Swing Set

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

March 2013


Back in Business

After not having rain for quite some time, it's natural that on the morning we were to have the boat hauled at the Marathon Boatyard it would be raining. But we arrived at the scheduled time of 8 a.m. and waited patiently for Swing Set to get hauled out. Two hours later, we were in the sling. I purposely left the bottom alone for the last month, not scrubbing it or scraping any barnacles. I wanted to see how well our bottom paint was holding up. In my opinion, it wasn't. None of the running gear had any paint left on it at all. A great deal of barnacles had found a home on the hull, and there was plenty of plant life to go along with it. We'd taken Swing Set out three times and had run it up to speed, which I thought would have sloughed off the bottom growth, but...

Posted at 08:31 AM | Permalink | Comments


Wrapping Up a Month in Marathon

We had some very calm days at the beginning of last week, so we took the dinghy out to Molassas Key on Wednesday and were joined by a few other boats too. Some folks were watching something in the water that turned out to be a small nurse shark, maybe only two or three feet long, but it was still the first shark we've seen since we've gotten to Florida. I count this as a good thing. We let Holly swim around some in the shallow water, but she still couldn't touch bottom. We can tell when she is really enjoying herself because she doesn't make an attempt to climb up our legs or claw up the side of the dinghy right away, but swims to and fro, or around in circles. Our repaired wind generator continues to operate. SALT has informed us they're working...

Posted at 11:04 AM | Permalink | Comments


More Marathon News

You last heard news about our newly installed wind generator circuit board, and there were some "minor details" that needed to be ironed out. Hardly. I ran a rudimentary test suggested to me by Chris from SALT and was not able to come to any conclusion, so then I started looking into the paperwork that came with the new circuit board and I found that the wrong boards were sent from E Marine in Fort Lauderdale. It appeared that SALT ordered the correct boards, the ones for our Air-X, but boards for the Air Breeze were sent. No one at SALT caught the error, and thus the wrong board was put in our unit. They look identical, and everything lines up; however, the LED is green on the Air Breeze generator but red on the Air-X, and the circuitry is different. So what? Well,...

Posted at 10:06 AM | Permalink | Comments


How About a Boat Ride!

The annual Seafood Festival was held in Marathon last weekend. It's billed as the biggest event in the Keys, second only to Fantasy Fest, that's held in the fall in Key West. My experience in regard to any festival is that if the event is held behind fences and gates, and there is an admission charge, it can't be any fun. Our friends from up north came in on Saturday, but after a long travel day, they decided to forgo the festival and rest up. Lucky them. We walked over to the Seafood Festival at around 3 p.m., paid our $5 each to enter the "compound" and took it all in. In a matter of minutes, we saw all the vendor booths, asked someone passing by where they had gotten their beer and made a bee-line over to the one beer tent. One. If a festival of any...

Posted at 09:13 AM | Permalink | Comments


It's All Coming Together

We went to the Bahamas seminar last Wednesday and did get some useful information, as well as meeting some other boaters here in the harbor who we've only heard on the cruiser's net in the morning but haven't met yet. There were at least 50 people at the seminar, some who have been planning on "making the jump" for years and haven't done it yet anbd some who are going in just a few weeks or so. We hope to be in the latter group. We were happy to learn that we at least had all of the equipment that is usually recommended for the trip, plus some. We are also on the right track as far as what we need for paperwork when we visit the Bahamas Customs and Immigration Office, plus a valuable tip in regard to how to list everything aboard the boat, which is one...

Posted at 09:51 AM | Permalink | Comments


More "Life on the Ball"

 For the Florida Keys, the weather lately has been chilly. There was a lot of rain last Sunday, but the inside of our boat stayed nice and dry thanks to the repair I did a few weeks ago. We picked up a few ingredients at Winn-Dixie on our way to Advance Auto to pick up some engine oil I had ordered, so that we could make a big pot of ham 'n' beans, or in this case, Spam 'n' beans. I had soaked a half package of great northern beans in water and some baking soda overnight, so I rinsed them and put 'em in a small pot and got them to a boil for a few minutes. (The baking soda is supposed to help get the gas out of the beans, or reduce it at any rate. No one here wants to mess with the tried and true.) Then, I rinsed them again and put them in a bigger...

Posted at 01:47 PM | Permalink | Comments


A Slice of Life at Marathon City Marina

The last six days have just flown by here in Marathon. We had several goals when we arrived here, and we've accomplished a few and have high hopes for others. The big thing was getting Holly's rabies shot. We knew getting the appointment wouldn't pose a problem, so calling the vet on Monday was not high on the list, but calling the wind generator repair people was. The promise of a Wednesday visit left us optimistic that this other big goal of getting the wind generator fixed so we would have it for travel to the Bahamas would be met before weeks end. Wheels also began turning for a potential haul-out by month's end and getting new bottom paint on Swing Set's hull, something we could put off, but we need to wait a month after Holly's rabies shot before...

Posted at 09:44 AM | Permalink | Comments