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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Overhauling and Bringing My Nissan Outboard Motor Back to Life...

I had a most joyous experience the other day when the outboard motor that I had recently purchased off of Craigslist finally came back from the dead and roared back to life again. One could even say that my experience was almost as joyous as that of a Pentecostal parishioner jumping up and down in an apocalyptic frenzy while speaking in tongues...

That motor had evidently been in a deep coma after sitting around neglected in somebody's garage for an extended period of time and was in dire need of a complete overhaul. All it took to awaken that thing was a bit of persistent, tender, loving care in all the right places to finally get it to respond and eagerly want to be put back to good use.

The tender, loving care involved disassembling, cleaning and finally lubricating all the moving parts in even the most sensitive of places to eventually persuade it to work like it was intended. There had nevertheless been a moment or two when I had wondered whether I'd even so much as make that thing sputter if only but for a brief moment but she did indeed eventually sputter and later screamed in ecstasy after moaning for a good while.

It's always an intense pleasure for me whenever I yank on the starter cord and that motor eagerly responds on command. It sure beats the hell out of rowing to and from shore everyday.

Two-Stroke outboard motors are pretty basic insofar motors are concerned but I now only know that in hindsight after getting a complete and thorough education from some of my fellow boaters here in the harbor... and I do indeed thank them all for their unselfish help.

An Inauspicious Attempt at Kayaking...

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I finally got around to giving my new kayak a trial run the other day after a cold front that had passed through the Keys finally relented. It happened to be on a sunny morning with a chilly yet gentle breeze blowing through the air when I figured it would be a nice day to initiate that dinky little boat.

Mind you that I'd never previously been on a kayak before yet I was most certainly looking forward to a nice, relaxing, excursion throughout the harbor. So after layering on some warm clothing and after donning a life-jacket I gingerly, or so I thought, lowered myself into my kayak. It was then at that moment that what I most feared happening suddenly happened.

Yeah... that was me going for an unplanned early morning swim off the stern of my boat. In but an instant I was bobbing in freezing, cold water. My warm clothing was now a thing of the past and was now weighing me down. It was a good thing that I had strapped on my life-vest because it was a bit of an effort to climb back onboard my boat.

Nevertheless after a change of clothes and after laying my wet clothing out to dry in the cockpit, I was once again lowering myself back down into the kayak only this time with a lot more caution.

I did eventually kayak about the harbor for an hour or so but I certainly didn't attempt any speed records for fear of going for another unplanned early morning swim.

When it was all said and done, I had a lower back strain from all that kayaking throughout the harbor to go along with my bruised pride. I haven't been kayaking since.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Even the Birds are Weirder Here in the Florida Keys...

Things are definitely weirder down here in the Keys and I'm not just talking about the people that I previously blogged about either...

Just the other morning I happened to climb up on deck and saw the goofiest looking bird ever perched up on the bow of my boat.

It was still somewhat early in the morning when I found myself peering at that goofy looking bird on more than just a few ocassions just to convince myself that I wasn't seeing funny.

I'm quite certain that I wasn't hung-over from drinking either because I know for sure that I haven't imbibed in over a month... nor had I indulged in smoking any funny things the prior evening either because I ain't into that kind of stuff. If anything I had simply yet to have my first cup of coffee that morning.

Not only was that goofy looking bird peering back at me but I swear I could hear it singing a Bob Marley melody as well...

"... three little birds, pitched on my doorstep, singing sweet songs, of melodies pure and true, singing this is my message to you, ooh, ooh... Cause every little thing, is gonna be allright..."

Oh goodness, I'm quite certain that I still have my wits about me and if I don't, I'm sure somebody will let me know otherwise...

I'll have to describe the goofy looking fish that jumped clear out of the water and over the cockpit, and into my dinghy the other day but I've got things to do aboard my boat at the moment and that fish story will simply have to wait for some other day...

Monday, December 27, 2010

Howling at the Moon While Aboard My Boat in Boot Key Harbor...

It was a week ago or so that I coincidentally happened to observe a lunar eclipse from the companionway of my boat. I'll also have you know that this was but a minute or two after my bladder had rudely awakened me out of a sound sleep. And after gazing up into the crystal-clear, cold night sky, I was suddenly marvelling at a lunar eclipse in progress.

And after relieving my bladder and peeing a gallon or so, I then wrapped a thick blanket around myself to keep from freezing my ass off as I then took a moment to gaze up at the moon. as the earth's shadow ominously shaded that orb in its entirety.

It was damned cold outside and I'll be the first to admit that I was most tempted to blow off watching the eclipse and simply go back and snuggle beneath my warm comforters and blankets inside the boat's V-Berth.

However, I couldn't help but wonder just how often one does get a chance to observe an eclipse of the moon on a clear night sky and of a full moon no less. Besides, it wasn't like I'd be commuting to a day job first thing the next morning or even pulling up anchor to sail off somewhere the next day.

While marvelling at the dynamics of the heavenly bodies in play, I thought of all the remote communities in the world freaking out that the world just might be coming to an end. I also wondered whether religious zealots throughout the world might be in an apocalyptic frenzy at that very moment.

Well I've never howled at the moon before but if ever there was an appropriate moment to howl, this certainly was it. So yeah, that was me howling at the moon in the middle of the night in Boot Key Harbor during the lunar eclipse.

Mind you that it was a subdued howl lest anyone report me to the authorities and suggest that I was mentally unbalanced... but I did nevertheless howl just for the hell of it.

Besides if Ukrainian Chess Grandmaster Vassily Ivanchuk can howl at the moon after a painful loss at the chess board then I suppose that it is okay for me to howl at the moon during a lunar eclipse.