Swing Set

Aug 13, 201202:04 PM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

On Hold for Some Repairs

When we left Florence Harbor Marina on Friday, the sky was overcast and stayed that way for the whole trip down to the entrance to the Tenn-Tom at Mile 215. I had never entered a waypoint into our GPS and set a course for it, but I got out the directions and were able to follow them. The chartplotter took us right to our destination with no hiccups. I feel less concerned about making a crossing in the Gulf knowing that our GPS is accurate. It's nice when things work.

What doesn't work is the display on the chartplotter. Put it this way; the display on the GPS unit is small and it works fine. The chartplotter unit sends a display to the radar screen. This is the display that is not working. I get a picture similar to how the old TVs used to do when the horizontal hold was messed up. We are less concerned because, although the radar works just fine, the chartplotter is ancient and we don't have chips for it other than Lake Michigan. I think we'll remove the pad for the chartplotter and put a small Garmin unit in its place. Then, between it, our GPS, and the iPad and iPhone navigation apps we have, we may be able to find where we want to go.

My last call to Aqua Yacht was over a week ago, and Tony, the shop manager, and I made a tentative plan to get the prop(s) repaired on Swing Set from our run-in with the tree stumps on the Tellico River a few weeks ago. Our plan involved getting some paint on our spare props to prevent barnacle growth when we get to the saltwater, so this is something that has to be done before we swap them out. Aqua Yacht knew we were coming, and Tom, the service manager, was not surprised to see us when he got back from lunch and we were relaxing in their nicely equipped ship's store.

Tom and I confirmed the plan that Tony and I had made and set a course to have Swing Set hauled out first thing Monday morning. We brought the spares up from the boat and left them to be painted that afternoon. There was one potential snag, and it was a vessel being hauled that afternoon for a fuel tank leak, which might affect our boat getting hauled, but I was to call Tom the next day to confirm the Monday haul out.

Rosie and I brought Swing Set over to Zippy Cove, a nice anchorage we stayed in when we passed through here around the first part of July. We ate a snack and just relaxed after getting up early for our last trip down the Tennessee River that morning. Later, when we were eating the remnants from our dinner at the Joe Wheeler Lodge and our left over chicken from Champy's, a boat came unusually close by and then anchored in the back of Zippy, but left later before sunset.

We found out later that the owner of the boat follows the blog and sent an email asking if we needed to go to the store, offering to drive us. Since we got everything we needed in Florence, we declined the offer. We thought we'd see Marty again sometime over the weekend, but we didn't. People have been so nice that way.

The weather has just been perfect. The nights have been nice and cool, and temperatures during the day have been below 90, so we haven't had to run the air conditioner for a few days.

Rosie insisted on taking this picture on Saturday. Believe it or not, I am actually very happy, but it's hard to tell. Holly is happy, and it's very easy to tell. She has a tail to wag.

Saturday and Sunday were spent doing some boat waxing and other minor chores in the mornings, and then lounging around in the water and watching the other boaters that congregate in Zippy Cove in the afternoon. For dinner on Saturday, I grilled some steaks in our cast iron skillet on the Magma Grill, and I didn't burn them. Hi, Judy.

Due to the cool evenings, we have fog in the morning. This is from yesterday morning and shows a houseboat and some others that tied up for the night. Just a gorgeous day we had on Sunday! We topped off the day with some patty-melts that Rosie made in the convection oven, and then we used some "data transfer" gigs to watch a Netflix movie. It took 1.9 gigs to watch the movie, so we won't be watching anymore movies unless we get free WiFi somewhere for the next month. We are allowed 5 gigs per month with the plan we have. Good thing we like books and dominoes.

I had called Tom, the service manager over at Aqua Yacht, on Saturday, and our props didn't get the paint they needed on Friday, so they were going to get paint today, Monday. Tom asked if it was OK that we would haul the boat out on Tuesday. Perfectly fine with us. If all goes well, we can be on our way by the weekend.

While this repair was not in the budget, things like this have to be expected. We were able to build in a little cushion in our finances for the last three months, so we won't be hurt too bad unless a shaft is bent, but I doubt that is the case.

Overall, the trip has been what we have expected. One big troubling matter is the fact that we haven't gotten a viable offer on our condo yet. Now, we are considering leasing it out, but still not sure if we want the hassle, although economically it would be the best thing to do. If we sold it and invested the money, we'd just have to pay our financial advisor 1% annually to watch it disappear. We could just sit on the condo and, when we get sick of the boating life, we could move back to St. Louis and stare out the window wondering "what if?"

But...no.

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