Tuesday, July 22, 2008

We Need A Break From This Retirement Thing!!!

First, it was a clogged sea water intake; then it was repairs and re-repairs; then it was availability of parts. Our plans have once again been affected by circumstances beyond our control. What’s next? Now, its Cristobal’s 4-8 ft waves expected during our planned cruising days this week. Isn’t boating fun?? The redeeming factor is that we really like it up here and being delayed is not the aggravating event it might otherwise be. Unfortunately, we will have to postpone mom’s visit next week to the following week giving us time to get to the Portland harbor. Then a week later, our friends Rick and Lynnie are coming up from NC to spend some time with us.

We need a break from this retirement thing! So, we’ve decided to dock Tide Hiker in a marina for a couple of days to weather the storm and go visit Norm’s brother and sister-in-law in Ohio. It has been a few years since we’ve been there; and, we understand their whole family will be in town. So, this will be a great time to descend on them, see nieces and nephews we have not seen for years, have some fun and regenerate for more retirement cruising.

What kind of name is Cristobal, anyway?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Lobster Slobster

Here we are—moored in Northeast Harbor, our favorite spot on Mount Desert Island. Desert is pronounced as in the french “dessert”. It seems a Frenchman by the name of Cadillac was one of the first explorers on this island. They named the highest peak after him and we hiked it a couple of days ago. Guess what’s on top—a souvenir and ice cream shop. Gives a whole new meaning to being in the wild. Anyway, this Cadillac explorer eventually worked his way to Detroit—hence the automobile named after him.

The lobster industry is very powerful here. After all, it’s the only industry here after the fall tourist foliage season, I think. Anyway, we arrived back to Tide Hiker after a day of hiking Acadia and discovered a lobster trap buoy tangled on our stern zinc anode bracket. Fortunately, it was not tangled on the props or rudders. Norm removed the line and called the harbormaster. Norm asked them to move the trap because as the tide changes we will most likely float over the buoy again and it might be a worse situation. The deputy town harbor master said that there was nothing he could do. They are not allowed to move the trap. To digress a bit, we had the same situation in Bar Harbor and they came out and moved the trap. Back to the story……….Norm asked who pays for the diver if one is needed to untangle us from the line. The deputy said “you”. Norm said to the deputy, “Let me see if I got his straight. I pay you guys a fee to moor here and for that fee, I get the great opportunity to get tangled up in a lobster trap line and I have to pay for the diver to get untangled?” The deputy said “yes”. Well, Norm was at this point turning red; but, not to provoke the authorities, he said that he was grateful that they came out to the boat and explained the rules. @#$%^&*!!!!!!! Good thing we like lobster!

Some excitement on today's hike... We were close to the end of the hike, descending down a very steep rocky slope to the road when Vicki stepped on a bees' nest. She went off-trail to get better footing and stepped on an innocent looking clump of leaves nestled next to a rock. She heard the frightening buzz and then saw about 6 angry bees emerge from the leaves. “AHHH, gasp, pant, gasp, I stepped on a bees nest! Pant, gasp, They’re all around me, gasp, gasp. I got stung, gasp, pant!” So, Vicki made a bee line (pun intended) for the road. Norm was leading and was already on the road and watched her literally fly down the rocky mountain. “You do not have any bees on you, Vicki”, Norm said. Vicki said “gasp, gasp, pant Get them off me”. Norm repeated “There’s none on you, honey”. Vicki was gasping and jumping and waiving her arms. Norm stood clear to keep from getting a black eye. After she settled down, we tended to the sting on her ankle with sting cream from the first aid kit in her pack. We’ve now learned that it’s important to stay on the trail for reasons other than not trampling the fragile ecosystem.

Good news! Stabilized Marine in Ft Lauderdale has the needed part and will ship to Hinckley to arrive by Monday. So we are scheduled for the final repairs on Tuesday AM. We will then begin to meander south on Wednesday.