Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Configuring the new boat's electronics

I woke around 5 am and went downstairs until Mary woke 45 minutes later. I brought her tea, and we did our German lessons. We were glad to talk with Emily and hear about the weather in Kentucky that had been making the national news. Reports of heavy rain, large hail and tornado warnings in Kentucky were on all the television and radio stations. Emily said that there was a lot of rain in Georgetown and sometimes strong wind gusts but no hail or other extreme weather. It sounded like Thomas had a good report from the pediatrician, and he wants to play outside once the weather improves.

We walked the dogs after Cindy got up, taking them through the neighborhood streets and up to the nearby wildlife viewing tower. We watched a school of large mullet swimming back and forth in the stream. We also saw what we thought were two rays or skates in the low tide. They didn’t move when the fish would swim by, so we threw some rocks into the water near them. As they didn’t move, we assumed that they were dead. After our walk we came back to a breakfast of scrambled eggs and pork belly from one of the smaller wild hogs that we killed on Monday. The boar meat was a little tough but otherwise tasty.

After breakfast Mark and I started setting up some of the electronics on the new boat. The Minn Kota trolling motor is something else. It can use GPS to maintain a constant position regardless of wind or current. It can also be steered remotely through a smartphone app. We saw how the Power Poles work with the remotes to anchor the boat in the shallow near coast waters. We started configuring the Garmin charter and plotter, but we needed a 32 GB SD card to continue.

We took a break for lunch and had sandwiches of deli turkey and chips then got in the kayaks to remove oysters from some of the pilings under the dock. We tried a pry bar, shovel and a scraper, but the best way to remove the oysters was to strike them with a large hammer. Although we were unable to remove all the tissue from the oysters, we were pleased how much better the poles look. Mark is going to try and arrange for someone to wrap the PVC poles with a rubber material that effectively prevents the oysters from building on the wooden dock posts.

Mark prepared some of the ribs from the smaller hogs that we killed on Monday. He mixed up a rub and started cooking the ribs slowly at a low temperature. Afterward, we made a list of things we would need to complete the jobs that we hoped to complete on Thursday. We started at Walmart to get a microSD card for the Garmin chart plotter in the boat. This card is required before setting up Active Captain app and updating the GPS unit. We also picked up a few grocery items and a small jar of plant rooting hormone for cuttings of plants that Cindy likes. We made a quick stop at Wyoming Guns, a small gun shop on Suncoast Blvd. where Mark bought a box of .380 and a box of 9 mm ammo to take the range on Thursday. The next stop was at the post office so Mark could mail tax documents to their accountant. Our next stop was Harbor Freight where Mark bought a reciprocating saw and 12” blade that we could use to cut the old wooden dock posts from beside the newer concrete filled PVC posts. Our last stop was at Home Depot to buy a treated 2x6 for the dock and some large stainless steel band clamps.

Once back at the house we installed the SD card in the chart plotter and continued configuring and updating the unit after syncing it to Mark’s smartphone. Because the unit’s operating system is unfamiliar to us, the process was slow. In addition, downloading updates and syncing between the app and the unit took longer than we expected.

By the time we finished setting up the boat’s Garmin, the ribs were ready for dinner. We didn’t know what to expect from the ribs of the small wild hogs, but the way Mark prepared them was excellent. They had more meat than we expected, and it was surprisingly tender and tasty. He also prepared a garden salad and baked potatoes that were oiled and salted making the skins slightly crisp. We watched an episode of Astrid and Evening Shade before Mark went out to the sauna and we turned in for the night.

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