Category Archives: Cruising on Flutterby

Garage takeover

Dad’s garage is our workshop, therein
Is the stuff that we’ll need to begin,
We will lay plywood flat,
And we’ll draw lines on that,
While his car is out, to his chagrin.

But what’s this? While her spouse was obsessed,
Margaret boarded a plane for the West,
She’s gone off to give care,
To a friend they both share,
Leaving Barry to sew all the rest.

So he lofted the panels and cut,
Out the sail fabric, cheerfully, but,
Figuratively, a wall,
Stopped the man. Then a call,
To his wife, got him out of that rut.

I’ll be helping with the sewing when I return later this week. And I’ve provided emotional support by phone every day. But please, feel free to leave your encouraging comments for Barry on the blog!

Oops… I just figured out that comments are disabled for the limericks section. That’s goofy! We’ll have to fix it one of these days, when we’re not making sails in Dad’s garage. Well, send him an encouraging email instead. But don’t tell him I said so.

Whose ode?

As dear Flutterby hung on her rode,
We both got in our dinghy and rowed,
To our bikes, which we rode,
Down a nice, level road,
Meanwhile, Margaret composed this, Our Ode.

The problem with limericks is that sometimes they chase me down and refuse to leave me alone. This was one of those. “Go ‘way,” I said, but it didn’t. It followed me on my bike for 5 miles. It’s not even a proper rhyme, just a bunch of homonyms.

One good acronym deserves another

I’m wondering what are the odds
That people who call themselves “CLODs”
Would hang out with SLOBs
Who do not have jobs,
And party with one of their PLODs?

“It would be nice to find out about the weekly cruisers’ breakfast,” Barry said to me. We’d heard about it years ago through the Seven Seas Cruising Association.
“What do you mean, find out? Can’t we just go?” I asked.
He looked puzzled. “We’d have to find out when and where it is.”
“There’s a sign in the … uh … women’s bathroom…” Evidently, there was not a corresponding sign in the men’s room.

The sign advertised a weekly breakfast for cruisers and CLODs: Cruisers Living on Dirt. In other words, people who have “swallowed the anchor” here in Vero.
I told my Dad about the cute acronym. “I guess that makes you a PLOD: Parent Living on Dirt.” I suggested that he should join us for the boaters’ Happy Hour, and we would introduce him that way.
The next day, an email came from Dad, asking if he could “observe the SLOBs and PLODs thursday at the happily happy hour?”

SLOBs: I guess I asked for that.

Mail underway…

To find the right words would be tough,
When “Thank you” is not quite enough,
Our lives wouldn’t be
Fancy free on the sea,
Without them to manage our “stuff.”

Every week or so, we get a cheerful note in our email box with the subject, “Mail underway…” We love Barry’s parents, our Camano Island angels, who make sure that our important mail follows us wherever we go! (And that the unimportant mail disappears into the recycling bin, almost as valuable a service.) It is impossible to express the depth of our gratitude to Mom and Dad in these five simple lines.

What’s red and green and shallow all over?

Yikes! The depth-sounder beeps, and I twitch,
There’s a red one — a green one — but which?
Whew, I’m glad they’re not pink,
For these nav-aids, I think,
Are quite Christmassy here in the Ditch.

Anyone who has “done the Ditch” knows how critical the red and green markers are. After grueling sun-up to sun-down days at the helm, we see them in our sleep and sometimes have nightmares about going on the wrong side of one.

For you landlubbers (and Lee), here are some photos of the markers I mention above.
Top to bottom:

  1. What happens when you miss a marker. (The haze here is from a wildfire, no relation to the wreck.)
  2. Another red one — with an eagle perched on it.
  3. This is what a green one looks like in the fog. Or is that a red one? Believe it or not, this is the Georgia-Florida border. Where are the palm trees?
  4. Here’s what the markers look like on the chart — Hell Gate was aptly named. No range markers, just aim and hope.
  5. Barry smiles in relief after he makes it through Hell Gate. It only **looks** like there’s water there.

What happens when you miss a marker (see the red one?). The haze is from a wildfire.
Another red one — with an eagle perched on it.
This is what a green one looks like in the fog (thank goodness for GPS!). Believe it or not, this is the Florida border.
Here’s what they look like on the chart — Hell Gate was aptly named. No range markers, just aim and hope.
Barry smiles in relief after he makes it through Hell Gate. It only **looks** like there’s water there.


The clock said two-thirty today,
When the boat ceased to be underway.
We have busted our buns,
For these two little ones,
OK, kids, it is now time to PLAY!

We are moored at Cocoa, Florida, having been on the move (except for three groundings) from sunup to sundown for 8 days. We’re exhausted, but there are cookies to bake and a boat to clean.

Why the rush? We wanted to rendezvous with Barry’s nephews and their parents before they fly back to Ohio. So tomorrow, we get a special treat — a visit from Emanuel and Gabriel. That’s like an early present from Santa! We must have been very good this year.