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...

Friday, May 22, 2009


Life has settled into a sort of routine. I get up at 8, Nancy has already left for the shop - Jake drives her in the truck and then brings his car back. He is making breakfast for himself while I get dressed. At 8:45 he drives me to the Pet Resort and leaves for whatever it is he does until 1:00 when he heads to Sharkey's for the afternoon.

I fight my way into the office without letting any of the small dogs out and then spend three hours trying to find something to do. I spend time on the computer, getting my emails and seeing what's up on Facebook. When Nancy remembers to leave the handset in the office, I answer the phone and take bookings for boardings. If it is a grooming request, I pass the phone through the half door to Nancy after yelling for her over the noise of the bigger dogs barking, now that they see me, and the dryer blowing some poor dog dry.

At 1 or 2 I leave to go back to the houseboat and clean up the place. I try going to the library one day to use the internet there but it is so slow, it takes 3 minutes to load a page. I won't be doing that again. So I head over to Sharkey's to use their internet. I plonk down on a barstool at the little outdoor bar that they never seem to use, plug into AC and write my blog, download photos and upload them onto the blog, and then sometimes have a bite to eat.

Speaking of which; I have gained 6 lbs while here. No wonder most American's are so fat. Almost everything is fried. I look over the menu at the appetizers, as I prefer to have one of those than an entire meal, and not one thing escapes the deep fryer. It's OK now and again, but I can't handle eating that way very often. Especially after the past four or five months of eating carefully. I am discouraged and vow no more fried food will pass my lips. I need to exercise and get these 6 lbs off as well as keep going down as I have more I want to lose. It is far too hot to go for a brisk walk, I wouldn't last five minutes. I decide that I will use the pool at the Holiday Inn as much as I can and will swim laps. Lots of laps. And Jake has a set of small dumbbells on the houseboat so I will get back to lifting weights. I miss that, oddly enough.

I take the truck back to the shop just before 4 and we load in the three dogs that Nancy owns. We drive over to the property where Jake is waiting and Nancy goes straight to feeding the cats, goat and now the puppies. I try to help but she prefers to do most of it by herself. She gets them out of the bus, takes the pen out of the bus and puts them inside, then drags the tarp she covers the floor of the bus with to the canal and washes off all the poop. She then gives the puppies their medicine, feeds and waters them, and then sets the bus up with the clean tarp, the pen, fresh water and then the puppies go back. It has been very hot in there so I have gone to the dollar store and bought a big fan to cool them down. We run a cord to the shed where the goat lives and there is power and, hopefully, this will make the puppies more comfortable.

The puppies are doing well and full of beans. I am sitting on the pontoon boat with Nancy and Jake, trying to cool down with a frosty Pepsi when I look up and see the goat running full tilt, doing little jumps in the air every now and then. Wondering what is after it, I then notice that all 5 puppies (the one with the cast has gone to a foster home) are chasing the goat, yapping and scampering after it. The goat is totally freaked out. "The puppies are out!" I exclaim. Jake is exasperated. He built a pen outside so that Nancy would have an easier time of keeping track of them while she cleans out the bus every day and then gives them their medication. Somehow they have found a way out. We are about to go scoop them all up and put them back when we realize that they are having a fabulous time just running about. So Nancy goes and rescues the goat and then leaves the puppies to frolic. One of the dogs, Sheera, looks a lot like a grown up version of the puppies. They see her and run to her, jumping all around her legs and biting at her. She stands there with ears pricked forward, quite amused I think, and just lets them have their fun. Nancy and I comment on how she is behaving as if she is their mom. She seems to be loving it as it goes on. It's very cute to watch.

At 5:30 we head back to the shop. Sometimes Jake and I go straight to the houseboat in his car while Nancy goes to the shop for about an hour to feed her dogs and to let the late pick-up daycare dogs go. Sometimes we all go to the shop I wait outside with Jake until Nancy is done then we all head back in her truck and leave Jake's car behind. I think which way we do it is dictated by how much Jake has had to drink at the pub that afternoon. He had one DUI and doesn't want another.

In the evening we cobble together a dinner or, if it is Thursday or Friday evening, we head out for dinner. Always Sharkey's on Friday night for the fish fry, although last night neither Nancy nor I ordered it. Like I said, I can't eat one more fried thing.

Last night was the grand opening of The Big Chill. We went there last Friday. This Friday it is packed. We have to park on the grass strip median that divides the Overseas Highway. Running across the two lanes of holiday traffic heading south and in the dark freaks me out. It's dark out and the cars are coming fast and furious. But I make it across and we walk through the parking lot (that has about 5 free spaces and Jake points every one out telling Nancy she should have listened to him and turned into the lot) into a huge crowd of people pressing around the bar. There is no rain tonight and so the couches on the dock are dry and I am looking forward to sinking into one but they are all taken. Over a low iron fence there is a huge swimming pool with palm roofed huts all along one side that have sheer white curtains tied back to the posts that are wrapped with strands of small white lights. The effect is magical. I want to go over there but there are two bouncers at the gate to the pool area and apparently this is a private party. The dude who bought the club is some football team owner and the party is, apparently, full of sports celebrities. Whatever. I just wanted to sit under one of those pretty palm huts and enjoy the music. Instead I go over to the rail where the lights are under the water and watch for the fish but there aren't any Tarpon or Stingrays tonight. The music is too loud and scaring them away I think.

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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