If time is money and you have more time, Do you need more money?

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Great Dinghy Walkabout

3:15am February 29th BooBooTinTin was missing!  Seems he needed a Margarita and a Cheeseburger, probably in that order too, for a late night snack. The Margarita part must have been repeated several times since he never found his way home.  A scan of the harbor with a very bright LED light showed a reflection off in the mangroves.  I assumed he had just taken a rod and was night fishing (yes the dinghy all by it's self)  so I returned below and tried to sleep until sun rise.  LOL  You know how it is when you kids are out late with the car?  Just imagine when the car is out alone and you can not go anywhere with out it.  So after tossing and turning and staring out of the companion way for over 3 hours it was light.  Through the binoculars it was confirmed,  BooBooTinTin was definitely in the mangroves but he wasn't fishing but looking more hungover tucked under the branches.

Arrow shows location where BooBooTinTin spent the night

I flagged another dinghy down as it passed by and tried to get a rescue going on but THAT dinghy had pressing business and just kept on going with a "sorry".  As I stood in the cockpit thinking "Fins and snorkel"  I saw another dinghy waking from the night before.  With coffee in hand and a smile the second dinghy spearheaded a rescue attempt and we were off.  When we got over to BooBooTinTin the water was too skinny for the motor and we had to row the big inflatable across the silt covered flat.  We finally made contact and lead BooBooTinTin out of the muck.  Without so much as a "Sorry for staying out all night" or even "I ran out of gas" comment he is all back at home.  And he is grounded for 3 months!

During the time BooBooTinTin was missing it gave me time to run the numbers of the impact a "LOST" dinghy would impact to the budget cruiser.  The cheapest replacement I could find in the crunch would be over $300,  to completely replace what was lost is over $1500 and a "new" upgrade around 3K.  Not an acceptable mistake in securing the dinghy!

Thanks Gill for saving the day!

I would like to thank Gill from m/v Suits Us for taking me out to fetch our dinghy that slipped away in the night.  He was telling me of a dream his wife had just up the west coast of them loosing their dinghy into the vast blue of the Gulf of Mexico.  Maybe she was foreseeing the events of today.

Oh and I just found out that a restore on our computer just deleted Turbotax and the return I had ready to file.  So now I am reentering all the data instead of heading out to Key Largo!  Damn!  And now the internet is acting up!  Oh well, i could be at work.


All work and some fun

Well we have been busy over the last few days with preparations to make a crossing of the Stream.  We were having a blast at Bahia Honda during the days went spent there.

We haven't posted enough fishing pics lately, Boot Key Anchorage

One afternoon a fellow fisherman offeced us a couple dozen live shrimp since he was going up the keys the next day.  These little guys turned out to be a blast.  We fished within casting distance to the campground and caught two groupers that made it to the grill and some small mangrove snappers.  At this point I would say that "live" shrimp out fishes gulp about 20:1.


While talking to Kristopher about last years adventures he reminded me about cooking shrimp

Then on our last day at Bahia Honda we kept checking the weather and debating on staying or going back to Boot Key.  Last year a spent a couple nights with 25 knt easterlies and it went okay.  Then one the other boats that was currently anchored decided to leave and we followed suit.  This is good as it gives us time to prepare and stock up during the windy days.  The forecast was for 25 knts plus at 7pm but they didn't arrive until after midnight when we were safely anchored in Boot Key.  Have a great time on the Appalachian or CDT Tom!

Reminded by another friend about blackened pasta,  I made a version for the keys...
Cajun Cay Delight, Blackened Grouper Pasta with shrimp

Back in Boot Key there is so much to do!  Groceries, Post office, Taxes, Boat,  Schedules, Weather,  Oh My!  With a couple of trips to Publix and Home Depot we were ready to take the list which would need a cab to get back to the marina.  We were planning on 3 months in the Bahamas and didn't want to stress over daily food.  I really need to break down and bake some bread but I just keep putting it off.  Now where to put all this stuff.  There is a good day to cross later this week!  If nothing goes wrong we will be going Bahamian.

Key Lime Pie, Mmmmmm!

On the political side here in Boot Key, Marathon has decided to revamp it's control of the harbor.  There are meetings to go to and things to do.  I hope when we return there is still a way to make a few dollars here instead of spending a lot.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

the Scorpion King

 Scorpion Fish (photo from web)

Sunday evening the 19th of February, I had an encounter with a Scorpion Fish.  It was lightly hooked so I reached for the pliers and went to twist the hook up and out.  Well, Mr. Scorpion didn't like this and decided to give a nice twist and tried to flip off himself.  My normal counter reaction to not get hit by him instantly freed him.  He fell quickly off the hook.  It seems however that when I reacted to his Kamikaze attempt to get free I must have also retreated slightly.  His mad high wire dive back to freedom was interrupted by the side of TinTinBooBoo and while there on his new found perch above the sea with a choice to go either way, he chose inside the dinghy!  Funny thing about rowing dinghies they have a built in slip and slide.  Anything dropped at the rub rail instantly goes all the way to the center and the tiny two inch rib keel.  Of course this is where my bare feet interrupted his glorious slip and slide adventure!

Here I was in the dinghy with a scorpion fish that has just inflicted pain upon two of my toes, the Fisher King is snorkeling nearby and Gemini Dreams in anchored OVER THERE!  First was to eject the fish before I had any more pain so with the same needle nose pliers over he went!  Then "Tin!',  wait a bit "Tin!!"  a bit more as he was intent on his snorkeling.  "Tin!" and with a motion of my arm he came to the dinghy on double time.  I latter found out my intensity gave him the "SHARK" alarm in his neural process.  (later he said, "If it was a shark you would have just said to get on shore since it was closer...right?)  Now I had to row back to Gemini Dreams which really brought my heart rate up aided by the sting.  Damn this hurts... kind of like a hornet sting but worse.   By the time we were on board my toes and part of my foot had swollen.  Now where is the Benadryl? where is the baking soda? I have to get the water hot!  While Tin dug through the first aid hunting the Benadryl I got him to hand me the baking soda.  I made a slurry of soda to coat my wounds and help draw the poison out while hobbling along trying to boil water on the grill on a rocking boat in the wind.

Once the water was hot enough I poured some in our bread pan and slammed my foot in it.  I poured in more baking soda.  I spent the next hour cursing, grumbling and switching out the water to keep it as hot as I could stand.  It went from a constant burning severe pain to sporadic with random intensity.  Now that the pain was tolerable I went below and noticed I was calm and my heart rate was about normal.  Double checking the wounds now for broken fin fragments and other issues all looked good.  We then treated with Neosporin to help keep out the other infections.  Next was to spend the next few hours watching House with the foot elevated.

It has been over two days now and all looks good.  But trying to keep it treated and still snorkel and fish is a challenge.  The joints in the two toes he stung are still a little stiff.   Overall it could have been a lot worse,  we could have been a very long way from Gemini Dreams or who knows what else.  Now I just have to keep an eye on it for staph and other issues.

Here is the disclaimer!  IF STUNG BY A SCORPION FISH GET IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION.  ALL KINDS OF THINGS CAN GO WRONG AND YOU COULD DIE!  The above worked for me, I have no allergies!  It may not work for you YOU MAY DIE! SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION!  Any Questions? just one? Oh Okay.... GO TO THE DAMN ER!


Sunday, February 19, 2012

GoPro HD2 Review part one

We have now taken the GoPro on  an adventure and took 1406 photos!  Of those we are only keeping around 100.  The underwater blur is just crappy!  But, I knew it was there going in.  Most of the online comparisons do not show how bad it really is in real life.

They get worse than this from a distance

In order to take good underwater photos you need to spend a LOT more on accessories.  

  1. Blurfix We just ordered this item before we head to the bahamas!  $80+ after shipping
  2. A color correction lens for the Blurfix.  Not in the budget  $100+ after shipping
  3. Lighting  So far we can't budget additional lighting  $300+ after shipping
  4. An extension to help reach lower levels.  We have been using the boat hook
  5. Floating handle  $30+ after shipping
  6. Extra Battery Bacpac with housing $50+ after shipping
  7. Anti-fog inserts $15+ after shipping
  8. Photoshop $699+ for the full version. LOL
In order to operate the camera or change modes you must face the lens to see the screen.  This is annoying and you take some photos of yourself while doing it.  The HD setting crashes most older video cards and they can't play it!  The rapid shot burst and continuous are great features!  I like the hands free of every two seconds while diving but it gives you a massive amount of crappy shots to sort through. 

I give the GoPro a rating of 3out of 10 for underwater ("out of the package" version of GoPro HD2)
It would have received less but it is in a H2O proof container.  If only one item is in your budget get the BlurFix and anti-fog inserts!  I know that is two items!

We will reevaluate the GoPro once we return from the Bahamas in part 2.  

The following are meta tags for those cruisers trying to find info on the GoPro Cruising Cruisers Sailboat Bahamas boot key harbor underwater photo photograph pic pics digital cam camera reef lobster florida keys fish sailor review

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Deep Bay D1 & D2

Day one:  After giving Burdine's $88 for fuel and a nice little sail from Boot Key Harbor we rounded the tiny key at Bahia Honda and sailed through the open bridge span.  Then all that nature and man made stuff to starboard blocked the light breeze and we motored past the swim area and tried to set the anchor.  Da Da the second try is all hooked up.  The first one was a good hook full of ancient coral mud and grass.

The long sail around the key

Bahia Honda has hooked up the long range WIFI!  There is a full signal in the anchorage! Look for the obvious, bhlongrange.  We use a BadBoy WIFI but some computers may be  able to pick it up without an external.  So Captain "K"... that means the "office" has internet now!

The Fisher King got to snorkel finally on day one.

We didn't catch anything worth keeping during our fishing time.  There is a significant amount of grass floating around this year making some of our fishing just winding in weeds.

 Practice, practice, practice

 Sunset day one

Day two:  Started out a little late today.  The Fisher King must have been tired he woke up after 10 and still acted tired.  School day so he isn't thrilled anyway.  After fighting a little over the school day and what he was going to wear while snorkeling I finally filled him in on the surprise.

Aeriel of Looe Key

"It was Feb. 2, 1744, when Capt. Utting came upon a suspicious-looking ship flying the French flag near Cuba. It is not clear what " suspicious " means, perhaps what was suspicious were some of the dark-skinned " Frenchmen " sailing the vessel. Utting gave orders to chase the vessel down and when his marines boarded the ship, something caught the captain’s attention. One of the men aboard the French ship was observed tossing papers overboard. The crew of the Loo was quick to scoop the contraband out of the water and when Capt. Utting read the papers, it was discovered that while the vessel was indeed flying French flags, the ship was the captured English merchant vessel Billander Betty. Furthermore, the ship was being used by the Spanish.

Capt. Utting took control of the vessel and began towing it back to Charleston. On night two of the trip, the H.M.S. Loo sailed past Cayo Hueso (Key West). Every half hour the crew dropped a sounding line to mark the water depth and around midnight, on Feb. 4, satisfied with the safety of the ship, Capt. Utting went below deck to his quarters. About an hour later, the men on watch suddenly saw waves breaking over a shallow reef system. An alarm was sounded and evasive actions were taken, but the rudder struck the reef, broke off, and the ship, unable to steer, was pounded by swells and beaten against the coral beds. She was sinking — and sinking fast. To make matters worse, a few minutes later the Billander Betty crashed behind her."  If you want the whole story it was taken from here

the Fisher King goes in
His first large cuda

Sea Fans
More Barracuda 

now he goes out, wishing he could have brought his spear
Of course his charming disposition gets him time running the charter boat with 49 aboard.
     I missed the Nurse Shark (not our pic) he and others saw, and also the Goliath grouper he saw.  
We both missed the Moray Eel some saw

Sunset day two.  Go take time today to watch the sunset!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines day Boo!

Hey baby girl I miss you!  Hope you like the treat.

Reminds me of something someone else once did.

Notice:  Boo, the Fisher Kings sister has recently made the school softball team.  I also found out last night she has moved up to Starting Pitcher!  Wooooooo Hooooooo!  Way to go Boo!  I knew you could.

The Fisher King enjoying his Valentine lunch from his moms.


Sushi (his favorite) and a chocolate Valentines day cake.


Boot Key Harbor Igwannas

The Fisher King found something to occupy his time in Boot Key.  Instead of typing up his blog. lol

 Shhhh! so far he has not name him!

 No you can't take it on the boat!

These little guys can be found in the mangroves here.

Yes he had his Jason Bourne hair cut revitalized

Monday, February 13, 2012

Cayo Hueso

Old Key West light house

We had planned on taking a pilgrimage to Key West by bus and chose Friday as the best day for us.  We checked the weather and rain was coming to Marathon.  We checked the weather radar as we passed the office.  I went to take a shower and gave tin the following job...

"Take the trash and after I take a shower you can run the back pack to the dinghy"

Here is what happened.  It started to rain when I was taking a shower.  My first thought was Tin was resilient and would be in the laundry room when I was done waiting on me.  Reminding me of a episode of Desperate Housewives we recently watched.  Tin would handle the killer monkey.  So all finished with the shower I went to the laundry room to gather Tin.  He was soaked!  And we were going on a two hour bus ride!  How did he get soaked?  He had plenty of time to dump the trash.  So what went wrong?  He took the back pack I had planned on taking with us to the dinghy and the rain hit when he was on the dock.  Why?  I still don't know but as I started to get mad that he soaked the other back pack since the shower pack is just rags (don't buy a Calcutta fishing back pack).  Then after a couple of minutes I cooled down and was so pleased with his explanation.  See, he thought I meant the one he had just brought from the dinghy, with his PSP in it needed to go back to the dinghy.  He did manage to get his PSP out.  So as far as from his point of view he did what he thought I said.  And in doing what he thought I said he got soaked.  So we shook it off, walked through the rain and had breakfast at the pig before getting on the bus.  It was a long cold ride with our clothes wet

Our day only had a small agenda,
  1. The Southernmost Point
  2. Mel Fishers Museum
  3. Sloppy Joe's
  4. Old Town
  5. Mallory Square
Now trying to keep him occupied and curious from an 11 year old view point was challenging.  

First, the bus ride from Marathon is two hours long so it was a good thing he brought the PSP.  Also this bus ride has had a rate increase since last year from $3 to $4 a ride.  This is a GOOD thing for the cruiser day tripping to Key West!  Why you ask?  Last year it ended a Publix and you had to take another bus to Old Town for another $2 making the trip actually more expensive last year.  Plus it now goes through Old Town, across Duval St and out to the Southernmost Point making it not only cheaper but one bus.  We made it to the Southernmost Point and did your photo session for the record.

the Southern Most point in the USA

Second,  We took a field trip for boat school through Mel Fisher's museum on he actually had some hands on time with cannons, artifacts and silver.  It was information overload for Tin.  As from my pessimistic management point of view they show their concern with the abnormal amount of light bulbs that are out making presentations dull and dark.  Rent the video and save the $12.50
Treasure be in thar matey!

 Bars of gold and coin of silver

Real lost treasure and he is more thrilled with the silver bars than with his picture being taken again.

Third,  Sloppy Joe's was an experience for an 11 year old (lunch time and calm).  Live music that wasn't bad and a festive atmosphere.  Just one thing... Tin hated the Sloppy Joe!  After years of the sweet Manwich sauce he just did not like the darker sauce.  So I guess I can keep feeding him the $1.50 fake sandwiches instead to the $8.75 real ones (without fries).
the Fisher King having a blast at Sloppy Joe's,  Too bad he hated the sandwich.

Fourth,  Old town was not expected to excite him too much but we did find some things to interest him.  

 What's black and blue and sticks to trees?  the Fisher King 

He discovered that School House Trees have thorns while he was stalking a rooster.

Why did the chicken cross the road?  To get away from the annoying tourist!

Kapok tree

Flowers, He has always been a botanist.

Lizards,  He loves reptiles too.

He also found the end of US1

Some art work
 He took time to hang out with giants and naked ladies

After the sun was about to get to us we stopped for an ice cream.  Do you know you could by the Fisher King and ice cream in the upper right column?  

Fifth, Mallory square,  this is where my little man started to return to his younger years!  He was always the performer when he was younger and over the last two years he has become more serious, more resolute and more with drawn.  When no one is watching he still dances with fishes, as when he fell in the bay way back in PC, and I crowned him "the Fisher King".  No matter how hard I tried to catch those little dances he kept catching me.  It all started with the juggling / high wire act.  He was coming back out of his shell.  He and the performer started back and forth on the wise cracks during the juggling.  Then as the performer was climbing up on the wire he "sold" his act as the most dangerous and having returned from a recent injury he asked for 3 heavy set volunteers to lay down under the wire.  Tin didn't even flinch and went right up and laid down under the wire.

volunteering for the high wire safety team and cracking up the performer.

There was the British guy doing dry humor and magic.  Tin just fires away anytime the interact with him in the crowd.  Always polite, of course.  

We then watched on guy get strapped into a straight jacked after some more juggling but got bored and wandered off.  

Then over to the "Red Trouser Show" of acrobatics and juggling.  See a juggling pattern here?  This is the show I wanted Tin to see but he took it to a new level.  
The Red Trouser Show

Tin as part of  the show


Tin's premier street show video.  He earned 6 bucks from the performers for helping out.

After the "Red Trouser Show" we stopped by the next straight jacket show.  I didn't remember at first but last year I blew this show off.  Now I remember why but I am trapped in audience assistance.  I got railroaded into helping him,  with 3 others, fake lock him self in chains and a straight jacket!  Compared to the other guy this one is a joke!  Jacket number one had his elbows pressed in making it harder to undo,  this guy held his out to keep space in the jacket.  Jacket number one had the chain wrapped all around, under his legs etc but number two kept control of the wrapping and only wrapped around the elbows and nothing under the legs.  Too bad we didn't watch number one get out as watching number two was just stupid.  All this elaborate talking and wrapping and all he did was just lean down and shake the chains off.  IF YOU EVER VOLUNTEER FOR THE BITTER, HATEFUL, BLACK GUY THAT BITCHES AT THE CROWD MOST OF THE TIME,  BE SURE TO CATCH THE BUCKLES OT THE STRAIGHT JACKET WITH HE LOCKS BEHIND HIM.  The chains wont fall over his head so easy and you will enjoy the show much more!  But don't was your time here unless you have seen ALL the other acts.

Oh yeah, now I remember I watched the Bag Pipe Guy last year instead.  He wasn't here this year.

So overall we had an excellent day at Key West.   

Note:  There is a missing bus (not scheduled) at 6:30+- if you miss the 5pm bus you have to wait until 8:20 for the next one at the post office.


Next stop Bahia Honda