Besides developing new relationships with cats, traveling around visiting friends and family in their various habitats, and pining away over the meaning of â€œhome,â€ we spent our season on the dirt like so many other sailors do, spending money on the boat.
Blue Wing came back from our maiden voyage with many needs. At the top of the list was a new dinghy.
The old dinghy, Little Willy John, had seen his last days in the big blue water. The seam where his bottom met his inflatable part had come apart leaving a two gap where water poured in. Not only was it embarrassing to be dinghying through an anchorage in what became a wading pool, it was also very impractical for keeping anything in Little Willy John dry-ish or for standing up in, due to the fear one would bust right through the bottom.Greg had decided he wanted a one piece, hard bottom, rowing dinghy. After much searching on Craigslist we found a good deal on one at the right place and time.
Our old dinghy felt like Grandpa, patched and decrepit, as we towed him behind Blue Wing. Our new dinghy feels like an eager adolescent as he rides the waves at Blue Wingâ€™s stern. Greg loves rowing him and we havenâ€™t need to put a motor on him yet. In honor of Little Willy Johnâ€™s most famous songs, we have decided to name him Fever (Fevah!).
The Epirb is an emergency device. When activated it will float in the water tethered behind our life raft and broadcast a signal to the Coast Guard as to our whereabouts. Of course, we are hoping that this purchase was a waste of money.
Besides Little Willy John, we also ran our house batteries into the ground this past season. We spent a lot of time nursing them back to health, but even though they got better, they wouldnâ€™t hold a charge well enough to run our refrigerator. The fridge ended up as an icebox and we found ourselves making sure we were never too far away from the purchase of ice, which limited where we traveled a good bit.So we chucked the old batteries and bought new, stronger, undamaged batteries. Our fridge is running again and we are monitoring the health of the new batteries closely. We are now ready to venture out to places where ice doesnâ€™t exist!
Nexus 7 Tablet
Our purchase of a tablet was a bit of a splurge, but it has ended up being very handy. We have it loaded with all kinds of useful apps, including marine navigation software, a recipe organizer, spreadsheets for provisioning, a shopping app, an e-reader, and time sucking, mind numbing games. It is much more portable and uses way less energy than our computer and is wifi enabled. Hurray for technology!
When you are anchored our at night and it is dark there is not a whole lot to do. Of course, there is the whole identifying constellations thing, but eventually you want to go down below and relax with some mindless entertainment. We bought many of our favorite TV episodes with us last season, but we quickly shot through them. Just about the time we were left with no alternative but to start watching what we had for the second or third time, we beseached our soon to be visiting friends to bring us something new.
I found the cheapest series with the most minutes that looked interesting on line, purchased it and had it sent to my friend Debbie who brought it to us when she visited.
This season we planned ahead. Scouring the Stuart flea market every weekend we were able to find great deals on some good â€˜sodes. I think we have enough viewing material for a couple of cruising seasons to come. If not, of course, we still have that celestial TV in the sky.
All the Rest
We also spent money on lots of little things to make our lives more comfortable and efficient. We bought rain coats (Greg scored a good coat at the flea market for a dollar!), more water jerry cans, dorade fans, a solar oven, trivia cards, a waterproof DAN backpack, plastic cooking utensils (to replace the rusty metal ones), and plenty more.
Now that we are back on Blue Wing, we are on a strict budget and hopefully the spending spree is over, but it doesnâ€™t seem real likely.