Feb 052015


It’s been a hectic year so far and it’s only February.  I’ve been on the brink of homelessness, to making the rent and bills with ease.  All within just a few weeks.  January wound up way more better than I thought and the first few days of February have been quite nice income wise.  I need to continue the trend with all the upcoming bills, but at least I am staying with ahead of the snapping wolves at my feet.

In about a week the marina will come a knockin’ to see and hear my engine run on the boat.  Being as I only have sails, it’s going to be a quiet moment.  Unfortunately, they want something that makes noise, burns fuel, and pushes the boat in a more direct path than what the wind will allow.  The manager assures me that anyone without said engine will have a short amount of time to defecate one out.  But it would be nice to have one on board when they come around.

There are outboards for sale all over the place in the Keys.  None of which I can afford at this time.  So I have resorted to an old tried and true option, I’m advertising to barter out an iPhone app for a motor and possibly a dinghy.  I’ve been running some ads online to no avail but you never know.  Someone out there might see the value in such an exchange and we could both walk away with what we need.

There are more than a few other boats in the marina that have no running engines and the owners are sweating a lot more about it than I am due to the fact they have more bigger boats than I do.  My little scow can get by with something as small as a 3 hp or even a 100b thrust trolling motor.  As long as it will push the boat out of the marina, that is all they and the insurance company want.

So, if anyone out there in fritter land has a need for an iPhone app, and is interested in trading a nice running small outboard and a dinghy of about 9 ft or so, let me know.  I’m in a tradin’ mood at the moment.

Elsewhere, I’ve gotten rid of couple things that, in anticipation of the possibility of the merest hint, that I may end up out at the mooring field, won’t do me any good out there, away from land, with no power, unable to feel the solid earth beneath my weary feet, at the mercy of the winds, waves, and whims of nature.  In short, I sold my ac unit and small fridge.

The ac unit is a year old and I won’t be needing it for a few more months as of yet.  It’s easy to replace for about $100 and after a year of hard use, they take a beating anyways.

As for the fridge, it was nice to have, but just a tad too big for the boat.  It always seemed to be in the way so I sold it and replaced it with a small cooler for now.  Ice is available at the marina for small fee and not a big deal.  Both the ac and the fridge just took up too much space but are easily replaceable should my fortunes change.  It also gives me a chance to adjust to not having climate control on the boat and relying on frozen water in a bag for refrigeration.

The free table continues to produce.  I mentioned we have what is known around the marina as the free table.  If one has something they want to get rid of, and they don’t want to waste time trying to sell, and they don’t want to throw out, they put it on the free table.

Last month I scored a toaster oven which made cooking way more better.  Since then, said oven has cooked it’s last.  It quit working so into the dumpster it went.  No big deal.  But this week, as I was walking by, there on the free table stood a perfectly working microwave oven, which now sits on the boat.  I’d rather have the toaster oven, but the microwave will work for now.  Should I end up on the mooring, it too will return to the free table as it will not work without that whole electricity thingy.

The other score I made was also this week.  We have been having unusually cool weather for down here.  At night it gets into the low 60’s and with the humidity and being on the water it feels like -0.  I’ve been using a thin blanket and a couple of cats to stay warm but found my self shivering more than few time in the middle of the night.  So, again as I was walking up by the free table, there, as if by magic, was a sleeping bag.  A very warm, clean, snug sleeping bag.  The first night I crawled into it, turned out to be one of the most restful nights I have had in a long time.

So maybe I should rename it the make a wish table.  Seems like every time I need something specific, it appears on the table.   Nope, no engine yet.  But I will be looking.

A friend of mine, whom I told about the engine swap called today to tell me he knows of someone trying to give or sell at an extremely low price, a 32′ sailboat.  He has been trying to sell it without success and because he has to leave soon, has decided to give it to a friend or take a small pittance for it.  My friend suggested I go take a look.  While it seems tempting at first blush, I see too many bad things here.

No doubt the boat is in rough shape and will need lots of work.  I do not want to spend the resources, which I do not have, on such a venture.  The boat also sits in the marina next door to that, “other place” where I lived and suffered the last two years.  While it’s a completely different marina, it’s a lousy neighborhood all the way at the south east end of Stock Island.  Without a vehicle it’s a pain in the ass to get anywhere.  And I’m always reminded of the famous saying amongst boaters, “There is nothing more expensive than a free boat.”  Yes, I did ask about the motor and it supposedly has a small motor that doesn’t run.  I believe I will not pursue this particular deal.

My little boat may not be much, but I know it inside and out pretty good now.  I’ve gotten rid of all the useless stuff and I know what it will take to get it up to speed.  I’m way better off right now sticking with a known entity, rather than getting into another boat project.

So, that is where things stand at the moment.  I have no idea what will happen at the end of the month, as before.  I may or may not have a motor on the boat.  I may or may not be leaving for the city mooring field (I gave up on the private mooring).  I may or may not be selling the boat and moving in an entirely different adventure.  If you are the type of person that prefers things remain the same in your life.  If you do not like unpredictability.  If you do not seek adventure into the unknown.  Then do the exact opposite of what I do.  Seems like everyday circumstances change.  Somedays it seems everything will work out fine, others, not so much.  I’ve learned to just go with it and be ready for whatever happens.

Capt. Fritter




  5 Responses to “Living Aboard: Bartering & Purging…”

  1. do you want my toaster oven? i could bring it down on Delta Feb 22. where do i find you on the stock island marina so i can carry toaster oven over on bus from my Banana Bay Hotel on N. Roosevelt/Hilton Haven Rd.

  2. Really enjoyable post. I will stay tuned.

  3. Diana is certainly generous and accommodating!

    Sounds like C.F. has made a new friend.

    Very nice!


  4. Am I Capt Fritter’s new friend? I might be if Capt Fritter is a real person. ha. I will have to check that aspect out soon when I return to LaDolceVita Key West faced with all sorts of Fellini characters. haha.