Friday, 30 August 2013

Busy couple of months

Still in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, yes we know we are in the hurricane belt but we were tucked up inland on the canal, exactly 1.2 miles from the sea. We have spoken to so many people now about the chance of us being "hit" and what do do incase something does come our way, someone said a bad plan is better than none.

In June we travelled to the UK to see family and friends in Glasgow Scotland, The Midlands, Stoke on Trent, Lichfield, Plymouth Devon, Chichester and Farnham so we certainly clocked up the miles.

Unfortunately the trip was spoiled somewhat by me when we arrived in Plymouth, I managed to twist my foot badly into a hole at the side of a speed ramp. The car park is unlit and the footpath has broken paving slabs everywhere. So Don called an ambulance and the paramedics did a great job with an inflatable splint and lots of entonox gas and air a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen, commonly known as laughing gas, I must add I was not laughing one bit. They took us to A&E  my foot was x-rayed and examined by a doctor who said nothing was broken but there was a lot of soft tissue damage. The bad news is it will take roughly 8 weeks to heal, so we left A&E at 03:45 in the morning, me armed with dyslexic crutches and boxes of strong painkillers.

I was confined to the hotel room for 4 days. So that put paid to spending much time with the Vivien, Andy and grandkids although we did go out a couple of times.

We did get to Chichester to see our friends Steve and Lizzie, it was Lizzies birthday so that was great she put on a marvellous "spread " some of you know Lizzie and know what I mean.

Steve Kathy and Lizzie

Steve Kathy and Don
 Afterwards we travelled to Farnham and stayed with John (our weatherman) and Anita in their fabulous home for 2 days they made us feel very comfortable.
The weather during trip to the UK was very kind to us and it was warm and not too wet for a change.

So here we are back in Fort Lauderdale, I can hear you all saying do you like it there? yes but we haven't seen too much yet, our time is being spent going from one place to another looking for "bits" which we have to have for the boat.

We are tied up to a dock and somedays we have a visit from a strange looking bird sometimes it looks normal but others it reminds us of that cartoon road runner. It sits on the barnacles and catches bugs then either eats them or drops them in the water so when the fish come to eat the bug he stretches out his neck then grabs a fish, incredibly fast cunning little fella. Its a young green heron, he has a yellow mask and when he struts about his neck is out and has a blue crest on his head.

The fridge wasn't keeping up with the ambient temperature so we decided to change ours for a more efficient model. Ok we found a nice big stainless steel one, great it was delivered to the boat and we removed the old one and stood it on the sofa next to the new one which was on test. The new one failed miserably after a whole week of trying lots of tests, so that one was sent back and we managed to find another, more or less the same size with a freezer at the side like the old one. 3 weeks later the new one is in thankfully and the big freezer is now up and running again.

The old fridge next to the new one, well the faulty one we sent back 
Don making a hole to help take away the heat, he must have been a mole in a former life, he is always in a hole somewhere
The list goes on, we had the rigging checked, thats fine.
The anchor is lifted by a windlass which decided it was going to not only leak but fail too. Don has now repaired that with new parts and its now almost ready to go back.

Old sail coming off
The new mainsail is on order, the headsail has been re stitched. Unfortunately the snuffer for the Parasailor is beyond repair so we have to order a new one. There is a dealer in St Petersburg so we may just go and buy one during a little break from the boat.

When we took off the mainsail and looked in the boom we found a dead stowaway, very stiff, it must have hit the mainsail and slid down into the boom so we suspect its been there since January.

This little fella hitched a ride
The new sail needs the boom height to be lifted so theres another project on the go.

We sold the dinghy and have to buy a more sturdy model but have to come up with plan B to raise and lower it and get an engine lift which should make life easier not to say safer than our past efforts.

Don fixed the foreword air con unit, Webasto in Spain wanted 450 euros to do it, Don did it for $20 including delivery and a spare bit.

The old butane gas finally ran out we can't buy them here so the new propane gas system and 2 propane bottles are installed,  we had to chase about trying to find gas bottles to fit in our locker and then replace fittings. At last it doesn't take 10 mins to boil a kettle!

I won't say more just now about the jobs but they are in hand,  its a good job we hired a car as Fort Lauderdale is such a big place, lots to see when we can find the time.
The weather is hot and sometimes very wet so the only place to stay cool and dry is either on the boat, in the car or in a shopping mall, thank goodness for air con.
This is one of the little fellas roaming around in the dock
Ok the list of jobs is getting shorter now so BFN

Agua Therapy
Don and Glenys Graham

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