Tag Archives: boat

Good Christmas season and a nice family visit

Mrs. Poolman and I spent most of the past two weeks lounging around and doing not much of anything. Mrs. P worked for two days the first of Christmas week and then again on Jan 1-2. In between, we had a great holiday, and then a three-day visit to see my middle-sister, Maggie, and her family at Lake Hartwell, near Anderson, S.C. We didn’t do any floating in the lake on this visit, but one afternoon, the clouds parted and it was nice enough to take a boat ride. So the nine of us piled into the neighbor’s pontoon boat for a winter afternoon’s boat cruise. Very nice.

The view from the back deck.

The view from the back deck.

My niece with her "child," Norman the Basset.

My niece with her “child,” Norman the Basset.

All aboard!

All aboard!

Sister and Mrs. Poolman enjoying the day.

Sister and Mrs. Poolman enjoying the day.

Sister with the center of attention.

Sister with the center of attention.

Mrs. P enjoying the ride.

Mrs. P enjoying the ride.

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The vacation’s over

It’s a Sunday afternoon and a pretty good end to a vacation week. I’m sitting on our patio, under the oak tree by our pool, just enjoying a quiet summer Sunday afternoon.

The last three days of our vacation were uneventful. The weather was not ideal, generally cloudy and windy, with a few sprinkles.

This was a typical scene from our deck.

This was a typical scene from our deck.

Mrs. Poolman and I had a very nice anniversary (37th, thank you very much) dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, The Sundae Café. I had their Cajun shrimp and grits, and Mrs. P enjoyed lobster mac & cheese with broiled sea scallops. We enjoyed it so much, we went back for lunch the next day. Decadent, but hey, we’re on vacation.

The weather cleared up some on Friday and we got back out to the beach. But even on the cloudy days, we were totally happy just sitting on our deck with books in our laps. Enforced idleness is not bad.

We started moving stuff back to our house on Friday because I needed to be out the door early on Saturday morning. I didn’t want to leave Mrs. P with more of a load to move out than her own clothes and some of the leftover food.

On Saturday, I needed to assist my boss and his wife to take two couples on a visit to Wassaw Island one of our boat-access-only barrier islands. One of the couples had “won” the trip in a silent auction  that was part of a major fund-raiser gala for the University System of Georgia Foundation. We met up with them at 9 am and drove them to the south end of our island to meet our skiff and driver. The weather was cloudy with a few drizzles, but it wasn’t too bad. At least it wasn’t broiling hot with a ton of bugs. Our guests seemed to enjoy it. We saw nest with some juvenile osprey, a good size pod of dolphins feeding and more bits of nature on the island.

Our guide, Dorothy, in the hat, explains some of the island ecosystem.

Our guide, Dorothy, in the weird hat and blue shirt, explains some of the island ecosystem.

We did have the whole beach to ourselves.

We did have the whole beach to ourselves.

I was home by 4 pm and fairly tired.

Today I got the back yard and pool cleaned up and checked on my garden. I’m really happy with the way it is growing. After two previous unsuccessful efforts at growing tomatoes over the past several years, this little 4’x4’ plot seems to be doing well. Right now, we have more than 30 tomatoes in some form or another. None have turned red yet, but we are cautiously optimistic.

Grow, plants, grow!

Grow, plants, grow!

Hopefully these little fellas will turn red.

Hopefully these little fellas will turn red.

We also have two pepper plants that seem to be doing well. I’m really excited about tasting the first batch.

Back to work tomorrow. Sigh.

A busy day…

Today has been interesting, in two parts. This morning, we hosted a “state visit” by a group of roughly 65 VIPs, including the state Board of Regents, a bunch of university presidents and senior university system staffers. Most of these people have never been here so it was a pretty big deal.  I have been working to plan this event since mid-January and have fretted over the details and coordinating with the two other institutions in town. As it turns out, everything went very well. Everyone did what they were supposed to do and they did it well. No hitches and I heard nothing but compliments. Big load off.

Suits and dresses on the work deck. What's wrong with this picture?

Suits and dresses on the work deck. What’s wrong with this picture?

One of the cool things about my job is the opportunity to get out and take an occasional boat ride. This afternoon, I went along on one of our small skiffs to shoot some video for a promotional piece we are producing to market our research vessel.

Tough duty out on the water today.

Tough duty out on the water today.

The weather was gorgeous, roughly 80 degrees and sunny. We were out for about an hour which was just enough to sunburn my face. Duh. I did get one cool shot with my Canon point ‘n shoot camera. We frequently see dolphins around here, but it’s tough to get pictures because they don’t surface where and when you are expecting them. I did get this shot this afternoon, which was pretty pleased with.

A dolphin riding the bow wave of the R/V Savannah

A dolphin riding the bow wave of the R/V Savannah

A ‘manly job’

We had a nice heavy overnight rain a couple of nights ago – only the second rain to speak of in our neighborhood since March. The storm pulled down branches and trees all over the area. I slept right through the whole thing, including the fall of a couple of seriously large sweet gum tree branches in our back yard – right outside our bedroom window.The branch missed Poolboy’s boat, which is parked there, by only about three feet. He would have been quite upset. Lucky.

I was left with the job to cut up the branch and haul it out to the street for the weekly yard-trash pick-up. We don’t own a chain saw, but for some reason we do have possession of one of our friend’s battery powered chainsaw. I was eager to take it out for a spin.

I’m pretty much a desk-sitter, so I view working with a chain saw is a very “manly” job–even if the battery-powered saw is really one designed for girls.

I got the branches limbed up right down to the “trunks” (without cutting off a foot or hand, a major accomplishment in itself) and hauled the trash out to the curb. The only real problem was the heat. The work wasn’t that physically difficult, but it felt like I was working in a sauna.

I was left with two logs of 10-12 feet long and 6-8 inches thick at the base. They were just too thick to handle with my “girl-saw.” Fortunately, my friend Birdie (of Europe trip fame), lives for this kind of opportunity. He has spent his entire adult life in the forest industry and handles a real chain saw like the rest of us handle a knife and fork. He is more than happy to bring one of his real chain saws down and cut up my logs.

It’s nice to have friends with both the equipment and the skills to put them to use.

Gettin’ out and a new (to us) boat

Mrs. Poolman and I decided we need to start getting out a little more frequently. We tend to be home-bodies. We hardly ever go to shows or even movies. Our dining-out usually means hitting one of the informal and inexpensive restaurants in our general neighborhood.

We broke from that pattern on Saturday. We went out for a casual dinner with some friends and then attended the student production of “Hair,” presented by the Savannah College of Art and Design. We had a great time. What the cast (or “tribe”) lacked in professional-level skills, they more than made up for in enthusiasm. We were front and center in the second row, which was well into the “audience participation” zone. The whole experience was a bit of a flashback. When Hair first came on the national scene, I was a junior and senior in high school. We had the album and I think my brother and I pretty-much wore it out by playing it so many times. It was a good time.

The other news around Casa Poolman is that Poolboy bought a boat, which is currently sitting in our back yard. A friend of his was moving out of town and didn’t want to take it with him, so Poolboy got quite a bargain. It is a small McKeecraft. Around here, it would be called a “creek boat.” That means it isn’t big enough to go off shore, or even into some of the larger sounds if there is any kind of wind and chop.Since it is stored in our backyard, Mrs. P and I will also have use of it. I have some experience with boats and have even taken the Coast Guard safe boating course. But most of my experience is with the kinds of boats that have centerboards or keels, sails and no “reverse.” I told Mrs. P that I didn’t want to take it out until I had a chance to be “checked out” by someone who knows what they are doing. (And we have plenty of them around.) For some reason Mrs. P thinks that is funny.

The other issue is more practical. At the moment, no one in our family owns a car or truck with a tow-rig or, most likely, enough power to pull the trailer. I’m not quite sure how that is going to be resolved. We’ll see.