Cruising With Soggy Paws 2010
Soggy Paws is a 44' CSY Sailboat. In 2007, we set sail on a 10 year around the world cruise. In 2010 we finally launched into the Pacific Ocean and French Polynesia.
Friday, January 7, 2011
Blog Consolidation & New Blog Link
I have finished consolidating my yearly blogs into one new blog.

Last year's change by Blogger--where they won't publish to my website anymore--threw me for a loop that I'm only just now recovering from. But recover I have.

I took a look at Sailblogs (again). Looks great, nice community feel, some neat gadgets, and if I were starting out from scratch, that's probably where I'd start out. But I'm not starting from scratch.

I also spent some time playing with Wordpress, because my web host, ReadyHosting, provides a Wordpress installation that would be ON my website. I even *finally* figured out how to import one of my Blogger blogs into a Wordpress blog. But I could never get get a template that I liked, and I was a little nervous about the fact that Wordpress stores its posts in a database, and I wasn't sure how to back that up etc. Sure I could figure it out, but just don't have the time.

Then I went back to Blogger. Things seem to be settling down around Blogger--more stable. And they've implemented lots of new features that I like (check the new blog to see a couple of them). So I finally abandoned my custom template, picked a template as similar as I could to my old one, and then imported all my blogs-by-year blogs into one big blog.

The link is here:

And with any luck, my blog link won't change every year...
Monday, December 27, 2010
Christmas in Far Away Places
We had a fairly quiet Christmas Day. We did a nice "Sunday Breakfast", and spent the morning playing with making gifts for each other. Dave finally got around to mounting one of the black pearls we got in Tuamotus on a necklace. And I'm working on an iron-on logo for Soggy Paws.

CSY 44 Walkthrough Line Drawing for T-Shirt

Our friends across the dock were away with family, but Richard down the dock organized a mid-day dock party with chili.

Christmas Day on C Dock

I contributed a big pot of my best chili recipe (courtesy of Larry Rutledge of s/v Brisa del Mar, lo these many years ago).

Late in the afternoon, we got cleaned up and drove across the island to Dave's friend's house for Christmas Dinner with them. We had a some good food and enjoyed watching Mark's pet turtle do laps around the yard.

Mr T

This turtle is an African Spurred Tortoise, and it's nearly the size of a Galapagos Tortoise. Friend of theirs got Mr T when he was small, but when he grew bigger, they couldn't keep him in an apartment, and Mark and Bing inherited him. He lives in their back yard, and they have 'turtle bars' to keep him out of the house. He's so big it would knock over furniture if it were allowed to roam inside. Dave tried to stop him moving forward (so he could take a picture), and Mr T just kept right on trucking, no matter how hard Dave pushed back.


Friday, December 24, 2010
Merry Christmas!

We are sitting here in sunny Honolulu, and it's 80 degrees and doesn't feel much like Christmas. We are missing our families and that little nip in the air today!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas, wherever you are!

Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hau'oli Makahiki Hou
(Merry Christmas and Happy New Year)


Christmas Presents!

Well, after a long voyage (Maryland to Florida to Hawaii) our new Frigoboat units have arrived. Great experience with H2OLogistics in shipping big stuff from anywhere in the US to Hawaii.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010
No Lunar Eclipse in Honolulu
Bummer. We didn't get to see the eclipse last night. It's been overcast and rainy here in Pearl Harbor for the last 3 days. We have a front and a low kind of stalled over us. One day it rained so hard and so much that there was a Flash Flood Watch.

Gloomy Skies Over the Marina

I am ready for some sunshine!! (However, at least it is still 78 degrees here)


Friday, December 17, 2010
Back in Hawaii
After a very busy last week in Florida... wrapping up our affairs... a couple more doctor visits... a few more social visits... a few maintenance items on the rental properties... paperwork associated with the accident... etc etc, we fled chilly Florida for a very warm and inviting Hawaii.

Welcome to Hawaii Sign at Honolulu Airport

The cold front the last week were there was a nice reminder of how good we've got it. In Melbourne it was in the low 30's and even driving south to Miami, it was still awfully cold for this Florida girl.

It was a looooong flight back... we got up at 4:30am for a 7am flight from Miami airport, and then went via stops in Orlando, Chicago, and LA, before landing in Honolulu about 8:30pm (it was a cheap flight!). That's about 20 hours of traveling. But nice to have stops in between so we could stretch our legs. Chicago had been a mess from the big front passing through a couple of days earlier, and we were worried it would snarl us up too. But by the time we got there, it was fine.

Sunrise in Miami on the Plane

John from Nakia, to whom Mike and Sue on Infini had passed our car to when they left, picked us up curbside at the Baggage Claim area, so we didn't need to mess with anything else. All our luggage made it. Nothing broken or missing. And we weighed in as usual at 49.9 lbs with 4 bags full of 'stuff' (plus sent a couple of shipments from Florida to Hawaii via USPS and freight).

The weather in Honolulu is just gorgeous! About 78-80 during the day and 68-70 at night. Perfect working and sleeping temps. And we have a new dock neighbor living aboard for the winter right next to us. So we don't feel quite so isolated out at the end of the dock (with all our cruising friends 20 minutes away in the downtown marinas). Our new neighbors are retired like us, and spend most of the year in their RV, and then come visit their boat in Hawaii for 3 months in the wintertime. They bring their lawn chairs out on the dock for sunset and are very sociable, so we've actually been stopping boat work 'early' to have a sunset happy hour and socialize.

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Saturday, December 4, 2010
Dave Wrecks the Kia
First, the important part: It wasn't his fault and he's just fine.

Dave was only 2 blocks from Cousin Bryan's house in Largo FL, when some distracted woman pulled right out off the side of the road into him, as he was passing by. She hit him hard enough that it rolled our poor little Kia on its side, and slid about 20 feet.

Fortunately, Dave had his seatbelt on, and he was fine. He had to kick his way out the front window, though, because both doors were jammed. Worrying about fire...

He ended up with a few cuts on his shins, from crawling out, but that was the worst of his injuries.

The lady who hit him admitted responsibility immediately and is covered by good insurance, so they are handling the whole thing. We got a rental car for the rest of our stay, courtesy of State Farm. She was the one who took these awesome pictures of Dave's car, and emailed them to us.

We were talking about buying a better car next year anyway--we spend so much time in the car when we're back visiting, that it's worth it to move up on car class for a little more added comfort (cruise control, smoother ride, noise reduction, etc). So we already have one thing on our "To Do" list for next fall...


Thursday, December 2, 2010
I got my Driver's License Renewed!!
I'd been dreading the whole process... sure that I'd take my whole stack of paperwork in, wait in line for hours, and then find I was lacking something. A friend told me it took 3 visits to get his done.

But what a nice surprise. Only a 2 minute wait (Indian Harbor Beach DMV Office), pleasant guy, only needed half of the paper I brought with me, passed the eye test, picture taken, new license in hand--done in 10 minutes. "Only" $53 (ouch!)

Lousy picture, though. I didn't really expect to complete the process in only one visit, so didn't bother looking in the mirror. Next thing I knew, I was in front of the camera. Another typical DL mug shot, but this time with my hair messed up--and it's good til 2018!!

I also now have "Safe Driver" on my driver's license (no driving=no tickets).


Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Catching Up A Little (Whew!!)
When we last talked to our hero (that's me), she was gamely battling evil forces trying to mire her in mounds of paperwork.

Well, I'm still there. Big "shout out" to our friends from s/v Windy City in Hawaii watching over Soggy Paws. They went onboard and got all the docs I need (I hope) to prove to the State of Florida that aliens haven't taken over my identity. I can't seem to make an appointment online for a Driver's License. So after Thanksgiving I'll just have to go stand in line, and see if I have enough paper to satisfy them that I am still who I have always been as a full-time bona fide voting and driver's license-carrying resident of Florida since 1970.

Well, we have been doing our usual "visit home" crazy schedule--trying to fit in a year's worth of catching up with friends and family, getting medical checks, and acquiring needed boat things and tech toys to carry on for another year of round-the-world voyaging.

The first step on arrival was to go retrieve our car, which has been stored for the last year at my brother's house in Hawthorne (3 hours north of Melbourne). That's pretty much an all-day trip.

CSY Breakfast at the SSCA Gam 2010

Then we had one day of rest before we launched in the Seven Seas Cruising Association Gam activities. It was another great 'Gam' and we got to see lots of old friends, and meet some new ones. We organized another "CSY Breakfast" where we got to meet a bunch of new CSY owners. What a group!

We also enjoyed a few seminars and the vendor area at the Gam. But our favorite is always the flea market, and this year didn't disappoint. We got a few things we needed at really good prices, that I know the sellers were happy to part with. Dave and I had a good time sharing our experiences at the 'Round Tables' sessions on Sunday morning. Dave handled the 'Eastern Pacific' round table, I handled the 'Western Caribbean', and our friend Gwen on Tackless II covered the 'Western Pacific'. (Wish we could have attended Gwen's, but she gave us a private briefing later).

Then we rushed off to catch the last of the Waterway Net get together in Wickham Park. More reunions with many old friends.

The week after SSCA should have been a 'recovery' week, but I had promised Melbourne Yacht Club that I'd do a slide show on this year's cruising adventures... which I hadn't started yet. I "crammed" all week... trying to fit 10 months of intensive adventure, photographed by multiple photographers, into a 1 hour presentation. It turned out to be an impossible task. I ran out of prep time at 5:45pm the day of the presentation, and was already up to about 240 slides. So I just said "The End... More to Follow" after I covered the first half of the Tuamotus. *sigh* It ended up taking about 1 hour and 30 minutes, and was just about the right length. It was well-received, and a few people asked "Well, when is the 2nd half?" Not this week!!

The next day we left for the west coast of Florida, where we visited Dave's cousin Bryan and Aunt Eva Nell, and 2 different CSY's that we hadn't seen before... owned by new people we hadn't met. We always get new ideas for doing stuff when we see another boat like ours. And we're still "paying forward" all the help we got from other CSY owners over the years as we were working on Soggy Paws. We had a great round of golf with Bryan, and then a nice visit with Don and Gwen, formerly of Tackless II (now happily in a house and w-w-w-working).

After a few stops on the way back from the west coast, we have just enough time to regroup, do laundry, and repack for our Thanksgiving 'tour' to see family and friends in Georgia and North Carolina!!

More to follow... and hopefully pictures *some day*


Thursday, November 11, 2010
Driver's License Renewal Woes
This country has gone crazy!!

My driver's license is coming due for renewal in 2 weeks. Last time I renewed it, I did it online and they mailed it to me. No such luck this time. I went online and they said they needed to see me in person. So I made an appointment online. No big deal. I didn't pay any attention to the 'Documents You Need' link on the appointment page... I'm RENEWING an EXISTING a driver's license in the state I've been living in, and had one continuously in, for 40 years for heaven's sake!!!

However, we just got our stack of mail that's been piling up at home, and going through it today, I noticed a postcard from the State of Florida telling me that in order to renew, I need a passport or birth certificate, and some other forms of ID. Well, we left our passports onboard. Dave, when he was gathering up stuff to leave, decided not to take our passports--we're not crossing any borders, they are safer staying on the boat.

No problem, I can get a birth certificate... maybe? I was born in California... that might be hard (in the time frame we have to work with). It has to be certified, and it can't be the one the hospital issued. And... the name on that birth certificate doesn't match my current name. In fact I've had 2 name changes. So even if I CAN get my California birth certificate (I just MIGHT have a certified copy in my file cabinet here in Florida), I still have to get copies of EACH of my 'proof of name change' documents (Marriage Licenses). My first marriage was almost 30 years ago!!

Then, in addition, I need my Social Security Card. Well, guess where that is??? Yep, the Social Security Administration recommends you not carry it with you. So mine is tucked safely away in a filing cabinet on the boat.

Maybe I can go to the local SSA office and apply for a duplicate. But you need proof of id... what do they say I can use?? My DRIVER'S LICENSE!!! (and it takes '10 to 14 days').

Alternate documents that can be used in place of a Social Security Card are ORIGINAL W-2 forms, pay checks, or 1099's showing my complete Social Security Number and my current name. Well, I'm not working, and guess where all my tax records are???

And one final thing I noticed... the card says "You must pass a vision exam and MAY be required to pass written and road skills test." MAY?? Do I or don't I? This card has my name on it and my date of birth, surely they can tell me whether I do or don't need to take any tests...

I've had to cancel my renewal appointment, which was for Tuesday--there's no way I can get all this gathered up in the next 2 working days. And when I tried to reschedule for December (just before we leave to return to Hawaii), there are no appointments available. (but I can still go as a 'walk in')

Sheesh, this wouldn't be a big deal for anyone with a normal life, but for me, it might mean I can't renew my driver's license before we return to Hawaii (and/or I spend all day running around trying to document myself).

It's just crazy.


For older 2010 posts, see the Posts by Date
or Posts by Topic links in the upper left!
For all our 2009 posts see Soggy Paws 2009
For posts prior to 2009 (all our Caribbean travels) see
Soggy Paws 2007 & 2008