Friday, October 23, 2009

Swimming with a Manatee!

No, the pic above is a Sea Robinfish but first - Martin swam with a manatee out in the wild - how freakin' cool is that??? Yesterday we went diving with Dan & Sandra. It's been windy and the ocean is too high to go out so we all stayed at the bridge. Martin & Dan were free diving and Sandra and I were scuba diving. Martin & Dan meet up with 10 ft manatee that hung out with them for about 5 minutes. Amazing! They also found themselves swimming with a school of 6 eagle rays! Sandra and I missed the big critters but did find a Sea Robinfish (pic above). It's the creepiest thing ever! It has these appendages like front feet that they can move like fingers to turn over rocks and find food yet it's a fish. Yikes! I'm really amazed at the bridge area. It's just a sandy, kind of ugly space under water and you would never guess that such amazing and rare animals live there.

We also went to the Leonard Cohen concert last Saturday. Wow. It was an amazing, professional, classy show. I just can't believe that he is 75 yrs old. He has so much energy, vitality and wit, it shines through on stage. His fellow musicians and singers are incredibly talented. He sang and also read some of his songs as poems. I was laughing one minute and moved to tears the next. The show was 3 hours long of performance (and a 20 minute or so break in the middle). Even Martin (who was rather dubious about the show) had a great time. Absolutely wonderful!

On Sunday we went to Naples and visited Sue & Armando. It was a great day spent with great people :) We checked out a new English Pub that Martin gave the thumbs up to. We then watched a very strange-yet-funny movie, Burn After Reading. We had a nice afternoon catching up and getting kitty love from Tru & Blu. We finished off the day with stone crab claws for dinner (the season just opened). I'm going to miss Sue & Armando sooo much. I'm so thankful we've had the opportunity to be so close by and to see them.

Yes, I'm starting to really feel that the end of this magical year is approaching. I just can't believe how fast 10 months has gone by. We leave in just about a week for Curacao for November, then a few weeks more and we'll be home. I even have a return date for work, January 11th! Ooh, that's going to be a rough adjustment :) (Don't worry Judy, I'll get back in the flow quick ;) Okay, no more thinking like this or I get all freaky and sentimental.

So for the rest of our time in Ft. Lauderdale, we have more diving planned, the huge Fort Lauderale Boat Show next Thursday, and at least one more sea trial with Lucky (tomorrow). Oh, and we signed up for a Disco Dive in Curacao. It involves disco clothes and doing the hustle - at depth - can you say, excited???

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Cooling Off

Wow - it's finally supposed to cool off a bit in steamy Florida. While the rest of the country has been experiencing fall, we've been hotter and steamier than summer. But tomorrow's high should be 75! We're finally getting a break, yay!

This past week we've been pretty busy, socially and with Lucky. Here's the run down!

We had CJ, Margie, Sandra and Dan over for Martin's chili the other night. It was so much fun (and so filling ;) I got to see Sandra's pics of an octopus eating a crab - she's an awesome photographer! We have plans to go out diving with them again, hopefully this Wednesday. Thursday we went to see Hangover. Meh, not bad as comedies go...

We have some fun plans for this weekend. Tonight is Leonard Cohen in concert - woo hoo! I'm soooo excited! And tomorrow we're going to Naples to visit Sue & Armando. It was Sue's birthday this week and I'm really looking forward to seeing them again!! We're planning on riding bikes around town and then having a lovely stone crab dinner (or at least Martin is planning on that, he's a stone crab junky).

As for Lucky... Martin and I took her out on a sea trial on Friday. I haven't been on Lucky (moving) since June and I was all nervous! We did fine though Lucky didn't perform up to hopes. At 3400 rpm she's fine. That's slightly above our usual cruising speed. So that's really good! But when pushed full throttle - not so good. The port engine runs about 20 rpm shy of the starboard and overheats. The worse is that Lucky leans really, really badly to the left (at full speed). It kind of freaked me out. Martin says it's because the port engine isn't performing as well as the starboard so she "tilts". We debated letting her be as she is - so we can't run her full throttle - at this point who cares?

But then this morning (the drama just doesn't end), the head mechanic wanted to see Lucky and he and Martin found she was massively down in coolant. So it's boiling out of the engine. This can't be left alone. Sigh. So the work continues. Flipping raw water pumps between engines, blah, blah, blah. Another sea trial early next week but it'll be Martin and the mechanics. I'm good for now :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Photo Phrenzy!

In case you've missed it, we've added yet another link to pictures on the right. Steph's been such a busy photobug that she's maxxed out Picasa Web Albums again.

Update from Fort Lauderdale

Life in Ft. Lauderdale is HOT! We are coming to the end of a 3 week heat wave - that should be broken this weekend - yay! We've been getting some relief from the heat by diving with Dan & Sandra quite a bit. I've updated the Pic of Day 2 through 10-11-09 and had to start Pic of the Day 3! Sandra and I go scuba diving under the Blue Heron Bridge in Lake Worth and Dan & Martin free dive either by the bridge or out at the channel to the ocean. Our days on Gladius with Dan & Sandra are always fun with lots of sun and laughs. Friends of theirs often are aboard too. After a couple of hours diving we head to one of the many restaurants that have docs you can tie up too. I wish we had more of that in the Bay Area! The bridge area is a unique eco-system (river and salt and shallow) and there are amazing critters there - some that are typically very, very difficult to find elsewhere. My favorites are the batfish and burrfish. The pic above is the burrfish.

We've also been able to spend lots of time with CJ & Margie and the pups - always a Wonderful time! This Thursday we're having everybody over for some of Martin's Magnificent Chili - I'm really looking forward to it! We have settled into a very comfortable life here. I'm still jogging, even with the heat. I got a water belt that has helped a lot. I had a bit of a freaky morning this Monday. Jogging up the beach I saw police and then saw a dead body. He had apparently washed up in the night, rip. CSI is one of my favorite tv shows but I prefer fiction in this case :( Martin is still hanging in there doing the Shred with me. We've been cooking a lot and are still making use of the beautiful outdoor grill and seating area here at Kira-Mar. I recently discovered quinoa and am exploring new recipes... Hm, I guess that's all that new this week!

As for Lucky, things continue to move along and she may be fixed! Racor bowls were cleans, a thermostat adjusted and today the gas tank was emptied and cleaned (apparently we got back fuel somewhere in the Bahamas). Weather permitting we'll be taking her out tomorrow for a major sea trial.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Living in Fort Lauderdale

We're overdue for an update! Martin and I have had a great time the past few weeks. We've been settling in and working on our attitude adjustment and doing very well :) We've moved most of our kitchen stuff off of Lucky and into the apartment (I call our hotel suite an apartment). We've been doing a lot of cooking and using the grill outside by the water. I'm still running (up to 50 minutes now!) and I even have Martin doing Jillian Michael's Shred with me - getting healthy!

The highlight of our time here is that we get to spend lots of time with Margie and CJ. We've had them over for dinner and we've gone up to Delray to visit them a few times. We're going to the movies too. We discovered that if you go to a matinee on a weekday that you're the only people in the theatre and it's kind of cool. We each get to pick which one on alternate weeks. So far we've picked 2 winners - Julie & Julia and The Surrogates.

We also met another wonderful couple, Sandra and Dan. They are very close with Margie & CJ (and tons of fun too :) and live a bit north in Lake Park. We spent a great evenig with Margie, CJ, Sandra, Dan and their friends Frank and Stephanie last weekend. Pomegranate martinis and sushi - a lovely night! Sandra and Dan are avid bikers and divers (scuba and free diving). Last Sunday we went out with them and did a little of both (free and scuba) off of their boat and it was awesome! We saw a batfish - one of the strangest and coolest fish I've ever seen. Sandra is a professional underwater photographer and has a gift for finding allusive critters. She has a book that is coming out soon and I can't wait to get it. (I found the pic above online but had to show you what this thing looks like!) I think Martin is very, very interested in learning how to free dive. He's lucky because Dan is one of the best and has offered to teach us!

This week we also went to Butterfly World with Margie and CJ and had a great time. There's an aviary there and bug museum as well (CJ and I weren't so into the spiders.) I tried to get good butterfly pics but they are tough to get on film... I did put a few photos on the pic of the day 2 though (birds and flowers mostly). One frisky lorikeet drew blood - but my finger and I survived!

We have several fun things on the agenda for October. We got tickets to see Leonard Cohen who is actually performing right in Ft. Lauderdale (thank you Anne!) I'm soooo excited! And the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is the last weekend of the month. It's the biggest in the country. There will be a Nordhavn 60 there to check out, drool... Then there's the alligator park, monkey jungle, botanical garden and seaquarium still on the list too.

Tonight we're having dinner with Margie & CJ and maybe Sandra and Dan, at Runway 84. It's a restaurant near where we had been staying (close to Lucky) that is shaped like an airplane. Excellent and abundant Italian food. Tomorrow we're going out with Splashdown Divers for two boat dives with Sandra, Dan and a bunch of their friends. It feels so good to be out doing fun stuff!

Work continues on Lucky. Martin is there now with the mechanics doing some kind of a test. We're still crossing our fingers that she'll be fixed by November 2nd when we leave for Curacao. Speaking of Curacao, we are so, so sad to hear that Natas, the old man pit bull (16 yrs old!) of Sunshine Getaway has crossed the rainbow bridge. He was an awesome dog, RIP.

So that has bee life in Ft. Lauderdale this September since our return from home! We'll be back with more adventures soon... :)