Swing Set

Feb 12, 201302:55 PM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

Time for a Scenery Change

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This is the fourth dawn breaking over Swing Set here in Jewfish Basin, and it looks like rain. We haven't had any significant rain since we were near Everglades City. When was that?

On Sunday afternoon, we stayed on the boat. I had secured the dinghy, and we deployed one of our auxiliary anchors for a Bahamian Moor. This view to the East shows the whitecaps here in the basin. Out in the Gulf, the waves were much bigger. We have a rule to not leave the boat when the wind picks up, in order to be on hand for evasive action, and we will adhere to this rule even if it means missing out on social activities.

We really dodged a bullet when our anchor dragged on Sunday morning. It was entirely my fault and could have been avoided had I put out enough scope, but I let out a short leash when we came in on Friday to prevent the anchor line from chaffing on the bottom, and since it held so well for two days, I didn't adjust for the greater wind conditions that materialized.

I needn't have relied on a short rode, though. I have been using a float at the point where the anchor chain meets the line, and it keeps the splice off the bottom where rocks and coral can wear through the line and cast you off, adrift in the sea. There is no need to worry about rocks or coral here, the bottom is grey mud. It's looks like wet cement and is as dead as can be. The mud means some low visibility, but outside of a few dolphin and flying fish, I haven't seen much below the surface to entice me to take a closer look beneath the waves with snorkel gear.

I have some loose ends to tell about. One thing we bought while in Key West was a small dehumidifier. It's very compact and is doing a great job, pulling about a cup of water from the air in our stateroom per day. The unit is about the size of an electric can opener, uses little power and is very quiet. You must empty the water reservoir manually, but it holds about two days worth of water and has an automatic shutoff in case you forget. We have it setting right next to the bed, so it's hard to miss. I'd say this purchase was a success.

Less successful was our purchase of a Single Side Band (SSB) Radio Receiver. I have a concern about receiving weather reports while in the Bahamas, so after listening to another boater make a recommendation in regard to a SSB receiver, I bought one. The unit is small and compact and has more directions with it than most new automobiles. I remember my first transistor radio; it had two knobs, volume and channel. One plug for an earphone jack. One band: AM. This SSB radio has four bands and 10,000 functions. I messed around with it three times over the course of a few days, and I was able to get some music from Cuba on it. It is doubtful that we'll be able to avoid a hurricane with this radio, but at least we'll be able to dance to some salsa music while we wait to die.

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