Aug 032014

In case you are wondering, no I have not forgotten the monthly budget post. I still don’t have internet yet and I have been a bit lazy with the blog. I’ll get it up during the week sometime. It ain’t pretty neither so you ain’t missing anything.

Anyways, it’s another exciting Saturday night as I sit here and write this post. The highlight of my evening was doing a load of laundry and waging war on a cockroach infestation on the boat.

This was a parting gift from my old know-it-all neighbor and his bitchy girlfriend who never said a decent word to me in all the time I was at the marina of lost hope. The docks over there are inundated with bugs and they get onto everyone’s boats. My beloved neighbor would spray bomb his yacht and drive the little bastards onto my boat. I thought I was clear of them for awhile but I guess a new batch hatched and they have been all over the place. I spray all over and they come out and die, then a thousand more show up for the funeral. I need to spray bomb the boat but that involves taking the cats off for 4 hours so they don’t get bombed too. Nobody else on the dock is complaining about them so I guess it’s just me they are attacking.

We have had a lot of turnover of residents here on this one dock since I moved here. People coming and going. Boats being bought and sold. A couple moved in next to me on a nice little trawler. They redid the whole boat down in the Virgin Islands, had it transported up here, and now live on it. Pretty little boat.

Another moved in last week. A beautiful, fully rigged 37 foot Carolina sloop with just about every thing one would need to do some serious sailing has moored at a slip on the other side of the dock from me. Haven’t met the guy yet but from what I understand he has been sailing all over the place and is here for a few months before heading out again. I’ll get some photos later when I get back online. The boat is a fine example of what one would need should one decide to do some serious cruising around.

Speaking of which, go take a look at what Julia has been up to at Journey To Minimalism. They are living the cruising life over off the coast of Spain and just went on a short trip out to some island resort. She sounds like she is enjoying herself way too much over there.

But, back here it has not all been beer and skittles either. We had a person move in and buy an older cabin cruiser that had been sitting here since I moved in. He seemed nice at first, claimed to be a marina mechanic and had a big Hummer with a trailer full of tools. He took on some small jobs here and there and stopped working the moment he got paid. He continued to scam people and wound up leaving with the boat in the middle of the night. Rumor has it he lived at the dock for three months and never paid a dime in rent. There are a few people who would like to talk to him if they could find him. Towards the end, he started up talking shit about people and insinuated that one of the neighbors was stealing. We were all happy to see his ass gone.

Another neighbor, who has become friends with yours truly had a bad experience this past week. She had been living on a beautiful cabin cruiser that she bought earlier this year. It was time to haul it out for some bottom work so after many delays, she finally got it over to one of the yards and hauled out by the lift. When said yard hauls out a boat, they pressure wash and scrap the bottom to get all the oolies off. While pressure washing the bottom, large holes started to appear, below the waterline. Holes large enough to stick your hand through. So what happened?

The boat is made of aluminum and three years ago the previous owner hauled out for some bottom work at another yard. They replaced thru hull fittings, repairs here and there, and new paint. Except, they used brass fittings for the thru hulls. If you know anything about metallurgy you know that when you put metals like aluminum and brass together, and stick into salt water, you essentially create a battery. So a process began called, electrolysis, which is when the two metals begin to dissolve as the current they create passes through them. So each spot where a brass fitting was installed, it corroded and holes opened up. Also, as a bonus, the yard who did the work used Bondo to fix some of the holes. Bondo works great on vehicles, not so great on boats in salt water. The bottom line is the boat no longer has a bottom. It is riddled with holes and now the boat is no longer seaworthy. The owner is going to lose a substantial amount of money on this.

If there is a good side to this story, it’s that the boat never took on water while at the dock nor when it was moving over to the yard. Not one drop. The holes didn’t open up until they started to pressure wash the bottom. Had the boat sank it would have been a major disaster. Not just from a life threatening point of view but with all the oil, fuel, etc. on board, a sinking would have been an environmental disaster. Instead of just losing the boat, she could have been in deep trouble.

As it is now, she is safe on the hard and she will try to sell the boat as is, cut her losses, and move on. Taking legal action against the boat yard that did the work will take years to get through the court system, if it ever does. I feel sorry for her but it could have been much more worse.

Just a tip, if you are looking to buy a vessel, and it’s not on a trailer, not on land, or costs way more than a few thousand dollars, get a professional survey done before forking over the cash. A surveyor would have probably caught all those problems with the bottom and she would not have bought the boat. A survey can run a few hundred, but it could save you thousands in the long run.

My friend will be ok. She took it hard when it first happened and she realized the gravity of the situation and how bad it could have been. And it didn’t help that other, “friends” offered no sympathy and instead, threw out a few, “I told you so’s.”, something she did not need at a time like that. But the rest of us on the dock, who have been her neighbors have all been supportive and now, she is taking control of her situation and making the best of things, cutting losses, and getting ready to move on to a new adventure. She’ll be ok.

So that is life as a liveaboard. For some, things are going well. For others, not so much. It goes with the lifestyle. As for me, aside from the cockroach invasion, things are just sort of running on idle right now.

Reading about Julia’s adventures in the Mediterranean, seeing that big Catalina cruise in, all decked out for some serious sailing, I’ve been getting a bit restless. My little boat is not built for serious cruising and I’m not so sure I want to do that. It sounds good on paper, sailing away to other places and all, but I’m trying to get other things accomplished.

I’ve let myself fall into a trap here with kayak gig. It’s putting food on the table and helping me get through the months but it’s also getting to be a bit tougher. I’ll be 60 real soon and it’s high time I started doing things a bit less strenuous. Don’t get me wrong, the guiding is fun, and Darwin knows it’s a heluva lot better than working a parts counter. But it’s starting to take control of my life. All of a sudden I have to be somewhere at certain times of the week. I’m having to put up with some petty nonsense at the marina where we do the paddling. Ever since the place got busy, the marina staff has decided to enforce a bunch of silly ass corporate rules and you all know how I feel about that shit. In other words, kayak guiding is becoming a job, and I don’t want that. I’ll keep it up for a little bit longer but I do want to be done with it by the end of this year.

I’m going to constipate all my efforts now on app development. I firmly believe that is where I can do the most evil, along with writing here on the Fritter. I can work at my own pace, decide who I want or don’t want to work with, and be mobile, assuming I can get internet some damn place.

I already sent out a letter to all my commercial website accounts that I will be shutting down my hosting and web business as of the end of the year. I’ll still keep this site going of course along with Journey To Minimalism, the cozy minimalist, and peanut on the table, but the others will have to find new hosts and web masters. That gig simply is not generating any income and it involves too much work to constantly keep the sites up and running.

Apps are where I want to be for now.

As for boat living, well, it works for me at the moment. I’m happy here at this marina. BTW, I have discovered something. For whatever reason, not sure why, every marina on the south side of Stock Island is run by assholes. Every one. Don’t know why, but I seem to be striking out with every marina on that side of the island. Just sayin’.

Anyways, I’m going to make some major changes as the rest of this year winds down. It may work out, may not, but changes will be made. I’ve given up control of a lot of things and it is time to get everything in my life back under my control. No schedules, no rules, no bullshit.

I’ve been in Key West for three years now, putting up with marina tyrants, internet issues, toilet issues, and generally, not enjoying myself like I should. Time to change all that.

Capt. Fritter

  3 Responses to “Living Aboard: Some Things Have Been Bugging Me Lately…”

  1. old friends used boric acid powder (inside cabinets, under seats, away from their cat) to control palmetto bugs…it was successful for them 🙂
    Thanks for the view into life at the end of the road

  2. Ugh…sorry to hear about the infestation of cockies. We’ve been doing everything we can to keep the suckers from getting on Snowflake. We clean the veggies, peal off the labels on cans, we don’t bring any cardboard aboard. So far, so good – knock on wood.

    Don’t be discouraged though. With a boat there is always something. We fought with toilet problems for a few weeks before finally getting it fixed. We are also still working on light problems up the mast – the wiring is atrocious on an old boat when the previous owner didn’t try to do things correctly. And the floor is taking much longer than expected. We were really hoping to be out of here and back at Altea this Saturday for large fireworks they are shooting off from the sea, but doesn’t look like that is going to happen right now with the light issues.

    We are becoming exhausted with all of the projects and we have learned to never view ANY project as a SHORT or SIMPLE project. But, we keep telling ourselves that it will be worth it once we get Snowflake in top shape.

    So, while I write of beautiful, far away islands and tropical paradise…..just know that it’s not all rainbows and unicorns all the time. 😉

    Everything will turn out ok…just keep your chin up and focus on your goals. Good luck!