Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Titusville - Last blog until January 7, 2016

So it's goodbye for now. you can see one of Sarah's curled lines. If I mess it up, she's right out there redoing the line
This morning we did our walk and then we had breakfast. I did the work I could, the rest of the day kind of was packing for tomorrow. In my book am on page 164, in it there is a big horse race that gets exciting. I had lunch after rolling up my sleeping bag and then we went to go get some things. Grandpa got us another rental car for the ride back and it really nice, we are packing everything up tonight. We went to Harvey to get there fresh grapefruit and FUDGE! Their fudge is Nana and ours favorite we got the maple walnut. I curled up the lines nice and pretty and washed down the boat. When I was washing the boat I saw Mary, William, and Johnny the manatee's all together. It was nice to say bye to all of them at once, I dropped the hose and it squirted in my face. I bet the manatee's would of liked  a fresh water hose in their face, but I certainly didn't. I said goodbye to the palm trees and the warm, warm air that I am sure we all will miss so much. That was pretty much our day bunch of work, we are having honey roasted pork tonight. Well this is our last, last blog, Farwell so long we will meet again some day Goodbye. Sarah

As they say, time sure does fly! I think Sarah has all the manatees in the marina named! In her view, all animals get names. But now it's time to head north for the holidays. Beside, Sarah's been gone from home for two months. Home schooling has been fun, it really has, but now things are coming to an end. 

Our next stop will be in Pennsylvania at my daughter's house, Caroline and Mile McNaughton with their two boys (and our grandsons!) We hope they will be future crew on one of our trips south but they won't be ready for another four years or so, a long time, gotta stay in shape. So tonight is packing and we plan on leaving at 7:00 am Thursday morning, spending tomorrow night in a motel and then arriving at Caroline's house on Friday afternoon, a long trip. 

So goodbye for now. I hope you've enjoyed the blog as we headed south and you're invited to rejoin us on our way to Key West starting January 7 next year, the next blog entry. We look forward to having you along! 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Titusville - doing teak and the last of the boat chores

Each afternoon we all meet under the roof of "Tick Hut" in the dog park
This morning I made it up in time to go on our walk. We had breakfast and then I did my work, am on page 100 in my book, it is getting really interesting. After my work and lunch I cleaned the dirty stuff off the metal on the boat. It is really windy, I had to clip my paper down to my book, yes it was that windy. One of Grandpas bottles went over board so I went down a ladder and grabbed it, I am a hero to a bottle. Then we took Hoolie to the dog park where he romped around. There were about four dogs when we got there and about three followed him, but he out ran them. We went back to the boat after Hoolie was panting  and with his slow walking. At the dog park I felt a couple drops of rain, but it didn't rain I think it might tonight. The wind felt good on a hot morning, Hoolie was probably too with his fur. I watched TV and wrote a tiny, tiny bit  in my book that I am working on. We are having this honey roasted chicken for dinner that sound pretty good so, so long my fellow readers of my amazing day that was so interesting, not really, bye! Sarah

The area does allow Hoolie to run and stretch his legs, he ignores the other dogs, he just wants to run
Due to the Florida sun, the teak has to be recoated every two months. I use Semco Goldtone since it gives a natural appearance to the teak, just like freshly sanded teak, it suits me but personal tastes/ vary. The recoating takes about 15 minutes at most with a microfiber cloth dipped in the Semco and rubbed into the teak rail. The microfiber cloth doesn't drip all over your deck but does allow the Semco to transfer onto the wood nicely. 

Sarah was a big help in polishing the stainless steel rails and then we were done for the day. On Wednesday I pick up the car that we'll have for the next two months for our trip home and back. Then it's a very busy day getting the car packed with everything we need for the trip north, hard not to forget something but we have a list although that doesn't seem to prevent something from being left behind from past experience. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Titusville - Getting ready

Our osprey in the marina - not on our mast!
This morning I wasn't that cold, it had a nice breeze to the air. We had breakfast and then I started my school work. I read out of my book and I think am on page 85, also I did my French and it's cool understanding what it means. After I was done I polished the metal parts of the boat to make then so shiny you can see your reflection. The birds have been good about not pooping on our deck, when you see the bunch of them I call them the bird herd. Then we took Hoolie to the dog park after lunch, we saw a wood stork on the way there, I named him Dave. It was just two dogs, us and another dog we have seen there before. There was a newspaper toy that Hoolie liked a lot, we threw the ball for him a couple times. When he looked pretty tired  so we took him back. A couple boats are moving in places that was weird, we had one next to us then they moved to the other dock. Now we have other people that have moved to that dock, confusing I know. I played with Hoolie and watched TV so Farewell and goodbye. Sarah

There's an Osprey that hunts in the marina. He always takes the same perch just behind our boat, the aft mast of a two masted sailboat. We can hear him calling during the day, a distinctive sound that we've come to recognize. We saw him dive this afternoon and got a fish which he took back to his perch for dinner. I can't imagine that the captain of the boat is any too thrilled for the Osprey to call his mizzenmast home but the captain doesn't seem to be around right now. 

The osprey is just aft of us, we can hear him clearly
So we've enjoyed seeing him fish for dinner and he can always be found surveying his domain from across the way on dock B. In addition to the osprey, there's pelicans and other large birds calling the marina home. The side impact is just that, impacts from above but they clean up. The birds are protected. We're active in discouraging them whenever thay land on our rigging but then what happens when we're gone for 1 1/2 months?

Tuesday will be another day to get the boat ready and then we pick up rental car on Wednesday. Lots to do. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Titusville - We visit the Brevard County Zoo

All the exhibits were like this one, small and allowed you to get close
This morning I went to go pick out donuts with Grandpa. They were so good, possibly the best I have ever had, then we decided to go to the Zoo. When we got there it looked really packed full of cars but wasn't that bad. We saw lots of birds when we were in and went down a path. There we saw alligators in the water and on land. We walked on then saw kangaroo and there were baby ones too. There were two pigs like animals that were black and white. We went into this hut that had birds that you get to feed, there was bird seed on this Popsicle stick so the birds came up to us. Then we went into another room where you got this liquid in a cup and they sit on you. There was one time where there was one on my shoulder, two on my other shoulder, one on my head, and a couple on my arm. It was fun to see them everywhere on you, we saw the kangaroos again and an ape like monkey creature, not sure what it's called. Take a look at the video.

Sarah loved to feed the birds
After all that we saw some meerkats in tunnels, on the other side was a big, big, snake. Then we went up to feed the giraffes, on our way we saw white rhinos and two zebras. We saw giraffes but they didn't come up to us so we couldn't feed them. So we walked down another path with monkeys and one had a baby on her back. A couple steps further  and we saw a jaguar  with two little cubs, they were so cute. When we were going back I heard a hello and it was a parrot on a branch, it repeated what you said that was fun. Now we are back and we are all tired so bye. Sarah

Of course, there's always the alligators
We were looking for something a little different to do with Sarah and we found the Brevard County Zoo. We had seen the Bronx Zoo and other so the same size and didn't have high expectations for the local version. We arrived late Sunday morning and found every parking space taken with the overflow lined up on the street outside for 1/2 mile both ways, wow, what's the big attraction we wondered? 

We found the zoo to be very compact with raised wooden trails leading off a central hub. There was a train ride which, of course, we had to take. It gave an overview of the area. We found the big attraction of the zoo was the close contact between the animals and the visitors. You were never very far away, from actual contacts (birds) to 10's of feet at most, usual 5 to 10 ft away. Plus, there were many exhibits where interaction was encouraged between the animals and visitors. In two bird exhibits you could purchase food sticks or nectar cups and the birds would feed by perching on your arm (or head!), sometimes three or four at a time. Sarah thought that part was great fun, we went back twice. They also had a giraffe feeding platform but the giraffe wasn't interested in  treats at the time we were there. 

Well, we had a great time and we all recommend the zoo for a day's outing if you're ever in the area. 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Titusville - we see a James Bond movie

Titusville is filling up, more so than in the past five years, a sign of a surging economy?
This morning we had a yummy breakfast that started our day. I called my mother since it's Saturday and I read out of my book for fun. Today I saw Mary the manatee enjoying her nice taste of water when the boat next to us was washing their bow of their boat. I had lunch and then Nana and I took Hoolie for a walk. The marina says to walk dogs on the other side of grass near where the train runs through. Then we went out to go get some supplies and Nana and I looked at all the Christmas stuff. After that we went to the movie theater, It was a movie with James Bond the spy in it, not the actor. I like it, it was defiantly action packed with explosions and car chases. It has been a little windy today,    but not very hot. Now I am here writing about my day, so farewell bye. Sarah

The weather continues to be cooler and today there were clouds in the afternoon so it's more like normal Titusville weather in November. We provisioned in the morning at the local Walmart which has a superior grocery section (some Walmarts do not) followed by relaxing on the boat while I watched my Ohio State game. 

You can't wash a boat without seeing one of these guys around slurping up the fresh water
Since I took Sarah to watch The Martian while Ann stayed at the boat (she doesn't like SiFi movies) I took her to the latest James Bond movie this afternoon. It was typical Bond with lots of car chases, things being blown up and a Bond that's immortal, nothing can touch him permanently no matter how improbable.

We let Sarah chose what she wanted to do on Sunday and aside from donuts in the morning, a staple, she wants to see the local zoo so we'll try that out. We've never been there but we've heard it's pretty decent.  

Friday, November 13, 2015

Titusville - Another beach day

At the beach in November - you've got to love Florida
This morning we had breakfast and then I did my school work. I read out of my book about a horse am on page 71, I also did algebra that was good. In French we did the months that are hard until you get to September, then it gets easier. After my work we went to the beach, we also got another new rental car for this weekend. I went to play in the sand first and made a wall to try to block the wind. The water is almost at a light blue, there is a lot of sand  and then it gets deep in the water. I sat in the water and watched the waves splash against me, I did that for a while. Then I got out for a snack and I saw a  jellyfish, Nana says that it's a  Moon jellyfish. The wind was blowing so much I made a sail with my towel. Then we went back to the boat after I taught Nana some algebra in the sand. I don't know what my mom is going to think that am in my swim  suit and she in her heavy coat up north. When we came back we got a big welcome from Hoolie and took him to the dog park. I threw the ball for him and the German Shepherd there that I play with when ever he's there. After that we went back to the boat, there we saw a heron with net around his beak, no one we called could help. So hopefully he gets it off some how, I named him Brave. Now here I am tired with all the action that we did, so good bye. Sarah 

I picked up the car this morning for another $10/day rental over the weekend. There was another couple waiting for a pickup that said they were told there were no cars available. I had made my reservation a week in advance to be sure of getting a car. Upon reaching the Enterprise dealership, I learned that every car they had was rented out. So if you're ever in Titusville and want a car for the weekend, don't wait until the last minute to make your reservations. 

Cold?, Naw, just relaxing in the ocean
The weather was more like we expected in November in Titusville with a high near 80 and full sun. With that forecast we decided on a day at the beach. It's only about 12 miles to the Atlantic beach from hear so off we went. I have a Golden Passport card which gets me and whoever is in the car into the park for free, we've used it twice this month so far. The beach is impossible to be crowded since there's so much room, miles and miles of beach area. We picked out a spot, set the umbrella and chairs and watched as Sarah enjoyed the water and waves. She seemed immune to getting chilled from the water and 12 mph winds blowing, she played for hours.

Sadly, the Heron has netter across his beak
She found the time to give Nana an algebra lesson. Nana got the first problem Sarah drew up but messed up on the second problem. Sarah then showed Nana what to do to get the right answer. Sarah knows her stuff. 

It was then back to the boat and the dog park for Hoolie who held down Fleetwing in our absence. On Saturday we're headed to provision some more, I'll watch my Ohio State football game and then we'll see the latest James Bond movie, a full day is planned. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Titusville - Algebra Day

We have a Flicka in the marina! 
This morning I slept in and it felt good, we had breakfast and then I did my work. I read in my book I am on page 50, I did some algebra too. After my lunch that was after my work I checked my curls on the dock, some times they get lose. I want them to look  fabulous all the time, I recoiled the dingy rope since we untied it yesterday. I coiled it on top of the thick rope attached to the boat coil that I thought looks nice and neat. It's not too hot here with the breeze, but I thought we should have the AC on. Am so used to seeing palm trees I don't know what it will be like when I go home in a week. We took Hoolie to the dog park where I met the pretty German Shepherd and played with the both of them. There weren't that many dogs there, but more came in when we left. After the dog park I played tug a war with Hoolie and read some Calvin & Hobbles. Our lights  in the cockpit look really pretty at night and the sunsets are beautiful here in Florida. We are having honey roasted pork and our fudge stash isn't doing so good, bye! Sarah

A detail of the bow, notice the scroll work inlaid with gold
Yesterday was a day off for Sarah (Veterans' Day) so today we had to make up for lost time in algebra. There's a lot to cover and a lot to understand so I made up a test for Sarah. Home schooling requires a time investment which we're ready to do. In all we spent about 2 hours on algebra in review. Sarah took the test and I graded it and went over the answers with her. 

Then it was a trip to the dog park and Hoolie exercise, running at full tilt for 30 minutes. The weather continues to turn cooler, tomorrow the high is only 81, great - we'll probably go to the beach in the afternoon since we'll have a car again at the $40/weekend rate from Enterprise.  

Coming back from walking the dog tonight I noticed a Flicka at one of the docks. It's a beautiful boat and several have circumnavigated, they are very seaworthy despite their small size. They have beautiful lines and are generally very well built.  

For those interested in what an algebra test looks like for the first quarter of 8th grade, here's the test I gave Sarah. How many can you do?

1) If n is equal to -9, what is the value of the expression n-(n)?
2)  Using the table below:
      Wind speed         Air Temperature (feels like...)
         0 mph          10F     0F     -10F
        10                  -9       -22     -34
        20                 -24      -39     -53
        30                 -33      -49     -64

2a) If the temperature is -10F and the wind is blowing 20 mph, how many degrees colder would you feel?
2b)  How much colder does it feel when the air temp is 0F and the wind is 30 mph compared to an air temp of 0F and at 10F mph?
2c)  Scott when outside when the wind was  blowing 20 mph and the temp was 0F. Ryan was playing outside when there was no wind but the temp was -10F, who felt colder?
4)  Sarah was in debt $52 while Grandpa had $85. If Natalie was in debt $8, what is the total amount of money the three had?
5)  -5 x 5 =
     -5 x -5 =
     -7 x 7n = 
     -6 x -6n = 
     180 ÷ (-2) =
6a)  Sarah's watch loses 0.05 minutes per hour. She set her watch to the correct time at noon on May 5, 2014. What time will her watch read exactly one year later, use 365 days in a year?
6b)  Save as above but now her watch gains 0.05 minutes per hour. 
7a)  If n is a negative number, is the value of n exponent 39 positive or negative?
7b)  If n is a negative number, if the value of n exponent 50 positive or negative?
8)  Find n
     12(8n-4) = 24
     8(n+2) = -16
     6(4n-8) = 72
     38(6n-8) = 1330
     14(6n-2) = 196
     -10(2n-20) = 60
     (2n+4)/10 = (2n-6)/14
     2n/18 = 18/80
     8n/16 = 8-2n
     6n/8 = 18/20
     (2n+4)/10 = (2n-6)/14
10a)  A 20 ft stick casts a 34 ft shadow at the same time a tree casts a 229.5 ft shadow. How tall is the tree?
10b)  A 10 ft stick casts a shadow of 8 ft at the same time Elin casts a shadow of 4 ft 6 inches. How tall is Elin?
10c)  The ratio of sugar to flour in a certain recipe is 5:7. If there is 9.5 cups of sugar to be used, how much flour must be used?
10d)  Luke had $75 in the bank. Jordan had $35. Luke wanted to always have the same ratio of money with Jordan. If Jordan adds $735 to his savings, how much must Luke have in his savings to keep the same ratio?

Isn't algebra fun? It gets much better as we progress and will include geometry, the Pythagorean theorem, scientific notation, roots and much more. I got this stuff in high school, not in the 8th grade.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Titusville - The banana tree

Bananas on our banana tree in the marina by our gate
This morning I slept in so I didn't get to walk, today I have no school and I am looking forward to it. We had breakfast and then I read out of my new book about a horse. I hit the wires so the bird will fly away and they have pooped a lot on the deck. It is hot here but we have a very nice breeze that is almost the coolest day we have had. We had lunch, then Nana and I started to draw a little. I did a bird on a mast and that didn't come out very well and Nana did a landscape with trees reflecting in the water. After that Grandpa and I put some extra ropes to keep the boat nice and sturdy for the winter. I went in the dink so we could get close to the pilling, I tied a knot to the boat so we wouldn't drift away. After Grandpa felt happy with the set up we went to the dog park. There was only Hoolie in the big dog part, but there were about ten little dogs in their part. I threw the ball until Hoolie was tired, the sun is really bright this time of day. Now I am here with you, so goodbye we will meet again bye. Sarah

We have just one tree, right by the parking spaces
It was 76 this morning, much cooler and it never got much above 80 all day. Ann even closed up the cockpit when the temps dropped to 77 this afternoon, it's 76 now, downright cool. So we continue getting the boat ready for our extended absence. The storms that stress the boat come out of the east so we requested a dock with the finger between us and the harbor opening. That way when the storms come, the winds will push us away from the dock and not into it. Even with that arrangement we use rubber stretchers on the aft lines to lessen the stress on the cleats. Sarah was a big help. 

As usual for Florida, lots of flowers this time of the year
Having set the boat up, we did our daily walk over to the dog park and Hoolie as usual ran and ran. On the way is the marina banana tree. It even has bananas although they are not ripe yet, small and green so far. Apparently, they can grow successfully this far north in Florida. It's a clear night and we're looking forward to our first night below 70 since we arrived. This is the Florida weather we remember from past trips south. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Titusville - Cooling off

The entrance to Titusville Marina - very protected except when the wind if out of the east - through the opening
This morning I woke up just in time to go on our walk. We went a little longer this time and man was I tired. Today I did a book report on "To Kill a Mockingbird", I think I made a good job but will have to see. After my work I ate lunch then we had to wash the window screens. I sprayed them and then Nana rinsed then off. We also did algebra today, we did proportions and cross multiplying that was fun with Grandpa. I saw Mary and William the manatees today, Mary like to roll over again and again that is cute. William looks so massive and majestic with is tail too, I stared at them for a while. Then I looked at a magazine for a while with art in it, soon after we took Hoolie to the dog park. There was a big beautiful German Shepard that was so pretty and cute. I threw that ball for him and when I pet him and he'd lean on me. He reminded me off are old German Shepard that we had when I was five, then we went back to the boat when Hoolie was tired. I felt the breeze and checked my coiled line on the deck. I think am going to miss Titusville and the boat, then I saw Mary again trying to find fresh water. Now I am talking to you or writing whatever, bye! Sarah

It's 77 here at 8:11, about 10 degrees cooler than yesterday. I think the heatwave has finally broken. With that we went over to the dog park and gave Hoolie his daily exercise which consisted of running at a dead gallop for 30 minutes. None of the other dogs ever kept up with him and Hoolie was only interested in chasing after the bouncing ball. 

We use Apple's Facetime for video over cellphone sessions, great fun
I read through some of the outlines on the internet for Common Core algebra and I now have a better idea of what's expected for 8th graders. Frankly, it's a lot more than I remember having to digest. We didn't have algebra until high school, not so anymore. There's even irrational numbers and geometry that's covered as well as taking roots and scientific notation, all in the 8th grade. Sarah is learning it quite well. We spend about an hour a day on math on the boat. 

There's still more boat stuff to do to get Fleetwing ready for a two month absence. We only have one week left before we leave for points north. Gotta plan all this out. 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Titusville - We get new lights for the cockpit

Here comes the front!
This morning I woke up with no noise at all, I figured they have started out. I looked up and saw Nana's way to her walk, I knew she turns around and walks back past the dock so I met her there. I finished half of a walk and then we eat breakfast. Then I started my school work and finished by lunch time, I did some questions for reading today about my book. I had lunch then went up stairs to feel the breeze, the people next to us had left this morning. What's really annoying is all the birds dirtying up are deck after we washed did some time ago. When they are on the wires to the sail, you hit it and the vibration makes then go poop some where else. Then we took Hoolie to the dog park, he was pulling so much in excitement I felt my arm was coming off. I threw the ball for him and there was a ice cream cone ball that he liked a lot. When he was really tired we headed back to the boat, I have to say the trip back was a lot easier. Then we put up some lights in the cockpit they look really nice and pretty, I can't wait to see them when it gets dark. There was a big fishing boat that came in on the dock behind us, it actually backed in really smoothly. Now am here writing about my very excited day, well kind of, bye. Sarah

Hoolie gets the most out of  the dog park, full speed ahead, all the time
We're going to be away from the boat for close to two months. During that time you do not want to lose power if you have anything in the freezer. A couple of years ago, that's just what happened. We lost power for some unknown reason and the freezer ran down the batteries (we have a 12v compressor for the refrigerator). Returning to the boat, we found the freezer in terrible shape - I won't go into the details but food does spoil and nature has a way of getting rid of spoiled food... So for the last two years I've bought inexpensive lights to put in the cockpit so the marina personnel who walk the docks every day and see whether or not I have power. This year I bought rope lights, the kind you see often at Christmas and plugged them in. They provide good light for holding a conversation at night in the cockpit and serve the dual purpose of alerting the dockhands if the power is out to my boat. 

We are all looking forward to a cool front coming through tonight so the lows will be in the 60's Wednesday night. We've had enough of the hot weather. It did cool enough to take Hoolie over to the dog park. Once there, he runs at full speed all the time, no idle. Sarah does the exercising by throwing the ball which Hoolie finds irresistible. No matter how much he's out of breath, he chases that ball. 


Sunday, November 8, 2015

Titusville - To the beach!

Just a beautiful beach, Playalinda
This morning I woke up and helped Grandpa get the donuts, I picked out a maple, cherry,  and raspberry filled. They are the best donuts I ever had, then I looked in the newspaper with the comics. Nana said we can go to the beach, there was a path the went up and down through the sand dunes. The view was great on top, we went wading in the water and I got sea shells. The waters were so pretty, they were a light blue. There were two little cute baby seagulls looking for food, there names are Jem and Scout. They are the characters from my book, then we went  back to the boat. It is hot here but has a gentle breeze that feels good. After some time reading Grandpa and I went to see a movie from the book he read, I liked it. It talked about a man getting left on Mars and how he tries to get back on earth. After the movie we went to the boat, Hoolie was happy to see us. We had sushi for a snack and we are having pulled chicken for dinner bye. Sarah

Even had time for a little algebra: 2n + 5 = 15, what's n? (very simple)
Sunday is always donut day in our house and especially with a grandkid onboard! Luckily, there's an excellent donut shop nearby, Donuts R Us with a good variety of fresh donuts of all kinds, much better donuts than Dunkin Donuts. Sarah, of course, wanted to go with me to be sure I picked out the best ones. 

Today we decided a beach day was in order. The nearest beach is Playalinda which is part of the Canaveral Seashore which is free if you have a Golden Passport (65 or older). It's many miles long and mostly uncrowded since it is so big. The only trouble is the heat. It's hotter here than when we vacationed in Ocean City New Jersey in August! We didn't bring a beach umbrella and the sun was deadly so the next time we'll have one. 

If you're on a beach, then you've got to collect seashells
I took Sarah to see The Martian. I read the book which I enjoyed greatly and always wanted to see the movie and got my first chance this afternoon and with a willing crew member, Sarah. If you haven't seen the movie yet, you ought to, it's outstanding. It's all scientifically based and nothing like Gravity which had Hollywood science throughout or worse yet, Interstellar. I have to return my $10/day car Monday morning but we'll rent a car again next weekend and hopefully the heat wave will have passed by then.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Titusville - We visit Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge

I just love these walkways through the Florida woods
This morning I woke up and we had some pancakes for breakfast. They was really good, today we are headed to Merritt Island animal refuge. We went in are rental car and Hoolie came with us, we went down the path when we got there. There is a pond that had no alligators, but there is a tiny turtle on aboard in the middle his name is Tom. We walked down a little bit and saw lots of tiny lizards their names are Lizzy, Leo, Luca, Luke, London, and Lauren. They all start with 'L' because they're lizards, some of the trees had Spanish moss that looked pretty. There were also a lot of palm trees there that looked pretty, then we went back to the car. There is a nature path that you can go through in a car, we saw lots of birds in the tiny canals. It is so flat there clouds are so beautiful there nice and big, fluffy and light. After that we went to some manatee seeing spots, we did only see their backs. We also saw vultures that were big and ugly. Then we went back to the boat, it has been raining on and off lately. Now am talking to you, we are having shrimp taco's with cabbage, bye. Sarah

They dive for food but they do not have natural oils to expel water, they have to dry off in the sun
Finally, the pumpout problem is solved. I never did get the cap loosened from the deck hardware but I did succeed in getting the old hardware off, cap, fixture and all. I then replaced it with the new ones from Beneteau that were stainless steel, much better than aluminum which can corrode. 

They have all directions covered - no sneaking up
After that we were off to Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. It's one of our favorite places to visit while in Titusville. It's strategically located at the southern most point of many of the migratory birds and at the northern most point of many of the native birds;.So you are almost guaranteed to see lots of wildlife whenever you tour. However, fall is the best time when the migratory birds are present in the highest numbers. 

Fire is now embraced as needed
The blog will continue until we leave on 11/19 and will resume upon our return on 1/7. In the meantime we'll be up north celebrating the holidays with family. Since we have Sarah with us the blog may continue for awhile so folks back home can keep up with our activities with Sarah. You're invited to tag along as we continue our Titusville adventures. 

Friday, November 6, 2015

Titusville - The rains come and we provision

The clouds are marching by, some with rain
This morning I woke up a little late, well late enough to miss our walk, but that was ok. I don't know why I was so tired, we had breakfast and I read my book. I finished my book and now we are hoping to watch the movie tonight and I did my vocab. Today is the day that we go shopping, Grandpa got the rental car that is tiny and bright red. After shopping we headed back for lunch, then we went to go get fresh grapefruit and fudge. Their fudge is so good, then we went back after a quick trip to a supplies store. It is hard getting all the things we got on the boat, we opened a window on deck and passed them down. Hoolie was very happy to see us after two long trips out, when we came in I think I saw Mary and Johnny the manatees. It rained on and off today so it's no surprise the manatees were by the rain pipe part of the marina. I am back here on the boat pretty tired out, so bye. Sarah

The pumpout port is still not fixed. On Saturday it's do or die so I enabled Plan B, a bypass of the frozen cap on the deck. I'll take one last try Saturday morning before the pumpout boat is due at 9:00. Plan A is to loosen the cap with a hammer and punch, Plan B is the bypass, Plan C is a complete replacement of the deck hardware but that's not a 30 minute job. At least that's my thought after 10 years of working on the boat. It always turns out to be more difficult than expected, I've never had it go the other way. 

Most of the rain missed us, it seems to concentrate over the Gulf Stream just off shore
Titusville has a good Walmart for groceries, not everywhere does. Their prices are way below Publix or Food Lion on just about everything, why pay more? We are starting to get a change of weather with rain this morning and we're hoping for cooler weather over the next few days. Sarah gets the weekend off from school and therefore, so do the teachers. That frees up about 6 hours a day. We plan on visiting Merritt Wildlife Refuge on Saturday and perhaps the zoo on Sunday, nice to have a car.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Titusville - Frozen caps

Last year we saw an alligator sunning in this exact spot - will the bird be here tomorrow?
This morning I woke up and we went on a walk, the bananas are still green. The dog park was a little full but not many, when we came back we saw a guy fishing right by the sign that says no fishing. I was a little upset I have to say, and annoying when he probably read the sign. It is still hot out so I spend most of my time down in the AC, I read To Kill a Mockingbird after breakfast that was cereal. I have about 28 pages to go to finish the  book, I am hoping to finish the book tomorrow so we can watch the movie. There is this package I've been waiting for from my mom, it has candy and other do-dads that I don't know of. So when I am doing my French Grandpa brings in a big box inside was movies, a book, candy, fuzzy socks, Halloween do-dads, some leaves from home, and some tops. I was so excited, after my work I did the Lego set I forgot to say that my mom got me, it is a pizza place with a stove. Also there was a snicker doodle bar mix, if you didn't know it's my favorite cookie, Nana and I made through this afternoon. It smelt so good in the oven when I was playing with my Legos. We took Hoolie to the dog park and there was one other dog, he ran so fast and was tired so fast. When we walked back to the boat I saw a pineapple in the water, that was weird since there not native here. Now am talking to you farewell, so long, and bye. Sarah

Oh joy! A package from home!
I bought some PB Blaster which is the best stuff around for freeing stuck bolts and nuts on the advice of a reader of the blog. I had used it at home and knew it was good, I just had none onboard until today. Twice I applied it to the pump out screw cap and twice I was unable to move anything. The caps are made of aluminum which was never a good idea. I had plenty of leverage with the winch handle and a cheater bar but I still could not move the screw cap but the winch did move, chewing up the aluminum cap. So I soaked it some more and will try again tomorrow. If all attempts fail, then the replacement pumpout fittings are due to arrive on Friday. I just do not look forward to getting the old fittings off since I'm sure they will be glued down tight to the deck and have aged well over the past 11 years! 

A view of "A" dock, the best protected of the docks
Most of the mornings are taken up with home schooling Sarah. We are now in negative numbers in algebra. We spend about 45 to 60 minutes a day during the week on math. Ann covers the other subjects. It makes for an interesting day and we make good use of the A/C. 

On Friday we get the car for the weekend for $40 including all taxes from Enterprise. It's time for provisioning and seeing the sights. However, I have to either get the pumpout fittings working by either unscrewing the ones we already have or installing new ones. The pumpout day is Saturday so I expect a long day Friday. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Titusville - Boat problems

Sailboats rule - at least on A dock
This morning I woke up then Nana and I went on a walk, Hoolie came with us. It was a tiny bit hot when the sun was coming up, I saw the banana tree and there is bananas but they are green still. When we went back to the boat Hoolie was tired so was I, after that I took a nice cool shower. Then we had breakfast and I did my school work, am on page 274 in my book, I love how you really get a picture in your head of what is happening. I did my usual work and was done after lunch, It actually started to drizzle a little bit. I cooled down in the AC and then went up to curl the ropes, it was raining a tiny bit harder when I curled them up it, but it was so refreshing after the heat. I played with Hoolie in my bed, he is really funny because he likes to roll around in my sleep in bag. I watched TV and then it was time to take Hoolie to the dog park, we haven't been taking him because it has been so hot. There was a small dog there that was cute, and another dog they started to play a little bit. I don't think the other people knew about dog play so they left fairly soon. There was another beautiful black in white dog, it had short fur and was pretty. Then we left when the black dog left, it was really fun seeing new dogs that were so much fun to see romp around. We went back to the boat and I watched some more TV and now am talking to you. we are having.... wait am going to leave different this time, ok try this again, so long my valued reader will meet again bye. Sarah

One tired dog after 30 minutes of a dead run
Things happen on a boat. It's in salt water 9 months of the year and things are not like at home. Today was pump out day and I could not loosen the screw in top to the deck fitting, how exciting... So I enlisted help with a Vice Grip and even a length of pipe to get additional leverage, no dice. I started to churn through the aluminum fitting instead of turning it. I've now ordered another fitting from Beneteau that's due to arrive Friday, just in time for a pump out on Saturday - you've got to pay attention to these things...

The main office and cruisers' captain's room faces the water - not great but adequate
As I was walking to the marina store to get some distilled water I heard a woman muttering about a leak in the fresh water pump. As I said, things happen on a boat, especially older boats. A salt environment is harish on components and things fail that would never fail on dry land. It's all part of boating so you need a contingency fund if you intend on spending a lot of time in salt water.
On Thursday we get a care package from home, all our mail for the past month is due tomorrow morning, we hope. As usual, the marina will serve as a post office to both receive mail and to send it. They accept USPS, UPS and FedEx, no problem. It's a lot better than trudging down to the nearest post office for general delivery. Looking forward to Friday and having a car. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Titusville - the manatees come

The manatee found Sarah - wanted to be friends
We got an announcement this morning that there is no school today because it is election day. Actually my mom called to tell us, I am not sure who are the teacher and principal in this funky school district. So today I washed the boat with Nana and Grandpa, it's really fun because you get to see manatees. See manatees love fresh (we are in salt) so when we wash the boat there is a guaranteed chance to see one. Then I saw them with their really cute nose sticking up, there were three, I named then Johnny the big one, the baby Mary, and the other big one Tom. I went to the back of the boat on the platform, I was so close to them I could touch them, but I didn't because you shouldn't since they're endangered. Some times they puff out a breath and I felt Johnny's, it was so cool to be so close. After we were done with the hose they said goodbye, then I went to get some lunch. I wrote in my book and played on my phone, it is another hot day today and I hate the heat so I stayed down stairs most of the day. We also watched a short movie that was funny I think, I also drew a tiny bit. Well we are having Mexican chicken for dinner bye. Sarah

Sarah spent all day looking for manatees
The Titusville Marina is the home of about 20 manatees. The water is warm and protected and they apparently get plenty to eat. What attracts the manatees is fresh water. We were washing the boat today and the washdown water was spilling into the marina, ideal for attracting manatees. Sarah helped me with the washing of the boat but when the manatees came, that took precedence. Hoolie was rather agitated too. The manatees make a huffing sound when they breathe and Hoolie's finely attuned to that sound, rushes over the side and immediately starts barking. No Manatee yet has boarded the boat!

Hoolie was fascinated too
Sarah took a ton of photos and loved to just watch them. They are huge and ponderous and I think they are ugly but Sarah thinks they are cute?! So the boat cleaning eventually got done and now looks presentable at least. Sarah's mother called and said it was a no school day due to elections. Now Sarah will have to wait another day to learn about negative numbers, her next lesson in algebra! It's great to be in a marina that has decent WiFi, good enough to stream Netflix in HD without pauses. It's the only marina I've been in with that capability. I think the marinas are learning that to attract customers they must provide good WiFi! /

Monday, November 2, 2015

Titusville - Hot hot hot

A nearby park - no alligators today
This morning I woke up pretty tired, it's probably because of our time change. Nana and I went on a walk this morning I looked for manatees but didn't see any. There is a banana tree here at the marina and it's cool to check if there are bananas on the  tree growing. Then we had breakfast that was some cereal, It is so hot here. After breakfast I did all my school work (ed note: we did 45 min of algebra!), am on page 266 on To kill a Mocking bird,  am getting really close to the end of the book. We even found a movie for my book and we are going to watch it after we finish the book. After that I drew some more boats, I am working on a power boat but with a sail. The problem is how can a sail move a big power boat, I think that am getting better at my 3d drawings of my boats. We also did laundry today, I put my clothes away and watched some TV. As I was saying it is really hot we had the AC running almost all afternoon. I played with Hoolie and we are having chicken and broccoli bye.Sarah 

This bird didn't move out of the shade for hours - records are being broken with the heat wave here
I can't remember Titusville ever being this hot. They are setting records down here. Still, laundry calls and was done but boat cleaning will await another day. I had email with Tom Hale who's leading a 27 boat flotilla down the ICW. They are due to go through the famous "S" curve at Brown's Inlet. It consists of two buoys that appear to be off station (not where they're supposed to be) but they are not off station, they are way over on one side of the channel, not in the middle where you would expect them. If you don't thread through them properly, you will go aground. Just to make things more interesting, one of the buoys is missing! There's a TowBoat US conveniently waiting for that eventuality right nearby, that's how they make their living. I expect to hear from Tom Tuesday on how they made out.

The first appearance of a manatee, Sarah is busy tracking 
It was too hot to take Hoolie over to the dog park. In fact, there were no dogs over there at all. Our A/C ran all day and it's running right now. Thank goodness for A/C on a boat. I ordered a new Interstate 4D battery. The marina here has an arrangement with the local Interstate dealer for a display of their batteries so it makes it very easy to order a new one. The only problem is that they weigh about 120 lbs! Getting the old one up and out of the boat and a new one installed is a two man job unless you're a linebacker. I was promised help, we'll see. 

Everybody declared a strike after the temps got close to 90 so only the laundry got done today. However, Sarah still had a full schedule of school work with French, reading (To Kill a Mockingbird) and algebra. No days off for heat here. More boat work Tuesday. 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Bethune Park in Daytona - at anchor

Sunrise over Daytona - first day without DST
Today we were off again to Titusville, it's the last spot we are going to move the boat to. We ate breakfast, then lifted up the anchor and it was hot but with a good breeze. I wrote a bit out of my book and read out of a fun book my mom got me. I also looked out for dolphins, when Grandpa said they saw a dolphin besides the boat last year. That same time I saw a dolphin right by the side of the boat, it scared the heck out of me. Just picture some creature (that kind of looked like a shark) jump out of the water right beside you. Its fin looked damaged maybe by a boat propeller, I named it Blue. Then a little ways down we saw some more, they weren't right by the boat but cool to look at. I also steered a little bit, I turned the boat around a corner of trees. You have a line to follow, then you have your depth to check, look out for tiny boats, and look for junk in your way. It gets a little tiring so I sat down, then we headed up to the marina and I swung the rope on the piling. Then I made it on the piling (a log like thing to tie up too), then put out the electric. After that  I decided to design a boat,  then I found it so much fun, somehow I know am going to pick up a career with boats. After a little chilling out we took Hoolie to the dog park, there were two other dogs there and man did Hoolie run. We walked back to the boat and here I am talking to you. We are having pizza for dinner that is delivered onto the boat it's Papa Johns, bye. Sarah

It was a very quiet night at anchor.The anchorage here is huge so it's never crowded and with the free dinghy dock, it's perfect for Hoolie. We had the time change over night but we still woke up at our usual time of 6:45 am which with the time change was 5:45 am! At least we had a very leisurely breakfast by the time we left at 8:00 am (time after daylight savings time ended). 

The docks are very sturdy
Heading south we didn't encounter any shallow water, even Ponce de Leon inlet on the ICW was fine, I had expected thin water after reading some of the comments but perhaps it was dredged or the buoys moved, no problem today, I updated Active Captain for the hazard. 

I had reserved A39 which is on the south side of A dock and has the finger on the starboard side when bow in. With that arrangement, northerners that blow down hit us on the bow, keeping the cockpit cozy and easterners will blow us away from the dock so the boat doesn't bang up against an unforgiving piling. The north and east are the two storm directions down here. They are still $10/ft for a month's stay, reasonable. They also have three brand new commercial grade washers and three dryers, much appreciated. But best of all, they have a new WiFi system professionally installed that actually works. I routinely get 10 Mbps speeds which is better than anywhere on the ICW I've been at so far. 

So we are now starting phase II of our trip south and will be here until we rent a car for the trip north for the holidays before returning in early January. We will take advantage of Enterprise's offer of $10/day rental over the weekend and I've already reserved this coming weekend for exploring the area. With all taxes, it totals $40 for three days, not bad. 

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Dayton - at anchor

Crew coiling line after leaving the dock on Halloween
Happy Halloween, ah wait let me start that again. Today I woke up and put my tiny little costume on, a orange tiny witch hat on a head band, Halloween t-shirt, and black sparkly tutu. We went under  a couple bridges and a lot of boats past us, there was ten tiny speed boats and a couple big ones. I read Calvin & Hobbles and played on my tablet, some people went by and liked my costume and gave it a thumbs up. I also got Nana a ball mask, I got to go at the helm for a ways too. Then we got to are anchorage, I pulled in the dink and then we were settled. After that Grandpa and I went  to go bring Hoolie to shore, I helped get the dink ready. It is a nice little park and it sounds like some people are having a party next door. We are going to have a some popcorn and watch a movie tonight, well Happy Halloween. Sarah

Strange crew steered the boat too
We found an anchorage about 45 miles south of St Augustine with a lot of room and a nearby dinghy dock at a park. The travel weather was ideal with temps at 80 and full sunshine, couldn't be better, Florida is great! It's Halloween so Sarah came out today with her Halloween costume on which she wore all day. She had a mask for Ann and an eyepatch for me.So we celebrated Halloween in costume although she did not get a chance to Trick or Treat, not many places to do that when at anchor. 

We love the easy access to a dinghy dock at Bethune Point Park in Daytona
We went through the shallows at Ft Matanzas and found good water except by G81D where you had to favor the red side for 7 ft MLW. Otherwise, there were no problems. We're headed for Titusville Marina on Sunday where Fleetwing will reside for the next two months as we head north for the holidays before returning in January to continue south to Key West.  

Friday, October 30, 2015

St Augustine - We take the tour

In the lighthouse, a long way up!
This morning I got up and did my school work, I read a lot. Then we went to a tour train that takes you places, we went on it, there was one even near the marina. We saw the fort, old buildings, fancy old hotels and really nice churches. After that we got off to wait for a van to take us to a lighthouse, when we got there it looked really big. I was determined to go up 290 steps up and down, the view was amazing you could see everything. Everything looked so tiny and small, there was also a very nice breeze up on top. After that Grandpa and I went back down the 290 steps, Nana did not want to go up so we met her back down. I have to say my knees hurt coming down a lot, that was gym and history  class in one. The light house keeper had  to pull a thirty pound bucket of oil up all of those stairs. Then we saw a person hand carving a small sail boat that looked really nice and smooth. Then we met up with the van and went back to the boat for lunch, after that we went back to the train. We saw every historical thing or place in St. Augustine, then we played on a mini golf curse, I was third, Nana second and Grandpa first. It was really fun with all the Halloween decorations everywhere, then we headed back. I read a tiny bit and watched all the boats come in, there is really a lot, now am talking to you bye!  Sarah

View from the top
St Augustine now provides a shuttle in the mornings for either Publix or Walmart as well as other stores along the way such as Home Depot and Lowes. There is no charge for the shuttle and it's even advertised as free but they do accept donations. They pick you up right at the St Augustine Marina and allow for one hour for your shopping while they wait outside. They have shuttle service everyday of the week at two times: 9:00 to Publix and 10:30 to Walmart. 

A peacock in a tree? I didn't know they flew that high?
After the provisioning run we took a ticket for a tour of the city. The tour "trains" make 90 minute runs where you can hop on and off anywhere along the way. It's a great way to get introduced to the town. We took advantage of a free side trip to the lighthouse. Sarah wanted to climb the 200 plus steps to the top. I tagged along, it's a long way up! As expected the view is great and the look down will pump a little adrenalin. 

On Saturday we're headed for an anchorage at Daytona that we've used before. There's a dinghy dock by a park in the anchorage for Hoolie. The next day we're due in Titusville. Meanwhile, I posted a route on Active Captain showing a 10 ft MLW path through the famous shallows south of Fernandina. I wish the Coast Guard would buoy the path.