Sunday, November 2, 2014

October in the Keys

Another month flew by here in Marathon, FL.  The kids are enjoying school and playing soccer on the weekends.  Of course I (Staci) can’t say no so I am the soccer coach for their team.  It has been interesting, frustrating and rewarding.  

The holding tank Paul built is amazing and working flawlessly.  Everything else on the boat has been holding steady, no repairs needed.  In the meantime we have found new renters for our place back in Colorado and life is getting back on track.  

I am still working at the hospital in patient and out patient.  They are grateful to have the help especially now that the snow birds are flocking down.  Paul found work building Marathon’s Oversea’s Liquors across the street from the marina.  They are flexible with his hours and the kids school schedule.  The kids school is right next to Paul’s work, so all is within walking distance.  Both kids have straight A’s in school and are reading and doing math way above their grade level.  I attribute this to the homeschooling and can’t wait to get back to home school again. 

Now, about Marathon.  This is a small community with a major thoroughfare going through it.  Everyone passes through here on their way to Key West, the most southern part of the United States.  Strange things happen here in Marathon.  Some call it Keys Disease.  Paul is the one who gets to experience most of the craziness.  Here is a great example.  Yesterday the cable company (nationally known so will remain nameless) came to install cable to the building.  They needed to get the cable over the building so one of the workers pulled out a big black case out of the van.  Paul was waiting to see what kind of cool tool they were going to work with.  They worker pulled out a large bow and arrow.  They other worker proceeded to tape the cable onto the arrow.  The first attempt the worker pulled the bow back, set the arrow and the arrow fell out.  Second attempt the worker pulled the bow back and the arrow flew through the air but left the cable behind.  The arrow flew through the air towards Keys Fisheries Restaurant and Marina.  We still don’t know where that arrow landed.  The two workers quickly put away the bow and arrow and put their tools away and haven’t been seen since the incident.  There will be more to this story later I’m sure but suffice it to say this is how everything works down here.  

It has been tough to watch some of our other boating friends continue their cruise through the Caribbean but we know we will be there soon enough.  
Paul hard at work

Nicholas as a spy

Samantha as Frankie Stein (the daughter of Frankenstein.

The team Super Stars.  

Nicholas is matching the twins in the harbor.

Samantha's birthday was lots of fun for everyone.

Awards for straight A's and excelling in reading. 

Pumpkin carving put on by the marina. 

Happy Halloween!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Play Time and Work Time in the Keys

Well a month has gone by since our last post and it seems like just last week.  But, a lot has happened since then...
We have been to the beach a few times while Paul heads out and spear fishes. 
A night out on the town. (Kissie faces) 
More beach fun with our boat family friends on Orenda, MadSam, and Airbess.
The kids trying out school on land.  They love it!
More work on the deck boxes.  More pictures to come when finally complete.
Eating fresh fish while rafted up with Orenda.

Boarded by the local pirates that actually give out treasure!

Paul will begin work as a builder across the street from the marina.  Yea! for more money in the kitty.  
The list of boat projects continues but also some get crossed off the list (well maybe that is just wishful thinking).
The sewing machine is working great again so the genoa will be getting some attention soon. 
The aft head holding tank started to leak again ( a lot of stink!!!!)  so that is being addressed.  
Deck boxes and a new holding tank with stitch and glue.  Hmmm... Paul says it will work :)
New fabric for the interior cushions that are tearing apart (and not even at the seams).
We will post more soon as these projects and more are going through the stages of completion. 
In the meantime we try to get play time in so we still feel like we are cruising even though we are stationary for the time being. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Deck Boxes

When we started this journey on Shambala we carried a lot of stuff (junk) on deck.  We have pared-down the deck some but now we will hopefully look even more ship shape.
Paul is creating deck boxes with a similar strategy that he made the dinghy with.  He is taking plywood with stitch and glue with fiberglass overlay making deck boxes for the rest of our stuff.
In the meantime our deck is extremely cluttered.
Start fruit is a new yummy treat for us.

Samantha has officially lost 2 more teeth in one week. 

Nicholas has a new haircut for the summer.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Work Continues

While I am working during the day Paul has been putting the kids to work.  We have finished the cover for the boat and are staying cool in the shade.  At least as much as we can in the Florida heat.  Next step is the Genoa.  Paul had to repair some of the sail cloth then he will sew a new sacrificial cover on it.  We are looking forward to it being done so we can go out for a sail.  Yea!

Amazing how useful trash can be :)

Paul did pay them with ice cream for their labor on the sail

We acquired a new to us mini-van.  Better air conditioning and the kids love the sliding doors.  The other car sold and we bought this new sweet ride for less than we sold the other for.  

Beach time with the ladies in the harbor.
Playing with friends in the harbor. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Time to Start Work

So I am now officially employed!  I am excited and nervous at the same time.  This kids are now back with Paul during the day for home school and play time.  Boat projects will take more time to complete because there will be more fishing, playing, and beach runs happening during the day.

Paul has finished about 90% of the awning for the boat.  The project has been put on hold until we get a replacement part for the sewing machine.  Oops! Another $20.00 to Sailrite.

The next big project is installing the new electric toilet in the front head.  Besides an unbelievable stench coming from the pipes and a few leaks from those pipes it has been a fairly straight forward job.   Meanwhile the boat remains a disaster area.

This kids have met even more kids and have a great time every day finding out new games to play and things to do.  Besides the exhausting heat we are all have a great time and enjoying our time in Marathon. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Settling In

As I wait for my job to start we are getting to know the area.  We bought a new ride that is awesome.  No more hot walks to the grocery store.  We are riding in style.
This is our $1500 1997 Ford Explorer. Hopefully it will last until December. It only has 260,000 miles on it.
In the meantime it is boat projects galore. We've already installed some new fans and led lights. We have a bunch of fabric coming for new sail covers as well as a new fancy electric toilet for our forward head.  We are also waiting for fabric to build a sun shade that covers  the whole boat.  It will hopefully keep the boat 10 degrees cooler.  I will have to report more on that after we actually make it and have it installed.

Yesterday we re-bedded the mast collar that has been leaking since we bought the boat. A rain squall at 6:00 a.m. this morning tested it and our efforts appear to have worked. No more old sweat pants stuffed around the hole where the mast comes through the cabin.

We've gotten to know a few other families already and everyone is having fun.  Although some of the kids will be leaving soon there are some here for the summer like us.  Samantha and Nicholas have already made fast friends as have Paul and I.  It is wonderful to have a friend that works at West Marine.  Yea! For the discounts.

The beach isn't quite the same as those in the Bahamas but it's still good. Nicholas and Paul took the dinghy out to a reef 2 miles offshore and shot a nice hogfish for dinner.  Samantha and I enjoyed the beach sitting under the palm trees for shade.  The kids went into the water but the sand at the shore is is more like mud and mush.  I tried to brave it out and put on a good face while my feet got sucked into the surface of unknown gook.  Ugh!  We may not be going to the beach as much as I thought.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Boot Key Harbor is the Place to Be

At least for now.

We have made a decision to stay in Marathon, FL for the summer and build up our cruising kitty.  This place has a great feel to it.  We are surrounded by fellow cruisers and many other kids boats.  Yea!

Next step is to start working.  So far I have been offered a position here at the outpatient clinic associated with Fisherman's Hospital.

Now we have to prepare for a hot, possibly buggy summer but are looking forward to every minute of it.

We will keep everyone up to date with our blog on how we outfit the boat and keep busy.

First step today was to pickle the water maker (we won't be needing it for a while) and then enjoy the pig roast. 

Nicholas and Paul bought fishing gear and are enjoying some fishing today.

Checking out new sun shades in Miami

Cool shades

New big girl sandals for Samantha and finally new clothes for the little people growing on our boat.

Blueberry pancakes made by Sam. Yummy!

Nick the Captain of Shambala for a day when cruising to Marathon from Miami.