I wanted to shake up my life and go sailing (or learn on the job, so-to-speak) so headed to Florida to crew on a catamaran. This is about how it went or, rather, didn't - and my life since. Hopefully it will lead to a catamaran on the clear aqua blue waters of the Caribbean Sea, watching the sunset, a coconut rum and coke in hand. You must START AT THE BEGINNING of the blog, April 2009, to get the whole story...

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Saturday dawns and I hurry through a shower and breakfast as David wants to get going earlier than he said he did last night. We have to go and look at the trailer today. I have no hair products as I didn't have room for them in my luggage and I haven't been able to go and get any yet. I don't even have a blow dryer so I go on a search through the upstairs of the house for one. There's a small one in the first bathroom I find. I think it has been about 35 years since I dried my hair without any product in it. Even though there's lots of it, my hair is very fine, and the result is crap. I do some back-combing and leave it at that. There isn't anything I can do about it.
We head out in the sunshine and stop for gas. All over the place there are these weird looking bugs flying about, they look like they have two sets of wings. I can't make them out because they fly by too fast but they are at least an inch long and quite thin. One flies into the cab of the truck and I grab a piece of paper from the seat to flip it outside. As I do I realize that it isn't one bug but two, a big one and a small one, joined at the tails. I comment on it to David when he gets in and he tells me that they are Love Bugs and it is mating season. The male is the smaller and as soon as it drops off it dies. The female dies as soon as she gives birth. What a pointless life. Apparently Florida imported them to take care of the mosquitoes. I guess they did a good job because I haven't seen one of those yet but these bugs are a blight. And as we drive down the freeway one splatters on the windshield ever 30 seconds or so. Before the day is done there will be about 400 splats.
David has a GPS in the truck and he calls her Betty. I don't think we would find our way anywhere without her. She talks us through several turns and freeway on and off ramps, and after about an hour we arrive at the ranch where the trailer is. David had looked at a different one right before I arrived but the wheel wells were rusty. The guy has assured David that this one has no rust. I go and knock on the door while David heads over to have a look at it where it is resting in a field just over a fence. The guy comes out and after I introduce myself he walks over to David. I get back in the truck to get away from the dang bugs. It isn't long before David comes back and we start to pull away. He isn't happy. Apparently this trailer has more rust on it than the original one did so he calls the guy who owns the first one and we drive many more miles to his house.
David buys the trailer, the guy has since sanded the rust off and painted the wheel wells, and we head over to a Honda motorcycle dealership so that he can find out how to access the battery in his Goldwing. He ran it down playing with all of the bells and whistles. On the way we stop at a store that sells nothing but Christmas things and it is a HUGE place. I wander through while David talks to the owner about selling him some tree ornaments that his brother imports from Guatemala. When I get to the room where all of the Christmas trees are, I can't believe my eyes. It is literally a forest. One wall at the back is completely covered with different strings of lights, all lit. It reminds me of going to see Santa when I was a kid. As I continue to wander I remember that I had wanted to buy Shonah a rabbit for her annual tree ornament last Christmas but couldn't find one anywhere. If this place doesn't have one, it doesn't exist. I ask a clerk and she leads me to a cabinet of glass ornaments and there are two bunnies, one white and one brown. I buy the brown one. I had wanted to get her a rabbit because I try to tie the ornament into something that happened in the preceding year. Last August she bought a VW Rabbit. When I couldn't find a rabbit ornament I told her what I had wanted to do and she said I might find one one day. She was right but I am guessing she had no idea I would have to come to Florida to get it.
We carry on and arrive at the Honda dealer. I fall asleep while waiting for David to come back. He was gone a LONG time. We turn around and drive off and I tell David I need to stop at a drug store for some items. We do and I dash in to get those much needed hair products and some waterproof mascara. I also buy a can of tuna as I am craving a tuna sandwich. I am shocked at the prices. Either this store isn't the place to shop or prices in Florida are much higher than Washington State, even more than Canada. I spend $35 before I am done and I am none too happy about it.
When we get home I make us both a tuna sandwich and just as I am about to go out to the pool for a swim, the pool guy arrives to shock it. David gets him to hold off and we all three go out for a swim.
Over a dinner of vegetarian lasagna and salad, David asks me if I would be interested in putting together a brochure for his brothers Guatemalan jewelry business and one for his charter business. I am and he says they will pay me. Maybe this trip won't be such a total loss.
A few hours later I am at the computer creating a template for the brochure for David's charter business when he comes and tells me to follow him outside. He has something he wants to show me. I follow and as we step outside I gasp. It is dark out now and he has turned on all of the garden lighting and the effect is nothing short of spectacular. I wander through this wonderland that is lit like a movie set and try to commit to memory how gorgeous it all is. I decide I need to supplement said memory with photos so I go get my camera and then walk around and try to take some decent pictures. I am wishing Shonah was here with her talent and camera to do it right.
I head back inside and decide to take a look at Club Penguin's job postings to see if they have one that would suit me. They do and so I spend the next hour putting together a letter and my resume and send it off, hoping I won't need the job but hoping I get it if I do. What a mess my mind is in. As I head off to bed, there is still no word on if anyone can come along and salvage this trip up from Guatemala on the boat. I am really hoping and praying someone will.
I awake early; it's Mother's Day and I am far far away from my kids. What kind of mother am I anyway? I feel sad that I won't see them today.
I get dressed and make us scrambled eggs for breakfast. David tries my blackcurrant tea but destroys it with honey and cinnamon because they are purported to heal whatever ails you. Waste of a good teabag. He cleans up as I get started on his brochure. After three solid hours of working on it, I have it about 3/4 finished and he suggests that I need a break and that we go out for lunch to a Greek village nearby. It is the old village of Tarpon Springs and it is famous for the industry of sponge fishing. The river that runs along side the main road is filled with fishing boats tied to the dock. The stores are full of huge sponges and loofahs. They spill out of baskets lining the front of stores at the sidewalk. There are shelves with baskets of seashells, sand dollars, and sea stars. They have lots of the thin white sea stars that Ashleigh had for decorating the reception table at her wedding. Some of them are the size of my hand. I wonder how much she paid for hers. The small ones here are .90 a piece. For some reason I can't get the theme song for Sponge Bob Square Pants out of my head.
David leads me into one of the many Greek restaurants lining the road and it is packed. We find a small table for two in the corner and order souvlaki sandwiches with a side of Greek roasted potatoes. Washed down with two glasses of raspberry iced tea, it is delicious and I am stuffed to the rafters. We continue our stroll around the town. David is on a mission to find some 18" long plastic alligators. Apparently his brother takes them to Guatemala where the locals cover them with tiny seed beads and he sells them for $180 a piece. These cost $9 and it costs $50 for the bead work. Nice profit. I am on a mission to find Shonah a pendant to replace the one she bought on Tortola to remind her of her swim with the dolphins. It was two dolphins and she lost it in the tempestuous surf of Devil's Bay on Virgin Gorda. I am not successful. Part way through our post lunch stroll I am attacked with violent intestinal cramping and need to find a restroom fast. I do and again, I am trapped there for too long. I emerge feeling much better and David`s concern for me is sweet. He really is a nice guy.
We head back home to have a swim in the pool. It is 90 degrees today and I need it. When we left, some relatives of the owners of the house we are staying in arrived to use the pool. David is sure they will be gone by the time we get back. They aren't. There are even more of them now than there were when we left so I go inside and continue to work on the brochure. Thank goodness the house is air conditioned. I am done in two hours and by then they are gone so I head out for a swim but the sun is gone and the water is too cool. I get in the hot tub instead. David joins me and he talks about how his brother-in-law is fighting colon cancer and how they thought his case was much more serious than Linda's (David's wife) but then she died and he went into remission. Now the cancer is back and he wants David to come to Portland to go with him for some tests. Apparently when he had the tests a few years back after chemo and radiation, David went with him and he was declared free of cancer. He is superstitious and wants David there again so he can have the same result. David told him he will go. He tells me that he will probably ride his new motorcycle across the US to get there and then when he comes back, bring his 30' motorhome and pull the bike behind. So that means the trip to Guatemala to bring the boat to Florida is postponed until after hurricane season. Great. So here I am and I have no idea what I am supposed to do next. It's a terrible feeling. I am bitterly disappointed and am struggling to not give in to despair or tears. I have to remain strong and upbeat. Everything happens for a reason. I just can't figure out what this one might be.
All photographs are mine and not to be copied without express permission from me (click on them to see the large version).
Some names have been changed to protect my butt.

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