"C'mon up! Time to go!"
I stuck my head out the side door and shouted upwards, “Wouldn’t you rather drive from down here?”
“Noooo….,” they answered in unison. Too hot; too stuffy; can't see as well.
From Wikipedia: "A flying bridge is an open area on top of a surface ship that provides unobstructed views of the fore, aft, and the sides of a vessel, and that serves as an operating station for the captain or officer of the watch."
"Keep green lights and buoys on the right side when heading to open water and on the left coming back in. Remember: Red, Right Returning. Boats have a red navigation light on the port side; green on the starboard and white lights for power boats."
What? Good thing we were only going to Palmetto, and it was a beautiful day. King Tut puttered along at 8-10 knots, a knot equaling a bit over a mile. There weren't any other boats in sight, until a cabin cruiser came barreling towards us. Cap instinctively steered towards the right.
We celebrated with lunch at the marina. Gazing out at the myriad of boats was like being in a dream and we were part of it, no longer wishful-thinking tourists.
"As promised, Chester showed up a couple of days later. He showed us how to dock and un-dock, and we filled up with diesel. Good tip - Dawn blue dish liquid soaks up any spills in the water like magic. Cap changed the cabin from a V-berth to a double bed. He's going to build some cabinets with the rest of the space. We hadn't gotten a decent night's sleep until then."
"We had a mess - soaked bedding everywhere. The next day was to be a Chester Day, but instead of cruising we went shopping. Got some caulk, fire extinguishers, hand-held GPS and a new 'Y' electric cord. Cap checked the portholes (they need work) but the hatch, as it turned out, was fine--we had accidentally tucked the canvas corners inside when we closed it. Have to learn!"
From one woman I heard the suggestion of using a futon rather than a standard mattress, because the corners of the futon could be trimmed to fit the shape of the V-berth. It would also be cheaper than buying really thick foam. Cap slept nearest the door because the inside made him claustrophobic. Half of my side was the alcove, for lack of a better word, underneath the deck. If the weather was nice it was great, with a breeze hitting us through the hatch; but if it rained and everything had to be shut, then I felt claustrophobic, too, and would climb over Cap and up to the living room for air.
Czar liked to sleep outside and was comfortable getting around the decks and dock. He began jumping off the boat during the night and people would return him, so we had a frustrating time using bumpers to keep the boat away from the dock.
There was no built-in seating on the back deck, and although the space was large it was cut up by doorways, walkways, the ladder and now the dock box, so we picked up a couple of white plastic stacking chairs.
"Good Boatkeeping, by Zora and David Akin. It's been my Bible. A couple wrote it with people like us (particularly me) in mind. It's perfect - tips for keeping pets aboard; storage ideas; maintaining all parts of the boat; even first aid for jellyfish stings. Many of Chester's suggestions have been reiterated in the book, so it's nice to have confirmation. Chester is a godsend. I'm never embarrassed to ask 'dumb' questions, and he's never grudgingly offered info.
"Don't know what I was thinking when I packed. I brought too many pots and pans, clothes and towels, but maybe not. I should have loaded up with Tupperware. We need more square things for space-saving, and I never thought about my tins rusting."
That's when I pried open the little trap door under the drawers in the bathroom to see what was inside. It housed the mechanism for the toilet, plus a secret stash of moldy porn magazines, ewww. What else would I find?
Nothing as it Seems
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To read from Chapter 1: A Rough Start