Nov 17, 201201:34 PM
Swing Set: Cruising Full Time
Final Days in Bimini Basin
Like all good things, our stay in Bimini Basin will draw to a close. Our plan is to head south on Monday afternoon, or Tuesday morning at the latest. It's not getting crowded in here, but we have had the addition of three more sailboats in as many days.
Interestingly enough, we are becoming known around these parts, so it might be time to leave just on that account. On Thursday afternoon, while Rosie and I were enjoying some late afternoon sun, a pontoon boat came by and the couple on board waved hello and pulled alongside Swing Set. It turns out that Art and Nancy Leefers were from Grafton, Ill, and had found our blog months ago. They were just out sightseeing in the rented pontoon and saw Swing Set as they entered Bimini Basin. They keep their big boat at Grafton Harbor, and we know some of the same people, and even admitted it. They have a winter home in Ft. Myers Beach, but one day would like to do what we are doing, whatever that is.
On Friday morning, just after breakfast, I got all my stuff out to change the oil in our Z/F transmissions. I started our engines up and ran both transmissions in and out of gear a few times to circulate the 30-weight oil in them and went below to pump the fluid out of the starboard tranny. Nothing would flow through my recently purchase drill pump, so I methodically put away all of my materials for the oil change and packaged up the pump, with the intention of returning it to the hardware store and buying something more suitable for extracting the fluid from our transmissions. I got everything put away and then decided to read the directions. Yes, I fully admit that sometimes I'm just an idiot. It clearly states on the package, and on the packages of all the other pumps I viewed at two different hardware stores later, that the oil has to be warm for the pump to transfer the thicker fluid. I know this from my experience with our onboard oil changer for the generator and main engines, but somehow this fact escaped me when it came time to change the transmission fluid. I'll plan this to do after a short trip some other day.
We left Holly on the boat and took a walk to the grocery store to pick up a few things in order to have a full larder once we head south. In the grocery store, we played cart tag for a minute with a fella that said he recognized our boat from the basin. Jim introduced himself and said "You're from that boat Swing Set, right? I follow your blog and have a condo right across from where you guys are anchored, and you waved to me and my neighbor when we were sitting outside yesterday afternoon."
How about that? We chatted a little about our upcoming plans, plus a little about some of the more unkempt boats that call Bimini Basin home, then we finished our shopping trip. When we got back to the boat, there was a small package on our deck chairs. It was a present from one of our boat neighbors, Larry and Linda, in the form of two neckerchiefs that Linda made for Holly.
Linda likes to sew, and when they spent five years on their sailboat in Marathon, Linda made similar attire for all of the dogs that would visit the mooring field there. Isn't that the most thoughtful thing? Holly is showing off one of them in the picture above. I swore we wouldn't put clothes on our dog, but these things are just too cute. Cheryl, the bunny suit will stay in storage at least until Easter, then we'll see. Thanks to Larry and Linda!
While Rosie was putting away our groceries, we got an email from Jim's neighbor, Paul. He was the one sitting out with Jim that we waved to on Thursday. Paul just wanted to say "hi" and told us he would keep an eye on Swing Set for us when we take off in the dinghy. He had read in the blog about our anchor slipping the other day. It's nice to know someone is keeping an eye out for us, but from now on Rosie will have to make sure she has some clothes on when she goes up on the fly bridge to turn off the anchor light in the morning. At about 6:30. Haha, Jim, I guess you'll be up early tomorrow!
Yesterday was a bit blustery and cloudy, and we were just chillin' out in the salon reading our Kindles, when Gary called and asked us to go to The Dek for happy hour with him and Judy. I was trying to overcome an upset stomach and really had no desire to drink beer, but sometimes sacrifices have to be made.
I was feeling a little better by the time Judy took this picture, but the four pork sliders I ate during happy hour got their revenge several hours later. I say "pork," but at the lightening low price of $.25 per slider, the meat could have been anything...or anybody.
After happy hour, we retired back to the comfort of Gary and Judy's condo for a couple more beers for a nightcap. Gary tried to entice me with a third beer, but I have willpower at times, and I resisted the attempt, however valiant, on his part. We were back to the boat by 8 o'clock or so, and Holly was beside herself with joy in seeing us.
Rosie "played with Holly" and I took to my Kindle. I'm reading The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and can hardly put it down. Saturday is forecasting to be another blustery day, but even if it isn't, I think we'll stay put in the basin and have a beer-free day. We want to try and drag for our anchor again over near Picnic Island before we leave, but that will have to wait until tomorrow. At least, that's how I feel about it right now. But things change, and sometimes we let them.