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December, 2010:

Update on Big Red

Windy, windy, windy. That pretty much describes the day. Gusts reached nearly 40 miles an hour in the harbor. Since the extreme winds exaggerated the cold temperature, we decided to stay aboard all day.
White Swan is secure on her anchor, and we’ve no concern regarding the rocky ride we are having today. All the boats in the anchorage are bobbing about; and presumably, their occupants are as enthralled as we are with the ride going nowhere.
The infection on my leg is no better, but we’re going to wait until tomorrow to go to the hospital, hoping the weather will be more conducive to a dinghy ride to shore.



Gary and I layered our clothing and donned our foul weather gear to help block the cold wind as we dinghied to shore. Previously, I had checked out the hospitals using one of my iPhone apps. Wishing that we had an opinion from a local resident regarding which hospital to use, we made our uninformed choice. After a painful walk to the Publix grocery store, I waited outside while Gary went in to ask someone at the Customer Service desk which taxi service we should use. They called a cab for him and he returned to await the cab with me. It seemed like forever for the cab to come, and one still had not arrived, when a gentleman stopped his car where we were and said he overheard Gary’s conversation with the person at the service desk, and he would gladly take us to the hospital. Of course, I eagerly agreed to the kind offer.

We told him we wanted to go to the Columbia Hospital and after driving a short distance toward it, he mentioned he liked to use the Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center. We told him if that facility is his preference, we’d prefer to go there if it wasn’t far away. He promptly turned the car around and in a short time had us at a hospital recommended by a “local resident”. “God watches over idiots and children” via nice people like David, our angel for the day. David said he could tell we were boaters (sail boaters especially, all have “that look”) and since he had a passion for the water, and his brother was a professional captain with whom he accompanied on some of his excursions, he was as unafraid to ask us to ride in his car, as we were unafraid in accepting the offer. He would not accept compensation for his generosity. His reward seemed to be twofold: the satisfaction of conversing with people who love the water as much as he, and, doing a good deed in the Christmas spirit. He was a godsend.

Most of the day was spent in the Emergency Room. The doctor lanced, drained and packed my one inch deep wound. Gary stood beside me and took the brunt of the pain as I squeezed his hands during the procedure. After an IV antibiotic finished it’s last drop, I was released with orders to return in two days for the packing to be removed. The best part of the whole day was getting back to White Swan with a prescription of pain pills.

Obviously, we are going to hang out at Lake Worth until my leg heals. Our friends Pat and Tom, and, Ed and Cheryl offered to drive down here to take me back home to recuperate, but I’d really rather stay on the water. You know you’re a sailor when… you have a serious infection of MRSA but would rather ride it out on your boat than at your house offering more comfortable amenities. It’s “healing” to be on the water.

Christmas Day 2010


A MERRY CHRISTMAS ON WHITE SWAN (Note the Optometrist Santa)

Our morning ritual of lattes in bed (when we are home we have them in the hot tub), began our Christmas day. The morning greeted us with sunny, blue skies. The towering palm trees lining the residential shoreline swayed with the music of the breeze. If this sounds heavenly to you, it is experientially more so.
In no hurry to do anything, we lingered in bed with our morning ritual of lattes and devotions, and then read for a while before getting up to start our leisurely activities for the day. Presently, I’m reading a book about the “crackers” of Florida. The term crackers, derived from the cowboys who drove cattle across Florida, back in the day when cattle drives where commonplace. The cowboys cracked their whips in the process and thus inherited the name “crackers”. From what I’ve read thus far, I’m surmising the term evolved throughout the years to label any Floridian who settled in the more remote areas of the state, relying upon their own ingenuity to sustain their lives and livelihood. Since we now reside in Florida, as of this year, I wanted to see on a map where the places mentioned in the book are geographically; and because Gary and I lived in Indiana most of our lives, we had no idea the Swanee River was in Florida. It begins in lower Georgia and flows southwest through Florida to the Gulf of Mexico. Once while we were traveling through northern Florida by car, we crossed the Suwannee River and we wondered if Stephen Foster,the writer of the song making this a famous river, used poetic license to drop a syllable. Interestingly, my book informed me this is indeed the case. The Swanee River and the Suwannee River are one the same.
Before a late brunch, Gary took the dinghy to shore and I cleaned the inside of the boat and then decorated it for Christmas. We have a small artificial Christmas tree and a wreath as part of White Swan’s inventory. I’m not going to spend Christmas day anywhere, land or sea, without some decorations.
The afternoon was spent playing Parcheesi with ghost players Roberta and Kirby, who are friends who taught us how to play the game. I rolled the dice and moved Roberta and my pawns, and Gary played his and Kirby’s. During one play, I sent one of Roberta’s pawns back to her start position, and in good Roberta fashion I called myself a C.I.G.S. which is what she would have said had she been present. Gary and I roared with laughter and continued to beat the pants off Kirby and Roberta (proving the game is as much about the luck of the dice roll as it is skill). Board games are not as popular these days, with all of the present day technology; but the nostalgia that surfaces when getting out the box and setting up the board game is as much fun as playing the game.
Speaking of present day technology, our Christmas present to each other was a MiFi 2200 internet card. Rather than have to seek out marinas and restaurants offering internet, we treated ourselves to this gift; so now, internet is available to us any time we can get a signal (as long as we are in the states).
For dinner, Gary grilled portabella mushrooms and filet mignon while I prepared garlic mashed potatoes and broccoli. We drank champagne with our meal and finished with the delicate pastries purchased at the local French bakery.

Christmas Wreath on White Swan

Later, we found the cork, that flew off the bottle of champagne, imbedded in our Christmas wreath. We wondered where it went. It looked like it belonged on the wreath so I used a black felt marker to write 2010 on it and permanently attached it.
I’ve heard it said, “Life is what you make it.“ For us, Life is Fun. Our days are full of love, silliness and laughter. It’s the greatest gift we give to one another.



On the Seventh Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave to Me…


Merry Christmas Eve! For the sake of making a good title, let’s pretend this is the seventh day of Christmas…

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: Seven bridge’s openings… Yep, seven bridges to navigate through in only 22 miles of waterway.We gaged our speed of travel so we arrived in good time for all but one of the bridge’s openings.  We had to wait for half an hour for the Donald Ross bridge to open, but actually, the wait was not bad, since we were able to throw out the anchor and sit secured until it was time for the bridge opening. While waiting, I had a delightful conversation with the bridge-tender via the VHF radio. Some bridge-tenders are nice and some are down right grumpy. This one was really in the Christmas spirit and was charming. There was a big power boat on the south side of the bridge, also waiting for the opening, and when he hailed the bridge-tender, the bridge-tender told him there was a sailboat also waiting on the north side. The power boater was also in the Christmas spirit because he verbally offered to let us go through the bridge first since we had the current pushing us. The bridge-tender commended the power boater for his courtesy, and we did as well. In general, it seems more times than not, power boaters have no regard for sailboats and their lesser degree of maneuverability; so this captain’s kindness was held in high regard.

Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse

 On this leg of the waterway, the water changes in color at all the inlets, noticable first at Fort Pierce Inlet, going from a dirty brown color to a beautiful aquamarine.  Most of the water on which we traveled today, was a beautiful aquamarine color.  The lighthouse at Jupiter Inlet was spectacular to see with the bluer than blue sky as a backdrop and aquamarine water in the forefront

We anchored in Lake Worth around 3:30; and, after Captain Gary made sure our anchor was holding tight, he took the dinghy to shore and went to a nearby grocery…and a French bakery. We are grateful Ed, Cheryl, Sandy and Nancy introduced this area to us when we all anchored here in April. Thanks to Gary’s trip to town, we are now totally ready for Christmas.



Big, Red, Ugly, and Angry

The motoring from Sebastian to our evening’s anchorage at Peck Lake (a little north of Jupiter) was uneventful until White Swan got out of the channel and apparently the prop hit a rock because, upon inspection, it had a small chunk missing. Since that was the only damage done, Captain Gary was pleased when he was able to file the edge of the prop and make it symmetrical again. After he gives it a coat of paint, it will look just like new. What is it with White Swan and propellers??? I think she just wants to sail all the time and forgo the motoring stuff…

Peck Lake is part of the ICW with a narrow spit of land between it and the ocean. Had I been feeling better, we would have taken the dinghy to shore and then walked the short distance to the ocean. What’s big, red, ugly and angry? Answer: The horrible infection on my inner thigh that grew from the size of a silver dollar on Wednesday, when we made a hurried trip to our family physician before we left port, and is now the size of an oversized grapefruit. The doctor is not sure of the cause, and she took a specimen to culture. Bottom line: I’ve been on an antibiotic since the visit to the doctor. I told Gary I would rather be miserable on White Swan than miserable at home; and I’m not really worried because tomorrow we’ll be anchored in Lake Worth at Palm Beach; and if it‘s not better by Sunday, we‘ll go to the hospital there. At this moment, I’m thankful we are in the states and not in the Bahamas.

Before we started our cruising last November, I went to a seminar for boaters, given by a doctor, regarding first aid at sea. He recommended boaters keep two different antibiotics: one to use for issues above the waist and one for below the navel. I keep that info in our Wilderness First Aid manual (written by William Forgey, MD) and the two recommended antibiotics in our inventory. He didn’t mention a sulfa drug for staph. I think from now on, it will be part of our inventory as well.














Holiday Sailing


What a beautifully glorious day to begin our holiday season aboard White Swan. The weather was a comfortable 68 degrees with blue, sunny skies and a nice wind for sailing down the Indian River Lagoon.

After numerous delays, for various reasons, we finally left port. Our fellow sailors, Pat, Tom, Doug, and Ed bid us farewell around 12:45 PM. After a month of hearing from us we were going to leave, I think they wanted to witness the fact we truly left. How many times does one need to say goodbye before the Glenns really leave???

The ICW from Melbourne to Sebastian, Florida is trickled with little islands and is one of the most picturesque sections of the waterway, in my opinion. The water became a little shallow in one area. It was of no concern to us because we can motor in two feet of water with our boat, but we always think of our friends who have boats with five and six feet drafts (the part of a boat that is under the water’s surface). They would have been bumping the bottom of the waterway.

We saw numerous dolphins today. They followed our boat for a short distance as we were coming out of the Banana River, and we saw some more in the Lagoon as we neared Sebastian.

We were anchored by 5:15 PM just past the Sebastian Inlet, on the opposite shore at marker Red 66. (Reminder for non-boaters: The green and red waterway markers are guides for boaters like road signs are for land lubber‘s.) Now it’s time for the galley slave to resume her duties and prepare dinner for the captain…who did an excellent job today on the waterway.

We thoroughly enjoyed being out on the water again, aboard White Swan. We are both equally passionate for this lifestyle (it’s more than a hobby) and the good fortune of that fact does not elude us.