When there are finally no more alligators, there are jellyfish. I hate jellyfish. I would rather snuggle with a shark.
When I come home from work, I often just sit. Sit and do absolutely nothing. Lay in my hairy, moldy, living room, and enjoy the silence. Obviously there is no television, a questionable internet connection, a book I’m bored of, and little light. On this particular evening, Bird taught me how to play the guitar.
I recommend everyone tries to sit and do absolutely nothing once a day. It’s more difficult than you think. I have become rather good at this concept, and can sit in silence without doing a damn thing for quite some time. Spending several months coming down the rivers taught me to be easily entertained. Call me crazy, but the idea appeals to me now, and I make sure it is a part of every day.
Welcome to the funny farm. We may not have it all together, but together we have it all. Together we run aground, and together we get un-stuck.
Since Louise has spent a lot of time at the dock while her caregivers are off at work, we decided it would be a good idea to crank up her engine and run the diesel. With not much time before work, we cruised around the back bay. Fort Myers Beach is located on its own island called Estero Island. The west side of the island being the Gulf of Mexico, and the east side runs along the protected “back bay” where all fisherman, pleasure craft, and commercial vessels dock or moor. The channel that runs through the back bay is known for being shallow. But that didn’t stop us from taking Louise on an excursion. All though It did stop us from continuing forward. We ran aground 3 times, inside the channel. Whats new? Nothing at all. Those who have never run aground, are liars.
There are several ways to get “un-stuck” after running aground. Katie and I are getting better at this. Typically the first move is obvious, put the boat in reverse, and back off of whatever it is you ran over. If you read my previous entry, you know that WE DON’T HAVE REVERSE. Yes, the shift cable is still snapped and disconnected, so that was not an option. The first 2 times we got unstuck by abruptly pumping the tiller in one direction and flooring it in forward. Success. The third time we stuck her good. I mean so good that Bird (whom I was holding) flew out of my arms like a real bird. Thank god, the tide was on it’s way up. This time we just sat there, enjoying the moment. Effortlessly relaxed in the cockpit, with country music and peppermint schnapps, awaiting the water to rise. A Ft Myers Town boat with a very large engine spotted by, threw us a line, and attempted to pull us off the bottom. Spinning in circles, churning up mud, I think the damn guy just dug us deeper. Thanking him for his help, we decided it would be better to wait it out. After an hour, I cranked the engine, as Katie raised the king sheet (genoa) and we tilted over just enough to lift the keel out of the mud. Wow I miss boating.
I have also discovered that I can type in any color. So that’s exciting.
The day we left Muskegon Michigan, knowing we were about to cross the Lake in not the greatest weather. Time to test Louise and test ourselves. I don’t think we had any brains that day.
A stray creature has been discovered.
Slightly hung over after a night out in Panama City. HAH. Top ramen for breakfast did not stay in my stomach for more than 30 minutes. Shortly after this we had to go rent a car to get Katie to the airport. How they let us drive away with that vehicle, I will never understand.
Bored in the Gulf. Gotta do something to pass the time…
Just a little Whitney Houston. And no I did not catch a fish. I was pretending.
Getting the silent treatment before crossing the Gulf.
Waking up to cat piss is not the most pleasant way to begin your day. For some reason I cannot discover, Bird STILL mistakes our bed for the little girls room. This is not cool, and if you have any suggestions please throw them out there. This incident has occurred several times on our trip, and when it does, it seems to foreshadow a bad day altogether.
On a lighter note, moods changed quickly as our house was smack dab in the middle of a Manatee sanctuary. Crystal River is the only place in the country where you can legally swim with Manatees. So that we did! The good ole 2hp honda outboard was placed on the dinghy, along with goggles, a video camera, Reggie, and most importantly Katie’s cookies. We pretended we were on the Animal Planet and headed up a river to swim with the weirdest looking creatures on earth. Mammals so large and unattractive, they somehow become cute? The beasts fascinated us for hours. We appreciated this amazing opportunity that was free of charge.
Our next task was to get Louise to her mechanic appointment, but this meant waiting for the tide to rise. The channel to enter Twin Rivers Marina is very shallow, allowing us only to enter at high tide. Ray, our precious mechanic, took 30 minutes out of his day to diagnose our “engine pissing water” situation. Ray removed our starter to discover the leak. Come to find out, there are two freeze plugs located there. One of them with a hole rusted through. Freeze plugs are mounted on the engine block to prevent the block itself from cracking if anything were to freeze. Ray got some good ole J-B weld, and temporarily patched up our rusty hole till we could locate and order the correct freeze plug to install. After all those hours thinking we might need a new engine block! Phew! So happy. The trip goes on.
The staff at Twin Rivers marina is so friendly and accommodating, if you need anything at all they are there to help. Special thanks to Tiffany for telling off a drunk man, kicking him off the property and threatening to call the cops because he wouldn’t leave us alone. I mean seriously dude, you don’t go around excessively touching peoples’ boats and hovering inches from us and our home while we are clearly trying to get things done. Thanks Stacey and Billy, for a dock to tie to, laundry, a place to stay, and that delicious bottle of wine.