Swing Set

Jan 31, 201306:54 AM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

We Cruise To Boca Grande

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What you see here is the western side of Boca Grande, looking from the north. There's a marked channel on the north side of the island that appears on the map to be surrounded by flat land but is in fact only surrounded by very shallow water, so the idyllic tropical setting in calm water was not to be found on this day.

The wind seemed to pick up, and we bobbed around like a cork while we had lunch and began to regret our trip out. But only for a while. As we sunned ourselves in the cockpit and the day wore on, the wind began to die down and in the little protection that Boca Grande afforded us, we wound up having a pleasant day.

By 4 o'clock, it was time to head in. I didn't want to go back the long way we had come, so the alternative was to take the southern route, which would put us at beam seas the whole way. This turned out to be our undoing.

I'm not sure how big the waves were once we got out into the channel, but when they are hitting you broadside, even the littlest wave is magnified. I put Swing Set on plane thinking to smooth out the ride, and all we did was get tossed around that much more violently. Swing Set is not a big boat. Normally, we would have stayed put, or taken a more protected route, but for the cost of the slip we were in, we weren't going to stay out on the hook. We bit the bullet, and to make it end sooner I kept the boat at 25 miles per hour and concentrated on dodging crab pot markers. Millions of them. How is it that someone can put out so many hazards to navigation with impunity? That fishing lobby must be a huge one.

We got back to the harbor without too much falling off of the boat. Rosie reported a smell in the salon, but I attributed it to the sump drain box getting stirred up and the smell coming up from the drains. Once we stopped and opened the windows, the problem disappeared.

We were able to back Swing Set easily into her current home slick as a whistle. The owner of a large yacht just behind us came out and handled our lines at the stern. Up to now, I had only witnessed him reading books, as he has a full-time captain/mate that does everything on his boat. I was surprised to get the help, but extremely grateful. Maybe we are making friends.

We spent the rest of the daylight rinsing copious amounts of salt off of Swing Set before settling in for a delicious dinner on board the boat. Our activities made for an early night, but early nights always seem to be the order of the day lately.

Today, we have a couple of missions: The first is to go to Blue Heaven for breakfast. It is sure to be the only heaven I am likely to see. Then, we'll run by Fausto's Market. "Run" means walking several blocks, but it's the only exercise we get. When we get back to the boat, Rosie is going to defrost our freezer since our stores are getting a bit low. We'll fill the freezer back up when we get to Marathon and Publix. If we have any gas left, we'll give the boat a proper bath with Zip Wax. (It really does leave a good shine.) All this mention of work is making me tired. Maybe I should have kept my job.

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