We’re Gonna Need Some More Scotch

We’re Gonna Need Some More Scotch

Mel is going through withdrawal or something.  She hasn’t written a blogpost that included pictures of beautiful things by the ocean in some time.  Instead, she stares at her computer screen, trying the hardest she has ever had to try to make her current life interesting so that others will read about it.  This is terrible, as now more than ever her friends back home need something fun in their newsfeed.  Unfortunately, a story of how Mel took advantage of the medical tourism here on Gran Canaria to get a suspicious growth hacked off her face in a very professional way for just $290 cash, including pathology, is only exciting for those with crappy health insurance like we have right now.  And the pictures are gross. 

We’re gonna need some more Scotch.

Anyway, Mel has learned through Facebook that their friends on SV Maple and SV Slice of Life have made it safely across the Atlantic!  Hooray!  Winds were lighter overall than typical, and so the journey took over 20 days, a little longer than predicted.  Pics from beautiful Barbados and Martinique are in Mel’s newsfeed, and she finds herself in the same spot as her Burnettsahoy fans back home, hungrily looking at all of the pictures of people she knows having fun wearing bathing suits by the sea, imagining that she is actually warm right now and smelling a flowery breeze instead of wearing her jacket inside and choking on the sewer gas that is STILL coming out of the pipes in their bathroom. 

The persistence of the “Sewer Problem” isn’t surprising; a drive along Gran Canaria’s highways allows one to encounter this smell every 10 miles for some reason.  Mel thinks they had the same person who designs traffic and parking here design the pipes.   We think the entire septic system on this island is teetering on the edge of collapse.  Maybe someday soon you will hear about the “Great Sh!t Disaster of Gran Canaria”, with a picture of us in the header for the article, one hand plugging our nose, the other in the air, saying, “Oh, come on, what now?!” Okay, Mel, calm down.  Get rid of your “Spain Rage.”  We travel to embrace and appreciate other cultures, not get all judgey about civil engineering.

We’re gonna need some more Scotch.

Speaking of needing Scotch, The Amazing Marvin Landschool has started up in full force.  Complaints are flowing, the scratchpaper is flying, the vocabulary words are everywhere, and graphic, unflattering cartoons about Michael Clay Thompson end up in the, “Not appropriate for school” pile.  Did you know that having any sort of attention span is an acquired skill that rapidly dissolves when you stop practicing it?  And that doing long multiplication and long division produces a number of tears proportional to the number of digits in the problem?  Science is more “hands-on” now that we are on land.  Do you know the difference between a detonation and a deflagration?  We do.  Now.  We have also discovered that our apartment lacks smoke alarms.

We’re gonna need some more Scotch.

Greg has been busy sourcing and ordering needed items for the repair.  Apparently, figuring out and obtaining just the perfect color of blue gelcoat to match the rest of the boat takes no less than 4 hours of internet use, 6 phone calls, 6 emails (to the person you just called), and the involvement of 5 countries.  It turns out that the gelcoat color is not commercially available and is a “Leopard special”, made 8 years ago from some random swatch.  Victory!  Next item…

We’re gonna need some more Scotch.

So this is what Mel is reduced to: here is a sampling of the kids’ latest hard work.  Yes, she is showing off her kids’ homework to amuse you.  Deal.  You know you’ve done it too. This is Tommy’s essay on why Xerxes would make a good cat name.  Below, I include Allie’s assignment: write a poem about our recent rescue from her stuffie Poof’s perspective.  The kids are tough cookies.  They don’t need any Scotch!

Allie’s ditch bag consisted mostly of “Poof”


Being Stuffed into a Bag Repeatedly

By Poof A. Burnett  


There was a lot of noise

A lot of static and stuff.

And then frantically stuffing bags

I’m very fluff

Lots of complaining and nags

Searching for something we might want to bring

To the temporary home

I’m pretty sure we got everything

Inside the bag, I roam

With my pillow and blanket by my side

I take a little nap

Time I try to bide

as I cross across the gap

on to the small floaty thing [sic: the Coast Guard dinghy]

covering my eyes

I think of all the things I bring

I hope this isn’t a bundle of lies

From the nice orange guys

I fall asleep again

To awake in a car

Oddly shaped like a den

We eat at a hotel bar

I nom owl chow

And fall asleep on a chair

I awake to something loud

They have a pool, I’m already there.

One day passes, two, three,

I’m in a bag once more

Thinking what’s going to happen to me

And if I will ever sleep in a drawer

Then I arrive at an apartment

Everything looks fine and dandy

But it smells like we are right by a sewage department

And its home to many long-legs of the daddy

But of course, we learn to cope

With small spaces and bugs

Just like we did on the boat

But as long as I get some hugs

I’ll be alright.

7 Responses

  1. William S Bass, MD
    | Reply

    Great poem! Love, Grand Dad

  2. Ken Nellis
    | Reply

    The kids are amazing. The sewer issue would drive me crazy. Each day is a day closer to leaving. You guys are amazing!!! Leaving Sunday from Ft. Lauderdale to cruise the Eastern Caribbean. Looking forward to sand and warm weather. Have some Scotch!!!!

    • Mel
      | Reply

      Thanks for the support! Excited for your trip — maybe you’ll see us around there this spring!

  3. Mark Hanlon
    | Reply

    Mel, just started reading your blog. Very entertaining and sad to hear about what happened to Marvin. My wife and I (and 2 kids) are planning on following very much in your path. We are in the process of buying a Leopard 48 but will put it into the Moorings fleet for 5 years, then take off for 2 years or so. The kids are only 5 and 2 at the moment, so want them to be a little older before we take off. Would love to chat with you at some point, maybe when Marvin is healed and back in the water, since your life seems to be a bit of a preview of ours.

    • Mel
      | Reply

      Excited for you! The kids will be at great ages when you finally head out!

  4. Jon
    | Reply

    Whenever I have had a sewer smell in the bathroom it has been a faulty wax ring on the toilet. Hope your fix could be that easy. Good luck.

    • Mel
      | Reply

      Good point. For some odd reason the toilet is caulked to the floor, so we can’t check. Yup. This seems to be a vent problem, though — they are digging holes around the apartment…

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