IMG_1413 (2)Yes, sailors obsess on the weather, always, whether they are on their boats or just thinking about their boats.  So, when we returned to only a humid 65 degree temperature, soggy with overcast skies and rain after only a brief afternoon of sun, I whined, forgetting all about that wicked nor’easter icy snot freezing winds that kept us stranded in DC for three days.  It’s a sailor’s nature to want sun and warm breezes.  Sweating is good.

IMG_1408However, given that we’ll eventually need winter togs, John did finally find a new coat to replace his raggedy ten-year-old Northface that even a homeless person wouldn’t wear.  It’s been a struggle to find the replacement of the beloved coat.  For the past year, nothing pleased him until he found one online at Land’s End over Christmas. What makes it so special?  Just like his old one, its zipper opens from the bottom as well as the top AND it has lots of zippy pockets.  He has a passion for pockets — pockets on the front, on the back and on the sides, hidden inside, or cleverly designed into the sleeves.

Why guys like small hidden caches for their stuff is beyond me.  No matter that I gave John a Tumi “man purse” for his birthday two years ago, he never did use it but a couple of times.  He just doesn’t understand that an over the shoulder solution is simpler and more becoming way to carry stuff no matter what your gender.  He’s carried water bottles, flash lights, rolled up papers, food and boat parts in pockets with no thought to their bulky appearance.  Quite literally he looks like a waddling duck. And, then there’s the predicted “I’ve lost my wallet” or “I can’t find my phone” or “Where are my keys?” laments.  He makes us late rummaging through his pockets only to find the wallet, phone or keys in places he didn’t remember putting them.

20180109_manatee2It’s our last week in Riviera Beach, but given the constantly threatening rain, we’re pretty much hunkered down after grocery shopping and laundry chores.  John’s been glued to his laptop at the chart table drumming up consulting gigs.  Cindy and I finished planning for heading south and creating a short “to do” list for Friday and Saturday before we leave. We were all itching for some exercise, so we dressed for the rain and walked nine blocks to a cafe for lunch and then onto the boat supply store to get a few last supplies (you can never have too much marine toilet paper or charts).

On our way out, as I walked up the dock with my umbrella open, I was stopped dead in my tracks.  Cindy was rapidly taking pictures of two manatees, nuzzling each other, grazing on seaweed up against the dock — a rare exciting siting and treasure to behold. As I’ve reported before, these sea cows, as they are nicknamed, are gentle, lumbering, and shy endangered species mammals, often seen only by their snouts peeking out of the water every few minutes.

IMG_1409In other news, John is now our official boat chef.  This week he’s prepared his Moroccan meatloaf and a new fish dish and will make roasted cauliflower tonight.  I am the official interior decorator, so I busied myself with new magnet photos, a gift from my friend, Ginny.  Since I don’t have a normal fridge door, can’t put them near the compass and it’s associated electronics, nor attach them to our interior walls as they are teak wood and fiber glass.  However, with trial and error, I found a niche for them on the handle of a clip-on light repurposed from our last apartment.

IMG_1411 (2)After the sun sets, we’ve been settling-in, turning on the Roku, clicking into HBO NOW, and binging on Harry Potter movies.  Neither John nor I have read J.K. Rowling’s books, but Cindy has and she’s seen all the films as well (fantasy historical fiction is her “thing” so to speak).  This makes her our official movie guide, providing context and translation when needed (and I needed it, for sure).

I do not like sci-fi so I surprised myself, because the darker the plots become, the more I sink into the movie, luxuriating in fussy English decor, lavish costumes and good vs. evil characters both hidden and overt.  After more than four hours (each of the eight movies is over two hours), we are bug-eyed and exhausted from trying to follow all the twists and turns of the story.  Tonight, after dinner, we’ll watch the final in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2.

We leave Sunday morning, January 14, heading for Ft. Lauderdale; then it’s down the Keys after a stay in Biscayne Bay, south of Miami.  We’ll be anchoring each night for six or seven days all the way to Marathon Key, the mid way point, for a week at a marina.  The water is very shallow and services sparse on most of the keys.  We hope to enjoy a few dinghy explorations along the way.