blackdogsailor

Archive for 2017|Yearly archive page

Chill in the Air, Leaves on the Ground

In Gypsy camp, summer volunteer on 06/09/2017 at 16:15

Well folks it’s been a few days over 3 months since the summer campaign to invade Michigan began. I’m starting to get a little chilly in the tent the last few days. The high the last two days was 61 degrees an the lows have busted below forty degrees a couple of times. My camp site has been upgraded over the weeks from my last post.

It has become a true outpost. I built my rocket oven and this week the last test is to make a pizza. The oven is built from scraps and I’ve sustained 350 degrees twice. I’ll post pizza pics.

I have enjoyed the camp and the beauty of the undeveloped land – 700 acres.

Gotta love it!

I had to put a new radiator in the Exploder. Thank goodness for online video instruction. I’ll probably be on the road in the next ten days or so. See some friends, visit my sister and prepare to spend all the money I saved this summer on the boat.

This summer was one in which I never needed air conditioning.

Some days I would drive as much as 20 miles on the lawnmower.

I figured I made close to 500 pounds of potato salad.

I sliced more than 900 cucumbers.

I learned how to handle a front loader.

I learned that there is much hope for the young.

Great experience, three months in a Coleman tent, camping all the way.

I did occasionally yearn for the days in graduate school taking advanced statistics, so I made this little chart.

Camping ahh graduate school yea hold my campfire I got this.

Well I would have made this post shorter if I had the time.

Dr Brad standing by on 16 and noaa hurricane tracker.

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I’m a Cut Up

In summer volunteer on 01/07/2017 at 14:00

Well I’m doing my roll here at Springhill Camps. First few weeks have been great. There  were some temporary unpleasant experiences like living in a tent thru driving rain and high winds. That was week one. More were on the way.  The first blast was like trying to sleep with one of those mist machines blowing around in your room. Water just misting it’s way thru the tent fabric. The solution was to put a heavy tarp under the rain fly and spray the living hell out of the rest of the tent with silicone. I also used every boat line trick to secure the tent so that every gust was not the beginning of a lord I promise to change prayer.

IMG_1818IMG_1816

Finished product, water, wind tight and level.

So my job has been cutting things up. I’m making 40 pounds of chicken salad by hand,slicing up a bushel of cucumbers or a case of onions. The kitchen work is harder this year because they are short staffed. I do like it because the company is great.

When I’m not cutting veggies or poultry I am cutting firewood or a bilzillion acres of grass. I got some great tools for yard work however and there is nothing like a boy and his toys.

Bat wing mower 10 foot cut

John Deere tractor and four wheel steering Bobcat

Well so it goes. I will be heading down to see my sister this week and then back up to the gypsy camp.

So to all of you around the country and all the ships at sea this is Dr Brad standing by on 16.

See You Soon Hontoon

In bottom painting, Moving on on 04/06/2017 at 15:53

Well I’m trying to remember when I shoved off from Hontoon Island State Park. It might have been the middle of May or when the temperature started hitting the 90’s. I took my new rear camper

In the Ford Exploder and moved the old lady  up to Acosta Creek Marina to be pulled out for the summer and service in the fall. Took two beautiful days of river time and pulled the old gal out.

 

This fall yours truly will be doing a bottom job and  buffing the hull and bright work and on and on and so forth and……….

I drove up through Georgia, South Carolina North Carolina over the eastern continental divide heading north into the cool.

I visited a friend in Corbin Ky, visited my sister in  P-burg, stopped and saw Sam’s new River Rat.

I then headed up to Springhill for the summer. I’m decompressing for the weekend and then do my 20hrs. a week. Different tent same platform, gonna be fun.

George even saw a bubbling spring near the trout hatchery so he and solar flower are happy 😊.

So that’s that.

Dr Brad living on land standing by on 16.

I am off Facebook for a while…… too much stuff not enough time.

Today’s vibe ….. Visitors choice

 

Summer Home

In getting self contained on 24/04/2017 at 16:33

Well I’m finalizing plans to pull the boat and put it on the hard for the hot southern summer. I’m heading back to Springhill for the summer. Volunteering is a great way to live on the cheap. Especially if you find those good locations. Last year was a tent ⛺️ but this year I built a summer home in the back of the Ford 1996 exploder I mean explorer.

The requirements were I had to be able to build it with the tools I have on the boat and it had to less than 100 dollars 💵.

While I was working this Sandhill Crane visited me a few times to observe. When they Are within a few feet of you and call out they have this creepy Jurassic Park sound. It is very loud and right out of the movie soundtrack.

I used pvc pipe and toilet flanges. The engineering came in with the straps that hold it down. Light weight not over built. I yanked out the rear seats for more storage. I’m good to go.

George is happy 😊 I’m happy 🤓.

IMG_1754So write me if you still have the strength. I wish I had more time I’d write a shorter post.

Dr Brad standing by on 16

Today’s vibe  ” There’s a Fat Man in the Bathtub” by Little Feat – ah I remember those Cleveland concerts

one of my made up sayings ” live every day like the cavalry ain’t coming “

Feel the Burn

In Uncategorized on 17/04/2017 at 14:55

 

 

 

A few days ago I thought I would walk one of the trails and trim some saw palmettos back off the footpath. I ended up getting sidetracked walking the perimeter of the prescribed burn that was done about 4 weeks ago.

Florida is in a wildfire emergency at the moment but without fire the flora and fauna of the state could not remain in balance. Here are some pictures from my hike.

These pictures although obscured by leaves show the depth of fuel on the forest floor that form a surface that appears just like ground with leaves. It is actually layers of dead vegetation that burn like peat below the surface and can spread the fire underneath with out surface visibility. This layer once removed allows new growth of other wise restricted plants like new pine and fern. This cover is the equivalent of putting mulch on your garden.

After about 5 weeks you see ferns growing,the saw palmettos coming back and pine cones opened to release seeds.

One last thing about the fecundity of the forest. I found this foot long piece of tree branch with 4 separate flora growing in harmony.

The actual last thing. Don’t worry about the critters. The controlled burns allow most animals to get out and the ones that are smaller and at times don’t get along well will seek shelter in dens. One popular spot is the gopher tortoise den that is actually quite large. So feel the burn with good feelings.

Dr Brad standing by on 16

todays vibe is Taj Mahal ” Going Up to the Country – Paint My Mailbox Blue

 

The Three T’s of Volunteering

In On the river, Uncategorized on 29/03/2017 at 16:54

I was sitting on my boat in rapt attention to my computer contemplating the three t’s of volunteering .” They are Tourists, Trash, and Toilet Paper.

I looked up and there were about six people looking around my boat. ” What’s up?” Behold the manatee. She was floating around the stern of my boat basking in the sun. I tried to get some good pictures but the sun and water were too reflective. I did get a shot of her flank that shows propeller marks from getting too close to modern man creating an unpleasant result. I occasionally have a similar experience.

Well that’s that.

Today’s tune for Dan Wagner – Fresh Air …. QuickSilver Messenger Service

Dr Brad standing,sitting ,and just rolling over on 16

St. Johns Update

In Don't waste poverty, On the river, Uncategorized on 18/03/2017 at 17:11

 

Well I’m three weeks into a slice of river volunteer heaven. I can’t think of a better place to clean fire pits, toilets, picnic and campsite areas, and don’t forget I’m driving the ferry.

Got my grey volunteer uniform shirt. I am stylin’ and profilin’.

To other matters we have  living on the boat and traveling forever thing. Had to rally for an eye appointment- glasses broke- and I’m making up with the dental – cash pay- negotiating stuff. Had some problems with an Rx at the local CVS. Can’t transfer a prescription more than once. So I’m calling doctors trying to keep up the meds. And the doctors always want tests . Now I gotta get find a doc and so forth and so on , blah blah blah.

Hey, wake up Dr Brad, it’s a small price to pay unless you want to live in a stick house. Took a dinghy ride today, catfish pole in the water, listening to Motown on the XM. Maybe a Canadian and water, fresh veggies for dindin; come on man.

Dr Brad standing by on 16

todays tune ” I’m sitting on top of the world” by various artists

pick me a good one Mark

Off the Island

In On the river, Uncategorized on 03/03/2017 at 08:48

“I’m sitting in a railroad station got a ticket for my destination”

Waiting for the Amtrak to Tampa and then bus to Fort Myers. I’m getting my vehicle and heading back. I am now well and good at Hontoon Island State Park. I passed my safety test and will be able to drive the ferry.

There are no cars on the island and I tell you peace and quiet are ubiquitous. I volunteer twenty hours a week for free dockage. The rangers are great, the other volunteers are great,and the guests are great.

We refer to people being off or on the island. Isn’t that 😎. “Where’s Bradley.” “Well I think he’s off the island.”

I talk about how good showers and restrooms are at marinas I visit. Well guess who cleans them ” on the island”, go ahead and guess.

Dr Brad standing by on 16

Tune of the day “Cool Change” by The Little River Band

Gates 7450

In boat repair, On the river, winter in the south on 26/02/2017 at 15:03

2/25/2017

Great morning! Breakfast at the BucknKats cafe. Big portions served with good coffee and that touch of love you get at the ole mom and pop.

Meanwhile back on the boat the gremlins were at work. Ready to go everything tied down new dinghy harness hooked up looking 😊. I hadn’t run the generator for three days and the batteries had run low😿. So fire up generator and wait about 30 minutes. Grooving after that, engine purring. Here we go🤠 Cowboy.

What’s that whining squeal? Must be that loose belt I figured I could fix in Sanford at the dock. The belt being a Gates 7450- Dammit oye vey Gevalt.

Two and a half hours I’m on my way.

Later that day I’m dropping the hook at Hontoon Dead River.. beautiful.

2/26/2017

Great day on the Hontoon. Sunny 75 degrees breezy the whole shebang. I went over to the state park to inquire about volunteer work in exchange for free dockage. Looking good. I will meet the volunteer coordinator tomorrow. Probably be able to get my car here with a few breaks and a good long bus ride.

Keep those 🤞 Fingers  crossed.

Dr Brad standing by on 16

Tune for the day is My Lover’s Prayer by Otis Redding. Dig it

Another Top Ten

In Uncategorized on 24/02/2017 at 16:28

Well the rain has passed and left breezy clear skies,low humidity, and a need to get off the boat.

I took the dinghy over to Parramore’s Fantastic Fish Camp and bought a day pass. For a fiver I did laundry, took out the trash,filled up with four five gallon water, and took that long shower. Once more I hit a top rated – in top ten- shower room and well kept laundry.  I’ve been on a streak this trip. When you shower out of a bucket or in campgrounds and marinas over the years you get picky. I good day was had by all.

Dr Brad standing by on 16

Stay forever young

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