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25 April 2011 @ 11:02 am
staying comfortable as hot April continues  
Here is a picture of where I am now taken yesterday:

The Army Corps of Engineeers in Jacksonville has a crew of big yellow airboats that roam the many hundreds of miles of the Saint Johns River and tributaries and spray 2-4-D to keep the invasive non-native waterplants from choking off the waterways. The yellow in the above picture is the knotweed that was sprayed several days ago.

In the last two weeks or so I have been doing fine. Last week I finally rolled up the Visqueen from the sides of the screened porch because there is no sign it is going to get cool again until next winter. Instead, we are now having temperatures about eight degrees above normal, and the summer pattern of "pop-up" thundershowers between 2 and 8 PM has already begun.

I am paying lots of attention to getting the boat under large trees for shade, but the leaf canopies are not that dense yet because it's only April, so sun beats down through the holes in the leaves. I tried keeping the deck constantly wet to wash the heat off and create evaporative cooling. It worked well, but the volt meters on my solar controllers go haywire because of the hot mist rising off the deck.

So I will just stick with the little electric fan, and Ghost just goes down into the tender under the main boat where the floor is cooled by the water beneath.

I am also pleased with our ability to completely keep the mosquitos out of the boat because the screen porch has no holes.

Ghost looks like a different kitty again since he shed his winter coat in the last few weeks:

To see more pictures of him go here:

pics -April 24-25, 2011

I will close here by mentioning the frightening thing that happened since the last entry. -On Palm Sunday (April 17th), I was almost killed by three huge speedboats drag racing through an extremely narrow canal closer to the main Saint Johns River.

I am trying to forget this now and move on, so I will just paste here what I said on Facebook just after it happened:

"most reckless boating I've ever witnessed

At 5 PM I was in the narrowest, safest canal in this area moored under some trees, watching four manatees next to the boat, and pointing them out to some other boaters floating by. Suddenly, I started hearing a roar.

Before I could react, I saw three huge speedboats plowing down the canal at probably 40 miles per hour!

This was the most dangerous possible place for this drag race to occur, like a car race staged in a school zone at lunchtime.

All I could do was scream violently and give the finger to the third boat, and then I prepared to die. One 200 HP motor at full speed just feet away alone creates a huge tsunami. This was 3!

By some miracle, the boat did NOT capsize. I spent 20 panicked minutes though cleaning up spilled kerosene and making sure my computers and phone and electrical system were not destroyed. The inside of the boat looked like a 9.0 quake had shaken it.

Next I left an urgent message at the sheriff marine patrol giving the location, the direction they were headed and a full description of what happened.

After spending two hours cleaning up the mess and discussing this with the others who were there, I am ready to purchase a shotgun. If I ever see such a maniac approaching, this will be aimed at the face of the driver. If that does not cause him to release the throttle, it will be fired at the hull uf his boat, causing it to sink before it is next to me."