22 January 2012

Ship's Scorecard

  • Pilings (2) out
  • Genoa: repaired and installed
  • Battery charger: fried
  • Water heater: rebusted again
  • Refrigeration system: smoking
  • Boat hook: broken
Later today, we sail, wind permitting, to Marsh Harbour where we'll anchor.  There's a boatyard there.  We'll call on Monday in the hopes that they can take us right away.  If we're extremely lucky, we'll be able to get a new battery charger (unlikely, they'll probably have to order one from The States), a new refrigeration system (ditto), and have the water heater repaired once and for all.  Although, the more I think about it, the more I'm ready to rip out both of the latter and just eat beef jerky and take cold showers.  Sure would free up a lot of space for storage (less the space required for a year or more's supply of beef jerky).  Although, Jane probably does not share my mounting animosity toward all things mechanical and electrical, nor my growing fondness for beef jerky.

20 January 2012

Prodigal Percy Part 2

our welcome, matted cat

Our boy did indeed have to be shaved while sedated, but only partially under sedation.  "Dreadlocks," the vet (who was merciful enough to come in on a Sunday) said the minute he saw Percy.  But more than just dreadlocks; sand spurs and at least one tick.  (I told our son many times that white folks can't dread, but children never listen.) Miraculously, no fleas and no worms as far as we know.  Aside from being very underweight (which Percy has been ever-so-diligently working to remedy), quick to chill and sunburn, he's in pretty good shape.  He's as feisty as ever and, yes, already trying to get off the boat for his next adventure.

It looks like a rat wearing a Percy mask
...Fat chance, bub.

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The Monkey's Fist

14 January 2012

The Prodigal Cat

What does it say about your relationship with the universe when Friday the 13th is a lucky day?

If you think he looks funny here,
you should see him now.
Jane and I chose to refrain from mentioning it for a number of reasons, but no sooner had we docked in Treasure Cay on December 20th, than one of our cats, Percy the Smart, Percy the High Maintenance, Percy the Occasionally Incontinent decided he'd had enough of life at sea and ran away from home.  (To be fair, we don't know what really happened, he may have simply wandered off to check out other boats as is his custom and become disoriented, or scared off by the dockmaster's cats.) We walked all over the marina and adjacent properties multiple times calling his name.  We put up posters offering a reward for his return. No Percy.  As the days went by, we began to think that someone had taken him.  Very sad for us, but at least, we consoled ourselves, he was being taken care of.

Then Lorna, a friend of Jane's mother, called Trudy to say that the daughter of her neighbors had spotted a cat matching Percy's description the day before.  Afterward, there were more Percy sightings.  Lorna started leaving out food for him when one of her own cats somehow lured him close.  And finally tonight, Jane went over by Royal Palm, which is where Lorna lives (in the condo that used to be owned by Trudy and Bob, coincidentally), and called his name.  From the end of the parking lot, came a meow that was both familiar and unfamiliar at the same time.  Familiar in frequency; unfamiliar in tone.  She kept calling and Percy came right to her.

I was folding laundry back on the boat when I heard this scratchy, hoarse sounding meow, meow, meow, over and over and called out to Jane (whom I couldn't see or hear, but nonetheless knew was involved), "what is that sound?"  I stepped out to see which one of our (then remaining) cats was making all the racket and who should fall out of her arms but a very skinny and very, very matted, dreadlocked, Percy. "Look what dragged the cat in." Our wayward son was home.

He's lost a lot of weight and will undoubtedly need to be shaved (presumably under sedation): his fur is way too tangled with bits of flora to be salvageable.  If there is an unfortunate aspect to this it's not the date, but the day.  It is unlikely that we'll find a vet open for business on the weekend on all of Abaco, so poor Percy will have to suffer with what is clearly a maddening condition for him.  He'll survive, though.  I suspect he won't see shore leave again--even supervised--for far longer than it takes his fur to grow back in.

Lucky him.  Lucky us.  Not so lucky Isabel.  Our poor girl cat never liked him (he just finds her fun to irk), and CANNOT believe she has to put up with him again.  She's made her position on this quite clear.  In other words, everything's back to normal on JOY.

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The Monkey's Fist

12 January 2012

Water, Water Everywhere...

fix #1(some hose clamps is good)
...And nary a drop to drink, quoth Jane this morning simultaneously impressing me with her store of maritime poetry and tidily summing up our situation.  We were anchored in Marsh Harbour with a still broken (or, more accurately re-broken) hot water heater.  You are, of course, wondering how a busted water heater could deprive us of potable water.  At least I hope for your sake you are, because I'm about to explain.  The hose that sends heated water to our faucets sprung a leak.  This caused the water pump to sense that water was being "called for" just as if a faucet were open so it kept pumping water out of our water tanks and into--and immediately out of--the water heater until it emptied itself out into the bilges.  "But, isn't the water pump noisy?" you ask.  "Didn't you hear it working?  Didn't it make you suspicious?"  Why, yes, it is noisy but not as noisy as the engines, wind, water, and stereo combined.  By the time we heard the pump it was pumpin' nothing but air.  Well, I'd only fixed it once, thus far, so it stood to reason it wasn't fixed fixed.

04 January 2012

Poof! We're Interesting

Our aforementioned inverter/battery charger issue plus some Official Paperwork plus the need to do some provisioning added up to a trip to Marsh Harbour, our first successful landing since arriving in the Bahamas.  As is the norm in these parts, the boatyard didn't have its own electrician but had the name of one and the Marsh Harbour Marina let us park at one of their docks gratis for the couple of hours said electrician would need to look over our ailing piece of equipment.

I stayed onboard as per our agreement (if I can't fix it myself--which is still almost always--I am obliged to peek over the shoulder of the technician who can); Jane went off in the dinghy to run some errands.  Provisioning (okay, fine, shopping) would come after the electrician was done and after we'd showed the marina our appreciation by having lunch and drinks at its restaurant.

02 January 2012

Taking Our Time: The Tuna and the Tuba

Cocktail time

We’re trying to find the rhythm of our new life.  On the one hand, we need a bit of structure: to make plans, get stuff done.  On the other hand, we need to adapt to, and appreciate, a new pace.  It took a tuna and a tuba, together, to teach us a lesson about time and serendipity.

We still have a Piling Problem that prevents us from parking at my mom’s house.  We are working on getting the offending piling removed, but in the meantime, Joy is docked at the Treasure Cay Marina.  For a few days, we were a too-short dock-walk away from the Tipsy Seagull, but as much as I love the Tipsy, we asked for a more serene spot.  Mike the Marina Manager set us up WAY down the harborfront, past the hotel.  Instead of the Tipsy Seagull at our back door, we now have a view of a quiet vacant lot.  Much better.