Sunday, January 24, 2010


January 24, 2010
Vero Beach Fl.

Sunday was shaping up nicely. Gentle breezes kissed us awake and we rose well after 8. While the Budget Committee read I prepared a pretty fair breakfast of Huevos Mutalenos Meredith style.

[recipe included for Peter Loveridge who shared a delightful recipe for blackened anything on Facebook a couple of days ago]

The Meredith style of mutalenos just gives you some freedom: flour tortilla instead of corn being the foremost. Build a lovely open faced omelette with sausage, ham, peppers (bell, jalapeno, chipotle, whatever you have), onions, garlic and cheese with a liberal dose of green sauce and sriracha to taste.

Move the omelette open faced onto a tortilla, roll it up, fry it a bit for heat and serve the wrap two to a plate with salsa and more green sauce. And refried beans if you got 'em. And fried potatoes.

Finishing the last mouthful of coffee I had just hiked the waistband of my old shorts to its position of ultimate comfort and had entered a reverie. A reverie is when I review individually the virtues of each napping spot on the boat and dwell on each of the good points. A fatal blow was dealt my passive imagination by discordant tones emanating from the general direction of the Budget Committee. Something about wanting to get some work done.

"But it's Sunday dear" I suggested hopefully not having heard what was actually said (how could I I was in a Reverie), "A day of rest for all good Catholics".

"You are NOT Catholic" she demurred "And you said we were going to clean the bottom of the dinghy today"

Cleaning the bottom of the dinghy? From what blighted repose in Lucifer's dungeon had that ugly piece of heresy sprung? It was of course too late. Like spirits released from Pandora's box once an idea of the damned is in the air there is nothing mortal man can do to impede its implementation. Which did not mean I did not try, if feebly.

"I SAID NO SUCH THING". It wasn't much but you play the cards you are dealt.

"On Tuesday I said I wanted to clean the dinghy bottom before we hauled the dinghy onto our deck for the crossing to Bahamas. I didn't want a scummy barnicly thing oozing its filth all over the deck. YOU said Sunday would be a good day to get to that job done because we had all day to work on the boat and we didn't need any parts".

Well, of course I had said THAT. But I didn't mean it. It was defensive. The day before we had finished a ten hour run down Florida's ICW in cold weather with mighty cross winds. I wanted a day off. I wanted Tuesday off. And I got it. But to get Tuesday I had indentured myself for Sunday. The Budget Committee does not forget.

So we gathered our cleaners, the brushes, the clothes, the gloves, a bucket, hats for sun protection and our individual shower bags that we kept stocked and hung on the hook on the back of the door to the head. Most of the cleaning products, cloths and brushes were for my shower. Cleaning a dinghy bottom is a dirty job.

In the end the job was relatively easy. We hauled the dinghy up the ramp by hand, removed its innards and flipped it over expecting the same nightmare we had found last time we dared engage in such frivolous activity. Save for a few dozen anemic barnacles the bottom was pretty much clean.

What had happened? The dinghy had been in the water continuously since August 1, 2009. By rights there should be some 6 foot tendrils rooted to her undersides, a marine tribute to Jacques Cousteau sort of thing. There was virtually nothing. We figure a month floating in the St. Johns river at Green Cove Springs had acted like a nice chemical scraper to scour most of the offending crud from the bottom of the dinghy. If so the bottom of Meredith will be so clean.

The barnacles that had attached themselves to the Walker Bay had already read the tea leaves so to speak. They had seen the future and rather than be crushed under the irresistible force of Connie's "Made in Ontario" windshield ice scraper they nearly lept to the ground choosing Bushido honour of seppuku over murder by snow machine.

When the bottom of the dinghy is so easy to clean you must lend yourself to performing a much more complete job of washing the removable floor and subfloor and seat: things I had never before bothered to wash (why? they were just going to stepped on again as soon as we climb back in)

Walker Bay would have been proud of our clean little 8.5 Genesis dinghy I must say. We had finished the cleanout and I was reattaching the removable seat when I noticed the underside of the seat panel was dirty. I pulled it back and started to clean each little cubicle on the underside left where the support members crisscrossed each other. {I wonder why the barnacles don't just congregate there. NO one would ever bother them)

The Budget Committee offered up that my cleaning was probably not necessary.

"But we have given so much attention to all the other parts of this dinghy the seat will feel we don't value it if we don't clean it too" was my automatic and unthinking reply.

"There you go anthropomorphizing again. You talk to the diesel every morning before you start and now the dinghy. You talk the boat as much as you talk to me. Should I be concerned?"

In a split second the thought crossed my mind "Yes but after you Beta (our diesel) and the dinghy are my two best friends". Quickly sanity regained legislative authority over the logic circuits and thank goodness the mouth had not spoken what the mind had in it.

Must be all that lawyer training.

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