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December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas from Ft Myers

Merry Christmas to all of you readers of the log!
We stayed at the marina in Daytona Beach until December 14th since we had paid for a month’s dockage and it was a good place to do boat projects and visit with friends.
One major addition was a new 15 hp Tohatsu 4 stroke outboard for the Boston Whaler dinghy. The old Yamaha 8 hp was becoming unreliable and needed work so it was traded in on the new motor. The 15 hp is noticeably heavier but definitely adds a lot of zip!
Another addition was a new HP PC since my old, old Compaq finally died. The new one is nice but going through all the conversion and learning all the feature changes is a big time sink and frustrating. I am just now getting to the point where it is back to ‘normal”.
We did one day trip down to Ponce Inlet with Chuck and his friends Pat Donahue and his lady friend Nat who were visiting and had nice weather and a fun day. We also had Grandpa Mike Fisher on board with Chuck for dinner and went to see him play JD Rockefeller at the local Rockefeller home in Ormond Beach. He dresses up in a Tux and hands out dimes like the real JD did many years ago and has a good time doing it.
Chuck and a friend joined us for the 3 day trip south from Daytona to Melbourne where they picked up a rental car for the return to Daytona. Again it was fun to have them aboard.
In Fort Pierce we met up with friends Dianne and Bob Lund for breakfast and got caught up on all their happenings. This time of year, they are busy with their annual Church Christmas pageant and other holiday activities.
We moved on south to Stuart where we got a mooring at what is now called the Sunset Bay marina that was previously run by the City of Stuart and is now a private operation. They have added several hundred docks with fuel, redone the moorings, and upgraded the shore side facilities. Their moorings are only $10 per night and you get full use of their facilities for this bargain price. The staff is very friendly and helpful and it is centrally located near a supermarket, gas station, West Marine and lots of restaurants.
The two day trip across the Okeechobee Waterway to the Glades Boat storage facility was uneventful. We tied up at the dolphin pilings just before the Port Mayaca locks and the Lake itself the first night and crossed the Lake the next day in 10-15 knots of wind from the north. It was a little rock ‘n roll but not bad and we made good time and were at the Glades dock by mid afternoon on the 21st. Courage was hauled, the bottom pressure washed, and blocked up “on the hard” the next morning in preparation for her semiannual bottom painting and some other maintenance that can only be done out of the water. I found a large ding in one of the blades of the propeller so it was removed and will be sent to the local prop shop for repair and reconditioning. Unfortunately, they are closed for the holidays so it won’t be back until January 6th. This means that Courage will be out of the water until the 7th which adds to the yard bill and keeps us off of the boat until then. The good news is that Sue’s son Ethan and his family live in Ft Myers and we are staying with them through the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. Sue’s granddaughter Kaya is now 2 ½ and is very much into Christmas and Santa which makes it especially fun to be here with them. Yesterday they collaborated to make a large variety of Christmas cookies. Watching Kaya decorate the cookies with the squeeze bottle frosting was a hoot.
I woke up early to see Santa deliver the presents here. Santa and I shared the milk and cookies Kaya left for him and I had some time left over so I decided to update the ships log. The year 2009 has been another interesting and pleasant one for Sue and me with nice visits with our families and many friends. We both got clean bills of health from the doctors during our checkups and have not had any serious illnesses. The stock market recovery has reduced the worry about our financial future and my option trading strategy has worked well this year to produce the income needed to support our retirement lifestyle. We are thankful for all of this and looking forward to another good year of retirement in 2010.

Posted by Dick at 07:24 AM