Apr 112014

Things continue to settle down here with the new marina.  I’m starting to get back into a decent frame of mind again as all the tension, stress, and adrenaline slowly goes away.  Everyone has commented about how more better I seem to be since I moved.  It’s really starting to dawn on me how bad things were at the “other place” and while I’m happy to be out of there, I’m a bit bitter about the lost year.  I moved to Key West because it’s a place where I really wanted to be.  I wan’t so much looking to hanging out in bars, which I haven’t, nor even going downtown that often.  I just wanted to be here on the island and find all the little spots that few others ever see.  I have done some of that but the past year cost me a lot of happiness and contentment.  I thought those days were gone when I left the mainland and the corporate world.  No matter.  The bad is behind me and I can start looking forward again with a little more confidence and a more better attitude.

The marina remains nice and peaceful here.  A few boats in and out but nothing like before.  My neighbors are pretty nice and I suspect we will all get along fine.  The other day when a particularly strong cold front came roaring through we had strong gale force winds coming right down the middle of the marina bouncing everyone around.  About half way through the storm, one neighbor came by with a plate full of food.  She made dinner for everyone else figgering that nobody could cook.  Very nice of her, even though I had already eaten before the storm.  Still, nice.

My neighbors across the dock sold their boat and will be leaving at the end of the month.  No word on what the new owner will do, stay or leave.  The boat is in rough shape so they may pull out.

We’ve had a pair of osprey who must have a nest nearby that have been swooping through the marina all day and night.  They fuss at each other and go hunting for fish.  Seen them a couple of times on my mast.

I’ve been doing some minor inventory on what else the Spirit may need.  I discovered that the port side winch is broken.  It will need replaced.  The winch is used when sailing for wrapping the jib sheet, that is the line for the forward sail.  In a strong wind you wrap the sheet around the winch and crank it tight rather than try to pull with your bare hands.  Winches are not cheap, as nothing is on a boat.  It’s not a big priority at the moment but at some point I will need to hit the flea markets and other bargain places for a replacement.

The standing rigging needs some tending too.  Minor stuff really.  A new clip here, a replacement pin there.  And I still need to get the mainsail rigged.  Not that I’m planning on sailing soon, but I do want to get it all fixed.

I’m putting the motor up for sale next week.  $500 includes the motor, fuel tank, and a cart for moving it around.  I’m going to look for a trolling motor with 80 to 100 lb thrust, and add in a couple batteries.  That will be sufficient to get me in and out of the marina and satisfy the powers that be.  I’m tired of fooling around with gas engines.  No more.

Being on the end of the tee like I am means tying off to the dock a bit differently.  Before I had lines on both sides of the boat.  Now only on one side.  Currently I have five lines and two fenders out and I have to continually check the lines, especially after a blow to make sure all is right.  I could use some new dock lines and add a 6th line on but all in due time.  As storm season comes in, I will tend to that more.  I haven’t talked to the marina about what they do in a hurricane yet.  I hope we can stay put.  The docks float and we are somewhat sheltered by the winds in here.  Safe a place as any.  I do have a couple of little spots back in the mangroves I could sneak into should we have to leave but staying put would work the best.

As for other business, I’ve been getting some extra work, and money with the kayak guiding.  My client hurt his back so I have been filling in for the tours.  Easy work and the tips have been real good.  The extra cash has come in handy and I did splurge this past week.

Firstly, I bought a small fridge for the boat.  i’ve been using a cooler and ice but it just doesn’t work too good as the heat builds.  The fridge was on sale but like a dumb ass I forgot to measure how much room I had.  It don’t quite fit where i wanted it so I had to improvise.  The upside is it holds a lot and I can now stock up more better.  Subtract the cost of ice and it will pay for itself in a month or two.

An ac unit will be next and I’ll have to do something there soon.  I won’t have a tarp over the boom like before.  The marina don’t allow the plastic tarps and the sailcloth is pricey.  I’ll have to find a window unit like before.  Since my electric is metered I can run it as needed.

Speaking of which, my old landlord gave me back my $100 utility deposit which was nice.  They were the best landlords I have had in a while.  They are getting smart too and leaving the “other place” to move up to the Ft. Myers area.

I also ordered up a nice pair of hiking shoes from Bass Pro.  The last pair of sneakers I had couldn’t hold up to all the walking.  Hopefully these will last a bit longer.  Still not ready to get another bike.

I did order up one other item but I ain’t gonna tell you what it is until I get it and make sure it’s what I want.  If it handles my needs it’s going to be an important item for the future.  More later on.

My video project has pretty much wrapped up for now.  It was 4 months of editing video and I finally got the last done.  Upside is it will provide some income every month for a long while.  Now that the project is done I can constipate on some new app projects that I have been kicking around and maybe pick up a new client here or there.  It won’t take much to pay the bills every month now that the big stuff is over with.

So here I sit actually looking forward to summer.  It’s still hard to believe that I am out of the bullshit and on occasion I wake up from sleeping thinking a voice outside is one of the old neighbors or that I am still back there.  It will all pass eventually and I will be more better.  A little bit of income, an occasional trip into town, maybe some minor socializing here and there, all should be right with the world.

Capt. Fritter

  3 Responses to “Living Aboard: Settling In & Looking Ahead…”

  1. it’s all good capt.
    grinn’in here for you.
    the fridge was a smart move!
    personally the blue tarps are kind of pretty i think. but oh. well.
    can the windows have simple screens so you can leave them open and get a cross breeze?

  2. I can still feel the shoulder tension releasing each time I read one of your posts. I’m so glad things are looking up for you for a change.