Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Dry Season?

Winter is supposed to be the dry season in the south. It certainly has been different this year. In fact from the first of the year to the 11th, we heard that we have received between 11-13" of rain. Sometimes it comes down so hard we can't see across the harbor.

Our gutter system outside the kitchen window has been leaking for years, but at least the palm tree likes it. It doesn't really matter at this point, since our cistern that the rainwater collects in, has been overflowing at the base of our stairs (which BTW, I have made it down for the past 4 days!). The 4" overflow pipe was filled right up and gushing with water that flooded the area, making our mats float away. I guess the marina won't need to use the reverse osmosis watermaker anytime soon!

The other night we finally had a break in the weather and this wonderful rainbow appeared. 

Today finally, the gray skies were gone and we got to sit on the porch and enjoy that beautiful Bahama blue sky again. Hopefully this means a change in the weather pattern for the rest of the season.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Sad Time

It is a sad time for us as my mother has passed away. She was within a couple of weeks of turning 92 years old, and although she led a wonderfully full life, we sure will miss her. At least now she is no longer suffering from the debilitating Alzheimer's Disease and has joined my father who died in 2005 (I like to think that it was like the end of the movie Titanic). Our family certainly had a great life growing up and as adults with these loving parents, and we have so many fantastic memories. We will return to Daytona for her memorial service, but couldn't get a flight out until next Saturday. Then in the spring, we will have a service up north. Rest in peace Mom.



Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Shipwreck!

We certainly don't see this very often in Hope Town. A Westsail 32 sailboat transiting from Puerto Rico to St. Augustine, FL lost its steering and engine power when a line wrapped round its prop and rudder. In one of our storms the other night, it washed ashore on the beach. Luckily the two people on board and their dog, were fine and some of the locals gave them food, showers, and a place to stay the night.



It has become quite an attraction and the police have been involved so that no one goes on board. We don't know what will happen to the boat since it has sunk quite deep in the sand with all the tide changes (it has 6ft. of draft) and it is damaged with cracks in the hull. It survived Hurricane Maria...but couldn't survive the trip north. The ironic thing is that there had been a BOLO (Be On the Look Out) for this same boat a few days earlier, because it was reported overdue in Florida. I'm sure this will be a continuing saga.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Look Who's Back

Every time I see people looking in the water from the dock, I know who is back...Randy the Manatee!

This time he has several large remoras attached to him.

Plus he has brought a friend with him this year. Perhaps we will see a little calf in the next year or so?

Many thanks to Nancy Schiffer for her great photos. Check out Moto Iti's blog with the link at the bottom of this page.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Our View Is Back

Yesterday we trimmed the trees away from the porch so we could see the harbor again. Actually, I supervised and told Dave where to cut. He uses his pole chainsaw, but some of the trees have to be trimmed by reaching through and up from below. The conversation goes something like this...Dave: "Is this the branch?" Me: "No, go towards me a foot." Dave: "How about here?" Me: "No, a little to your left, oops, no sorry, my left, your right" (he was standing on a ladder facing opposite me). Dave: "Here?" Me: "Yes that's it, cut right there!" And so it went for each branch of these rapidly growing corkwood trees. We left the side ones the same for privacy but this is what it looked like out front too.

 Now the harbor is back!
At least I can see what's going on as I recuperate and learn to walk again...which is finally seeing some more improvement. I walked (paced) the apartment with only one crutch yesterday and sometimes even one cane. Plus I took my first few steps with no crutches. Then it was back to ice and elevate because I overdid it. At least there is hope!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Override!

Dave raced in the latest cruising boat race on Sunrise, and with owner Milton not in town, he was skipper. His crew was inexperienced and had never raced a boat with winches, but they were eager and ready for Dave to mentor them. They had an awesome start (that's them in the middle).


At the first windward mark, they ended up with an override on the winch, meaning the sheet (line) to the jib sail overlapped on the winch, causing it to tighten to the point that it couldn't be released due to the pressure of the wind on the sail and lines. This caused them to go around in circles, hoping to ease that pressure. Finally, as all the other boats were approaching, Dave said cut the sheet! Luckily Dave had come back to our apartment at the last minute and grabbed his rigging knife. The crew almost cut the sheet at the winch, which would have destroyed the line, but Dave had them cut it at the sail, only losing a foot of it, so they re-rigged the sail and continued on the course. I think Dave's look in this photo says it all, as they were back winded in the left background of the second photo.


They ended up passing a few boats along the way and after the handicaps were tallied, Sunrise came in 6th out of 10 boats. Everyone had a great time and actually want to race again!


Photo Credits to HTSC photographer, Will Heyer

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Who's Idea?

Who's idea was it to come to our apartment? You can imagine how scary it is to even think about navigating down these stairs! Of course it has been raining for two days, so I won't try for awhile (you might even be able to see the cistern overflow pond of water down at the bottom by the palm tree). Now a strong cold front has arrived and it will only be in the low 60's for several days. At least the sun is out, but we only have a small space heater (and each other 😉 ) to keep warm. No snow or ice...yet!

We did have a beautiful view of the full super moon from our porch the other night. There was a dinghy drift, but we had to miss it unfortunately, especially since it was our last nice warm, evening.