitty rather than adding to it. The future is a little uncertain.

As much as we all hate to admit it, the future is always a little uncertain. We are not cruising in the usual sense, but we are still on a journey. We still live on the boat, relaxing by sitting in the cockpit and watching the water world go by. Though, according to Blue Chart, the far bank is about 180 feet away. This is a pretty small water world for a blue water cruising boat. We are working far harder than our old land jobs used to demand, and the toll on my 59-year-old body (Thank you all for the good Birthday Wishes!) is higher than it used to be. Kintala's interior is a bit of a wreck; now home to six people, two of which radiate the endless energy of young boys. That is also a harder on my 59-year-old body than it used to be.

But I get to sit on a sailboat cabin top, laughing at the ducks with my two-year-old grandson, cuddling to stay warm in the cool rain, and sing "BOOM" back at the sky.  


Rharriscpa said...

TJ not that you want to hear it but this summer June July and forecast for August is the worst I can remember in 60 years. I haven't gotten a chance to sail in 2 months as there has been no rain. It took the double who does the Brightwork 6 weeks to strip and but down 4 coats of Cetol. Today I flushed AC system and installed a new Groco. Working on sound proofing with Acoutiblok in between showers. It's a hot slow summer. We could stand a drought. All the best to you guys you are one heck of a great dad and grandad to those 2 boys.

corsair28r said...

hey guys ... you rock ! Even if all that work and change of plans must be numbing, to say the least. Dont forget that those far away spots, people, anchorages, sun and beaches, cold beer, are going to be there for you to explore when you have finished the kids boat project. Now rain or shine do yourself a favour and really take a day off, send the kids to town and relax on Kintala doing absolutely NOTHING ... you deserve it. We have a new boat in the marina a Tartan 37 you would like her, parked next to Grey Hound. We all miss you and are sending good karma your way

S/V Island Bound said...

You and Deb are truly an inspiration. Life takes such unexpected turns...but you usually get something great in return when the turn brings difficulty. Especially when you maintain your priorities like you are. As an aside...Deb, thanks for the phone call the other day. You helped us sort through our decision, and I think we will ship Island Bound to Charleston in Oct. Hope to see you somewhere "down there".

TJ said...

Thor, a Tartan 37? That's a big boat for Carlyle. We saw a few of them around the Islands and they seem to be good boats for cruisers. Are your new neighbors thinking of heading "out here" sometime in the future?

We miss you guys too and can use any good karma lying around unclaimed. The kids, in particular, are way overdue a break.