Sunday, December 27, 2009

Happy New Year from the Keys

Hope everyone has survived the hustle & bustle of the Christmas season. Even on Conch Republic (Key West) time I found myself in a pinch the last day or two trying to get some goodies baked. I forgot to take into account that my counter space is all but non existent and my oven only holds one mini cookie sheet at a time. Oh well, it took me two days to do what would normally take an afternoon but I guess all that matters is that I got it done. Christmas day was busy as Dirk and I spent the morning and early afternoon at my cousins home on the next Island up. It was nice to finally meet some of my extended family and to see my cousins whom I haven't seen in a very long time. A nice breakfast buffet was laid out and as usual we ate too much followed by play time on the kids new toys. Wow, some of these toys they make, where were they when I was young enough to play and not injure myself too bad? But, if you know us you know we had to give them a shot and now we have the bruises to show for it.

At 2:00 our marina was having a pot luck Christmas dinner for everyone. They provided the hams and turkeys while everyone else provided the other goodies. Needless to say we were about an hour late but still managed to get our fill. Have to say I was still full from the late breakfast we had just two hours previously. We hung around a bit then slowly filtered away to our boats to process the huge amounts of calories that had been consumed. A bit later I meandered down the dock and ended up having some wine and conversation with Page & Dottie, a couple of boaters that took us under their wing when we arrived to show us the ropes. It was an early evening as both Dirk & I were pooped from playing with the kids earlier so we went back to the boat and piddled a bit before calling it an evening.

On other news the solar panels finally came in and got installed. We were beginning to wonder if they were gonna make it before we left. We ended up mounting them on the bimini top where they would be out of the way and out of sight.
At first we weren't sure if the top would be sturdy enough, but in the end we added a couple more support poles, two leading down from the sides attached to the toe rail and two added from the back to the back rail. Seems like they are pretty sturdy and I'm happy that we didn't have to go with the other option of having to mount them on the sides close to the bow of the boat from the front railing to flip up. The jury is still out on the new power production but I think we will have good news on that end. I also finally finished my cover for the cooler that we have on the front deck. When we bought it, the intention was to have a ready area to throw any catch in that we might be so lucky to get, with the ulterior motive of having an extra storage space. I wanted to make a cover for it as I know the UV rays can take years off of any item stored on deck. I have had the pattern cut and pinned for a while but had trouble with the sewing machine and gave up on the project out of frustration. Well today I found someone who was gracious enough to whip it through their machine and after making a few cut outs for tie down straps we are in business. Thanks Michelle.
Were still not one hundred percent happy with our refrigeration as it seems like it still runs a lot even after adding the other insulation. Were wondering if in fact we might have a problem with our thermostat and are looking at perhaps replacing it with a different kind. More reading needs to be done on this before we make any kind of decision. This week was a good week and what made it better was to finally meet someone who has been an inspiration to both Dirk and I for so long. Even before we purchased Tybee Time we began reading Bill's blog aboard s/v Galena and all the adventures he had made us want to become cruisers even more. We follow him still and realized he would be coming to the marina we are currently in and in fact he ended up just across the dock and down a couple slips. Dirk & I showed him to the local watering hole where we ended up chatting it up over several beers. Have to say its been very nice getting to know him and hearing all his stories he has to share. I do hope we find our paths cross again in the future. There are a couple other blogs we follow and we are looking forward to meeting these folks in the very near future.

Well here it is only a few days before the new year so its doubtful that I will be posting again until then. Here's to hoping that everyone has a safe and wonderful New Years celebration and may we all find the strength to stick to the resolutions that we make. Cheers & Happy New Year from Dirk, myself and Butters.

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