Saturday, February 16, 2019

Titusville - Aqua Map Beta, chores and sunset

I spent most of the morning cleaning Fleetwing - so I had to show a photo
First on the agenda was getting three months of grime off the boat. At least Fleetwing did look better after all that work - so I just had to take a photo, bear with me on that. The rest of the morning was spent on working the Aqua Map beta through its paces before the big announcement of all the enhancements. The home base for Aqua Map is northern Italy which is the Silicon Valley of navigation programs (Navionics and others). I trade emails with Claudio of Aqua Map on a daily basis, sometimes several times a day. Distance is no longer a problem in the internet age. It's more like being next door.

The same can be said of managing my 4200 member Facebook page, it's all over the internet. I know a lot of people I've never met face to face but it's as if I've known them for a long time. You never know how many people you influence through your interactions, it's a great age.

You don't get great sunsets at Titusville Marina but we'll take what we can get
We will continue to get Fleetwing in shape and just enjoy the warm weather, better here than in New York where there's another snowstorm coming, we're told, ha, we'll miss it!

Friday, February 15, 2019

Titusville - Rental return and up the mast

It's always good to have someone like this in the harbor for rigging inspections
We rented a car one-way and had to pay $0.24/mile for the privilege of driving to a location other than the one we rented from. It seems excessive but that's the only deal we could get. On the way, we looked at a potential new car, a Honda CR-V so we'll see if we can replace our 170K minivan and our 120K Buick LeSabre. However, none of this will happen until we return to New York.

The wood storks made their appearance today for the first time when we were here
The weather continues to warm up, we'll take it. I'm deep into reviewing the next beta of Aqua Map. The features that will be added are far in advance of anything out there. I think the boating community will be amazed at the added capability and I get the chance to fine-tune the app for all our use. I'm anxious to write about it but I can't until the new Aqua Map is announced.

We are getting into the routine of a morning run and an afternoon trip tot he dog park to let Hoolie run. The weather permits it and we enjoy the outing. I need to have the rigging inspected so I'll contact that guy up on the mast to see if he'll inspect Fleetwing too. It's been 14 years without a look see.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Titusville - Valentine's Day

Tom is the marina manager - a great guy, he'll take care of you
The marina manager, Tom, invited us all over for donuts, chocolates, and mimosas in celebration and a thank you from the marina. Titusville is run by a private company that's hired by the town of Titusville. Under the new management, Titusville has gone from a marina that habitually been 1/2 empty to just about full all the time. It's tough to get a slip there anymore. Tom has done a wonderful job and the town, who owns the marina, must be very pleased.

Well, if you insist I'll have a mimosa - and maybe chocolate, perhaps a donut, ...
As a thank you to boaters, Tom organized a very informal "drop by" at the office which we took advantage of. What's not to like about chocolates and a mimosa in the middle of the day? Titusville is still a very reasonable $10.50/ft per month for a slip within walking distance of town and a dog park as well as close to the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge and the Kennedy Space Center. It's a good value.

The weather continues to warm up with highs now in the '70s with a promise of 80's next week, we'll take that. We are now provisioned for the next two weeks at least after a trip to Walmart. They are hard to pass up with their prices being so much cheaper than anybody else's. We still have a lot of cleaning to do but it's nice to do it in the warm weather.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Titusville - Cold, windy, rain, etc. (but warmer than New York!)

Not everybody is convinced that Christmas has passed...
We got the southern end of the storm that dumped rain and snow on the northeast. It rained all day and the wind blew all the time but after leaving temps below 20 up north, I'm not one to complain too much. We just took the day off after all our traveling before launching into a massive cleaning tomorrow.

Thursday will be provisioning day but then we have to turn the car in on Friday. After renting numerous cars for our one-way trips north and south, we had a "cross-over" SUV, the Nisson Rogue and now I can see the attraction for long-range traveling. They ride okay and there's lots of room for hauling boat stuff back and forth. With our plans now to haul Fleetwing in the Chesapeake instead of taking her all the way back up the Hudson River to the Poughkeepsie Yacht Club. That will save us the trip down the Delaware Bay and up the New Jersey coast. In the fall, it was always chancy dodging hurricanes going south in September but we won't have to worry about that if we leave our boat in Deltaville.

We will still be able to explore every inch of the ICW and next year, that will include going to Key West. We really miss the town and all our friends there that we've made over the years. For now, it's just enjoying the warmer weather and getting ready for the trip north.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Titusville - At last!

We are NOT here - it's what we missed, Oh darn...  the view out our driveway today
We took three days to reach Titusville, always a step ahead of the storms from the north. Since I was prohibited from driving for 6 months due to my pacemaker per New York law, Ann did all the driving and we broke the trip up into three days. Ann did great, I was just a passenger for this trip. As was our custom, we stayed at Red Roof Inns since they accept pets at no additional charge so Hoolie had a home at night by us.

We were discussing finding some glass on my deck - I guess from the deck light,
although how it ever was broken is beyond me
The change in weather was dramatic! We left just ahead of a major snowstorm and found the temperatures in the low 80's when we arrive in Titusville. It sure feels nice to be back in warm weather even though it's not Key West (wait until next year!).

Ann and I received a nice surprise upon our arrival, a bottle of wine and card from Rick Lamb and Elizabeth Yanow.
in appreciation of help along the way on the ICW, how nice
Our boat in good shape although it needs a major cleaning, both inside and out. Now I will spend time debugging AIS on Aqua Map as well of NMEA output to the app as well. Once the beta is debugged, it will be released to the world with a bunch of new capabilities.

We plan on spending all of February and March just here, resting and enjoying the warm weather before heading north again in April and testing all the shallow spots for reporting in Waterway Guide and on my Facebook page. For now, it's a day of rest and then provisioning on Thursday and boat cleaning to follow, oh joy....

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Lagrangeville, NY - A Fairy Tale Snow

The Homestead
No surprise here - it's still cold! However, if were had to have snow, at least it was beautiful. The snow was light as a feather and fell with no wind at all. Given those conditions, it floated onto every branch, outlining all the trees in a blanket of white.

Every branch was covered
The morning dawned with a brilliant sun which gave an otherworldly aura to the winter scene. It was cold at first but it "warmed up" to the mid-'20s later. Ann, as an artist, wanted immediately to go outside and take photos so we toured the area, it was beautiful.

On tour with Ann to find inspirations for her pastels
Despite all this natural beauty, I remain unconvinced that the best strategy in winter is to remain up north to participate in the wonders of nature in the colder months. With that in mind, we are now aiming to return to Titusville and reasonable temperatures by 2/14 or thereabouts, depending upon the weather. To say that we are looking forward to warmer weather is an understatement. If you're in the area, drop by, we'd love to see you.
A stream nearby, the snow was magical

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Lagrangeville, NY - A personal experience

Just not like Titusville!
One moment, I was typing at my desk and the next moment I was gasping for breath with a big egg on my head where I had apparently hit my desk. I was breathing heavily and managed to get over to a chair and called Ann who was upstairs. One look at me and 911 was in order. The ambulance came and I was rushed to the hospital. My heart doctor prescribed a combination pacemaker/ICD which not only regulates the heart but will also send a defibrillator shock if needed to restart the heart. 

At the hospital, it was waiting time until Monday when the operation was scheduled so I typed away on my iPad doing articles and stuff on my ICW Cruising Guide Facebook page to pass the time. Hospitals can be really dull and the food is not much better but the company was great, my family gathered around.

The big day came on Monday and now I'm a cyborg, which my 8-year-old grandson thinks is really cool! He likes to talk to a real-life cyborg, we have many conversations via texting. I can't leap tall buildings in a single bound but I can now walk up a steep slope without a problem, I was dragging my anchor before when doing that. One may ask, "What were the symptoms?" before the incident, always a popular question since we're all getting along on life's path. I had two: firstly, my heart rate gradually decreased over the past five years from 60 to 45 bpm. Secondly, I had RBBB causing a mismatch in the beating of the left and right side of the heart. That resulted in giving up running, the decreased blood supply wouldn't support the exercise. Walking was fine, running was not and no uphill walking unless done very slowly. 

Ice, ice?! This is not bad yet - but still - ice?!
I now walk an hour a day and will start weight training and running tomorrow, having been cleared for both today. I am prohibited from driving for 6 months, a standard time period in New York for those with my version of the pacemaker. Our plans are now to return to Titusville, Florida by the first week of March and spend some time there before returning north up the ICW. Unfortunately, Key West is out of the equation this year but we already have our reservations for 2020! 

I hate it when people use the term, "a blessing in disguise" but I now feel great, better in fact than anytime in the past four years. That "blessing" came very well disguised at first but things are working out for the best now. However, the blog hiatus will continue until we return to Titusville. We are definitely not enjoying the cold weather up here and it's only going to get colder for the next two months!  

To everyone else, enjoy life as it comes, don't put off what you want to do - I won't and you shouldn't either.