Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Shopping for a boat

After waking at 5 am we had our morning beverages, did our language lessons then took the dogs out for a 90-minute walk through the neighborhood. We had a cold cereal breakfast when we returned to the house.

After breakfast we went to the neighbor’s house to help move some things. The house next to them has been vacant since Whittingtons bought this house. The owner, Jimmy, is 90 years old and is giving the property to his two daughters. The three of them were in the house cleaning, replacing the flooring with vinyl planks and making repairs. They needed Mark and me to take a washer, dryer and dishwasher down to load in their pickup. The house is built on tall stilts in the flood prone part of the state. The area under the house is a place to park cars. Getting the appliances down was easier than we feared since Jimmy had built an elevator powered by a large electric winch. He had welded the elevator’s cage from angle iron and steel mesh. It was impressive for a homemade job. Jimmy and his daughters were very pleasant, and he is as sharp as a tack.

When we finished, we drove toward the nearby town of Lecanto, near Inverness, where Mark wanted to revisit Gulf to Lake Marine, a boat dealership where he had shopped previously. After looking at a number of fishing boats, he and Cindy selected a 20’ Xpress SW20 boat with a 115 horsepower Yamaha Vmax outboard motor. He liked that the boat is all aluminum with a tunnel hull allowing travel into very shallow water. The boat can seat six people and has two livewells, lots of storage, a hydraulic jack plate to raise and lower the motor in varying water depths, and a Bimini top can be installed. The trolling motor has a built-in GPS that can hold the boat in any position regardless of current or wind. Two “Power-Pole” hydraulic anchors will be installed on the transom that will hold the boat steady in shallow water. The boat is an impressive craft. Mark plans to take it on a test drive on Wednesday.

Once back at the house, Mark and I launched a kayak to place a pinfish trap in order to see if we could catch some baitfish. The wind was pretty strong, so it was difficult to stay in the position we wanted for placing the trap. While we were moving the kayak along the water’s edge, a school of large fish began feeding all around our kayak. Mark rigged a fishing rod quickly and started casting, but the school has started moving away. He hooked a large sea trout that was able to get off the hook before he landed it. We fished a while longer with no bites, so we paddled back to the house.

Mark had made chicken enchiladas earlier today, and Mary baked them while we were out as well as making a mixed greens salad and warming some refried beans. Everything was very tasty.

After dinner Mark and I installed lighting on the new Murphy bed. He bought two wired LED puck lights that would be positioned over the bed, and we prepared to install a larger LED light that would shine up, reflecting from the ceiling brightening the otherwise poorly lit room. Running the wires took longer than we anticipated but we think the result looked very attractive. A power strip is out of sight on top the Murphy bed with its power cord hidden behind the shelving as it runs to an outlet behind the bed. The two downward pointing reading lights and the upward pointing light were plugged into remote controlled outlets on the power strip. A small remote can turn the lights on individually or all at once.

While we were cleaning up and putting tools away Cindy had an online meeting with the scholarship group in Oregon that she helps support. When we all had finished, we watched an episode of Vienna Blood on PBS then turned in.

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