Sunday, November 30, 2008

A bit blustery

The wind has really picked up this afternoon and has not let up yet. 25 to 30 knots. Lots of loopers arrived today and it was kinda crazy while trying to help them tie up. But all's well that ends well. No blood or loss of digits.

I saw this amazing picture today on the internet. Starry Night by Van Gogh. You have to follow the directions. Someone went to an awfully lot of trouble. But it is beautiful.



Sunday Morning

Radar soaking up some rays in San Destin

Red skies at morn... Sailor be warned.
This shot was at 6:30 am leaving Bay Towne
And yes it was foggy and rainy all the way from San Destin to Panama City

One of our great pleasures on Istaboa is to wake up on Sunday morning and savour our coffee while watching CBS's Sunday Morning. It's always enlightening, spiritually uplifting, and serves up the most positive stories one can find on network TV news.

On our last post I ranted a bit about what's wrong with society. Yes... I still think a portion of us have been dangerously led astray by whoever or whatever. But, this morning's broadcast demonstrated that we can be kind and good. Thanks CBS for bringing these stories to our attention at such disparaging times.

Good news stories

A local football coach, he never went to college and doesn't have any teaching or administrative credentials. Yet the school he conceived and runs, the Ginn Academy, is one of the most successful public schools in Cleveland.
For the full story click here

Other stories told of a 17 year old Concert Violinist named Jourdan Urbach who as founder and director of Children Helping Children has raised 1.5 million dollars to date for children's disease research.

Another was about an artist who through his art and teaching gives back the sense of worth to elderly and homeless folks.
"I came to Boston to die, not to live," says 81-year-old Peter Phelps. Phelps, who had been diagnosed with lung cancer, gave away all of his worldly possessions and moved from Springfield, Mass. to Boston to enroll in a clinical trial. Through a tragic misunderstanding, he ended up homeless, and spent 18 months living in a shelter.
He is now cancer free and donates the proceeds from the sale of his art back to the organization that gave him a home and helped him back on his feet.

Then there was the story that the sky really is falling.
On this day in 1954 a meteorite slammed through an Alabama woman's roof, striking her on the hip. The good news was that she was only bruised and she sold the meteorite for a lot of money that she needed to repair the roof.

Today we are in Panama City at Bay Point Marina. We see some of the loopers we traveled down the waterway with here. It's raining on and off, so it will be a good day to lay around the boat and watch football.



Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday

The above pic was a nice sunset in Pensacola.

We didn't do much today. We rented a golf cart and rode around looking at the Resort.

Such a sad state of affairs in the world today. The poor folks in Mumbai. We on Istaboa are so saddened by such a horrible act.
Particularly bizarre and sickening to us was that folks in Long Island, NY could actually trample a man to death to get into WalMart to find the best deals for Christmas merchandise. As I read somewhere, "It's a statement about our society that we could step over the body of a dying man to save 20 dollars on an X-Box".
Whoa... What's wrong with us?
Truly the meaning of Black Friday.

BE KIND.... Damn it!



Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!!

The oysters were great.

Ernie loaned me his car to go to the store. On the way out I drove through Baytowne Village. This place is really nice. It's a beautiful day and everyone was out walking, biking, and just enjoying this great weather for Thanksgiving.

The pork shoulder is in the oven.



Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Got up very early this morning and caught the sun coming up. It was a beautiful morning with no clouds or wind. The water was like a mirror reflecting the sky.
We should have left then and taken the quick and easy Gulf of Mexico run to Panama City. But decided to enjoy my coffee and the sunrise instead.
So now we are in San Destin, FL and Baytown Marina. Nice place... kinda busy but lots of good restaurants to chose from. I'm thinking oysters.
We saw an old Pickwicker buddy... Ernie and Priscilla onboard Slo Movin Outlaw. Ernie recommends the oysters.

Also heard from Clyde today. He and Kirk made it to Isla Mujeres, Mexico. No problems with the crossing. Clyde said Kaiser was totally overjoyed to see Mia.
They have been there for a couple of weeks waiting for the weather to settle down before moving south to Belize then Gautemala. Said there was a nasty Tropical Depression over Belize. He said they would stay in touch in case we changed our minds and decide to head in that direction.
Who knows...

Oh well. It's a beautiful sunset here at San Destin as I am typing this out. I don't have much bandwidth so no pics today.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving... We are cooking a Pork Shoulder via a recipe Melissa sent me.
But now... Oysters!


Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Like always, we stop at Palafox marina in Pensacola.
We had a problem with the propane system on the boat so our friend Tom came over to help me with a solution... Turned out we were out of propane... so no problem to solve.
Happy problem.
Today we aren't doing much other than trying to fight back the lingering threat of a cold.
Weather is pretty tomorrow so we think San Destin will be the next stop.
We'll see tomorrow.

2 nights ago as I walked Radar, I looked up into the southwestern sky and saw two very bright and very large lights that were hanging low over the Gulf of Mexico. I thought they were too big for stars so I watched for a few minutes to see if they moved. They didn't...... Knowing I am not lucky enough to actually experience a real life UFO sighting, I shrugged and walked away.
This little site shows these lights to be Venus and Jupiter.
Check it out... Nov 22...19:00 Southwestern sky when viewed from the Mobile Bay area.
Neave Planetarium


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Bobby's fish camp

Today... we didn't do much at all. But, as we walked Radar around the marina we sauntered over to the other side of the bridge and ran into the folks we traveled down the waterway with. Jim, Barbara, and lily. Nice folks from Connecticut doing the Loop.
Jim took this picture of us rafted up at Bobby's and posted it on his blog. (yes, we all have blogs)
Golden Lily's blog

Then we went back to the boat and I managed to tune into the Tennessee Titan game in HD... but they lost....

But!! Holy Crap!! the Raiders beat the Broncos!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tomorrow we will wake up and decide what to do then.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Change floats

A friend sent this to me today... I think it was taken offshore at Fort Lauderdale.
Now we really need change... now we really need hope... and if the market would start going back up... that would really be nice also. Could be Photoshopped but it's a nice thought anyway.
Makes me think of Dylan. (The answer is blowin in the wind)
be kind

What's your sign?

Saw this on the Rio Dulce Chisme Vindicator forum.
Someone was hoping to find an AA meeting on the Rio Dulce River in Guatemala. There was one. Good for them.
Then someone name MOTS (A Super Senior River Rat) also posted this Zodiac guide to drinking. Kinda funny.

Drinking style:
Impulsive Aries people like to party and sometimes don't know
when to call it a night. Their competitive streak makes them prone
to closing time shot contests. They're sloppy, fun drunks, and they
get mighty flirty after a couple tipples. Getting Aries people drunk
is a good way to get what you want out of them, should other
methods fail. Aries can become bellicose when blotto, but they will
assume that whatever happened should be forgiven (if not
forgotten) by sunrise. They can be counted on to do the same for
you -- so long as you haven't gone and done anything really
horrible to them last night.

Drinking style:
Taurus prefers to drink at a leisurely pace, aiming for a mellow
glow rather than a full on zonk. Since a truly intoxicated Taurus is
a one-person stampede, the kind of bull-in-a-china-shop inebriate
who spills red wine on white carpets and tells fart jokes to
employers, the preference for wining and dining (or Bud and
buddies) to body shots and barfing is quite fortunate for the rest of
us. This is not to say that the Bull is by any means a teetotaler --
god, no. A squiffy Taurus will get, er, gregarious (full of loudmouth
soup, some would say) and is extremely amusing to drag to a
karaoke bar when intoxicated.

Drinking style:
Gemini’s can drink without changing their behavior much -- they're
so naturally chatty and short-attention-spanned that it's just hard to
tell sometimes. They can amaze you by conversing with finesse
and allusions, then doing something to belie an extremely
advanced state of intoxication, like puking in your shoe. Gemini’s
possess the magic ability to flirt successfully (and uninfuriatingly,
which is very tricky) with several people at once. They like to order
different cocktails every round -- repetition is boring -- and may
create a theme (like yellow drinks: beer, sauvignon blanc and
limoncello) for their own amusement.

Drinking style:
Cancer is a comfort drinker -- and an extra whiskey with dinner or
an after-work beer or six can be extra comforting, can't it, Cancer
darling? Like fellow water signs Scorpio and Pisces, Crabs must
guard against lushery. Cancers are never really drunk; instead,
they get "tired and emotional" (read: weepy when lubricated). But
there's nothing better than swapping stories (and spit) over a few
bottles of red wine with your favorite Cancer. Even your secondfavorite
Cancer will do. The sign also rules the flavor vanilla, and
you'd be adored if you served up vanilla vodka and soda.

Drinking style:
Leo likes to drink and dance -- they're often fabulous dancers, and
usually pretty good drinkers as well, losing their commanding
dignity and turning kittenish. Of course, they're quite aware they're
darling -- Leos will be Leos, after all. They generally know their
limit, probably because they loathe losing self-control. When they
get over-refreshed, expect flirting to ensue -- and perhaps not with
the one what brung them. But Leo's not the type to break rules
even when drunk, so just try to ignore it (try harder, Cancer) and
expect a sheepish (and hung over) Lion to make it up to you the
next day.

Drinking style:
Cerebral Virgos are compelled to impose order onto their bender.
Their famously fussy quest for purity could lead to drinking less
than other signs, sure -- but it could also lead to drinking booze
neat, to sucking down organic wine or just to brand loyalty. They
rarely get fully shellacked -- but, oh, when they do! Virgo's
controlled by the intellect, but there's an unbridled beast lurking
within, and they let it loose when walloped. It's dead sexy (and
surprisingly unsloppy). As one Virgo friend used to declare, "I'm
going to drink myself into a low level of intelligence tonight." A
toast to the subgenius IQ!

Drinking style:
"I'm jusht a social drinker," slurs Libra, "it's jusht that I'm so damn
social?" Libra loves nothing more than to party, mingle and relate
to everyone. Whether dipped in favor of Good Libra (with Insta-
Friend device set to "on") or heavier on the Evil Libra side (they
are little instigators when bored), the Scales can really work a
room. Charming as they are, Libras are notoriously lacking in selfcontrol,
however, which can get them into all sorts of trouble --
including wearing their wobbly boots waaaay too early in the
evening, flirting with their best friend's beau or even blacking out
the night’s events entirely. Oops!

Drinking style:
Don't ever tell Scorpios they've had enough, for they'll smirk at you
and quietly but intentionally keep tippling till they're hog
whimpering drunk, out of 100-proof spite. Scorpios like to drink,
and screw you if you have a problem with that. Most of them see
the sauce as something to savor in itself, and not as a personalityaltering
tool -- though if depressed, self-loathing Scorps seek total
obliteration. But generally, they're fascinating drinking pals, brilliant
conversationalists and dizzying flirts. They also remember
everything -- especially what you did when you were blitzed. Only
drink with a Scorpio who likes you.

In vino veritas -- and, for Sagittarius, in booze blurtiness:
When buttered, they'll spill all your secrets and many of their own.
Tactlessness aside, Sagittarius is just plain fun to drink with. This
is a sign of serious partying (what else would you expect from the
sign of Sinatra, Keith Richards, the Bush twins and Anna Nicole
Smith?). They're the people who chat up everyone in the room,
then persuade the entire crowd to travel somewhere else -- like a
nightclub, or a playground, or Cancun. Good-natured hijinks are
sure to ensue (including a high possibility of loopy groping;
spontaneous Sag is a brilliant booty call).

Drinking style:
Capricorn is usually described as practical, steadfast, moneyhungry
and status-thirsty -- no wonder they get left off the
astrological cocktail-party list. But this is the sign of David Bowie
and Annie Lennox, not to mention Elvis. Capricorn is the true rock
star: independent, powerful and seriously charismatic, not too
eager to please. And if they make money being themselves, who
are you to quibble? But just like most rock stars, they're either
totally on or totally off, and they generally need a little social
lubricant to loosen up and enjoy the after party, especially if they
can hook up with a cute groupie.

Drinking style:
Aquarius and drinking don't go together that well (except for water,
that is). They have an innate tendency toward know -it-allism, and if
they get an idea while sizzled, they're more stubborn than a stain
or a stone. If they're throwing a party or organizing an outing,
however, they're too preoccupied with their duties to get combative
-- and they make perfectly charming drunks in that case.
Fortunately, they're usually capital drink-nursers. They also make
the best-designated drivers (if you can get them before they start
raising their wrist): Aquarius is fascinated by drunken people and
capable of holding interesting conversations with soused strangers
while sober.

Drinking style:
If you're a Pisces, you've probably already heard that you share a
sign -- and an addictive personality -- with Liz Taylor, Liza Minelli
and Kurt Cobain. Not only do Pisces like to lose themselves in the
dreamy, out-there feeling that only hooch can give, but they build
up a mighty tolerance fast. Who needs an expensive date like
that? On the other hand, they’re fabulously enchanting partners,
whether in conversation or in crime. With the right Pisces, you can
start out sharing a pitcher of margaritas and wind up in bed
together for days. The phrase "addictive personality" can be read
two ways, you know.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Funny pic

I love cats....

Early mornings and short days

Miss Pip at Bay Springs with the fall colors of Bay Springs as a backdrop. (Just had to throw that one in. Thanks for the Wickles.)
This time of year there is a large group of folks traveling down the waterway called "Loopers"
They are doing the Great Loop which is mostly inland waterways from Canada to Florida. It usually takes at least a year and is quite an undertaking.
There was a large gathering of "Loopers" on the Tennessee River at Joe Wheeler State Park( A Rendezvous) which is why there is such a congestion of them going down the Tenn-Tom.
Now their plans take them to Florida and warmth before heading back up the east coast to wherever they started.

The Waterway is behind us now. The question on our minds is where will we go next??

Today we are in Orange Beach, Alabama at the Wharf Marina. Nice place and nice folks who run it. We spent a lot of time here last year so it seems like coming home.
Rob, Jason, and Beverly made sure we got the slip we wanted and were waiting for us when we arrived.

More later...

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Waterway again.

Left Tuesday from Bay Springs and made it to Columbus, MS.
Passing the marinas along the way, friends from our past travels called out on their radios to say hello. It's a small community we boaters enjoy.
RoyEl at Midway and Mo onboard Motu at Smithville. (More on Mo later)
We followed this really large boat named Freedom. Click here to see Freedom
Nice Captain named Dan. We followed him all the way to Columbus.
Freedom was formerly owned by Jimmy Dean and was then named "Big Bad John". Now she has been totally redone by the owner of large book retailer.
Nice following such a big boat... you get way more respect at the locks.
No pics to post today. More when we make it to Mobile and have real bandwidth.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

New place... New friends

New friends at Bay Springs.

We were tied up behind a big Catamaran named Kaleidoscope. The Owner/Captain is a nice fellow, he had actually built this boat with his own hands, all alone. Clyde shared pictures of him building it in his backyard in Riverside,California. He'd never built a boat before but had done a lot of welding.  
First building a scale model and hung it in his garage, then building the boat by transposing the measurements. He said once he finished it was cut into 3 pieces and loaded on trucks then took it to Longbeach, CA and put back in the water where he welded it all back together. Then he finished out the interior.
Clyde took it to Cabo San Lucas where he used it as a charter boat to take out corporate types whale watching. 10 years of that he had made enough money and quit. 
Now he's in Mississippi and ripping out the old charter boat interior and making a nice home out of it. Kaleidoscope has 2 elevators running between three levels. 

Interesting guy. We became good friends quickly.

Clyde's plans were to leave our part of the world and go to Central America. He was spending a year at Bay Springs rebuilding the interior all alone and did a beautiful job.

Then it was Clyde's time to go; his friend Kirk had flown in from California to assist in taking Kaleidoscope back to Central America where he would rejoin his bride, Mia.
The above pic is Kirk and Clyde's dog Kaiser.

Then he disappeared into the fog.
Hope we meet again.

A new beginning

For a change we moved to Bay Springs Marina. About 40 miles south of Pickwick Lake. Culturally... It's worlds away. It's really quiet here. Which we like. The folks seem nice too.
Our boat home has been at Pickwick for over 20 years but we have decided to try on the transient life for a while. So far it seems to be a liberating experience. We'll see next summer when it's time to come home to somewhere.
Got up early so Radar and I hopped into the Kayak and captured these images while anchored in one of the coves. It's an Eagle Sanctuary. Didn't see an Eagle but the fog at dawn's fresh light was beautiful. All I could hear was the Kayak paddles in the water and the ringing in my ears. (Too many live gigs)   

it really is quiet here... have I said that already?