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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Pissing in a Cup

Heron resting comfortably on the finger
of the slip behind ours.  A regular?  Dunno (yet).
Re-entering "civilization" for hurricane protection and cruising kitty replenishment.... With it comes a strange stew of experiences we oft take for granted.  To wit:

Daily Living
  • endlessly hot, irresponsible showers (yes! Yes!! YES!!!)
  • regular pumpouts (if you don't know what that is, you may not want to ask)... or a long walk to the loo (not a bad option sometimes)
  • free laundry -- with a washing machine and a dryer!
  • sussing out what will be our regular grocery stores (JAX Navy Commissary is the hit so far - NEX is not a bargain - some middleman is definitely making a profit!)
  • strong, 24/7 power... enough to run an air conditioner (needed, here)! 
  • freshwater hose for water (watermaker pickled)
  • resume regular recycling (yay!) and garbage disposal
Home, for now at Ortega Marina, Jacksonville FL.
Check www.ortegalanding.com if you're curious.  
Getting Around
  • dinghy-ing to land is no longer a prerequisite; just step onto the dock... and ... walk
  • a car... first a rental, now car shopping (Craigslist, spreadsheets, Kelley Blue Book, Mapquest, GPS), then title registration, plates, and 7% sales tax, car insurance
  • considering traffic patterns (fortunately not too bad in the place we're calling home for 6 months)
Portion of my car-shopping matrix.  Yes, I am that analytical.
Making Money
  • print, sign, scan, email 20+ pages of forms for future employer (to start)
  • daily future employer call-ins (with special dispensation for our sailing out of phone range for 2 days)
  • pissing in a cup for not-so-perfect strangers (don't you love this pre-employment rite of passage?)
  • buying work clothes (those stained tattered and torn togs just don't pass for professional attire -- even for mechanics)
  • job hunting (Wayne's landed, now it's my turn -- know anyone hiring in Jacksonville FL?)
Getting (Re)Connected
  • need to set up a new mailing address
  • (re)figuring out mobile phone service plans (Wayne, Verizon, me TBD)
  • excellent 24/7 internet!
  • driving distance from Mom & Dad (and driving is actually an option)
  • sharing the joy of a family wedding (ironically, my newly married nephew's honeymoon was in St. Lucia -- where we began on Journey)
Play!
  • swimming pool & hot tub
  • new neighbors, "full time cruisers" to share info, stories and fun
  • who knows what cultural delights await us in our new Portland-like riverfront home?
More Boat Bucks
  • boat insurance
  • storage area for sails, and a plethora of (temporarily!) unnecessary sailing stuff
  • review, revise, resume LONG dual boat repair list, one for daily living," the other for resuming cruising
Ortega Bridge Lift Opening... we held our breath, hoping we
weren't too wide to get through!  More soon on
our intracoastal journey in.
Luxuries!  At the same time, we'll be counting down the days until we go vagabond again, pining for long, hot showers, drinking seawater, power, phone, internet, fresh produce, oft feeling abandoned.  

Ahhh, but to cast yourself upon the mercy of the seas is a fair trade for feeling the stir of a fresh wind, dallying with dolphins, skimming and swimming astonishingly clear waters in every glassine shade of blue and green, extinguished every eve in a glorious, flaming sunset.

It’s beconing….
When the snowbirds return to Florida, we migrate wetward....

Meanwhile, there’s still PLENTY to blog about that I’ve yet to cover from our last 8 months’ sailing, and all the prior (and current) preparation.


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