December 29, 2013

Partying With Pelicans

"A wonderful bird is the Pelican.
His beak can hold more than his belly can.
He can hold in his beak
Enough food for a week!
But I'll be darned if I know how the helicon?"

Dixon Lanier Merritt

I can't help it… there's just something about the pelican that stops me in my tracks… what a beautiful intricately ordinarily goofy bird she is…. if you find yourself rowing your inflatable boat outside the Atlantic Seafood Company you might time it just right when the workers in the seafood shop come outside to dump all their fish scraps… yep, you guessed it, all the pelicans and wannabes come in droves to hit the heist of good vittles… they actually get pretty greedy with it, attacking one another and generally going for the gusto to get a bite of the goods…

So as I rowed nearby, here's a few random pics I was fortunate to get just as the sun set… Rowing is like yoga… it's relaxing, it's stretching, it's spiritual and should be practiced daily by this young sailor…. especially when perky pelicans are around… enjoy… 

what's happening below is a feeding frenzy.  A highly competitive gamesmanship assault on the fish scraps tossed out by Atlantic Seafood Co…. nobody got hurt and everybody got something out of it… including me.

He's outta here..
His pouch was bulging over full of a huge fish… slowly it was digested...

hmmmm… wazzup?
You talking to ME?

Dude, you want a piece of ME?!!
this is my domain.

And so, I say we let the pelicans and the buzzards, and the gulls and the terns co-habitate, and gravitate,  to the daily offerings provided by Atlantic Seafood…. work in harmony peace-brothers, there's always more tomorrow…

Catch you later...

December 17, 2013

Getting' Closer...

"If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours."               Henry David Thoreau.

Dear Friends…. 

I've been way too busy to post on the blog this month , but hang in there, new days of cruising are on the horizon!  It seems like there's hundreds if things to do to get her ready to set sail by Jan. 1. 2014.  STAY TUNED! There WILL be more coming soon.... Here's some random notes made this month.   

Sunsets on Amelia Island just keep on coming…. this is the view from my boat

Boats on mooring balls at Fernandina …. a cheaper alternative to marina fees.
Yes, it's been about a month since I posted an entry on the Glory Days blog site here… and frankly, I'm glad to be back. But sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do… and I'm ever grateful that I CAN do these things, these wonderful things….as in taking care of business, taking care of loved ones, and then taking charge of your dreams… family is first and always will be… cause of all the blessings God has given me, my family and my health are the only ones that really matter… and are the ones that need daily gratitude and nurturing… nurturing...

Nurturing is a word I like.  I wonder what the official definition is…. 

nurture |ˈnərCHər|verb [ with obj. ]care for and encourage the growth or development of:• help or encourage the development of: my father nurtured my love of art.• cherish (a hope, belief, or ambition): for a long time she had nurtured the dream of buying a shop.

Funny thing, nurture looks real similar to future… they're really only one letter difference, well 2 i guess . …. but still maybe semantics is telling us we should all be "nurture the future"…

future |ˈfyo͞oCHər|

noun(usu. the futurethe time or a period of time following the moment of speaking or writing; time regarded as stillto come: we plan on getting married in the near future | work on the building will be halted for the foreseeable future.• events that will or are likely to happen in the time to come: nobody can predict the future.• used to refer to what will happen to someone or something in the time to come: a blueprint for the future of American fast food.• a prospect of success or happiness: he'd decided that there was no future in the gang | I began to believe I might have a future as an artist.• Grammar tense of verbs expressing events that have not yet happened.(futuresFinance short for futures contract.
Water and air, that's what I need.
To quench this thirst and to breathe.
Water and air, that's what I need.
Water and air, that's what I am.
Water and air, that's what I breathe.
Water and air, that's what I believe.

Sunshine… comes to me ready,

Sunshine… treats me right.
Sunshine… comes to my table,
Sunshine… brightens my night

So anyway… I thank the Almighty mother father God that my daughter is well, and recovering fine from surgery on Nov. 15… It's a good world we live in.  Good attracts good, and evil mingles where there is no good.  Be good. 

 So after a few weeks looking after loved ones, and packing and sorting for a 6 month trip, I'm now 16 days away from sailing away…. it's the Cmas season, and i'm tying up loose ends as I prepare to release the dock lines…. songwriting has been great as I've been on a roll lately… 4-5 new songs this month alone…  i love it when music plays in my head, and I love it even more when I have the time, energy and gumption to document it with either notes or recording.

Back to the boat now… don't even get me started on how much I spent on Glory Days last month…. new batteries, new chart plotter, new VHF radio, and a host of little 50 dollar supplies that seem to add up to hundreds... 

I finally took a break from boat work to chase sand particles and sea foam

 Here are a few notes of what I wrote 3 weeks ago when I was deep into boat work getting her ready…

This section might get a bit too technical for some of you as I make entries to document some of the marine upgrades recently made on Glory Days... please bear with, as it helps me to rationale all the money spent and to document improvements...

I won't dwell on health issues, cause God has already blessed that... Amen.

So back to the PLAN... My Dec. 1 departure date has been pushed back till after Christmas.  It seems I should've started months earlier getting her ready for her first extended/off shore voyage down the east coast of Florida.  There's always so many little nuances that have to be addressed.  I am getting quite anal in their completion, for it is then and only then I will be inclined to rest easy, maybe even read a book, take a nap, or just generally ENJOY, the boat I have been prepped for so long.  I don't even want to know what I've spent this month, because it's horrifying... but I keep justifying it all, saying, "Well you won't have to buy this again, now that you've got it... it's a one time purchase for the Glory...."... im good at rationalization... but it is true... I won't be buying a chart plotter again, or a fridgeration system So yes, that old saying is true"For the first year, the boat owns YOU".

she is like a dependable lover...I'm just not sure where to start.... here's a breakdown for the technical minded readers below...(If you're only here to read about action on the high seas, go to the next recent post...)

  1. The chart plotter - Standard Horizon CP39I - is installed and operational.  I"ve entered some marks and waypoints for the upcoming trip south... the unit seems rather intuitive, tho I'd still like to take her out for a test run or two very soon.
Deck mounted fuel and water cans are essential. Her tanks only carry 50 gallons of water, so this way I can add an extra 20.
2.  The battery bank... ah, this one is dear to me heart... it's the domino effect that all started with adding the new refrigeration system... you see it is an energy hog that must be fed electrical amps to keep her happy.... before the upgrade I only had two dual purpose batteries for a total of 160 amp hours of power.   Since the fridge unit requires a minimum of 300 AH, an upgrade was in order... Enter two Trojan T-1275 Deep Cycle batteries at 150 AH each... By using one of my older batteries as a dedicated cranking battery and assigned the 2nd one to the new battery bank, I now have a total of 380 amp hours at my service... sweet.... with the potential of easily upgrading to 450 AH

As long as was doing electrical things, I added a power inverter (pure sine wave type), which will allow me to have a normal electrical socket that converts DC power to an AC source for things like charging up devices, or running electrical appliances from my battery bank.

The new Trojan Batteries have arrived!  Are they just beautiful?! 380 Amp Hours of power now!  The goal is to be able to support oneself electrically, off the grid and at anchor, without the costs and dependence of shore power from a marina.

This photo below shows the new power inverter that Ray helped me install…

 This is a photo of Ray and David… Man, the combined sea experience of these two guys is mind blowing… I'm ever thankful to both of them for sharing their vast knowledge of boat stuff and general mariner information that helped me get Glory Days up and ready for a cruising journey.

None of this battery project would have ever been completed (by me anyway) without the help and guidance of my dock neighbor, Capt. Ray O'Quinn of the SV/Wind Dancer.. also  My other neighbor David from SV Swell Horizon has offered invaluable information, advice and know how to help me outfit this Glory Days.  

Water and air, that's what we need.

To Quench our thirst and to breathe.