Monday, May 14, 2012

A study in contrasts

I know I've said it before, but damn, the weather here is just so different from San Diego.  You can never leave the boat without closing all the hatches and in every way possible rigging for rain because it just might rain!  The other day, Deb had a long awaited "beauty day" with an appointment to get her hair done, a pedicure, the whole works, followed by some leisurely mall shopping.  When she returned to Moonshadow, the trip from the rented car, parked 30 feet away proved to be just too much for the new hairdo!  Deb appeared below looking like the fire department just had a day of practice on her head.  No problem, Deb laughed it off and the next day blew her hair out to show what  it should have looked like (and it looked great!).  Then she ran some errands, but when she returned... you guessed it!   Another drowned rat!!  Welcome to Florida.  It rains here.

Remember the beautifully adorned aft stateroom from a previous post?  That was then, this is now. With the agonizing task of selecting all the new electronics behind us, we're in the midst of "installation hell".  All the spaces along the starboard side of Moonshadow from the navigation station to the stern have been exploded to expose the network of wires that run fore and aft to the radar mast (not a mast we carry sails on, this is just an aluminum pole for getting a bunch of  antennas up in the air) at the stern.  Oh, and all the overhead panels are down again for access to electrical wires up to the middle cockpit.  Tomorrow, we'll pull all the floorboards up to locate a new autopilot compass.  What a mess, but eventually worth it, right?

As a part of providing access to the spaces the installers needed for installation of all the new electronics, we had to empty out the lazarette (boat name for a locker in the stern).  We found the storm sails there and decided to see how they look.  Here's what the storm jib looks like.  I think this sail's name speaks for itself, but it's tiny and very sturdily built.  We also have a storm trysail, which is just about as small as the storm jib and takes the place of the mainsail.  We hope this is the first and last time we see these sails, but if someday we do use them in their intended element, I'm sure they'll look a lot bigger than it does now. 

Another discovery from the lazarette was a pair of bicycles.  We put them together, aired up the tires and ventured off for a test drive to the grocery store for some cocktail hour supplies (and mother's day flowers).

Note to self: Bring a backpack to carry your purchases home, especially when you buy lots of heavy liquids!

Meanwhile... we are keeping busy with chores like replacing the outboard motor water pump impeller.    Can you guess which one in the picture is new?  I guess they put all six vanes on there for a good reason, because when we traded the impeller with just two for the new one (with all those "extra" vanes) and started the outboard, voila!  Water flowing and a cool running engine.

That called for a cocktail dinghy cruise down the New River to Las Olas (a swank downtown riverfront area for restaurants and bars).  Some of the homes along this route are just amazing, and every home has a dock with a yacht tied there.  Some of these yachts are beautiful, and some were beautiful once.  Evidently, some homeowners without yachts rent their docks to anyone who'll pay, so you can get some drastic contrasts between beautiful yachts and tacky homes and visa versa.  Along the way, we had a good look at the Deerfoot 2-62 "Diva", a sister-ship to Moonshadow; and two awesome Sundeer 64s, also designed by Moonshadow's architect.  

Mother's day was an excellent excuse for a break from boatyard hell, so we took a trip to the Everglades for an airboat ride.  An airboat is an aluminum sled with a huge V-8 car engine driving a 4 blade airplane propeller in a cage and no mufflers.  We saw some birds and plants.  Deb memorized the names and history for all of this, while John took pictures.  We also saw alligators... lots of alligators.

Deb's other job was to look really cute for our group picture.  She did  great, don't you think?  We got lucky as we were the only two passengers in the group.  Also, we were glad we stayed dry because just when we got back into the rental car, it began to absolutely pour! (We're in Florida, where it rains)

Dan-the-Man was our boat driver. The name of his business as an airboat driver is "DTM" which stands for Dan-the-Man. Dan's an ex Navy weatherman having been a plank owner aboard the carrier Nimitz.  

The harmful UV exposure and his fair complexion are a bad combination requiring Dan to wear long sleeves and trousers as well as a hat scarf and gloves, all in 80-90 degree heat. But Dan really loves his job, and Dan-the-Man knows his stuff about the flora and fauna.  Just ask Deb sometime and she'll recite all names, the history, the whole thing.  Better yet, look up Dan-the-Man at Loxahatchee Everglades Tours.  You'll have a blast.  Oh, and bring an umbrella!!

Some of the inmates at the River Bend Jail, er ah, River Bend Marine Center made a successful escape today.  They are sailing their CSY sloop "Quarterdeck" to Norway.  Good luck!  

Moonshadow and her crew are planning their escape for next Saturday!


andrew said...

Hi guys!

I am AJ, Dave Duff's uncle by virtue of being his mother's brother. I love to follow interesting blogs, especially if I know the people involved. I'm sure we met at David and Patricia's wedding and your blog is certainly most interesting. It is GREAT and I am enjoying following it tremendously though my sailing experience is limited to a summer sail fish in my youth. Just wanted to say Hi and keep up the great reporting....

John and Deb Rogers said...

Thanks AJ for the note and kind words. Do you live somewhere along the US Atlantic coast? If so, perhaps we can meet up when Moonshadow is in your neighborhood. We'll be in Georgia and the Carolinas until mid June, then the Chesapeake, and then....well, follow our blog for updates of our whereabouts and where we plan to be next.

-John and Deb

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