Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Little History

Moored Naples Florida

Tony Naples, yup that's his name, contacted me via Facebook. Fairly amusing given that I'm now living in Naples. But not to get off track.

Tony and his friend Laura, both in their twenties, sailed with me the 56 hours from Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico back in February of 2008. You can read all about that trip by clicking here.

Tony's going to write up a guest blog entry regarding his experience sailing with Christa and the gaggle of boats who all were caravaning together at the time. We look forward to that post. In the mean time he has sent me the following pictures that he shot during the trip. Great pics! Enjoy!

Regarding Comments. I love them! So please leave them. However, to prevent spam comments, of which I get many, I now have to authorize each comment. So you may not see the comment post automatically. 

The Kid

Tony and the Kid

Christa Anchored in Boquero PR

Ms. Laura on Watch Mona Passage

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Stay Strong Blog Readers

Living Aboard Christa In Naples Florida

 Blogging it turns out is alot of work. At least people who are successful at it, work at it just about daily.  I wouldn't toss myself into the "success" category really, but I do acknowledge that I haven't given up. In fact I'm more motivated than ever to keep at it. And, this is why you see re-designs more than you should and why I just can't help but tinker with the site layout.

It is important for me to keep in mind that a layout change does not constitute more content. It's kind of like a beautiful woman with no brains that continues to wear fresh and new clothing. The new clothing still won't cover up the fact she has not brains. My giggering with the blogger designs can leave me with the illusion of blogging. But bloggers must write and this is not easy to do day in and day out. I often wonder what the burn out rate for blogs is.

I enjoy mental challenge and this is why I didn't cancel the blog after I changed my circumnavigation plans. I still struggle to figure out what to write about or photograph or video. I guess the answer rests within a regular guys regular life. I do have to acknowledge the blogging pioneers at Bumfuzzle. They are the coolest.

To the sailing enthusiasts who follow or have followed, I thank you very much and hope you stick with the blog as I move in other directions. But, and this is a big butt! I don't ever see leaving me leaving my sailing roots. It's just in my blood. I will continue to liveaboard Christa and will ply the waters of San Francisco Bay to keep the nautical skills sharp. San Francisco and especially Sausalito has a substantial nautical heritage. I'll be rubbing elbows with all the salts that call Sausalito home. Of course I'll report when appropriate.

For others who are not so jazzed about the sailing aspect I hope you will stick around and send me feedback. I'll always try and keep it interesting and will blaze a path in new directions.

Now onto the whole point of this blog entry. I went back to my old format for a couple of reasons. I think it just is my favorite as it allows larger sized pictures than 3 column type blogs. But here is the most important reason. I received info that some people were experiencing problems with the new re-design in terms of shutting down their browser or triggering virus alerts. I know some have stopped reading the blog because of this. The problem only manifests while using Microsoft's Internet Explorer. No matter, I hope by going back to the old standby, the issues with the browser is solved. It is a tried and true design and has no bugs in it. The other one was new and apparently had some bugs. So that is that!

Capt Chris
PS: I found the really cool nautical picture above in a Picasa Featured Photograph section of Picasa Web Albums. Really cool picture of a salty dude standing watch or however the viewer wants to interpret it.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Trucking Update....The Delay

Moored Naples Florida

Fish On!!!!!

We suffered a little bit of a set back today in my trucking Christa to California project. I received word from the trucker that he is running at least two weeks behind schedule. This jacks up some plans I've laid down and will likely result in me curtailing the amount of time I will spend dilly dallying while driving to California. Bummer.

The trucker was honest and up front about what was going on.  He spent the winter totally idle, surviving on a bank loan.  His fortunes turned rapidly.  Now he has a feeding frenzy on his hands. He had several spots in his schedule where he was "dead heading" (not a la Jerry Garcia) and tried to fill the gaps. The rub is that this allows for little wiggle room in terms of mistakes, break downs or delays. Well he had a couple of boats that were late, boat show delays and had to catch up on trailer maintenance. This info did not come out in drips and drabs, but straight away. I can deal with someone like that. So, we are hoping and praying for a pick up by Memorial Day week or on the outside June the 1st.

This impacts me, but not drastically. No sense in getting all worked up about it. I purposely built tons of time into the schedule. I must be settled in California by August 24th, 2010 as this is when my classes start at Dominican U. However my renters are leaving my house June 15th and this leaves me in a financial lurch. The house needs attention before I can bring other renters in. The delay alters my ability to deal with the house, possibly causing me to eat the mortgage longer than anticipated.

This does leave an unexpected spectrum of time to do as I please. I chose to do boat projects. Mostly sanding and varnishing. I did have grandiose plans of doing all kinds of boat work while in Naples this winter. My job at the restaurant sucked up some of my time and I became lazy with the boat. Another effect of my cruising life and living aboard for so long. I was sick of fixing things on the boat, but I still fixed stuff. Christa's looks suffered. She wants to be purdy again. She was tellin me. 

I always have so many things going, it is good to have this time to work on my projects. I will continue to exercise daily, play with my pal Amy when she is in town, work on my Final Cut Express project, think hard about my future life course, play my guitar, walk the beach, slug coffee and buzz around Naples in the Green Hornet, which has 4 new tires. Here is an aside story I just remembered.

The Coast Guard's Motto, Semper Paratus, which means "Always Ready" still holds.  I was making my way to the car in the this Friday morning past stoked about an hour a half yoga session on the docket. Suddenly I eagle eye a nail in the rear tire. Aye Chiwawa. I head on over to the Tire King, doing the responsible thing by canceling yoga in lieu of my safety. The fellow says no problem to patch at $22 bucks. I head to Starbucks to gigger with my iPad while the car is serviced. Phone rings with the news. Can't be patched and I need 4 new tires. Don't worry, I cross examined The King pretty hard to make sure he wasn't just casting for work. What with all the wealth here in Naples, I'm sure they are not used to people haggling. He presented a strong case and with my cross country trip bubbling up in my mind I gave The King the green light. I left an hour later poorer by $463 boat bucks. So my point is Semper Paratus. You never know when your day is going to turn, best be prepared. Always have a slush fund for unforeseeables, I certainly sleep better knowing I'm not operating on the financial edge.

Ok, here are some pictures of status of Christa's varnish work.


Starboard Caprail
Capt Chris

PS: I may have failed to note that I am no longer working at Ridgway Bar and Grill. The season is over and they no longer need an Expo. Maybe I'll blog about that experience sometime.

PSS: Happy Birthday to Janina!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Stormin in south Florida

Naples Florida

A day or two ago, severe weather hit the gulf coast states. Well the front that brought that weather penetrated farther than forecast. So this morning I awoke to some really nasty weather. Here is some graphics.

You can see the red boxes toward Palm Beach and FT Lauderdale, yup tornado's. All kinds of lightening and heavy winds buffeted Christa. But snug I was in the canal alongside the dock.

I still loath these storms. Christa and I, and of course most cruisers have had their share of run ins with squall lines. In my humble opinion, they pose serious risk and can be awfully frightening. You can read about such a squall by clicking here. Just an example of my past grappling with squalls.

I stuck my head out the hatch during a brief respite and snapped this photo with the Canon G11.

Capt Chris