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September 2013

Snowbirds for Real. We’re Moving to Florida.

Welcome to Maine Sign

I’ll always make my biscuits with Bakewell Cream, insist on real maple syrup on my pancakes, prefer brown eggs for no reason, drop my “r’s”, and retain reams of useless knowledge of my home state – but I’ll not be a Mainah for much longer. We are “moving” to Florida.

Bimini Maine Tweet 12-28-2010 11-43-05 AMIn my 20’s, I couldn’t imagine living where I couldn’t enjoy the four seasons.

NOTE: The photo at left was tweeted out shortly after Christmas in 2010. We were watching football at an outdoor bar in the Bahamas. I laughed.

I haven’t shoveled snow in three years, and I don’t miss it at all. Sure, I’d like to visit Maine some autumn, view the leaves, eat fresh apples, and take in a country “fay-ah” but I like our lives just fine.

Besides Maine kicked us out and I was some pissed er ticked off.

When we left to go cruising I resisted “moving” from Maine and we continued to file and pay our income taxes with the state, retained our UPS mail box service in South Portland, and flashed our Maine Drivers’ Licenses when we needed a quick photo ID. I had no idea that it was possible for travelers to renew their Drivers’ License from away, and let mine lapse. Shortly before EW’s deadline approached, he called the appropriate Maine department to get some advice. Ultimately, he found out that he couldn’t renew his license because, “You are no longer a resident of Maine.”

Oh.

And those taxes we paid in 2011 and 2012? I called the Maine Revenue Service and – politely – stated that one Maine department can’t take our taxes while another Maine department says we aren’t residents. I was very nicely told I was correct and that I could file under Maine’s Safe Harbors program and get all our Maine taxes back for the two years we’ve been at sea.

Oh.

We really don’t live in Maine anymore.

I love Maine.

I am so very proud of being from Maine, and of Maine, and of having generations of hardy, funny, hard-working, dancing, card-playing, hunting, fishing, neighborly, clever, good-humored, and loving Mainahs on both sides of my family tree. I am a Mainah at heart.

But now, I’m a “Mainiac.”  Not this Urban Dictionary definition of Mainiac – though I dearly love it:

1. Mainiac

Derogatory term used by Massholes to describe Mainers who drive properly (i.e., without cutting anyone off or flipping off the state patrol).

I'd rather be a Mainiac than a Masshole.

2. Mainiac

One who is from Maine. Often used when referring to driving techniques of the receiver.
Attempted insult from citizens of Mass. to us in Maine.
See Masshole

Hey, Mainiac! What the hell do you think you are doing?!? Drive better!

Well, I’d certainly rather be from Maine than Massachusetts. Don’t get me started. (My apologies to the many wonderful people I know and love who are from Massachusetts. I’m a Mainah at heart so I have to dis on Massachusetts. It’s in the blood.)

Anyway, my definition of “Mainiac” and one I heard frequently in Maine was:

1. Maniac. Any Maine born person crazy enough to move away the State of Maine.

I am a Maniac.

EW is just a transplant. Come on, you’ve heard that old story about the transplant who was excited that he new-born son would be a “native Mainer” until his neighbor informed him, “Just ‘cause a cat has kittens in the oven, don’t make ‘em biscuits.”

So we have a new address in Florida; we’ll register to vote there; and in December we’ll take a few days and fly to Jacksonville to get our drivers’ licenses. We’ll soon send out notices of our new address to friends, family and all business interests. We are moving have moved to Florida.

Why Florida? Two reasons: 1. They don’t have a state income tax;  2. There is a mail services company, St. Brendan’s Isle, that has served thousands of world sailors for many, many years. They have assured me that we can easily establish residency and get our drivers’ licenses – as long as we can pass the test. (Fingers crossed.)

I may be moving to Florida, buy my Maine roots go deep. This is one of a number of similar direction signs pointing the3 way to real Maine towns.

By the way, EW has learned that the second one down is pronounced “VI-anna”.

Rome has 1.5 syllables.

My dad was born in Athens and never went to Madrid, but frequently visit MAD-rid. In Maine, that is.

I’ll be a Mainiac living living aboard La Luna wherever the wind takes us, and “domiciled” in Florida.

The Harts are still at sea, in the best possible way.

And don’t you fo-ah-get it, de’ahs.

FOLLOW-UP:  Thanks to one my Mainiac niece, Karen, I have found a website for us Mainiacs, exiles.com which has this quote:

"Mainiacs away from Maine are truly displaced persons, only half alive, only half aware of their immediate surroundings. Their inner attention is always preoccupied and pre-empted by the tiny pinpoint on the face of the globe called Down East. They try to live not in such a manner that they will eventually be welcomed into Paradise, but only so that someday they can go home to Maine."

-- Louise Dickinson Rich

Now I'm in tears.



These Hands Smell Like Gas, but They Don’t Smell Gas. That Would be Silly.

We don’t use much diesel, but we are using about 13 gallons of gas each week for “Lunah Landah” and “Jenny”, the Honda generator. EW has been working 7 days a week, so I’ve been much more up close and personal with our gas cans.

For years, EW had complained about the new CARB Compliant gas cans that don’t have vents and have resulted in more spills on La Luna than the old gas cans ever did. Here’s a blog post I found that exactly corresponds with EW’s gas can opinions. I never had the arm strength or coordination – mostly the coordination – to manhandle the old gas cans to fill the lawn mower or dinghy tank without spilling, so no gas cans were my friends and that was not my job.

P9141176P9141185

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Satan’s Spawn

We currently have two cans; one we call Satan’s Spawn, which is impossible for either of us to pour when full, and an earlier version of this one at Lowe’s. Though it doesnt' have great reviews, I like it because no gas comes out until I want it to come out, and because it has a handle on the side, which becomes the handle on the top when one is pouring into the generator or dinghy tank. That's a handy handle.

Two new gas cans are on the immediate shopping list, and custom covers for those tanks will be on the immediate sewing project list. I hope we can find the kind at left on St. Thomas and don’t have to have them shipped from Amazon.

This morning, I told EW I’d fill the generator and the dinghy tank, and I knew I had to first move gas from Satan’s Spawn into the other can. That had been EW’s job, and until a few months ago it was fraught with spillage and bad words. One day I had an epiphany – a mechanical type epiphany, which is extremely unusual for me.

Our booth at one of the boat shows was next to a salesman/inventor who was pushing a bailer he had created from one-inch tubing and a little metal perpetual motion pump thingy. He put the pump end of the hose into the unwanted water in a tub on his table, shook the end of it until it took a prime and watched the water run into the empty jug on the tent floor.

It was a great demonstration and EW and I succumbed to the pitch. We bought two.

P9141169Please note from the description that the unwanted water at the boat show was positioned above the receptacle, which is a requirement for this pump. We have rarely used these on board because most of the unwanted water on the boat is in the bilge and nothing is below the bilge. But, we still had them on board, and it occurred to me that I could use one to move gas from Satan’s Spawn into the other can. Worked great!  NOTE: It did not work to move gas from Satan’s Spawn directly into the generator as the gas moved a bit faster than I anticipated and the bailer takes a moment to “shut off”. Lesson learned. Cleaned up. Probably used bad words.

EW loved the idea, but knows what gas can do to simple plastic, so he bought the appropriate hose and made a gas moving bailer. For. The. Win.P9141174

Now it’s another job I can do, too. Dammit, I hate when that happens.

SIDE NOTE FOR MAINAH’S. This morning, when I went back down into the cabin after successful gas moving, I said to EW, “See these hands? These hands smell gas.” He didn’t get it.

Back in my youth, Stacy’s Fuel Mart in Bangor sponsored a late night TV show, Stacy’s Fuel Mart Jamboree, featuring some real musicians, like Dick Curless and Kendall Morse  --- and many wannabes. The grammatically incorrect line “See these hands? These hands smell gas,” was featured in one of the many ads Dick Stacy ran on the show. His tagline: “My hands stink so yours don’t have to.” Thanks to Mary Jones Richardson, one of my roommates at UMO, for remembering that tagline.

I couldn’t find that ad – but here’s one for Stacy’s Plaza Motel.

EW, today my hands stink so yours don’t have to.

POST SCRIPT: I started a discussion on Facebook about Stacy's Fuel Mart, and followed up with this post. Then Mary's DH, Gary Allen Richardson posted this tribute to the Jamboree. Yeah, that's what I'm talking about.

 


Donnell Best - D Best - in Boston

Here’s an update on Donnell as he takes Boston by storm. 

As many of you know, Donnell is an outstanding young violinist and singer from Grenada who auditioned for Berklee School of Music in Boston and was accepted. Unfortunately, they do not offer scholarships to freshmen students and Donnell’s family didn’t have the money for his tuition and other expenses.

With a nudge from Inga in Land-Not-Yacht Homeward Bound in Grenada, a cruiser turned landowner, the cruising community in Grenada during the 2012 hurricane season held and attended various fundraisers for Donnell. We did all we could, but he didn’t have the money for college so he deferred for a year. During that time, the country of Grenada arranged for a private foundation to pay for his first year tuition, and his sister and her husband said they could chip in for board. We wrote blogs and spread the word and many, many of you re-posted, copied and pasted, and helped with outstanding ideas.

Former and future cruisers, John and Dora on S/V Windrifter, are currently living aboard their Westsail 42 at Constitution Marina in Boston, while they are working for an unspecified number of  years to build up their cruising kitty. (And, if their co-workers or employers read this – just note that they are young, love their jobs, and don’t plan to get back out to sea for years.)

John and Dora are also dear friends of ours, and in fact purchased their vessel with the help of EW in his Yacht Broker days.They also lived aboard next to us in Maine through a few interesting winters and a couple of really bad storms for which they never blamed us. We left Maine in October of 2010, and they followed their own path behind us, finally catching up with us in St. Lucia. We had lovely times together during our first season in Grenada and we miss them.

DSC_0123So, after my last pleading Facebook message about Donnell, John called to find out more about him. John is one of those brilliant technical people who appreciate fine music and who used to study the violin. John and Dora are without a doubt two of the nicest, most even-tempered people one could ever meet. They live on a boat with only one stateroom, still they invited Donnell to move in with them for “a month or two” until he could find appropriate space on shore.

They met him at the airport. They taught him how to live on a boat. Since the weather has turned chilly – 50 degrees in Boston this week – Dora has discussed long underwear and fingerless gloves with Donnell, who arrived in Boston for Freshman Orientation on August 30.  A week later, Dora called me with an update.

“He’s delightful! Last night we came home to a hot dinner on the table. He made us mac pie!” Mac pie is the Grenada version of macaroni and cheese. Dora loves it. Heck, I love it. Donnell has offered to cook more and Dora will be shopping on her day off for foods he likes to prepare.

He has landed a work study job, and he has found a home with a houseful of young male Berklee students, at a rent he can afford. Money will be tight and help will be appreciated. Dora and John kicked in $50.00 for his first month’s cell phone bill, and a huge chunk of his savings went to vaccinations and the mandatory laptop with the installed Berklee programs. Still, he’s doing great.

Dora heard him on a SKYPE call to friends in Trinidad.

“No, Trinidad does not get that cold.”

Response from Trinidad

“No. You are too close to the equator, you have never experienced this.”

They haven’t yet heard him play the violin, but are enjoying the new-to-them music that he prefers. He recently sang in a jam session and came home elated, telling John and Dora, and his family and friends on SKYPE that he “Shredded it!” Dora said, “I’m not sure what that means, but I think it’s a good thing.”

1-Island Violin HQ 7-24-2012 12-38-08 PMEvidently, once you are accepted at Berklee, you still have to audition for certain courses. The professors were so astounded to hear Donnell’s unique style of jazz and pop in addition to classical music that they sent  an email to Ms. Beth Wolfe, Donnell’s music teacher, mentor, and champion in Grenada saying how impressed they were with Donnell’s “broad skills”. 1-Stage 7-24-2012 12-45-47 PM

PHOTOS: Beth’s business, Island Violin and their recital hall.

In addition, he’s already making the contacts and getting the information he needs to apply for a Berklee scholarship for next year. Donnell is bright, engaging, and talented. Many back in Grenada have asked him why he wants to pursue music, telling him he could have easily gotten a scholarship for medical school in Grenada or to earn an engineering degree in Trinidad. He decided to take the harder (and colder path) and to follow his dream in Boston.

He’s an outstanding person and a very talented musician, and he is intent on following his dream. This is why John and Dora and we have joined with the many Grenada cruisers who have helped Donnell.

Plus, he cooks.

If you want to help Donnell, he could always use 50.00 to cover his phone bill, or some extra cash for fingerless gloves. I asked Dora about the gloves, and she replied, “You don’t expect this generation to stop texting when it’s cold out do you?”

I guess not.

Sounds like Donnell is fitting in just fine.

This photo is from a very recent Facebook Post by Donnell. The caption:  “Yeah. I live on a boat.”

A few photos from a fundraiser Grenada cruisers held for Donnell in 2012. Two of his brothers helped to put together a band for that night on short notice. Inga, below left, Lilly –in blue -- from s/v Tiger Lilly and Kathy from S/V Oceana – in red shirt at right are three cruisers who made that evening happen.

1-Donnel and Brothers better shot 7-20-2012 9-27-27 PM

1-Donnell Singing  7-20-2012 9-44-04 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1-Inga and Lilly 7-20-2012 8-28-16 PM

1-Oceana and Silver Heels 7-20-2012 8-25-56 PM