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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

ALGONQUIN , NOAH'S ARK & STUART –Sailfish capital of the world, so they say:

We arrived at the boat Sunday September 30th about 5:30 pm. Not exactly good timing as there was no one around and all of our worldly belongings like rum, towels and utensils were locked up in storage. We bought a few groceries forgetting that we had nothing to eat them with or no coffee mugs to drink from! 
When we left here in March we were the only boat in the water and there were a few strapped down around the yard. Now, there are several boats in the water and probably 50 strapped down around the yard. So many that we could not drive the car to the boat. We lugged a few things from the car but soon realized how hot it was and how tired we were.  We are blaming the heat for everything, our lack of energy, appetite and cleaning.
We stopped in Stuart to see the slip that we will be moving to and Zeke was not at all pleased. It is going to be a long walk for him in the morning. Perhaps the pet grass needs to be put back in use to save him the embarrassment. More like us the embarrassment cause he really does not seem to give a hoot. Speaking of Zeke, his latest Mira Vista test (measuring the amount of fungus left) came back Oct 4th and he is now “Below the limit of quantification”. We were elated, retest in a month and hopefully he will be at a zero. He needs to get two consecutive zeros before he can stop the medication. YEAH ZEKE!!
Up bright and early Monday morning to start cleaning. It seems that some of the local inhabitants took refuge on Algonquin. Frogs, lizards, ants and funny looking creatures of unknown origin had moved aboard the decks. Really ugly tan colored frogs of all sizes – big ones the size of your palm and little bitty ones the size of your thumb nail.  Orange fuzzy creatures were clinging to the gunnel's and sugar cane residue covered the canvas along with green mildew. We did not know where to begin so like good boaters we took off for West Marine.  So much for paying to have the boat cleaned while we were absent – if I ever meet him I will certainly teach him a few things or two about cleaning!!
 It was wonderful looking at all the boat toys and cleaning supplies –not! One of the fenders blew during Isaac so we replaced that and yes bought some more cleaning products. Zeke got a cookie and off we went to our least favorite store Walmart.  Turns out our cutlery was not here so we had to buy something to eat with and some more Damp-Rid to absorb the excess moisture around the interior of the boat.
We spent the next three days wiping, sweating, scrubbing, sweating, dusting, sweating and relocating our hitchhikers back to the water and land.
Thursday October 4th we moved the boat to downtown Stuart. Our first obstacle was the GPS – it did not work. Oh Great....Garth had another coffee and then checked a few things. Turns out the yard had flipped a few breakers. So, literally with the flip of a switch all was well in paradise – stinking hot paradise.
We waved goodbye to the River Forest Yachting Centre and started our two hour trip down the Okeechobee River. It was beautiful and quiet but not a breathe of air to be had.  Along the way I hauled in and wound up the lines – the three lines along the side are heavy but I managed. Then to the cockpit where those lines are heavy duty and weigh a ton! My arms were aching as I wound them up.  Out of practice! We stopped at the fuel dock for a pump out and I had to move all the lines to the other side of the boat – usually we have them all set up on both sides but they were still in storage!! Again, winding and hauling lines. Just as the pump out started the skies opened and both Garth and I got drenched!  Sam, the dock master came out and said he could get us a little closer to the grass for Zeke ....not a huge difference but every paw step helps.  We waited for a break in the rain and then moved to our slip. By the time we were all set up we were both soaking wet, tired, aching and hungry. Spinach – we need to eat spinach!
If you have followed my blog you may remember me writing about the boat Grumpy. We meet Grumpy’s wife and dog – Denise and Harley in Baltimore, May 2011. The first boat Garth spots is Grumpy – only now Grumpy is blue and not green! WOW, looks amazing. We are hoping Harley and Zeke can get some quality play time once again – turns out that Grumpy is staying here for a year.
Well, here it is September 24th already! Where does the time go.
First off, Grumpy – turns out it is a new boat. Out with the green and in with the blue. Say no more!
The marina is just a hop skip and jump along the boardwalk to historic downtown Stuart. There is a green market every weekend, interesting stores and bands playing almost every night. There are quite a few boats here with more arriving daily. 
We are busy doing all the jobs we never had time to do last season. We hired someone to do some touch up work on the awl-grip. Garth is going to re-do the teak railing and Zeke and I are busy checking out the local Petsmart and Macy’s.
Once hurricane season is over – November 31st – our insurance allows us to leave the coast. We are sending out email enquiries for marinas in the Bahamas. Our sand plan is to leave here the first week of December and return in January or February. If the plan changes I’ll let you know.
But right now tropical Storm Sandy is headed our way.  She/ it has been upgraded to a Category One Hurricane and due to strike Jamaica today.  Will be doubling up on the lines, putting out all the fenders and bringing in anything that could fly away or become a projectile!  Also, we have a few hours to decide if we are going to move the boat inland.   We spent some time organizing for a hurricane when we first arrived. Plan A is to get the boat secured and get ourselves to the Marriott. We put our names on the list and have a room if needed. Problem with all the hotels here is that if the area is evacuated then the hotels must also clear out. The shelters in Martin County are not pet friendly, unbelievable. 
Plan B is to secure the boat and the three of us head to Key Biscayne. Peggy and Steve live there and have a hurricane safe condo. So, will play it by ear but by all accounts it looks like the hurricane will slow down as it approaches Florida and then head east!

Keep your fingers crossed that it doesn't change course and head west!