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Swing Set

Aug 5, 201308:10 AM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

Murphy's Law and a Couple Other Things We Can Do Without

It never fails. Murphy’s Law is supreme when you live on a boat. We had planned to leave today and head back up the Exuma island chain, but yesterday, on Sunday morning, I discovered that the blowers for our engine room have both failed. Of course, the one or two places that may have blowers in stock are closed on Sundays.

Get ‘em early on Monday and be on our way? No. Today is Emancipation Day here in the Bahamas, and it’s a national holiday. Everyone is closed. Everyone except Chat ‘N’ Chill.

After spending the whole weekend anchored just off the beach at Chat ‘N’ Chill, we motored back over to our favorite anchorage just off of Hamburger Beach a week ago. We didn’t do much all week except visit the grocery store and the library again. There was quite a bit of rain and wind early in the week, but things cleared up on Thursday, so we went to the weekly barbeque at Peace and Plenty. The place was still hoppin’, even though the harbor is clearing out.

Some of the folks we have met here in the harbor were at Peace and Plenty having a goodbye party of sorts, but most are heading in the same direction as we are, so we know we’ll see them along the way. One couple is heading to Venezuela, though. We won’t see them for a while.


On Friday, we went to St. Francis Resort for an early dinner. In the photo, you can see the beach at Chat ‘N’ Chill on the left side of the picture. St. Francis Resort is run by some folks from South Africa. They sell a sailing catamaran, the St. Francis 50. I mentioned it in an earlier blog.

On Saturday morning, we took Swing Set back over to anchor off the beach at Chat ‘N’ Chill, where we planned on spending the weekend. If you like to meet folks from all over the world, the Chat ‘N’ Chill is a good place to do it. They are always open, except one day a year, Christmas, and the prices are always reasonable and stay the same. This is a recipe for success. The patrons know what to expect, and they get it. We can’t help but get drawn to the place, especially on the weekends. Even though this is a resort area, and you wouldn’t think a weekend would make a difference, it does. Folks that may have homes in the area and might have other things to do during the week will spend their off time on the weekend at Chat ‘N’ Chill.

We have two blowers in our bilge, but one must have gone out some time ago. My hearing is not so astute that I can tell the difference when one blower is running or two, so I missed it when the one quit. When the second one quit, that left us with zero. You’re good at math, too.

Blowers are not as critical on a diesel powered boat, but they help keep the engine room cooler when we are stationary and are running the generator, especially in the heat, and being August, the days and nights are getting warmer. Eighty-four degrees during daylight, and things cool down to a chilly 80 at night, but it takes until past midnight to get that frigid. Anyhow, we could get by without blowers, but they are broke, and I won’t be happy until they work like they are supposed to, just like the rest of the equipment on our boat.

This morning, I fiddled around with them and got them working, but once I got them re-installed, they wouldn’t come on again. I think the windings are going bad on the little motors, or there may be enough rust or corrosion creating a “flat spot.” If I give them a little spin, they’ll start turning. This is something I don’t want to be doing every time I turn on the switch for them. They are toast. Tomorrow, we’ll go into town and visit Top II Bottom. I know they have blowers in stock. I’ll put them in before noon, and we’ll be on our way. This is the plan. Note that we are out of Bud Light, and the liquor stores were also closed on Sunday and today. It’s a long way back to the U.S.

This afternoon, I went snorkeling. I wanted to score some lobster, but I did manage to bring eight conch into the dinghy. Rosie kept stuffing them into the little cooler we have until she said there was no more room. We took them over to A.J., the Bahamian kid who runs the conch bar at Chat ‘N’ Chill, who has been friendly to us. I wanted to watch him clean the conch as a way for me to improve my technique, but A.J. was enjoying his holiday with a few of his buddies, fraternizing with a half dozen bikini clad young girls on the volleyball court. I told him I’d leave the conch over at his shed. He was very happy that I knew something about “priorities.”

My last post was about some things we find essential for our lives aboard Swing Set. After I posted that blog, there was a question on the America’s Great Looper Cruiser’s Association about someone needing to transport a car from one part of Florida to another. They had been living in Marathon for about eight months and wanted to get their car to wherever it was they had moved to. I suggested to them to sell the car.

We have met folks who are still attached to their material things and have needs for storage sheds and automobiles. Most folks still have homes, and we get that, we just can’t afford to do both, even if we wanted to, but owning a car while living on a boat and cruising full time is silly. After nearly a year and a half, we have not found a need for owning a car. We’ll rent one if we ever have to.

Bicycles are another thing we can do without. In the first place, Rosie is an accident waiting to happen on a bicycle. She has the dental work to prove it. Bicycles require the proper safety equipment to operate them, as far as I’m concerned, and pedaling a bike while wearing flip flops is not gonna happen, and we don’t have room to store two bike helmets, let alone the bikes themselves. Don’t mention to me about strapping the bikes to the rails on the boat. We like to think that we don’t resemble the Clampett’s when we are motoring along the waterways, and we don’t plan on starting to. We’re fighting enough rust as it is, as well.

I don’t know how many times I have to post as to when we will be in Key West. I wonder if anyone reads this. We are shooting for October 17 to November 17, but in truth, we will most likely be there for the whole months of October and November.

The harbormaster at the A&B Marina, which is our first choice, is not exibiting the same optimism for us getting a slip as he did when I spoke to him last January and again on July 1, so we contacted two more marinas. Our best hope lies at the Conch Marina, where Dante’s is, the bar and swimming pool that is sure to be a “place to be” during the time we’ll be there. We are waiting for word from the staff there. They have a slip in mind where they want to put us, but they have to contact another boat owner before they can commit to us. They are “optimistic,” but we won’t be happy until we can send a deposit and secure the slip.

Either way, we’ll be in Key West, but maybe at anchor among the “praire dogs.” I hope it doesn’t come to that. 

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