Finally, an operational Starlink and new chart plotter

Day 2 at South Jersey Marina in Cape May, NJ. The internet fiasco has finally come to a happy ending. Kevin’s brother shipped our Starlink overnight to the marina. Kevin had it operational in a jiffy. Netflix loads like a dream. Kevin will finally be able to reliably work from the boat, and I can resume my UX Designer course. His employer has been ridiculously accommodating during the ongoing unexpected twists and turns of this adventure.

I’m dreading starting the course material again after bombing my last exam. I brought my average back up, but still feel a little defeated. I know once I’m back in the groove I’ll be fine. With tech ever-evolving at an exponential rate I know it’s necessary to constantly learn new skills to keep up. I plan to work remotely as a project-based freelancer.

A sudden thunderstorm rolled in a couple hours ago. I’m thankful we were not at sea for it. Heavy rain, sudden winds, and lightning. Putting everything outside away and closing the ports was a mad dash. I hadn’t realized how many windows there are until it was a race. The storm didn’t stick around long. The sun is dominating the sky again. The gulls that laugh madly are back at it. I’m not sure what’s so funny.

Tomorrow we plan to leave the expensive marina. It’s about $200/day to stay and the showers are amazing. I’d much rather find a spot to anchor and have a break from humans, barking dogs and weird dawn military alarms.

Barking dogs in the boats around us have taught Chip to bark. Every time we leave him in the boat since docking here we return to him frantically yapping. I’m pretty sure he does it the whole time. He is a smart dog, easy to train, and food motivated. But it’s hard to positively reinforce with a reward and to be consistent with redirecting negative behaviors when we aren’t present. This is all new for him and I’m sure it’s scary—and now it the time to teach him that’s not okay. He rarely barked back on the farm, sometimes not for days.

Most of the humans here have been great. Even the Walmart was bearable. This morning there was a lover’s quarrel on the yacht next to us. That poor man. I’m glad they were leaving. They were the one’s with the constantly barking poodle that had Chip all riled up. There’s a family with two kids and two dogs in a Lagoon 420. They seem like great folks. Kevin was in a bind earlier and they leant us some tools. We invited them to pop in later this evening.

West Marine brought our new B & G chart plotter today. To have it installed would have been $500—needless to stay Kevin did it himself. He also tore the place all apart. Tools, manuals, wires, cleaning supplies laid everywhere. He had one of the beds taken apart to get to the inner-workings beneath it. He pulled out a fridge in the salon area on the deck that isn’t working to look at it and left it out. We know where more stuff is and tossed a lot more that we didn’t need. He was good enough to clean up then clear out so I could wash surfaces down, make the bed and organize the remaining clutter.

Late last night a military alarm that sounded like it belonged in a doomsday movie sounded over and over and over. After having learned about the history of this area, and writing about nukes in my last blog post, it was pretty ominous. No one seemed to be panicking, no mass hysteria, so we went back to sleep.

Then tonight at 5:00PM a long single-tone alarm went off for what seemed like FOR-EV-ER. I can’t imagine paying for one of these snobby rentals on the pier to wake up to that. A dude who owns a nature tour boat stopped to gas up at the other side of our dock and told Kevin that long blast was a commercial fleet announcing departure as required by the Coast Guard.

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