Swing Set

Feb 26, 201305:07 AM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

Back in Marathon with a Laundry List

(page 2 of 2)

We spent mid-day exploring around the south side of Marathon. We checked out Key Colony Resort and Cocoa Plum Marina.

We had Sparky's Landing in our sights, and I called them on the phone to ask if we could buy some water. This notion was foreign to the woman who answered the phone, and she didn't know where to begin to find out as to how much we should pay for it. I made a few suggestions, and we negotiated a fair price of $.10 per gallon. We pulled in, and $10 later, we had our tanks full and were set to spend the night on the hook before entering Boot Key Harbor the next morning.

We sat at anchor and just enjoyed the day, as it was calm and the forecast was promising little to no wind for the evening. There is a reason places are called "harbors," and I learned that, in the future, we needed to be on the lee side of something before spending the night anywhere. Even though the local forecast called for calm conditions, the waves that came after midnight didn't get the memo. We were bucked and tossed all night long, and neither one of us got any sleep. The sun just began peeking over the horizon when we started our routine to head out.

We had high tide to our advantage as we entered Little Sisters Creek. Two months earlier, when we would visit the beach there, we saw more than one boat run aground in the area, hugging the east side of the inlet too much. Knowing to favor our port side of the inlet, we sailed right in, never having less than five feet under our keel.

There is a nice anchorage up into Little Sisters Creek, and I had notions of spending a night our two there, but reviews of the area on Active Captain revealed that some large government radio towers in the area messed with instrument and phone transmissions. I suspected those towers to be the source of our difficulty in trying to watch the Academy Awards the night before. I swear I could hear the Voice of America coming over our VHF as we snaked through the Little Sisters channel.

We called the City Marina and were directed to a mooring ball. Once we got tied up, we finally had our breakfast, promising to come into the office with the dinghy later on to make payment for our one month stay. Then, I got on the phone. First, I called Sea and Land Technologies, or SALT, an outfit referred to us by E Marine in Fort Lauderdale, to see if they could fix our wind generator. "Leave everything the way it is, and we'll be out on Wednesday," we were told. Even though we won't be able to claim the repair on our warranty, if we can get this thing fixed without sending the unit away and waiting for who knows how long to get it back, it will be worth it. I just hope the $95 per hour they charge does not include a "head scratchin' charge," but will go only towards actually fixing it, and won't exceed the price of a whole new unit. One can but dream.

Then, I put in a call to Marathon Marina to the service manager. I know Mondays are busy in the boatyard world, so giving my number to wait for a call back was expected. I was prepared to wait until the following day, actually.

Rosie was at work, too. She made some calls and scheduled a dental appointment for both of us, as well as an eye doctor appointment for her, as she is down to her last set of contacts. I kept at it and made the appointment for Holly to get her rabies shot on Friday, and began to consider the logistics of getting her health certificate and the timing needed to get into the Bahamas with the necessary paperwork before permits expire.

While Rosie finished up, I gathered up our trash and pulled the five gallons of engine coolant in the bilge that we had been dragging around for over a month, waiting to get to the recycle station at the City Marina here in Marathon. It was mid-morning before Rosie and I made it over to the office. Rosie paid us up, and I took care of the engine coolant and trash. We returned a movie that we had also been dragging around and picked up a couple of books at the library. We kept busy back at the boat but began to wear down after lunch.

I was reading when the phone rang. It was the service manager from Marathon Boat Yard. Sherry was very nice and patient while I relayed to her our history of the bottom paint on Swing Set, which is lengthy. I requested a haul-out on March 25 because it's the day our month is up here on the mooring ball. This presented no problem for them, as it's far enough in advance. So, if the estimate they will present to us in a couple of days is fair, we are set to get new bottom paint.

Another issue is where we will stay when Swing Set is on the hard. Sherry suggested a resort across the street from the boatyard, as they give a fair discount to boaters getting work done at Marathon. The Blue Water Resort had a vacancy for the week we needed, and more importantly, accepted pets at an extra $15 per night. When they found out that Holly only weighed six pounds, we got the rate reduced to a mere $10. I wonder if there is an adjustment if Rosie and I both lose a few pounds in the next four weeks? In my case, one can but dream.

So, things are falling into place. Holly and I took a dinghy ride in the afternoon while Rosie worked at making an appointment for an annual physical for me, and to have our dental records sent to the dentist that we are going to see. We discovered that the restaurant over at Sombrero Beach was closed indefinitely. We didn't go there on our last visit. Oh well.

It was close to 5 p.m. when Rosie and I took the dinghy over to get showers. We also had dumped our two plastic jugs of water into the tank on the boat in order to refill them at the dock. This is an effort not to save on the 5 cents per gallon charge for water, but just to avoid taking the boat over to get filled up every week. Not only is there a queue for boats wanting to get water at the city dock, the less times we have to negotiate the mooring ball will be better for our marriage.

At the end of the day, we felt like we had gotten a lot accomplished, at least got the wheels in motion. If we can get everything done in time, we can stay on our loose plan of getting to the Bahamas before the end of April. We wanted to get over there well before hurricane season, but we'll be nearly on top of it. If we can but stay only a couple of weeks this time around, we'll feel like we've set out what we intended to do from the start, for the most part.

It won't all be dull here in Marathon, though. We'll have some visitors in a few weeks and be able to get out on the water with them before the boat gets hauled. We'll also begin stocking up our provisions for the scarcity of such that we expect to find when we get to the Bahamas. We expect, though, that we'll be more than ready to get back in the saddle and out on the seas by the time we are finished here in Marathon. At least, for this time around.

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