Saturday, November 16, 2013

Enjoying our time in Corpus Christi

It has been a crazy couple of months.  As most of you know, Deb had partial knee replacement surgery at the end of September and with that came 6-8 weeks of recovery time.  While considering a date for the surgery, Deb was weighting a planned sail from Kemah to Corpus to spend a couple of winter months a bit further south.   Additionally, Deb and I are planning on a vacation and she wanted to get the surgery done as far in advance of that as possible so as to be very mobile for our vacation.  This meant that when we were planning on sailing the boat to Corpus, she was still using a walker and NOT able to get on and off the boat, never the less up and down the companionway.

At the beginning of October, our friends from Dallas came into town and planned to make the trip with me (See previous blog posts on the actual trip) and I am still blown away by their generosity and willingness to help out with this.

Night time view, Downtown Corpus is just at the end of the dock
Slowly we began to settle in to our new location.  We are actually on a dock that is right off the road.  I was worried about this at first, but after a few weeks, I am finding it to be pretty workable and convenient since we can keep our car just about 20 feet from the stern of our boat.

The Marina here in Corpus Christi is having some renovations done on a few docks so there was not enough room for any more "live-a-boards" on the other docks (with privacy locked gates).  We rolled with it; (Because what else could you really do) and we moved into our current slip.  I was not happy that the pump out service was not available on this particular dock but in the end, this is turning into a good thing.  It forces us to actually get off the dock every 2 weeks at the longest and at least motor over to the next T-head to pump out.  (for those that are not familiar with this, it is the unpleasant task of removing the contents of the holding tanks (think septic tank on land).  Not a romantic subject but certainly part of living aboard and keeping our waters clean.

There is a lot of foot traffic that walks down the sidewalk and passes the boat.  Most are just out strolling for the day/evening and some are walking to the restaurant that is at the end of the street we are on.  At first I was concerned about privacy, but we have not had anyone walk down the pier on the side of our boat.  There is a small wire gate we can close when we are on the boat for the night to keep people from walking down the dock.  We see quite a few people snap a picture or comment on the name of the boat.  If we are outside, we have had several stop and wave or even chat for a while.  The boat name and the fact that it still lists Panama City FL as the sailing port usually brings many questions.   We don't mind, we are excited about our lifestyle and don't mind sharing it with others.

We did have an interesting experience however when trying to order high speed internet service from ATT U-verse.  I figured it was going to be interesting when I called to order the service and attempted to have it installed.  The conversation went something like this…
AT&T: "May I have your address so I may check for availability in your area"
Me: "Well, there is not really a specific address, I am about half a block from the intersection of X and y"
AT&T: "Right, but can you just provide me your address, even if the house is not complete yet"
Me: "No, see that's the problem, it is not a house, it is a boat that is tied up along X Street"
AT&T: "I don't understand, you want internet on a boat??"  This was asked with utter disbelief.
Me: "Exactly"
AT&T: "Well if you can provide an address I can help, but I don't think we can get internet to a boat"
Me: "Ok. Thanks, I will think of another way to ask and call back later"

Then it dawned on me, I called back again and I ordered the service and provided the Marina's address.  Then I waited for the AT&T truck to circle the marina office repeatedly trying to figure it out and I went out and spoke to the man.   In the end, I was able to convince him to just run me a long wire down the sidewalk from the small little green tower where they connect the houses and I would take care of the rest.  He did, and I stapled the wire along the underside of the wooden bulkhead down to my slip.  I then wired in a telephone box in the breaker panel for shore power.  I then just hooked up a phone line into the boat right by where I connect Cable TV, Water and Electric.  It worked like a champ so I have high speed internet and can work very productively from here.   It was a bit comical however.
Relaxing in the Cockpit (writing a blog post)

All in all, we like it here.  I can't ask for much more, here it is in mid November and I am in shorts and a t-shirt sitting in the cockpit with a beautiful breeze blowing in on me while writing this blog.  In the mornings, the sun rises right over the palm trees at the end of the T-head and it really is pretty.  The Marina has really nice showers and laundry facilities when I want to take a long shower (it is a guilty pleasure).  Heck they even have free ice for Marina Members.
The only real downside of this location has to do with the flights in and out of the airport here.  They are not all that convenient and there are not many per day.

I will end this post with a nice little view of the sunrises from the boat.

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