Thursday, June 25, 2009

Drill, Baby, Drill!

That’s a phrase from the oil country in Alaska. It also applies here in the Gulf. At the port in Brownsville, they build and refurbish oil platforms. And to get them out in the Gulf, they tow them... down the ship channel, past our island, and out into the Gulf. It’s an interesting “dance” between the platform and the tug boats moving it.

This morning, just as the sun was coming up, I got to watch that dance out in the Gulf. It was one of those rare days with very little wave action... just a smooth undulating swell; I had the windows open in the boat and didn’t get a drop of splash in them. Beautiful!

I stayed out there for a while, mesmerized by the warm sunrise and the huge platform. To give you some perspective, those “little” boats in the photo above are about 80 - 90 foot ocean tugs.
As the sky turned from warm to pick, I headed back in... with the autopilot on, standing at the center window, enjoying the breeze that the forward motion of the boat was creating... a really great way to start the day.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Well, This Should Be Easy Enough...

Wednesday, June 24th. Job for today: get concrete anchors installed in the driveway to hold down the trailer. I rented a hammer drill to make the two large holes for the tie down anchors. It would have been perfect, if it had worked properly. It pounded but didn’t rotate. After a couple inches into the concrete, the bit stuck. And by stuck, I mean: that son-of-a-b!tch wasn’t coming out for nuthin’. I had to go get another hammer drill to drill out the first! Fortunately, that one worked. Oh, and I was being charged by the hour. Oh, and it was hot with 3,000 % humidity! I easily turned a one hour job into a 3 hour ordeal. In the heat. And the humidity. But, it is done! And with some concrete patch material on there, you can hardly tell that some dumbass drilled way more than necessary.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Another Glimpse of Early Morning on the Water

Passing the Summer Solstice... this is as early as we'll see sunrise for another year. Here's a few more looks at sunrise on the water here in the Tropical Tip...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Fathers Day

I have a few titles: Master of Photography, commercial pilot, Master Captain's license... the title I'm most proud of is: "Dad." Even though my little girl is 1348 miles away. The phone call from her this morning made my day. You do the best you know how raising them and turn them loose to live their life... our daughter has made us very proud. We'll get to see her soon, and I can't wait.

We've been enjoying the warm summer here. Boating is best at my favorite time of day, around sunrise...

Izzy the travel cat has been getting some boat time in. Yesterday we spent time at anchor and let her roam the boat. She did fine. When it's time to head out, she'll be ready.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Back On The Boat

We've had a lot to get done since getting back home, but now we're starting to get more time to be on the water. We re-introduced Izzy to being onboard...

Joan stepped to the back of the boat, and Izzy settled in on the co-pilot's seat...

Wild Blue back where she belongs...

Today (06/13/09) was a great day on the water. We had lunch onboard and were treated to a great dolphin show...

We had the dolphins to ourselves for a while, then were joined by two dolphin watch boats. Hearing the squeals of delight from kids on the excursion boats when they see these critters is a real treat!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Changing Gears

We are back home. Today, we put the 5th wheel in storage and got the boat out. I'd love to say that the water was great and we had dolphins dancing all around the boat... but, I took it from storage to Cougar Marine for service. Nothing broke, the boat was due for service before we left, and they couldn't get us in. Mike, the mechanic, is a good guy and allows me to help. We didn't get everything done today, so I'll be making the 40 mile drive back there tomorrow... hopefully the work can be completed and I can bring the boat back and get her launched. The weather has been warm, and I am anxious to get some time on the water.

It was bittersweet putting the HitchHiker away this morning. We don't have room at our house for it, so it needed to go into storage so we can get the boat out... but, we have really enjoyed traveling around with the HitchHiker. Very home-like, very comfortable.

It was interesting making the switch this morning. When we first got Wild Blue, it seemed huge behind the truck. The HitchHiker is longer, taller, and weighs more... noticeably more. With the 5th wheel pin right over the rear axle of the truck, it tows great. The boat also seemed to have shrunk when I went inside... no big slide-outs!

Different conveyances for different ways to travel... and I'm really looking forward to getting back out there again.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Almost home...

After about 450 miles, we stopped for the evening just outside of Corpus Christi... 3 1/2 hours to home. Not long after getting set up, Mother Nature put on quite a display: thunderstorms all around us; plenty of wind and rain.

The Texas roads are great after the bone-jarring stuff that passes for pavement in Oklahoma. Izzy the travel cat continues to amaze: she rides like a real champ. A fly buzzing around the truck kept her entertained for a while, and she kept us entertained.

The traffic was thick through Dallas and Austin, but we stayed on the Interstates. Today, we were just making miles.

Monday, June 1, 2009

South Bound

After a few days in Sioux City (family), it was on southward. A night in Chanute, KS, and now in the Dallas area (more family). Then, the last leg for home. It seems that when you get your head into going home, you just want to get there. It'll be a few days, but I have the images of the warm water, the beach, and the boat playing in my head. ;-)

An inland sunset photo (from Kansas) to hold me, 'till we can have a sunset on the bay...