Supreme Commander Scully: “Let’s Go!”

Friday we made it down the Delaware Bay to the picturesque seaside town of Cape May, NJ.  The original plan was for one night here, two at most.  Then weather got involved, and of course the beach called to Niki:IMG_20180526_151919_1 crif.jpg

With the exception of a few years of discord between two series of American open wheel racing, Craig has attended every Indianapolis 500 since 1986.  This year he had to settle for watching it on TV, which we did at Delaney’s Irish Pub, (dressed in an Indianapolis Motor Speedway shirt, of course):IMG_20180527_104258 crif.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Along the way to and from the town (the entirety of which is a National Historic Landmark), Niki found plenty of gorgeous homes to photograph; here is but one of the many we passed:

 

 

Through all of this, however, Supreme Commander Scully and Admiral Roswell were wondering why, for now four days, their ship was not moving.  Taking matters into her own paws, Scully pulled out a copy of Chapman’s Piloting & Seamanship, along with the Waterway Guide book, studied them, and commanded her crew, “Let’s get going, you two!”20180528_091807 crif.jpg

And so, once this morning’s dense fog lifts, the Captain and Mate will do their best to follow her orders…

You do WHAT? HOW?

Living life on a boat can be, in many ways, similar to life on land.  But if you are actively cruising (or planning to be, as we are) and have no car, certain otherwise simple activities can get a bit more, well, interesting.20180305_083538 crif Lying in the sun here is as good as it gets, according to Scully, but simple chores like doing the laundry or going shopping take on a whole new dimension of difficulty and thought from what we were used to back in Colorado.

Take, for example, a simple food run to the grocery store. We’re blessed to have a large Kroger (South Carolina’s version of what we call King Soopers back home) located just down the way from our marina.  But without a car, we have to open the lazarette (a large hatch for storage under the aft deck), pull out a bike or two (our folding Dahon “Mariners”, made for just such a time as this), and assemble and adjust them.  In earlier posts to this blog you’ve seen the ramps up and over to the land; riding along a dock and up a steep ramp on a 20 inch wheeled bike is entertaining.  Then down the paths, through the parking lots, and over to the store, where we limit our acquisitions to those that can be placed in the store’s smallest carts.  “Why?”, you ask.  Because whatever we purchase must go into a backpack or be hung on our bikes for the ride home.MVIMG_20180222_111124 crif.jpg  The result can take on quite a Beverly Hillbillies appearance, often leaving us singing “So they loaded up the bikes, And they moved to Hilton Head. Tug boats, Dolphins…

Going shopping for other essentials (as Captain Jack Sparrow despairs, “Why is the rum always gone?”) or larger items can involve longer rides or, with a bit of good luck and a lot of gratitude, we borrow a friend’s car. We are very blessed to have two of Niki’s cousins living here on the island, and Nancy and Shari have been more than gracious in helping us out when we needed to transport larger things from farther away.

Another adjustment we’ve made is not having laundry equipment on board.  Joy Girl used to have a washer/dryer, but it was removed and never replaced.  The overwhelming majority of boaters we’ve queried have opined that most all-in-one, non-vented laundry units end up being used for storing extra bedding or keeping pet food away from hungry mouths and radar-like noses, at best, or for getting clothes more wet than clean and almost never drying them, at worst. So, we gain a cabinet and dodge a potential headache.

Our marina, Shelter Cove, has wonderful laundry facilities, which are free to use by boaters in the harbor.  And, they’re only about 250 feet from our boat.  That’s a short walk if you’re Jesus, but since I’m not able to walk on water (my wife will gladly confirm this), it’s right at a two mile footslog out and back as we circumnavigate essentially the entire 175 boat harbor.  So, rather than schlep our well loaded laundry sack that distance or attempt to balance it on a bike, we take the nautical route: a kayak!MVIMG_20180308_133915.jpgLaunch the little orange baby bateau, toss in the laundry tote, and a few quick paddle strokes later we’re at the marina and ready to get to work! It looks a bit bizarre, but it beats going treking without a sherpa.

The other big adjustment to which we’re still attempting to acclimate is the rapidity with which the owner of a boat can go through “boat units”.  Several things on Joy Girl were not quite as they should have been (in my opinion) and some maintenance had been a bit deferred.  And things on a boat seem to have a way of going awry at the darnedest of times, much more than I had ever realized.  There’s probably not much another “boat unit” or two, or some time contorting an old body into a small space or spending some time in the engine room won’t correct. MVIMG_20180320_170828 crif.jpg Still, keeping the boat even close to shipshape and Bristol condition is certainly an ongoing process at best and a sleep stealing headache at worst.

What’s a “boat unit”?  You can find that on Google… 😉

First Kitty Cruise

Today we woke up early and took our first cruise with the kitties! When Craig fired up the big diesel engine both cats fled down to their favorite hiding place, a dark, cozy corner under the downstairs navigation desk.

After we left the marina, I pulled Scully out first since she is the braver, more curious kitty. At first she hid her eyes under my arms and refused to look around, but when she realized the ride was quite steady and slow, she popped her head out and was soon exploring without complaint.

Then I extricated Roswell, my sweet lover boy who has serious scaredy-cat tendencies. He shook a little when he first saw the water rushing by outside the window but after snuggling in my arms for a while he settled right down. Soon he was confident enough to drive the boat with Daddy.

After we docked the boat, which requires opening doors, throwing lines, bow and stern thruster noise, and Craig and I stomping around the boat, we thought we’d come back in to find the kitties hiding below decks again. But no, they were both sitting comfortably on the pilothouse couch, happy as two little clams. We’re happy to say the first kitty cruise was a success!

The Officers Move Aboard

After several trips for preparation and on board training by their human crew, the feline officers of Nordic Tug 42 “Joy Girl” have made the long journey from Colorado and moved aboard and assumed command of their new boat.

Here we see Roswell, sitting and looking stately as he prepares to take command from the pilothouse.Maker:S,Date:2017-9-17,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-ve

Meanwhile, Scully was spending some time checking out the view to starboard from the pilothouse screen door.  She was fascinated (and, seeing that she’s a cat, perhaps a bit concerned) to look out and see all that water,Maker:S,Date:2017-9-17,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-ve and was quite intrigued when the boat in the next slip started shooting out water (perhaps from their gray water tank).

Happily and much to the relief of their human crew, Scully and Roswell are adapting to their new home quite well.  With their “Cats On Board” flag proudly  hoisted to the masthead, these two officers of the ship are enjoying exploring their vessel and meeting new friends here at Shelter Cove Marina on Hilton Head Island.