Thursday, August 10, 2017

Marathon: visitors; changing plans; too much stuff; Christmas in August

        Can you identify the above blobs which appeared off GANNET's stern this afternoon?  The following may help. 

If you are still stuck, they are manatees, similar to Australia’s dugongs.
        They had come a fair way in from the main channel to get to GANNET.  The little boat attracts attention and I suppose they wanted to see for themselves.
        They quietly bobbed around for ten or fifteen minutes, expressed no opinion, and disappeared.


        Being a man of steely determination, I changed plans three times in twenty-four hours.
        When I leave GANNET to return to spend the rest of the year with Carol, my preference is to store her ashore.  She has been continuously in the water for several years and I’d like to let her dry out.  However, on Monday when I checked with boat yards, including the one at this marina, there was no room.  So I decided I would leave GANNET in her current slip.
        No sooner had I told the marina staff that we were staying beyond August 16, the date through which I have already paid, than Tom, a fellow sailor, emailed offering free dock space in front of his house on another of the Florida Keys.  After determining that there was enough water for GANNET to reach his dock, I gratefully accepted.
        The following morning Marathon Boat Yard, which had said they had no room on Monday, called me and said they had checked more carefully and could squeeze GANNET in.  Another of the virtues of small boats.  So I biked over, signed papers and began paying for the yard space immediately so no one else takes it, though GANNET is not coming out of the water for another month.
        I am pleased to be so decisive.


        I spent this morning productively re-stowing stuff.
        GANNET has too much stuff on her.
        Clearly stuff multiplies spontaneously when I’m not looking.
        I am not a hoarder.  I take real satisfaction in throwing out stuff.  Yet still there is too much, now including two Torqeedo electric outboards and a bicycle pump.

        This is the new Torqeedo.  If you think It looks a lot like the old Torqeedo, you are right.  It differs only in that it has a short shaft.  My first had an unnecessary long shaft.
        It came this afternoon and was unpacked, mounted and started in a few minutes.  I checked and both old and new tillers work.  
        The bicycle pump was bought along with a $99 bicycle from K-Mart.  I was paying almost that much to rent a bicycle.  I will use the bike around here for a month, lock it to GANNET in the boat yard when I leave, use it again in January, then when I sail for Panama give it to a charity or church to pass on.
        The bicycle has eighteen speeds.  I use only one.  Marathon is flat, flat, flat.


        The new sails are to be delivered tomorrow.
        Christmas in August.