Sunday, January 24, 2010

Pirates and Other Nuisances

If the old game show Family Feud posed the statement "I'm moving to the Caribbean." "What are you going to do about pirates?" would be the number one scoring response. It is the number one response we've received at least by people who believed we weren't just bullshitting them. This question is kind of like asking someone visiting a zoo what they're going to do if a lion goes incredible hulk and busts through the 6 inch glass and decides to dine on their spleen. The only way to satisfy these people is to tell them we're bringing a gun (were not bringing a gun but the idea of this makes Americans feel better).  The frustration for us is that we have concerns, real concerns that we're asking ourselves about, ones that were asking each other about and ones we've brought to those with more knowledge than us about life at sea (which is pretty much everyone).

We need to learn how to navigate our way around reefs that give people who know what they're doing trouble. We need to learn what it means when our diesel engine starts sounding like the Marlboro Man. We need to understand small engine mechanics, Spanish, how to budget our daily battery consumption. We need to learn how to fish, spearfish and filet them. We need to know how to aim our pee in six foot seas without spraying ourselves.

If anyone has any advice on the above please feel free to share. Otherwise our response to the pirate question is simply as Anna said, "What are we going to do about pirates? What do you mean? We're on their side."

Saturday, January 23, 2010


The four hour move to a more southernly latitude from Tallahassee to St. Petersburg has been felt mostly by my legs. While the mind and spirit takes time to adjust to the freedom of retirement my legs haven't taken any time. They've quickly enjoyed the lack of constriction that comes with wearing board shorts. The lack of constriction like removing a hat you've worn all day long and you can feel the layer of warmth your body built between the cloth and your skin my leg hairs are enjoying the breeze. 

Yesterday we organized the garage where we dumped all of our remaining possessions. We moved the remaining furniture Chris decided to keep into his dad's house which is acting as a holding tank for both us and our possessions as we ready for our voyage. After twenty eight years of accumulating the things we humans accumulate things like photos, cheese graters, coffee mugs, basketball card collections and things you're not even sure why you have I've been able to reduce my possessions to six regular size moving boxes. The size boxes you imagine when you hear the word box. Two of which are tax documents I'm too afraid to throw away. The other items consist of a box of chocolate type assortment of  stuff you'd find in the part of a store labeled "Decorating & Accessories" and "Dining & Entertaining" like a set of large coffee mugs I've spent too many mornings with to throw away.

Friday, January 22, 2010

A week of Saturdays

I created this blog a few weeks ago as a place to post updates to our adventures in retirement as we travel the Caribbean and who knows where else. Since creating the page actually posting to it has been like a lazy guy's promise to start exercising that keeps getting put off for another day. Enough procrastination.

This week I left Tallahassee, a place I've put on return address labels for the last nine years. It's a great place and I'm sure I'll miss certain aspects of it like the comfort that comes with being able to see people you know anytime you leave the house. It's satisfying to remember planning our escape one day three months ago during a lunch break at Tropical Smoothie. Through the course of selling everything, taking sailing courses and purchasing a boat we didn't refer back to the date. It wasn't until we were packing our stuff we remembered we set Jan. 15 as a target date to leave Tallahassee and stuck to it accidentally intentionally.

Along with leaving Tallahassee I sold my truck that I've had for the last 7 years. For an American there is a certain amount of discomfort that comes with not having your own vehicle to get you where you need to go.

For now our temporary home is Chris's Dad's home as we prepare our boat for cruising. The amount of preparation that still remains will test our discipline in balancing our new freedom and desire to have fun NOW with our ability to get the things done so that we can have fun on the boat. The realization that everyday is Saturday makes it difficult to be productive. Our intended departure date of Feb. 3 is going to have to be pushed back as the boatyard is taking longer with the repairs than we anticipated.

A short list of things we have to accomplish before we leave is as follows:
  • Rewire the shore power to make wire to make sure it is the same gauge as the rest of the wiring running through the boat.
  • Fix the head.
  • Replace the leaking plexiglass on the deck of the boat.
  • Build additional shelving for storage in the galley. 
  • Purchase a 15 hp outboard for our dinghy.
  • Purchase international health insurance.
  • Do our taxes before we depart.
  • Take first aid and CPR courses.
  • Purchase all of the remaining items we need have the boat ready to cruise (this is a two page list).
  • Stock the boat with our clothing, supplies and food.
  • Change the name of the boat from Freixenet to Desdemona (inclluding peforming a renaming ceremony).
We figured attending Gasparilla would be good training for becoming pirates. so we'll be there in Tampa Bay with eye patches and booty aboard Desdemona. If you'd like to come hang out just give us a call or email We'd love to see your face, with an eye patch of course.

P.S. If anyone from AARP is reading this we still have not received membership applications and feel that excluding us based on age is entirely unfair as we are effectively retired and we'd like to join your club.