After Irma

Friends, pirates and ladies of ill repute,

We greet you from Marco Island, Florida where we keep Echoes slipped.  We are here for a few weeks to work on rapidly reproducing projects and to get her ready to go to the Bahamas in January.  We are happy to report that she weathered Irma very well and suffered only minor damages.  She had a small bit of dock rash from when she slid up the dock after the anti surge had bottomed her out.  We have some canvas cover damage and a bit of water damage due to leaky ports which are now being replaced.  We were thrilled to have these tiny problems.  Our hearts go out the many people in Florida who were not as lucky.

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a boat in our marina

It is disconcerting to see the damage on the island.  There is debris up and down the streets of Marco, almost every roof has some damage.  One in ten of the condos directly next to our dock is boarded up.  Irma blew through their porch doors, out their front doors and blew all their personal possessions right out the door.  There are over 400 boats sunk on Marco Island.  But it could have been much worse and we were pleased to see Marco in as good of condition as it is in.  My parent’s condo faired extremely well.  We are grateful for our outcome of Irma.

Our (ha!) projects:

We added a fuel air separator (which we put in for Jay) to keep fuel from spitting out the fuel vent.  We are replacing all six ports (windows), are having a swim ladder rebuilt, have changed the impeller, both fuel filters, replaced some cabin lights, secured a loose day head stool,  cleaned a vast amount of mold, polished chrome, registered both boats, procured and then made dinghy modifications, developed and modified a dinghy tie down system, ordered new hatch covers, mattress and are adding fresh water tank level monitors.  The research done by professor El Capitano is as time consuming, if not more, than the installations.  We are recognized at both local hardware stores to the point where a few call me the wine lady because I claimed I would bring in a lawn chair and a glass wine next time as it takes the captain so longggggzzz.

John has been up the mast 3 times.  He will be up many more.   Our eldest son teaches rock climbing at college.  He helped John purchase gear and then taught us in our backyard how to climb a tree/mast.

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Up the mast, John has worked on the radar.  Do I dare say fixed?  Do you remember that it works well until needed, like in the fog or on a night passage?  Alas, I must have faith.  He fixed the radar.

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He is working on the deck light and the anchor light at the top of the mast.  He may need to pull and rewire both lights.  Working on top of a mast is most complicated and challenging.  For instance, you don’t have two hands to work with or a semi incompetent assistant to lend a hand or fetch you the improper tool, although you do have a tethered tool bag you can lower and retrieve.  You can only go up in optimal weather and it takes herculean strength to get there.

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On this particular day he was up the mast for about an hour.  He had two very different visitors.

This is our neighbor Hank the Crank.

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Hank is a Snowy Egret who works hard to protect his territory which includes our boat.  He squawks at you when you come by and chases many a bird away.  Hank can live up to 17 years and his species is known to cross breed with other heron species.  Maybe this is why he doesn’t chase Irene the Green Heron away.

We have purchased a new, used, ugly dinghy.  It will be sad to see Sea Alice go.  Wait, no it won’t.  We are prostituting him on Craigs List for cheap.   After much research by the captain, he decided on a plastic polymer, hard bodied dinghy.  Hopefully, swamp ass will be a thing of the past.  After our first trial run there are many modifications being made.  For instance, if one is alone in the dinghy the ass end sinks quite close to the water line and the bow rides high in the air.  PVC tiller extensions and homemade gear shift extenders are being designed and implemented so one can operate it from the center seat.  But what to name him/her?  John likes engineering humor so he likes Poly Mer, or Poly.  He also suggested Money – because it is so NOT and is another Pink Floyd song reference like Echoes.   Further, he suggested Chum Bucket, which I quite like.  I suggested Woody (quite the opposite of Sea Alice) but got only a frown.   Others suggested Wet Spot and Gosling (Ryan would never need Cialis.)  So as we bid you farewell we would love to ask your input, suggestions or votes on a new dinghy name.  Add a comment below!

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The nameless dinghy upside down on our foredeck

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