Swing Set

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

October 2012


Some Maintenance Issues

We've reached a resolution with John Bloch of Bloch Marine back in St. Louis, I believe satisfactorily, to everyone involved. I had originally desired an adjustment to our bill from our bottom paint job back in March because for some reason some paint has been flaking off and we didn't want to bear the cost of a new paint job so soon after just paying off the last paint job. Pulling the boat and pressure washing the bottom in order to inspect the rest of the hull would remove most of some good paint still on the boat, and not pressure washing could dry out any growth I may have missed when I scraped the hull a few weeks ago. And the growth could dry up and peel off, taking paint along with it. Given the extent of the flaking, John decided to adjust our bill and give us a...

Posted at 12:08 PM | Permalink | Comments


Life In Bimini Basin and Some Good News

Let's get the good news out of the way; we signed a sales contract on our condo back in St. Louis via DocuSign on the computer. We've had our condo for sale for over three years, and while this is good news, we are settling on a price $80,000 less than where we started at, and the price includes all of our furniture, electronics, dishes and pots and pans...you name it. But the sale will be a big weight off our shoulders and will lessen our outlay every month, making our fixed income go farther. We have also been somewhat restricted in our travel due to not knowing when we might get an offer and have to be in a convenient area to close on the sale, something we will do here in Cape Coral in less than two weeks. We consider ourselves very lucky, as Cape Coral as a...

Posted at 09:02 AM | Permalink | Comments


Finally in Cape Coral

We left Englewood only an hour into high tide, and I was a little worried that we wouldn't have enough water to get out to the channel, but I changed the course that I took coming in to our anchorage and found a much deeper route, so we had no problem. The clear water soon gave way to a brackish brown as we neared Charlotte Harbor but again cleared up once we crossed the Boca Grande Pass. We were impressed with all of the recreational boat traffic that we began to see as we slipped by Pine Island, Captiva Pass and Sanibel Island. We were half-heartedly looking for an anchorage for the night, as we thought that we'd wait until our friends Gary and Judy were home for at least one night before we showed up and started disrupting their lives, but once we saw Fort Myers and...

Posted at 09:27 AM | Permalink | Comments


Longboat Key To Englewood

We had intentions of heading south on Friday morning, but we noticed boaters congregating around a rather large low spot at the tip of Jewfish Key, and when the tide went out, a small island was visible which attracted more boaters. I figured this spot would be a busy one on the weekend, so we decided to stay and see how it went. We took Holly out into the shallow water, four inches or so, and it was funny to see her try to walk/swim her way around, pawing at anything she would see crawling on the sand bottom. We met some other boaters, and they all confirmed that come the weekend there would be lots of boats lining the small island. We had a good hook-in on Friday night when we listened to the Cardinal baseball broadcast and heard the Cardinals beat the Washington...

Posted at 09:30 AM | Permalink | Comments


Tampa Bay to Longboat Key

Rosie met Lorraine at 7 a.m. on Tuesday morning for her trip to the clinic, where Lorraine is the medical director. She couldn't resist a tear or two as she placed Holly in a travel crate marked "animal rescue." No telling what was going through Holly's mind. Lorraine said she barked for a couple of blocks and then she was quiet for the rest of the day. For my part, I mixed up the mold eliminator that I had bought at Home Depot and brushed it on the dinghy according to the directions. I let it set for the directed three hours, and during this time I could tell it was going to work. I rinsed it off with the hose at the required time, and all the mold spots had disappeared! Rosie and I had lunch and then took a dinghy ride around the "neighborhood,"...

Posted at 04:50 PM | Permalink | Comments


Tampa Bay Boating

On Saturday morning, we left Lands End Marina and Circles and used Google Maps to find the home of a "friend of a friend," where we were invited to dock our boat for a few days. Once we got the boat tied up and plugged in, Doug and Jeanne showed up on their Jet Ski and we headed out to Beer Can Island for the afternoon. There wasn't a whole lot of people out. I think the weather scared most of the boaters away. But we had fun and got way too much sun. We found our way back to the boat by late afternoon and had about four hours of rest and relaxation before Doug and Jeanne were due to pick us up by car to go watch the OSU and Nebraska game at a local bar. Lots of folks were at Bobby's Bistro that had moved down from Ohio, some we haven't seen in...

Posted at 03:21 PM | Permalink | Comments


Tampa Bay and Apollo Beach

We pulled up anchor on a bright, sunny Friday morning and set a course for Apollo Beach. I took this picture of the famous Don Cesar Hotel in St. Petersburg as we cruised by. (It's the big pink building.) We heard its been renovated. We're happy when landmarks are kept up and not left to decay. Our route to Apollo Beach was only 23 miles, but we decided to take a detour and travel up the western side of Tampa Bay to check out the Vinoy Renaissance Hotel and Marina. As we were tooling along at our normal 8 to 9 miles per hour, the boat in the picture above showed up right next to us with no courtesy call on the radio or honk on the horn. The captain waved, but I would have liked it better had he given us notice. The wake he was throwing was a huge one, but...

Posted at 03:10 PM | Permalink | Comments


A Few Minutes in St. Petersburg

 I sure got a lot of response from my last less-than-optimistic blog! Not to worry, no one is giving up. I just was in the mood to provide a balance to our mostly positive experiences, and as I have been reminded, mentioning "balance" and "us" is usually not done in the same sentence. It rained all day while we were in our anchorage near Madeira Beach. The water was cloudy and not very inviting. There were lots of abandoned boats sprinkled around in the harbor, and the dismal surroundings could get to nearly anyone. The rain kept us from visiting our neighbors in the dinghy, as we had wanted to. My one reservation was that most of them kept their boats in a deplorable condition, and it may be unfair to characterize, but a boat's condition tells a...

Posted at 03:26 PM | Permalink | Comments


Not All Blue Skies

We are on our second day here in our Madeira Beach anchorage. I can't tell you a whole lot about it because we haven't left the boat yet, and we haven't met our neighbors in here yet either. The three boats in the picture are abandoned. The one in the middle is washed up in the mangroves, and the other two sailboats are now home to a great number of sea gulls and pelicans, having been vessels holding a better future for their owners at some point in the past. We are currently socked-in by rain, with no let up in sight for this day. Not a big deal because the temperatures are cooler, and even though it's raining, there is no associated winds to contend with. Our first night here was a restless one. The winds had us bucking around, and the noise of the waves...

Posted at 03:40 PM | Permalink | Comments


Tarpon Springs to Madiera Beach

We made the best of our last day in Crystal River by taking Holly in the dinghy to the beach and then over to the Three Sisters Spring for one last time. I also decided, after a good tip from our friend Don at Lake of the Ozarks, to get a new phone instead of a new camera. My old iPhone 3 was acting up, and there is no flash on the camera on that old model, plus the auxiliary jack quit working months ago. Don knew we were headed for Tarpon Springs and located an AT&T store there, so I called them, and after considering the options, had them get an iPhone 4S into the store for me to check out. The 4S is a nice phone and can be gotten at a good discount right now. The camera has a flash, and the best thing about it was that the same connection cords for the 3G can be used for...

Posted at 03:52 PM | Permalink | Comments