There has been a lot going on in the past little while so I think it’s time for a catch-up session…
To start, I’ve had a bit of a physical challenge lately. It happened when I was trying to climb through the hatch when we got locked out of the boat! (That’s another story, of which there are two versions.)
In the process I hyperextended my right arm and strained my serratus anterior muscle. It’s the one that’s connected to the shoulder blade. It’s like having a very bad stitch in your side and it hurts when I breathe deeply, sneeze or cough. Thankfully, the worst seems to be over but it has slowed me down just a little.
It was my birthday last week and one of the highlights was being taken to West Palm Beach by our lovely friend Joan to see the Annie Liebovitz exhibition at the Norton Gallery. This was quite a thrill and it was fascinating to see her work up close. I liked that the curator had chosen mostly photos of artists and writers and photographers and not-so-famous people rather than the megastars that she is famous for.
On the way back we met up with Bob and Leo at the Hog Snapper in Tequesta and I had a whole snapper for dinner — just the way I used to eat them in Jamaica! I also enjoyed a local Jupiter beer called Monk in the Trunk.
Another highlight was attending a sunset photography seminar at Jonathan Dickinson State Park, which I will cover in a separate post.
I also had a great time shooting some portraits of one of our nieces and her family in the park by the water in Stuart. My experience is mainly with candid rather than posed photos but I thought I would give it a try. The hardest ones to get were the group shots but I managed a few decent ones. Some of the images of the individual children made me pretty happy. These kids are adorable and so full of life. I still have more images to go through and process.
Poor little Angus, who is 14 1/2, is having his challenges too. He seems to be showing more signs of Cushing’s disease, which the vet thinks he has had for some time, but without displaying symptoms. This disease is quite common for older dogs, especially terriers. It is a good thing that we are at the dock right now and not on an anchor because sometimes we have to take him off the boat in the middle of the night. We need to keep a close eye on him, so, for the time being, we have decided to stay at this lovely marina and take short sailing trips from here. For the most part, he seems comfortable and is enjoying his days on the boat.
Bob of course has been whirlwind of activity, pulling the boat apart and making big messes (which of course he always cleans up.) When we bought Windsong II last February, the boat had almost everything we needed to live aboard and do the type of sailing we want to do.
I did say “almost.” This year Bob has been busy with a few additions to fine tune her for our use.
Before we “splashed” Windsong II, Bob installed davits for the dinghy with his brother Leo’s help.
Once at the dock he decided to tackle the boat’s electrical system. We wanted to increase the number of batteries we have on the boat so we can go for longer periods without recharging them. (When we’re not at the dock our electricity comes from a bank of batteries located beneath the aft berth. These are used to power the lights, fridge and freezer and charge our computers and whatnot.) This project took about a half a day and involved installing additional wiring and a battery case.
Next on the agenda was installing a battery monitor. This operates much like a gas gauge in a car reading out in percentage how much juice is left in the batteries so we know exactly when to recharge the battery bank.
This picture shows the innards of Windsong II’s wiring. Bob opened up the instrument panels of the nav station to install the battery monitor. Luckily he remembered how to reconnect everything properly.
We can recharge the battery bank using the new 50 amp battery charger Bob just installed. It runs off power at the dock or power from our onboard generator. We can also recharge our batteries using the boat’s diesel engine. Right now it has a 50 amp alternator. Bob’s next job is to install a new 140 amp alternator. That will enable us to recharge our battery bank more than twice as fast.
All this was done over a period of a week or so and it involved putting the boat into quite the state of upheaval as Bob traced wires from nav station to engine to battery bank. The worst is over but there is still the alternator to install. It never ceases to amaze me the puzzles Bob can figure out on a boat. For some reason that I will never fathom, he really likes doing all this — he considers it fun!
All of us
We were also very happy to welcome two sets of friends to Windsong II, a former colleague of Bob’s from work, and an Ottawa-based niece and her family. We enjoyed the visits very much, getting caught up on news of family and friends, while our visitors thawed out in the warm Florida sunshine and had the five-minute tour of our abode.