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23 January 2011 @ 10:00 pm
it was the elm trees, and I think it's over  
I waited ten days to write here again because the big deal since New Years had become the severe allergy symptoms I was experiencing, and I wanted to wait until I had good news concerning this.

Well, just after I wrote all of that, I grabbed one of the pinkish branches, and it was very easy to use the internet to identify it as the common American Elm. This is also known as the Water Elm or the Swamp Elm, which explains why they are so thick along the waterways but are nonexistent everywhere else.

I found a Google Earth date in the new slider bar, January 1st, 2004. When I set the image to that date, I could clearly see where all the evergreens and palms are and where all these now budding trees that lost their leaves in late Fall are.

Unfortunately, all along the entire Saint John's and tributaries, the evergreens and palms reach anywhere close to the water's edge only in the rare places where high ground rather than wet land buts right up to the water. Everywhere else these Elms are thick.

So, it is very hard to stay on a boat and get away from them.

I could always camp on land in the Lake George State Forest, up away from the Elms. I'd have to leave my boat tied up at Tedders and then go the approximately two miles by car or foot to the evergreen forest away from the water. As the crow flies I'd only be about 1/2 mile from the waterways I roam in the boat, but that would be far enough to be away from the pollen hopefully.

On the other hand, the symptoms DID end after less than three weeks. I have felt steadily better every day since about Tuessday (January 18th).

But it's still been colder than normal here, just not as much so as in December.

No feelings of depression, though, which if I were in Ohio I would probably be struggling with mightily right now, because prolonged cold periods up there were very difficult, and that is what they are experiencing.

The key is the sunshine, which remains abundant even though the nights keep dropping into the thirties and the days can't get above the lower sixties very often. (The normal high and low for the coldest day of the year here is about 69/47.)

The only other news is that I just spent almost three days in Deep Creek, and I think it will work as the main safe harbor for me.

As I said in recent posts, the wind is a great danger for me living on this boat because a severe thundersorm with 50-60 mph winds would severely damage it now and might even capsize it if I were to strengthen the boat.

Deep Creek is farther than that other canal I tested as a harbor -1.66 miles from Tedders rather than 1.05 miles. But I can also get farther into it -about a quarter mile in. And, the trees are even bigger along it, providing even more protection.

The spot I go in to is a beautiful pond, or wide spot, where it is easy to turn and maneuver, and where there is enough opening above to get lots of sun on the boat, at least now when I want it -in winter.

Beginning with the storms that came through Thursday night, the highest wind gust for the entire 60 hours I was in Deep Creek was about 8 miles per hour, probably 1/4 what it would have been out in open water.

Ghost has been continuing to do very well, also enjoying the comfort that the sunshine adds to the boat, even up in Deep Creek. We move often enough that he gets lots of variety. Right now we are back at the State Park, and tomorrow just before lunchtime we will tie up at Tedders again for awhile, so he will be able to play there. I no longer need to worry about him because he stays close to the boat, and whenever I call him he comes right back out to me on the boat. If I go somewhere in the Geo, he guards the boat for me while I'm gone and walks onto the gangplank to greet me when I get back.

In Deep Creek he enjoyed watching the otters swim near the boat. I'm sure he wondered if they were cats, because except for the shorter ears, they look very similar, and when they had spats with each other back in the trees, it sounded just like a cat fight.