11 April 1996 Titusville Marina, Florida
We hired a car and ran around in a shopping frenzy. We dropped the sails off at Dixie Sails in Cocoa, got someone to order a turn buckle toggle, went to a chandlers, went to a second-hand book shop, called in at “Florida Online”, re-discovered the wonder of Wal-Mart and Kmart and bought a load of food – phew!
“Florida Online” were great and spent 30 minutes with me talking about the impact of the Internet in the States and how an ISP works. I left all fired up, thinking that the Internet was definitely going to be the basis of a viable business.
12 April 1996 Titusville Marina, Florida
I dropped Glenys off at the shopping mall, 2 miles away and she walked back. On the way, she discovered the thrift shops and bought herself a new outfit for $4. I returned the car and spent the morning tidying up the chaos of all our shopping.
In the afternoon, I took down the head lining in the front cabin to investigate the baby stay chain plate. It’s not ideal, but I don’t think it’s dangerous. The deck has been bent a bit, but it would be a very big job to sort it out – best left well alone, I think! I spent the evening trying to understand more about the Internet.
13 April 1996 Titusville Marina, Florida
I stripped down the windlass to replace the chain stripper again – this is the 3rd one! I decided to repaint the windlass, so I spent most of the morning preparing and undercoating it. In the afternoon, I re-tensioned the main mast rigging. I’ve left it a bit looser this time, and I may have to tighten it when we go sailing. Glenys spent all day scraping and sanding the hatches. She was too exhausted to cook, so we had a takeaway pizza – luxury!
Brett has acquired a new friend, Daniel, who is pleasant enough, but a very chaotic character. Brett is driving himself to exhaustion, playing out all day.
14 April 1996 Titusville Marina, Florida
No rest for the wicked. Glenys continued scraping hatches all day. I pottered about doing odd jobs – painting the windlass, cleaning and polishing a trial bit of gel coat in the cockpit, etc.
Brett, Daniel and a little girl set up a stall to sell iced drinks – it caused many arguments and the only people who bought anything were us parents! Brett fell out with Daniel because Daniel broke one of Brett’s toy rifles - “He’s my worst enemy EVER” (sob, sob). “I HATE HIM! I’m going to punch his head in when I see him next.”
We had a wonderful roast beef joint for dinner – it’s great having a supermarket nearby!
15 April 1996 Titusville Marina, Florida
Glenys went to the opticians to get her eyes tested. The guy put something into her eyes to dilate her pupils which meant that she couldn’t see properly for about 4 hours. This effectively gave her the day off! I also had a slack day because I decided to walk to Miracle Mall and it took me until four o’clock to get there and back! Dave and Annette and 2 kids from “Jumbly Girl” (UK) came for a beer.
16 April 1996 Titusville Marina, Florida
Glenys was painting her hatches today. I had a clarinet lesson booked at one o’clock, so I had a slack morning. At half past twelve, I rang the music shop to discover that my music lesson was postponed until half past three. I returned to scrape and paint the binnacle. The lesson was far too short (30 mins), but the teacher said that I was doing OK and didn’t have any major problems. He said my mouthpiece was crap and suggested I buy a $70 one - I’ll have to get that purchase approved by Glenys!
17 April 1996 Titusville Marina, Florida
Glenys spent the day painting the second coat on the hatches. In the afternoon, she went to the shops and came back with a little bike for Craig – he was over the moon! (She only paid $5 for the bike from a thrift shop.) I finished the windlass and put the first coat of paint on the binnacle.
We carried on doing odd jobs until five o’clock, when Herb Little turned up. Herb is the father of Dane from “Cortica”, who we last saw in Isla Mujeres. We had a chat and a beer or two and then went to the Mexican restaurant across the road. Pleasant evening. We found out that Debbie is pregnant.
18 April 1996 Titusville Marina, Florida
Glenys’ mum, Ceris, arrives tomorrow, so we hired a car. We spent the morning spending loads of money at Kmart and Wal-Mart. In the afternoon, I went to “Florida Online” to use the Internet. I arrived to find that they weren’t expecting me and I had to do a bit of fast talking to get myself into their Technical Support Department. They set me up on a computer and I spent 3 hours cruising the web and collecting and saving various browsers and HTML editors. I ran out of time, but it gave me a taste of using the Internet – I can’t wait to get back to the UK and buy a computer!
19 April 1996 Titusville Marina, Florida
Today was the big day – Grandma was arriving. We were due to pick her up at six o’clock in the evening, so we needed to be at Orlando airport at four o’clock. We decided to leave Titusville in the morning and go shopping in Orlando. We visited some pawn shops and music shops and had lunch in a Taco bar. We arrived at the airport at half past four to find that the plane was delayed until ten pm!
We went back towards Orlando and went to the movies where we saw “James and the Giant Peach” which was magical. The next stop was an all–you-can-eat place for dinner. There were loads of really fat Americans piling huge quantities of food onto their plates – gross! We then went back to the airport and hung around waiting for the plane to arrive. The children were very, very excited. Ceris arrived on time, but it was close to one o’clock in the morning before we got into bed back at Glencora.
20 April 1996 Titusville Marina, Florida
Not surprisingly, it took us a while to get up this morning. We had declared today to be Glenys’ official birthday and we had a “Grand Present Opening”. Actually, it was like everyone’s birthday because Ceris had brought us a year’s worth of mail, some books and some magazines. After opening everything, we went to a big flea market and bought a bike for Brett for $22. He was so excited!
We stopped for lunch at a Subway and returned to the boat. Ceris had a rest, while Brett zoomed off on his bike. I went to the music shop and bought a new mouthpiece for my clarinet and some No. 3 reeds. I couldn’t bear to pay $70, so I bought one for $25. Actually, I thought the cheaper one was better for me.
We’d bought a Piñata for Glenys’ birthday party and Brett delighted in helping Grandma smash it to bits. We all went out to Steamers for a steak and prawn dinner.