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Monday, April 30, 2012

God looks out for fools , drunks and children


 I had never even sailed out of the Bay, and now found my self in a bad storm in the middle of the Gulf Stream .   ..                                                                                                                                                 Our patience had run thin we had been sitting in the Angelfish Creek mangroves near Ocean Reef Club, Key Largo  waiting for favorable weather to begin our Bahamas sailing adventure . It was February 6 1983 we were aboard the 30 ft. Trimaran “Lovely Lady”. We had sailed South from Coconut Grove before attempting to sail to Bimini , Bahamas. The thinking was to compensate for the drift of the Gulf Stream current . Day after day of bad weather . We were going through supplies and growing more anxious every minute .                                                                 We consisted of my bother John and my friend Mary. Blissfully ignorant of the danger we had just decided to “go for it “ rather than sit in the Mangroves another day. The boat had no power  no radio, no running light’s no maps or charts we had not filed a float plan,  or even checked the weather on that moonless winter night.    Our only “safety” equipment consisted of a few old life preservers a flare gun and a flash light.      Motor sailing  with the Main and  Jib sail up and our 25hp Mercury engine ½ throttle  hoping to make 7 knots.  The seas were rough but we managed to convince ourselves that the seas would soon calm as the lights from the Florida coast  faded .                                                             Sea conditions continued to deteriorate,    and soon the Boat was being slammed by huge waves the sea spray made it hard to see or communicate I estimated 10-12 ft swells,   the  first sign of trouble was the Jib sail had ripped and become useless, we were committed ;  no turning back .  There was a real possibility we would end up  dead ,We all sensed danger but didn't panic.  Not long after losing the Jib , a  large wave came up from behind and swallowed our 12’ dinghy,  the smaller boat in tow  trailed  us on a 5/8 nylon rope , It was never seen again...We were a small boat in a bad storm in a big ocean.  I was at the helm trying to keep the compass needle pointed East, John and Mary were below praying for a miracle. A quick check of my watch revealed that it was only 11pm to early to even pray for daylight !      The 5 gallon gas tanks that feed the Mercury had to be changed every few hours , a dangerous task on a slippery boat deck . John was up on deck and just starting to change tanks when he fell over board ...... (To be continued)..

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Lord works in mysterious ways !



 I’m 54 years old and I can always think of a reason to stay home, I rarely go out after dark and haven’t left the State in 20 years. But that wasn't always the case, when I was young I would travel looking for adventure . I guess that’s how I ended up in Key West . The free anchorage in Key West on my 30 ft. sail boat to be precise . By this time I was an average sailor having sailed the last 3 months in the Bahamas, all through the Bimini Chain , the Berry Islands , Nassau , Exuma chain and back to Coconut Grove. Out of money and lucky to find a job out of season, It was late Spring 1983 . Key West in Spring is famous for Waterspouts, squalls and storms that can sink large ships and challenge an experienced seaman, .on many occasions I counted 8-12 Waterspouts a day. My Job was pantry cook 3 night’s a week at Chez Amile on Front street making $33 dollars a shift . After work I would hit the package store for 3 tall boys and a Pint of cheap scotch, I would sit on the Conch train benches and get Hammered .. It was on one of these such nights I felt the presents of the ”Holy Spirit” ! I had just taken a long pull on the Pint of Scotch and had a strong sensation ! My head was spinning my eyes watering. When I opened my eyes I saw that they had forgotten to lock a large heavy chain, used to block traffic on the Conch Train. I knew this was The Lord’s way of telling me to take the 20 ft. 70 lbs. Chain. I staggered back to my boat carrying the heavy chain , and the next day used it on my anchor lines , I fastened it to my 80 lbs. mud anchor called “Big Nasty” and then to a 1 inch nylon rope off the bow (The Lord had also helped me procure "Big Nasty") I had learned about anchoring the hard way, lost equipment , hull damage and sleepless nights. That very night I was at work when we lost power, a strong squall and Water Spout had hit downtown Key West and wreaked havoc on the free anchorage . A very dangerous scenario was unfolding , all the boats in the free anchorage began to “drag anchor” the boats drift and slam in to each other, anchor lines tangle other boats and propellers . Numerous boats tangle in to one big raft, and only slow when they run aground . I spent many anxious minutes waiting for the storm to subside and check on my boat, my home all my worldly possessions . Weather clearing revealed a scene of utter carnage ! All types of boats from million dollar yachts to derelict vessels 20 in all had become tangled “rafted “ together and hit a hard shoal ! Indeed every boat except mine , .. The heavy chain had saved my boat !! That night I gave thanks to The Lord with a pint of cheap scotch whiskey!! You don’t got to be " The Virgin Mary" . To know the Lord works in mysterious ways :) I'm say'in 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

5840 days sober, 1 day at a time

The reason I love getting junk mail is , there was a time my life was such a disaster I would dread going to check  the mail.  All I would find was past due notices from creditors 
This is my mail box, it's the only one I have  and its a Federal Crime  to mess with it ,( and messing with the owner ain't a good idea neither)

I get a kick out of going to the mail box and finding only junk mail ,and no bills !
Junk such as this old Budweiser beer can show up in the garden area on occasion , it comes in with the truck loads of manure I get from Calder, it's as close as I get to beer now.
   When I was young I would think how  much is would suck  to be 54 years old . Well  just put that on the long  list of things I was wrong about. Let me tell you my life gets better every year . I  can't wait to be 108 years old my life will be twice as good.    I think what I love most are all the ironies of life,  Seemingly tragic events in your life  prove to be the  catalyst for positive change .

Monday, April 9, 2012

Acceptance

As the Manure truck backed in this morning  I was thinking of all the types of  Bullshit and Horseshit  there is in life , and there is no getting around it . When a truckload comes you're way (and it will )  Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.  Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.
65 ft. truck dumps 100 cu yards of manure  this morning 
It smells like Chanel  No.5  to me 
Sometimes the day starts out "Shity" ,  But you end up with " The Miami Heat Dancers"  

Monday, April 2, 2012

Dirty old man....

Well the title was either "Dirty old man"  or  "Full of horse shit" .. even though  neither one is correct . Every year   I compost organic material by the  truck load,  most of witch comes from a local horse  track ( horse shit).  The result is my farm has healthy organic soil ( not dirt) .   Every April at the end of the season  I get a Backhoe  and go to work spreading and moving compost  piles.  In Miami-Dade  most of our farm land is shallow rock land . East of the Turnpike  some areas have up to 1 ft. of Marl ,  however most of  that area has been developed  .  So if you want to be an Organic Farmer in Miami-Dade you have to compost on a large scale.   
Grey haired old man with a bad leg  that  lives with a  6 lbs.  Chihuahua = " The Lettuce Farm" 
Rich compost spread in the garden area 
The compost piles sit for 3 years before  being spread  in the garden area