Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Old Friends and New Crap-o-Matic

From Stuart, we caught up with Rick and Lynnie at the Lake Worth anchorage. Then headed outside on a perfect day to Pompano Beach where we caught up with the Gypsies at a marina just south of the Hillsboro inlet. This small marina was very shallow and in the throws of bankruptcy. Unfortunately, it was also a bit under-maintained. There were no finger piers on the sides to tie up to and to get on and off the boat. So, we had to climb over the stern or the bow and climb up a ladder or down a ladder. Here's Lynnie and Rick showing us exactly how to get this done. If you look real close you can see our unsympathetic fellow cruisers looking on. It was a wonderful reunion with Doug and Tammy, John and Colleen, and Rick and Lynnie. Cocktails and dinner aboard Tide Hiker the first night, then cocktails aboard Gypsies in the Palace, followed by yummy Chinese food at Ocean Chinese across the street. The Gypsies are staying a while longer and will catch up with us later in the Keys.

We were excited to also connect with Dick Owens, a longtime friend of Norm’s family. He stopped by for a visit Monday morning. Dick has been a professional captain for years and regaled us with entertaining stories. He has cruised the Florida waters for years and lives in Boca Raton, so was very helpful with cruising tips. Unfortunately, he and his wife could not join us for cocktails and dinner. Hopefully, we'll connect again while we are in FL waters.

This morning we cruised by Ft. Lauderdale, home of the mega-yacht, cruise-ship alley and several floating snack shacks. Some really, really big boats are here including the Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria. Lower left you can see Tide Hiker next to an inbound container ship.
Friends Cindy and Steve will be boarding one of the yachts on Saturday for a Caribbean cruise. Unfortunately, it looks like we’ll miss one another. We will be anchored in Biscayne Bay and wanted to get a car to meet them Friday night in Ft. Lauderdale, but the anchorage is a state park that closes at dusk, so we wouldn’t be able to get back to the boat. Darn – it would have been great to see them.

On Monday, we got a new upgraded parts for our Crap-o-Matic installed. OK, OK, it’s an Electroscan, but Crap-o-Matic is sooo much more fun to say and way more descriptive. It’s our waste processing system that purees and purifies sewage water and sends it overboard. (That may be more than you wanted to know.) We named it after Dan Akroyd’s Bass-o-Matic from Saturday Night Live. (If you haven’t seen this classic comedy skit, check it out on YouTube and you’ll get the idea of how the Crap-o-Matic works.) Anyway, it really needed to be fixed – to say that the old one was unreliable would be a compliment. Norm had many other favorite words to describe it! This upgraded version is a new and improved model that has been out in the market for 8 months with no problems. And, so far, it’s working like a charm.