Friday, October 31, 2014

Sunrise paddle...

It was 73º, still dark out when I got up this morning.  No breeze.  A good morning for a paddle.

I haven't had the paddleboard in the water since they started work on the dock.  Time to change that status.  I was anxious to see how the new "2 level" water access would work.

Joan was up, but I had no idea she was taking photos.  Time to get the paddleboard wet...

Heading down the canal...

You can see the first bit of pink light on the houses across the canal.  I wasn't planning on a "sunrise" paddle, but the view as I got down the canal made me wish I had brought a camera along.  No, I didn't.  The sun was just coming up on the southeast horizon; the water was perfectly flat.  Not like I'm a speed demon on the board, but I took my time before making the turn to the northeast.

A guy in a fishing boat was coming in - he slowed to where he was barely moving as we passed.  He said, "You doing OK?"

"Yep, thanks for slowing down.  Great morning, isn't it?"

"If you like fishing, the reds are really biting out in the jetties.  Can you fish from that thing?"

"Not me, but I've seen people put a cooler on one of these so they can sit on it and fish."

I paddled two canals over and into the "lake" area.  The sun was now above the horizon, but mostly behind the one small cloud - it made for some very pretty light.  Yeah, really wishing I had a camera with me.  I am not steady on the board, but the GoPro has a waterproof housing.  Maybe next time.

Coming back to the house, I could see Joan on the deck with the camera - proof that it happened...

"How was it?" Joan asked.

"Gorgeous!  Nice way to start the day."

I came back to the dock.  Yes, this is a bit different from what we had...

The tide was up, so I had to lean over to sit on the dock.  Joan took my paddle while I pulled the board up on the dock.  Yep, I am liking this dock arrangement.  We ran a hose down to the dock so I could rinse the salt water off my board and paddle.  When the builder gets the fish cleaning station done, the hose will have a place to live on the dock; convenient for rinsing.

When I came up to the dock, Joan had cut fruit ready on the patio table... this morning just keeps getting better.


On edit:


When we were ready to come in from our morning on the deck, there was a light sprinkle just starting.  A few minutes later, the rumble of thunder, and the downpour started as a front moved in from the north.  Not a winter norther, since it only dropped the temp a few degrees, but the rain came down in earnest... as in: between 2 and 3 inches of rain reported by the National Weather Service in about 45 minutes!

Some local flood warnings.  You just know there are going to be flooded streets out there.

The rain came mostly from the northeast - the direction our bedroom windows face.  Yes, the window area that had a leak.  I guess this will be the test to make sure our builder found and eliminated the way the water was leaked in.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Life's a beach...

We have "beach gear" in the truck, but today was a scooter day.

Another absolutely gorgeous day here in the Tropical Tip.  This may be the first day where I missed having a boat down here... the water was flat, blue-green, and inviting.  Since this is a weekday in late October, there was very little activity on the water.

We rode our scoots north on the island and pulled in at the Clayton's Beach Bar access.  Didn't need anything at the bar, but it was a great day for a beach walk...

When I mentioned "little activity on the water" above, it was more of the same on the beach...

And gentle waves lapping in from the Gulf...

It was warm on the beach; temps pushing into the mid-80s.  We would have gotten an earlier start on it, but we finished the last of the work on the house (for now): getting the blinds re-hung in the bedroom.

This almost feels like a vacation!  :-)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Hey Mr. Spaceman...

Tim, the local weather guy said we'd be able to see the International Space Station pass over between 7:23 and 7:29 this evening.  From the northwest to the southeast.

It was almost directly overhead, so you couldn't see it from our deck (covered)... but, the viewing was just fine from our new dock!  ;-)  Clear; still 81º.

It was bright and moving right along.  OK, it wasn't like watching fireworks, but... it was there.


On edit: a couple facts about the International Space Station:

Its orbit is 205 miles above the Earth.

The best viewing is when the ISS is lit by the sun, but it is dark where you are viewing.

Here is a link for best time to view:

A link to where the ISS is right now:

A link for how to spot the ISS:


Well, like the "Soooooo close" from yesterday.

The dock is done.  The leak repair on the windows is done.  All the messing with the hurricane shutters is done.  Today, they installed a new outside water faucet and put the last bit of trim on the dock.  There is still the fish cleaning station that needs to be added to the dock, but that is supposed to be any time.

Joan filled and textured yesterday, painted today.  Then, decided to add a bit more texture in one small area, so there will be one more painting day, tomorrow.

But, really, we are done enough that we started cleaning up all around the outside of the house.  Oh, the workers cleaned up after themselves, but neither of us were willing to walk barefoot around the outside of the house.  We know they were professional builders, 'cause they don't stop to pick up any nail or screw they drop... on the bright side, we have plenty of nails and screws to toss in our "Nails & Screws" holder.  ;-)  Plus, we swept up a pound or two of composite lumber sawdust.

It looks pretty darn good, now.

We celebrated with lunch out at Pier 19 on the island.  For clarity, we have our island (Long Island) and the island (South Padre Island).  Lunch was good, the views were pleasant; the entire restaurant is long and narrow because it was built on what used to be a fishing pier.  There is a row of booths on one side, a row of tables on the other side - everybody gets a water view.  We watched one of the Pilot Boats head out to pick up their pilot from an ocean tug and tow, and the occasional dolphin.

Before heading back home, we drove by the beach.  It was a warm, still day today.  Humid.  The high was in the mid-80s.  The Gulf was as calm as I have ever seen it...

Not much of a crowd on the beach either; definitely in the "in-between season."  I like to think of it as the "we are done messin' with the house for now" season.  ;-)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Soooooooo close...

Caps on the uprights, a new composite step down to the seawall - the only thing left to do on the dock is a fish cleaning station...

You're thinking: "Why does a guy who doesn't fish need a fish cleaning station?"  Thanks for asking.  I think of it as more of a: work table kinda place to put stuff as we come and go from our underneath storage area.  Very handy - it gets plenty of use.  That will go on the end of the dock at the far left of the photo.

The steps to the front door are done.  There should be very little in the way of pounding, sawing, or other noise left.

Joan has really gone after the touch-up around the windows that needs to be done...

Sanding, tapering, filling, more sanding, and texturing - all done.  She'll let it dry overnight, then paint tomorrow.

We are looking forward to getting back into our routine of no schedule... we have had to be up and dressed early, in case the workers had any questions or needed access.


It must be an unwritten building code: never completely finish one job while another job waits.  ;-)

The dock is almost done...

The only thing left to do on it is put the railing caps on.  With that in mind the workers started taking apart the steps leading to our front door.  Yes, those steps are getting the same composite lumber update; the white railing is already there.  I am thinking (hoping) that won't take as long.

The hurricane shutter guy dropped off some parts yesterday, so this morning, I spruced up the shutters while Joan continued working on the interior around the windows...  Caulking, patching, sanding, and texturing...

Should be ready for the final texture and paint in a day or two.

Getting close.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Railings and dolphins...

The workers were back this morning, working on the railings and trim...

I am told there will be steps... "pretty soon."

I am liking the way it is looking.

Joan has started working on the interior around the bedroom windows... the leak didn't do much, but taking the windows out means we have to reseal around those windows and repaint the walls in that area.

So, after lunch, it was off to get the supplies to get after that job.

On the way across the swing bridge, we saw some dolphins playing in the water near the bridge.  No, we didn't get a photo - there was traffic behind us, so we couldn't stop.  On the way back in, the dolphins were still there; must be some good "fishing" by our bridge today...

Joan shot that with her phone.  Look close, there is a dot near the lower center... yeah, that is one of the dolphins.  Goodness, they look really small after spending the summer viewing Orcas.  ;-)