Tuesday, November 22, 2016


In a post yesterday, I had a photo of the shrimp boat Relentless that is rusting away, and mentioned that it was the subject of a photo-art piece I had done.  Joan pulled this from our art catalog...

It wasn't pretty back then, but it seemed to fit the name.  The art effects that were done to that image changed some of the colors, creating the effect I was after.  This was back before Photoshop was a "one-click" way to make an effect.

It also marks a different time for shrimp boat moorage: when this was taken, rows of shrimp boats lined the north side of the ICW on both sides of our swingbridge.  There were scores more further back in the shrimp basin.  Almost all of those are gone; moved to other docks or scrapped.  There are a handful of shrimp boats off the main channel; many more in the Port of Brownsville... but, the fleet is less than 1/3 of what it used to be.  Tough way to make a living; we used to see shrimpers a mile or so off-shore of the island...now, with dwindling take, they have to go further and stay out longer for less catch.  Imported shrimp (farmed) has depressed the prices.


Another thing that seems relentless: the wind.  We have had some great boating days this past week, staying in during that norther that brought wind and rain.  The wind was building when we came in yesterday, and continued to increase.  Today: winds gusting to 30+ mph, Small Craft Advisories, waves 7+ feet in the Gulf, rough chop in the bay.

I put the cover on the boat yesterday afternoon, based on the weather forecast.  Joan offered to give me a hand, but I wanted to try it solo.  I have it down to about 20 to 25 minutes, with some crawling on my hands and knees (under the cover to adjust the 4 support posts), grunting, and a fair portion of swearing.  I think it is designed to be put in place while on the trailer, with use while at the dock being a "Hey, that will work, too - let's advertise it that way!"  ;-)

It definitely keeps grub off the boat when the wind is blowing, but each time I have put it on, I haven't been able to come up with a way to not "paint yourself into a corner."  Straps that clip under the front of the boat, with the cover over that (thus, the hands and knees thing), then very nicely designed connections that go in place with both entry gates closed.  Oh, and adjusting those support poles.  It's a process; I am getting quicker with it, based on the 2 hours and 47 minutes it took me the first time... most of that trying to figure out which part of the cover was the front.

On the bright side, I can take the cover off it about 5 minutes... with another 5 minutes wrestling to get it folded nice and neat.  Apparently, wadding it into a giant ball is not proper storage.  ;-)

I was up early this morning.  Early, as in: over an hour before sunrise.  I went out on the deck to look in on the boat... very light wind, 74º, and humid.  I knew the wind was going to come up by 9:30 or so (according to the hourly forecasts).  I considered taking the boat out for a short sunrise cruise... then looked at that cover on it and said, "Nahhhhh."

It's late November in the Tropical Tip; it will get to around 80º today (thanks to that southeast wind).  Winter here is generally decent, with the occasional front that blows in.  I'll get plenty of boat time between those fronts.  I can be relentless that way.


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