12/16/09 - Today dawned sunny and
stayed that way. I worked inside AA (got to love that A/C)most of
the day on a mainsail stack-pac for The Great Catsby. It went
smoothly and should be done tomorrow.
John's house batteries remained warm (125F) even though there is
no consumption or charging. The charge has dropped to 11V overnight. I
figure the batteries will be fully discharged by tomorrow morning.
My new blood pressure meds have me pegged at the values of a
thirty-something. I'm keeping a log for our Doctor. I must be adapting
to the lower pulse rate... getting my drive back.
12/17/09 - Rained again just before
dawn. By 10am the dock was dry and I could layout the stack-pac for the
final fitting. I just finished the marking and taping before the showers
By 4:30p the stack-pac was nearly finished. I have a few tabs to
sew on but want to lay the unit on the dock so I can ensure they are
located properly side-to-side (or is that side by each). Heavy rain and
strong winds are rocking the boat. Good time to do a little reading.
12/18/09 - It poured all night as
gusty wind rocked AA in her slip. It's unusual to get tossed
around in this well protected little canal. We started the day with a
tornado watch that covered the lower third of Florida. No tornado but
more rain than I've seen in years. My host's swimming pool flooded onto
the patio as the sky literally dumped water into it. The water in the
canal is the highest I've seen it; a combination of strong winds, tide
and rain brought it to within a foot of the dock decking.
I helped John reassemble a couch Nell reupholstered. It looks
great... very professional!
After our Doctor's visit I'm dieting by cutting portion sizes
(that means a lot of meals of leftovers). I'm getting pretty creative at
changing the looks and taste of yesterday's dinner. Unfortunately there
are not a lot of foods packaged as a meal for one.
I talked to Ruth for quite a while today. She's staying at
daughter Amy's; enjoying her time with grandson Lofton. She notes that
winter is a great cure for hot flashes.
12/19/09 - Beautiful sunny morning!
Still windy though, 10-15 with gusts to 20.
Today was a little project day. I finished the stack-pac for
The Great Catsby, helped John modify an electric fireplace to accept
a remote controller and laid out hatch and seat covers for a catamaran.
It felt great to feel like myself again and have a clear head and
Got a very nice Christmas card from Ruthie today. Nice surprise! I
snuck one in her purse before she left... yah, we still get mushy.
I took our dinghy to the 31st annual Boca floating Christmas
parade, anchoring at the end of the canal to John & Nells. You could
hear it coming up the 6.5 mile ICW route... the first unit was a
fireworks barge. What a show! Miles would have loved my seat as the
barge passed 100' in front of me. There were over 40 units ranging from
35 footers to 90 footers with thousands of lights and live music. They
put on a great show. I tried to capture it in photos but the combination
of night, moving floats and bouncing dinghy were too much for my digital
camera. I posted a few of the least ugly shots to give you an idea of
the extent of the decorations.
12/20/09 - Overcast and 55F this
morning with wind gusts to 17... no snow! If the NE had gotten all the
rain we received as snow they'd be buried to the second story!
I worked with John on their north fence, the one we install the
new gate in. We are vinyl cladding the metal fence to create a wall that
looks like adobe.
Tonight they had the block party in the cul-de-sac of Waterway
Lane. I'd met most of the neighbors in prior years and around the
neighborhood so it was fun to get to enjoy an evening with them. Nell's
daughter, sister, nephew are all visiting - full house!
Watched the final seconds of the Packer game... after a great 4th
quarter it sure hurt to loose in the last 3 seconds. Don't think I can
stay up late enough for the Viking game.
12/21/09 - High overcast today and
cool (52F) though it is suppose to get to 65F (Appleton is slated for
28F). Ruth is in Pewaukee visiting daughter Angie and her two children.
Found out the Vikings got slaughtered last night, glad I didn't
stay up for the game. I spent most of the day working on covers for
woodwork and hatches on David's catamaran. The covers are working out
well so far, tomorrow will tell the story. I'm trying to get the cat
done before Christmas.
Bradd, Maeve and Echo arrived around noon. Great to see them
again. We've got a few projects to get done together the next couple of
days before they head out again. I had lunch and supper on Sampatecho
as we caught up with each other. Buddy is in 7th heaven, Bradd is back!
12/22/09 - Another cool
overcast morning. I feel sorry for John & Nell's Norwegian guests, this
sure isn't warm sunny Florida. At least there's more than 3 hours of
daylight. Buddy wanted to give Nell a gift and John suggested a firewood
carrier. I sewed one first thing in the day and presented it. John came
up with the dowel rods... it looked pretty good.
I worked on canvas for the cat but wasn't really happy with the
way the sewing machine was working and decided to tear it down. It
always had a propensity to shred thread and skip stitches which I
overcame by not seating the needle fully. Setting it about 1/16th inch
off it's seat gave good results. I figured it was time to correct the
problem and adjust it so the needle could be properly seated.
I thought I pretty much had the machine ready to test when I went
12/23/09 - A beautiful day, breezy
yet nice and warm. My first test of the sewing machine revealed it still
had the same problems. I worked on it until late morning, finally
getting it working right. I think it came from the factory with a bad
set-up but Matt and Eric worked with me to get it running smoothly.
Ruth and Angie sent me some great shots of the kids having an
early Christmas with Ruth and Angela. Wow, are they growing up fast!
A couple hours with John finished the fence, then I went back to
the cat projects. The machine ran well and I was able to finish the
I had supper on Sampatecho; Patrick, Lara, Echo, Maeve &
Bradd were all aboard. I had the chance to wish them all a Merry
12/24/09 - Warm blustery morning with
clouds building... feels like Christmas.
Quiet day today, I cleaned up the saloon putting the sewing gear
away just to get a break from the clutter. That done I filled our water
tanks and read a book. Nice doing nothing for a day.
Buddy spent the day in the cockpit holding court with anyone who
passed by. She was in her glory... sun, a breeze and adoring people.
I spent Christmas eve on Sampatecho with Echo, Maeve and
Bradd. We made it an early night as they had an early run to the Miami
airport on the 25th.
12/25/09 - Merry
Scattered showers, like WI, blustery, like WI and warm, like FL.
Ruthie called to wish me a happy holiday, filling me in on her eve with
family - she had a great time!
I read the book River Horse most of the day. It's the story of a
1995 crossing of the United States in a small power boat. Interesting,
but having run many of the rivers he used I find his description rather
dramatic. With 18 - 30 inch draft he's feeling threatened by shallow
water in places we took Another Adventure through without a
concern - but then, that doesn't make much of a story.
John & Nell hosted a fabulous Christmas dinner last night. Had a
house full of guests, most of whom I know from other encounters, and
enough food to feed a continent.
12/26/09 - Boxing Day dawn clear and
warm. I worked on covers for the aft teal seats on Camira,
David's catamaran. I had them finished by later afternoon even with
breaks to go to West Marine and work on putting bearings in a wind
generator with Bradd. Very productive day!
12/27/09 - Ruthie will be back in two
weeks. Sure miss her but this has been a year with a lot of separations
so I'm getting use to her being in WI. Buddy does her best to keep me
I started the shade fly for Our Way only to find that I'd
only ordered half the material I needed (I'd laid the project out in 2
halves then only ordered for one). Monday I'll order the rest.
Working on a small project Ruth wanted done. I applied a layer of
epoxy and glass in the morning.
Helped Bradd & Maeve test headsets during the afternoon and
accepted a dinner invitation aboard. I brought mashed potatoes. After
dinner while we were relaxing over a drink we found that their hot water
heater was leaking into the engine cooling system. Not good news. We
isolated the heater from the cooling loop and the pressure water loop
before removing it from the boat. They now need to install a
replacement. We had the same issue on AA a year ago. Yah, it's
like owning a house.
12/28/09 - Light wispy clouds high in
an azure sky, balmy breeze... yah got to love winter!
I worked on Ruth's project in the morning and most of the
afternoon with Bradd on Sampatecho installing a new hot water
heater. Marine hot water heaters are a treat to put in as they are
heated both by hot water from the engine's heat exchanger and by shore
power. The potential for leaks in the approximately 20 threaded joints
made the project tedious. However we finished up with a dry system and
hot water though I think I missed a good how-to magazine article.
I supplied a marinated pork tenderloin for Bradd to grill and
Maeve made the rest of supper. A very enjoyable evening. With all
systems go they will likely leave for Cuba tomorrow.
12/29/09 - Cool and sunny, not a
cloud in the sky. Sampatecho left, Cuba bound, this morning. I am
I worked all morning on the surprise for Ruth. Got to wait for
Quiet day, spent the afternoon and evening reading a book titled
"Influenza". Very interesting history of the development of
the medical profession and the battle to understand influenza.
12/30/09 - Cool with high fluffy
clouds - still t-shirt weather though.
John & I got down to business on the east patio drape system;
hanging the suspension system in all four arches. this system includes
the bars that serve as the drapery rods and the lines that allow the
bars to be lowered for removing the drapes.
Ruthie has learned to text so I've been getting little notes from
her during the day... no dear, I won't forget you.
12/31/09 - New Year's Eve Day; the
end of 2009! The year began it's departure with a sullen look, a large
tired gray cloud that hung over Boca fringed in blue sky. As the day
progressed it became sunny and warm with a light breeze... a perfect
With Sampatecho gone I was able to move Another
Adventure, creating more room for John to depart later in the day
for a fishing cruise with their guests.
I went shopping with John, picking up the last fitting for the
watermaker and a few groceries. While Our Way went for a fishing
cruise I worked on Ruth's surprise.
I had New Year's eve dinner and celebrated the beginning of 2010
with Nell, John and family. We had an excellent dinner and a thoroughly
enjoyable evening. I can't remember the last time I've been up this
late. Ruth and I texted back and forth a few times, wishing each other
well. At midnight fireworks went off all around us as folks welcomed a
1/1/10 - Happy
New Year! Follow our
2010 log for our