Skip to main content

Oh, everyone's a comedian. A visit from Jackson

In mid January we had a special visitor to Cygnet. Colette's brother Jackson came in from San Francisco to stay with us and see Chicago. He's visited before, once for our wedding reception, and another time just for fun, but this is the first time he's been here with us living on Cygnet. Jackson and Colette had the same mother but different fathers and they didn't grow up together beyond the first few years but we've visited him in San Francisco and he's been here so we aren't strangers. This time he came for just under two weeks and while in town he spent a lot of time going to and performing at local comedy clubs. Jackson has been working as a comedian for years in San Francisco and we in Chicago were lucky to experience his entertaining and slightly askew show a few times. Unfortunately his late night stand up comedy and our regular hour jobs don't mix all that well so he ventured out without us a few nights and killed it without us as witnesses.

Jackson doing "Stand-up"
If you read the last blog post you know that Kevin built a bridge from the concrete walkway behind our slip to Cygnet to make it easier for Jackson to climb aboard. Our previous setup was a small set of steps that are on the dock next to the boat and we figured they wouldn't be easy for him since he uses a wheelchair to get around most of the time. He seemed to do fine on the bridge but it was a little bit of a challenge to get to and from the marina. Our dock (the area with all the boats in our section of the marina) has seven steps up, a 90 degree turn, a gate, and two steps down to access - not at all ADA compatible like most modern marinas. We worked out a deal with the security in the River City building to allow the chair to sit in a small room behind the security desk and Jackson made the trek through (or around) the building to the marina. It wasn't the most convenient situation but it worked and allowed him to have the flexibility to come and go as he pleased when we weren't around. When we were there we kept the chair on the dock behind Cygnet and locked it to a post. Wheelchairs are very expensive and we didn't want this one rolling away.

Cold and Snowy Chair
Jackson's mobility allowed him to go up and down the stairs on the boat with relative ease. One thing we all noticed is that boats have handles EVERYWHERE and that helped him a lot with getting around. It's convenient on a vessel that pitches and rolls constantly to have handles all around and Carver did a great job of making sure the handles are in exactly the place they need to be to allow safe movement around this boat.

Speaking of safety, we got an email from David Buddingh from MTI Industries, the makers of Safe-T-Alert CO detectors recently. If you remember THIS blog about them sending us new CO detectors last year you might wonder how they work after this time. David mentioned that they tested all three of the original CO detectors that we sent to them and that none of them detected CO anymore. They were original to Cygnet as far as we can tell, so after 25 years they were no longer keeping us safe. Now we have three new Safe-T-Alert detectors that we know work (they went off while we were moored to a wall and running our generator on New Years Eve) and feel much better about sleeping aboard a vessel that has the potential to kill us. Thanks again MTI!

Reflecting on life
So What Are We Thinking about our visitor in January? Well, January isn't the ideal time to visit a boat in Chicago, but it was fun seeing Jackson and enjoying his great and quirky sense of humor. We had decent weather with a bit of snow but not enough to slow his wheelchair down. He's promised to return in summertime to get a real sense of what it's like to live aboard a boat in this wonderful city and we look forward to it.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Everything You Need to Know About Owning a Boat (Part 1)

Let's face it, boats are not easy things to live with.  There are many people out there who have been around boating their entire lives and are still learning.  Every boat is different and every boat owner has a different skillset of what they can and can't do.  We know a few people who've been boating for years or even decades and don't know how to drive a boat.  We know people who take to it immediately and can dock a large boat without any help.  If you have never been a boater or you are thinking about moving from a small boat to something much bigger (like we did) there are a myriad of things you need to know.  We're going to start with the most basic stuff and let you know all the things you need to know about owning a boat before you make a bad and costly decision by buying a boat that isn't for you.
Feel free to post questions in the comments but we'll make this a multi-part series since there is a LOT to cover.  Hopefully one of the later posts wi…

Everything You Need to Know About Owning a Boat (Part 7)

Congratulations!  You made it through your first season with a boat but now the weather is changing and the high temperatures are in the 60s on a regular basis.  You've extended the season as long as you can but it's just getting too chilly to be out cruising around, and definitely too chilly for a swim.  It's time to put your boat into hibernation for the winter.  So, where do you start?

We live aboard Cygnet all year so winterizing is very different for us.  But we had Two Wrights for years and took her out of the water every fall and put her back every spring.  Our winterizing routine wasn't much different than most.  What you'll read below is a general winterizing program.  You may have a different requirement based on your boat and that should be found in the manufacturer's manual or online.  Don't take our word for it, find out from your boat builder what you should be doing.  It's a good idea to make a check list and use it every year.  This can…

What We Learned in the White of Winter

If you read THIS previous post you know we wrapped Cygnet this year in white plastic instead of our usual translucent.  This was a mistake.  It wasn't our choice, the guys who do this only had the white available and we went with it to keep Cygnet out of the ice and snow for the winter slumber.  We were a bit concerned about less light making its way inside the plastic and not getting the greenhouse effect that normally helps tremendously to keep us toasty warm in the cold months.  Well, we were absolutely right.  By using white we effectively kept the sun and the warmth created by it out of Cygnet.  With a new method of routing power to our heaters and a slew of new heat units we thought we'd be nice and warm but it turns out we were worse off this year than we've ever been, including our first winter in 2014/15 where we didn't see temperatures above the mid-20s the entire month of February.

We had a couple mornings where the outside temperature was -20ºF (-29ºC) and…