Our MacGregor Index Page.......Southwest FL 2010 Index

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.....................................................--- The Storm ---

......................................................................--- and ---

--- More On How We Live on This Small Boat --

.........................--- Sun.-Tue. - Dec. 12th to 14th ---

Sunday Night through Wed. Night Anchorage: Inside Freshwater Lock

Anchorage = 026°30.491 N -- 082°11.158 W

Sunday morning brought lots of fishermen into our anchorage trying to catch fish and lobsters. Seems like the area just inside the fresh water side of the lock is a great fishing spot. Pretty soon there were 3 smaller powerboats anchored almost together on the east side of the entrance into the lock and then a couple on the west side.

Then another real small Jon boat arrived with about 5 guys jammed into it. They first tried anchoring just off our stern in the few feet there between the boat and the mangrove shoreline. That didn't seem to work, so they moved just off our bow where they were almost right in the channel going to the lock. They stayed there for a long time until that afternoon when all of a sudden the wind picked up and a line of clouds moved in from the west signaling the leading edge of the new storm.

The locals in the powerboats took notice, pulled up their small anchors and quickly motored off back in the direction of their homes. The guys in the Jon boat stayed until the winds hit then tried to make a quick exit. They were pulling up their anchor and I watched and thought that they sure had a large anchor chain on that small boat. They looked over at me and started yelling in broken English, "sorry, sorry, sorry". Then it finally dawned on me that they had hooked one of our two anchor chains and had pulled it to the surface to untangle themselves from it. In the process they moved our anchor so that now we were in way too close to shore in the narrow channel.

They left and Ruth motored us ahead to the anchor and then I pull it up and we took it back to where it belonged and put it back down on the bottom.

Now we were all alone at the lock and the storm was on us and we wouldn't see anyone for about 2 days as the storm dominated the area. The forecasters said we were getting 40+ mph winds, but I don't think we got over 25 in our little hidy-hole. The temps dropped into record lows of about 30 degrees for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights. It was 41 in the boat each of those mornings and it didn't get real warm during the day. I lamented on my failure to buy the Little Buddy heater that we were suppose to get before the trip. We used all the blankets available onboard and also wore long underwear each night. It was cold, but not unbearable and we stuck it out anticipating still a couple days of sailing after the storm and before we had to head north in the Suburban.

Now for a little more 'living aboard' stuff. If this bores you more than what is above go on to the next day. You might not want to skip it as it was a 'big one' for Ruth and I.

Disposing of trash and storing it on a long trip like this requires some consideration. Some Items we remove from packaging and store in reusable containers when possible but that often is not the case like when we have 4-6 bags of chips on board like above.

To store our cloths in as small an area as possible we fold and roll them and do likewise with a lot of trash like the bag above.

We also end up with cans. Instead of trying to smash them we put the folded up trash into the cans and press in used paper towels. If you take your time it is amazing how much you can compact your trash in this manner. We then put the above and other trash into grocery store plastic bags and when full compact them down into one of the storage tubs until we find a place to dump every thing. I have a short (10 inch long) piece of 2 X 6 onboard in the cockpit and stomp the aluminum pop and beer cans flat on it.

The arrows above point to the storage compartments under the aft berth mattress if it was being used. Most of these I use for cordless drills, battery packs, a cordless saber saw, nuts/bolts and other hardware along with a Fortress FX-11 that is stored disassembled.

We changed out the soft sided coolers shown above for ones with plastic liners for our anchor rode bags on the bow. That freed up two of them and we used them to store food goods in. They worked nice and once emptied we were able to fold them up and store them away in a corner.

Here you can see one being used to hold the pasta mix packages that we like so much for evening meals. We can make a one pot meal out of them by mixing in canned meat or fish or chicken and also a canned vegetable. We usually put in 1/2 cup of milk and one cup of water and then also add the water from the meat and vegetable can along with a little butter. Bring the water/milk to a boil, mix in the pasta and get it boiling then add the meat/vegetable and cook for however long it takes for the pasta to be done. You can come up with lots of different combos doing this and we also use the packages like above that use rice vs. pasta.

The top arrow points to one of the vents on the frig. There is also one on the front side and another on the back side right in the same area. We make sure they are kept free so that air can circulate to and from the frig. The other two arrows point to two plastic container with AA and AAA batteries that are acting as spacers to keep.....

....items away from the vent such as the container for the Double Doodie bags that hold the output from the head. Here you can see that container in a plastic bag to make sure no odors escape. On the next trip we replace the used bulk laundry soap containers with 5 gallon pails with sealed screw-on lids and really like those now. No odors from them.

Here we are cleaning up after a meal using very little water. I'll put a bowl or pot in the sink and then as I pump water on the sponge to clean the silverware it collects in the bowel.

I can then reuse that water to clean the next bowl, plate or pot.

As I wash something I'll rinse it off and collect that water also. Repeating this until everything is washed usually using way less than a quart of water to wash dishes.

Ruth will take the rinsed items from me and dry them with a paper towel. We don't use soap as then you need more water to get it off.

I'm sure some of you reading this are doubting the effectiveness of this given the fact we are using so little water and no soap. Let me add my thoughts and comments on that. One is that if water isn't boiling it isn't going to kill bacteria, so hot water that you can use by hand just helps to loosen food along with the soap. We try and plan meals around food preparation that doesn't use lots of cookware and that doesn't get baked on in the cooking process. We want it to come off easy. We also always wash right after eating when the food comes off easily.

Ruth is the final inspector during the drying process and if no food remains then bacteria isn't going to grow and you are good to go. We have never been sick washing like this either on the boat or at home.

Once cleaned and dried the pots, pans, bowls and plates are put away in the storage cabinet above the sink.

Now on to the big day or I should say night.....

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