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.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Titusville - Last Day at Titusville and last day of the blog

So you're leaving for two months, what do you do? (Be sure everything; is double tied!)
I picked up the rental car this morning from Hertz since they had the best rates, they beat Enterprise by $600! Their service wasn't as good and they only had one guy in the office - but it's hard to argue with the rates. We'll keep the car over the holidays and return it to Titusville in January. It was cheaper doing that then paying the $0.29/mile charge for a one-way rental.

We spent all afternoon loading the car for the trip north. I put out extra lines all around and hopefully, no late season hurricanes will spring up. There's been virtually no activity in the Caribbean over the last two weeks and we hope it will stay that way.

Don't forget the other side either. 
Tonight will be the last blog entry until we return January 7 when the blog will start up again. So mark your calendars for January 7, a Monday, which will be our first day back to Titusville after the holidays, probably a few pounds heavier. This year we won't have a grandkid coming back with us. The youngest one is still too young, maybe next year. It's been fun writing the blog, you're welcome back January 7 for the next installment.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Titusville - Wine with friends

Our neighbor, the one legged blue heron. 
When I leave Fleetwing for an extended period of time, I'm sure to double up all the lines. Recently, we've added the heavy duty inflatable fender too. With the 5 ft long fender and extra lines, we feel secure.

Inside the Sabre
I will pick up the rental car Wednesday morning and pack that afternoon so we can leave at the crack of dawn on Thursday morning. That should get us to Carrie's by Friday afternoon. We were invited over for wine and drinks at 5:00 by Jack from the Windmill Harbour YC. He was passing through and he happened to dock at Titusville when we were here so we had a good get together for an enjoyable evening. He has a brand new Sabre 45 Salon Express powerboat. It's a beautiful boat to cruise in.

The view forward, note the seats and the huge Garmin chartplotters
We have one more prep day before we leave and I also will pick up the rental car on Wednesday morning. The blog will end on Wednesday night to be restarted upon our return in January. We aren't particularly looking forward to color weather but we wouldn't mind a little (LITTLE only) snow during our visit north just to remind us of what winter is like - but not too much!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Titusville - Getting ready

Ann draws in the cockpit often. Here she is just drawing with an artist pencil. 
It's time to get Fleetwing ready for its stay in Titusville while we're up north "enjoying" the cold weather. over the holidays. First on the agenda was an oil change and I got halfway through it before I realized I didn't have an oil filter. I had to order one from a supplier in Connecticut, McDonnell Marine, which I've depended upon ever since I bought our Beneteau in 2004. They are the largest Volvo parts supplier in New England. The parts price was fine but the shipping was standard FedEx with overnight delivery - one arm and half of another one later, it was on its way.

Ann did some drawing up in the cockpit, using her iPad instead of a photograph for a source. The source is only used as a general guide. What winds up in the drawing may never have occurred in nature but it's a pleasing picture, the only important thing.

It's still a better sunset than we'll see up north
We have one more day of prep before I pick the rental up on Wednesday. Then, it's packing and we're off for points north. Learning from past mistakes, we will completely empty the freezer and turn it off. One year we didn't do that and returned to the boat to find the power off and a true mess in the freezer. Never again. Hoolie will spend the next month and a half on land. In doing so, he's learned that he can go out anything he wants so we'll let him out about every hour or so when we first return. It's great freedom for a dog, I guess. He can't do that on Fleetwing.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Titusville - We search for citrus

It's a small grove in amongst residential houses  
There have been many citrus growers around here that have gone bust. There's been a number of citrus diseases that have wreaked havoc with the groves and the recent hurricanes have not helped. We found one of the few surviving groves today and bought 1/2 bushel of oranges and the same for grapefruit. They cut slices of each variety before we bought the citrus for us to taste, both were good! So now we are loaded up for the trip north with the goodness of Florida.

They were absolutely fresh
I spent the afternoon exploring the features of my new iPad Pro. As you might expect, it is very fast. You don't need the speed if all you do it read the news over the internet but in my case, I have a lot of graphics with the navigation programs I have loaded, 14 in all. The speed helps with drawing the charts rapidly.

We saw this guy resting on a line where he had to balance like on a swing. Would he
be there all night??
We have two more days of boat work and the chores are starting to mount up. I'll return the car Monday morning and dive into getting the boat ready for us not being around for almost two months. I pick up our rental car Wednesday morning and this year it's from Hertz. Enterprise was $600 more. We will load it up Wednesday night and take off Thursday morning (road trip!) That will also be the end of the blog until January.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Titusville - Visit with Gordon and Eta

Before I started my presentation, I snapped a picture of the room. It was quite large but the audience didn't fill it up
I gave my presentation on "Who Do You Trust (for navigation)" at the Seven Seas Cruising Association this morning. It went well according to those that attended. The printed version can be seen on the Waterway Guide site.

Addison Chan, a fellow Waterway Guide editor
who covers Cuba
Then I went hunting for the connector I needed between the USB-C plug on the iPad Pro and the USB-A plug on my laptop. It's required to make my new iPad have the same apps as on my old iPad. It's also the connector that Apple didn't include in their package even though I ordered everything on their list of accessories. With the new plug, I cloned my new iPad Pro so now I have a useful new iPad. It will function as my new chartplotter at the helm. The larger screen size will be a welcomed addition.

While I was gone, Ann snapped this picture in the fog this morning
This evening we were invited for dinner with Gordon and Eta who used to own a Beneteau 423 like ours but went over to the dark side when they sold it and bought a large powerboat. Nevertheless, it was a nice evening with great wine and great food.

Gordon and Eta, long-time friends
The winds here have piped up a bit and blowing out of the one direction that's unprotected, the east and southeast. We are still relatively calm behind several large powerboats but we are rocking somewhat. We have the car for one more day, perhaps we'll explore more on Sunday.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Titusville - A visit to the Apple Store

Quiet, warm weather
I finally ordered my iPad Pro 12.9 for pickup at the nearest Apple store which was in Orlando. We already had a rental car so off we went heading west. The store is in one of the largest malls I've ever seen, the Florida Mall in Orlando. The entire front of the Apple Store is all glass and the inside was packed! There was hardly any room to move through the aisles but then they had lots of clerks.

Ann's painting from last week
My order was ready with my name printed on all the boxes. I used my passport to identify myself although I could have used my driver's license. It has to be a government issued ID with your photo on the card. I got every adapter they advertised and one special one labeled as an adapter from their new connector (USB-C) to the old standard USB-A that's on my laptop. So I brought everything back to the boat. To my dismay, the adapter which was supposed to connect the iPad to the laptop had a female plug for the USB-A end. That does not work! You need a male plug for the connection to the laptop. So here I sit with all the goodies from Apple and no way to configure my iPad Pro, I am not happy! So much for the Apple experts in the store.

It's been so hot that we've been running the AC even at night until we go to bed. We may be wishing for that heat when we go north in a week. We'll empty the freezer this year after our experience with losing electricity one time and facing cleaning out the freezer from the remains of some very active bugs. You never want to do that again (how to get rid of the odor?)

Tomorrow morning I'll give my presentation on "Who Do You Trust (for navigation)"  to the Seven Seas Cruising Association Gam which ought to be interesting. I had wanted to use my new iPad Pro, oh well.