Well, we are still here, working away the summer. So far it has been too much work and too little play. Even what seems like an exciting job, like working on a pirate ship, gets old when you do it a lot. And the pirate ship has more drama going on behind the scenes than a reality tv show, and that is getting old too.
Our plans to go traveling this winter in our boat are feeling intangible and far away at the moment. Our efforts to put away a bunch of cash is progressing more slowly than we had hoped.
But even though I may be feeling burnt out from working 6-7 days a week at two jobs, Capt K finally has a new exciting job that he is enjoying a lot. And how could he not? He gets to take a fun sporty boat out in search of dolphin and wildlife sightings! How cool of a job is that? He is working for an ecotour company that takes small groups out on sightseeing expeditions in the waters around St. Augustine. He truly is Capt K now!
In other news, we have been housesitting for the last week and have been thouroughly spoiled by having a/c, a huge bathroom, and wonderful things like floors and countertops. It has been a nice break from the boat, almost too nice. Although we love our boat, we are a bit sick of living on it right now. We might need a longer break than a week….but even though the idea of renting a studio apartment is appealing, it would slow down our money saving plan even more.
So it goes. We are cruisers in the drudgery of waiting to go cruising.
I know some of you may be wondering why we haven’t been posting much lately….the reason is plain and simple. We have been working a lot and there doesn’t feel like much to report. Even a job as “exciting” as working on a pirate ship gets routine when you do it every day. There is enough “drama” on the pirate ship with the crew and management for a reality tv show, although even that gets old…
Captain K, however has a fun new job that he is enjoying. He is working as a captain for Ecotours, a small excursion company that takes out small groups to look at wildlife. What a cool job!!! He is learning a lot and getting to see a lot of rare dolphin and manatee encounters. The other day he got to hang out with a whole group of mating manatees! How romantic! Well, not really….but interesting!
Although we have our goal of saving money to sail to the Carribean/ Central America this winter, at the moment that feels vague and far away. We are just plodding along trying to beef up our bank account, which is not happening as fast as we had hoped.
We did have a one week respite from living on our boat. We got to housesit for a wonderful lady who has graciously let me set up my floor loom, which I use for weaving, in her house. So we not only got to luxuriate in air conditioning, but I also got to weave to my heart’s content! Here is a bit of what I’ve been weaving:
We fully appreciated the marvels of a house, with all it’s wonders such as countertops and floors. Our cats came along too, and made friends with the dog we were taking care of! Truth be told, as much as we love our boat, we are a bit sick of living on it right now. If we were traveling it would be one thing, but just living on it while working is making it feel small…
There you have it, the drudgeries of cruisers waiting to go cruising.
We are in yet another phase of “lightening our load”. Last summer we put the stuff that had made it through at least 4 rounds of downsizing. This is the best of the few belongings we still have, the things we just could not bear to get rid of. It has been sitting in a storage unit for almost a year, waiting for us to figure out what in the heck we were going to do with it. Last month we came up with a plan a, plan b, c, and d for how to get the stuff out of the storage unit in upstate New York. Cap’t K went to New York for his sisters graduation ceremony and through a crazy set of intense and unusual circumstances came back with a rental van full of our stuff.
We stuffed it all in another storage unit and now face the daunting task of downsizing once again. Along with that comes the question “how much more do we want to downsize?” “Is it worth it to keep stuff we MIGHT need someday!” At what point is the value of our sentimental possessions that we aren’t using but don’t want to get rid of not worth saving anymore?
We haven’t quite answered these questions yet. At the moment we are so busy working we don’t have much time to do much else anyway! But hey, now that we have a storage unit here we can offload some extra crap off our boat and put it there!
We have had the pleasure of having Capt Ks sister and her boyfriend here visiting for the last few weeks.
We took a little vacation and sailed our boat to our favorite nearby spot – Cumberland Island. Wow was it good to get our boat out sailing! We had an epic overnight sail there. For once all conditions aligned in our favor — perfect wind, calm seas, a gorgeous full moon. We even timed our exit and entrance of the inlets to be in daylight and it worked. We even made it all the way to the anchorage under sail alone. It was awesome!!
We spent 3 days enjoying the island. We encountered a lot of rain but overall it was a sweet time. Here a few pics:
Trevor relaxes with a cold one.
Sarada meets a newborn wil horse!! This horse was not well however, and we sadly discovered later that he did not make it.
One of the biggest live oaks on the island.
The magnolia trees were still blooming!
Life is good right now. Things are looking up. We are happily in love, we are enjoying being in St. Augustine, and doors have been opening for us. We are grateful!
Here’s a few of the highlights of what feels good right now:
Cap’t K is officially a Captain now, having passed his exam with flying colors! He is already training in for an exciting new job using his Captian’s license. It is with a local tour company that does eco-tours in the local area with a variety of small boats. He is on his way to living the dream of getting paid to go out sailing!
I am thrilled to report that I have miraculously scored a free weaving studio in the Lightner Building, which is a gorgeous historic building here in St. Augustine. It is a 5 minute walk from the marina. I’m doing some volunteering with the St. Augustine Textile Guild, and in exchange I am getting access to their studio space that has a fully functional floor loom in it! I have been an avid weaver for over 10 years, and for me, the single hardest thing about moving onto a boat has been that I have not been able to weave on my floor looms, which are sadly in storage. Now, for the first time in several years, I have SPACE and a loom to work on! I’m going over there every spare minute I have and loving it!
Here is the courtyard of the Lightner Building, where “my” studio is:
And here is some fabric I’m weaving right now:
Like I said, life is good. The weather has been basically nice every day, although it is starting to get a bit hot. We better get used to it — hot is what we are in for this summer!
Here is a photo of us in St. Petersburg while we were visiting the Salvador Dali Museum. (which is highly recommended by the way)
We took a break from our little St. Augustine bubble today and rented a car to go to St. Petersburg. Captain K. has decided to add some official backing to his Captain title, and is going for his captains license. He will be taking his big test in St. petersburg tomorrow. He has been studying like crazy for days, so I anticipate great success for him on the exam.
Coming to St. Petersburg means we get to visit our good sailing friends Rich and Mimi. They live here and almost convinced us to stay here last fall, although St. Augustine won our hearts.
We know from previous experience with them they they enjoy playing games, so tonight we shared with them a new board game we have. It is called Nautical Trivia and involves answering trivia questions about sailing while navigating around a board game based on a map of Bermuda.
It also was a great way for Cap’t K to keep studying for his captains test even while taking a break! Here are a few sample questions for you readers:
1. Q: what is the proper term for the place where the anchor chain is stored?
A: chain locker
2. Q: The duration of a dog watch is
a) 1 hour
b) 2 hours
c) 4 hours
A. 2 hours
3. Q: leaning the mast aft is called
a) raking the mast
b) arcing the mast
c) stepping the mast
A: raking the mast
4. Q: name the 1st Officer who led the mutiny on the HMS Bounty.
A. Fletcher Christian
(you would have thought I could get that one right after just visiting the Bounty last week, but that question stumped me!)
We love this game and invite anyone to come play it with us to test their sailing knowledge!
– Capt’n K & Lala
I’ve been meaning to post about the return of Capt K and Wee Happy, but truthfully I haven’t gotten around to it since he returned a week ago. He had smooth sailing all the way up here, with the exception of a few thunderstorms they managed to dodge at sea. He and Ryan both got in a little sailing fix and looked super salty when they got back.
Wee Happy is now anchored next to Way Happy and we are starting to get her ready to sell. More details to follow on that soon. Being back on Wee Happy really make us appreciate how WAY happier we are on Way Happy!!! So much more comfort and space on our new boat!
They returned just in time for the next most exciting thing to happen at the marina since the sinking of the dredging barge. The arrival of the HMS Bounty. This celebrity tall ship, which has been in movies like Pirates of the Carribean, is truly a sight to behold.
It created quite the fanfare arriving into St. Augustine.
She stayed all weekend while throngs of people came out to see her. The crew of the Black Raven toured the boat yesterday. Here are a few pics of us on the Bounty.
Lala at the helm!
The pirate crew.
So many lines!!
And, from our dinghy, a view up the ladys dress very few people get to see!!
Capt K and Ryan are out in the Gulf Stream sailing, and what exciting news do I have to report here? Well, the most exciting thing to happen at the City Marina since we arrived in November is going on right now, and those poor boys are missing it.
For the last 6 weeks or so, there has been a big dredging operation going on at the marina. A huge barge with a Caterpillar on top of it has been scooping out silt and sediment which has been accumulating in the inner basin of the marina. To give you an idea of how shallow it was getting, I used to run aground in our dinghy at low tide near the dinghy dock!
The other day I was coming to shore in the dinghy and noticed the barge was partially submerged under water. Hmmm, that looks strange, I thought. It appears to be sinking. The guys working on the barge didn’t look too stressed, however, and I shrugged it off. Later that day I returned to find the whole barge under water, with only the Caterpillar sticking out. It sank!!! It would be hilarious if it weren’t so pathetic.
They have been trying to pump water out for 2 days now to raise it to no avail, and it seems to be anyones guess how they plan to deal with it from here. Meanwhile the whole fiasco is the talk of the marina.
And if that weren’t enough excitement, there is some kind of Nordic Tug convention going on and the marina is full of adorable boats like these:
Yesterday Cap’t K and our friend Ryan left to go to the Florida Keys to get Wee Happy, our “other” sailboat. Wee Happy, who has been lonely and awaiting our return for many months now, is coming up to St. Augustine to be with us at last. Cap’t K and Ryan are sailing her up here, where we can work on her to get her ready to sell this summer. It will be a fun time for both of them I’m sure, and hopefully soon I will have photos from them to post of their journey. It was great of Ryan to offer to help Cap’t K sail the boat up here, although I know he had his own motives of itching to be out on the water again. He is working on his boat now and hasn’t sailed for awhile either.
Meanwhile I am left behind in St. Augustine alone, working my butt off, while those two are off on a sailing adventure. It’s not so bad though…I needed some alone time anyway, and hey, I just got back from the beach. There is a glorious beach here in St. Augustine that stretches on for miles. They don’t have that in the Keys! And the spring weather has been splendid here, with lots of flowers in full bloom, including expansive amounts of blooming jasmine that fills the streets with intoxicating scent.
I have a new pirate accessory too…..a dagger! Who knew I would ever have a job where I would be excited to get one of these. It goes nicely with the jasmine, don’t you think?