BUYING THE ARCH: NEVER BE AFRAID TO HAGGLE FOR MAJOR BOAT EXPENSES!

If you’re just tuning in, CLICK HERE to start at the beginning. 🙂

I’m pretty good at haggling. Whenever we need to buy a major asset, Richard stands back and watches me do the negotiating. The adult kids occasionally ask for my advice when they’re making a major purchase.

Even if the product or service has a firm list price, I’m not afraid to initiate a negotiation if it’ll save me some money, especially if the product is priced extremely high. When buying No Tan Lines, I negotiated the price down $30K. That was a 23.1% savings! (Yeah, I calculated it.)

Oh, the awesome (expensive) arch! They provide mariners with extra room for even more equipment (toys!). And, even better, they look super cool! No Tan Lines (“Tanny”) has one solar panel hanging from the port side that hasn’t worked since we bought her. Tanny’s myriad of antennas are attached to stanchions on the port side of the stern. I’m not even sure all of those work, either.

We had a really nice set of davits for the dinghy but we knew we’d have to remove them in order on install an arch. The good news is they’re worth about $1500-$2000 used. We took pictures so we can sell them.

For the arch, we contacted a well-known local firm for a quote. They came out and measured Tanny, and the estimate was astronomical. I was expecting to pay maybe $3K to $4K. When the much higher estimate arrived, I said, “No way!” I had resigned myself to the fact that we just weren’t going to have an arch.

Fast forward to the St. Petersburg Boat Show a few weeks later. The same arch company had a booth there and they were advertising the same arch for a much lower price. $1800!! I didn’t hesitate to immediately confront  the guy working at the booth. Why was the price so much lower than the quote I’d received? He stammered a bit, and tried to tell me the boat show special was for an arch that was too small for my boat. Uh huh… It’s so funny when salesmen in an industry dominated by men (boat products) think this blonde chick was born yesterday.

Fast forward again to the following Monday. Brian called the owner. He’d heard we’d been at the boat show. After Brian’s added high-skilled negotiations, we did indeed get the arch for the boat show price and Brian would install it for us, saving us even more money. The deal was so good that Brian got one for his boat, too!

Our awesome and multi-talented neighbor, Diego, pitched in to help and now both No Tan Lines and Floggin’ Molly have beautiful arches AND new davits to boot! (The davits were only $400 per set, and they attach directly to the new arches.) Now we get to begin the fun task of deciding on new solar panels. If you have any recommendations, please let us know! 🙂

NEXT: CAN GIRLS DOCK BIG BOATS? YEP!!

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Angela Hoy is a publisher, a blogger, and the author of 19 books. She lived on dirt her entire life before her family gave away almost everything they owned, and moved onto a 52-foot Irwin Center Cockpit Ketch. They all live, work, and play on board full-time.

Angela is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, a free source of paying markets for freelance writers and photographers. If you want to write for magazines, websites, businesses, or others, check it out. It’s free! Her publishing services company, BookLocker.com, has published more than 9,000 books over the past 18 years. If you want to publish a book, she’d love to hear from you! Abuzz Press is BookLocker’s hybrid publishing company. And, PubPreppers.com offers services to authors who are having their books published elsewhere.

DRIVING (NOT SAILING) TO KEY WEST. SIGH…

If you’re just tuning in, CLICK HERE to start at the beginning. 🙂

My birthday was last week and we drove to Key West for a grown-up’s weekend of fun! While we’d have loved to have sailed No Tan Lines there, we do not yet have the experience to do so. And, we desperately needed a tropical, grown-up holiday!

Our Dock 4 friends Stan and Chris are currently moored there and we stayed in a hotel on Duval Street. We were going to take the ferry down from Ft. Myers but it was far too cold so we cancelled that. We learned that, if they don’t have enough seats inside, you have to sit outside. And, it’s a good thing we cancelled because, on the way down, I came down with a horrible case of the flu.

(Before I forget, read about the time I checked my mother-in-law and her new husband into a clothing-optional resort in Key West…without telling them RIGHT HERE. Heh..)

Anyway, we left for Key West on Wednesday, stopping in Ft. Myers for a night to break up the drive. That night, I had a slight tickle in my throat at bedtime. The next morning, I woke up feeling AWFUL. It hit me so fast!

I bundled my pillow and big, furry robe into the back seat of the SUV. I tried working on my laptop for awhile but my head was pounding and my eyes were burning and watering. I ended up sleeping in the back seat for most of the drive, missing the miles and miles of beautiful, aqua blue water on both sides of the highway. It’s one of my favorite drives but I was so sick I didn’t care. I just wanted to get to the hotel, and go to bed.

When we arrived, that’s just what I did. That night, I had horrible chills and I couldn’t eat anything. I was coughing like crazy and my fever was making me hurt all over. Richard bought Mucinex and that helped, but never got my temperature back down to normal. I was downing cough drops one after another, and couldn’t sleep for more than a few minutes at a time.

And, that all lasted until the day before we were scheduled to leave. The flu didn’t ruin our vacation. It just changed it up quite a bit. I did have a few days of complete bed rest and I watched a ton of mindless TV.

We left on Tuesday (a day late) and I got these photos of hurricane damage on the way back.

50 – Foot sailboat that WASHED into a backyard!

This boat is clearly too big to have been dragged over the seawall and into this yard. This shows how high the water got in the upper keys.

Every several miles, we saw salvaged boats piled up. Many had barnacles all over them, indicating that they had totally sunk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We didn’t get to see enough of Chris and Stan while we were there so we’re planning to return in May or June. They’ll be cruising the Caribbean until hurricane season returns.

You can read about their adventures on http://www.svdisorder.com. Don’t miss it!

NEXT: BUYING THE ARCH: EVER BE AFRAID TO HAGGLE FOR MAJOR UPGRADES!

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Angela Hoy is a publisher, a blogger, and the author of 19 books. She lived on dirt her entire life before her family gave away almost everything they owned, and moved onto a 52-foot Irwin Center Cockpit Ketch. They all live, work, and play on board full-time.

Angela is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, a free source of paying markets for freelance writers and photographers. If you want to write for magazines, websites, businesses, or others, check it out. It’s free! Her publishing services company, BookLocker.com, has published more than 9,000 books over the past 18 years. If you want to publish a book, she’d love to hear from you! Abuzz Press is BookLocker’s hybrid publishing company. And, PubPreppers.com offers services to authors who are having their books published elsewhere.

 

STRAY CAT STUCK IN THE BILGE!

If you’re just tuning in, CLICK HERE to start at the beginning. 🙂

After our plumber’s horrible seizure onboard No Tan Lines last week, we all made a pact that the following day would be a boring one – one devoid of any drama whatsoever. But, alas, that was not to be…probably because we forgot to KNOCK ON TEAK!

The next morning, Capt. Brian Whiddon called me from his boat, saying he’d be late for work. He works for our publishing company and he is NEVER late for work. What happened? Well, let me start at the beginning…

Exactly one week prior, Brian said he was hearing a “bell” on his boat. One night, he even texted us to ask if our cat, Rambo, may have followed him home, which is literally just a few feet down the dock from the floating “home office.” But, he had not. Rambo was comfortably curled up in our salon so, of course, we told Brian he was NUTS. He was babysitting Pookie at the time (his brother’s dog). He said Pookie heard the bell, too. So, laughing, we told him he AND Pookie were nuts.

Brian knew he wasn’t crazy because Pookie heard the bell, too.

Fast forward a week to Brian’s phone call. He said, “I was right! There IS a cat on my boat!! I can hear it meowing!!!”

As with a house, if a live critter is loose under your floor, and if you can’t access that area, you might have to cut into the floor to rescue the little furball. And, that’s what Brian was going to have to do so Richard raced down the dock to assist. I was still getting dressed and, as soon as I finished, I grabbed one of our bowls, put some cat food in it, and walked down the dock as well.

By the time I arrived at Brian’s boat, the guys had lifted up floor boards everywhere, and had successfully located the cat. Brian had lured it close with some ham but he couldn’t quite get it. I reached in with a piece of ham, and tried to lure kitty cat forward so I could grab his or her scruff. He/she grabbed the ham, and ripped it completely out of my hand. I was quick, too, and grabbed it right back. I held on tighter, and was eventually able to lure it forward, and lift the starving feline out.

Once I got it in my arms, it was clear kitty cat was very sweet and affectionate. Still, we put it in Pookie’s kennel (Pookie was NOT in there at the time!) in case it tried to bolt, and pondered our next move. We took pictures, and came up with a pretty accurate description. Green eyes. Very small. Hot pink collar and fully-functioning pink bell (ha ha). All black with a tiny wisp of white under the throat, and another near the groin. And, speaking of groin…was it a girl or a boy? The hair was so black we couldn’t tell so…I had to feel down there. After apologizing to kitty cat for pawing her (heh…), I said, “No dangly parts! It’s a girl!!”

Now that we had the little kitty out of the bilge, we had to figure out who she belonged to…

We brought her back to No Tan Lines, and transferred her to our cat carrier, gave her cat food and water, and started posting “FOUND” notices online. About 30 minutes later, a friend on our private Dock Facebook page, Diego, said he’d heard a week prior that the crew of the Tall Ship Lynx had lost their cat.

This is a pretty big town and there are LOTS of lost animals, according to Facebook’s lost pets pages. It was a long-shot. It really was. But, I called their office anyway, and left a message. A man in New Hampshire immediately called back, very excited. The missing kitty, Leeloo, belonged to the ship’s captain. We compared descriptions and it sure looked like we had a match! We offered to drive her to the ship, which is docked five minutes from here for the Winter, 2017 season.

The TallShip “Lynx”

The Lynx is a full-sized replica of a topsail schooner that actually served as an American privateer blockade-runner during the War of 1812. The captain was expecting us. He walked down the gangplank as we approached. We exchanged greetings, and opened the cat carrier. He reached in and pulled her out, excitedly saying, “It’s her!” He hugged her tight. And, we knew he was her daddy because she curled right up into his chest. He then held her out in front of him with his hands under her armpits, examining her, and then pulled her back in for another hug, before saying, “You’ve lost a lot of weight!”

That’s when my eyes got all teary. I’m getting teary-eyed again just thinking about it. 🙂

He then told us she’d been missing for 13 days. He proclaimed us honorary sailors on the Lynx.He thanked us profusely, and said we can come sail for free anytime. We, of course, accepted his offer as we’ve been wanting to sail on that beautiful ship for a year now. They do educational excursions and we know Max and Mason would love it!

As we were walking away, we turned back to see the other Lynx crew members coming out to pet Leeloo, and to welcome her home. The captain emailed Brian later with an update, saying Leeloo was doing just fine, and was being spoiled rotten. And, they installed the pet tracking device that had been delivered two days after she went missing.

Here’s the weird thing…

The previous Friday night, we’d gone out to dinner with some dock friends. While some of us went to the bathroom, the rest were standing outside, in front of the restaurant. Two women approached Diego, asking if anyone had seen a black cat. They said the Lynx was missing theirs. Diego remembered that brief encounter when he saw our post on Facebook. Had we not all gone out to dinner that night, we may never have found the owner. And, that was the exact night that Brian started hearing the bell in his boat!

After leaving the Lynx, we returned back to No Tan Lines. Half a day had been spent doing all of that and, combined with the seizure emergency the day before, we were getting more behind on our work. We all once again made a pact. The following day would be soooooo very boring. We would all be completely bored to tears and we would LOVE IT!

SO, WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?!

Chaos seems to follow us wherever we go. The next day, we received an urgent text from our daughter-in-law. Our son, Matt, who was supposed to arrive this weekend for Christmas, severed his Achilles tendon while playing flag football. He and all of us are devastated because he had to cancel his trip. Thirty-six hours later, he had surgery. It was worse than they thought. (How could it possibly be worse? It was severed!!) Turns out the injury was higher than they thought. He’ll have to wear a cast 2 weeks longer than they originally predicted and full recovery can take 6 to 12 months.

We sadly packed up Matt’s Christmas gifts, and shipped them to Maine. He’s doing well after surgery and he is so very happy his new Xbox arrived just before his injury. His brothers here in Florida are able to play with him online. He is an actuary and, as soon as he no longer needs pain meds, he’ll be able to work from home for awhile. We also bought our son, Zach, a plane ticket so he can fly up there next week, and keep Matt company for a couple of days.

The good news is, nothing weird has happened since then (because we remembered to knock on teak!)…and we’re praying it stays that way!

NEXT: DRIVING (NOT SAILING) TO KEY WEST. SIGH…

* * *

Angela Hoy is a publisher, a blogger, and the author of 19 books. She lived on dirt her entire life before her family gave away almost everything they owned, and moved onto a 52-foot Irwin Center Cockpit Ketch. They all live, work, and play on board full-time.

Angela is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, a free source of paying markets for freelance writers and photographers. If you want to write for magazines, websites, businesses, or others, check it out. It’s free! Her publishing services company, BookLocker.com, has published more than 9,000 books over the past 18 years. If you want to publish a book, she’d love to hear from you! Abuzz Press is BookLocker’s hybrid publishing company. And, PubPreppers.com offers services to authors who are having their books published elsewhere.

SEIZURE ON THE BOAT!

If you’re just tuning in, CLICK HERE to start at the beginning. 🙂

This morning, our plumber, who is also a friend, came over to do some work alongside our Captain, Brian Whiddon. For privacy reasons, I’ll call our plumber Donnie.

They were both working with their heads down in the lazarette. Donnie sat up while Brian kept working. Brian then pulled his head out to ask Donnie a question. He called Donnie’s name several times, but he wasn’t responding. He was staring. That’s when Brian realized he was having a seizure. Brian tried to catch him but Donnie face-planted on the deck of the boat. Brian yelled for me to come out and help, for Richard to call 9-1-1, and for Max to go unlock the gate for the paramedics when they arrived. I raced outside and it was absolutely TERRIFYING! Brian had turned Donnie on his side. There was a LOT of blood. It was POURING out of his nose. It was a bad seizure and Donnie wasn’t breathing while it was occurring. I was terrified he was never going to breathe again!

Our next-boat-neighbor, Rhonda, heard the commotion. She’s a nurse and she rushed right over. She helped Brian while I took Donnie’s phone out of his pocket, and started searching for his wife’s number. I didn’t know her name – or even Donnie’s last name. Nothing. I searched for “wife,” “honey,” and a variety of other pet names. (Turns out he did have her in there under a sweetheart, lovey-dovey name…but nothing anyone would think to search for.) So, then I looked at his text messages. There were numerous plumbing conversations. I bypassed those. His customers wouldn’t know his wife. I saw a fishing invitation. A ha! A friend! I called him. No answer. I then found a dinner invite and I called that guy. He answered. I explained the situation. He didn’t know the wife’s number but he knew someone who did so he took down my name and number.

By this time, the seizure had stopped but Donnie was unresponsive. He was breathing and had a pulse. He started moving a bit. He tried touching his nose. It must have hurt like a bitch because that’s what hit the deck first. He tried to talk, but could not. He couldn’t answer our questions. Brian kept reassuring him, telling him who we were, where he was, and what had happened.

The paramedics arrived while he was still unable to speak. They took very good care of him. He started speaking a bit, and was very confused. Brian said, “Donnie, do you know who I am?” He did not. When they inserted an IV, Donnie got combative. I was still thumbing through his phone, trying to solve the who-the-heck-is-his-wife puzzle, and letting the professionals do their job.

Eventually, they were able to get him to sit up. And, miraculously, to stand. As they were getting him off the boat to the rolling stretcher, his wife called my phone. Thank GOD! The paramedics needed to ask her about his medical history, meds he takes, etc. We told her we’d go with him to the hospital, and meet her there. By then, he had remembered who we were.

We followed the ambulance, and stood behind it as they unloaded him. He saw me, and said, “Angela! What happened?!” He couldn’t remember where he’d been when it happened, nor what he was doing, nor even what he’d watched on TV the night before. It was obvious his memory loss was REALLY frustrating him. The doc said that’s normal and that whatever he forgot might not come back. But, he knew his name, our names, how many quarters equal a dollar, the city we were in, etc. We had to tell him what happened several times. He was trying to make sense of it.

Turns out he had one other seizure five years ago. He’d run out of his blood pressure medication so his high blood pressure may have sparked this seizure. He said he gets a surreal feeling of déjà vu just before it happens but that he occasionally gets that without a full-blown seizure.

His wife finally arrived. The ER desk had kept her waiting for 10 whole minutes while we were able to just walk in with the paramedics. I felt so sorry for her! She was crying when she finally got into his room.

We explained everything that had happened once again so she’d know what to tell other medical folks who asked, gave her a hug, told him we’d drop off his glasses at his house later, (his glasses had fallen off when he hit the deck) and then left.

It was awful. Absolutely terrifying. It’s been about four hours since it happened and I’m still nauseated from anxiety. Thank GOD Donnie is okay. After it happened, we talked about the series of events that led to him being on our boat when the seizure occurred. I’d texted him last night because, despite all the plumbing being re-done, there was still a stink in the aft bedroom (near the holding tank). He said he’d pencil us in but, this morning, he called out of the blue. He was on a nearby boat, and said he’d walk down the dock to take a look. He and Brian quickly found the problem. A gizmo hadn’t been put back on the thingymabob so the watchmacallit was not venting correctly. He was here only about five minutes before the seizure hit.

The back of our boat is quite large. If Donnie had fallen on a smaller boat, or had he been alone on a boat, he might have fallen overboard. And, he most certainly would have drowned having a seizure in the water. I believe God had control of the timing of everything that happened so that Donnie would be okay.

Do your spouse a favor and add “husband” or “wife” after their name in your phone so they can be located in an emergency. Also, consider adding the app ICE to your phone, which will display your emergency contact info. on your screen even if your phone is password protected.

And, remember to take your blood pressure medication!

NEXT: STRAY CAT STUCK IN THE BILGE!

* * *

Angela Hoy is a publisher, a blogger, and the author of 19 books. She lived on dirt her entire life before her family gave away almost everything they owned, and moved onto a 52-foot Irwin Center Cockpit Ketch. They all live, work, and play on board full-time.

Angela is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, a free source of paying markets for freelance writers and photographers. If you want to write for magazines, websites, businesses, or others, check it out. It’s free! Her publishing services company, BookLocker.com, has published more than 9,000 books over the past 18 years. If you want to publish a book, she’d love to hear from you! Abuzz Press is BookLocker’s hybrid publishing company. And, PubPreppers.com offers services to authors who are having their books published elsewhere.

TAKING CLASSES AT THE BOAT SHOW

If you’re just tuning in, CLICK HERE to start at the beginning. 🙂

Last weekend, we attended the St. Petersburg Boat Show. Since it’s held adjacent to the marina, we got to watch a huge parade of boats coming in for the show. That was a lot of fun!

Last year, we attended the boat show in order to look for the type of boat we might want. This year, it was going to be a lot more relaxing and fun. We just had to avoid the inevitable temptation to buy all the newest, shiniest gadgets that we never knew we needed until attending the boat show.

We did find one large, shiny gadget. A tower for the back of the boat, which can hold our dinghy, solar panels, and antennas. We will probably purchase one of those in the coming weeks.

Our biggest reason for attending the boat show was the classes. Richard, Capt. Brian and I, as well as our neighbors, Vince and Miles, attended a day-long marine diesel course. I’d like to say it was exciting as all get out…but it was not. Educational? Sure. I learned a LOT. But, I have to admit that, once lunch settled in my belly, my blood sugar began to drop and I was having a VERY difficult time keeping my eyes open. That sucked.

I can’t say, after taking that day-long course, that I could actually fix anything on a diesel motor but it came with a handy booklet and charts so at least I can now identify certain parts of it. And, that’s a start! And, no, I was not the only girl in the class.

On Sunday, the guys took a marine electrical course. I opted out of that one because it’s very difficult for me to take two days off in a row from our business. If I did, I’d have to spend over a week catching up.

On Sunday, we were supposed to help serve pizza after the boat show. It’s an annual tradition for Dock 4. However, I wasn’t feeling well so we opted out after hearing they already had plenty of assistance.

NEXT: SEIZURE ON THE BOAT!

* * *

Angela Hoy is a publisher, a blogger, and the author of 19 books. She lived on dirt her entire life before her family gave away almost everything they owned, and moved onto a 52-foot Irwin Center Cockpit Ketch. They all live, work, and play on board full-time.

Angela is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, a free source of paying markets for freelance writers and photographers. If you want to write for magazines, websites, businesses, or others, check it out. It’s free! Her publishing services company, BookLocker.com, has published more than 9,000 books over the past 18 years. If you want to publish a book, she’d love to hear from you! Abuzz Press is BookLocker’s hybrid publishing company. And, PubPreppers.com offers services to authors who are having their books published elsewhere.

 

Halloween Decorations on “No Tan Lines” and BRRRR!!!

If you’re just tuning in, CLICK HERE to start at the beginning. 🙂

We’ve been anxiously awaiting our first real cold front while living aboard “No Tan Lines.” (“Tanny” for short.) And, we’ve been blessed with a whopper just before Halloween! It’s almost noon as I’m writing this and it’s sunny and only 64 degrees. The wind is blowing 20 mph so it’s quite crisp outside indeed…for Florida anyway!

Last night, when we were sitting in the cockpit, I realized that every one of my sweaters was in storage. So, I grabbed a blanket. Since nobody in the marina is running their air conditioners right now, we could hear everything…and I mean EVERYTHING our neighbors are saying on their boat. Ahem…. Learning from others’ mistakes, we spent the evening whispering.

At bedtime, Max took his blanket and pillow outside, and fell asleep in the cockpit. We had all our ports and hatches open and it was lovely curled up under the comforter! Rambo (Max’s cat) carouses the neighborhood after dark, and always returns around 2 a.m., crawls in our bed, begs for scratches, and curls up by my head.

When the tide or wind pushes the boat too far from the finger dock, Rambo lies and waits for the boat to get closer so he can jump back onboard.

 

I woke up around 3:00 a.m., and didn’t see Rambo on our bed. I assumed he was out in the cockpit with Max so I wasn’t too worried. Just then, I turned over in bed, and just so happened to open my eyes, glancing through the hatch above our bed. Two glowing eyes were staring back at me! After I sucked in my breath and woke up Richard with a yelp, I realized the eyeball glow belonged to Rambo. He was standing there above me, creepily staring at me as I slept. I pulled out the hatch screen, and pulled him into bed. He begged for scratches, purred really loudly, and then finally fell asleep.

This morning, we woke up freezing but we didn’t mind because it sure feels like Fall!

While it’s quite chilly, I’m glad because this weekend we’re attending our first outdoor Murder Mystery Dinner. My female gangster costume includes a dress, a blazer, and knee-high boots. I was NOT looking forward to wearing a blazer and boots in 88-degree heat!

The boats are “decked” for our favorite holiday of the year – Halloween! Here are some photos:

Our salty, sailing skeletons definitely don’t have any tan lines!
Captain Brian P. Whiddon‘s special friend, Matilda. She looks awesome at night because her eyes and face light up. And, the way he strung her up makes her appear to be flying madly through the strong salty breeze. Small children don’t want to walk past Brian’s boat right now. 😉
If you pass to close to our bow, John John might eat your face.

NEXT: TAKING CLASSES AT THE BOAT SHOW

* * *

Angela Hoy is a publisher, a blogger, and the author of 19 books. She lived on dirt her entire life before her family gave away almost everything they owned, and moved onto a 52-foot Irwin Center Cockpit Ketch. They all live, work, and play on board full-time.

Angela is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, a free source of paying markets for freelance writers and photographers. If you want to write for magazines, websites, businesses, or others, check it out. It’s free! Her publishing services company, BookLocker.com, has published more than 9,000 books over the past 18 years. If you want to publish a book, she’d love to hear from you! Abuzz Press is BookLocker’s hybrid publishing company. And, PubPreppers.com offers services to authors who are having their books published elsewhere.

Amberjack Rampage!

If you’re just tuning in, CLICK HERE to start at the beginning. 🙂

One day last week, I was quietly working on my laptop on the boat when I heard our captain, Brian Whiddon, holler for me to come look at something. I, in turn, told the boys something was going on and they dropped their schoolbooks and followed me through the companionway.

In front of No Tan Lines, a large area of water appeared to be boiling. At first glance, from the back of the boat peering that far ahead, I seriously thought somebody had dumped some sort of chemical in the water. Only after I quickly walked to the bow did I notice it was a huge school of large fish.

The boiling water effect was moving toward our boat, and beside it. We could hear the fish slapping our boat, and see them slapping the boats on both sides of us. They moved behind us, which is when I was able to catch THIS VIDEO…which, I know, turns sideways at the end. Sorry about that.

We originally thought the hunters were dolphins but we never saw any surface. We then thought it might be sharks corralling the fish. Another idea was tarpon because we have HUGE ones in the marina right now. One that was hanging out under the pier awhile back was at least seven feet long.

The show continued for another 45 minutes or so with the school moving all over the marina. One neighbor said it was sharks forcing the school closer to shore for an easier meal.

Brian, who’s also a diver, was scheduled to dive under No Tan Lines that afternoon for some maintenance. Needless to say, he rescheduled…

NEXT:  Halloween Decorations on “No Tan Lines” and BRRRR!!!

* * *

Angela Hoy is a publisher, a blogger, and the author of 19 books. She lived on dirt her entire life before her family gave away almost everything they owned, and moved onto a 52-foot Irwin Center Cockpit Ketch. They all live, work, and play on board full-time.

Angela is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, a free source of paying markets for freelance writers and photographers. If you want to write for magazines, websites, businesses, or others, check it out. It’s free! Her publishing services company, BookLocker.com, has published more than 9,000 books over the past 18 years. If you want to publish a book, she’d love to hear from you! Abuzz Press is BookLocker’s hybrid publishing company. And, PubPreppers.com offers services to authors who are having their books published elsewhere.

HOW DO YOU DECORATE A BOAT FOR HALLOWEEN?

If you’re just tuning in, CLICK HERE to start at the beginning. 🙂

It’s no secret that Halloween is our favorite holiday of the year! Since we moved onto a boat, holiday decorating has become a challenge. We have gone from 3600 square feet (our old house in Maine), to 2400 square feet (in Port Charlotte, FL), to 1800 square feet (in Bradenton, FL), to a 2-bedroom apartment in St. Petersburg, FL (while we shopped for a boat), to a 52-foot Irwin Center Cockpit Ketch.

When we moved to the apartment, and then to the boat, we became minimalists, getting rid of most of our belongings, almost all of which were things we rarely, if ever, used. I wrote more about that HERE.

We previously had seven large containers of Christmas decorations. Now, we have one. We used to have far more Halloween decorations than Christmas ones. Not anymore. We now have one container of Halloween decorations as well. Richard is picking up our Halloween container today so the boys can decorate the boat. The life-sized skeleton will probably end up on near the anchor because that’s closest to the dock. The boys want to buy orange lights to string on the masts and booms, and along the lifelines and stanchions. We have a few other scary goodies that the boys will put outside as well. If you have any cool Halloween boat decorating ideas, please let me know! 🙂

On the Saturday before Halloween, we’ll be attending a murder mystery dinner with a 20’s mobster theme here at the dock. We were all assigned mobster characters except Mason. He will be an actor. We all have to email other specific characters with pre-written statements and questions, which will be fun! We’ve never been to a murder mystery dinner before so we’re pretty intrigued! Richard, who is Gourmet Rick here on the dock, will be doing a lot of the cooking, which he loves.

Richard was going to buy wing-tip shoes for his costume but, in the spirit of minimalism, I told him that’s not a good idea. Why buy a pair of shoes that you’re only going to wear one time? I told him nobody will be looking at his feet. They’ll be looking at his big (plastic) machine gun! Yeah, we’ll only use that one time as well but it was a LOT cheaper than wing-tip shoes! I have fun shopping for my female gangster outfit. I already own a pair of high-heeled boots, and will need to get those out of storage. No need to buy new shoes for me, either!

And, to save money (of course), we’ll be wearing our mystery dinner costumes on Halloween, too, when we attend our daughter and son-in-law’s annual Halloween party.

We are so excited!!! 🙂

NEXT: AMBERJACK RAMPAGE!

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Angela Hoy is a publisher, a blogger, and the author of 19 books. She lived on dirt her entire life before her family gave away almost everything they owned, and moved onto a 52-foot Irwin Center Cockpit Ketch. They all live, work, and play on board full-time.

Angela is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, a free source of paying markets for freelance writers and photographers. If you want to write for magazines, websites, businesses, or others, check it out. It’s free! Her publishing services company, BookLocker.com, has published more than 9,000 books over the past 18 years. If you want to publish a book, she’d love to hear from you! Abuzz Press is BookLocker’s hybrid publishing company. And, PubPreppers.com offers services to authors who are having their books published elsewhere.

A COOL FRONT TURNS OUR FLOATING HOME INTO A CARNIVAL RIDE! (includes video)

If you’re just tuning in, CLICK HERE to start at the beginning. 🙂

Last week, I wrote about an unknown source that created havoc in the marina. All of the sudden, all the boats started pitching violently for no apparent reason. After speaking to dock neighbors, we learned that the most likely culprit was a wake from a tanker in the ship channel that met little resistance on its way to shore. What a fun mystery that was! We’re still not sure that’s what it was but it makes the most sense.

Four days ago, the wind started blowing HARD here…and it hasn’t stopped. As I’m writing this, I’m listening to a high wind warning for the Skyway Bridge on the radio. Winds are sustained at 28 mph this morning.

With winds blowing steady at 25-38 mph for four days now, our floating home has become a never-ending carnival ride! WE are having sooooo much fun!! Well…except when the boat pitches when you’re in the shower and you whack your head on the wall, or when the boat flies upward when you’re taking a step and you whack your toe on the bathroom door, or when you have to go to the head (bathroom) at 3:00 a.m. and you tumble out of bed onto the floor, or when you realize the entire family, including the kids, look wildly drunk when walking through the salon, or when you step outside to head to an appointment and discover a quadruple coating of hairspray is NO match for Mother Nature!

Click HERE for a video from “No Tan Lines.”

We are LOVING living on Tanny!

And, the excitement continues! A tropical storm or category one hurricane is predicted to hit north of us this weekend but, since those monsters are so unpredictable, Richard is stocking up on water today and Capt. Brian Whiddon (also the Managing Editor of WritersWeekly and the Operations Manager of BookLocker) filled up all the gas containers this morning. We’re still stocked up on everything else from Hurricane Irma so we’re prepared.

After Irma, we are now confident staying onboard Tanny in a Cat 1 or Cat 2 hurricane, and will only evacuate for something stronger. However, Max (age 16) and Mason (age 11) will go to their sister’s house. We would not feel comfortable having them on board in a hurricane. Mason is VERY upset with our decision (he’s an adrenaline junky like his mommy!) but he understands.

NEXT: HOW DO YOU DECORATE A BOAT FOR HALLOWEEN?

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Angela Hoy is a publisher, a blogger, and the author of 19 books. She lived on dirt her entire life before her family gave away almost everything they owned, and moved onto a 52-foot Irwin Center Cockpit Ketch. They all live, work, and play on board full-time.

Angela is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, a free source of paying markets for freelance writers and photographers. If you want to write for magazines, websites, businesses, or others, check it out. It’s free! Her publishing services company, BookLocker.com, has published more than 9,000 books over the past 18 years. If you want to publish a book, she’d love to hear from you! Abuzz Press is BookLocker’s hybrid publishing company. And, PubPreppers.com offers services to authors who are having their books published elsewhere.

SOMETHING MYSTERIOUS ROCKED ALL THE BOATS IN THE MARINA!

If you’re just tuning in, CLICK HERE to start at the beginning. 🙂

Living in a floating home brings adventures every single day! Big yachts pass by, leaving a wake in a no-wake zone. The boat starts pitching to and fro and we all find that a LOT of fun! Storms blow in during the rainy season and, when the front of the storm hits, the winds pick up instantly, the temperature drops, and the boat starts pitching around again. Sometimes, if you don’t secure the hatch above your bed correctly, you wake up to rain falling on you. That’s always an adventure!

But, sometimes, with no warning at all, all the boats in the marina start moving. Sometimes just a bit and sometimes a whole LOT!

We were sitting out in the cockpit of “No Tan Lines” (Tanny) last night. No storms were nearby. There was hardly any wind at all. And, no boats had passed by at all. A single paddle-boarder (a friend of ours) quietly glided by in the still water. We said hello. He waved and kept paddling by.

Then, all of the sudden, all of the boats started rocking violently. I mean, Tanny was pitching so much that we were having a hard time walking in the boat. All of the rigging was clanging, which can be deafening. I had Richard tighten one of the boom lines because it was banging back and forth so loudly. We looked around. All we could see and hear were other boats violently pitching back and forth with their rigging clanging, too. The boys came outside to investigate and we could NOT figure out what was going on. It lasted for about 10 minutes so we made a game out of it. This is what we all guessed was going on:

Max (age 16) – “A drunk lochness monster?”
Richard – “A 100-foot whale who lost his way!”
Me – “A North Korean sub entered our marina!”
Mason (age 11) – “An earthquake struck in the bay!”

We’ll never know what happened but I sure wish we did! We LOVE a good mystery, as long as it’s eventually solved!! 😉

If any of you know of an unseen force that can cause something like this, please send me a note because the curiosity is killing us!

NEXT: A COOL FRONT TURNS OUR FLOATING HOME INTO A CARNIVAL RIDE! (includes video)

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Angela Hoy is a publisher, a blogger, and the author of 19 books. She lived on dirt her entire life before her family gave away almost everything they owned, and moved onto a 52-foot Irwin Center Cockpit Ketch. They all live, work, and play on board full-time.

Angela is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, a free source of paying markets for freelance writers and photographers. If you want to write for magazines, websites, businesses, or others, check it out. It’s free! Her publishing services company, BookLocker.com, has published more than 9,000 books over the past 18 years. If you want to publish a book, she’d love to hear from you! Abuzz Press is BookLocker’s hybrid publishing company. And, PubPreppers.com offers services to authors who are having their books published elsewhere.