Monthly Archives: August 2017

Hidden Tide Pool

While I was in the States, Matt had explored some new territory and came across a pretty big tide pool that he wanted to show me.  We hopped in the dinghy and headed to Fisherman’s Harbor.  Hoofed it past the Pirate’s Nest and up the small hill,  past Van Den Tweel market, and past the Jan Thiel resort.  At the end of the road is a trail that will take you past the Aquarium and to Punda (we have not walked this complete trail yet which a little over 8 miles).

Looking at the map, there is a star in a circle (left) near Mermaid Boat Trips, that is close to the Fisherman’s Harbor.  Then if you look toward the bottom right corner, below the two “Jan Thiel Beach” marks you will see an upside down wish bone which is the tide pool we found.

Walk from Fisherman’s Harbor to Jan Thiel Beach tide pool. Lower right corner, see upside wish bone

However, we turned left toward the water and headed down the short cliff to discover a nice little, rocky beach with just a handful of locals.

Rocky beach looking back at Jan Thiel Beach Resort.

We kept going and somewhere in the middle of the beach was the perfect pedestal for a rock tower – compliments of Matt.

Matt’s beautiful rock tower.

Rocky beach

We left our tower and headed toward a bushy area that revealed a pretty tide pool – the deepest section is only about mid-thigh and it is protected by the reef on one side and the beach on the other.  Makes for a nice place to cool off.

Matt cooling off in the tide pool.

Cute little dog cooling off with the humans.

Tide Pool

  • Waiting pool for humans
  • Swimming pool for dogs
  • Home to the underworld

Bushy Bridle & Shaggy Shackles

After sitting in the same spot in Spaanse Waters for 6 weeks we have unwillingly acquired new sea life on everything that is below water.  That would include, the props, zincs, freezer plates, bridle, shackles, anchor chain, and hulls.  Luckily our bottom paint is holding up “pretty” good. We had it painted with Sea Hawk red in December at Grenada Marine so it is holding its own against the freeloaders who want to claim the bottom of our boat as their new home.  However, the other items are suffering immensely.  Since we are in pretty deep  (@ 8 meters), silty, unclear water with a decent current and lots of wind, we have not had many opportunities to clean the bottom.  Matt made a few attempts and came back up covered in tons of little tiny shrimp crawling in places that you don’t want critters.

On of our folding props completely covered in hairy growth.

We recently purchased a new power washer, as the motor on the old one decided to stop working – no telling how old it was but it served us well.  Matt decided to try a different approach to cleaning the bridle, shackles, and anchor chain.  He lugged the power washer to the bow, attached the hose and started attacking the chain with vigor!  It was a slow process that he had to repeat on each side of the chain, for every link of the chain.  As the chain cleaned up, he slower raised the chain to access the next several links.

Matt cleaning our anchor chain.

Attacking the growth with the power washer.

Cleaning the anchor chain to get to the bridle.

One link and one side at a time.

Partially cleaned anchor chain.

As you can see, the hair is so bushy thick is about 5-6″ in each direction making the circumference about 1′ all around.  You cannot even see the shackles in the center (they are attaching the bridle to the anchor chain)

Our bridle is attached to the anchor chain with stainless steel shackles, but you can’t even see them.

Unfortunately, the rest will have to wait until we get to cleaner, clearer, shallower water – hopefully within the next week as we plan to move Sugar Shack to Fuik (pronounced Fowk with a heavy “O”) Bay or Klein Curacao.

What’s Worse?

  • Cleaning the bridle daily or weekly?
  • Cleaning the bridle when you’re ready to leave?

A Tourist in Austin

Every 6 months my doctors expect me to make an appearance to ensure that all is going well so I scheduled a trip to Austin in July.  To my surprise, my sister and Aunt Donna volunteered to fly in from California to keep me company on this whirl wind adventure.  Not only did I have several appointments, but I had lots of “honey do’s” on my list (since we had not been in the states for awhile).  With our house rented, we opted to stay at a Home Away property called Corazon Apartments (our place looked nothing like the photos).  But the first night, I crashed with Heather and Michael at their super swanky downtown apartment.  Heather, is the best! She invited the girls over for a potluck dinner which allowed me to get caught up with everyone.  It was so great to be together my pack of fabulous women!

Barbara, Amy, Kim, Heather, Tiffany, Missy, Marcie, Heather, and I.

Barbara, Amy, Kim, Heather, Tiffany, Missy, Marcie, Heather, and I.

View from Heather and Michael's place!

View from Heather and Michael’s place!

First thing Thursday morning, I headed to my neighbor’s house as she is thinking about putting it on the market.  She caught me up on the neighborhood gossip, what’s for sell, who is doing what and so on.  Then it was off to the races!  I wanted to try to accomplish as many errands as possible before my family arrived so I hit the bank, our P.O. Box (to pick up mail), and the market all before my hair appointment.  I had not had my hair “cared for” in 6 months and it was due for a bit of color and a trim.  Wendy at Deseo Salon is a rock start!  In fact, she won “best hair salon” in Austin this year!

Wendy and I before she worked her magic!

Wendy and I before she worked her magic!

Leaving with bouncy, shiny, perky hair, I headed to REI to pick up a new Spot Gen3 so that all of you can follow us and pin point our location,  It allows us to send updated messages to our support team during passages.  I also picked up a Flex2 as my Fitbit ChargeHR band decided to separate and stop working.  Not wild about the Flex2 but it is water proof.  I am thinking it is a stop gap until Fitbit comes out with a better display band that is water proof.  One can hope.  After REI, I headed to the airport to pick up Kimberly.  Her flight was right on time and after many hugs and kisses we headed to the mall.  I needed to pick up a few items at Nordstrom (girl stuff) and popped into Apple to make an exchange.  Matt had purchased a brand new MacBook Pro and the fancy charger bank (which is a USB-C) decided to stop working  As you know, we found an apple store on Curacao and were able to buy a new one, but we wanted to exchange this one as it is still under the 1 year warranty.  However, I walked in and was sent to the Genius guys and was told I needed to make an appt. to see a genius just to make the exchange since it had to come from a different stock.  Oh dear!  I made the appt for the next day and we left to pick up my aunt from the airport.  We were all starving, but decided to check in to our rental first.  It was a royal pain in the butt and I will say that I will never use this property management company again.  I won’t bore you with the massive disappointment of our experience.  After we unpacked we headed to one of my favorite stomping grounds, Hula Hut for a sunset dinner.

Our waiter photo bombed us - too funny!

Our waiter photo bombed us – too funny!

Donna and I enjoyed a HuLaLa that comes in a fishbowl.

Donna and I enjoyed a HuLaLa that comes in a fishbowl.

Sunset at Hula Hut - spectacular.

Sunset at Hula Hut – spectacular.

Friday morning we went for a walk on the hike and bike trail around Lady Bird Lake.  It was a beautiful morning, not too hot or crowded.  We visited briefly with the ducks and turtles and continued on our way – short walk, maybe 2.5 miles, but got us out and moving.  We then headed up North to a nail appt.  My Aunt had never had her nails done – what?  Yep, you read that right.  So, I made an appt. to see CiCi at Lavish Nails. It was a great spoiling moment for sure!  We walked out with gorgeous toes and had a true “lavish experience.”  Hungry again, we headed to another one of my favorite places, Maudie’s to enjoy the best TexMex in town.

Mmmm, love me some Maudie's!

Mmmm, love me some Maudie’s!

We went back to the rental to pack a small overnight bag as we were heading to Lake McQueeny to see some friends.  On our way south, we stopped at the outlet mall as I was hoping to find some summer dresses appropriate for the boat and perhaps some new shorts at LuLu Lemon.  We stopped at several places, made a few small purchases, but my quest was still continued.  Shawn, Sharon, Wayne, Sydney, Dylan, Kimberly, Donna, and I piled into the ski boat and headed to to the lodge for Wayne’s pre-birthday celebration.  Shawn showed us around the lake, expertly backed in the boat and treated us all to a fabulous night!  The next morning, the ladies went for a morning walk around the neighborhood and returned to enjoy a “big breakfast” tradition at the Melnar home!  It was so fabulous to see our good friends!!!!  We needed to head back to Austin, ran some more errands, hit the Domain Shopping center and had success finding a few summer dresses and new shorts!   I was also able to exchange Matt’s apple battery bank with no appt. Yeah! Saturday night was dinner and dancing at the Broken Spoke. My aunt is an amazing dancer and my sister and I used to shake a tail feather in our day so I had to show them how we do it in Texas.  The Derailers were playing and it was a true Texas experience.  We quickly spotted the best dancers and to our excitement several asked us to dance.  We took turns being twirled around the small dance floor and truly enjoyed the experience.

Donna, me, and Kimberly at the Broken Spoke

Donna, me, and Kimberly at the Broken Spoke.

We met the owner of The Broken Spoke, James White.

We met the owner of The Broken Spoke, James White.

Sunday we headed to church as I had not seen my church friends in a long time.  It was a new priest, but a good sermon.  Always good to reconnect and recenter!  Afterwards, we swung by the bank and Walgreens and then I had to stop by our house to meet our property manager.  It was a bit odd seeing our home with renters in it, but all looked ok.  Feeling awkward being at my home, we left as quickly as we could and got breakfast at Maudie’s (some things are just too hard to resist).  We decided that today would be a relaxing pool day.  Even though the pool was only 3′ deep, we enjoyed the atmosphere while we chatted with my good friend Michelle.  We cleaned up and headed to head Shady Grove for dinner, another Austin landmark.  We happily consumed a hippie chick sandwich and a Shady Thang outdoors under the big, beautiful tree!

Donna, me and Kimberly at Shady Grove

Donna, me and Kimberly at Shady Grove

It was still light out and I thought I would surprise Donna and Kimberly by stopping at the South Congress Bridge for the nightly bat show.  Over 1.5 million Mexican Free Tail bats come out at sunset to feast on 10-20k insects per night!

Start of the bats coming out to eat.

Start of the bats coming out to eat.


A new piece of art popped up in the last few months at 5th and Lamar – and we had to stop for a photo shoot.

ATX Art at 5th and Lamar with Donna, Kimberly, and I.

ATX Art at 5th and Lamar with Donna, Kimberly, and I.

Afterwards, we rewarded ourselves with some Amy’s Ice cream (Mexican Vanilla should be a staple in everyone’s diet) which is always a fun experience.

On Monday, my Aunt Donna had to head back to California and we had a day full of doctor appointments.  We met with my oncologist first who gave me the all clear and told me to start working out again. Not because I had gained 6-7 lbs since I saw her last but to build bone strength. I know, I know it is so hard to get into a work out routine on the boat – but I will!  She also told me to consume 4-5 drinks per week, max!  Eek, I am not a huge drinker, some weeks I won’t drink at all and some weeks I have more than that – so will make a conscious effort to watch it.  Then we hit the bank again, the P.O. Box, and the pharmacy before meeting with my plastic surgeon.  He too gave me the thumbs up – good day to be me!  We headed back to the rental, packed a bit and enjoyed a fabulous dinner at Moonshine Grill, for my favorite trout dinner.

Kimberly and I out Moonshine Grill.

Kimberly and I out Moonshine Grill.

Even though I did not get to see everyone I wanted to see or relax as much as I wanted, we were able to squeeze a lot in 5 days.  I was ready to go back home to Matt and the boat.

I left for the states with a small carry on and returned with two overstuffed bags!  Errands complete, returning home with boat parts necessities.

Little tired, ready to be back - I scan the crowd for Matt.

Little tired, ready to be back – I scan the crowd for Matt.

Check, Check, Check

  • Visit friends
  • Enjoy family
  • Shopping
  • Fine dining
  • Country Dancing