Saturday, September 13, 2008


During our time on the Hard, Sara the sea dog kept her mind off the weather by bathing and comforting all of her little babies. Some of her favorite babies are: Heart (pink), Snow Ball (the silver bunny), Hippo (tan) and Alligator (green). She's a gentle and sweet Mommie. As long as we were out of the water, Wilma decided it would be advantageous to touch up the bottom paint, especially around the running gear and the chines.
After 2 gallons of Trinidad paint, Wilma and Frank (you can hire him reasonably) almost completely painted the bottom. This will get us through till next summer. We had just had the entire bottom professionally painted last June. Frank lives on a boat on Pier 2. He's very reasonable, knowledgeable and handy. After the bottom was painted, Wilma decided that perhaps she would work on the port side of the boat - if you remember, this side still needed waxing. It looks like she's working her way to the top.
Wilma's mom had given us some Aloe plantings when we left Mississippi. Wilma finally had time to get them potted. They are temporarily being stored on the back of the bathtub.
The weather was very breezy while we were on the hard, but when Tropical Storm Fay came through, we had to close all the doors and windows because of rain. The first chance that we had, we went to Wal-Mart and purchased a $78 Window Unit that just fit into the Watch Cabin window. It kept us cool and comfy and we enjoyed pleasant sleeping.
On Wednesday, September 3rd, we were lifted from the Hard back into the St. John's River. It was good to be on the move - even if it was just a short trip to the dock. When we arrived at our spot on Pier 2, imagine Wilma's surprise when Wink said that he hit a piling as we left the lift area. Wilma was in the cockpit and never felt a thing. It was only a little scratch and Wink took it well - he has Mirage scheduled to come out and make the repair.
Wilma immediately connected the hose and pressure washer to remove all the dead bugs, dirt and sand that John Henry had collected over the week. She didn't stop with the outside either. The whole boat inside and out had to be scrubbed. Changes have also been made. The twin recliners were refit with special felt bottoms so away went the rugs....
Since Wilma's birthday present (a new saloon table) had come in, out went the old table. This one requires only one hand to raise it and fold up small when not in use as a kitchen table. Wilma's birthday is 9/11. (This year she celebrated on 9/10 because of medical test being done).

She has an ulcer - awaiting other test results.
Part of the clean up around John Henry include restocking the sewing box for the Bahamas. Wilma keeps her sewing machine and sewing goodies in the brown box right of the Entertainment Center.
The Galley has been completely cleaned out and re-organized.
We have reclaimed our Utility Room utilizing our new cabinets we had put in for Christmas last year. We've also reorganized the tools that we kept on the counter.
Our Inverter was giving us problems - so Wink bought a new one. It's identical to the one we had. He sent the old one in to be repaired. The Inverter people found the problem and made the repair. (We keeping the old one as a spare). The old Inverter was damaged when we received it in the mail on Friday. Wink has contacted the Inverter people and discussed the situation. We will drive to Orlando on Monday and they will check it out and mostly like repair it on-site at that time.... We'll see Monday.
During the clean out, we discovered that we have about a dozen or so things that need charging on a regular basis. We collected them together and started the process of charging everything back up. We have hand held walkie talkies, headset walkie talkies, portable VHF's, cell phones, battery chargers, camera chargers and ........ Wink is planning to build a shelf area to keep it all neat and tidy.
Most of this has been cleaned out since this picture and taken to the Condo. It seems to be an ongoing task - constantly cleaning out the boat. It's beginning to become apparent that "Less is Best".
We are just including a picture of our tub, because we have one. I think there are only two tubs in the fleet now - John Henry and Pokey.
Here is our downstairs hallway. It features our pantry on the right and our flag collection on the left. Wilma use to keep the flags in a drawer, but couldn't really remember which draw so now they just hang as decorations until needed. Very easy to find.

We appreciate our Stidd Chair in the Pilot House and very grateful to Ken Fickett for convincing us it was a great decision.

And speaking of appreciation, Bruce Webster made us two binocular holders last year for Christmas and we have so much enjoyed them. They keep the pilot house a lot neater.

Under the Pilot House sofa are two of the a/c units for the boat. The unit to the left was not getting enough air, it air intake is down stairs in the hallway. It freezes up routinely. The unit to the right has plenty of air and it's intake is in the pilot house. There is a wall between the two units under the sofa. We took a leap of faith and cut an air hole between the two units to supplement air intake. So far so good!
We also found some nice coat/hat racks at Wal-Mart that match our furniture. We placed one in the hallway going downstairs from the pilot house. This cabinet is also one of our Christmas presents to ourselves last year. We put two coat/hat racks in the utility room and one in the watch cabin. We also have one in our master stateroom.
Gale Force was taken out and put on the Hard for some repairs and to keep it out of the water while Hurricane Hannah went through and possibly Hurricane Ike.
As Ken and Becky were going out of the country during Hurricane season, both Semper Fi's were removed and put on the Hard to prevent damage. Joining them on the Hard is Avocet.

The Hard around Reynold Park really looked like a showroom for Great Harbour Trawlers.

Wink, Wilma and Sara went to Sarasota on Sunday, September 7th for some medical appointment and procedures. Wink received a great doctor's appointment from Dr. John and says that he's a poster man for improving his life style and surviving to enjoy his retirement.

Wink does have Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), but he's on the right meds to help him enjoy life.

Wilma - has an ulcer! Otherwise, she's in good shape. She's been working out at the local gym in Green Cove Springs and hopes to loose a few more pounds before heading back to the Bahamas.

While in Sarasota, Wilma went shopping for Wink's mom. Every year, we change out her wardrobe at the nursing home. Above, Wilma and Sara laying out the new clothes, matching them up for the nursing staff.
Anna is doing well, she has Alzheimer and can't remember much, but she enjoys singing and smiles all the time. The next picture is of Maria, her day nurse, who really loves taking care of her. She encourages her to sing and speak some Spanish.
We're heading back to Green Cove Springs, FL by car on Monday via Orlando to have the Inverter worked on. We hope the shrimp is running, because we'd like to do some shrimping.

Our other plans - as plans do - have changed.

We are not going to Germany this year. Our friends in Germany are having some medical issues and we have agreed to reschedule. Our trip to Germany included a stop in Texas for a week. As we have cancelled our tickets completely, we'll travel by car back to Texas for the same week as scheduled.

We'll stay a couple of days with Wilma's son and a few days with Lisa & Kevin Bradshaw. Then we'll go back by Wilma's sister Betty in Arkansas and Wilma's parents in Yazoo City, Mississippi. Wink and Wilma plan to hunt for some more petrified wood.
Wink was excited when he found these large pieces of petrified wood and the two petrified oyster shells to the right during the summer.

We'll return to the boat mid October as we have recheck doctor appointments for RA and the Ulcer before we leave for the Bahamas. We're planning to provision before we go to Sarasota for the last doctors visits. This way we can leave the car there with no worries.