Thursday, December 31, 2009


It’s been about 9 years (or more) since I worked at West Marine and during that time I took advantage of the “employee discount”. Every week I routinely spent more than I earned. One day the Manager tried to talk me into buying 2 fold up bikes that were discontinued. I balked! I planned to walk to any place that I needed to go, but, the price was right and I finally gave in. Afterwards, they sat on a shelf in the barn for the next 5 years until I built a place for them on the Goose. Now, they lie hidden away until time and location afford us the luxury to get them out and then suddenly, we have freedom. Most people (while driving) regard a mile as very little distance but, when you have to walk it carrying things, then a mile becomes 5280 very long feet! It can sometimes take 25 minutes or more to walk one mile. With our bikes though, it’s an effortless 5 minute ride. During this week, we have been to the hardware store 5 times, (4 miles one way). The auto parts store twice, (3 miles). Across the bay, (7miles) and many other places that we would never have gone simply because transportation is so easy and fun. I wouldn’t say that a bike is a necessity but, for us, they have turned out to be a real time saver.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Last night was a Blue Moon. That's when there's a second full moon in a calendar month. The combination of the sun and the moon being in alignment causes a greater gravitational pull on the earth and results in the highest tides of the month Of course, it also produces the lowest tides of the month too. This morning I got up to an unusually still boat. The goose wasn’t rocking at all. Normally if the wind is blowing she will move ever so slightly but this morning nothing, we were rock steady. I popped my head out to look around and saw this vista and realized that the low tide has left us stranded at the dock. In fact over the next hour the nose slowly dropped and we ended up about 4 inches out of the water.

Just to give you some Idea of the amount of water that is being moved in and out at this time of the month….
The bay is roughly 100 sq mi in size. (A sq mi. has about 220 million gal. of water) so this is roughly 22 Billion gal./ foot of depth and the tide moves about 3 feet in (or out) over a 12 hour period therefore, about 65 billion gal. of water drained out of the bay over night. WOW! (in comparison, if the Muskegon navigational channel flowed at about .5 mph of current and it was roughly 500 feet wide x30 feet deep it would move a little under 4 Billion gal/ 12 hours.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


“Anna” I called, “what did I say we needed for the engine”? “I don’t know, let me check the list”
This interchange is so frequent between us that someone might think that it’s a code in a secret language! With the departure of our youth we both have found that our memories can’t quite keep up with the new demands that this life style has placed on us so we rely on “Lists”. Anna keeps a small note book and pen just for the recording of everything that pops into our heads. These lists include, but are not limited to, food items, nautical items, parts, repair lists, items to PU when we are in Michigan, items to return to Michigan, people to call, places to research or to visit, movies we want from the library, Etc, Etc. We have found that without these lists it becomes impossible to function on the Goose.
At first, I fought against the use of these endless lists but with Anna’s help, I have gradually changed my mind and now believe that having a permanent record of what we were thinking about is better than an amorphous group of ideas floating about my head. And besides, her way saves me from making 3 trips to the hardware store (a five mile ride) in one day!
The best way to get a handle on this system is to pick out a bunch of broad categories and then give a page to each one. Don’t be afraid to get really detailed in your breakdown of the work or item to be purchased IE: 7ea, # 10 SS pan head screws or replace light bulb in the head. Then it’s easy to pick out a small thing to do that will fit the amount of time that you have available. Then, the hardest thing to remember is to strike items off the list!

Monday, December 28, 2009


Anna pointed out that I haven’t been as participatory on the web site as she is so we have changed the site a bit to include a Blog for me. (She feels that I have so much to say…Yea,right) Anyway, Here I go.

PS. If any of you feel like commenting on what I say please take a minute and post your comments.

Cruising….What a great idea. Lots of time to see the sights and enjoy the things that you like to do. Time to relax and kick back. Well, the real truth is that it’s a lot more work than I ever thought it would be. At first, when we had the masts on the deck and the Goose was in essences a motor boat the days amounted to nothing but eat, sleep and drive the boat. Now that we are a sail boat again the work load has tripled. Whether it is sailing or sitting at the dock the effort that is required to move the old gal or to maintain her is considerable.

Sailing: The waters around here (unlike the Great Lakes) are filled with crab pots. These are cages set on the bottom with a tasty fish head inside and a rope leading to a float on the surface. The crabs find this irresistible and unfortunately a boats propeller finds the rope irresistible too! As you sail you are “dodging the pots” and when you motor you again find that the pots are migrating into the channel. I personally feel that the crabs have learned how to drag the cages into the channels as a way to get rid of them.

In port: In the last few days (for instance) I have finished up the rebuild of the dingy, sanded the main mast and varnish it, (All 45 feet that the sunshine can hit has to be varnished twice a year) and I checked out the toilet and found that it is starting to leak (parts on order). The sail has been repaired, the mildew scrubbed out of the chain locker and of course the alternator is still sitting in the cockpit waiting for me to disassemble it, re-wire it and re-install it. The “list” seems to grow even as I scratch items off from it.

The only good note to this cacophony of work is hearing the palm trees rustles when I’m up the mast or seeing a flock of white cow ibis hunting for bugs in the grass as I sew on the sail and of course I still can’t help but smile when a dolphin swims past.