"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

November 27, 2015

Living on the Hard

Indiantown, FL

Living on a boat is a little different than living in a house…and there’s a drastic difference when you stay on your boat when it’s on the hard. We have limited electrical power (at this marina) and we are using the hose for water. I rank this situation as one step up from tent camping. All our grey water drains out of the boat straight over board. Under normal circumstances it drains into the water…we never see it, but while we’re on the hard it all drains into the work yard. Not a good thing since we’re working on the bottom, so we’re using a large bowl in the sink to wash dishes, our hands and brush teeth. Then we throw it off the back of the boat into the ditch.

Need water...we have plenty!
Welcome aboard...we climbed this later 20-30 times a day...maybe more. It's hard to keep track.
With our limited electrical power we can’t run the refrigerator or use any of our 12-volt lights or outlets. That’s the opposite of how it works when we anchor out. Where as Texas Pearl is a dock princess, almost everything runs from 120-volts, The Pearl is equipped to be more self sufficient, almost everything onboard is 12-volt. That leaves us with a lot of things we can’t use at the moment. Sundown comes early this time of year, leaving us in the dark…almost. Cooking dinner is almost done by candlelight, because we only have one small lamp in the salon. Stan rigged up a flashlight over the stove that helps a little. Remember we have no refrigerator so I have to buy meat each day or use can meat…the crock-pot has come in handy and the marina has provided us with free food and drink for the past four nights. The good news is the ice maker works…so I guess I really can’t complain.

The marina also provides private showers, which come in handy since we can’t use our shower (remember grey water overboard...not good), but we can use our toilets since that water goes into our holding tank (but to flush I have to bring water in from the hose). Can you imagine going up and down a 10’ ladder in the middle of the night to use the bathroom…I guess things can always be worse! The marina also has a nice boater’s lounge with a full kitchen, equipped with just about anything you need, grills and a wonderful picnic area. Some people use the refrigerator in the lounge, but I’ve heard things disappear frequently so we’ve decided not to use it. Plus it’s a pretty good hike over there and back every time you need something. We’ve stayed extremely busy each day and are worn out by the time we have dinner, after a few hours of Netflix we’re ready for bed.

Indiantown Marina - Office and boater's lounge
The marina 
The bathroom and laundry 
Our little corner of the work yard 
As I’m writing this blog, the weather has improved…much cooler and a lot less humid, until those crazy little down pours start. Here in south central Florida, rain seems to be a daily thing…it just starts up…completely sunny and then it rains. By the time we run to close all the windows…it stops. Our first week on the hard was VERY hot, VERY uncomfortable without our AC, something else we can’t use while we’re on the hard. It uses water that is circulated from outside the boat…no water, no AC. Sleep was somewhat of a problem…hot and sticky, but we were so tired it didn’t take long to fall asleep even though we were sweating.  
Now that the hard work is behind us and we’ve had time to visit with old friends and make a few ones and enjoy a little down time, the memory of the hard work and inconveniences are beginning to fade. We’re ready to splash and move back to the coast. Our Pearl is back to her beautiful self…time to enjoy the holidays with family and then start our cruising season at the end of December.

Lots of activities all week
Good food, lots of wine and beer, entertainment and dancing.
Lots of dancing
New friends Michelle and Ellen
The full moon looked pretty coming up over the marina
Thanks for reading our blog and spending part of your day with us. The Pearl is also on Facebook - stop by and say hi or follow us on Google+.

November 24, 2015

Nov. 24 - The Work Yard

Indiantown Marina

“The perfect journey is never finished, the goal is always just across the next river, round the shoulder of the next mountain. There is always one more track to follow, one more mirage to explore.” —Rosita Forbes

It's a busy place here in the work yard...our neighbors are constantly changing as one boat finishes their projects and others begin. The lift operator slips in between boats and snatches up one boat and then returns with another from the storage yard. The boats come in looking neglected and leave all shiny and clean...ready for another cruising season.

One neighbor leaves and...
and another arrives
Thanks for reading our blog and spending part of your day with us. The Pearl is also on Facebook - stop by and say hi or follow us on Google+.

November 22, 2015

Nov. 22 - Progress Continues

Indiantown Marina

“To accomplish great things we must first dream, then visualize, then plan...believe...act!” ―Alfred A. Montapert

We've had a busy week in the work yard. Seven months of dirt, slim and mildew have been washed off, the hull has been waxed and two coats of new bottom paint have been applied. These projects are hard work and they were even harder this week with the heat and humidity that is still around in south Florida. It's hard to believe it’s November...it feels more like August.

But it hasn't been all work this week; we've made time to catch up with old friends and enjoyed meeting new ones including blogger and Facebook friend Ellen from Cynical Sailor. Hopefully I'll have more time this coming week to visit with her. We're also enjoying events the marina is hosting this week as part of their Thanksgiving Rendezvous. Free meals, drinks, music, fun and fellowship as their way to say thank you to all the boaters that use their marina. We’re scheduled to be put in the water on Friday November 27…and I think we’ll be ready.

The Pearl in our temporary home
Waxing the hull 
Preparing the bottom for new paint 
We had a little helper come by...she wasn't much help 
First coat of paint going on 
Look how nice the bottom and running gear look...I wish it could stay that way. 
I love the new bottom paint...she is really looking pretty now 
Dinner in Stuart with our friends Charlotte and Magnus from Swede Dreams 
Meeting other boaters that are here doing work or waiting to move to on to the Bahamas
Entertainment last night at our get together 
Thanks for reading our blog and spending part of your day with us. The Pearl is also on Facebook - stop by and say hi or follow us on Google+.

November 18, 2015

Nov. 17 - The Work Begins

Indiantown Marina

“They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.” ― Tom Bodett

There is a knot in my stomach as the lifting straps groan with the strain of The Pearl’s 20,000 pounds of bulk as she is hoisted into the air and moved. This time she isn’t being hoisted out of the water, but moved from the storage yard to the work yard. Our eyes are fixed on the boat as she is lifted high in the air and moved down the road, she looks like a toy boat and the travel lift operator is a little boy getting ready to play with his toys. Although we have had our boats hauled out many times, it’s still nerve wracking each time we have it done. The boat swings just a little from side to side as the lift moves down the road and I pray that nothing will happen…just in case there’s a mishap; I keep the video camera running.

Indaintown Marina is very busy this time of year. The travel lift is busy all day moving boats from the storage yard to the work yard and other boats from the work yard to the water. Everyone is preparing their boats for a winter of cruising in the Keys and Bahamas or places further south. We’ll spend the next week and a half painting the bottom, waxing the hull and doing a few miscellaneous projects that are easier to do when we're out of the water. As I said the yard is very busy, so you have to be on the schedule to get moved. We're scheduled to be splashed on Friday November 27…if the weather stays decent we should have plenty of time to get our work done.

On her way to the work yard
Getting set up in her new home
Lots of water, soap and scrubbing and The Pearl was looking more like her old self.
Leaves and seeds from the trees blew on faster than we could wash them off. Between that and the ash from the sugar cane fields they are burning are gong to make it a challenge to keep the boat clean.
Our view for the next 10 days
Thanks for reading our blog and spending part of your day with us. The Pearl is also on Facebook - stop by and say hi or follow us on Google+.

November 17, 2015

Nov. 16 – Back to The Pearl

Indiantown, FL

“"How did it get so late so soon? Its night before its afternoon. December is here before its June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?" —Dr. Seuss

It’s hard to believe it’s been 7 months since we left The Pearl on the hard at Indiantown Marina. Being home so long gave us a chance to see a large number of family members and catch up with old friends...some we hadn't seen in 10, 20 even 30 years. But the best part of being home for so long was getting to watch our grandchildren grow and change before our eyes. We welcomed our newest little wonder into the world in July and we feel truly blessed to have each one of them in our life. We also spent time doing projects on Texas Pearl, making her look better and feel more like home. Now it’s time to get busy getting The Pearl ready for some winter cruising.

Boats don’t do well when they are left alone…they need a little TLC regularly to keep them looking nice. This is the longest we’ve left the boat and it’s definitely in the worst shape we’ve ever seen her. Hopefully in a few weeks she’ll be back to her old beautiful self.

The hard work will begin tomorrow when the marina moves her to the work yard, but tonight we enjoyed one last evening of comfort. We are at the Seminole Inn. It’s an historic hotel that was built in 1926 by Davis Warfield who owned the Seaboard Airline Railroad. The Inn has been welcoming guests seeking “Old Florida” for almost 90 years. We’ve heard the restaurant has wonderful food, but they only serve dinner on Friday and Saturday night…I’m thinking we might have to come by for dinner next weekend after working on The Pearl.

The Seminole Inn
The lobby
The second floor parlor 
Our room
From a distance she doesn't look too bad, but up close you can see she is so dirty. Lots of dirt, mildew and slime. We were pleased that the teak work and the inside looks great. 
Thanks for reading our blog and spending part of your day with us. The Pearl is also on Facebook - stop by and say hi or follow us on Google+.