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Date: 28 November 2017. Paralyzed by Planning (includes sundries list)


Like other times, I have run on at the fingers. You might want to pour yourself a cup of hot chocolate and gather a few cookies too. I wrote rather a lot. I have missed y'all, and below details some of what all has been occurring in my world.

I have been Paralyzed by Planning. You see, shortly I will be taking off for the east coast. I do not anticipate visiting a grocery store until February. Figuring out what I will want is one thing. The larger part of the problem however is storage. There is not much on a small boat such as Seaweed. Most of my difficulty is a direct result of my own paralysis however.

Of course I want things "right" and that means that
I try one thing, then another. All of that takes time.

Outings over to Gulfport are a fun diversion. Skipper gets her nails done at Reef Dog Grooming in Gulfport.
It is a few short blocks from the dinghy dock and anchorage to Reef Grooming. Phone 727-323-7007.

I am aware I could save the $5 fee charged by Reef Dog Grooming by clipping Skip's nails myself. Skipper behaves much better for the gals at the shop than for me. Her nails are mostly black and I'd rather not risk injuring my First Mate. Hiring an expert for this job is worth it to me, especially at the price charged by Reef.

It's been said that a woman's mind is like an open Internet Explorer browser, with a million tabs loading. There is a great deal off accuracy in that statement when it comes to how my brain functions. It is always busy.

Planning for departure has kept me busy. I have appreciated the rides to grocery stores, Big Lots, Walmart and more. There is always one more thing that I remember. That is frustrating. When I think I have finished at a store and find I want another item sold at that particular shop I become irritated with myself.

Sometimes I simply need to read and relax. When the world gets busy the Kindle helps center my universe.

Though Skipper's little paws are on my Kindle she cannot hurt it. And yes, I did move her.

What is worse is asking for a ride back to a place I was JUST at. Folks quite naturally wonder why I cannot get everything in one trip. It is very frustrating to arrive home and remember that I needed to pick up some 10x24 nuts and 3/4" bolts in the same size. Plus a few more eyebolts (screw variety) would be handy too... Argh!!!

I do write lists. I also manage to misplace the lists all too frequently.
The article 3x5 Cards details my system. The index cards do work when I keep track of them.

This is me. ↓ I am both the Mom and Dennis!

I love my home to be well organized. When it's not, I procrastinate. That is a bad habit of mine.

Reading on my Kindle is pure pleasure. Curling up in my warm comfy bunk with a hot cup of cocoa and a dime-store novel (think: old sci-fi) on the Kindle is wonderful. Life does not get much better.

Skipper is NOT allowed on my Kindle. This was an ut-oh moment atop my bed.
I love my warm bunk and appreciate the
Comfy Cruise 12-volt electric blanket.

Note circa 2023: The Comfy Cruise is no longer available. A similar product is the Trillium 12v Heated Travel Blanket With Safety Timer. You want this one in particular because it has a timer. That part is important. Plus I have bought from Trillium before. The quality was good. When my Comfy Cruise quits I will first check eBay for a NOS (New Old Stock) blanket. If not available I will buy the Trillium. The navy blue version of Comfy Cruise is the softest.

Staying warm is easy in south Florida. I am mid-way down the state and it has been getting down to the low 60's at night. Having a 12-volt electric blanket is pure decadence. I can preheat my bunk. I lay my nightie and fuzzy socks on the bunk. Then I cover them with a feather throw. Click on the electric blanket. Fifteen minutes later everything is nicely heated.

When my mind is working a thousand miles a second, a relaxing read is often just what I need to re-center my thinking. Figuring out how much I need for a couple months off-the-grid is more than just a list of foodstuffs.


I also need sundries that make my life more pleasant. They include:

  • Secret deodorant

  • Caress soap

  • Pantene shampoo

  • Pantene conditioner

  • Suave Moroccan lotion

  • Nivia

  • Oil for lanterns

  • Paraffin for lanterns

  • Citronella oil for lantern

  • Fuel for generator

  • Dish soap

  • Laundry detergent

  • Clorox spray cleanser

  • Waterline cleaner

  • Skipper's food

  • Skipper's treats

  • Flea medicine

  • Heart worm medicine

  • Medicine in case I get sick

  • Spare eyeglasses

  • Mint Chocolate truffles by Kiss

  • Dehydrated ginger candy


I have been canning chicken of late. Chicken is inexpensive. I can buy a ten-pound bag of leg quarters for $5. Skinned and boned, I end up with four pounds of pure healthy chicken.

In the meantime Seaweed is a disaster! I have stuff out, lockers emptied, others will not close as there is too much stuff in there... generally I have a mess on my hands. Fitting in the newest jars into the designated food locker was more difficult than I imagined.

Buying another case of canning jars was perhaps not the brightest idea I have ever come up with. I thought (there I go again!) that the locker had plenty of space for them. I was mistaken.

I am not complaining, not too much. You see, while at anchor having pre-cooked ready to eat food is such a blessing. Were I to decide I want chicken I can immediately have some. By canning meats I am not tied to a grocery store.


For those of us without large capacity refrigerators and freezers, canning offers a way to enjoy beef, pork and chicken without the need for refrigeration. For those that prefer store-bought, you can buy these items already prepared.

Advice: Shake the can. If the food inside sloshes, you are paying for a lot of liquid and not so much of the good stuff.

I have fun canning. There is a sense of accomplishment in finishing a batch of jars. If you want to learn how I do it, start here:

Canning Primer (Preserving Meats, Part 1)


Processing in Pressure Cooker (Preserving Meats, Part 2)


Chicken leg quarters canned in broth.


Life at anchor differs from when tied to a dock. Not having access to a grocery store means I must have all I need aboard Seaweed. And frankly I've been Paralyzed by Planning. Just when I believe I have all the items I could possibly want, I read a recipe and think "oh, that would be nice" at anchor.

The shopping list grows with each Good Idea that crosses my mind.

Today I went to a local grocery store called Aldi's. I bought blackberries and raspberries. Some I will can and the rest will be eaten. I have made a lot of preserves, jams and sauces of late. A girl has got to have her sweets.

My old shirts ↑ become disposable cleaning cloths.

I was also fortunate enough to recently visit the local Salvation Salvation Army store. I had cut into work rags two formerly white shirts that were stained. They needed replacement. The shirt I found cost just $3. I manage to look presentable on a budget because of thrift stores.

At the Salvation Army thrift store I also found a new nightie. It is wintertime so I wanted something with sleeves that was not flannel. I already have a long flannel gown. I look like my grandmother when wearing it. I am warm though.

As the temperature plummets, looks are not quite such
 a concern. I am vintage and I want to be comfortable.

Sipping a cup of chocolate while reading a regency Christmas anthology on my
Kindle... that's a good life I can assure you.

Add to all that, it's almost time for the St. Pete Boat Show. That begins Thursday, 30 November and ends on Sunday the 3rd of December. Be sure to say "ahoy" if you spot me there. I will be attending.


In previous years I have met lots of old friends and made some new ones too.


Greg from Mantus Anchors

Janice and Marty

Jody from Cruising Outpost

Please be sure to say "ahoy" if you see me at the boat show. I would like that.


Every single storage space on Seaweed has been emptied, cleaned, and organized within the past month or two. Some have been done multiple times. I have gotten rid of two bags of clothes. The diet has been progressing well (I hit my initial target) so I pitched the items that are too big.

I bought a new shirt today. I was not able to find a skirt though. Not yet at least.

For me, shopping at a thrift store is such a treat. I do need to get back there again as I need to replenish my long sleeved white shirt supply. I bought a few back in December and January. Thrift stores have them for about $3 each. I can work with that.

At thrift stores I can find cool things for my Grand.

The blue dress and binoculars were thrift store finds. The whys for my purchases
are described in the
Keeping in Touch with Grandchildren article.


I also buy skirts at thrift stores.


My friend Cheryl spotted a blue paisley wrap-around skirt at a local thrift store. I call her my Fashion Consultant. Cheryl has the best eye for what looks good. I'm bad at that.

My "style" (and that word is used very loosely) is to wear a skirt and a long sleeved white shirt. This works for me. One of these days I might come around and wear a patterned blouse however I would not bet on that happening any time in this decade.


TEAR in skirt with patch behind it.


←I simply stitch back and forth over the tear. Next I cut away the excess patch fabric.


The skirt was perfect when purchased. I am not always graceful. Unfortunately I tore it while climbing over the transom of Seaweed.

Yes I am still planning on having a tuna door cut into the transom. I am really REALLY tired of climbing over. Before that happens however I need to buy two big heavy duty hinges plus the latches to keep the door closed. I'm still in the Trying to Assemble Parts portion of that project.

Once I have secured the hardware required, I can have the tuna door built.


Because the skirt is patterned, the tear is nearly invisible when I am wearing it.


Boat clothing for me is chosen by virtue of how it functions. I need to be able to climb over the transom so a full skirt is best. The fabric cannot wrinkle. Finally, I want the item to dry quickly.

For me wrap-around skirts are ideal. As I am losing weight, mostly they adjust to the new smaller me.


One of my biggest Sins is buying stuff and not installing it. I have a pre-filter for my water system. One is installed. The secondary housing has been tucked under the sink in my head. That is ridiculous. It needs to be used.

Buying something and not utilizing it is a poor use of resources. Having the clutter and chaos does me absolutely no good at all. I have a terrible time writing when there is disorder in my life. Putting things away makes my soul happy.

And too, I have not taken my girl from the dock in
a couple weeks. When I am dock-bound I get testy.

On the other hand, I have started a gazillion projects. Best of all I have had a great deal of success too. I have learned more about feeding myself on a budget in the past two months than I have in a lifetime. A true epiphany occurred. The sense of happiness is permeating my being. I can't wait to share it with my readers.

Details will be in a separate article upcoming. I have to process the photos first.

Big Lots is a discount store in my area. I found LED's that suited Seaweed there.

I bought several of these lights. They are installed *everywhere.

*Definition of everywhere: Two in the bilge, one under my galley sink, one above the sink in my head, another attached to the microwave, one just inside my forward cabin on the bulkhead... you get the idea. Every place I thought hand's free light would be convenient, I added a LED Cordless Light.

 These lights are Extremely bright.

For power, they use four AAA batteries. The magnet buttons do not work. Use a screw instead.

Amazon offers a set of two for $8. I paid $4 for one at Big Lots. Affiliate link: LED Cordless Lights

Sometimes running a wire to an out-of-the-way spot is simply a hassle. At my age I've found if something is not easy, I won't do it. I like easy, and these lights are easy. I will say initially I bought two and ended up returning to the store and bought several more.

During Hurricane Irma I loaned two of my LED Cordless Lights to a new friend named Walter. He is 93 years young, living alone over on Madeira Beach in one of the older cottages so popular in the 1950s and 1960s. Walter was without power for several days after the storm. These lights lit his world until the electric was restored.

Thank goodness hurricane season is over.

This is Treasure Key, over in the Bahamas.
My friend Irene was anchored there just last week.

The "plan" is to meet Irene over in Fort Pierce this February. All my plans are written in beach sand and the tide is incoming. Still, with a departure in early December that should give me plenty of time to meander on over.

I tend to go very slowly. Out there I am where I want to be. When the views are interesting I stop and enjoy them. A twenty mile day is plenty. There have been days when I have just moved the boat around the bend of a river. When the wildlife is plentiful I will stop. After all, I am already where I want to be.

This is Saul Creek. It is a favorite. I introduced you to Saul Creek in the Silence Reigns (Saul Creek) article.

Aboard Seaweed life is blessed. I am happiest at anchor with a well-stocked larder. My lockers are currently filled. I still have a few goodies I would like to add however nothing is imperative. I have all I need and much of what I want. Truly I am fortunate.

If the simple things intrigue you, this life could be yours too. The first steps are difficult. Breaking the bounds of land is a hard for some folks. When I first started out life was far from decadent. I had a plan, and now nearly ten years later I have reached a level of comfort that satisfies me.

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one. Mark Twain.

If you want to go cruising, you can make that happen. Your boat might not be ideal today however improvements can be made. Buy the right boat, then make her better.

This is Larry's Mainship40 over at the Madeira Beach American Legion. She is a beauty.
That is my sangria. I spotted the boat and later learned it belonged to a fellow from TrawlerForum.

How cool is that? Friendships span the waterways... folks you say "ahoy" to online end up cruising the same waters as you. I met in real life Eva and her husband after chatting with them online. That was cool. Hopefully I will run into them again as I should be heading past their *homeport on my way to Fort Pierce.

*Homeport: The place where your boat hails from. On the transom your boat will have a homeport listed. Mine says Pensacola, FL. That is where my daughter resides. Generally speaking your home port is where your boat is most of the time.

Skipper is standing on the swim platform made by Mabe. Part of the homeport is showing.
I put the letters on myself. The boat rocked and the lettering is a bit wobbly. It suits me fine.

Are there still things I want to improve aboard my Seaweed? Yes, of course. A tuna door is on The List. I would like an autopilot some day too. AIS would be nice. A radar before I venture into foggy areas would be ideal. There are improvements to be made, leaks to track down and stop, plus maintenance. Always, always there is maintenance.

Caltexflanc on TrawlerForum said it best: "Even as we sit here
quietly at the dock, enjoying our drinks, things are breaking."


Seaweed now has enough solar panels to supply my needs and wants for power. Really, there is no difference in my life at anchor and tied to a dock... except I am happier at anchor.

So too is Island Time... anchoring out with the accoutrements of life is an amazing thing.

Like Seaweed, Island Time has solar panels. Solar provides most of the power used aboard Seaweed.

I am grateful to Larry and his wife because now I have enough solar panels to power my refrigerator. That is a true blessing. I appreciate so much having those last two solar panels. They put me over the edge when it comes to power. Side note: I have 445 watts now.

Life at anchor is wonderful. As my hearing deteriorates (everything else is too!) outside voices have become distracting. I prefer listening to the birds squawk, dolphin breathing, fish splashing and the wind blowing. This is the world I grew up in aboard our 40'er. Details can be found in The Fishing Boat article.

This was home until I grew up and married a good looking land-lubber. What was I thinking?!?

She is pretty. Daddy built her of steel in 1956.

Being underway is Stressful. I function best when well rested so short days meet my needs. As I have yet to acquire an autopilot, I am steering all the time. For details on that read the Tyranny of the Tiller (pre-purchase advice) post. That article in particular definitely belongs in the "wish I had known that first" column.

Regardless of the constant steering while cruising, I am delighted with my home. Every boat has stuff the owner wants done or is considering. For me, there is The List. In the meantime I am having a wonderful time.

The lockers are brimming with good things to eat. I have the Christmas tree up and am listening to the holiday music. I look forward to Christmas at anchor. I am not sure just where that will be at this point. Someplace south of St. Pete for certain.

This Thursday the St. Pete Boat Show begins. I will be attending as many days as possible. I like boat shows. Be sure to say "ahoy" if you see me. And thanks for reading through to the end. I appreciate that.

Addendum: I took off the month of December. A lot was accomplished. Still more items were added to The List. At times it seemed like my prop was spinning while Seaweed remained in neutral.

On the other hand I did get many things tidied away to my satisfaction. All in all, progress was made. I got some time at anchor which always cheers my spirit.

The St. Pete boat show was AMAZING. I'll tell you about that later.

Next article:  Advice for the Vintage Boater

Does your planning and list making delay your departure?
And, are you attending any boat shows this winter?

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Categories: Anchorages, Boat Talk, Boats, Books, Characters, Comfort, Gear, Locations, Organizing, Pets, Recommendations,

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