Storms Rolling Through the Boat Graveyard

Tuesday August 4, 2015

boat graveyard of Indiantown

There’s nothing I like more than sitting back and watching a thunderstorm come in.  The sky growing black, clouds that appear like they’ll swallow you whole, and best of all, the bright bursts of lightning zigzagging though the sky. This seems the complete opposite of what someone living on a boat should enjoy, and although I prefer storms not to come anywhere near me while on passage, I do still love watching them roll in even while we’re at anchor.

Being on land right now does happen to give me the added bonus of not having to worry about strong winds or dragging anchor, although anyone will tell you to stay indoors while there is lightning abound, especially if you live on a metal boat that is not grounded at the moment.  But I can’t help myself.  There’s just something about storms and dark skies that I crave and become as giddy as a child once they arrive.

When our afternoon thunderstorm came rolling through just on time today (always between 2 and 3 o’clock), I decided to grab my camera before the rains came pounding down and take a walk through the storage yard here.  Sometimes also known as The Boat Graveyard.  And once in awhile, Where Boats Come to Die.  Kind of like Daze Off when we found her.  During peak storage season there actually are a lot of good cruising boats sardined in there with the others, but when we first arrived the storage area had been turned into the valley of the discarded and unwanted.  The kids that didn’t get picked for dodge ball and were left to sit on the sidelines.

Singling out these boats with the stormy background gave them an extra sense of eerie abandonment.  Thoughts of pirates and stormy seas and all the childhood stories we used to get lost in.  One could sit back at stare at them for hours making up stories of it’s sordid past.

And then just like that you’re on to it’s shiny neighbor. A boat with a loving home and family that will be back to it shortly.  One that is always in included in all of the games and sometimes picked first.

Somehow we have, or are trying to, manage to get ourselves from the first to the latter.  Looking at our boat in the work area you’d think it still belonged in the graveyard.  If I were to walk by it unknowingly I’d say the same thing myself.  We’ll see what we can make of her though.  Sometimes it’s fun to bring the dead back to life.

thunderstorms in boat workyard

storms over boat work yard

thunderstorms in boat yard

boat graveyard

boat graveyard of Indiantown

boat graveyard of Indiantown

storms over boat graveyard

storm clouds over boats

storm clouds over Daze Off

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Letting the Fates Decide (& Other Stuff)

Wednesday May 20, 2015

storms over Indiantown

The last I left you with our boat situation, we were trying to decide if we should keep Serendipity or if we should sell her and spend the next however long and who knows how much fixing up the quite beaten up Daze Off.  As far as weighing the pros and cons of each, things haven’t changed much.  We haven’t made a final decision on it all.

And that my friends, is why I’m letting the fates decide.  The big thing for us if we keep Serendipity is that we need to find a safe spot for hurricane season and get ourselves there in a reasonable time, meaning we’d want to leave Florida by early to mid-June.  There are some last minute things that would need to be taken care of here, but we think they could be done within a few weeks.

There would be no rushing down thousands of miles to Grenada, or even to Guatemala which we would LOVE to visit again, but more likely end up in the Dominican Republic or Puerto Rico, where with a decent weather window we could make in a week or just over. Having to then rid ourselves of Daze Off, well, there is a story behind that, but it shouldn’t bee too difficult or time consuming.  There would be selling our new vehicle, getting some other paperwork squared away, but really nothing that would be keeping us here.

How might I be letting the fates decide our lives you might ask?  It’s actually quite simple.  We’re going to put Serendipity up for sale, by owner, for two weeks and see how she does on the market.  If there’s not so much as a nibble we’ll splash her and go.  If there’s a few interested parties we’ll re-evaluate.  And if there’s an offer…chances are we’ll take it as long as it hits a certain figure and then dive into work on Daze Off.  I figure this is the best way since it’s a decision neither of us can seem to make for ourselves and because we are actually so indecisive about the whole thing, I think we’ll be satisfied with whatever the universe throws at us. Problem solved.

What’s the other stuff?  I never really did get a chance to talk much about that new vehicle of ours.  She’s a beauty.  A 2004 Kia Sedona, without air conditioning and about three door handles missing.  We knew when we bought something we wanted it to be a minivan so we could pull out all the seats and fit 4×8 pieces of plywood in it, because heaven knows we’ll be buying plenty of those. Did I mention that every scrap of wood in Daze Off is going to be replaced if we keep her?

Truth be told we would have loved to purchase a Toyota Sienna but it was a bit out of the price range we wanted to pay.  We only needed something that will last us our six to nine months here without completely falling apart on us.  If we can eventually sell it again and get any kind of money back, that’s just a bonus.  We started with a budget of $2,000, and searching all over Fort Lauderdale and Miami we’d found a couple that looked as if they may be contenders.  The photos looked nice, mileage was low enough, and all the listings always said ‘great condition’.  Until we saw them in person or took them for a test drive.  I don’t know if any of them even would have got us back to Indiantown.

Then we came across our current one in Port St. Lucie.  Advertised for $1,500, she had 142,000 miles and the photos showed her in decent condition.  There was a bit of sun damage on the hood and it was no longer shiny, but that wouldn’t be a deal breaker for us. Going to see her in person we found out she drove well, but the check engine light was on and the owner couldn’t remember what was causing that.  ”Nothing big”, he told us, “Whatever it is, it’s an easy fix, I remember that”.  Telling him we had to think about it we went back to Indiantown having our rental for another day and another van to look at in the morning.

Getting back to the ‘Dip that evening we received several text messages from the owner, stating that he would bring the price down to $1,100 and throw in a brand new compressor to fix the A/C.  We still didn’t know.  The next morning we got another text.  ’$1,000 with compressor’.  Well you can’t turn down a deal like that. So running back out with our rental car we purchased her and then registered her to the state of Florida.  Which did require Matt to get a new drivers license here.  Hehe.  I love the Mackinac Bridge running over mine and I’ll be keeping my Michigan one as long as possible.

So there you have it.  A new vehicle, purchase and registered for pretty much what we earned on our sailing instructor gig.  Not a bad little arrangement.

That’s all for me today.  I’m about to get back outside and watch this incredible thunderstorm come in over the storage yard.  If I can handle all the mosquitoes that is.  They are out in such force right now that I have on long pants, socks, a long sleeve shirt, and a scarf covering my neck and entire face except for my eyes.  Sitting on the deck while enjoying a glass of wine along with the storm may be completely out of the question, but I still have a chance of capturing that perfect shot with my camera!

2004 Kia Sedona

putting plates on our new vehicle

our beat up Kia

thunderstorms over Florida

thunderstorms over the boat yard

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Part Fish to Part Couch Potato

Tuesday April 29, 2014

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The last time we were in the Bahamas it seems like we could not keep ourselves out of the water with constant swimming, snorkeling, and spearing. I’m pretty sure by the time we made it to Jamaica we could have been classified as part fish. Now, after having traveled through the Central and NW parts of the Caribbean, we’ve found that the Bahamas truly does have some of the best water we’ve ever come across and we couldn’t wait to fall back into our old habits. Except, this year has been making doing that a bit difficult for us. Whether it’s because of bad weather or a busy schedule, we’ve only found ourselves in the water three times thus far. Once at Radio Beach in Bimini, once to unfortunately find out there was only sand and eel grass surrounding our boat in the Berry’s, and once just for a refreshing dip in Kidd’s Cove at Georgetown.

Wanting much more water time from this trip, we took a hint from Kim and Scott and made our next destination Lee Stocking Island, a place we were told has great snorkeling full of reefs and fish. After a tumultuous trip inside Adderley Cut where we were fighting wind against tide and bouncing around in the resulting whitecaps while trying to avoid the reefs just to the side of us, we made it into calmer waters and navigated the narrow channel that led to the mooring field where we chose to drop anchor instead. While it was still early enough in the day to get in the water and experience these activities we’d been sorely missing, the sky had become very overcast and looked like it was going to storm at any minute. The rest of the afternoon passed much of the same way and we agreed that any swimming or snorkeling would have to be put off until the next day.

This morning we woke up to the same dark skies and the same threats of rain. Since we had been greeted last night with a stunning sunset right at shark-thirty (that few hours just before and after sunrise and sunset when sharks are most prevalent), there were hopes that it would just need a few hours to roll over and we’d be enveloped by sunshine once more. Hopefully at a more shark friendly time of day. We settled into the settees and watched videos for a few hours to pass the morning and early afternoon.

Eventually caving to the urge to do something productive, which is usually pretty unheard of for me, I completed a round of sink laundry to get a couple of key items clean. It’s pretty sad when you have to start using swim suits as undergarments. Just as I had washed those and a few pairs of pajama shorts that I’ve been incessantly living in the past few days, I brought everything out to the lifelines to hang and dry when the wind really began picking up. For few minutes I was quite happy as I thought this might cut my drying time in half, until I poked my head out again five minutes later to see that the clothes pins didn’t look like they were going to hang on much longer and my beloved boy shorts were about to be lost to Lee Stocking Island forever. The winds also performed a quick shift, and those dark clouds that were supposed to pass to the south of us were now on their way over to say hi. It was pretty apparent. We were about to get hit with a big storm.

Just as we got all of the items off the lifelines and hanging from ports down below, the boat began bouncing up and down as the wind rushed in from the one direction we did not have protection from, causing whitecaps on the water. If we were not so sure of our 55 lb Rocna which we are still so in love with, I would have been worried that we were now pinned on a see shore with jagged rocks just a few hundred feet behind us, but knowing the chances of us dragging were very low, I just sat back to enjoy the show. The one I craved in Nassau but was never quite delivered without being blocks by dozens of buildings, but there was nothing shielding my view now. Through the next hour we enjoyed a thunder and lightning show, all the while with me in the cockpit as I watched the wind hang around 35 knots and gust into the 40′s. When the rain came in it was so blinding that at one point I could no longer even make out our neighboring boat, it lost to the haze that separated us.

Even though the major storm only lasted about an hour we had the same situation as the night before where skies stayed dark until just before sunset where I decided I would not let the day be completely ruined and enjoyed the sunny skies in the cockpit with a good book and my third to last beer (still in our fridge from Mexico, can you believe we didn’t buy any in the States?). I wish we could stay in this spot a bit longer to actually see what we came to see, but schedules are a pain and we need to keep moving north. Still taking all I could get from this anchorage though, I moved one of our sport-a-seats out to the bow of the boat after dinner when everything around us was pitch black except a thunderstorm off in the distance. I don’t think Matt will ever get over his uneasyness of being anywhere near them while we live on a boat, but I will always be awed by their beauty, and hey, if they’re going to come anyway I may as well have a front row seat to the show.

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