Swing Set

Mar 31, 201308:31 AM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

Back in Business

(page 3 of 3)

I called the City Marina on our way into the harbor proper and got assigned a mooring ball. In a fairly stiff wind, Rosie positioned herself on the bow in order to snag the mooring harness. She did that part rather well, but as I struggled with the wind, trying to keep the boat over the ball and the harness in her hands, Rosie struggled with threading the lines through the harness. This is the part that can test a relationship, and ours was tested big time.

I'll make this as kind and as short as I can. I want you to picture a toddler learning how to tie their shoes. The toddler ties one shoe, then directs their attention to the other shoe and goes to work on that one. Now, picture the end result is that the toddler manages to tie one shoe to the other one. The word "tie" being used loosely. A "tangled mess" would be more appropriate in this case. After some "firm direction" from the helm, Rosie was able to get us at least held fast to the ball for me to shut down the engines and go to the bow to make head or tails of the situation. Keeping our boat out of harm's way among shallow water and other vessels in a stiff wind doesn't do anything for my level of patience. Let's just say we're working on a better method to use next time we need to hook onto a mooring. It was a quiet night on Swing Set that Friday.

But Saturday was a new day! We left Holly onboard and walked to the Cracked Conch for a good breakfast. We like the Stuffed Pig and the Wooden Spoon much better, but the Cracked Conch does have very good coffee and it was on the way to Publix. We loaded up with all sorts of meat products to stuff into the freezer. We also bought four more cases of Bud Light, bringing our total to six. This is supposed to last until we get back from the Bahamas, which could be three to four months. Let's all have a good laugh at that one.

We called a cab and was quickly picked up by a driver with a death wish. I'd have complained to him about the chances he was taking with our lives, but I didn't want to be left at the side of the highway with $300 worth of refrigerated goods, so I held my tongue. Even once we got back to the safety of the marina, I just paid him, along with the customary tip and just wanted him to go.

While Rosie systematically stored away our purchases, Holly and I took a dinghy ride to fill up the fuel in the dinghy. Barely three and a half gallons and $19 later, we were back at the boat and Rosie was finishing up.

Holly wanted to play, but we were ready to relax. She was going to have to wait. Before dinner, we motored over to the showers and got cleaned up. On the way, more than one person announced that a manatee was in the harbor, and there were several folks gathered around taking pictures. We not only didn't stop and gawk with them, we seized the opportunity to claim a shower before all these other folks got in before us. See? Manatees can serve a purpose!

We both enjoyed two beers each as we watched the sunset. Our new ration of Bud Light has been proclaimed to be only two each per day in order to make it last as long as possible. If they can put a man on the moon, we can do this. Rum will become our newest friend to make up for the difference.

After a nice dinner of burgers and salad, we played three games of gin rummy, taking us to nearly 10 o'clock. Our second night on the boat after leaving the Bluewater Resort was more pleasant than the first. It wasn't as chilly as the first night. All kidding aside, it feels good to be back in the clean surroundings and comfortable bed here on Swing Set. I don't know where we'll stay when we get work done at the Marathon Boatyard next time, but it won't be the Bluewater.

So, today is a holiday for some. For us, we'll just do the same old thing and soak up the beautiful weather. I'll make some routes on our chart that will take us to Rodriquez Key or Hens and Chickens, or maybe Angelfish Cut. It all depends on when we can get out of here tomorrow. Holly has her visit with the vet at 9 a.m. Monday morning, then we'll head out.

By law, we have 48 hours to enter the Bahamas after Holly gets her health certificate here in the States. It's our luck that the wind is supposed to die down and shift to a more southerly direction, allowing for an agreeable transit across the Gulf Stream. If all goes well, we'll enter Government Cut in North Bimini late Tuesday, either checking in on Tuesday afternoon or early on Wednesday. We have a three-day weather window, so we're not sure which direction we'll take upon leaving Bimini, or when we'll go, so filing a float plan with U.S. Customs will be a little difficult, but I think I can be flexible.

Our crossing to the Bahamas has been a few months in the planning, with all the bureaucracy involved with Holly. It's also of no small expense, with the fees involved in regard to Bahamas immigration, not to mention the fuel, so we'll stay over there as long as possible. We'll have phone service, albeit at some extra expense. My biggest concern is being able to get weather predictions. With August comes the beginning of the height of hurricane season, so we might head back by then, we'll just have to see how it goes. We're disappointing some friends that will be passing through Marathon in April and want to see us, but a few days can turn into a few weeks, and we already are staying here longer than we wanted to. They call Marathon the vortex. People come and never leave. We don't want to be those people. Not this time around, at least.

We do plan on being back in Key West by mid-October, but we have to wait until July to see if we have a spot or not. It's doubtful we'll go if we can't get a slip in Key West Bight. We'll keep you posted.

Add your comment:
Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print Feed Feed