One of the things I’ve always wanted for my boat is really a fairly simple thing … an AM/FM stereo. I don’t know why I didn’t get one before now, but I didn’t. Often, when I was out on the boat, I wanted to get away from all that. But there have been times that I would have really liked to have a radio/CD player on that boat. I was too cheap to buy one, I guess, and it wasn’t a priority.
Well, I finally got one. I bough a Dual AM/FM/HDR/CD/MP3 player and installed it in about 5 hours today. I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish that if Tim hadn’t come by the marina to pay his bill, and had plenty of tools in the truck. But I have to tell you, I managed to NOT screw anything up … too badly. A couple of things that if I installed radios for a living I’d have done differently, but when you do 1 or 2 a decade, it’s not as intuitive. Still, when I plugged in the wiring harness after putting on the connectors, turned on the batteries, pushed the power button, and saw the lights come on … I did the happy dance. But not as happy a dance as I did when I connected the speakers, turned it back on, and heard sound coming from both. It was nearly as much fun as a birthday.
I have to thank a couple of people, without whom this little project would not have been finished today. First of all, I can’t say enough about the people currently managing Jacksonville Marina. I had just gotten the hole cut for the radio when it started to rain. My boat lives outside on a rack, but they moved me inside for the day so I could work on the boat out of the rain. The way the showers have come through here all day, it would have been impossible for me to work outside.
Second was Tim, who as I mentioned came through with tools, electrical connectors, and very good advice. He never even got up on the boat, but he made a huge contribution to the project.
Maybe most exciting was when the HD locked up and I was able to receive the WJCT HD2 and HD3 signals on the radio. It really is cool technology. AND there’s an aux in port for my MP3 player … so I may never put a CD in the deck. But we’ll see.
So now, while I’m out fishing, just cruising, or cleaning up the boat … I can have some tunes. Or public radio. Be nice to be able to listen to “Car Talk” or “Wait Wait” on Saturday morning. So, as frustrating as the live well pump project was, the stereo project was rewarding. But damn, was I sore when I got home.
We had a visitor at the marina today. This guy was waiting for a handout from the guys cleaning fish over by the gas pumps. He let me get pretty close before he flew away, and I was on the wrong setting to get the pics of his departure.
I love the birds that hang around the marina. Even the gulls, which are everywhere. So many different kinds of birds wait for an easy handout around the fish cleaning station. And I like them best when I’ve got the camera handy and can get some nice shots. As usual, he’s worth looking at big on Flickr.
This was pretty much the weather we had all weekend. Not terrible early in the morning, but closing in by mid morning, and raining by 11:00 or so. Then off and on showers the rest of the day. It’d rain hard for half an hour or so, then the sun would come back out and it’d look like it was improving. But in another half hour or 45 minutes, you’d see the really dark clouds just laden with moisture marching from the southwest out to the ocean. Then the first big drops of rain would fall, and until I got moved inside … I’d start scrambling to put things away. It was particularly frustrating when I had the new radio spread all over the deck and the rain began. Fortunately, it seemed none the worse for wear.
So that was my weekend. Quality time spent with my boat, but never getting out on the water. My hope is that next weekend we’ll be away from the dock and maybe trying to catch a few fish. Paul Hanna will be here from San Diego, and I know he’ll want to go fishing. We’ll see if we can’t accommodate that. And later … scotch and cigars …
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