March depature……please


We holidayed one summer for two weeks in a boatyard in Jersey. Super sexy ‘eh. Well that pales into insignificance now as we scurry into the start of month three here. It’s a microcosm of life. Workers come and go during the day…the team of Mexican painters, Wilson and his wife, the fibreglassing specialists from Brazil, the North Carolina Boatyard Boys who haul boats, work the engineering shop and provide an array of other boaty services. Smiling as they go.

We are now wearing shorts. How long the warmth will last we don’t know but to think a month ago we were watching tennis court size pieces of ice swirling down the river.

I hope this blast of early season warmth doesn’t awaken the range of unpleasant critters that live in the woods here. Fire ants, copperhead snakes, mosquitos and black widow spiders are just a few I have read about. Don’t much fancy a rendezvous with any these creatures. Keep sleeping till we’re gone please.

Other ‘unpleasant critters’ that I’d definitely like to see less of are single use cups from coffee shops and detritus from takeaway joints. I’m not an ardent flag waving Swampy environmentalist. I am clear however that I like to live in a clean place and take a care of what we have. The world produces waste but let’s bloody well reduce it where we can.

I read about Starbucks in the UK levying a 5p charge for disposable cups. Double it, triple it. The world needs less single use cups. If you go to the same coffee shop every day, surely you can take your own cup along. You know you’re going. Its the coffee you want to buy not the cup. Try washing up. It works surprising well.

So endeth my small rant.

Off on a road trip to Cincinnati this weekend.  It’ll be 10 or 11 hours to get there. Gotta do a road trip when you’re in the States.


Bean Economics with random ski photos

Missing some powder Dave telemarkingYou have money for 5 beans. You eat 6 beans. You have to sell your soul or wash up to pay for the extra bean. Grace is eating beans rather too hungrily. She’s one demanding vessel who obviously hasn’t listened to the ‘Austerity Measures’ mantra.

What does this highly complex explanation of bean economics mean? Well it’s coloured and influenced our plans for what’s next. And also the fact we’re careering into mid Feb still on the hard in North Carolina when we’d hoped to be down towards Panama.

Panama is still most definitely on the agenda. New Zealand is still the goal. But we’re now a year behind. Or maybe more accurately, another year behind. We’re operating on Grace time, we go with the flow.

So what does this mean? We still plan to head to the Bahamas for some R&R (rest and recuperation…don’t laugh). Then as hurricane season ramps up again, we’ll head north to Canada. Definitely Nova Scotia, maybe Newfoundland. I plan to come back to the UK for a couple of brief blasts of work to replenish the Grace coffers, once in mid May for just over three weeks then once again in late September for two weeks. Currently the thinking is Dave will stay here and keep moving the boat. If anyone fancies helping him during that time, do give us a shout as he’d love to have some company.

Think that’s about it for now.

PS. If anyone needs a bean economist, count me in.

Gold Coins

There are demands from our readership. Well to be strictly accurate a grand total of one person has commented on the lack of blog activity. They are of course absolutely correct. You know who you are….Julian 🙂 Did I write that? I planned to only think it! So this one is for you. Think of it like a Simon Bates love song, but with John Peel overtones. We are after all in the United States of Amnesia.

So here we go, catch up time.

We met someone who appeared to have no connection at all to any banks and dealt only in krugerrand gold coins, selling them occasionally to a dealer to realise cash to buy food for himself and his cat. I was disappointed he didn’t look like Johnnie Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean. I’ve never come across anyone like this before. In practical terms I guess this means no electronic trail is left behind unlike when the vast majority of us get cash out of a cashpoint or use a credit or debit card to buy stuff.

Made me think about why you’d choose to live like that. Could be a variety of reasons; you don’t trust the banking system, (fair enough), you don’t like big brother watching, (I found myself being filmed in Walmart buying shower gel this week so I took offence and my trade somewhere else), you want to live under the radar, (that has to be very possible in North Carolina), your default setting is suspicion or maybe you followed a treasure map and dug up a box of coins, negating the need for a bank. Who knows.

My default setting is not suspicious. I like to trust and believe in others, looking for the good that’s out there. Perhaps there’s a naivety to this approach and I will get burned big time one day. I’m also hopefully not that stupid to fail to notice the pure fruit loops, whackos and the odd ‘nutter on the bus’.

Does mean though you’ve got to remember where you hid your secret stash. That may be tricky…for Dave who occasionally seems to dedicate his life to forgetting where things are. Cruel wife. We have not got a stash of Krugerrands.

And brief flurry of boat news. Still here. Still working on jobs. The mast compression post is now back in situ. Peripheral work still needs to happen to finish it off both inside the cabin and on deck. Dave is installing a wash down pump on the foredeck. Be a boon to be able wash down the muddy anchor chain as it comes up or fish detritus when dinner arrives. My job has been the hull. The small holes have been sanded and epoxied and sanded and cleaned, all in preparation for copper coat wash down.