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16 August 2017

Wordless Wednesday | Rubber Duckie



Wordless Wednesday is supposed to be about posting a photo(s) without any words. But, I'm a rule breaker, so here are a few words:

1 - I made Scott take a picture of this rubber duckie. I thought it was cute, but I think he might have rolled his eyes at me while taking the photo. 

2 - Remember when Ernie from Sesame Street sang about bath time and his rubber duckie?

3 - I love taking bubble baths. But living on a sailboat means that they're few and far between these days. Heck, we don't even have a shower on our boat, let alone a bathtub.
   
What words does this picture(s) bring to your mind when you look at it?

For more Wordless Wednesday fun, click here

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14 August 2017

The Coolest Laundromat Ever | Black Point Settlement, Exumas, Bahamas

Note: This blog lags reality by many, many weeks. So while you're reading about our cruising adventures in the Bahamas, in reality we're actually back at Indiantown Marina working on boat projects. Cruising in the Bahamas was much more fun. {Sigh}

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Remember that combination laundromat/wholesale liquor store we visited at Staniel Cay? Well, we found an even cooler laundromat at Black Point settlement on Great Guana Cay. It's possibly the coolest laundromat ever.

I know you're dying to know why, so I'll cut to the chase - they serve food! Snacks while you're doing laundry, can you imagine anything better? Except of course someone else doing your laundry for you while you're enjoying a gourmet five-course dinner, but I don't see that happening anytime soon on Tickety Boo.

At first glance it looks like any old laundromat. You know, washers, dryers and a place to fold your clothes. Except if you've been cruising for a while, you'll know that this is a fancy laundromat. The washers and dryers are new and clean. They all work. And there's lots of them. See what I mean, fancy.


The next thing to notice is all of the brightly colored signs on the wall. They say things like "Haircuts - $15," "DVD Movie Rentals - $2 Per Day," "Conch Fritters - $2" and "Patties - Chicken & Beef - $2.50."


Scott's eyes lit up when he saw the conch fritters sign. I think conch fritters are gross (heresy for cruisers in the Bahamas, I know), but my stomach was rumbling and I needed a snack. It's possible I was getting a little grumpy, a known side-effect of walking in the heat without regular feedings. So I took the gamble and ordered a chicken pattie. Such a good gamble. Kind of like a pasty, but with a curry chicken filling.

We went back the next day for more. This time we ate out back at Miss Ida's gazebo. Great views and great food.


One of the things I wish we had on our boat is a watermaker. A washer and dryer would be nice. Unrealistic, but nice. But a watermaker - now that would be heaven. Imagine making your own water whenever you want instead of lugging jerry cans to shore and filling them up with water (sometimes free, sometimes not).

All of the cruising guides and sites talk about easy access to water from a spigot on the government dock. So off we went in search of water. Turns out the spigot was broken.

And so the water procurement adventure began. Because what's life as a cruiser unless you have a little adventure in search of another water spigot? Sure you'll probably get dehydrated walking in the stifling heat in search of water, but fortunately Miss Ida also sells cans of very refreshing root beer for $1.

We heard whisperings about another spigot near the Regatta Point on the other side of town. And another cruiser at the laundromat confirmed its existence. {That laundromat, it's wonderful. Laundry, root beer, snacks and intel on water spigots.}

Off we went, exploring the town along the way.

Some houses have roofs, some don't. Some houses are new and modern, some aren't in such great shape.



Boats are everywhere. And that gorgeous blue water the Bahamas is famous for - that's everywhere too.


We asked the policeman if he knew where a water spigot was. He was polite, nattily dressed and tried to help, but he wasn't sure. I have a feeling he doesn't need to get water from a spigot on the side of a road like we do.


Finally, we made it to Regatta Point, where the settlement stages their annual regatta.



The water spigot is nearby. It's not necessarily easy to find unless you know where to look. Not that I looked. I stayed with the dinghy to keep it off the rocks while Scott lugged the jerry cans to the spigot, filled them up with water and lugged them back. If you've never carried a 5-gallon jerry can full of water, don't. They're heavy.

Have I mentioned how much I appreciate Scott's biceps? I should probably do that more often.

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Cruising Log | Monday, 12 June 2017 – Wednesday, 14 June 2017

12 JUNE

Anchor up at 9:00 AM. Motorsailed to Black Point. Dolphins! Anchor down at 10:45 AM. Went to Miss Ida's to do laundry and exchange books. Water spigot at government dock broken. Some cruisers from South Africa told us where an alternative spigot was. Nautical miles = 9. Engine = 2 hours. Dinghy racing in the anchorage. Fun to watch. Spending = $8.00 ($3.50 wash and $4.50 conch fritters and hot pattie).

13 JUNE

Dropped off some trash. Walked over to cemetery and beach. Dinghied over to Regatta Point to search for water. Filled up two jerry cans. Went back to Miss Ida's for more conch fritters and hot patties. Lots of adorable schoolchildren in cute green uniforms having fritters and patties too. Hung out on the gazebo and chatted with other cruisers. Miss Ida didn't have change and told me to come back later to pay her what we owed her. Very trusting. More dinghy racing. Nautical miles = Nil. Engine = Nil. Spending = $9.00 (conch fritters, hot patties & pop).

14 JUNE

Sailed to Little Farmer's Cay. Furling line lead broke. Went to check out cut, but too much current so anchored around point for a few hours. Discovered a whole bunch of maggots in the v-berth. Very gross. Fired up the generator and used the shop-vac to get rid of them. Not sure what they were - flies? Found a suspicious leak on some stuff in lazarette - from the holding tank? Extremely gross. Went back out and scoped out the cut and then anchored for the night on the west side of the island. Nautical miles = 17. Engine = 5 hours. Spending = Nil.

Have you ever used a laundromat or are you one of those lucky people with your own washer/dryer? How far would you walk in search of water? Ever had a hot chicken pattie?

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12 August 2017

Saturday Spotlight | Tides By Jonathan White


In addition to the usual blog posts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday about our eccentric travel adventures and day-to-day life living aboard a sailboat, I also occasionally post on Saturdays, focusing on things related to writing such as cover reveals, book launches, reviews, interviews with authors etc. So if you're a bit of a book nerd like I am, check in on Saturdays - you never know what might pop up.

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Today, I'm featuring Jonathan White's fascinating book - Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean.




I was intrigued by the subtitle - science and spirit. Let's face it, sometimes science-related books can be a bit dull (and I know, I've read my share of some real yawners in graduate school), so a dry, boring scientific explanation of tides is enough to put me to sleep, but throw in a discussion of the spirit of the ocean and the impact of tides on humans at a visceral level and I'm hooked.

White interweaves stories - both scientific and spiritual - into his book. Like the chapter on Mont Saint-Michel (the tidal island off the Normandy coast of France). In medieval times, pilgrims would make their way across treacherous tidal flats in order to reach the abbey and pray to St Michael. White recounts his visit to the monastery and discussions with the monks on the connection between God and the tides, alongside a history of early scientific attempts to understand how tides, the sun and the moon are interrelated.

It felt like White was sharing his travel stories with me over a cup of coffee, while sneaking in a few scientific and historical facts and tidbits here and there. Without realizing it, I was drawn in and had actually learned something about tides. Which is really the best way to learn something in my opinion - over coffee with interesting people who know how to tell a story.

Mont Saint-Michel {Via Jonathan White}

If you live and cruise on a sailboat like we do, it's important to understand and pay attention to the tides. To be honest, until I read Tides, I didn't really understand much about tides, but I did know enough to pay attention to them.

For example, we time going through certain cuts with slack tide or risk the wrath of Mother Nature. She's been known to reward sailors' ignorance and stupidity by slamming their boats into rocks before. Even for cuts that aren't that tricky, taking the tides into consideration can make all the difference between a quick passage or a very long one depending on whether the current is in your favor or not.

And when it's time to drop the hook, we need to know when the next low tide is and what the tidal range is. Our boat has a 5' draft (depth of our keel from the waterline). At high tide, we might have anchored in 7' of water, but at low tide, we might find that the water has dropped to only 4'. I'm no math whiz, but even I can figure out that that would be a big problem.

Even though we haven't been caught out by the tides when anchoring our boat, we have had a few misadventures with our dinghy resulting from our complete and utter lack of attention to the tide tables. Like leaving our dinghy on the beach, going for a delightful hike and returning only to find the foreshore dried out for what seems like miles. Do you wait until the tide comes back in or carry your extremely heavy dinghy to where there's enough water to float it?

Rocky Bay on Waiheke Island, New Zealand. Yep, we carried our dinghy a long way until it floated.

To give you an idea of how dramatic tides can be, check out these photos of Perranporth, England at low and high tide. Imagine reading a good book and drifting off to sleep on your beach blanket at low tide, only to be rudely awoken at high tide by the water rushing in and getting you and your book sopping wet. There's a lot of other great pictures showing the difference between low and high tides in White's book.

Beach in Perranporth, England {Via Jonathan White}

And here's an even more dramatic one - a tidal bore at Qiantang, China going over its banks. I was intrigued by White's account of his visit to the Bore-Watching festival which attracts over a million tourists each year. Some come for spiritual reasons, others for holiday celebrations with family and friends. Some people are so fascinated by the tidal bore that they risk their lives standing too close, only to get swept away and drown.

The Quatang tidal bore as it overtops its banks in China {Via Jonathan White}

If you're into sailing, beach-combing, fishing, surfing or other activities influenced by the tides, this is a book you'll want to check out. Even if your daily life isn't ruled by the ebb and flow of the tides, I bet you might still find this book fascinating, because, after all, the ocean affects us all in one way or the other.

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Book Information & Blurb

In Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean, writer, sailor and surfer Jonathan White takes readers across the globe to discover the science and spirit of ocean tides. In the Arctic, he shimmies under the ice with an Inuit elder to hunt for mussels in the dark cavities left behind at low tide; in China, he races the Silver Dragon, a twenty-five foot tidal bore that crashes eighty miles up the Qiantang River; in France, he interviews the monks that live in the tide-wrapped monastery of Mont St. Michel; in Chile and Scotland, he investigates the growth of tidal power generation; and in Panama and Venice, he delves into how the threat of sea level rise is changing human culture – the very old and very new.

You can get your own copy of Tides on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound and Bam!

If you want to find out more about the book and its author, check out Jonathan White's site.


Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean
Trinity University Press
Publication date : February, 2017
ISBN: 9781595348050

Disclaimer: I was given a complimentary copy of Tides in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. 

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What about you - have you ever thought much about the tides? Ever been caught out by the tides? Do you live in an area which is affected by tides? 

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11 August 2017

Here Piggy, Piggy | Big Major's Spot & Staniel Cay, Bahamas

Note: Our blog lags reality by many, many weeks. So, while you're reading this post about our cruising adventures in the Bahamas, in reality we're back in Indiantown Marina for hurricane season working on dreary boat projects. Cruising in the Bahamas was far more fun. {Sigh} 

****

There are a lot of tourist draws in the Bahamas - snorkeling, walks on the beach, swimming and pigs. Yes, pigs. The famous swimming pigs at Big Major's Spot in the Exumas. It's one of those things that you're supposed to tick off of the list. And since we were anchored right off of Pig Beach, it seemed like we should do what everyone else does and feed the swimming pigs.

To be honest, I didn't expect too much, especially after we had seen their lesser-known cousins, the non-swimming pigs at No Name Cay in the Abacos, a couple of years ago. Those pigs were kind of disappointing. So disappointing that my post from our visit to No Name Cay focuses more on wearing a toaster on my head than the pigs. Yes, you read that right. I wore a toaster on my head. Strange, but true.

Good thing I didn't expect much because visiting the swimming pigs was just okay. They are cute though. You have to give them that. And they do like carrots. I like carrots too. So we have that in common.





It wasn't all pigs while we were at Big Major's Spot. There was also ice cream, rum, socializing and snorkeling.

The snorkeling at the famous Thunderball Grotto (remember that James Bond movie?) was kind of a letdown (way too many people there), a bit like the pigs, but the ice cream, rum and socializing didn't disappoint.

So if you find yourself in the area and want some ice cream, rum and socializing, here's how you go about it.

Get in your dinghy, head over to the neighboring island of Staniel Cay and dock at the Isles Grocery Store. Check out the price of hot dog buns. Put the hot dog buns back down. Buy a Klondike Bar instead.


Smile nicely at the owner and ask if you can leave your dinghy at the dock while you explore the rest of the town. She knows and you know that what you're really planning on doing is checking out the competition to see if anyone has a better price on hot dog buns. She reluctantly says yes.


Remind yourself for the millionth time not to walk in front of Scott because he keeps taking pictures of you wearing that ridiculously bright dry bag.


I bet it'd be fun to drive one of these.


Check out prices at the blue store and the pink store. Yes, the two other stores in town are called the blue store and the pink store. It might have something to do with what color they're painted. Just a guess. We bought cheese at the pink store and eggs and milk at the blue store. And yes, we went back to the Isles Grocery Store and bought hot dog buns there.

I don't know why we don't have pictures of the blue and pink stores. But we do have pictures of people's laundry. It's colorful, just like the houses.


Next stop, the combination laundromat and wholesale liquor store. Makes sense to stock up on booze while you're doing your wash. This is where the rum comes in. A very overpriced bottle of rum. I guess by wholesale prices, they really mean over-inflated prices that rich tourists and desperate sailors will pay.


Now you know how to get ice cream and rum at Staniel Cay. If you want to find socializing, you'll have to dinghy back to Big Major's Spot and head over to Pirate Beach. It's easy to spot with all of the decorations that cruisers have left. Folks get together here for sundowners. I think it will be easy to figure out what we drank that night - yep, rum.




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Cruising Log | Friday, 9 June 2017 – Sunday, 11 June 2017

9 JUNE
Anchor up at 8:00 AM at Bell Island. Motored into wind, waves and tide. Very choppy. Then turned towards Sandy Cay and put the headsail out. Checked out west side of Big Majors, but really choppy, so went to east side. Anchor down at 12:20 PM. Very crowded anchorage. Hung out there for a while. Another Indiantown boat, S/V Teho, came by in their dinghy to say hi. When the wind switched, moved over to west side of Big Majors and anchored near Pig Beach at 5:00 PM. Nautical miles = 20. Engine = 5 hours 15 mins. Spending = Nil.

10 JUNE
Dinghied over to Staniel Cay. Split a Klondike bar at Isles Grocery Store. Yum! Walked into town and checked out the other two grocery stores, the combination laundromat/liquor store and the Staniel Cay Yacht Club. Went to Thunderball Grotto. Way too crowded and a bit of a letdown. Headed back to Staniel Cay and got provisions. Had sundowners in the cockpit and watched all of the punters at Pig Beach. Nautical miles = Nil. Engine = Nil. Spending = $51.45 (groceries and rum).

11 JUNE
Went and fed the piggies in the morning. The little ones were especially cute. Did some cleaning and a temporary fix to the bimini with giant safety pins. Went for sundowners at Pirate's Beach with other cruisers in the anchorage. Fun evening. Nautical miles = Nil. Engine hours = Nil. Spending = Nil.

Have you ever fed pigs (swimming or non-swimming)? Do you like carrots? Ever bought liquor at a laundromat?


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09 August 2017

Wordless Wednesday | Lizard At Warderick Wells, Bahamas




Wordless Wednesday is supposed to be about posting a photo(s) without any words. But, I'm a rule breaker, so here are a few words:

1 - Most lizards we've encountered scurry away when they hear you approaching.

2 - This little guy happily posed for a picture at Warderick Wells in the Exuma Land & Sea Park in the Bahamas. Maybe because the wildlife is protected in the park, the lizards aren't so skittish.

3 - Scott takes all of pictures on our blog. I'm not sure I give him enough credit for the great images he captures. The blog would be very boring without his pictures.

   
What words does this picture(s) bring to your mind when you look at it?

For more Wordless Wednesday fun, click here

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07 August 2017

July In Numbers

Clockwise from upper left: (1) Views like these are why people love cruising in the Bahamas; (2) Clearing back into the States; (3) Looks like a nice place to chill out; (4) This little guy tried to hitch a ride on our boat; and (5) View of Rock Sound from our boat.

We spent most of July cruising in the Bahamas, but sadly all good things have to come to an end, so we headed back to the States on July 24th. We wanted to get back to the States before the height of hurricane season and we have a number of boat projects to take care of before we head off to the Western Caribbean next season.

Here's some of the random things that came to mind of our time cruising in the Bahamas and Florida last month, by the numbers:

  • 13 - Number of anchorages we dropped the hook at - Rock Sound, Hatchet Bay and Royal Island in Eleuthera; Tilloo Cay, Marsh Harbour, Hope Town, White Sound at Green Turtle Cay, Allan's-Pensacola Cay, Great Sale Cay and on the banks in the Abacos; and Lake Worth, North Lake Worth and Pendarvis Cove in Florida.  
  • 5 - Number of loads of laundry we did. Three in Marsh Harbour and two when we got back to Indiantown Marina. Sounds like a lot, but it had been a long, long time since the last time we did laundry. One of the downsides of living on a sailboat the size of ours is the lack of a washer and dryer.
  • 3 - Number of squalls we experienced between Green Turtle Cay and Allan's-Pensacola Cay. Squall #1 was just some sprinkles. Squall #2 was a big one, lots of lightening and thunder. We bobbed around near Cooperstown while we waited it out. It rained down buckets during squall #3. Good opportunity to wash my hair and take a shower on deck.
  • $13 - How much we spent on a chicken dinner, conch fritters and a root beer at a church fair in Rock Sound. We don't eat out much while we're cruising in the Bahamas, so this was a fun treat. Great people watching and possibly the best Bahamian mac n'cheese we've ever had.
  • 3 - Number of dinghy mooring balls we tied up to at Sandy Cay in the Abacos. The best snorkeling we've done in the Bahamas, hands down. Even better than what we saw at the Exuma Cays Land & Sea Park.
  • 13.5 - Number of hours our passage from the Bahamas to Florida took. We anchored near Sandy Cay on the Little Bahamas Bank. It was a roly-poly anchorage, but it was nice to have a shorter passage that we could do during daylight hours. Everyone knows how much I love sailing in the dark.
  • 17.88 - Number of gallons of diesel we got upon our return to Florida. Our fuel gauge doesn't work so it's always a guessing game as to how much diesel we have left in the tank. We were both pleasantly surprised to find our 46-gallon tank wasn't as empty as we thought.
  • 112 - The real feel temperature while we were anchored in Lake Worth. That's insanely hot! We were going to take our time heading back to Indiantown Marina, but the thought of being able to plug in our portable AC unit was too much of a draw.

In case you missed them, here are some of our favorite posts from last month:

Mingling with the Posh Crowd at Highbourne Cay Marina
Tickety Boo Speaks | Berry Islands
Cost of Cruising in the Bahamas & Florida

How did last month go for you? What are you looking forward to this month?

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04 August 2017

Close Call At Cambridge Cay | Exuma Cays Land & Sea Park, Bahamas

We don't have an underwater camera, so this is the only picture we have from our time at the Cambridge Cay area of the Exuma Cays Land & Sea Park.

 

Yep, that's a seaplane taking off right next to our boat.

And by right next to our boat, I mean scary close.

And by scary close, I mean, holy heck, isn't the pilot afraid he's going to crash into something?

And by something, I mean our boat!

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Okay, that was probably a bit dramatic. But I figure the drama might help distract me from the fact that we don't have any pictures of our adventures snorkeling at Cambridge Cay. If we had, I'd show you shots of all of the brightly colored fish we saw at the Sea Aquarium reef.

And I'd show you pictures of the plane crash we snorkeled over. It was pretty cool. That is until Scott noticed there was a shark swimming nearby. If we had had an underwater camera, he'd probably have taken a picture of the shark. I was making my way back to our dinghy at too much of a rapid pace to care about documenting our latest shark encounter.

But the best pictures I'd show you would be of the Rocky Dundas sea caves. You have to snorkel under a ledge and then you pop up into these incredible caves with eerie looking stalactite and stalagmite formations. Don't ask me to tell you the difference between the two. I can never remember. All I know is that they're cool.

{Sigh} We really need to get an underwater camera.

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Cruising Log | Tuesday, 6 June 2017 - Thursday, 8 June 2017
 
6 JUNE
Moved over to Pasture Cay. Went snorkeling at the Sea Aquarium. Super choppy, but that doesn't seem to bother the fish for some reason. Nautical Miles = 1. Engine = 35 minutes. Spending = Nil

7 JUNE
Finally used the butternut squash we've been carrying around for months. Still good and even better in soup! Snorkeled the plane wreck and made another visit to the Sea Aquarium. Nautical Miles = Nil. Engine = Nil. Spending = Nil.

8 JUNE
Anchor up at 8:30 AM. Anchor down around the corner at 9:30 AM at the north side of Bell Cay. Checked out the anchorage at Cambridge Cay first, but too choppy. Super long and choppy dinghy ride to Dundas Rock sea caves, but totally worth it. It's times like this that you hope your outboard engine doesn't decide to quit on you. Nautical Miles = 4. Engine = 1 hour 15 mins. Spending = Nil


Do you have a camera? What do you like to take photos of? Have you ever seen a seaplane take off? Ever ridden on one?

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02 August 2017

The Return Of Esme, The Most Annoying Life Coach Ever | IWSG August


The Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) is a place to share and encourage, where writers can express their doubts and concerns without appearing foolish or weak. It's a great place to mingle with like minded people each month during IWSG day.

Every month there's an optional question which may prompt folks to share advice, insights, a personal experience or story. Some folks answer the question in their IWSG blog post or let it inspire them if they're struggling with what to say.

This month's question is:

"What are your pet peeves when reading / writing / editing?"

Check out how people have answered this month's question, as well as the other insecurities and writing topics they may have shared by visiting the IWSG sign-up list here. If you want to see how I answered the question, have a look below.

The co-hosts for this month are Christina Rains, Dolarah @ Book Lover, Yvonne Ventresca, LG Keltner and yours truly. Try to pop by and visit my co-hosts' blogs - they're awesome people!


****


I heard a knock on the side of my sailboat, followed by a voice singing out, "Yoo-hoo! Is anyone home?"

I knew that overly chipper voice. It belonged to only one person - the overly chipper, annoying life coach, Esme. I started to clear everything out of my fridge with the thought of hiding in there so that she wouldn't find me, but she was too quick for me.

"There you are," Esme said as she made her way down the companionway. She peeked into the galley and noticed the milk on the counter. "Wonderful idea, lets have some coffee while we talk. Extra milk in mine, please."

Esme sat on the settee and looked at me expectantly. If there's one thing I've learned about dealing with Esme is that it's easier to give in. She calls herself tenacious. I call it something completely different, but I'm too polite to repeat it here.

I poured two cups of coffee and set them on the table, along with a plate of snickerdoodle cookies. "What brings you here, Esme?"

"A little birdie told me that you need some help answering this month's IWSG question." She took a sip of coffee and picked up a cookie. "I'm glad to see you're using full-fat milk now instead of that horrid skim stuff you used to serve."

"Would that little birdie happened to be named Simon?" I quickly grabbed a cookie before Esme ate all of them.

"You know that I can't tell you that. In my line of work, keeping what people say confidential is important." She picked up a toy mouse lying next to her and asked, "By the way, where is Simon?"

"He's at the vet getting his claws trimmed. He got a little grumpy when I tried to do it." I held up my arm and showed her the scratch marks Simon had left in an effort to make his views on trimming his claws crystal clear.

"Ooh, that looks like it hurts," she said. "But enough of trying to avoid what we're here to discuss. Let's get down to business, shall we? Now, how about telling me what your pet peeves are when it comes to reading, writing and editing."

"Huh? You're the one who asked about Simon. Besides, I didn't ask for your help. You barged in here."

Esme peered at me over the top of her glasses while she wiped away snickerdoodle crumbs from the side of her mouth.

I sighed. "Fine, anything to make you go away."

"See, we're making progress," she said. "Keep pushing past those barriers of yours and tell me the first thing that pops into your mind."

That's when I noticed that Esme was wearing a bracelet with a large horseshoe charm. She probably had lots of horse figurines as a girl. I don't really like horses, but sometimes sucking up to Esme is a sure-fire way to get her off of your back.

"I hate it when people write free reign instead of free rein. It sticks out on the page like a sore thumb when I'm reading. How could they possibly mix up reins on a horse with the reign of a king or queen? It's like a slap in the face to horses everywhere."

Esme smiled and patted my hand. "I know what you mean. Some people just aren't horse people. Not like we are."

"Speaking of horses, I bet you need to get going so that you're not late to your riding lesson."

Esme looked at her watch, grabbed her handbag, swiped the last snickerdoodle and rushed up on deck. She yelled back down the companionway, "Great session, dear. You made some real breakthroughs. Until next time!"

****

I'm not great with spelling and grammar, so I'm not sure why I always notice when people use free reign, when they should say free rein. You know, as in giving a horse free rein to do what he wants. It's surprising as I rarely notice any other spelling or grammatical mistakes, especially my own. If I can get annoyed by the use of free reign, it kind of frightens me to think about how annoyed people must get when they read what I write and see all of my mistakes.

What are your pet peeves when you're reading, writing or editing? What are your other pet peeves in life?

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