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Date: 18 December 2015. Imaginary Friends IRL (in real life)
 


Captain Larry and Eva of the 36' Manatee named Bucky


Being on the water is fabulous. As a soloist life on the hook did get a mite lonesome. There was also the safety factor to be considered. I was unable to look up stuff on the internet as I do not own a smart phone. I did have phone numbers from when I was connected ashore so that was helpful. Having to rely on outside help bothered me and I worried I was becoming a chore. I have this independent streak so opted to purchase a MiFi thumb-drive gizmo.
 

The MiFi device is bent. The netbook slid off the dinette while I was setting up my Christmas tree.

I should have had the computer on that shelf liner rolled behind it. Argh.
With the dinette fully open fiddles prevent anything from sliding off the table.
 

If you noticed the date on the above computer screenshot it's like this: I have templates that are basically the page you see without the text nor photos. I update/fix and tweak, then upload. It's why you see August above. That was the last time the code was tweaked.

I tweaked because Google AdSense kicked me off their program. That was disappointing. My theory is that because I was signing on through open wifi's at two local marinas back in Carrabelle they had me pegged as "from" there. Then when other boaters at those same marinas clicked on my ads, Google thought I was cheating.

With Google AdSense you get one opportunity to appeal then that's that. I didn't think about the wifi angle when I appealed. Since I don't cheat it never occurred to me the open wifi could have made it appear like I was.

Such is life. I have Amazon ads in place now. They also disallow any relationship whatsoever between self and purchasers. And that ladies and gents is why I pay for my own wifi connection!

In case  you wondered... that and open wifi is mostly a thing of the past. Out here you really must have your own connection if you have any desire to surf the internet on the computer.


Because my gizmo works even though bent I'm calling it Good Enough. In the meantime Kidlet is exploring the possibility of getting me an unlimited Verizon smart phone with a hot spot. We're not sure if that's possible. Her phone is grandfathered into the high-speed unlimited plan...

I'm not too sure I want to join this century and the smart
phone phenomenon however I've been assured I'll like it.

I have been using the Verizon *MiFi for the computer and all is well. I post on forums and that's fun too. We boaters do love talking about our vessels. There are the boat problems and lots of times others have had the same issue and solved it. Having access to that knowledge base is incredibly helpful.

*MiFi - The thumb-drive gizmo is a mifi device that allows me to connect to the internet. I thought they were called wifi thingies however was told that's not true. I don't know nor care what the name is as long as it works.

Now that I've experienced life afloat both without and
with an internet connection I prefer to stay in touch.

My favorite online hang out is Trawler Forum. The Kidlet calls the folks I chat and email online my Imaginary Friends. Recently I was blessed to meet in real life Captain Larry who owns Bucky. Best of all he and his bride Eva came for a visit. What a treat that was for me.
 


Larry even brought a pair of solar panels for my Seaweed. I cannot tell you how pleased that makes me. Finally seven point five years into this journey I am energy independent. My life (excluding the 5k BTU wall-banger air-conditioner) remains the same whether I am tied to a dock or living life at anchor off a deserted island.

I am truly blessed.
 

 

Folks should remember the boat they buy does not have to have all the whistles and bells at purchase. It is possible to tweak and improve any boat. For proof positive of that read The Fishing Boat article. Seaweed at purchase had an inadequate anchor, no windlass, no solar, no wind generator, one battery, one quart of oil and a spare sink stopper. Oh, and the ugliest sun-rotted curtains on the planet.

Your boat doesn't have to be perfect from the get-go.

 


Have I mentioned how wonderful life afloat is lately?!?

 


Having extra L-brackets to raise the panels mean they will stay cooler too. Thanks so much Larry and Eva.
 

I can live a decadent life at anchor without a power
cord thanks to the addition of those two panels!!!

Finally my refrigerator will always be on. Before I did not have sufficient power generation ability to run the reefer at will. Now I do. There is no way you can imagine how much of a change that will make in my life. Saying "thank you" to Eva and Larry seems so paltry for so large an impact this will have for my life. I am blessed for certain. And "Thank you both so much" from here to the bottom of my ice filled glass of tea.

Larry and Eva were upgrading the solar array on their Manatee. Theirs is a gem. I've seen pictures of the work Larry has done to Bucky (their boat) and it is simply spectacular. Bucky is amazing.

They drove up from their home port south of here and we had lunch together. That was definitely a treat for me. We went to a local restaurant called SeaBreeze Island Grill & Raw Bar. The conch chowder was good. Eva, Larry and I had a wonderful chat outside then moved inside when an afternoon rain shower came through.

Side Note about SeaBreeze restaurant: Come by boat and according to Ally at SeaBreeze your first draft beer is free. How cool is that?!?
 


I enjoy lunches out. Number One: earlier is lots less expensive than the dinner menu pricing. It is relaxing to arrive after the lunch crowd has departed. There is an afternoon siesta type of experience with lots of time to visit and enjoy each other's company. That is not found during rush hour as a general rule.
 

And Eva is just the jolliest lady. She'll be a great cruiser and is already a terrific person.


It was fun getting to know Eva. She had a ton of questions. I've been mulling over a more formal expansion of what I've done in the past. The visit with Eva and Larry was very helpful to me. It was a real godsend to confirm those potential seminar topics are the very ones she asked about. And I added a couple more to the mix too. Thank you Eva.

Larry is making their M/V Bucky into quite a yacht. He's meticulous and it shows in the craftsmanship of his repairs and upgrades.
 

 

 

It is very easy to get swamped by wanting to make everything just right. I hope all yachtsmen and women will be able to escape the only-one-more-thing syndrome. We have all succumbed to the desire to make all things perfect when often Good Enough is quite sufficient.

That is definitely one of my problems. Since I'm stuck at a dock the why-don't-I and while-I'm-not-doing-XYZ have been very prevalent. Some of that is a good thing and I have accomplished many items on my To-Do List.

These are a few of the items I've completed:

There is more however those are some of the items that have been accomplished in the last few months. All of them except getting the refrigerator aboard Seaweed could have been done at anchor or while cruising. That is the most important thing I need to remember.

Not all repairs or upgrades need be done while tied to a dock.
All projects are more easily completed with access to supply stores.

 


It's a two-edged sword. I want to cruise. The lack of mobility is a killer. Betsy, the newest and final engine, went in last autumn. I'm THISclose to a sea-trial. And of course I'm anxious to learn how this LAST diesel will operate.
 


To meet and get to know Eva and her Larry was a real treat. They took Skipper and I to a nearby restaurant called SeaBreeze. It was just the break I needed. Thank you both for the lovely visit.

SeaBreeze welcomes boaters. According to Ally who works there large boats and sailboats have tied to their dock for dinner. The outside patio makes SeaBreeze ideal for those of us with four-legged crew members. A local with a 50' Hatteras says he anchored in the cove behind the restaurant and found good holding.

Life is good in the St. Pete area with lots of green water and pretty views. I cannot wait to see what's next on the horizon.

Have you met anyone IRL (in real life) from an online introduction?
And, would you rather go out for lunch or dinner?

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