Swing Set

Nov 11, 201203:30 PM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

Two Steps Forward...

I've read that "everything on your boat is broken, you just don't know it yet." I am pretty sure this statement is true but am in denial.

But nothing was broken this morning as we left our anchorage up near Fort Myers at the break of dawn, and we were in a very optimistic mood.

Let's go back to last Thursday.... The closing on our condo finally went off, and our hard-earned money that was left from the sale was deposited into our bank account at last. Any celebration that we thought we needed to do was anticlimactic, as we had gotten about as happy as we would be prior to the final act.

Once we confirmed that the wire transfer had indeed taken place, we gathered up Holly and took the dinghy over to the park and went on a walk to our favorite place in Cape Coral, the Family Hardware store, where we bought a few dollars worth of stuff to make our lives here on Swing Set a study in perfection. We got back to the boat late in the afternoon and capped off the day by grilling some spare ribs and steaming some fresh brocolli. Because we had our new batteries in our inverter bank, we then watched some TV for a couple of hours without the noise of the diesel generator in the background.

On Friday morning, Gary called bright and early and invited us to go fishing with him, Judy, Denny and Reggie. We had planned to go to the boat show in Fort Myers but changed our plans because we hadn't seen Denny and Reggie since we left St. Louis. We got picked up in the Grady-White at about 1 p.m., but about an hour before we left the boat, we got a call from our financial planner.

Our scheduled conference call for Monday morning really was too far in the distance to suit me, so we were glad he called. He understood that I was upset, and that is putting it mildly. Without getting too detailed into our affairs, let's just say that we made some major changes in our account and all is well. We also have some plans for the proceeds from the sale of our condo, so we can get that money working for us. Hopefully, it will work better for us than our IRA money is.

We felt better about our financial future as we departed on the fishing trip, but the fish were not about to cooperate and make it too fine of a day. Between the four of us who actually fished, we only caught a few bait fish. I finally gave up and popped a beer, leaving the fresh shrimp for Reggie and Gary to drown. It wasn't too late when we got dropped off at the old floating homestead, but we were gone from the boat for four hours. I was nervous about leaving the boat in the wind we had going on, plus Holly was by herself. We have actually gotten to the point where we don't like to leave our little treasure alone for fear of making her sad. I know, we are sick people.

As Gary and Judy had another couple coming in for the night on Saturday, Rosie and I decided to go ahead and motor up to Ft. Myers for the day to the annual boat show there. We left Bimini Basin plenty early and got to the Fort Myers Yacht Basin before 11 a.m. and were able to nab a free space at their outside wall. The area is a "no wake zone," so we had little wave action to bother us, but the wind was still causing Swing Set to bounce around on the pilings some, but not too bad.

We found out that we could take Holly with us into the show and were happy about that. We put her on her leash, and the three of us browsed around the show, inside and out. Holly marched proudly along right beside us on her leash and didn't seem to be fazed by all of the people. A few asked to pet her, and we heard lots of comments like "Oh, look at that cute puppy!" Holly was in her element.

 

After a couple of hours, we retired back to the boat and sat in the cockpit and just watched the boats traveling on the river and the people on the dock. We were admiring a boat at the dock where we were, and the owner asked if we would like a tour. Yep. The boat is a Gozzard Yacht. The owner helped design it, and it was built 12 years ago in Canada. The design took elements from three yacht builders: Flemming, DeFever and Ocean Alexander. I didn't take pictures, but this 50-foot vessel was the finest boat we had ever been on, in my estimation. Rosie said there were too many stairs. The owner proudly displayed every facet of the boat, and we left impressed. I was going to drill a hole in the bottom of Swing Set and collect the insurance money so we could go boat shopping, but Rosie stopped me.

We visited at the dock with some other folks as we were invited to "happy hour." We spent about an hour chatting with the folks there who live on their boats before we headed to an anchorage across the Caloosahatchee River. This brings us to this morning.

We ate breakfast during our two-hour cruise at daybreak to our intended spot to spend the day at Picnic Island. The wind really picked up by the time we dropped anchor, and we kept slipping. I set our anchor about five times before giving up and moving to the lee side of another island across the bay. A giant wake from a passing vessel in the channel caused us to pull up our anchor yet again. I intended to cross the waterway and anchor on the lee side of another island, only further away from the boat traffic, and we got to a good spot and I dropped the anchor as we were still coasting, something I do when we have a hard time initially setting a hook.

Well, the hook set and set good. The anchor took a bite and the bow dipped down and then I heard a pop. I knew what had happened before even checking, and sure enough, when I brought the anchor line in we had nothing on the end of it but frayed line. I marked the spot, but even in 11 feet of water, I have no desire to go snorkeling in coffee-colored water, or at least I didn't today. I may get up the nerve to dive for our anchor later this week, but in the meantime, we'll make another trip to the Sea and Shore store to get an anchor and another rope/chain rode combo. We're talking about $700 bucks here if we're lucky. If I go back and retrieve our anchor later on, I'll save it for a spare. I'm sure this will happen again. We are just fortunate that our line didn't break during the night, or in a storm.

See? I just turned a negative into a positive. Oh joyous day!

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