May 032013

…You best make sure your dock lines are snug.  We had quite the weather system move through the Key’s yesterday.  From late morning to sunset the islands got anywhere from 4 to 7 inches of rain, depending on which weather bunny you believe.  Wind gusts hit nearly 60 mph in some places and there was plenty of lightning.  Rumors were that some hail fell around Boca Chita and I have no doubt a few waterspouts cropped up on the water.  I’ve a bad feeling that this is a harboring of what is to come this storm season.

In Old Town, as usual, Duval from Greene to Front become ocean front property.  This part of the street sits low and always floods due to poor drainage.  The water can get a foot deep or better and since all those businesses are located along there they have to put up sandbags to try in vain to keep the water out.  What really helps are clueless people who feel compelled to drive their vehicles down that part of the street when it’s flooded.  Especially those who own big oversized pick up trucks.  They love to make the splashies.  Problem is, when they make the splashies, they throw up wakes like a boat and flood the water over any sand bags the stores put up.  Duval is the only street I’ve ever seen where you can find “NO WAKE” signs along side the speed limit signs.  Understandably, store owners, especially the jewelers who have a rather substantial amount of money tied up in inventory get a tad upset when one of these urban assault vehicles comes charging through.  If only there was some way to prevent vehicular traffic on Duval.

Elsewhere, apparently the high quality fencing along the temporary bike path on North Roosevelt did not live up to the claims of it’s advertised sturdiness and stability.  I read that parts of it came tumbling down, blocking the path.  I haven’t been up that way yet, it’s still raining a little bit today, but I will check it out and let you know the status.  To be safe, take the other routes along South Roosevelt or along Duck and Eagle.

The animal shelter out on Stock Island got some flooding.  They had to move all 150 dogs and cats to higher ground.  The shelter is in very poor shape, just an old wooden building off College Rd.  Lot’s of shade but buggy, muddy, and in ill repair.  They need something more better but it ain’t gonna happen short of a lot of money magically appearing on their doorsteps.

Here at the marina we all survived with minimal damage.  Bikes and dock furniture got knocked over.  Ever since my last bike wound up at the bottom of the canal, I tie it up with some dock line.  It will fall over but at least it won’t go into the water again.

One thing you find out when you have been living on a boat for a while without any rain is that when it does rain, you discover all the leaks.  Cabin windows are particularly prone to leaking.  Even though they are sealed tight, all that movement on the water eventually breaks seals, or the sealant dry rots and no longer seals.  I’ve got two that drip a little.  My forward hatch also leaks around the hinges.  It’s an easy fix with some 5200 marine sealant, when I get around to it.  I keep a bucket under the drippy part for now.

My biggest leak is where the ac unit sits.  A hole was cut in the bulkhead to slide the unit in and it was never really properly sealed.  As a result when it rains, all that water comes in and down into the head area.  It winds up in the bilge eventually but after a rain like yesterday, the whole cabin was damp and sticky.  My bilge pump is not hooked up to anything at the moment so I have to manually pump the bilge.  Not a big deal, took about 4 bucketfuls out this morning, but it is something I have to watch in the rainy season.  If I keep this boat I will probably get a new bilge pump and wire it up so I can just press a button and dump the water out.  It’s mostly fresh water and once in a while I drop a capful of boat wash in to keep it fresh and minty clean.

The Fritter rocked pretty good in all the wind yesterday.  I bought new dock lines last summer before Isaac hit.  The boat is built to use 3/8″ lines.  Most boats this size use 3/8.  But I went with 1/2″ since the boat is a dock queen and just sits in the slip all day.  All the lines are in good shape but starting to stretch a bit.  I will need to reset them after this storm system passes through.  If I am still on board when the next hurricane moves our way, I may go grab some new lines and have the older ones as back up.  You can’t have too many lines on a boat.

Speaking of which, the deal I am trying to make for the boat I saw online may not be dead in the water yet.  A neighbor who is renting from the guy who I bought the Fritter from originally is going to be homeless soon as the boat he is on was sold.  We are talking about him buying my boat in exchange for helping me with the logistics of going up the islands to see and hopefully purchase the other boat.  If it all works out in my fantasy world, I get rid of this boat, pick up the smaller but in better condition other boat, and keep the slip.  Plus, maybe put a few dollars back in my pocket since the other boat is much cheaper.  The moon, the stars, and heavens above will all have to align in just the right way for all this to happen.  But it is very possible.

In the meantime, I’ll keep rocking and bailing.

Capt. Fritter

I’m going to name my next boat, “Handbasket”.  So when I go out it, and somebody asks me where I am going, I will say, “To Hell!”.

  4 Responses to “If The Boat Is A Rockin’…”

  1. well. i am holding a vision in my mind of you purchasing the handbasket.
    you picture it a done deal.
    that’s how it works.
    i truly truly believe that.
    it’s some kind of weird universal thing. but it works.
    so handbasket it is!
    don’t the cats ever get sea sick?
    i would.

    • Tsk, Tsk. Preaching spiritualism to a hard core atheist like me. It’ll happen only when the neighbors get off their lazy asses and decide to do this. Many factors involved but, I’ve seen stranger things happen. If we are going to do it, just want to get it done and over with so I can concentrate on more important stuff.
      Cats slept through the whole storm. Remember that Charley was born during the hurricane of the same name, and has the same personality.
      C. F.

  2. you old atheist pirate.
    has nothing to do with spiritualism.
    more like some kind of universal barter system. LOLOL.
    i’m gonna picture it anyhow. that way if it happens i can get the credit. hee hee.