Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas In Memphis

We traded this —

On Sunday we took the Albury out for an afternoon ride and saw Santa aboard a dive boat heading toward the inlet.

For this —


At 4:00 AM Monday we started the 1000 mile trek back to Memphis for the holidays. 
Now, we're back in River City.

The lobby of the Peabody Hotel is always a sight to behold, but at Christmas it's truly a beautiful display of Christmas in Memphis.
Still... we'd rather be back in sunny Jupiter watching Santa float by on his boat.
But, I'm sure we'll make the most out of our stay and enjoy catching up with old friends.
A Bloody Mary from the lobby bar at the Peabody is a great start.

Cheers and Merry Christmas.

Istaboa



Sunday, December 21, 2014

It's a re-run

But the end of year is a good time to reflect and it's always fun going back through these pictures. Most are mine, but some are excellent photos that were taken by others.
Lots of memories.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

All these places have their moments •



Thursday, December 4, 2014

All That We Have Is Now

from Doonesbury's page

A song by one of my contemporaries from Memphis. Some of you may remember, 'The Brand New Tennessee Waltz'.  In the day, Jesse left Memphis, choosing Canada over Vietnam.
Jesse Winchester passed away this year.
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/jesse-winchester-dead-at-69-singer-songwriter-became-anti-war-icon-20140411

Baby, all that we have is now — that's it.





Speaking of now... our intrepid friends aboard Tivoli are offshore and about to round the southern tip of Sanabel Island. It appears they're heading up the Caloosahatchee River to Ft Myers.

Tivoli seems to enjoy a good night's cruise.



Adios,

Istaboa

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Jupiter Daze

Yes, we have little to report other than reporting we have little to report.


Though, while walking the beach this AM with the boyz, I did snap off a nice pic with my phone. Folks were surf fishing and landing quite a few Bluefish.
I once enjoyed surf fishing. Being this close to the beach, I may have to take it up again.

Spearfish is coming along very slowly. Due to the holidays, all the projects we thought we'd slam dunk are on hold. We have little in the way of furniture so we're scurrying around trying to fill the empty voids, called rooms, in our new home. Luckily, it's a small house and in the meantime we've still got it's staging furniture to live on. 

We took the Albury out today. It was a pretty fall day and we enjoyed motoring around our new hometown. We eased out by the inlet only to find huge breakers blocking the cut so we eased back. 
We love fall in S. Florida. Unlike the Tennessee River, there's not many colors, mostly greens and blues, but the north breeze keeps the temps mild and the humidity low while the sun warms the face.


In other good news. As I'm writing this, we have old friends from our Pickwick sailing days who are crossing the Gulf of Mexico in their 50 Nordhavn. Clayton, like me, enjoys his gadgets; he and I have been communicating via his Iridium Go satellite hotspot as they're 70 miles offshore, plowing the lumpy waters of the Gulf. He's reporting a good night.

Crew Tivoli has just retired after many years of noble service and they've been making that long and winding run down the Tenn-Tom Waterway to the Gulf of Mexico. Now they're on their way over here to the east coast, then — who knows. Their next chapter just started.


Clayton and Deanna are composing a travel blog; it's fun keeping up with them. http://www.mvtivoli.org/ 
If you want to follow Tivoli's tracks —  https://share.delorme.com/Tivoli




So that's it. Someday soon we'll do something worth writing about, but till then — check out Tivoli ~ nice read.

Adios,

Istaboa

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Making Us Homesick —

But, after dealing with the South Florida sun all summer, we're not about to leave just when the weather's starting to turn beautiful.

This video makes me hungry and want to go back to Memphis for a few days. I can actually smell the place.

Kelly English, a New Orleans transplant who's making Memphis proud, is featured on a few of the Breville's Mind of a Chef series videos.


The soul of Memphis is elusive. But Chef Kelly English thinks it is best found by seeking out the food that tells the story. From Cozy Corner to Ernestine & Hazel's to Hog and Hominy, we go on a trek to capture Memphis soul. 


Enjoy



Tuesday, September 23, 2014

But What About Istaboa?

Istaboa's fine, better than ever.
She's not going anywhere other than where she takes us.



Once again, Istaboa is our dream being realized. Some will remember...
And, yes I know, there are those who feel there's no better life than full time living aboard our boats, but we've been doing the cruising thing for many years. We like to think of the boat life as a dream being realized, but sometimes, for us anyway, it's fun to hop on the bus and say — there's no place like home — and our dream remains floating somewhere awaiting our return.
Istaboa also has a new home in Jupiter where we bought her a slip. She'll only be a couple of miles away and when we're not cruising, I'll enjoy her everyday as my office.
She'll return to her previous role, no longer our home — our escape.

And a great escape she is.

Adios,

Istaboa

Monday, September 22, 2014

Our House

Our house is a very, very fine house
with two dogs in the yard...
Okay, I took liberties with the old CS&N tune and the rest of it doesn't apply, but you get the point.


Picking up from the last post — The 'change is rising and about to wash over us' part?
Well, the little house in the above photo is the catalyst for these changes.

Meet 'Spearfish', our little bungalow by the sea in Jupiter, FL

Going on 15 years now, Crew Istaboa has cruised the watery stretches between the Gulf Coast, the Keys, the East Coast, the Chesapeake Bay, and the Bahamas.  All along the way, in every marina where we'd tie up, Mel and I would take time to imagine what it'd be like to reside in that particular place. We explored each one thoroughly and they were all contenders in the hunt for the eventual/inevitable dirt dwelling where we knew one day we'd settle in.
Yes, we've unintentionally annoyed many realtors throughout the course of our travels.
For the last couple of years, The Jupiter area has become our home-port to return to.
For Florida, Jupiter's a fairly progressive/live and let live kinda place. We enjoy it's good food, the nice folks, and it's seemingly kind attitude. Even during season the traffic's not too bad, and the water's truly beautiful.
Jupiter has one of the best beaches on the East Coast. It's a dog friendly stretch of shoreline and seems pretty human friendly as well. We've found we like it here much. The Boyz love the beach and they're really gonna enjoy the freedom that comes with the small fenced yard.

So unless something unforeseeable happens with our real estate transaction, it appears, on dry land anyway, we've finally found what we're looking for. Or, maybe it found us.

And, we'll call our new abode –––> 'Spearfish'.

Another chapter in our story.

More later —

Adios,

Istaboa

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Another Day

Well, the storm was a bust... not even rain. Maybe a sunrise?
It's nice being here at Old Port Cove; a distant horizon with a pleasant ocean breeze and a view of the rich and famous.
We've still not gone home to The Bluffs or Memphis yet.  But, I'm sensing changes -like the tide- are about to wash over us.
Ebb and flow, repeat...


More later

Saturday, August 23, 2014

'Tis The Season

Football? Yes, but no.

Hurricane Season is upon us and it started early with Arthur.
Now Cristobal.


Though it's too early to tell what it's going to do, if it will turn, or even strengthen enough to become a threat; I don't like all those magenta lines. Most are pointed in our direction, especially that white dotted one.

Currently Istaboa is tied up at Old Port Cove and crew is enjoying the ocean breezes and the view of Lake Worth, but The Bluffs and all the protection it provides is starting to look pretty attractive.

It may be time to start thinking wind.

Adios,

Istaboa

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Keys and Back

And we're done.


We finished our short leg from Lauderdale to N. Palm Beach putting an end to our latest cruise.
The Keys were fun and we made new friends and while there we realized we enjoyed the Keys in the summer without the crowds more than in season with them.

We caught Key West's Lobster Fest.


This was the first week of Lobster Season and it did bring out the crowds.


The folks in the pic below decided to bypass the festival and opt for the pool.




Miami was as interesting as always and Fort Lauderdale was like going home again.
We caught up with old friends there and enjoyed an early dinner at our old favorite watering hole, Southport RawBar.

It was a very productive trip. Conch Harbor Marina in Key West is now enjoying very fast internet and Miami and Ft Lauderdale appear to be ready to upgrade also.

I love these kinda trips. Work and fun... or fun and work? Anyway, I haven't enjoyed working this much since I quit the music biz 30+ years ago.

More pics later.

Cheers,

Istaboa

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Miami Beach Marina

Yesterday's long run from Marathon Marina was capped off by an unnerving and humbling attempt to back Istaboa into the strong tidal currents at Miami Beach Marina. After that aborted attempt, we took a t-head that was meant for another boat.
Marina management was on the radio actively objecting to our decision, but sometimes it's best to ask for forgiveness and permission be damned. This was one of those times.
Then a nasty thunderstorm cranked up and marina management finally decided to relent and turn off the radio. We rode out that storm on the t-head. An hour or so later the thunderstorms finally eased up and the tide went slack. We calmly moved to our assigned slip. You gotta love doing this stuff.
Performance Art?


Adios,

Istaboa


Saturday, August 9, 2014

View From Mile Zero 2

Man! — Hot as blazes down here. We're enjoying our time in Key West, but we do look forward to the sunset and the cooler temps that follow.
The Florida sunshine is wicked this time of year.

Cheers,


Thursday, August 7, 2014

View From Mile Zero

Yep, Conch Harbor Marina's onSpot wifi hotspot is fast enough to stream live video.

So grab a Margarita, sit back, and watch the sunset in Key West — From the comfort of your own home.  ~Searchin' for my lost shaker of salt~

World Class Sunset

Enjoy








Wednesday, August 6, 2014

it's been a long time —

— since our last stay in Key West.

Today was the first day of Lobster Season. Pots everywhere, looks like Maine, I imagine. We dodged pots from Marathon to Key West.

 Conch Harbor Marina is home for now.

We've got work to do right now, but I bet we find time for fun in a day or so. 
Waitin' for a Sunset. I'll post pics.

Cheers,

Istaboa

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th of July


This land is your land This land is my land
From California to the New York island;
From the red wood forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and Me.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Meanwhile Back In The Bluff City



The old brewery is just next to our little loft in Memphis. We enjoy looking out our side windows and seeing it in all iit's funkyness.
Hope it stays there.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Things That Go Bump

Unsettled weather has determined our near future cruising plans for us. 15/20 knot winds from the NW? Wind over waves in the northern direction of the Gulf Stream can be worrisome. We'll enjoy our time at Old Port Cove Marina for now.

During the night SeaTow towed in a big boat. Looks like he may have been disabled by lightning. If you watch the clip, you'll notice he has no running lights or cabin lights. Bad sign and the sky's been putting on quite a light show out east over the ocean.


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Hmm...

Maybe a wait — then 2 runs and a wake up.
Prudent?


Thinkin' ZoomaZz


2 runs and a wake up.

An unexpected trip, but exciting nonetheless. Next post from de i-lans, mon.



Cheers,

Istaboa

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

NIce Clip

If you're not in to Rock 'n' Roll... mute the sound.
Really good visuals.


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Another shot of our Memphis neighborhood — and a few thoughts



Currently, we're in Jupiter and the weather's been nice.

Our home away from home —


Cinematic City from jason allen lee on Vimeo.
A look at Memphis.

Music by Tim Hecker.


Radar and I are up early this mornin', watching the sun rise over the top of a big yacht named Sea Bear, it's a gonna be a nice day.
Looking out over the stern of Istaboa, it occurs to me that life seems to be getting better for many folks and not just the 1%. This marina is filling up with big yachts where just a year ago it had more empty slips than full. The size and number of vessels has increased dramatically.
On the docks are marina worker bees swarming around the boats like in years distant past. Older boats are being fixed up or traded in for newer and bigger ones. Lots of upgrading and polishing, lots of captains and owners specing out projects. With a more upbeat cadence as they walk the docks, there are smiles on the faces of the boat fixer-uppers like I haven't seen in a long time.
The marina operators are all reporting the best year they've seen in more than a decade. Some are getting cocky again, like they were around the turn of the century. (Yep, we've been doing this for a while.) Maybe they'll remember what happened last time and not let this new found prosperity cloud their humility. Probably not.

Even our little venture, onSpot wifi, is feeling like a young Dogwood tree at the commencement of spring; laden with buds, fomenting a bloom the likes it's never seen.

And such articles are starting to appear —

Now Do You Believe We're In A New Tech Bubble?


Yeah, times do seem to be a prelude to a redux of the late nineties. Remember $20.00 bottles of water and $500.00 cigars? (The good old days of my generation.)

I recollect something an old fishing boat captain from Panama City told Mel and me years ago; we were leaving Carrabelle, FL about to cross the Gulf of Mexico for the first time and his advice was, "Don't get excited."

Hopefully this old age I'm experiencing will bear some wisdom and we, "don't get excited".

We haven't yet, but we are enjoying the sun while it shines.

It feels good.

Adios,

Istaboa

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Leaving Legacy

Now back at our home-port, comfortably tied up at The Bluffs Marina in Jupiter, I've finally found a few minutes to write a post.

The West Coast Of Florida Tour was a great success; from Marina Jack's at Sarasota to Legacy Harbour in downtown Ft. Myers, and over to Longboat Key Moorings, we've managed to make everybody's life online a lot better.
The onSpot wifi guys did a great job.

All of our installs are challenging, but Legacy Harbour Marina was an especially difficult undertaking.
It took more than just mounting the smart gear and turning 'em on, we had to break some rules, technically going where others won't go and doing what others don't.
Though they tried, most of the support the Ruckus techs kindly offered up didn't work, we were on our own.
We say we build Better Marina WiFi Hotspots and we didn't stop till that was true.

 Eric, Legacy's Harbourmaster, giving Will a few pointers on operating the manlift.

Just putting the Access Point high atop the marina office was an obstacle. We had to utilize a lift to get it up there.


But the real problems were to come from these Hi-Rise Condo Towers adjacent to the marina.


The radio frequency interference blasting from these towers can render most WiFi hotspots useless.

After the installation was complete, we ran our first tests and were amazed at how quick the network was. Immediately we were seeing blazing speeds. We were cautiously pleased to find our worries about the towers were unfounded and our smart gear was truly outsmarting the RF noise.
The boaters at the marina were ecstatic.
So we tested till late that night then tested again early the next morning and found the same thing. Fast, real fast.

As usual, I stay around after the install to provide the boaters technical support and do onsite, real life, monitoring. It proved to be a good thing, two days later the network came to a creeping crawl. Something had broken.
The boaters weren't happy anymore.

So we went to work on figuring out the problem and soon we found it.

Not only are the huge condo towers an RF nightmare, over on the other side of the marina is a large cell tower that's using the same 2.4Ghz frequency that we use. What we were experiencing was the radio frequency equivalent to the perfect storm.
Our very strong hotspot was causing disruption on the cell provider's network so they turned up their signal, effectively blasting us out of the park with their more powerful equipment.

So back to the drawing board.

We can make most changes remotely via the net, but this was an extraordinary situation. So onSpot loaded up the test gear and a few spare parts and headed back to Legacy Harbour.

To make this tediously long story short, we fixed it. Not only did we have to step out of the proverbial box, we had to throw the box in the trash. Almost everything the Ruckus smart guys had us try didn't work and almost all our past experience didn't apply.
But, after a couple of days of, "what ifs and let's see", we fixed it.

Like all things worth doing, Legacy's still a work in progress, but their network's running fast and reliably — at the speeds we guarantee.

Constant Improvement.

As Mel and I left the marina, heading back to Jupiter, I left my web-cam on to record our departure and to see how far our network reached... all the way out to the entrance of the marina.
Perfect.




The proof's in the pudding


Adios,

Istaboa

P.S. I know most of you tune in for stuff about cruising and boats and we'll be headed to the islands pretty soon. Mixing business with pleasure, we're building a new network at Staniel Cay, Exumas. They've been needing it for a long time.
Should be fun in many ways.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Movin' On

Another opportunity has surfaced so we're leaving Legacy Harbour to head back up north toward Sarasota.

But, before leaving... We ventured into downtown Ft. Myers to the 86 Room; which on this night was an excellent Jazz Club. Featured vocalist: Lynn Richardson.
Lynn is Eric's wife and over the years he's told me his wife was a good singer — she's not just good, she's truly a remarkable vocalist, the woman sings like a bell.



We stuck around for a couple of sets and enjoyed Lynn and the band.

Good jazz done right. 

The 86 Room is an old bar that's been brought back and they've done it without trashing it's character.

The decor, the old Charlie Chaplin silent movie, the music, it all fit nicely.

We could make this a habit when in Ft Myers. 





The players are a trio of accomplished Jazz vets. They're also nice folks. 


Downtown Ft Myers is a damn eclectic place. I saw three young fellows in costume, goofing down the street, they were a knock off of the Three Stooges, the waitress at the 86 Room appeared to have just stepped off the stage of Rocky Horror Picture Show, and we've seen a Jesus impersonator walking about on a couple of occasions.

Great band, Great music, an extraordinary night.









So, movin' on.

One of those "Red Skies Mornings" 
Should've never untied

We left Legacy with a falling tide which gave us a knot of speed. I noticed the winds were a bit puffier than forecast, but we eased along at 9knts heading for Boca Grande Pass.

Our plan was to try and take what the locals call the, "Sneaky Pete" cut out of the pass which would save us 45 minutes or so, but when we looked at the seas we deemed it too unsettled to try. It's shallow and there's little margin for error. 
So we headed out Boca Grande with a head sea that was a bit rolly, then a bit rollier, then quickly evolved into a full tilt bull ride. To add to the excitement, Boca Grande has shoaled in quite a bit and the marked channel took us into comfortable 40' depths, followed by some uneasy < 9' depths.
At one point I saw 2' under the boat as we were riding over 6' rollers. Breathtaking!
Should've taken Sneaky Pete.
Looking back now... that's two should'ves on a day we shouldn't have.

We forgot the Gulf of Mexico must be respected, but we quickly remembered the tall/sharp/mean rollers she can deal you.
We had a Nordhavn day—Istaboa's a great boat.
After a while, we turned north, putting the southerly seas on our stern and easily surfed all the way up to Venice.

After the bull ride, the following seas were a respite. We made it into Venice just before a storm so we decided to tie up at the Crow's Nest for the night and wait for more settled weather.

Today will bring Sarasota and Longboat Key.

A better day, we hope.

Adios,

Istaboa


Friday, April 25, 2014

Well... We Didn't Get Far

As mentioned in the last post from Sarasota, our intentions, weather permitting, were to stop at Legacy Harbour in downtown Ft Myers before heading east to Jupiter and home.
It turns out, upon leaving Marina Jack's we got a call from Eric at Legacy and he wanted me to stop and give a formal proposal and presentation for the management team.

I did and we haven't left yet.

onSpot wifi is installing another Better Marina WiFI Hotspot at Legacy Harbour in Ft. Myers.


It's going well.


Adios,

Istaboa

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Farewell to Sarasota

It's been fun, Sarasota is a nice town, but it's time to go.

We said goodbye to all yesterday. Then our old buddy Travers stopped by for a beer before we called it a day.

I know the boyz are gonna miss the parks and the freedom they enjoyed while walking around untethered. We'll miss the warm hospitality of Marina Jack's and the cultural vibe and energy of Sarasota. Sarasota is fairly unique in Florida.
Gotta feeling we'll be back sooner rather than later.


So now it's time to start heading south... Ft Myers is the plan but the weather's being weird so who knows.

Adios,

Istaboa

P.S. Please excuse the typos and bad grammar. I usually write these posts very early in the AM while having that first cup of coffee. I fix 'em later after the brain has warmed.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Turning On Marina Jack's

As posted earlier, Istaboa's in Sarasota, (I like saying that), hosting a trio of wireless internet gearheads while providing the perfect venue for the testing of all sorts of wireless mojo.

The first order of business was to completely remove the former WiFi provider's gear and replace it with onSpot's new Smart Access Points. These new Ruckus™ APs give us the ability to tune out the ugly overpowering radio frequencies and drive a strong clean internet signal directly into our customer's boats.
Today's boaters don't just want high-speed internet, they need it. It's an essential utility that supplies us with critical data such as sea and weather conditions, research on the next leg of a journey, the speed to download the latest charts, and the ability to quickly receive real time crowd sourced information.
In short, it's a must. And, yeah...  we do like to stream the latest episode of Game of Thrones and binge watch Breaking Bad when we're finished doing all that important stuff.

A boat load of WiFi gear that's being returned to it's owner. Out with the old.

After decommissioning the old hotspot, we went to work on our installation. Much research, planning, and design went into this hotspot and we're anxious to see our new network fly for the first time.

Will and Craig, the onSpot smart guys, assembling and configuring the Ruckus™APs before we mount them.

Since we've arrived at Marina Jack's, everyone here, from employees to boaters, has told us, "It'll never work." We disagree, but they just smile and say, "You'll see, that's what they all say.".
Undeterred by the skeptics, we continue on with confidence and a bit of reserved excitement; we know we're about to prove them wrong. The marina and their customers are going to love us.

This nice clean little box is magical.

As we're mounting the new gear, the local boaters and marina staff are watching us warily, a few ask questions, but most just continue to shake their heads while repeating the same mantra, "It'll never work."

It doesn't take long and the network is mounted neatly on light posts and high atop the roof of the marina building. No more big clunky boxes with large antennas protruding from all four corners, theses little APs are so small most folks don't even notice them. One fellow said, " You think those little things are gonna work? This is a big marina.". 
Yep, we do.

So now we adjourn to Istaboa and start the real work. 
Will has done most of the configuring and programming from the salon of Istaboa while I was running the boat across the state. He and Craig put the finishing touches on the gear then we waited on Comcast to show up and turn on our connection. 

The next morning Comcast showed up on time (?!!) and we had bandwith. 
Now's the moment we find out if our new hotspot is what we'd designed it to be.

The first blink of bandwidth and the APs lit up and I mean, they lit up. Almost immediately we had a very fast network, but we'd not done any fine tuning yet. We were very happy with the output after some tweaking. A few hours later, faces down in laptops and many scans of speedtest.net, we knew we had it. 
We've truly cracked the code of marina wifi. We're seeing speeds in excess of 15Mbps and even faster on newer computers with 5G capability. That's very fast in this RF ridden environment.

I walk over to the office to brief Sam Chavers, the marina manager, who has already walked around to check things out. Still reserved with his opinion, he agrees it's pretty fast, but he's still worried if it'll continue after we leave.

This is my part of the gig.

I let Sam know that I'll stick around for a week or so and do my best to break the network while I work with the boaters to help them acclimate to the new system. I promise him I won't leave until he thinks it's stable. (I know, it's a tough job and Sarasota's such a rough place.)

Mel finally returns home after her tour of duty in Memphis and we finally have a chance to hang out in Sarasota as Crew Istaboa. She's been gone for 3 weeks, the boyz were missing her badly and so was I. We haven't been apart for such a long time in 30 years.

Update: It's been a week now, the staff and customers are getting used to the idea that onSPot wifi's hotspot is working well and will continue to work well. I even tried to place a wager with one employee...  $500 we're still working a year from now... he wouldn't take the bet.

Sarasota Bay

So at the end of the day, actually the end of the week, we've done what we set out to do.
We're fast, reliable, and we're truly a Better Marina WiFi Hotspot.

http://onspotwifi.com/




Cheers,


Istaboa





Monday, April 14, 2014

Where In The World Is Istaboa?

Well, it has a nice ring to it — Istaboa's in Sarasota.


Marina Jack's in Sarasota to be exact.

Haven't been posting much on the blog as of late, we've been pretty busy spreading wireless internet around marinas. onSpot wifi has gotten pretty good at this and there are some who say we're really good. That's our intent.

Wanting to get a quick start on our newest hotspot, Will and I took off from Jupiter on a Saturday morning and made way for Sarasota. We were hoping to get across Lake Okeechobee, but a storm turned us back. So a night at River Forest in Stuart made for short run, but rather safe than sorry, the boyz and I enjoyed a quiet night with a beautiful thunderstorm streaking across the horizon.
We made it to River Forest Marina on the west side and were barely able to find a place to tie up. The marina was full of boats waiting to be pulled out and put into storage for the summer.
Again, the next day started early for the short run to Ft. Myers and Legacy Harbour.

Ran into our old friends, 'Broulee', at both River Forests. Nice catching up with them.

Idling into the Caloosahatchee River as the sun starts up.

We easily made it to Ft Myers and tied up at Legacy as planned. We had talked to Eric the Dockmaster and he said he was interested in improving his WiFi hotspot at the marina,
So we woke early and motored down the Caloosahatchee, across Pine Island Sound, and headed for Boca Grande Cut to run out to the Gulf of Mexico. Istaboa hasn't been on the Gulf for years; it was an unusually nice day.
We ran in the shallow water of the Gulf till we made Venice inlet then turned in and headed north on the GICW. After negotiating a few bridges and dodging a multitude of tourists on rented pontoon boats we spotted Marina Jacks and Sarasota.


What a nice marina! What a nice town! Why have Mel and I always passed by Sarasota and never stopped? It's a cool little city full of seemingly nice folks. Too soon to tell, but it may be our new favorite town in FL.
Lots of culture, art, diversity, we never found a bad restaurant, and music was everywhere we turned.


So here we are, all nice and snug, tied up on a T-Head at Marina Jack's.
It's nice to be able to take Istaboa to these marinas and do our work while aboard. It's working from home, but home's the job site. It also provides us the same environment our customers must contend with.
Blasting WiFi through the fiberglass walls of a boat is a difficult task to do successfully. Istaboa's very thick walls make for a great test bed. We turn on everything that uses radio frequencies, causing as much interference as possible, then go to work on our access points, tuning them to cut through the RF muck. Our next challenge is harnessing that refined signal and making it usable under these conditions all the time, 24/7/365. We do it. We've cracked the code. We're not kidding.

So the work started immediately. No rest for the weary. Craig drove over from Ft Lauderdale and the team was assembled. Will, Craig, and I started building a Better Marina WiFi Hotspot. The boaters at Marina jack's are going to love this internet experience.

More on the project later, and Mel returns after a, too long, stint in Memphis caring for her mother.

Adios,

Istaboa

Thursday, March 27, 2014

South Florida Sleigh Ride

By Barbara Liston

ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - 
A hammerhead shark dragged a college student in his kayak up the Atlantic coast for a two-hour "South Florida sleigh ride" that the kayaker taped with a head-mounted camera and posted on YouTube.

Adam Fisk, 22, posted a five-minute clip of his adventure titled "Lone Man Gets Towed for Miles in Kayak by 11 Foot Hammerhead Shark."


Spoiler Alert!
The fish won.
Yay!!

(There's something fishy about this tale.)




The whole story here.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

For Our Northern Friends

Spring just called and left a message... "Hey, it's Spring — Sorry I'm late, but I'll arrive soon. Held up at border by INS."


Monday, March 3, 2014

Like Old Friends Revisited

I love Doonesbury — like a comfortable pair of old jeans that still fit.

Been reading Gary Trudeau's strip since I was in high-school. It seems I've grown up with Michael Doonesbury and his buddies, Zonker, BD, and all the other colorful characters Trudeau brought to life.

These days Doonesbury is on hiatus and the strip is rerunning days past.


This is the first Doonesbury strip ever. October 26, 1970
I don't remember it well... it was the 70s ya know.
All these years, I've kept up. After high school it was sometimes hard to find a newspaper that would run the strip which made it difficult to maintain my habit, but I managed. Now that it's online at Slate, it's much easier to follow on a regular basis.

Mr Trudeau intends to take a leave of absence from drawing "Doonesbury" daily to write and produce a second season of "Alpha House" for Amazon Prime Video. He's still doing new Sunday strips.

Personally, I think it'd be interesting to re-read all the old strips starting from this one until GT returns.

Like going home again.

I can still smell the undeniable aroma of illegal marijuana wafting through my memories.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Remember Bagan?


 Sprague Theobald and his Crew aboard Bagan.

It seems Mr. Theobald has penned an article for The Huffington Post that details the interpersonal rocky shoals he and his crew navigated while transiting the infamous Northwest Passage.

I'm a filmmaker and avid boater. I've done well with my documentaries and have amassed about 40,000 offshore miles. In 2006 I had the notion that I wanted to try and do what hundreds had lost their lives trying to do; find and transit the Arctic's infamous Northwest Passage on my 57 foot trawler, Bagan, and make a documentary about climate change.
 Link to article:

How a Death-Defying Sea Voyage Helped Mend the Relationship With My Kids That Divorce Destroyed

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Puppy Love

Two dogs meet for the first time on the docks at Compass Cay, Exumas, The Bahamas