Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Heading West

As to be expected, our plans have changed. We last left you with the plan that we would get a mooring ball in Fort Myers for a month when I returned from Texas, well that's changed.

 Just before leaving on the 11th, we began throwing around ideas to escape the heat for the summer; last year we went north on the rediscover America road trip. With record heat predicted this summer and my being stuck to the interior of Sanibel five days a week, we decided to put Sanibel on dry dock and head for Nebraska. We’ll stay with my parents for the summer. It will still be hot, but we’ll have climate control indoors to escape the heat.

Our favorite little frozen yogurt shop.

Build your own with eight flavors and over 40 toppings to choose from.

When finished, set you cup on the scale to get weighed...pay and then eat away.

Jimi kept busy while I was in Texas: He found several busted bolts in the aft bulkhead and replaced them all with larger bolts; there were about eight in total. He scrubbed and shined the stainless on the bow and all around the windlass, he repaired the grill after the mount broke and it fell over and he rebuilt our speer guns and mounted them on the wall in a safe place. With added solar panels, we haven’t used the wind generator in a while, so he removed it and its mounting from the mizzen mast. He’s hoping the fifty pounds removed will reduce weather helm and heeling. He also managed a little interior decorating when he mounted his collection of license plates to one of the Head doors. The work and room for improvement on a sailboat never ends.
A small piece of our travels.

The speer guns are now mounted in a holder for safe storage out of the way. 

Despite my many attempts to avoid it, I celebrated another birthday.  Jimi gave me a Widow’s Mite coin embedded in a sterling silver casing on a chain. This coin is over 2,000 years old originally called a Mite and now known as the Widow’s Mite from the story in the bible mentioned in both Mark 12: 41-44 and Luke 21: 1-4. It’s a spectacular gift.
The front of the coin is a star (I previously called it a sun ray). It's off center; as you might imagine, they were made by hand, probably by slaves. Not much in the way of perfection was put in to them, making each one unique. Later they were discarded and used as weights in the keel of a boat. 

The back side is a picture of an anchor, as the community survived off the fishing industry.

We've had a lot of dolphin activity lately, but this morning we were totally surrounded.

We enjoy watching the dolphins, but they are difficult to capture in a snapshot.

It was a nasty job, but don't fear, Jimi took care of it. This is actually our anchor chain with about two inches of fur grown in. This has only been three weeks worth.

We’re now preparing Sanibel for storage and getting ourselves ready for our journey to the mid-west. 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

We rarely 'stay put'

Planes flying over the anchorage practicing for the big show.

Well I must start off by saying there are pros and cons to working full time again…first I do love my job. Sure, I get frustrated sometimes, as with anything. But for the most part it feels good; I even enjoy my short trips to McAllen. However, finding time to do everything I want to do is quite difficult and this includes writing the blog.

After spending three weeks in McAllen, Texas, I flew to Fort Myers, where Jimi picked me up. We stayed a few days anchored in the harbor and then moved Sanibel into a slip at Fisherman’s Village.  We had not yet been able to enjoy the luxuries of being on a dock, as we left the following day. With Sanibel safely tied to the pylons, we flew to Colorado. Jimi had some frequent flyer miles that were about to expire and we decided to make use of them.

We stayed at friend Juraj’s house for the first three nights. Friday evening we were able to meet up with a longtime girlfriend, Vicki and her daughter Jayden. Vicki recently lost her sixteen year old son in a car accident. We grilled steaks for supper, laughed, cried and paid our respects. We’ll continue to hold her in our thoughts and prayers.
Lorie and Vicki

Juraj made us a fantastic Spanish dish for lunch called Paella. Ingredients include rice, sausage, shrimp, muscles and various spices. It was delish! 
Paella in the making.

In addition, my mother decided she would buy Juraj’s couch and we would deliver it to her. The guys measured and decided it would easily fit in the rented mini-van we were driving. And so we proudly became a temporary furniture delivery service.

The following day we drove through a spring snowstorm to get home to Nebraska. 
 In Eastern Colorado nearing Nebraska

It’s wasn’t too bad though, eventually we drove out of the falling snow and into falling rain. While we were a little concerned about the weather, the highlight of the trip turned out to be when just as we arrived in front of my parent’s house Jimi was pulled over by a State Trooper. The reason? for not using his turn signal. I suppose it was important enough to the Trooper to stand in the rain while giving Jimi a warning.

While in Nebraska, we delivered the couch to my mother, helped my sister finalize her move to a new apartment, dog sat for Jennifer and Gavlin and helped dad with various projects. We got to meet the newest member of the family, my great great nephew Tripp and give big hugs to other family members my nieces Jacque Sue and Bonnie, great nieces Kristina and Brittany. Jennifer and Gavlin cooked us a delightful steak dinner and we played with grandpuppies Diesel and Remi.
Jenn, Remi and Lorie


Dad and Mom with their great great grandson, Tripp.

Upon our return to Denver the night before our flight, we stayed with friends, Brad and Ellen. They ordered in a plethora of scrumptious sushi dishes. We ate and laughed and enjoyed a full evening of fun.

The flight back to Florida went without a hitch. We are still in Fisherman’s Village enjoying ‘dock life’. It’s different than being at anchor: easier to get off Sanibel, we have showers, a pool, a day room, and a nice coffee shop with internet. On the flip side – we also have very close neighbors and must be clothed at all times.
The catch from a charter fishing operation at Fisherman's Village.

Tradition when a large fish is caught; this is a Tuna. Drink pouring a beverage through the gills of the fish. This guy nearly hurled when he was finished.

We began going for walks twice a day: once in the morning, with coffees in hand, before I begin work and once just after supper. During our evening walk I usually get ice from the property’s ice machine. Since I’m working full time again, Jimi is doing the majority of the cooking. Even though I’m not particularly excited about cooking, it’s hard for me to sit back and watch/let him do it; I’ve always done the cooking. However, it makes sense and I’m happy he’s pitching in. We’re taking advantage of the pool as well. We go everyday for a short time during the hot afternoon heat. It gives us a chance to cool off and get a little exercise.
Sanibel on the dock of Fisherman's Village Marina

 The bikes...and tail end of Jimi's.

 Entrance to the dock.

 The shops and time shares in Fisherman's Village.

Punta Gorda offers a lot of activities, while we’re not strangers to the area, we can always find things to do. The city offers free use of bicycles and there’s a station at Fishermans’ Village. We go in the office and ask for a bike anytime we want one. We’ve gone out a few times now. Over the weekend we rode to the Peace River Wildlife Center. They take in wounded wildlife with the intention to rehabilitate and release the animals. If, for some reason, an animal is unable to be released back in to the wild because they wouldn’t survive, they become a permanent resident. The organization is maintained by passionate volunteers. And after our tour, Jimi and I could see ourselves giving our time to care for the animals, if we were to remain in the area. Just in the couple of hours we were there numerous animals were brought in many of which were turtles who’d been hit by cars.

This is the Pelican area for those permanent residents. Many of them only have one wing. Outside pelicans, known as freeloaders fly in to socialize and get free snacks. Clearly resembles a Pelican daycare. Other larger birds are also kept in this pen.

This is Luna, the Leucistic Owl. 

Two American Bald Eagles: one missing a wing and the other
born with deformities rendering it unable to fly. 

We have about a week left on the dock. I’ll fly to Texas on the 11th for two weeks. Jimi will leave the marina on the 12th and wait for a weather window to sail to Fort Myers Beach. We plan to pick up a mooring ball for a month. And that’s all for now folks!