Friday, September 25, 2009


We are now into this daily routine of long walks in new 'burbs' and finding new sights to behold like this glorious mailbox. Walking is good..... right? This two or more, mile walk is really much longer because we stop so often to check things out, like house designs, trees and shrubs, all the things you normally drive past and never really see. The beach walks are the most interesting and it still takes some getting used to, for here in Florida, the whole of the broad Atlantic Ocean washes ashore, sometimes with no more than a ripple on the sand and then again with a hurricane's push, the surge can be phenomenal and devastating with a tidal surge some twenty feet above normal.

We have finally completed our list of repairs resulting from the lightning strike. A very expensive exercise which could well have been offset by our insurance cover. The fact that much of the instrumentation that was "fried" was more than 10 years old, would have meant that the insurer would consider only the 'depreciated value' of the items. They do that....... you know. Thus, instead of only a marginal refund, it was better to bite the bullet ourselves, pay for it all, replace with NEW and save ourselves the deductable. So what you see below on the cockpit instrument panel is, from left to right, a new wind indicator unit,(the new whirly-bird on top of the mast is shown in the photo on the right), the new VHF radio, the new chartplotter, the new depth sounder, the new auto-pilot control unit. Oh.......and on top of the mast is the replacement navigation/strobe/anchor light combo thing that retails for $US 550.00. There are people who still persist in saying that sailing is much cheaper because the wind is free..................... Down below is a new stereo unit, new alternators, three new bulldozer-type batteries and two new depth sounder units and one new VHF radio unit. Whenever we anchor we now dangle this piece of chain over the side attached to the rigging. People look at it and you can see that look on their faces................. "Why do they do that?".........

Early one morning when we hit a new beach, we were sure that the "ALIENS" had landed. From a distance the spacecraft was surreal.

Cautiously we approached in the morning light, only to discover that the structure had a 'lifesaver' in it, reading a comic book. Personally, I wanted the "Queen of Florida" to get up there to do that Pamela Anderson 'BAYWATCH' thing, but she was worried the lifesaver might not understand if she posed, faced the Sun and breathed in ..............(you know what I mean). Laurie also said she would need a full-length red bathing suit, which I said is just too bad............................. He might still not understand.

Vero Beach, Florida and its "furry" trees. (As my grandson Zac, calls them)

Never can get enough of them, not even the stands of bamboo. Do a double-click on the Spanish moss-covered oak trees above and see the range of ferns and orchids. We also found a place that had these sculptures of more historical "Spanish" times. A sort of "La plaza del Conquistadores". Sword in one hand, Scriptures in the other and strings of rosary beads to tie it all up. Not that today's conflicts are any different, after all, the so-called PEACE-KEEPING forces use tanks and keep the peace, right? SPITE versus MIGHT versus RIGHT versus NIGHT and in the darkness, so we stumble on.................... All conflicts at some point are resolved with just plain dialogue. 90 miles South-East of Florida is Cuba that is open to the citizens of every country in the World with one exception. How sad is that, and all because somebody declared "War" on the United States in the last generation, without ever firing a single bullet.

Talk about burying your head in the sand,................. well, that's exactly what these blue land crabs do. We still haven't been able to get a photo of them. The same goes for the little 'straight out of the egg-shell' sea-turtles. All that we have found are the flipper marks in the sand. They go in circles until the GPS 'kicks in' and then they head for the Ocean. Good luck.... buddies, hope you make it!................... and come back and see us.

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