Our Boat

Caloosa Spirit

Catalina 42 mkII

Log #6 A Giant Leap!

A lot of “cosmetic” work has been done to the boat and she’s looking pretty good. There is still a big question mark about the status of the engine and/or prop shaft that may affect when we can move aboard. We’re hoping to get an answer tomorrow. There are still other things that need doing, but we think they can be done around our living there. We can’t get out of this hotel room soon enough!! On top of no hot water, no housekeeping, and lousy TV reception, today they started remodeling downstairs and the banging and drilling were UNBEARABLE!! We’re sure they’re trying to drive us out.

We went to a beauty salon today. It’s been exactly 2 months since we got haircuts, and mine was beginning to drive me nuts. The stylist we got (Layton) spent close to 45 minutes on just me. What a shampoo he gave! My hair is really short, but he made it look really stylish. However, this treat didn’t come cheap. When we first asked about the charge it was going to be $20 each, which wasn’t terrible. But by the time we got finished the charge was $63 for both of us!! Jim questioned it and we got it discounted to $55. Needless to say, we won’t be returning to Layton, even though he was really terrific.

We’re getting a new bimini (awning) in the dark green color that will match the stripes on the hull. I’m excited! The canvas guy (Lane) came this morning to take measurements. Jim asked if I was watching so that I’d know how to do it next time. Fat chance! There’s a reason I sold my sewing machine! The woodwork guy (Elroy), who yesterday said he was coming “tomorrow”, didn’t show.

No Elroy and no one else either, so we spent time in town doing errands and shopping. The post office isn’t much different from Indy, except that there’s no computerization, so the slow pace is a little more understandable. We’re thinking that we’ll move aboard by Friday so that when someone shows up to work on the boat, we’ll already be there. Wishful thinking?

Since the question has come up, I’ll try to give the short version of the origin of Caloosa Spirit’s name. Several years ago I was doing some research on Native Americans and learned that the people that lived in southwest Florida were the Caloosas (named for their leader). They were basically peaceful and friendly with neighboring tribes, and depended on the sea for most of their livelihood. They weren’t completely passive, however, in that they were responsible for sending Ponce de Leon (a Spanish “explorer” who raped and pillaged his way across the southeast) to his great hereafter, wherever that may be. There is evidence of the Caloosa history in burial mounds and other artifacts in the Pine Island Sound area (Charlotte Harbor to Ft. Myers) where we at one time thought we might retire, specifically Burnt Store (which has its own interesting story of the Caloosa people and white settlers). Caloosa Spirit is a name I had thought of for a boat that we considered buying in ‘96, but decided against at that time. When we first made the decision to look into buying THIS boat, the salesperson asked us what its name would be. Of course, we hadn’t thought that far ahead, but I blurted out the name I had come up with the previous year. Once the boat had a name it became a real entity-kind of like having a baby-and we couldn’t think of changing it. Burnt Store, FL is the homeport on the boat. She may never really end up there at this point, but we’ll go for a visit someday. That was supposed to be the short version. Sorry!

What a wonderful day!! We took the boat back down to the boatyard this morning to get the new prop refitted, and it only took a few hours rather than days or weeks. Okay, so the rainstorm on the way down wasn’t so wonderful. And neither is the fact that our refrigeration isn’t working. But it was great to be out on the water again. When we got back to the base we had to dock closer to the hotel than we were before, so we decided to move all our stuff on board. So we are now official liveaboards! No more hotel room!!  We got a package of mail from Lauri that we have been looking for since she sent it 3 weeks ago. Yes, getting mail in Paradise is cause for celebration, especially since Lauri had already weeded out the junk. Mom agreed to come visit us for Christmas, so we now have that to look forward to. We got to take hot showers tonight! Life is good!

Jim with new propeller

We spent most of the day putting our stuff away—and then discovering that there aren’t enough spaces for all of it.  But we’ll figure it out eventually. The refrigeration got fixed late today. (Sometimes “tomorrow” really means tomorrow!) Even if it hadn’t we had decided that using ice was a small price to pay to be out of the hotel room. We also extended our car rental for another 2 weeks. And we got our cell phone connected (for a tidy sum, of course) so that we aren’t incommunicado again.

More work got done on the boat—2 hatches replaced, leaky stuffing box fixed, refrigeration checked for leaks. Apparently the Base Manager wants us gone in a week. I don’t see that happening, but who knows? We had company for dinner, Greg & Carla of s/v Magic. It was fun to be able to entertain in our own home.

Hoping the fair winds continue to blow for us all,
Alice & Jim Rutherford

Posted Sunday November 17, 2002

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