UPDATE#21 07/01 thru 07/14/07

Howdy Everybody,

The period 01/19/07 thru 06/30/07 has been covered in Updates 1 through 20.  We continue with UPDATE 2007 # 21.

 UPDATE 2007 #21   07/01/07 through 07/14/07.

     Welcome back to the new Adventures of the trawler AMARSE.  At last update, we were back home on AMARSE at Brunswick Landing Marina in Georgia.


     Our chance to visit with Paul and Sue Graham from “ODYSSEY” has been the very best of quality time.  They are such a joy to be with and they make us very happy to be around them.  The four of us hit the obligatory shopping spots such as Wal-Mart and the Publix grocery store.  It was abundantly clear from the load of stuff in the trunk that we are, indeed, avid consumers.

     The afternoon was frequently interrupted with intermittent, very heavy rains.  Many people have been hoping and praying for rains here in the Southeast due to the drought conditions.

     The rains subsided and the skies cleared in late afternoon.  We packed our picnic lunches and fold-up chairs into the car and headed for St. Simon’s Island.  At the base of the historic lighthouse, a concert was scheduled featuring the Motown sound.  Folks come out and set up their stuff for a picnic and musical event.  Paul, Judy, and I brought sandwiches.  Sue had a craving for a big ol’ piece of fried chicken.



     The walkways and lawns were filled with eager music lovers.



     We were amazed at how elaborate some of the picnic set-ups were.  There was a range from family style to elegant tables of wine and cheese.



     Unfortunately, the eminent threat of more showers resulted in the cancellation of the event.  Oh well, we certainly enjoyed our picnic.  The rains came back in just as we reached the car.  Excellent timing.

     We wanted a concert and, by gosh, we were going to have a concert.  We invited Paul and Sue to the AMARSE Concert Hall for a Rod Stewart DVD concert.  We enjoyed it, however, Paul and Sue left about half way through.  Cruisers midnight had them falling asleep in their chairs.




      I’ve wanted to upgrade the TV system on AMARSE for sometime now.  We started with a small tube type TV located in the aft stateroom that came with the boat.  In October of 2006, we donated that TV to Goodwill and installed a 15-inch LCD TV with an integral DVD player in the main salon.  It worked quite well and we have enjoyed many hours of entertainment from it.  As many of you know, High Definition TV is the wave of the future.  I have been fascinated by the vastly improved quality displayed on these newer sets.  We spent a lot of the day shopping and researching the options for a new TV unit. 

     No shopping day is complete without a visit to Wal-Mart.  Judy needed some more “vacuum bags”.  These are not the kind for your cleaning vacuum but, rather, the kind in which you store items of clothing, towels, blankets, or other soft goods.  For those of you unfamiliar with these miraculous bags, you simply place those items inside the bag and then apply vacuum suction from your vacuum cleaner.  This compresses the contents way down and allows you to store many times more items in the same space.  We then store the bags under the aft berth.  Everything is protected from dust and moisture.  Those of us that live in tight quarters, such as boats and RV’s, need to conserve all the space that we can. 

     Numerous heavy, heavy rain showers punctuated the afternoon.  I chose to work on update logs while Judy enjoyed more episodes of “Married With Children” from the DVD series.

      Dinner came out very well and was absolutely delicious.  I made Stuffed Peppers using sweet red peppers, ground sausage, ground beef, rice, grilled onion, and cheese.  The sides included fresh corn on the cob, fresh slices of tomato and cucumber.




     This time of year, sporadic, heavy rain showers commonly frequent the SOUTHEAST US each afternoon.  Today would be no exception.  They pop up fast, dump a bunch of rain, and then the skies clear off until the next round strikes.

     We did some more shopping for salon chairs today.  Unfortunately, everything we see is too large for our needs.  Designers are obviously focusing on the larger home market.  Thankfully, what we have works quite well, however, my lazy butt would sure like a recliner.  We will just have to keep looking for something more compact.

     Another of those tasty meatloaf packages from Publix Supermarket, sides of herb mashed potatoes, fresh corn on the cob, and sliced cucumber, provided a delicious dinner selection.

     Tonight’s entertainment on the small screen consisted of the first two episodes of Season 7 of Stargate SG-1.  We sure enjoy this series.  We watched every episode of seasons 1 through 6 while we were back in San Antonio in late 2006.






     (Listed with “Age” before “Beauty”?)


     Of course, everyone celebrates the birthday of our nation.  We have the additional joy of celebrating another birthday of Judy’s brother, Dean.  He really doesn’t look like his actual age, however, I remember when he did. (Ha Ha Ha!)

     The Brunswick Landing Marina hosted a wonderful cookout event for everyone at the marina at 2pm.  They supplied lots of hot dogs, burgers, and even several huge, barbequed pork roasts.  Everyone brought a potluck side dish to make it a huge feast.  The marina had several tubs of ice cream to share with the sweet tooth crowd.  We were surprised at how many folks were in attendance.

     Brunswick is not a huge city.  Their scheduled parade will never be a televised event.  It consisted mainly of a couple of fire trucks, some young peoples groups walking and waving, a police four-wheeler, a few civil war buffs in period uniforms, and a small troupe of equestrians.  The route traversed the historic downtown area and culminated along the riverside at Mary Ross Park.  A DJ played a variety of music genre and the activities committee conducted games of sack races, hula-hoop contests, one-legged relays, and other family games.

     We enjoyed a light supper of turkey sandwiches on hoagie rolls before finding a great spot on dock #8 to watch the fireworks.  A group of us set up our folding chairs to watch a very nice fireworks display that fired off from just across the river from the marina.  We certainly had the ideal viewing location.  I can only assume that this entire spectacular event was for Dean’s birthday.  What do you think?




     At 10am, Paul and Sue hopped into the Riviera for the drive to Savannah.  Sue was hankering to visit Mrs. Wilkes’ Boarding House for lunch.  She had visited there several years ago and touted its unique approach to family style dining.  We arrived there about 11:30am to find that a long line had already formed. 



     We joined the end of the line for a long wait of one and a half hours.  It was a beautiful day and we had the opportunity to chat with several of the others that were patiently waiting their turn.



     Everyone is seated around large family tables.  The staff begins to bring bowl after bowl of side dish specialties.  There is no menu and the main course specialty is southern fried chicken.  Table eating styles may often contradict Miss Manners’ approval. It is definitely a place where the “boarding house reach” is well within the rules of etiquette.  It was difficult to imagine all that variety of food on one table.  If you leave hungry, you definitely missed the whole concept of this place.  We really enjoyed the experience.



     After lunch, we drove around the City of Savannah.  You should see the wonderful old homes and buildings that fill the streets.  There are numerous park-like areas within the residential zones.  Everything has been beautifully restored and decorated.  The landscaping is lovely.

     The Savannah riverfront is lined with all kinds of little shops.  Of course, there are not enough parking spaces so I dropped off the other three and drove around while they did the tourist thing.

     This beautiful cathedral beckoned us to visit.  The fabulous architecture of this Catholic Church reminded us of European elegance.



     The interior was, perhaps, even more spectacular.  Marble columns, gold leaf, and huge stained glass windows command the respect for old world artists.



     The girls decided that they wanted another religious experience, so, we made a stop at Krispy Kreme Kathedral.  These must be two of the Nuns from the “Sacred Order of the Honey-Glazed”.  Perhaps, we should all bow our heads.



     We took the opportunity to shop at Best Buy and at Sam’s Club.  We stocked up and finally arrived back at the marina around 8pm.


07/06/07    FRIDAY   BRUNSWICK, GA


     After a lot of research, I decided to purchase a 26-inch HD LCD TV made by Samsung.  Amazon.com offered the exact model that I wanted and priced at a significant savings over the retail stores.  Model LNT2653H had all the features of resolution and contrast ratios that would provide AMARSE with the best all-around set for our needs.  Ordering over the Internet is just so easy.

     I have also decided to install a new DVD Player.  Since the TV will be Hi-Def, I wanted to our collection of movie discs to look great too.  Through the miracle of electronic technology, engineers have perfected what is called an “Up-conversion” or “Up-scaling” DVD Player.  These little marvels, somehow, take the normal 480i input signal and Up-convert it to either 720p or 1080p output.  Now, your regular DVD has the appearance of being Hi-Def.  It is really too cool to imagine.  My research peaked my desire for another Samsung product.  Model DVD-1080P7 was purchased from the local Circuit City store after they agreed to match their own website price.  In retrospect, I probably should have ordered it directly from Amazon.com too but I didn’t.

     Much of the rest of the day was wasted trying to communicate with Verizon Wireless customer service (term used loosely).  I was attempting to cancel my AirCard service that feeds my computer with Internet service.  They are certainly a lot more difficult to work with in this circumstance than they were when I signed up.  Oh well, what should I expect?




     It is another good day at Brunswick Landing Marina.  Friends, John and Sue Winter, of “MISS LIBERTY”, have arrived from Florida.  They have been delayed on the St. John’s River for over 3 months with an engine rebuild problem.  With everything resolved now, they are headed north to the Carolinas to complete their trip.  Fortunate for us, they chose to stop here for the night.  We spent a good long time chatting with them aboard their boat before taking Sue to do some grocery shopping.  John undertook the oil-changing chore that afternoon.

     At 5pm, we picked up John and Sue from Dock #1 and headed for St. Simon’s Island.  Before we could get to the restaurant, it started to pour the rain like you wouldn’t believe.  As I pulled into one of the few empty parking spots along the street, the puddles turned to rising streams and, before long, everything looked more like a lake than a roadway.  We just sat in the car as the pelting rain beat on the roof like it was a snare drum.

     Thank goodness we had our “Crocs” shoes on.  As the rain let up a little, we darted across to the restaurant in ankle deep water only to be informed of the 30 to 45 minute wait. 



     No one inside was going to leave in this mess, so, we took a spot under the eaves for protection.  By now, the rain was relatively light, however, none of the patrons would vacate their seats.  You know, it made the experience seem even more adventuresome and we will always have even more to spark our wonderful memories of this fun evening.  (photos credits to John Winter)




     When the rain ceased, a table soon became available after the droves of customers streamed steadily from the front door of Barbara Jean’s Restaurant.  John was excited about the restaurant name because it is the same as his sister’s name.  He even bought her a T-shirt.  As always, the home-style fare was delicious.

     Tonight was NASCAR night for the Nextel Cup Series.  Paul and Sue Graham, from “ODYSSEY”, were already at the marina clubhouse lounge warming up the TV set.  The two Sue’s are about equally avid and intense about their racing.  Before long, the two fans were rooting and cheering vehemently for their favorite drivers.  Decked out in their finest race garb, Sue G. (red) yelped and screamed for Carl Edwards while Sue W. (black) belted out her endearing support for Jeff Gordon.  Judy (white/pink) had her Nashville shirt on.  Nashville is home to one of NASCAR’s finest tracks.  It was certainly a fun-filled and totally enjoyable night.



     We said our farewells to John and Sue knowing that they would be gone with the break of day.  We all wished they could have stayed longer, however, with only a few hundred miles left on their cruise, they were anxious to get home.

     I wasn’t feeling very well and when we got back to the boat, I found that my temperature was 101.1.  I guessed that I had picked up some kind of internal infection so I took a few aspirin and started some antibiotics. 




     My fever was still a bit high and I was feeling a bit weak.  I was having some urination problems but initially thought that the antibiotics would kick in before long.  By late morning, I noticed a bit of blood in my urine.  OK, no more fooling around and I suspected something more serious might be going on.  Judy and my sister, Carol, (RN), urged (No, insisted!) that I get some medical attention.  At 1pm, we signed in to the Southeast Georgia Regional Hospital.  Within a very short time, I was called into “Triage”.  This is where the ER nurse discusses your problem and then applies a priority and treatment recommendation to the staff.  Being in no immediate danger, I was sent back to the waiting room.  The seemingly endless wait was the hardest part of this ordeal.  About 3pm, I was called into the treatment area.  The efficient and friendly team set about to take urine and blood samples.  My veins are deep and they presented a challenge to several competent phlebotomists.  The attending physician recommended a CT Scan of my kidneys to rule out tumors or stones.  Well, now for the good news, the test results could not find any serious, long-term problems.  The diagnosis was, as I had first suspected, an infection somewhere in the kidneys, bladder, or urinary tract.  The treatment was simple, just take a series of Cifrofloxin antibiotics and some pain stuff.  We finally got back to the boat about 7pm.

     The worst part of this illness situation was that we would miss a visit from our dear, dear friends, Susan and Ivor Nathan.  For weeks now, we have be anxiously awaiting their arrival for a couple of days visit during their road trip to Kentucky.  When they heard that I was under the weather, they felt it best to pass us up this time.  Although we were very disappointed, I would have been too weak for them to have much fun.  I can assure you of this, we will get together again soon if I can have anything to do with it.  We love those two very much!

     As you can guess, I needed a lot of rest to get my strength back.




     Still feeling zapped and running a bit of fever, I just wanted to rest and recover.  The outside temperatures were running very hot.  Thank goodness for the powerful and efficient air conditioners aboard AMARSE.  I didn’t go out at all and found myself napping frequently.  Judy only ventured out to pick up my prescriptions at the CVS Pharmacy.

     Judy fixed us a wonderful Chicken Pot Pie, however, I just don’t have much of an appetite yet.  I just couldn’t eat anything that robust.




      Another viciously hot day was in store.  No real problem as I didn’t have the energy to do much anyway.  We were getting the fever under control and I was starting to feel better.  I still needed lots of rest.




     Finally, I’m starting to feel more like myself.  The fever is all gone now and my strength is starting to return.  We walked over to ODYSSEY to visit Paul and Sue.  We had a wonderful time just chatting for about 3 hours.

     Hurray, the new TV was waiting for us at the office on Dock #1.  Unfortunately, the special cable (HDMI to HDMI) was backordered and we need one before we could hook up the TV to the DVD Player.  At retail in the stores, the cables are very expensive.  Circuit city suckers some folks into paying $100 for one.  We ended up spending almost $30 at Wal-Mart for the same type cable that you buy online for under $10.  Oh well, the price is always too high for stuff you need now.

     With the new equipment set up in the main salon, we set to programming the auto-tuning feature.  We were quite surprised to see a number of High Definition channels come up over the ordinary airwaves.  We had no idea that these stations even existed since our older TV didn’t have the HD tuner built in.  Although a number of them were dedicated, religious channels or infomercial stations, we could receive ION and CBS in HD.  I am so pleased with our choice of electronics in this case.  We attached our Bose Speakers up to produce exceptional sound that is significantly better than the TV speakers.  My hearing is not all that great, however, the sound is much clearer and more audible for me.

     A beef roast has been simmering in the Crock Pot all day.  To help keep the cabin cooler, we had placed the cooker out on the flybridge deck.  That Judy comes up with some great ideas.  Dinner served with fluffy rice was absolutely delicious.

     Of course, the fantastic picture on the new TV fascinated us.  In HD, we watched Criminal Minds and CSI:NY.  We slipped in the Stargate SG-1 DVD disc for another episode from Season 7.  We were in awe of how great it looked in the “Up-conversion” format.




     There is not much of a selection for HD station content during the day.  Here is the new TV displaying the kid show of “Theodore, the Tugboat” broadcast on ION TV.  This was a great upgrade to our lifestyle and to AMARSE.



     Judy always takes great care of me.  Today, she gave me a nice haircut and even a pedicure.  How’s that for a good woman?  Sue had dropped by and Judy offered to trim her hair in readiness for a wedding she and Paul would attend this weekend.  As you would expect, Judy had her looking even cuter with each snip of the scissors.  Isn’t this what good friends are all about?



     I made a call to the Bahamas today to make a reservation for this coming winter.  Using our Skype connection, a deposit secured our slip reservation at “Abaco Beach Resort and Boat Harbour.”  This sets our plan to spend at least three months at this great spot in the Marsh Harbour area.

     The Ritz theatre in the heart of historic downtown Brunswick is operated by the GIAHA (Golden Isles Arts and Humanities Association).  Tonight commences a program of “Turner Classic Movies Summer Film Series at the Ritz”.  A joint project with TCM (Turner Classic Movies), Comcast Cable Company, and GIAHA, tonight’s feature of “The Wizard of Oz” appeared on the screen.  As you may remember, Ted Turner had taken a number of classic films and developed a process where by films were converted to color from the original black and white versions. It was a very controversial situation that conjured very different feelings in film circles.  Many felt that this destroyed the artistic intent of the directors and other film makers.  This wonderful film, however, was not one of those.  Our friend, Gwen Kulesa, corrected my misconception that it had been colorized. My special thanks to this great teacher.  The Oz segments were, in fact, actually filmed in Technicolor back in the late 1930's.  Some of the Kansas segments were done in Sepia Tone originally.  It was a fun event and the series will continue for a total of six weeks.

     Back at the boat, we still had time to watch CSI and Shark in HD TV.


07/13/07   FRIDAY    BRUNSWICK, GA


     It was an ideal morning for breakfast out.  The Cracker Barrel restaurants always seem to please us with their extensive menu.  On a less pleasant note, we finally resorted to a personal visit to the Verizon Wireless corporate store.  For over a week now, I have been unable to get a response from Verizon’s customer service (obvious misnomer) as to the cancellation of my aircard service.  The store CSR extended the effort to finally cancel the account while charging me $175 fee in the process.  As I have said before, we cancelled the service because we have WiFi here and in the Bahamas (where AirCard doesn’t work anyway).  It was not because of problems with the connection service as we have been satisfied with that.  I still firmly believe that Verizon is the best source for AirCard Internet conductivity.

     Once again, it was another stifling hot day.  It seems that everyone we talk to is experiencing exceptionally high temperatures.  The Chesapeake travelers report high 90’s as do the loopers in Canada.  It seems that everyone is sweating it out no matter how far north they went.

     The heat didn’t stop Judy from climbing up on the sundeck roof and applying waterproofing chemicals to the canvas bimini top.  She used a roller and long handles to generously spread the liquid to the sunbrella fabric.  Within several hours, we had a torrential downpour complete with lots of thunder and lightning.  Some of it sounded like it was all too close.  I bet you can guess what happened next.  With my AirCard now cancelled a few hours ago, the lightning knocked out the marina’s WiFi connection.  How’s that for luck?  Now I won’t have Internet connection until they fix it sometime next week.  Oh well, you can’t win for losing.

     Judy’s waterproofing job worked quite well and she knows where to apply some additional material on the second coating.  For dinner, I made up a wonderful pot of Beef Soup.  This has to be one of my favorites.




     During the morning, I worked on the update logs.  Judy climbed back up on the sundeck roof and applied the second coating of waterproofing to the Sunbrella bimini top.  Paul had chores to do so I volunteered to accompany the gals to Jekyll Island.  Judy had seen some sandals that she hoped might be found there.  The island charges each and every car a $3 parking fee to enter the island.  It must be quite the revenue producer for the wealthy island.  Not only did they find the shoes they wanted, they also couldn’t pass up the chance for ice cream.  As they aptly demonstrate here, it takes a fast and skillful tongue to maintain control in these hot temperatures.  Now that’s talent!



     With the windshield wipers sweeping away the moderate afternoon rains, we headed back to the marina clubhouse to watch the NASCAR Busch Series race.  As usual, Sue gleefully vocalized her support for Carl Edwards.  I’m quite sure that Carl could even feel the positive vibes through his protective helmet.  I don’t know if it is more fun watching the race or watching Sue enjoying her favorite sport.  What a great and fun gal!  It is so nice to have good friends nearby to help us enjoy these good times.

     Spaghetti with meat sauce and meatballs made a great dinner.



     REMEMBER:  The website is now fully active and you can visit it at any time.  You can review any of the 2006 or 2007 logs and learn more about the crew and our plans.  Enjoy.




"AMARSE".  is pronounced "AM-ARE-SAY".  Our website is:   www.amarse.net   .

  Please call or email us with your thoughts and comments and ideas too.  Thanks


Lot of Love,

Fred Reed and Judy Law