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One of the first books Randy purchased when we bought Blue Turtle was Marine Diesel Engines: Maintenance, Troubleshooting, and Repair. He was determined to learn about diesel engines so he could maintain our engines. He’s read this book cover to cover and refers to it quite often. It’s been invaluable to him when troubleshooting engine issues especially when you are without internet. Buy on Amazon
Jackite Osprey Kite to deter birds
We happened to receive an osprey kite as a Christmas gift from Randy’s father. We never used it in the marina because we really didn’t have an issue with birds landing on our boat. We’ve heard that they can be quite pesky in some marinas. We finally put this baby to good use on our last Dry Tortugas trip where we always have issues with the sooty terns landing on our boat and making a mess. We rigged this kite up on the bow of our boat with line coming from the fly bridge to the bow pulpit so it would look like it was in flight. Worked like a charm! We highly recommend one one these if you have bird issues in your marina or anchorage. Buy on Amazon
You may have noticed that we are avid cruisers to the Dry Tortugas. We love it so much that we’ve given TrawlerFest seminars on this fab location as well as wrote an article about it for PassageMaker magazine. This book by L. Waynne Landrum is by far the best in terms of information and photography about the Dry Tortugas. It’s well written, has a plethora of information and facts and it’s hardbound with excellent photography making it a great coffee table book. Landrum is a retired national park ranger who spent 6 years there with his wife and son. Buy Book on Amazon
We grill quite often on Blue Turtle not only because it’s healthy but also it just gives us more options for cooking on a boat. We started out with a Magma Grill and eventually went through two of them. They seemed to rust out and our Cabo grill never stayed hot enough resulting in longer cooking times. We finally gave up on using the Magma grill and went with a Weber Q Series grill. If you have to have a rail-mounted grill, then maybe the Magma Cabo G as Grill is still your best bet, but if you can sacrifice some deck space the Weber is an excellent choice. I love that it’s easy to move around the boat (we’ve even moved it off the boat and onto the dock) to avoid the wind on breezy days . It’s super sturdy quality and grills at consistent temperatures. We also purchased this cover for it which has seemed to keep it out of the elements. Buy the Weber Q2000 Grill.
Staying fit while cruising can be a challenge. While you do tend to be more active, you still need to work your muscles: core, upper body and legs. I’ve been a long-time user of TRX Suspension Training even before moving aboard. I used to use it at the gym I belonged to and I loved the simplicity of it and how you use your own body weight to strengthen your muscles. When we moved onto Blue Turtle, I wasn’t sure how I was going to continue my workouts. I bought one of these online and started using it right away. At our home marina, we have a nearby community gym so some days I don’t use it, but other days when the weather is nice, Randy and I will actually wrap it around tree and do an outdoor workout. What’s great, is that it folds up into a small mesh pouch requiring hardly any storage room. While cruising, I’ve used it outdoors suspended from trees as well as around our mast on Blue Turtle. It’s always a great workout. Click here to see one of my typical workouts using the TRX on our boat. Buy the TRX Suspension Trainer