Monday, November 21, 2016

We have slipped the surly bonds of earth...


As some of you know, the Captain has been a pilot for many years. Starting in the 70s flying club planes, then later our own Mooneys, we spent many happy hours boring holes (sometimes literally) in the clouds. We made numerous trips to Mexico and around the western states and I'm sure flying contributed to our sense of wanderlust.
The joy flying brings to an old pilot never diminishes; the thrill and desire is always there; causing one to look up whenever an airplane flies over, making ones heart beat faster when a round engine roars by, calling out "Robinson" before the helicopter is even in view.


Since we've been here in St. Augustine we've observed a Waco biplane going over the marina on a regular basis and decided the time was right for a flying fix, so at 3:30 yesterday we hopped into this Waco and slipped the surly bonds of earth.
And it was wonderful!

We flew low enough to see Great Blue Herons in the marshes. We strafed the beaches and waggled our wings at the Fort. We circled the marina twice and flew by the lighthouse. During the tight turns I kept hoping we'd just continue right on over and do a roll, but that's not part of the deal, darn it.

We had a great time and I would highly recommend St. Augustine Biplane Rides.
http://staugustinebiplanerides.com/tours.html


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Refinishing the Living Room Floor

Let's face it: people who live on boats don't do things the same way as folks who live in houses, and sometimes we probably seem just plain weird.

For example, if a house dweller wanted to refinish their living room floor they would move the furniture out, get a sander in there, sand and refinish it, wait a few days for it to harden up, then move back in.

However, we take the floor pieces out and live like this (walking around on the "joists") for a week or so while we refinish our floor. Then we varnish the floor pieces in our kitchen, and lay them on our bed to dry. Weird, just weird.

Other than the obvious difficulty of not missing a beam and falling into the bilge, all kinds of stuff falls into the bilge! So far we've had to retrieve glasses, tools, and napkins, and while I was cleaning I even found some Wasabi Peas! 

We applied the final coat of varnish yesterday, and decided to clean this section of the bilge before we put the floors back down. First I vacuumed and brushed all the dust and hair out of the nooks and crannies. Then I brought the hose down below and washed the lowest, dirtiest sections.
Finally we lifted the table up, slid the floors under, bolted it all down, and called it done.
Next we will tackle the galley area. I can only imagine what strange things will fall into that bilge while we have the floors up.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Castillo de San Marcos

We had a nice day out yesterday at Castillo de San Marcos, Spain's earliest foothold in the Americas. Under orders from King Philip II, an expedition arrived here in 1565 and quickly annihilated the French at Fort Caroline, just a few miles north.

Then after several years of increasing English control in the American Colonies, the Spanish wisely replaced the wooden fortifications with this impressive fort. Completed in 1695 and the site of British sieges in 1702 and1740, this fort was never breached. Only through treaties has the flag (and name) ever changed at Castillo de San Marcos. 

 While we were there, volunteers dressed in period clothing did a reinactment ceremony and even shot the cannon and it was the highlight of our visit!

From this aerial photo of the town and inlet, you can see how well Don Pedro Menéndez de Avilés sited the fort. With Florida's flat topography, the lookouts could easily see any ship coming towards the town.

As an added plus to our day out, the Captain qualified for a Senior Pass for the National Parks. With this, he can visit any National Park for free and bring me too for free! What a great deal.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Kilwins

We enjoyed visiting Kilwins while we were in Stuart and we found one in St. Augustine today. Life is good.