Friday, August 31, 2012

Floating beats covered parking any day

Dan just summed up the last 6 weeks when he said "I don't have that sinking feeling anymore!  What else could compel one to live on stilts in Southern Florida during hot hurricane season on a concrete slab with no breeze?  A leak!  
Now, here we are floating again!!!  Thanks to Dan's very hard work and sweat Sunny Ray is floating here on the Intercoastal Waterway in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  We anchored in this very spot 6 plus weeks ago.  It is called Santa Barbara Lake, an urban lake that is not as urbany as Boca Raton. Boca Raton is only about 30 miles north of here and is where we discovered the leak.  It's a beautiful night with a full moon briefly on Raymond's hand.  Dan just made coconut stew for us. Delicious! (Yay! So glad that Dan wasn't so busy fixing things to cook!)  Dale has been on a coconut quest since in Florida.  She was finally able to gather 2 yummy ones.
Tomorrow we are heading towards Stuart, Florida to visit our good friend, Rip.  He is a sailing buddy from Tucson and always has good advice for us.
            Nephew Lou and Rip                       Rip on his boat
Rip was able to visit Dan a couple of times while Sunny Ray was still in the workyard.  That was awesome, especially since the kids and I abandoned him to a dusty, hot, fiberglassy realm of working madness. We had separate realities......
Dan's reality: Fixing the leak and taking the opportunity of the haul-out to replace the saildrives (transmissions) with straight shaft drives.

Oysters having a conversation where the rubbery donut gasket is supposed to be.
Removing the oysters exposed screwholes into the hollow stringer that supports the motors.  When we discovered the leak, water was squirting out of the stringer and goopy marine bubblegum stopped it and made the water come out the top of the stringer.  Since we didn't really know where the leak was originating or how bad it could be, we backtracked to the closest marina that could haul out our 21 foot wide cat.

One of our old saildrives.  A lot of water can come through that area.
Awesome new gasket.
New shafts that Dan installed.  Way less potential for big leaks.
As you can tell, Dan is really happy about the new drives!

My reality:
Dale, Ray and I took not one, but 3 vacations away from our vacation.  We decided not to be in the way of great work since we weren't being much help.  Sometimes the best thing you can do is get out of the way!
We got the chance to travel back to Ft. Myers where a Seidel family reunion was taking place and we honestly thought we would be completely out of Florida by then.  My cousins, aunts and uncles are so much fun.  We had a blast, jumping up and down.

Ray enjoying the pool

Dale and cousin Lane

My Dad's younger siblings: Jeanne Powder, Joe, Dan and Emma Lou. 
My dad did not come as my Mom was recovering from surgery, so we went to visit them next!
First, Mario picked us up in Phoenix.  Thank you ! Jeepers, sometimes it takes moving away to see your best buds.  Man, Willcox AZ is a long way from Phoenix, but somehow the cheap flights don't go there.
The kids and I spent most of the 2 and a half weeks in Willcox where the whole rest of my family had converged including sister Peggy from CA.  Thankfully my mom had a good surgery and is on the mend.
Photo opportunity to get 8,9,10,11,12 before Ray's 12th birthday; Dale, Max, Zane, Ray and Aurora; "the cousins". Dale is wearing makeup because they put on a play for us; Goldilocks and the 3 bears.  Smashing.  I cried.  Can you tell who might be Goldilocks?
A few missing but here's most of my family.  Pretty happy bunch, despite the fact that my sisters kept teasing me about my "vacation away from my vacation"! I couldn't help it!
Family store, long a vacation destination for many.
It is sad to think that will be changing, but it has been about 40 years of a good journey.  My parents and family have kept it a very welcoming place.
The Willcox Commercial at the end of the block.
This August marks 20 years that we've been missing my brother Dale.  He was just about everybody's best friend and confidant.  Very witty and fun to be around. Happy trails to you, Dale.

Theatre in Willcox

Glad you are on the mend, Mom! If there's a gene for coffee-drinking, I think I know where I got it.

We celebrated Ray's 12th birthday with Ona, Pop-pop, Peggy, Patty and Dale.

Ray and Dale got to be the dedicated grandkids for a couple of weeks.

Patty made carrot cake!! 

Ray and Dale got some good Aunt Peggy time too.

We did get to come to Tucson for a short time.  Thanks Ken and Barb for having us! I am glad we got to see our boating family.  Dan was jealous.  Have fun at Lake Powell.  Now we are both jealous.

Whose toes are these?  I have incriminating evidence!

Our extended boating family..... there's always a sleeper in the crowd.  This picture was taken in April.
Me and my friend Judith.  Thanks for being part of my adventure of life!  Glad I got to see you and I still don't remember the question I was supposed to help you remember.

Mona and Kathy, so glad you could rendezvous with me in Benson!

Actually, they MISSED the turnoff for Benson! 

If you haven't been here, then you should go just to check out the horseshoe in neon on the ceiling.

Sorry we didn't get to see everyone.  We stayed mostly in Willcox.
August 14th our realities coincide again!  The kids and I get home on a Tuesday and by the following Monday we are floating.  In the meantime, it was hot, hot, hot even with the little AC unit Dan bought to put in the hatch.  Everything was full of fiberglass dust and all the workyard dirt was tracked in and all over the deck.  Dan got some help from the Fiberglass Shop and had struts custom built at a shop right at the marine center.  Otherwise, he did all the work on the drives himself as well as rebuilding a boarding ladder mount, fiberglassing a rudder shaft and leaky starboard hull and building towel shelves for the starboard bathroom.  He ordered parts and cleaned all the nasty stuff and sanded and painted the hull.  Just trying to remember everything he fixed and did makes me tired.  Dale's floor is now dry!  It had some leak ever since we bought the boat.  All the leaks are fixed and that's a really nice feeling.
We get to have a second celebration of Ray's birthday!
Oh, and what was the third vacation you ask?  Once we found out that Tropical Storm Isaac was headed this way, we decided to tie up the boat like a spider, rent a car and scram to the north.  One doesn't get to know ahead of time what the storm will be like and it turned out that Ft. Lauderdale just got a lot of rain.  We did see some upturned trees and yard art but the boat looked unscathed when we got back.  
Watching the kite surfers on the stormy water was my favorite.  The colorful parachute kites criss-crossing each other looked like birds swarming.  So fun to watch.  

The leak totally changed the course of our trip, but had it not happened we probably would have never chosen to travel in the intercoastal waterway.  And it's been fun.  Figuring out the bridge etiquette and timing was a challenge at first, but now it is comfortable and the sightseeing is a pleasure.  Lots of cool vegetation and big iguanas and several manatees so far. There is quite a river culture that probably some who live here don't even know about.  

Floating grille in the urban lake of Boca Raton.  This place was crazy crowded on a Sunday!

Heading south on the Intercoastal from Boca Raton.

Sunny Ray followed the Ruby Too under a couple of bridges.  Working boats get priority openings.

When we first spotted this water taxi, we thought it was the Dale B but it is the Dale R.  It travels all over town.

I loved this peninsula of someone's yard.  The vegetation is so lush.

Personal favorite; plenty of flamingoes and lots of colorful chairs to watch the river go by and of course, all the crazy boaters.  This was on the way south, on the way north after Isaac, the flamingoes had scattered and the very green tree had toppled.
Dale, tour guide for large mansions.

Yep, it used to be an airplane, now it is called the "Cosmic Muffin".
This is where we are anchored tonight, Santa Barbara Lake.

Sorry it's been such a very long time since this blog has been updated.  It was uninspiring to have one's traveling vessel on stilts.  It's so good to hear from everyone.  Keep writing!
Happy trails! Marty