Wednesday, January 26, 2011

We had dinner the other night with our old friends Steve & Diane Koch and new friends Pat & Chuck Berry.  Both Defever owners, it shaped up to be a wonderful evening of food, drink and boat stories.  Steve & Di live in Stuart on their boat, and Chuck and Pat have been here a long time as well.  Both couples knew the area well, and when the decision on where to eat came up, they both zeroed in on the same restaurant.

A sushi bar.

I love sushi and all things seafood.  Kim does not.  I will eat anything that swims in the sea.  Kim will not.

For the entire time we have been married, Kim would not sample, not even nibble anything from the ocean other than fish (cooked).  Being from Ohio doesn't help as the seafood we get isn't exactly fresh.  My guess is that the most popular 'pescado' dish eaten in our neck of the woods is the Filet o Fish from McDonald's.   (BTW, the filet o fish and the hash browns are the exact same food item.  They simply add tartar sauce and cheese to make it a 'fish' sandwich.) Now that we are boaters and will be near the water, there is a whole new world of seafood delicacies awaiting us.

So when Kim found out we were headed for sushi, she kinda wilted.  Always a good sport, she didn't say, "let's go somewhere else" or "I hate sushi", but rather "sure, why not?"  Usually she can find some kind of food alternative when we get into a situation like this, but that night, my intuition told me otherwise.

The group decided to get the house specialty, the sushi 'boat'.  I must say that is was beautiful.  It was arguably the best seafood display I have ever seen and boy did it taste good.  Kim did manage to find something else to order, however midway through the meal something magical happened.

I don't know if it was the wine, our table mates or the "new" Kim in charge, but she decided to take a whack at some of the sushi items.  I am not just talking California rolls here.  She was trying octopus and crab.  I think I even saw her take a bite of her long time nemesis, shrimp!

I wish that I could report to you that she loved all of the things she tried and that a whole new world of restaurant choices was now open to us.  Such was not to be the case.  She really didn't like anything she tried.  But hey, this whole cruising thing is about trying new things and Kim started things off with a bang.

A few days later we swung by the Golden Arches for a quick breakfast.  As Kim dived into the hash browns, I couldn't help but smile.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

When I was younger, I like reading about Greek Mythology.  All those tragic heroes were interesting to me.  I often wondered how those folks managed to get themselves into so much trouble and why the punishment for their infractions was so swift and severe.

My favorite character was Sisyphus.  Sisyphus was a bad dude.  His crimes included murder, incest, avarice and deceitfulness.  Interestingly enough however was that his eventual punishment was for hubris against the gods and not for the other awful things he did.  The thing that most people remember about Sisyphus however was his punishment.  For eternity, he was sentenced to roll a huge rock up to the top of a mountain, only to have it roll back to the bottom before he could ever complete his task.  Talk about your exercises in futility!

In some ways, I think that Poseidon, the god of the seas, is looking down on us from the Pantheon, delivering his own brand of 21st. century discipline to boat owners around the globe.  What is that punishment you ask?

Any boat owner can tell you without missing a beat that the punishment I speak of is cleaning.  Like Sisyphus, we have been relegated to spend the better part of whatever 'boating years' we have to scrubbing, polishing and shining our ships.  It never ends.  Once we have gotten the boat all spiffed up, the process starts over again.  Round and round the hull we go,  endlessly removing dirt and grime and salt and filth.  

To add insult to injury, Poseidon has hackled us with no ordinary dirt.  No, the scum that we must deal with won't come off with ordinary soap and soft rags.  The super race of mold and mildew boaters face is unlike that of mere mortals.  It is industrial strength.

A few weeks ago, Kim decided to tackle a job that we have both been dreading.  It seems that our fenders have seen better days and the time had come to bring them back to new life.  I don't know exactly what had overtaken their once resplendent luster, but the fenders were now stained in an ugly gray brown hue that refused to come off.

We tried every cleaner, polish and soap known to man.  We had Comet, SOS pads and even steel wool at work on these bad boys at one point.  After several hours on just one fender, Kim achieved moderate success.  However, the price was high and her determination was low.  We still had three or four more to go and I could see the energy waning from her soul.

Ah, Sisyphus.  How did you survive?

An hour or so later, I noticed Kim on the computer.  She was busy looking up prices for new fenders.  A few clicks of the mouse later, she was free from the bondage of fender duty as four new fenders were on their way to us.  I can't say that I blame her.  Those fenders were nasty.  This isn't something that we would normally do, nonetheless, it did feel good to drop the old guys in the dumpster.  It felt like we were cheating the gods.

Then I remembered back to my friend Sisyphus.  His punishment was for hubris.

I can't imagine what Poseidon has in store for us now.