Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Floating Frat House On the Move!!!

Current Location:  Marathon, FL (the Florida Keys)

Well, the transition is complete...good-bye Bachelor Pad and helloooo Floating Frat House!! Ben's manly, salty crew of Pierre, Amigo and Andrew have departed and the Doolittle family is reunited back aboard Knee Deep. We are acclimating back to sailboat life and are happy to be reunited again.  It was nice for the boys and I to take a break from the boat and miss out on the relentless pace of delivering the boat to Florida.  Many thanks to wonderful crew that helped Ben complete 1500 miles in 4 weeks, a brutal pace for sailing.  Taking a break from the crowded quarters of family living aboard on a sailboat, was a nice break and has made us all appreciate each other more.

Introducing the delivery crew...1500 miles in 3 weeks. These guys are rock stars! (The only picture I had of Andrew was of his feet so I refrained from posting it...your welcome, Andrew!).

Pierre, the Frenchman, his final moments aboard Knee Deep.  I think that's why he is smiling!!

Amigo, the Mexican wonder dog!! He was a trooper!!

What a cutie!!!! I think he's saying, "Get me the hell off this boat!"

Captain Ben. This is what you should look like after 1500 nautical miles in three weeks!
Thanks again to Deena and Rick who generously opened their house to us. We had a wonderful time enjoying all the comforts of land living along with our friends Dick and Maureen from Blue.  It really could have been a great reality show, watching seven sailors living under one roof and adjusting to all of the creature comforts.  For example, my roomies and I cheered enthusiastically every time the ice maker made a clanking sound producing the clear, cool gold that most of us cruisers cherish. Also the creations produced in that house kitchen still haunt my dreams as I sweat in my little boat galley making a simple pasta dinner (see Rick's beautiful Timpano below....just like the dish made in the classic cooking movie, Big Night). It was also common to find one or more of us sitting in the living room in the middle of the night, leading to the nickname of the "college dorm lounge".  Apparently breaking the habit of night watches and midnight anchor inspections are hard to break!!

Timpano, delicious goodness!!!

Dick, Maureen and Mickey engrossed in dinnertime conversation.  We often sat together for a nightly meal, my roomies were all amazing cooks!

Our hosts, Deena and Rick.

Deena trying to get a nibble of J.P.'s cream AND cake!! The freezer was constantly stocked with ice cream, another luxury of land living.

The boy's favorites from Trader Joe's...Orange Chicken and Edemami.

The 8th roommate, Snoball.  She did not like all the comings and goings of people, so she sat on our shoes by the door.

Once Ben and crew made it to Key West, the boys and I said farewell to our friends and drove our rent a car the 400+ miles to Key West.  I was chuckling as the locals kept telling me that it was, "a VERY long way down the Keys!!" Little did they know I had covered thousands of miles in a sailboat which average 5 knots...they had no concept of a "VERY long way".

After moving back aboard, we had some fun exploring before starting our sail up the Eastern Seaboard.  Ben played travel guide and lead us around Key West aptly naming his tour "The Trail of Tears".  This is the town where he worked for a while back in the 90's and had his heart broken by a beautiful French woman.  His tour consisted mostly of drinking establishments where he cried into his beer and places of employment from which he was fired. A truly inspiring tour guide and a lesson to our boys of what NOT to do!!

Captain Ben's former place of employment.  To quote him, "I hated working in this place!"

Little did he know, after getting his heart broken he would find this beauty and marry her!!!

Maybe I looked a little more like this when he met me??  I can dream, can't I??

I realized we have taken these stupid cut out photos in many foreign countries! I'm so cultured!!

Panama City, Panama!!

Barra Navidad, Mexico
We departed Key West a week ago, making the day sail up to Marathon, FL, a beautiful spot right in the middle of the Florida Keys. The City Marina offers moorings and has been a wonderful spot to clean up our boat.  The boys will have to say good-bye to their newfound friends aboard Sea Mist IV since we plan to leave tomorrow for the overnight sail to Fort Lauderdale. From there we will scurry up the coast since we are required by our insurance company to be north of Georgia by June 1 due to hurricane season. 
We have listed our boat on a couple of websites as we prepare to sell her and head home (the link is below).  She has been one heck of a boat, seeing us through Mexican tropical storms, large Caribbean ocean swells, Cotsa Rican Papagayo winds and an El Salvadorian microburst.  It will be sad to part with her, but we hope her new owners will enjoy her as much as we have! She sure does LOVE to sail!!
Hard to believe our time is almost up and we will be returning to "normal" life.  We plan to buy a camper and make our way across the good, old USA this summer and reunite with family and friends in California. Mickey has been planning our "American Baseball Park Tour of the US" for a while now, however, his evil boat school teacher will be incorporating some US history amongst our travels (insert evil laugh here).
And now another edition o the Floating Frat House Follies:
One important piece of equipment we added to Knee Deep has been Mr. Word (a.k.a. The Swear Jar or the Douche Bag Jar).  The crew were inspired by the sitcom, New Girl, in which the three male roommates and one female roommate reside together (sound familiar).  One of the characters, Schmidt,  is constantly spewing inappropriate comments causing his fellow roomies to set up the "Douche Bag Jar". 
Inspired by this idea, the crew of Knee Deep have adopted Mr. Word, a plastic piggy bank purchased in Panama.  The boys with great enthusiasm took him down below and set up a strict penalty system for the use of foul language. They disappeared for several minutes to decorate and document each specific fine.  Ben and I were chuckling to hear our sweet, angelic children down below have the following conversation:
Mickey:  So, the F word is a really bad one so let's charge 25 cents for that one.
J.P.:  Yeah, fuck is a bad word! (Grabbing a permanent marker) How do you spell it?
Mickey:  F-U-C-K
J.P.: How about the S word?
Mickey:  That's easy S-H-I-T
At this point, Ben turns to me and says, referring to Mickey who has a form of dyslexia, "That kid can't spell the words 'they and 'which' correctly, but apparently swear words are no problem??! Unbelievable!!"
I guess inspiration can strike at the most unexpected moments!!
We both quickly agreed that the true losers in this scenario was us and any sailor adult stepping on board our boat!! 
For the past six months the boys have been collecting some cold, hard cash and Mr. Word is now filled with pesos, colons, balboas and American coins. To quote our friend Heather from s/v Sundancer, "Some of my money is in that pig!! College Funding!"
And I can't think of a more appropriate way to send the residents of the Floating Frat House to college other than on a Swear Jar Scholarship.  I think their college application essays will be VERY interesting and at least we know that the swear words will be spelled correctly.
Our fifth roommate, Mr. Word:

Please note, "dick" is free! To quote Mickey and J.P., "Well, it's a part of our anatomy, why would that be wrong?" Not sure why crap is free?

Some fellow cruisers we met from Spain taught us a VERY BAD Spanish swear word, hence the steep fine!!




  1. I wish we could have hung out in Key West with you! Sounds like quite the tour.

    Congrats on getting the boat back to the US. We finally made it to PV and are getting married in less than a week. Eek! And to top it all off, we're having a baby! A baby that got its start in Panama City no less, so I guess that hellacious town isn't all bad.

    Love reading your blog, especially the frat house bits. I just can't stop laughing!

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