Nov 5, 201208:26 AM
Swing Set: Cruising Full Time
Staying Busy In Cape Coral
We have some reasons why posts have been a little sparse lately. One is that, since we are staying in one spot for so long, we don't have much to offer that may be of any interest to anyone, or has nothing to do with our blog subject matter. The other is that our inverter bank of batteries has finally called it quits, so this requires us to start and run the generator to be able to write the blog. The generator is on right now, so we can cook dinner, so here we go...
We were visited by the Florida Marine Patrol last week, and they wanted to check our head system to see if we were flushing the toilet overboard. We had taken the dinghy over to Gary and Judy's place, and we saw them come in and were over at one of the sailboats in the basin here. I took the dinghy back to our boat to fetch my wallet, and they hailed me and asked me to stay where I was. When they came over, they told me that someone had reported an odor in the area and that they were checking for boaters pumping waste overboard and would I mind if they checked our boat.
They asked me what would happen if they put dye in our toilet and flushed it, and I told them that nothing would happen except the toilet waste would go right into our holding tank where it belongs. They did their test and went on their way, thanking me for my cooperation. Our boat neighbor did not fare so well; she got a $275 ticket.
On Halloween, we went to The Dek, where 16-ounce beers were $1.75 and chicken wings were $.25. Pren and Debbie Beauchamp were down from St. Louis, and they met us and the Meinershagens at the Dek. There is a River Bill sticker on the back of the Bud Light sign behind the gang. I don't know how it got there. Cape Coral is full of neat little bars and restaurants to visit. Gary and Judy know them all, as they have been snowbirding here for a few years now. We have no intention on visiting every one of them, however.
We've taken a couple of sightseeing boat rides around the area in our boat, and in Gary and Judy's Grady-White. A week ago, we went to Fort Myers and ate a late lunch at Joe's Crab Shack. While we were there, Rich and Joan from up at Two Branch on the Mississippi called. They were in Punta Gorda and wanted to visit. We had to decline because we didn't plan on sticking around Joe's Crab Shack very long, as we had about a two-hour boat ride back to the basin, so we missed them.
Last week just flew by. We did lots of shopping; well, not really shopping, but going to places to get stuff we needed. I mentioned some of the places we've been to already in the last post, but I think we went to all of them again. I keep thinking of things we need for the boat, and I feel like when we leave Cape Coral, we will be leaving civilization as we know it and we won't be able to get to stores anymore. I know this is not true because we have been able to get everything we need so far, and next week will be six months into our travels. Once you get used to the luxury of having a vehicle, it's a hard habit to break.
One morning last week, I woke up before daybreak and felt like a dinghy ride. Rosie determined that I was nuts and just rolled over when I asked her if she wanted to go along. Holly and I set off on our own, and we rode up the Caloosahatchee River and got to Fort Myers before the sun came up. The ride was invigorating and reminded me why we were doing this.
Our inverter bank of batteries is just four group 31 AGM batteries, and I noticed that the bank was not holding a charge like it used to. The house bank is the same setup, but that bank does not get the abuse that the inverter bank gets. I began to think about replacing the four inverter batteries, plus adding two more for longer inverter use. Group 31 batteries are between $300 and $400 a piece, so this is something I had to think about for a while.
Meanwhile, last weekend, Gary and Judy had some guests passing through on their way to Key West, so we set off on our own on Saturday to Fort Myers Beach. My brother had reminded me of a friend from a long time ago that had a home in Fort Myers Beach, so we decided to take a ride and try to visit him. We happened to get to the entrance to his canal right at the lowest of low tide, and I didn't like the looks of the depth. I felt certain that we would run aground and the charts did not help at all. We turned around and headed for the beach, thinking we might look him up when we leave Cape Coral in a few days.
Here's a mess of boats anchored out in front of The Cottage on Fort Myers Beach where we took the Grady-White a couple of weeks ago. Swing Set is in the middle of the picture, anchored way out there. We brought the dinghy in and took Holly for a beach walk, and then took her into The Cottage, where she was an instant hit. Hardly a woman walked by that didn't want to pet her and talk nice. I'm still talking about Holly.
The sun had already set when we made our way back out to Swing Set. Every other boat was gone, and we rode the three hours back to Bimini Basin in the dark. As I was stringing the dinghy up on the davits, a deck boat came by and purposely made a big wake, causing the dinghy to sway violently in the harness. I yelled sweet things to that boater until his running lights were but small specks in the distance. Some things just feel good.
Yesterday morning, Gary and Judy's guests took to the road, so we picked them up and went sightseeing again. We looked at houses and boats along the waterways at Tarpon Point and Cape Harbor, and saw some real beautiful homes. More interestingly to me was that I found diesel for $4 a gallon at Cape Harbor. After that, we went and anchored out near Picnic Island and just enjoyed the great weather.
This morning, we went to the preliminary closing on our condo at a title company here in Cape Coral, saving us from traveling back to St. Louis. When our buyer closes on Wednesday, the funds will be wired into our savings account and we will be officially homeless. Everything we own will be floating under us on the boat.
After our business at the title company this morning, Gary and Judy took us to El Mambos for breakfast again, our third visit since we have been here, and not our last. We like it.
Today, I also bit the bullet and bought six group 31 marine batteries from Advance Auto, saving a lot of money in the process. We're swapping out the batteries tomorrow.
After getting back to the boat after breakfast, I was all up for reading my Kindle and taking a nap. Rosie was playing with Holly, and she started acting real funny. I mean Holly. I called Tara, our vet back in St. Louis at Affton Animal Clinic, and we both thought Holly may have contracted a bladder infection. Tara located a veterinary hospital in Fort Myers, and Gary offered to take us there, but we knew the process could take several hours and we didn't want to put Gary through it, plus he and Judy were picking up a friend from the airport later in the day and I couldn't guarantee when we would be done at the vet. I called a vet listed closer to where we were, and it was just a few blocks away. We got an appointment, and after waiting for an hour and a half, the vet took a urine sample and found that Holly does have a minor bladder infection.
We got some antibiotics for the infection, but there is nothing we can do about her being possessed by demons, as illustrated in this photo at the Baywood Veterinary Hospital.
Another crises has been averted, it appears. We hope she is better once the series of pills have been taken. The vet thinks she may not be drinking enough water. We knew she wasn't, but we're not sure what to do about it. Maybe we should mix a little bourbon with it.
So, what we had planned to be a relaxing "recoup from the weekend" day turned out to be a full one, and we are beat. Now that it's getting dark early since daylight savings is over, we'll find it hard to stay up late tonight.
If you don't know by now who you are going to vote for in the election tomorrow, please stay home.