Monday, December 24, 2012


Last year, Dale gave me a book called SWEPT: Love with a Chance of Drowning by Torre Deroche.  He said I would probably like it.  I started to read it, but never finished.  True story of a young woman that meets a guy,  and he is preparing to sail around the world.  Their relationship escalates, and she is invited to go with him.  She drops everything and goes.  While reading this, I thought HOW COOL!

It was a Tuesday.  I was at my boat, fixing a late lunch, when a man named Richard stopped by. He said he had been instructed to come introduce himself.  The conversation quickly turned to his friend, Bill.  Richard said Bill was looking for someone to go to the movies with.  Richard asked if I was “looking”.  I came back with a quick NO.  Actually, I indeed had been on a couple of dating sites “looking”, but had deleted my profiles a couple months prior to this conversation.  As Richard was leaving, he asked if he could tell Bill to come over and introduce himself.  I sighed, and said, “If he wants to wander over some time, that would be okay.”  Within 15 minutes, Bill was at my boat.

Over the next couple of months, Bill and I shared meals, watched movies, played cards and talked.  He told me of his plan to sail his boat around the world. His nephew is going along, and Bill has invited me to join them. How could I say no?

Has God been preparing me for this adventure?  Maybe.  Do you believe in omens?
  1. I have already sold most of my possessions.
  2. I have lived aboard for a couple of months already.
  3. The book, given to me by my "ex".
  4. Last summer I built all new canvas for a boat named s/v Leslie C (I saw it as SEA.)
  5. In the past year, I have met five guys with names that started with "C". (My joke was that the "C" is following me... get it... following seas.  Okay, it's a nautical term.)
  6. In my work, I have met many cruisers and learned a little about the lifestyle, and love it.
  7. Both my children are grown and have, just this year, moved off to carve out a life of their own.

I will use my blog to document our travels. My followers can live vicarious through my posts.  It will be quite an adventure. Who says dreams don’t come true? 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

86 Degrees & Sunny

That was the weather in Key West in December. 

My daughter, Amy, lives in Key West and got married on Friday, December 7, 2012. I flew out there a few days early to visit and help her with a few details of the wedding. 

This was my first visit to Key West.  The weather was awesome, I loved it.  Their home is spacious and comfortable. My first night there, Amy, Bill (her fiancĂ©) and I went out for dinner.  After dinner, Bill went to the airport to pick up Richie, a close friend of Bill’s that would perform the wedding ceremony.  Amy and I walked to the Schooner’s Warf and had a beer while we waited on Bill and Richie to arrive.  While sitting there next to the boardwalk, we witnessed three drunks that fell.  It was quite entertaining.

Aiden and Roman Pop

On Thursday evening, the wedding party gathered at Amy & Bill’s home for a delicious meal. After the adult beverages were uncorked, Bill proceeded to tell stories of his college days.  His mother learned more that night than she really wanted to about those days. It was a fun evening.

Friday, the day of the wedding.  Bill and Aiden, their four-year-old son, spent the morning together getting ready for the ceremony later that afternoon.  A photographer was going to follow the boys around and capture the moments.  The photographer, Dave, told Aiden to not say cheese when he took his picture.  Aiden replied, “Can I say provolone?” Dave loved it!

The private ceremony was held at Mallory Square with a few friends and family. Afterwards, we proceeded to the ice cream parlor because ice cream was promised to Aiden. Later, Aiden and Rocket, the newest addition to the family, were escorted home with the babysitter.  The wedding party then had a wonderful dinner at Bagatelle.  I ate swordfish for the first time.  It was delicious.

It's not official until you change your relationship status on Facebook! :-)
After dinner, we made our way down Duval Street, where we were stopped for a photo from a tourist. Not just the bride and groom, but the whole wedding party.  I'm sure this man later wondered why he had a picture of these people.  He didn't appear to be drunk though.

Bill's friend was playing at the Lazy Gecko.  When we walked in, the whole place applauded the bride and groom.  It was a great night.

Bill is a wonderful man, and the perfect man for my daughter. Every parent wants their child to find that perfect mate. Amy and Bill found each other, and I am so happy for them. The love they have for each other is so obvious. 

Below are some pictures of my week in Key West.

This is Bill's mother and her husband in the background.

Aiden, Bill and Rocket

Aiden is quite a character.  If you ask him his name, he will tell you Peter Parker.  He loves the Spiderman movie, and pretends to be both Spiderman AND Peter Parker.
Guess who he is now!
Notice the date painted on the hood.  Bill will have no excuse if he forgets their anniversary!

So pretty.
The morning after.  He liked his suit so much, he wore it for 2 more days.  He dressed himself this morning.  He looks like he just drug in from an all-nighter.
 His name is Liam, but is called Rocket.  You guessed it, big brother named him before he was born... Baby Rocket.  After he was born, the "Baby" was dropped and is now just Rocket. A few refuse to call him Rocket, instead, they call him Liam.  How boring!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

iDuck is Home

Today was the day that I brought iDuck to Waterford to use as my dinghy. One of her duties will be to provide a platform for me to stand while I repair the hull of The Flatulence. But today, she was a fun sail in the marina. It’s been a year and a half since this little duck got to swim, and she is so happy now.

Sailing in this Waterford Harbor is not easy. There are two-story homes and condos on all sides of the marina. The wind, although it was blowing good today, was blocked by the buildings.  It was fun anyway. I sailed all the way to pier 1 and then back to my pier. iDuck always gets looks and a thumbs-up. There were several that stopped to watch me sail, and I’m sure I will hear comments later.

iDuck has a bright yellow balanced lug sail.  If any of you see me on the water, give me a holler and a wave.  I might not be able to wave back, because she requires both hands, one for the tiller and one for the sheet.  I’m sure she will be out and about on Clear Lake a lot.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


This afternoon, I took a walk down the dock,  I went all the way to the end, where I had not been before.  I turned the corner, and what did I see?  The WANDERER,  a sailboat used in the "CAPTAIN RON" movie.  It was berthed in the Kemah Boardwalk Marina, a couple slips down from a friend's boat.  It changed hands once again, and is currently being renovated in my marina.

WANDERER is a 1978 Formosa 51 Cutter Rigged Ketch.  She needs a lot of work, and it is expected to be a 4 year project.  When she is finished, she will be chartered through Windsong Charters.  s/v Windsong is also a Formosa 51.

A little history.  She was built by the Formosa Boat Building Company in Taiwan, and was renamed by the movie production company.  As I understand, there were three boats used in the movie, and the cabin scenes were filmed in the studio.  I don't know anything about the other two boats.

The movie, "Captain Ron" is one of those movies I could see a hundred times... and maybe did.   If you haven't seen it, I recommend you do.  There are funny lines in it that many captains use today.

WANDERER has a cult following, and a lot of misinformation about her.  This is the 10th owner, and I hope the refit is completed and I get to see her under sail in the Galveston Bay.

Friday, November 16, 2012


Anyone that knows me very well, knows that I rarely cook.  The galley on THE FLATULENCE is not very big and doesn't have the conveniences that larger boats have.  But I have learned how to cook a meal with fewer appliances.  One skillet meals are the way to go, and my "one skillet" of choice is my small rice cooker.

I can heat water for hot chocolate, cook eggs, make cream sauces, fry spam and…. make rice.  The clean-up is fast and easy, which is important.

Before I moved onto the boat, I went through my kitchen and tried to figure out what I would be able to use in my galley.  The microwave didn’t make the cut, but I had a Black & Decker toaster oven that I thought maybe I could use.  On the boat, it had only been used to make toast and melt cheese.  The other day, I was hungry for a pumpkin pie.  Could I possibly bake a pie in the toaster oven?  Why not? 

I bought a pie shell.  Not thinking, I bought a 9” because that’s what the recipe called for.  

Well, it was a little larger than the oven, so I just turned up two of the sides, and it fit.  Apparently, the oven is not exactly level, so I propped up the left side so I could get a little more filling in there without it running over the top.

It was a success!  Tasted yummy!  

Now I am looking through my recipes.  I'll let you know about my next adventure in cooking.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


I’m sitting here eating some of the best leftovers I’ve ever had, and I just had to  share this with everyone.

At least once a week, my friend Bobby cooks dinner for me, and I get to bring home leftovers!  Cool, huh?  Bobby loves to fish, knows the best spots to catch redfish (my favorite) and usually comes home with a couple.  Last night, he fixed fish tacos, complete with a wonderful cream sauce, guacamole and a side of refried beans.  He fixes everything from scratch, and it is always tasty.

Lunch today was a nice break from working on TARDIS.  I have installed the lead pig ballast and today I am screwing down the storage fronts, inspection ports, hinges on the sole and latches.   I hope to get the windows in next weekend.  The end is in sight and exciting.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


There has been much talk about changing the name of THE FLATULENCE.  It seems that most people don't like it, and think she should have a more respectful name.

As I walk through the marina, I see some common, and not so common names painted on these boats.

Few are respectful...

some are funny...

some are clever...

 and some even bawdy.

When I named TARDIS, I gave her the name because she is a small boat, but has great capabilities of traveling to far places.  I am toying with the idea of keeping the same theme going when I rename THE FLATULENCE.  I've been advised to take into consideration how her name will sound on the radio.  Good point.

Several years ago, a turtle was brought home and placed in our backyard.  This turtle needed a name.  I couldn't come up with a good one, so I put the word out... I wanted suggestions for the naming of the turtle.  My brother had the best name: Speedbump.  So, from then on, she was known as Speedbump.

A few suggestions have already been given as to what THE FLATULENCE should be re-christened.  Here is my thought... my readers should write in with their thoughts on names.  If you think you have the perfect name for a 1972 Grampian 26, either leave it in a comment at the bottom of this page, or send it to me directly at  I will gather them and this will help me come up with a good name for her.

Get your thinking caps on and let me hear from you.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Inside The Flatulence

There was a little cabinet in the galley that I really liked.  It needed a face lift, so I sanded it and put a couple coats of varnish on it and it looks great.

Next, I took the book holder and moved it to another wall, so I can us it.  I also pulled the paper towel holder and added varnish.  It is drying at this time, so it didn't make it into this picture.

There is a curtain that separates the salon from the forward berth.  I pulled it back the other day and discovered this little hook.  Not sure where I will put it, but it must be moved so it can be used.

The Grampian boats have a very well arranged cabin.  Very comfortable and very roomy for a 26 foot boat.  I have plans for building drawers for clothes storage and small cabinets with sliding doors on either side of the cabin.  I have many plans, it will take time to get them all done, but slow and steady wins the race.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

BELIZE 2012 - PART 2


On the "chicken bus"... but we didn't see any chickens.  However,
we did see a homemade backpack made out of a dog food bag.

If you are just tuning in, my brother, Kelly and I took a vacation to Belize.  We spent the first few days at Parrot Nest near San Ignacio.  Our next destination was to be Caye Caulker.  Since we took a taxi from Belize City to San Ignacio, I thought Kelly needed the “chicken bus” experience.  So, that’s what we did.  We caught a bus back to Belize City for a tenth of the taxi expense. 

The water taxi ride from Belize City to Caye Caulker lasted 45 minutes.  We stayed in the upper cabana at De Real Macaw.  It came complete with hammock on porch and a napping cat to greet us.

Our view of the courtyard and beyond.

After scouting out the sites, we booked a five-hour snorkeling trip for the next day with Tsunami Tours.  

The tour took us to four different sites along the Belize Barrier Reef, lunch, pineapple snack and then rum punch for our ride back to the island.  The coral, the fish, turtle, eel, stingray… it was so much fun.  Kelly had a great time. I enjoyed watching him have fun!  And this might be just a stepping-stone to scuba diving for him.

Our last day there was spent eating, drinking and lounging.  We had a drink at the famous Lazy Lizard at the “split”.   The split is where the island was divided in two by a hurricane many years ago.  A few braved the swift current and swam across the split, while others just sunned on the bulkhead, or played in the shallow water.  It is a great place to spend hours with an adult beverage.

The Lazy Lizard as we are cutting through the split.

This trip was our first brother/sister trip, but hopefully, not our last.  It was a great experience for us both, and we have memories that will last us forever.