Hello, and happy fourth of July. For the non-Americans among us, this is the day back in 1776 when we decided that the Queen Mum sucked and we were going to run things our selves. Personally, with the exception of the food, I kind of like the British, but on with the show.
Since the last time we spoke, a lot has been going on. If you recall, way back in Georgetown, SC, we started having trouble with our little girl ferret Mila. The vet in Georgetown ran some blood tests and did indeed confirm that Mila was suffering from an adrenal tumor in one of her adrenal glands.
Fortunately, this is a fairly common problem in little girl ferrets and we were able to find a specialist in Baltimore who operates to correct this problem. Mila went under the knife last Tuesday and as we speak is well on her way to a full recovery.
At the risk of making fun of her situation, nothing looks as pathetic as a post surgery, shaved, stitched together ferret. She supporting evidence at the right.
In other news and on a much more somber note, long time friend and fellow cruiser Neville from the motor yacht Sassy drowned in a white water rafting accident in West Virginia. His wife Sally had him cremated and there will be a service on the beach in Georgetown sometime this cruising season.
Meanwhile, back on board Team Dream Catcher, we have decided to head back to the islands again this fall. There is a fair amount of work we need or want to accomplish before we can go again, so we have been keeping very busy.
Some of the bigger jobs on the list include putting down a new, more livable floor inside the boat, replacing our piece of shit dinghy with something a lot more stout and dis-assembling and re-engineering several pieces of our solar panel/dinghy arch.
Fans of the fish whackers will rejoice with the news of my purchase of three additional, second hand trolling rods as well as a new array of lures. I am trying to talk Amy into letting me put two 12 foot out riggers on the boat, but that is an uphill battle.
We're also evaluating options on installing a dedicated freezer back in the ferret room to be used to both import a wider frozen meat selection from the states as well as to serve as storage for the huge amounts of fish we are going to catch. The second part may be wishful thinking, but there were several times last year where we stopped fishing because we ran out of room to store said fish.
On the dinghy front, after lots of searching we have ordered a 9 foot Livingston catamaran hard dinghy. I'm sure this isn't the choice for everyone, but we're hopeful that it will be a good match for us. As soon as we get the thing, I will post a more detailed report on the dinghy.
I also constructed a new spear whacker carry all case after twice nearly putting a spear through the side of the dinghy this past season. Basically, its a 7 foot piece of PVC with one removable end and some strap mounting points. Total cost, 9 dollars, 15 cents.
We finally broke down and spent some of our American Express rewards points. I may have mentioned it before, but I have had my card for like 10 years and I've never spent any of the accumulated points. Well, back when I was a working guy, I actually built an entire data center using my AMEX card and as such we have accumulated just over 500,000 points.
I spent about 150,000 of them on new trolling rods, reels, lures, line and holders. Amy used another 180,000 to get us new deck chairs, an underwater camera, a tele-photo lens for her existing camera, some water proof bags, a new beach blanket and a new yoga mat. I'm not so sure about the necessity of a yoga mat, but the other stuff is pretty cool.
Don't tell the RIAA, but in an effort to enhance our entertainment time back in the islands, I have taken to making "personal backup copies" of all the movies I can carry from Block Buster. So far we are up to 85, but I think we may top out some where near 250.
So, that about catches you up. We have pretty much gotten into the pattern of getting up early, working on boat stuff til 1 or 2 in the afternoon and then hiding from the heat of the day inside the boat with both air conditioners cranking full blast.