Swing Set

Nov 5, 201208:26 AM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

Staying Busy In Cape Coral

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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.

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