Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Not All Blue Skies
We are on our second day here in our Madeira Beach anchorage. I can't tell you a whole lot about it because we haven't left the boat yet, and we haven't met our neighbors in here yet either. The three boats in the picture are abandoned. The one in the middle is washed up in the mangroves, and the other two sailboats are now home to a great number of sea gulls and pelicans, having been vessels holding a better future for their owners at some point in the past.
We are currently socked in by rain, with no let up in sight for this day, at any rate. Not a big deal because the temperatures are cooler, and even though it's raining, there is no associated winds to contend with. Our first night here was a restless one. The winds had us bucking around and the noise of the waves smacking our bow made for a sleepless night. Yesterday the sun peeked out once in a while but we just didn't feel like dropping the dinghy to go explore. We did do some minor chores on the boat; one using the rain to help wash the decks, the other to check the oil on the engines.
Our intentions this morning was to go get some breakfast at a restaurant nearby but the rain has been steady all morning. We'll read our books today, like we did yesterday, and try to get out and about later this afternoon. We're glad to have our Kindles and our contacts via computer to keep us busy.
We have T.V. reception, but honestly are already tired of the political commercials. The media has, or has been, replacing religion as a means to control members of society; necessary given the inability or refusal for humans to think for themselves, in my opinion.
One thing that I must convey to our blog readers is that "living the dream" is not for everyone, and we are still in the process of determining if it's even for us. I think the process will be a long term ongoing one, but will have ups and downs like anything else.
There is a downside to everything, naturally. Right now I am skeptical about having our boat full time in the saltwater; not so much for the effect it has on our boat, but I'm not sure about myself being in salt water. There is many more critters lurking about that can do me harm than I'm used to, and we're in water that I cannot see what's around me more often than not.
For instance, keeping the boat looking nice is a priority for us, and getting into the water to scrub the sides is a necessity occasionally. This requires me getting in the water and walking around the boat. Not only do I have to contend with tides to avoid us going aground if I anchor in shallow enough water to do this chore, I don't know enough about the local inhabitants yet. In Crystal River where the water is fresh, I had less concern about harmful wildlife than I had about the tall plant life, abundant on that river, tickling my gizzards as I walked around the boat on the river bottom as I washed or waxed the water line. Not that I did it, because I wouldn't, but it's something that needs to be done and I'm putting it off.
Bathing in the salt water is another thing. Rosie doesn't want to do it and I don't blame her. The water in most areas is brackish, caused by the tannin from plant life in the protected areas, and we both doubt about getting very clean in it. I do have optimism about being in clearer salt water where we can bath and just rinse off with our fresh water, especially when the water gets clear enough to start making our water with our water maker. We are not to that place yet.
Another factor in our comfort is the heat and humidity. We won't run our generator 24/7 for air conditioning as it's not practical and never was part of our plan. Our 12 volt electric fans are what we rely on, and for the most part can suffice at night, but we need to be able to feel comfortable getting in the local water during the day to cool off and I don't think we are at that point yet either, at least where we would lounge around on our rafts like we did in the rivers.
Accessing services is a constant consideration too. We've been managing, but we can't just jump in the car and get to the license office or hardware store, two things that we need to do soon. But we'll remedy these issues when it comes to the nitty gritty as they say.
Don't get the impression that we're getting discouraged, but also don't get the impression that we think this way of life is for everyone, or that we are even convinced it's for us, yet. I do know this; still weighing on our minds is the inability to get our condo back in St. Louis sold for a fair price. If we get tired of this boating life, we really don't want to go back there and reside, so we need to get a value for it to be able to afford life in another location, but we cannot even consider any alternatives until we have our condo sold and the proceeds tucked away in the bank.
Outside of that issue, we can advise anyone that if they cannot get used to life without a bunch of stuff, this isn't for you. Here's an example: How many purses do you own? More than one? How big is the one you have? Is it chock full of crap you forgot you had? Then there is the issue of shoes. How many pairs do you own? If there are two of you, multiply it. We have one or two pair each. More than that and you won't find room for them on a boat of any realistic size. I think this topic is bumming me out.
On a brighter note...Rosie hates this picture that I took last night with our new iPhone while she was looking at the iPad before dinner, but I think it reflects what is great about our life here on Swing Set. Rosie for the most part is happy and enjoying herself, obvious here in the picture. (Makeup or not, I think she is beautiful.) My problem is that I think too much. Another problem is that I mention drinking beer too much, so I'll quit mentioning it, but I doubt that I'll quit thinking about things or drinking beer.
We sat on our bow last night, during a respite of the rain, had a cool breeze blowing and watched numerous dolphin and manatees splashing around. I saw a sting ray fly out of the water about four feet in the air for the first time. I didn't know they did that. There's a lot of things about sea life we don't know but we figure we'll learn eventually, and Rosie and I will both have our doubts about our lifestyle choices and work our way through them, that too, eventually.