Lots to do at Burnt Store

Sunset at Burnt Store Marina - Picture taken by Jocelyn Thompson

We have been here almost two weeks and accomplished so much. First and foremost we are now comfortable living back on the boat. We have really settled in.

We have made some minor changes that have made the boat even more comfortable. Sometimes it is the little things that can make a big difference. For example – we add two tap lights so that I don’t have to use a flash light to see inside my hanging locker or under the v-birth area where my shoes are. Bob added a folding shelf to give me a little more space when cooking or when we are having company for dinner.

After running into it multiple times and having a line of black and blue marks on my legs – we decided to keep the shelf up for now. We also added straps to the side curtains of our cockpit enclosure so that we can roll them up and no longer have to take them off completely when the weather is good. This eliminates the need for storage space – the most precious commodity on a small boat.

Since we added davits to carry the dinghy, I had to adjust the dinghy cover so that the lines that hold the dinghy can go through the cover. After measuring a few times – we cut two big “Xs” and I sewed up the flaps and now we are ready to go. Bob also had to move the stern light higher on the transom (back of the boat) because it was blocked by the hanging dinghy. (picture next time)

And then there is the annual maintenance: engine care, water maker installation and a dozen other little things that keep the boat running smoothly. A few days ago, we washed and waxed the cockpit – two rounds of wax. Her Diamond is 27 years old and the fiberglass is aging. The only way to protect it against the Florida sun is a good coat of wax. After the fiberglass is waxed it feels as smooth as a baby’s behind. We still have to wax the deck – but we need good weather.

Yesterday and today we have had 35 knots of wind and on and off rain. The weekend should be cool but dry and we should be able to get the last things on our list done.

I don’t mind a bit of nasty weather now and again when we are at a dock. It gives me time to catch up on the blog and do some creative things. I have really enjoyed my creative time so far this trip. I sewed myself a bag for my glasses and earrings – it hangs within easy grasp of my pillow.

I made a wreath from natural things that I found as we went walking, including beautiful acorns from the live oaks that are on the Burnt Store property. I am in the middle of painting a coconut fish for my sister in law and who knows what else might come up.

We are definitely keeping busy. It is almost like summer camp -

There were golf cart and boat parades (different nights) showing off beautiful Christmas decorations.

Flintstone golf cart

"Hot Mess

First place winner - the little trees sang - so cute!!

One of the live-a-boards, Mack, played guitar, piano and harmonica and sang at the pool for a few hours, while cruisers enjoyed drinks and munchies. His holiday gift to the other boaters.

We have continued our Monday night bingo tradition. Keyan and Amy (who recently bought a house and are no longer living on their boat here), and Dee and Jocelyn (new friends also on "R" dock with us) joined us for bingo and wings on the patio at Cas Cay restaurant. No winners this week but we will keep at it.

Bob, Sheila, Amy, Keyan, Dee - Jocelyn took the picture - no winning cards :(

Our cousin Mitch Spivack, who works and lives in Fort Myers came with his girlfriend, Autumn, for dinner this week. We enjoyed spending time with them and going to see the Christmas lights. Only trouble was that we went to see them on David and Rhonda’s golf cart and they had turned on the sprinklers on the golf course – as you can imagine is was a bit of a soggy adventure.

We returned the golf cart safely to David's garage - a bit wet (don't worry David we wiped it down!)

Yesterday, as the rain came down, we went to Port Charlotte, a 40 minutes car ride, to see the movie Green Book. What a wonderful movie: funny, touching but a terrible part of this country’s history. I wouldn’t be surprised if it receives a number of awards – go see it.

We are scheduled to leave Burnt Store December 27th (weather permitting). We are waiting to spend an evening with David, Rhonda and family and they are arriving on Christmas day. I can see how easy it is to “swallow the anchor”, get comfortable here and just spend the winter with side trips on the west coast of Florida. Getting things ready and making the effort to start traveling again involves some risk – but the reward is well worth it – at least for now.

More next time……………………………

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