Monday, February 4, 2008

And it continues...

Yesterday we visited both the boat and the house. Didn't spend much time in either one, unfortunately. Visited the boat to run the motor, check the lines, look in the bilge, all that boaty stuff. I also wanted to see the boat ramp up close. We plan to haul the boat out of the water shortly to try to clean the seaweed farm off the hull, change the gear oil normally this time, new plugs, that sort of thing. First thing we noticed is a new neighbor at the marina, where Preacher was keeping a boat he was working on earlier:

No, that is not our boat. Our's is the second one over. I am actually quite happy to see a shorter boat in that slip. Makes it easier for me to back around and head out. Also harder for me to hit coming in. Especially at night. I like things that are hard to hit when I am in a boat at night.

Spotted this group at the fuel dock, and I just had to take a photo. Sure is a lot of body language going on there.

I couldn't hear the cell phone conversation, but I am willing to bet it had something to do with somebody somewhere being late to catch this boat ride back to North Caicos. Might have mentioned that some people were waiting....

Boats are very much an integral part of people's lives here on a daily basis. It's not like a lot of marinas, where it's basically dead during the week in an off season. Here, boats are commuters. I have not seen a written statistic on how many TCI residents commute by boat to and from work or school every day, but it would be a substantial number. In the thousands.

Over at the boat ramp, a couple guys had been out running this little scooter until they had some problem with the engine cowling. Or "hat" as they called it.

Sure looks like it might just move out right smartly. I don't know if I would take it out in six foot swells trolling all day for wahoo, but then that's not what it's for. It's the maritime equivalent of a hot rod. We see a few of these fun boats around from time to time.

Anyway, the ramp looks entirely usable to me, so then we ran out to the house right before dark. Not much going on there on a Sunday afternoon. The cabinet man had been at work, though. Made a lot of progress. As for the driveway, well, here is the same view, almost, as I started the previous post with. But from the top of the garage this time:

We love the Land Rover, but I think this is about the end of the line in this driveway until they get all the plumbing run and re-buried.

That reminds me, Leo asked a question about the septic. Since several people have written us interested in building houses in similar areas, I thought I would explain it. There is no leech pit here. The ground is pretty much solid rock. It would never pass a 'perc test'. So the septic system is a "Aerobic Treatment Unit" (ATU) which is actually a pretty neat little way to handle this. It's essentially a closed system, in that it mixes and aerates organics using aerobics. What comes out of it is water and carbon dioxide. its got a compressor, a motor, and a float switch. The water that comes out is clean enough to use for spray irrigation systems. It's basically as clean as a normal surface creek, if you live somewhere that has surface creeks. It's clearer than a lot of creeks I know, in fact. So, out of the green machine, the system has a chlorine dispenser that further sanitizes it as it goes into the yellow tank for storage. From there, it will eventually get pumped through a drip irrigation system surrounding the house. So we can grow stuff. Bushes, trees, hedges, that kind of stuff. We will use native vegetation, which would include anything native to the Bahamas, etc. If we give it some water, it should do just fine. I DO want some home-grown tomatoes out of it myself, though.

For those who are looking at this kind of system in more detail, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a writeup on this very specific model. You can find that at:

The house is as "green" as we can handle though careful thought while we wait for some technologies to catch up. We tried to design with alternative energy compatibility in mind. We have wind. We have sun. And we have tide. Now if someone will just have a major breakthrough in solar film technology or design a wind generator that doesnt look like the front end of a Piper Cub... Eventually we hope to make our own fresh water to augment the cistern collection system. And we want to be able to irrigate the whole hillside, essentially. The 'trickle-down' effect in practice.

Oh, and the obligatory and now traditional pergola shot to close the post. But this one has La Gringa and Demento the Delusional Dog checking out the new light fixtures that just got installed:

That open end is just begging for a metal gate, or a statue, bird bath, or a Heineken sign or something...

Hey, there's a thought. What about one of those six foot tall ornate birdbath things...maybe shaped like Elvis...


Elise said...

wow the place looks amazing! you must be so proud of yourself.

Please dont have an Elvis shaped bird bath!

Class honey, Class!

How about George Michael?

I think the opening looks grea the way it is. The view is too beautiful to crowd xx

Malicious Intent said...

Elvis all the way! Of course, George Michael would be ok, if you featured his back side....he always had a nice bum.
And that little red boat reminded me of the batmobile, or didn't they have a bat boat? I cannot remember.

heinz said...

i found your blog and have spent the past three nights reading it. great pictures and you have a very nice story telling style. I wish you the best as you finish your house.