SV Tumbleweed ​​

Trouble-the-Boat Cat

Hello!  Meow! My people have asked me to tell you about  our life on a boat.  First, let me introduce myself--I am "Trouble-the-Boat-Cat", but most folks just call me Trouble. I was born on the day after the human holiday, Thanksgiving in 2004.  I am 12 human years old, about 64 years old in cat years, meowzers!
My two people and I live on a 30 footlong sailboat--its purrrfect for us.  I can do what mom calls komikaze sprints inside from the front of the boat (called the bow) to the bed in the back of the boat (called the aft cabin).  I run as fast as I can back and forth a few times, using people and furnishings as springboards.  Its just, well, the cat's meow. After my run,  I usually take a long catnap until its time for treats.
 
Where in the World are We Now?
​Follow our journey on the map .
  • 2/16/2017 We are currently in Palmetto, Florida marked by a blue flag, making preparations--stockpiling catfood, kitty litter and catnip.  
  • ​3/1/2017 Departure delayed due to a lightbulb?  Yep, they said lightbulb. Meow-meow.  Check again tomorrow, please.
  • 3/2/2017 we began our journey.  Made it to Egmont Key where we will stay a few days.
  • ​3/8/2017 Arrived at Cortez Cove Marina, Cortez, FL to get the rudder repaired.
  • ​3/16/2017 Arrived at Marina Jack's in Sarasota.  We are staying at a mooring ball.
  • ​3/17/2017 Anchored behind the Venice Yacht Club just off the ICW
  • 3/18/2017 Pelican Bay, Caya Costa, FL
  • 3/21/2017 Point Ybel, Sanibel Island, FL
  • 3/23/2017 Matanzas Harbor, Estero Island, FL​
  • ​3/26/2017 Gordon Pass, Naples, FL (GIWW 32.5)
  • 3/27-28/2017 Little Shark River, Everglades State Park, FL
  • 3/29/2017 East Cape, Cape Sable, FL
  • 3/30-31/2017  Little Shark River, Everglades State Park, FL
  • 4/1/2017 Bahia Honda State Park, Bahia Honda Key, FL
  • ​ 4/2-5/2017 Key West, FL
  • ​4/6-10 2017 Bahia Honda State Park, Bahia Honda Key, FL
  • 4/10-26 2017 Boot Key Harbor, Marathon, FL aka Velcro Harbor
  • 4/26/2017 Matecumbe Bight
  • 4/27/2017 Tarpon Basin
  • 4/28-5/2/2017 Blackwater Sound
  • 5/3/2017 Tarpon Basin (again)
  • 5/4/2017 Elliot Key
  • 5/5-8/2017 Dinner Key (Miami, FL)
  • 5/9/2017 Lettuce Lake, FL
  • 5/10-13/2017 Vero Beach, FL
  • 5/14-16/2017 Titusville, FL
  • 5/16/2017 Edgewater, FL
  • 5/17-19/2017 Daytona Beach, FL
  • 5/19-6/2/2017 St. Augustine, FL -- This is the Cat's  Meow!!!
  • 5/27



Water, Water Everywhere: Life on a Sailboat
I live on a sailboat about the size of your living room.  The space isn't so bad because I have nicepeople, but we are surrounded by that horrible stuff called water!  I go out every day and look over the edge just to make sure--yep, water all around us.  

 The boat does have several small rooms--a tiny great room that has the kitchen and living room combined, a small bathroom with a shower, (but they stuck my bathroom under the steps), and two tiny bedrooms.  Upstairs they have an area with a small table and a steering wheel surrounded by seats (they refer to it as the cockpit), but what I really want to know is: Do these furless creatures know that they are surrounded by WATER? When I look over the edge outside, all I see is water down below!
Napping Spots
This boat does have several places to take naps--an important thing in the life of a 12 year old cat like me!  I love sunning myself in the cockpit or watching birds with one eye open on the bimini (a canvas shade over the cockpit with "windows" on top so I can watch my people too.  Here is a picture on the right of me looking down into the cockpit from atop the bimini.
What is a Looper?

My people are called "Loopers".  What is a Looper you ask?  A Looper is someone that travels on America's Great Loop Route by water.  The route circles the Eastern portion of the United States, some of Canada and the Bahamas. Our planned route should take us to Key West, New York Harbor, around Michigan, down the Mississippi and back to the Gulf of Mexico to Florida. 

  • Most loopers travel in a counter clockwise direction to follow warmer weather.
  • It takes most boats about a year to complete the Loop.
  • About 100 boats complete the Loop each year (only 76 did in 2016)

For more information read Captain John's Blog
What's a Rudder?
The rudder turns the boat.  We turn the big steering wheel and the boat turns, just like a steering wheel turns the wheels on a car--sort of.  

More informationon rudders
http://www.discoverboating.com/resources/article.aspx?id=256

​Tumbleweed Towers
They carried me up the ladder (shudder), but I did get to go back on my boat.  I thought beoing surrounded by water was bad, but meowsers! We were by the mangroves "onthe hard" with lots of mosquitoes and dualing yodlers!  My people called them bands, but shouldn't they make ear plugs for us feline folk?
​Why Can't I Get Back on the Boat?
Mrow!!!  They made me wear a harness and a leash while they moved my boat onland!! Meowesers!  I don't understand!  And they are not listening to me! Something about the rudder they said.  Something to do with not being able to steer-I just want my nap spot back.  I am missing my second after lunch snooze!
SPLASH!    Back in the Water
Tuesday morning I woke up to my bed being dismantled--again! They had that big swinging contraption under the boat again.   Then I was evicted AGAIN!  They had apparently decided to put us back in the water, but wait! the rudder still wasn't attached.  I got a few minutes to voice my opinion before down the ladder we went.  Finally the put us back near a dock so I can nap!  The waves are so mild here--I think I need a [yawn] cat nap.  
Manatees
2/11/17 Palmetto, Florida -- Manatee River
 
What is a manatee ?
Manatees, also known as sea cows are mamals that eat sea grasses and other vegetation that grows in the warm waters in Florida.  The oldest known manatee lives at an aquarium across the river from us--"Snooty".  He was born July 21, 1948.  


You can see him on the Snooty Cam


Click on the Manatees above to download a free coloring/activity book available from Save the Manatees. http://www.savethemanatee.org/Coloring_Book.pdf

The momma manatee with her baby in the photograph were spotted at the Cortez Cove Marina, Cortez, FL

ARMADILLO


This Armadillo was spotted by Captain Doug and his First Mate while visiting Caya Costa State Park--meowzers!  

Armadillo is Spanish for "little armored thing."  They have bands of outer skin that are tough like fingernails, but flexible, with softer skin that expands and contracts between the meow bands. When threatened they roll up into a ball to protect themselves.

Armadillos also have long claws for digging and foraging for food. Their peg-shaped teeth crunch on insects, an armadillo's favorite food. If I got worms for food, that would be a cat-astrophe!

​Wren Rides Honda (Generator) at Sea

Meowers!!!

A hitchhiking bird!! While I slept comfortably in the salon onmom's favorite seat, a little wren came to catch a ride while we were a couple of miles from shore.  He stayed quite awhile, maybe he knew I was sleeping.  

 

Yes, There Are Crocodiles & Alligators in Florida

​American Crocodile

American Alligator

St. Augustine, Florida
Established in 1565

It is the oldest , continuously occupied, European established city in the continental United States was founded on September 8, 1565, by Spanish admiral  Pedro Menéndez de Avilés , the first governor of Florida. He named the settlement "San Agustín" because his ship had sighted land on the feast day of St. Augustine, August 28th.   The ship arrived bearing settlers, troops, and supplies from Spain.
ST. AUGUSTINE

This city was named for St. Augustine of Hippo--Patron Saint of Brewers.  He was a philosopher and bishop

FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH 

Ponce de Leon's Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park boasts that it is on the original site of St. Augustine, Florida.  The "Fountain of Youth" is located in the area first explored by Juan Ponce de Leon in 1513 and settled by Pedro Menendez de Aviles in 1565, historic St. Augustine is the oldest successful European settlement in the United States.


CASTILLO DE SAN MARCOS

There is an old Spanish fort in downtown St. Augustine, built in then1600s out of coquina limestone.  The fort is surprisingly intact because the stone used to build it is porous, so when a cannonball hit the walls, it burrowed into the walls instead of shattering them.  

FAN MAIL

Meow-meow!  My first fan mail drawing comes from Brooklynn in Missouri!  Isn't tha just the cat's meow?  Look I'm even wearing a sailboat hat! Meowsers.











Alligators live in the Americas, Crocodiles are from Africa, right?  Not exactly.  There is an American species of crocodile.  Alligators are more numerous in Florida than crocodiles, are darker, have a broader snout, and are typically found in freshwater habitats. "Crocodiles, on the other hand, are rare and secretive creatures that inhabit coastal, brackish, and salt-water habitats."  

For more information, check out these websites:
https://www.nps.gov/ever/learn/nature/crocodile.htm
http://www.floridaadventuring.com/american-crocodile.html