April 10, 2014

Caught In The Act

We just received a batch of fun pics from friends taken during our time with them in Florida and the Bahamas. So we thought you might enjoy reminiscing with us! It's not often that we get to see what Dragonstar looks like from the outside. Thanks Caren and Leandro for making this post possible!

And yeah, in case you're wondering...we're still totally lame and waiting on our broken laptop to be repaired. You'll be the first to know when we're fully equipped for blogging again.















March 25, 2014

Laptop Rebellion

It's true. We have completely failed as bloggers recently, but it's not our fault! Several weeks ago, our laptop died at the somewhat ripe age of 4 years. So we bought a new laptop, spoke too soon in exclaiming "yippee!", practiced deep yoga sighs to fight off anger towards Windows 8.1, transferred and organized all of our old files, downloaded new software, began drafting a photo-rich blog post for you...and then, sat dumb struck with dropped jaws of disbelief when the 5-day old laptop's screen went completely blank. Blank! Then after tedious calls with the manufacturer, a long wait for the computer to be shipped to the manufacturer for repair and then returned to us, the laptop worked for two whole days before its screen went blank again.



transferring files from our old hard drive
to the new laptop
We're now waiting for another shipping box to arrive so we can send the laptop back for repair a second time. We're also missing our beloved Canon Rebel camera since we can't download and edit photos from it without the laptop. Boo. So this is a much delayed post with inferior photo quality. Enjoy!

Likely causes for the laptop rebellion could be old hardware, corrupt software, or depression. However, we think the real cause was jealousy. You see, last week we celebrated the one year anniversary of our departure from New York City and employment. Yet, we were asking so much out of our laptop. We think it just wanted to join our unemployment party. And we can't really blame it, because the past year has been awesome!


The three week period without a computer has coincided with a three week period without Dragonstar in Ft. Myers, FL. Dragonstar feels cheated on since we've spent that time camping in a hauled-out house boat at Calusa Jack's Marina while Dragonstar underwent a couple of minor repairs. We just got back onto our boat today and are fervently singing Dragonstar's praises. "It's so nice to be with you again, you salty minx!"

Like any two sailors worth their salt, we got into all kinds of fun while off ship. Don't tell the captain! We found a living, breathing, 600 pound grizzly bear, along with many other cool animals, at the Lee County Fair.


Speaking of wild animals, Gemsi is back in good health!

fortunately, our cat's head never fell off
She is, however, disappointed that the laptop is broken since it happens to be one of her favorite posing props...


We also recently volunteered at an all-day reading festival! The event was awesome, but our time spent handing out free books to teenagers that were too self-conscious cool for enthusiasm, smiles, or gratitude made us think twice about ever having children.

And finally, while off ship we decided to get our geek on by attending MegaCon!!! The convention "caters to the comic book, sci-fi, anime, fantasy, and gaming communities" and therefore makes our inner dragons flame for joy! It should be noted though: Angela could happily go an entire lifetime without anime.

awesome Game of Thrones costumes
most amazing costume ever for The Walking Dead!
Our loot from MegaCon! We may have gotten a little carried away...




March 2, 2014

Our Pets' Heads Are Falling Off!

As we've mentioned many times, things break on a boat all the time. And when they do, we jokingly scream, grumble or plea "our pets' heads are falling off!"


A classic line from a classic film (from 20 years ago!) which we probably quote every other day...when something breaks...

we used to have 4 of these...
until one lots its footing during a sail
Angela's well-worn anchor glove
(plus mud from the Okeechobee River in FL)
We knew what we were getting into when we bought Dragonstar, which is why we can laugh it off. But, we stopped laughing several days ago when our funny quote became even more relevant, almost literally... Relax, Gemsi's head is right where it belongs; it's on her shoulders and dreaming about fishies, mice, and stinky things. Her hair, however, began falling out! Several weeks ago, we noticed two small bumps on her skin. We didn't think much of it since Gemsi was behaving normally. Everything remained the same until a couple of weeks after that, when we started discovering little clumps of her fur scattered around the boat. We also found several more worrisome patches on her skin.

we've been told that her skin is agitated
if she's scratching vigorously (like this) with her hind legs
Gemsi may be of a different species, but she is unquestionably an adored member of our family. We've waved our crazy-cat-lover flag before, and we we're going to wave it again here. Don't think we're the only ones caught under her spell though, cause she has a following! If her elegant and sleek, yet simultaneously adorable monkey-like frame doesn't win you over, she'll likely mesmerize you with her intense yellow-eyed gaze. And if you somehow aren't intrigued by her mere cuteness and beauty, you'll still find yourself working very hard to win over her affection. We think this is because Gemsi is not an all-loving, all-forgiving, cuddly creature. She makes you earn her affection, and it is amazing to witness the power she yields over human beings as they desperately try to do so.


That's enough gushing for now, let's get back to the day when we found those little clumps of hair and more bumps...

We weighed anchor and set sail for Florida. We sailed from the Bahamian Island group around of Eleuthera to Florida, with overnight rests on the southwest coast of the Abacos and in North Bimini. We covered a couple hundred miles in just a few days. The winds were favorable and we were motivated — our pet's hair was falling out! It was some of the best sailing, and certainly the longest passage, we've done on Dragonstar to date. Our longest single stretch was 117 miles, and it took us 27 hours! We slept in 2-hour shifts during the night hours, made good use of our autopilot, and passed the time by listening to podcasts and eating peanut butter treats (see recipe below for Rhonda's Protein Balls).

You might be wondering why we didn't just take Gemsi to a vet in the Bahamas. Great question.

We decided to avoid Bahamian vets because Gemsi was technically a stowaway in the Bahamas. Prior to arriving in the Bahamas, we applied for Gemsi's appropriate customs paperwork and paid the $10 fee (plus $45 to FedEx), but never received the necessary permit or other confirmation of receipt that is technically required to bring her into the country. So, we snuck her in! What's an adventure without a little smuggling? Because of this, Bahamian authorities could technically confiscate our cat if we took her to the vet without proof of documentation. (If you are a Bahamian customs official, note that the preceding paragraph was pure fiction.)

display at the vet's office
Upon arriving back in Florida, we crashed and slept for a few hours. We were exhausted from the long, but smooth, overnight passage across the Gulf Stream. Then immediately upon waking, we traveled by dinghy, foot, and car — with Gemsi in her carrier — to a vet. We learned that she had a skin allergy. She gets to keep her hair as long as we feed her a magic pill once a month for the next three months. Phew!


Gemsi hasn't shown any indication of annoyance by any of this ordeal except for during the dinghy ride from Dragonstar to the shore. This was her first ride ever in the dinghy, and she was not impressed.


So here we are, back in Florida, and the adventure continues!


Oh, and make the recipe that follows the next time you need a snack for your workouts, or to help you stay up all night at the helm. Thanks again, Rhonda, for giving us this hugely satisfying, yet simple recipe!

RHONDA'S PROTEIN BALLS

Honey (1/2c)
Peanut butter (1/4c)
Almond butter (1/4c, or replace with more peanut butter)
Powdered milk (1/2c)
Protein powder (1/2c, or replace with more powdered milk)
Raw oats (1c)


1) Mix honey and butters, then add the rest.
2) Add any other complementary and snacky goodness you like, e.g., raisins, dried cranberries, chopped apricots, wheat germ, chocolate chips, etc.
3) Form the gooey mess into balls and refrigerate.

February 19, 2014

We Miss Them Already

What do you get when you put four friends and one cat into a thirty-two foot sailboat for seven days? (Aside from a calculator to deal with all those numbers!?) A doomed reality TV show? An angry cat and a bunch of scratched up friends?



Having just tried this very thing, we can say, the result was an awesome visit aboard Dragonstar from our good friends Will and Juli!


Will and Juli escaped the icy tundra of Pennsylvania to spend a week with us in the Bahamas. Juli's smile would have been sweet enough, but they also brought chocolates and liquor...and restocked our pantry. Woohoo!
Will makes a spectacular margarita!

Together we sailed from Nassau to Royal Island, Spanish Wells, and Harbour Island. Will and Juli are new to sailing, but after their time aboard, we'd like to think that their fins were definitely showing...

Juli drove a dinghy for the first time!
Will went spear fishing for the first time!
just your every day beach gear

A year and a half had passed since we last hung out with them so we had treasure chests full of gems to catch up on and talk about. And talk we did as we played Spades, introduced them to Quelli and Edson, walked a pink sand beach, and explored charming villages together.

mentira!!
for the record, you can satisfy
french fry cravings in the Bahamas
a sweet spot to spend Valentine's Day
Quelli, Edson, Cody, Will & Juli
William speared a fish on his first trip into the water, but it got away! We both witnessed it though, so it really happened.

(that's a quarter in his eye)

Will, Juli, thank you guys for visiting us and sharing so many good times. Cheers to many more!


Oh, and check out our new Guests page!

saying goodbye from a Harbour Island water taxi