Monday, September 7, 2009


Labor Day
Home in Port Charlotte
High of 91, humid

Hey all, remember me? This is the longest I've ever gone without writing a new chapter. My work schedule was really tough in August, travelling 4 days a week, all 4 weeks of the month, ending with a 6 day trip to DC. I spent all of last week trying to catch up the paperwork from those travels and fortunately I did. In the coming week I will be working the Gulf coast and sleeping in my own bed, nightly, for another entire week.

The boat project is 99% complete. I finished painting, applied new decals, changed the gear oil (transmission fluid), greased and reapplied the props and installed one of two new sacrificial zinc anodes. The second of the two has to wait until I get the stainless steel screw that my vendor shorted me. It should be here tomorrow. I'm still trying to burn off the old ethanol fuel that was separating water in my tank and causing me problems getting the boat to get up on a plane. I have about an 8th of tank left, which is about 16 gallons. I don't really know what's going to happen when the fuel is gone and there's still water left. I just keep pulling my fuel filter and dumping the water out as I burn it off. At idle, the boat runs great but the real test will be when the fuel is gone. I found a station where I can buy non-ethanol fuel on the street and I plan on switching. It costs about 30 cents a gallon more than the regular unleaded I have been buying but in the end it will be worth it. It's also 91 octane, which is better than the 87 I have been buying at Sam's Club.

I caught a Redfish on the back yard dock the other day. It was so small, I didn't bother taking a picture of it but it was cool since it was my first time catching one of those. It is also known by the name Red Drum or in some parts, Spottail Bass. Everyone here calls them Redfish or Reds. Uncaught, they can live up to 60 years. You'll be happy to know that I successfully released my little fella. He hit a gold spoon lure on my first cast. On my second cast I stuck that lure in Bob's tree next door. Kathy and I spent about 30 minutes, launching the dinghy, armed with a telescoping tree pole pruner to get that lure back. I can't lose a lucky lure like that, right? I rarely catch fish on artificial bait so I was sure proud of this one. Of course, fifteen minutes later I snagged it on an underwater tree or root or something and lost it forever. I'm telling you, I can't make up stories like this.

During my absence from the blog, we had another named storm come and go. TS Erika was a rain event that hung around Puerto Rico for a few days and then broke up. We are supposed to get remnants of her rain later this week. Today, tropical depression #7 has formed off Africa's Cape Verde Islands. It is expected to become Tropical Storm Fred tonight or tomorrow.

Also, since we last met on the blog I have managed to turn another year older. Thanks to all of you who sent nice wishes, emails and cards. The time goes by faster, with each passing year. For the most part things get better for me, as well. Like everyone else, this economy scares the crap out of me but I sleep better knowing I can pay my bills every month. I have a loving wife and lots of great family, including both of my parents, brothers and sisters, children and a fourth generation adding our family tree . I have a great job where I feel appreciated on a regular basis. I have a house on the water and every once in a while, there's money to buy fuel and go boating. What more can a skipper ask for? Happy Birthday to me. Everyday I get just what need; another day.

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