2010 Captain's Log

Click on Image for Map of our Travels. Remember, we're a small leaf on a really, really big pond.

Date Log Entry
12/1/2010 Still In Marathon - Boot Key Harbour Mooring Ball
Mooring monthly summary:
  • Finances: We spent $2,234 for the month. Final 2010 Year-End Totals: Total Budget: $31,815. Total Expenses: :$28,399. Break down is as follows:
    Communications $549.07
    Fuel $1,064.56
    Gifts Given $108.90
    Insurance $7,633.00
    Living $3,137.70
    Maintenance/Supplies $76.81
    Membership $0
    Marina/Dockage $3,547.56
    Miscellaneous $115.07
    Provisions $9,659.98
    Registration $165.63
    Repairs $2,140.48
    Tax $300
  • Projects: Replaced the retifier and switch on the wind generator. Blew a fuse and checked and I had a wire too close to another at the switch, fixed it and now producing power. Now we can use solar on the dinghy battery and wind on Believe's battery short term. Long term, I'm looking for a small 20 amp solar panel.
  • Events: Michael recorded voices for the sound track for Bad Year for Tomatoes. Michael and Cheri helped with taking down the Odd Couple set. Michael was hit in the forehead with a 2x4 and went to the emergency room for 6 stitches. Michael and Cheri attended Monday-Thursday Act Now Rehearsals. Went to Miami with theater friend Rita to see the play South Beach Babylon by a local artist. We accepted Rita's offer of spending the night onshore during 25+ knot winds for several days. Got together with Gemini boat friends Lee and Dee from About Time. Attended Christmas Dinner at the marina. Attended Candle Service at the Baptist Church and performed a duet with Tracy from Dolphin Connection of Michael's arrangement of Silent Night. We housesat for theater friends Joyce and Fred and their dog, Tiffany. Michael and Cheri attended the Book Club discussing Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.. Had a great dinner on boat friends Kit with other boat friends from Enchantress. Spent New Years with theater friends.
  • Weather: Beautiful and clear for the most part. Had a week at a time with a cold front and record low temperatures and high (25+ knot) winds. Enjoyed a beautiful Christmas and New Years Day day - temps in the 70's with light winds.
11/1/2010 Still In Marathon - Boot Key Harbour Mooring Ball
Mooring monthly summary:
  • Finances: We spent $2,278 for the month. High medical costs for Cheri having some moles and pre-cancer growths removed.
  • Projects: Regular Maintenance. Cheri re-waterproofed Michael's wet gear.
  • Events: We went to the Odd Couple - female Version play at the Community Theater and Michael taped for the DVD. Had our opening ACT NOW play read-through and started rehearsals. Cheri went to several craft fairs in the area. Michael attended the Community Theater's By-Laws meeting. We went to a celebration of Marathon's 11th Birthday at the park next door. We attended a pre-Thanksgiving Dinner at the Baptist Church and then spent Thanksgiving with theater friends Dan and Rita.
  • Weather: Winter has come so temperatures are cooler November 30 officially ended hurricane season. Since 1851, 2010 is in 3rd place with the most named storms and in 2nd place for the most hurricanes.
10/1/2010 Still In Marathon - Boot Key Harbour Mooring Ball
Mooring monthly summary:
  • Finances: We spent $1990 for the month. Bought more components for the dinghy engine system, paid for some ACT NOW items that will be reimbursed later.
  • Projects:
    • Removed the aluminum control box from the KISS wind generator and checked the Rectifier. It started working as I twisted things around and one wire is burned, so tried to cut and repair the wire. Was unable to remove the wire nut from the bolt - it's fused together so I ordered a new switch/rectifier plate from HotWire.
    • Built a switch box to switch the solar panel between house bank and the dinghy battery. It works well, but I'm still looking for a small but powerful solar panel.
  • Events: Cheri and Michael performed in the theater One Weekend Only fundraising variety show. Videos are on the video link at the bottom of the page. A member of the Marathon Chamber of Commerce liked the show and some numbers, so we performed our acts at the Chamber Award dinner. Cheri attended her monthly book club and discussed the book Cutting for Stone. Directors and Choreographer met several times to continue preparations for our play ACT NOW and doing first drafts of blocking and choreography. One of our cast members had to drop out for personal reasons and we held a open audition on 10/30 and made final cast changes on 10/31. So everyone is in place for the read through on 11/5.
  • Weather: 10/6-10/10 watched Hurricane Otto, 10/11-10/15 watched Hurrican Paula, 10/21-10/26 watched Hurricane Richard, 10/29-10/30 watched Hurricane Shary 10/29, 10/29-10/31 watched Hurricane Tomas. So far, we continue to be unaffected.
9/1/2010 Still In Marathon - Boot Key Harbour Mooring Ball
Mooring monthly summary:
  • Finances: We spent $2,258 for the month. Bought new dinghy engine system.and paid taxes.
  • Projects: Gas Dinghy engine died, purchased and setup a new electric dinghy system consisting of a Minkota electric motor, Optima Deep Cycle Group 24 battery, charger and security cabling. Will look to have a dedicated solar panel for the dinghy in the future, but for now will use a charger and will route a line from Believe's solar panel. My concern is that I can charge Believe's house system from my Honda 2000 in an hour. I can run a charger from the Honda 2000 to charge the Group 24 battery and it takes more than 5 hours. So I'm looking for a better solution. I've thought of plugging the dinghy battery into one of Believe's cigarette lighters and it then becomes part of my house and the charging options but have concerns because it's a different battery type and isn't hooked up directly to the Xantrex Inverter/Charger.
  • Events: We had auditions for next season's plays including ACT NOW the 17th and 18th and got a great cast. Once auditions were locked in, Michael worked on music with Ann Hart, our choreographer while Cheri worked on finalizing the script. Cheri and Michael both attended dance classes for the upcoming mid-October One Weekend Only show. One of our tah-DANCE choreographers who teaches dance in Key West setup a barter arrangement where Michael tunes and shortens her dance files and she teaches us the Tango. On 9/16, Michael was sunning behind Believe on an air mattress and a wild dolphin sounded close by. When Michael looked up, the dolphin's fin was passing by 2 feet away - magical!
  • Weather: 9/1-9/2 watched Tropical Storm Gaston. 9/8-9/12 watched Hurricane Igor. 9/14-9/15 watched Hurriance Julia. 9/14-9/16 watched Hurricane Karl. 9/21-9/24 watched Hurricane Lisa. 9/24-9/25 watched Tropical Storm Matthew and finished the month with Tropical Storm Nichole 9/28-9/29. We don't have much of it on Believe, but we're knocking on whatever wood we can find for continued luck in avoiding these things.
8/31/2010 Still In Marathon - Boot Key Harbour Mooring Ball
Mooring monthly summary:
  • Finances: We spent $2,391 for the month. Refer and dinghy engine repairs hit us hard as well as high provisions due to living out of a cooler.
  • Projects: Problems with Dinghy engine, refer and water system as follows:
    • Dinghy Engine: The engine died so took it to Barry for work. He replaced the spark plug and returned it. It performed terribly and died the next day. So he replaced the newly fowled spark plug again, dropped the lower unit and repaired a leak into the housing behind the zinc, it still performed terribly. He took it back and took off the power head, checked the exhaust system, rechecked the plug, compression and carburator and it still performed terribly but it starts and kinda runs. Barry will see if he can borrow another carburator and see if that is the issue. However, we are resolved that next time it dies, we will replace it with an electric motor, battery and solar panel - several boat friends are very pleased with the arrangement.
    • Refer: Symptoms: It lights just fine but the solinoid shuts off after 30 seconds; then it waits for a minute, lights again for 30 seconds then shuts off and the check light comes on. Duane from SALT came out and cleaned the burner to no effect. He checked several components and concluded that it was the thermocouple. I had done research and asked if he tested it and he hadn't. So he tested it and found it had an 18.2 millivolt return which was in the range. So he concluded it was the RV Power Universal Module PCB Board Part #3850415013. So he left and ordered it. When he came back he installed it and the refer still had the same problem. So just because he can't think of anything else, he'll order and replace the thermocouple. On 8/17 he came back and installed the thermocouple Part #2932052018 and it solved the problem. He didn't test and see what the millivolt return was for this new part, but obviously it was different than the old one.
    • Water System: On 8/28 I switched to the SB water tank and the pump kept going - so something is wrong with the water tube or the switch. I removed and blew out the water tank vent but no effect. I checked the tubes from each water tank at the switch and they were okay. The valve switch was very, very stiff (a common Gemini complaint) so I decided to remove it and just put in a 1/2" T connector. Tested the system and it now works fine. This means that we won't have a warning when 1 tank runs out since both will be empty at the same time - but we'll accept the trade-off siince we always have two 5-gallon water jugs full for showers.
  • Events: Saw Dinner for Schmucks, Inception and The Other Guys at the Marathon Cinema. Went to Key West with friends Tom and Jackie and saw The Expendibles. Cheri started attending the Movement, Tap and Belly Dancing dance classes again at the theater. Michael, Cheri and Rita Irwin created a skit for the upcoming One Weekend Only show and we watched the OWO auditions. We attended the Season 2010-2011 Director's Production Meeting at the theater in preparation for Auditions in mid-September. Michael and Cheri read and enjoyed the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trilogy - we don't enjoy the same books - so quite an event.
  • Weather: Went through Tropical Depression Five 8/6-8/9 with 3 days of heavy rainfall which also delayed getting my refer fixed. Watched Hurricane Danielle 8/23, Hurricane Earl 8/28 and Tropical Storm Fiona 8/31 as they developed and fortuneately didn't come our way. Danielle and Fiona were fishburners and Earl hit the US East Coast. There are 2 more more events on the African Coast were watching.

7/31/2010 Still In Marathon - Boot Key Harbour Mooring Ball
Mooring monthly summary:
  • Finances: We spent $1,850 for the month. .
  • Projects: Dinghy Engine - still watching the dinghy engine. Refer died at the end of the month, still working on it.
  • Events: We got into relaxation mode. We bought 2 air mattresses and swim and lay out every day. Cheri attended her book club and talked about Skeletons on the Zahara. She also went back to attending her Woman's Bible Study. Cheri had a day of jury duty and was sad she didn't get picked. While Cheri worked at Hammer's Café at DRC, Michael did projects at the theater. We saw Eclipse and Time Bandits at the Marathon Cinema. We assisted theater friend Dan making wooden model sailboats for Sea Camp, On 7/8, we went to Key West to audition for Cloud Nine. We went to a theater party at Key Colony Inn for theater friend Sandy Saylor who is moving to North Carolina, Michael attended the monthly theater Board Meeting. On 7/18 Ann Hart, the choreographer for ACT NOW, came into town to house shop and meet to discuss auditions and choreography. We went to the theater summer reading, Mind Over Matt. We decided to travel after next year's musical. Right now we're looking at Ecuador, so we're researching and making plans. We're also starting to study Castellano (that means Spanish).
  • Weather is hot and humid. Starting 7/22 we watched Tropical Storm Bonnie as she headed our way. She was targeting to hit us on 7/23, but in the early morning she turned north and hit the mainland. We got about 10 minutes of rain from the SW edge.
6/30/2010 Still In Marathon - Boot Key Harbour Mooring Ball
Mooring monthly summary:
  • Finances: We spent $1,463 for the month. Lower total due to May Deathtrap expenses being reimbursed.
  • Projects: Dinghy Engine - still watching the dinghy engine.
  • Events: Cheri and Michael directed rehearsals during the 1st 2 weeks of June for tah-DANCE. Cheri and Annie were on Thunder Country at WCTH 100.3 at Sparky’s Landing to promote the show. Had a sold out crowd for Saturday's 6/19 show and 100 people for Sunday's show - not bad considering it is out of season, Father's Day and a matinee. Michael created the DVDs for the show. Check out videos from the show via the Video link at the bottom of this page. Attended a harbor good bye party for Austin, one of the marina's personnel. Started working on the script, blocking and music for ACT NOW, next year's musical. Michael is doing the music, Cheri is co-directing with Rita and doing the blocking and movement. We went to Dolphin Research Center and did a Dolphin Encounter with Instructor Jennifer, trainer Sarah, photographer Kara and dolphins Cayo and her mother Merina. Michael lost his left contact and got out and is using his spare. At the Marathon Cinema, we saw Prince of Persia and Killers. Michael and Cheri attended the quarterly General Membership meeting at the theater and the annual Pampered Palms theater party. Michael received 3 awards for directing 3 shows for the season. Cheri worked at Hammer's Café at DRC and ran Dan to the doctor. We saw Tom Snyders, The Bicycling Comedian in the Gallery at the Marathon Community Theater.
  • Weather is warm but it has been pretty breezy for several weeks. Although it's a warm wind, the air movement still makes a big difference in the heat - especially at night.
5/31/2010 Still In Marathon - Boot Key Harbour Mooring Ball
Mooring monthly summary:
  • Finances: We spent $1,961 for the month. We now have car fuel costs, due to a newly loaned vehicle. Had some annual Yahoo costs for the web page and charged items for Deathtrap which will be reimbursed.
  • Usage Data: Propane (1 tank/15 days), generator (0 gallons), dinghy (2 gallons/30 days) and water (1 tank/7 days).
  • Projects: Dinghy Engine - still watching the dinghy engine. Ordered a new switch (changes fuel source from internal to external tank).
  • Events: Boating friends Larry and Linda on Enchantress loaned us there car until they return in October. They'd rather people took car of it rather than store it. Moved from reheasals to performance for Deathtrap and had 10 great shows. We had laughs and screams of surprise so we were very pleased with the show. To advertise Deathtrap, Cheri and Michael went on 2 radio shows, WGMX 94.3 with Anne O’Bannon at Key Colony Inn and Thunder Country at WCTH 100.3 at Sparky’s Landing. On closing night we took down the set and a week later, we had our cast party and viewing of the show DVD which Michael made. We attended the art show opening in the theater gallery by local artist and friend, Marianne Motches. We also attended the Art Show at San Pablo's Church. During the same week as the closing of Deathtrap, Pied Piper - The Musical, the Elementary School show Michael Assistant Directed, had 2 dress rehearsals and their one night show on May 19th. Michael made the DVD for that show as well. We saw Ironman 2 at the local cinema and went to Key West with theater friends Tom and Jackie to see the Butterfly Museum (magical!), City Island at The Tropic Cinema and the play Stepping Out at the Waterfront Theater. We had auditions for the June dance show which we're co-Directing, tah-DANCE and started rehearsals. Went to a going away party for theater friends Jeff and Kylene at The Hurricane. Cheri took theater friend Dan to physical therapy several times. Through theater friend Marty, who played Sidney in Deathtrap, Cheri got a part-time job at Dolphin Research Center at Hammer's Café. Dophins are back in the harbor - so we're enjoying them around the boat. Michael participated in the Boot Key Harbor clean up. Over 30 boaters went around the harbor on the beaches and in the mangroves and removed 2 dumpsters full of trash, Michael used the kayak to get deep in the mangroves.
  • Weather is still pretty good, though some hot humid days were recorded. Mostly there's a little wind and it's cooler at night with a breeze.

4/30/2010 Still In Marathon - Boot Key Harbour Mooring Ball K3
Mooring monthly summary:
  • Finances: We spent $2,049 for the month. High Meals Out due to late rehearsal nights. Charged items for Deathtrap which will be reimbursed. Have a new expense, gas for the auto we’re being loaned by Dan and Rita.
  • Usage Data: Propane (1 tank/15 days), generator (0 gallons), dinghy (2 gallons/30 days) and water (1 tank/7 days).
  • Projects: Dinghy Engine - still watching the dinghy engine. Tried testing by switching to the internal tank and the switch was very tight and broke.
  • Events: Were filmed by a camera crew from The Marriage Ref on 4/1 Todd, Giles and John were the crew. Not sure if we'll make the show, we're not as freaky as what they want, but it was an interesting day. The Deathtrap team built the set on Easter Sunday and continued Monday through Thursday with rehearsals on the stage. Mid-April we hung the lights for the show and then included sound and lights in the practice. Cheri went to Key West with local artist Marianne Motches (who loaned us a wonderful painting for the Deathtrap set. We were part of the Boot Key Harbor Relay for Life team and participated in the 20 hour walk-a-thon. Michael was up for 24 hours straight switching between the Relay for Life event and painting the Deathtrap set. Theater friend Dan Gallagher for whom we cat-sat while he was in the hospital came back home and we attended his birthday and Homecoming Party on 4/24. On Thursday's we'll take Dan to the doctor to get physical therapy. On 4/26 we had a final lunch with the Relay for Life team at The Hurricane and then on Thursday 4/26 we had Press Night for Deathtrap. . Michael continues to direct practices for The Pied Piper at Stanley Switlik Elementary School and we attended a Volunteer Appreciation breakfast at the school.
  • Weather is perfect. A little cool at night so one needs a sheet and blanket but warm during the day.
3/31/2010 Still In Marathon - Boot Key Harbour Mooring Ball K3
Mooring monthly summary:
  • Finances: We spent $5,313 for the month. Boat insurance and dinghy engine problems.
  • Usage Data: Propane (1 tank/15 days), generator (0 gallons), dinghy (2 gallons/30 days) and water (1 tank/7 days).
  • Projects: Replaced the zinc in the heat exchanger. Our dinghy engine is still having problems, took it back to Shoreline twice. . Then took the engine to Barry, another mechanic.
  • Events: Went to Guys and Dolls Opening Night show with Rita. Went to The Full Monty in Key West with John Rudolph and Lisa to see Justin. Afterwards, went to The Keys bar with some of the cast. Went with our Odyssey of the Mind team to the competition and won 3rd place. Started Deathtrap rehearsals. Held open auditions for the part of Porter, the lawyer since I had to move my actor playing Porter to the lead. No one applied, so Michael will perform the role as well as direct the play. Went to the the annual Seafood Festival and helped staff the Relay for Life booth. We, along with the Relay for Life team, hosted another dance event, this one with professional dancer and teacher Ganine. Joined fellow Geminites at the Hurricane for lunch. Theater friend Dan is still in the hospital so continued to watch their cats. Also watched the dog for another set of theater friends, Laura and Jeff during their honeymoon. Cheri went to Key West with harbor craft friends. We were approached by a Producer of Jerry Seinfeld’s show, The Marriage Ref and we will be interviewed Thursday, April 1st.
  • Weather: Temperatures are warming up, still have occasional high wind days (+25 knots)
2/28/2010 Still In Marathon - Boot Key Harbour Mooring Ball K3
Mooring monthly summary:
  • Finances: We spent $1,585 for the month.
  • Usage Data: Propane (1 tank/15 days), generator (0 gallons), dinghy (2 gallons/30 days) and water (1 tank/7 days).
  • Projects: Normal Maintenance.
  • Events: Theater friend Dan is still in the hospital so we continued to cat sit their pets. We also dog sat for another set of theater friends, Laura and Jeff. We continued the Odyssey of the Mind school program meeting with our 7 kids twice a week to prepare for the 3/6 competition. Cheri attended weekly sewing meetings in the marina to share ideas and helpful hints with fellow cruisers. From this meeting Cheri designed and sold Yoga Mat Bags. Michael held his monthly Deathtrap party to build camaraderie. Michael is assisting theater friend and elementary school teaching Suzanne with directing the school play, Pied Piper, the Musical. Assisted theater friend Justin with his musical part in The Full Monty, a play in Key West we'll be seeing 3/5. Michael and Cheri are part of the harbor's Relay for Life Cancer Walk fund raiser and attend weekly planning meetings. We attended fundraising events during the month such as Superbowl Sunday (Michael won and donated $50 in the 50/50 pool), a Swing Dance Party and the harbor Nautical Flea Market. Cheri attended 2 Embroidery Beading classes with fellow theater members. We joined fellow Geminites for breakfast and lunch a couple of times during the month. At the theater, a board member dropped out and Michael is back on the theater board - kicking and screaming. Michael and Cheri celebrated Valentine's Day (Michael made the traditional Bleeding Heart Meatloaf), Cheri's Birthday (Michael made the traditional Saltimbocca, asparagus and Cheri's special Chocolate Pie) and our 27th anniversary (went out to dinner).
  • Weather: Like the rest of the east coast, weather was unusually cold and windy with fronts coming one on top of the other. Our temps have consistently been 10 degrees cooler than normal for this time of year. Brr! 50's and 60's.
1/31/2010 Still In Marathon - Boot Key Harbour Mooring Ball K3
Mooring monthly summary:
  • Finances: We spent $2,007 for the month. Higher costs due to annual dinghy engine maintenance..
  • Usage Data: Propane (1 tank/15 days), generator (2 gallons), dinghy (2 gallons/30 days) and water (1 tank/7 days).
  • Projects: Annual dinghy engine maintenance
  • Events: Joined fellow Geminites Links, About Time and Harbor Home III at Key's Fisheries for a New Year's day brunch. Saw Book. of Eli and Avatar in Miami. Drove Justin to Ft. Lauderdale for his ski trip and watched his house. Michael created a 30 second commercial for Deathtrap. Michael and Cheri are meeting with 7 elementary school kids for the Odessey of the Mind program. Our original musical, Act Now, was accepted by the Playreading Committee and theater board as the 3rd play for the next season. We cat sat for theater friend's Dan and Rita for 10 days during Dan's surgery. We assisted theater friend Suzanne with her elementary school play auditions for Pied Piper.
  • Weather is cold. Some days have highs in the 50s and lows in the 40s. 1/9-1/10 had 40 year historical lows.
2009 Year 2009 Log
2008 Year 2008 Log
2007 Year 2007 Log
2006 Year 2005 through year 2006 Log

Home    Captain's Log    Believe - the Boat    The Past    The Future    Projects    Gadget Girl    Recipes    Favorite Links    Videos