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...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


I am looking for flights to come home in two weeks. The plan is to stay with a friend in Langley for a couple of nights and then drive back to Kelowna with Shonah as she is in Vancouver for a ColdPlay concert on the 20th. A good friend in Kelowna has invited me to stay with them and so I will do that until I figure out what is next for me. I have applied for a job at Club Penguin and will go in and talk to the management there. I am also expecting that Ron’s two movies will finally get green-lit sometime this summer and, should I be right, that will mean at least five weeks work of decent pay, maybe seven weeks if they have the three movies they originally wanted to shoot. Barring those two events, I will find work doing whatever I can and then figure out what sort of life that will support. The thoughts of setting up house and gathering together all of my belongings makes my head hurt. I will face that when I come to it and then a bit at a time, I think. I will also need to decide if I will stay in Kelowna or move back down to the coast. And I will have to figure out how to get a car. It’s near impossible to live anywhere but downtown Vancouver unless you have a vehicle, everything is so far-flung and public transit is a joke.

Meanwhile, work at the Pet Resort is very slow. All the snowbirds have gone back to Canada and the phone does not ring much. So Nancy informs me she won’t need me to come in tomorrow morning. This is not good news for me. I am counting on making at least $150 a week so that I can have some money in my pocket after I pay for my plane ticket home. I shake my head at writing it. Not that long ago I was making $500 a day! Now I am desperate for $30 a day. It would be laughable if I wasn’t so broke.

Jake has gone back to his normal self. I am hoping it stays that way. I don’t want to go through another event like last week for anything. Even as his normal self, he is hard to be around. He comments on everything I eat that he thinks isn’t healthy, making remarks about my weight. He talks while I am trying to read, or will talk over the TV program that Nancy and I are watching. He does all manner of things that he would not tolerate for one second if they were done to him. I won’t be sorry to leave him behind. I will miss Nancy, however. I really enjoy being with her and I think she could still be a lot of fun if not for having so much to deal with. She seems really beaten down and, even though Jake knows she has changed from who she used to be and comments on it all the time, he seems clueless to the influence he may have affected on that change.

As I am not required at the Pet Resort, I go with Jake to Sharkey’s and use the internet there to get caught up on emails. I walk over to the Holiday Inn to use the pool for the rest of the afternoon. I have not felt well for the past two days, my stomach has been really hurting so I haven’t eaten much in the past 48 hours. When I get to the pool, I realize that the pain is gone and I am ravenous. I have a feeling that if I order something to eat from the Tiki Bar at poolside, I will just get served and Jake will arrive. I ponder this for about half an hour, on and off, as I read. It is about 4:00 and I am not due to be picked up until about 6, 5:30 at the earliest. I finally decide I am safe to go ahead and order a sandwich and some iced tea. In about 15 minutes the iced tea arrives in a pitcher with a glass. I am surprised because I ordered iced tea here last week and just received a glass full and I am happy because this will last quite a while. I go ahead and pour some in the glass and have no sooner taken a sip than I hear my name called. I look up and there is Jake, leaning over the fence.

I get up and walk to him, and he is gesturing me to go back and get my stuff. I am frustrated and swear under my breath. I get to him and he says, “Go get your stuff. You’re leaving.” “I just ordered lunch, 15 minutes go,” I say, “I just knew you would come before I could eat it.” “Well, go cancel it.” he says. I turn and go back to the Tiki Bar and ask the waitress if I can cancel the lunch. She says I can have it to go. I tell her I can’t wait; I have a very impatient man waiting for me who arrived two hours early. She says it’s ok to cancel and I ask her how much for the iced tea. She tells me $1.95 and I hand her a $5 and tell her to keep the change, as I feel so bad about this. I go back to the table and don’t rush as I pack up my stuff. I top up the glass of iced tea, and reluctantly leave the rest of it behind. We walk out to the parking lot, and instead of Jake’s Cadillac, there is a red sedan waiting. His nephew, Ken, has arrived in town on his visit to Florida from England and it is his rental car. I dump out the iced tea on the blacktop. Jake’s car is filthy and he always has a cup of beer inside so I wasn’t too worried about taking my iced tea in there but I am not going to chance spilling it in the rental car. I get in the backseat with Jake. Ken is traveling with his girlfriend, Lisa, and she is sitting up front. We exchange greetings and get underway to the houseboat.

Ken is 25, very handsome and very polite. He and Lisa are a very sweet couple and having them around is a breath of fresh air. Nancy arrives at the houseboat shortly after we do, and we order pizza. Jake tosses the menu sheet at us and tells us to decide what we want as he will only eat one piece. The young couple decides on the barbeque chicken and bacon, I choose the 6 cheese Tuscany, and Nancy wants pepperoni. I am elected to call the pizza place as I have the closest thing to an American accent and so won’t have any trouble being understood. I order two large pizzas, one half cheese the other half with pepperoni added, the other chicken and bacon with pineapple chunks added to half. Apparently my ability to order this combination impresses everyone with my organization skills. They should see me at work on a movie set.

Jake and Ken leave to pick up the pizzas and when they return we dig in. I am ravenous, as I still haven’t eaten. I can’t eat more than two pieces of pizza, as a rule, but tonight I manage three. This does not go unnoticed by Jake and he comments on it later. I ask him how he knows how much I ate; is he watching me all the time and keeping tabs on me? He claims that I said myself that I ate three, but I never did.

I make conversation with Ken and Lisa asking where they work and how they met. They visited Disney World just a few days ago so I ask them all about it. I still have the four passes to go there that Shonah gave me, but it doesn’t look like I am going to be able to go and I am disappointed about it on one hand, but on the other – I wouldn’t want to go alone, there would be no fun in that. I would rather wait and go with one or all of my kids one day. Lisa hands me her camera so that I can look at the photo’s they took and I scroll through them. When I get to Epcot, it looks way better than I had ever imagined. I hope I get to go someday.

Ken and Lisa have been bitten by mosquitoes and she is worried about it because she is to be a bridesmaid in her brother's wedding in a week. Her dress is strapless and knee length and she doesn’t want to be covered in bite marks. They need some Deep Woods Off and so Nancy goes to get them some, as she has to run out and get something else anyway. When she comes back she has a can for them and tells them it was $5.00. They can’t believe it. Apparently a can half that size sells for £10.00 in England. Ken decides he needs to buy a few cases of it and resell it on eBay there. I think he is joking but it sounds like a good idea to me.

During the night there is a HUGE thunderstorm right overhead. The thunder shakes the boat and I can hear Katie the dog whimpering in the next room. The rain is beating down on the windows and I sit up to close mine and the quilt at the bottom of the bed is soaked through. The storm goes on for at least an hour and I plug my ears with my fingers as the thunder is deafening. I am hoping we don’t get struck by lightening but I don’t think we will as there is tons of metal stuff around here a lot higher than we are.

Ken and Lisa are talking about the storm when I get up in the morning; she was terrified and didn’t sleep much. They will leave for Key West in an hour or so. Jake is telling them spots on the way down that they mustn’t miss. Hearing them talk, I am trying to figure out how I can see all this before I leave but at this point I don’t know if I will even make it to Key West at all. That would be a shame as apparently it’s really lovely, and it is the home to Mel Fisher’s museum - I would love to see that. I say as much and Jake immediately disses that idea. “I don’t know what you see in that guy. I think he is despicable.” he says. “Well, all I know is that his life’s ambition was to find the wreck of the Atocha and he finally managed it and the wealth he discovered was immense.” “Yeah and didn’t some of his family die?” “Yes, he lost a son in the search. He drowned.” “Yeah. Despicable.” he says. Whatever, is what I want to say but I bite my tongue, yet again. His opinion is the only correct one and to dispute it …. well, I found out where that leads last week.

The young couple leaves and I retreat to the relative peace of the back deck and continue to read my book. It’s AZTEC by Gary Jennings and it is a gripping account of the life of Mexican Indians before the Spanish invaded and decimated the place. It’s a very thick book and I started it yesterday. I will finish it tomorrow at this rate as I can hardly stand to put it down.

After about an hour out there, Nancy drives up in her truck. It is only noon. She is home early because there just isn’t anything going on at the shop and so she has left Elliot in charge. She tells me she is going to take me to a few stores, one of which is an outlet discount store much like Ross. So we head off and spend the afternoon browsing the dollar store for cleaning products for the Pet Resort, and Bealls a the discount store for clothing etc. Nothing there for me but I did see more Katherine Van Zeelander purses at half price and I picked up some cheap earrings for Shonah. Done there, we hit the grocery store for some food.

We head home after being gone about three hours and cobble together a meal of leftover pizza, ceasar salad, and some bought potato salad. And Nancy tells me that Jake has recorded a show I wanted to see and tells him to put it on. He has recorded two episodes of ‘Don’t Tell The Bride’, a British show where the groom has four weeks and £12,000 to plan a wedding all by himself. The bride has no say whatsoever. I had watched this show with Ashleigh when I went to visit her in England. I saw about three episodes. The one we watch tonight is one of those same episodes but it was a good one, where the groom decided to have the bride's dress made as he couldn’t find one he liked, and I don’t mind seeing it again.

When the show is over, I retire to bed early so that I can read some more of my book.
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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