Swing Set

Oct 25, 201209:02 AM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

Life In Bimini Basin and Some Good News

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We went fishing with Gary and Judy two days ago, but it was windy and we didn't catch much. We went to Fort Myers Beach and put the Grady-White at anchor just off the beach and took a stroll. The vacationers are starting to fill the beach chairs, and we got tired of seeing the young girls in bikinis. Very tired. We went to a very popular bar right on the beach, and the four of us made some new friends, but none of us are sure we wanted to. It was fun, anyway. The winds have been kicking up fairly good around here, and the ride back was a little bumpy. Hurricane Sandy will have some affect here, although it is staying well off the east coast, but has a large wind field. We'll stay here in this protected basin and won't leave the boat much except when necessary.

What's necessary tonight is celebrating the contract signing on our condo tonight at dinner with Gary and Judy. The real winds aren't supposed to pick up until tomorrow, so we feel confident leaving the boat long enough to have dinner and a few cocktails.

We have visited hardware stores, marine stores, liquor stores, grocery stores, drug stores, book stores, auto parts stores, the license office (twice), pawn shops, pet stores, and more than a couple of restaurants and bars here in Cape Coral, doing our best for the local economy. We're going to West Marine tomorrow to pick up two winches that I ordered to replace the rusting ones on our dinghy davit. I never did like the original ones, and now we have a good reason to replace them. The new ones are made by Fulton and have an enclosed anodized aluminum body. We have one caveat, that we need to replace the nylon strap that comes with them with a stainless-steel, 3/16" cable, something I'm pretty sure we can do. The ends of the davits are equipped with pulleys that only cable can travel through, thus the switch is non-negotiable without a major redo of the davits, and that is not going to happen. I'll post pictures when the work is done. Bet you can't wait.

Notice our new Florida registration numbers on the dinghy. Swing Set is also sporting a Florida registration, good for two years. I just got the numbers on the dinghy on Monday when two Cape Coral marine police came by when I was out visiting neighbors and asked about my life jackets, whether I had any. I said I did, and they were satisfied and started motoring away. "Wait a minute," I said. "Don't you want to see them?"

"OK, lets see them", they said. I proudly showed them the two jackets we keep in the cooler we use for a seat, and then they asked if I had a whistle. I showed them my whistle, and then they asked if my fuel tank was portable. I remarked that it was, and all they said was "OK."

"I've never been asked that one," I said. "What difference does it make?"

"If your tank is built in, you need a fire extinguisher," they answered.

Before they left, I said that we'd been traveling for almost six months and I'd yet to be asked anything by the water patrol and just wanted to be asked something. (This is not entirely true; if you remember, the officers in Mississippi asked about the dinghy registration.)

"Have you been drinking?" they asked, and laughed.

"Um, no, except for orange juice and water. But it's early," I said. They waved goodbye, and I noticed that they got on their radio. Most likely to check my numbers. I like to keep my state and municipal employees busy.

We have some business in the works regarding our bottom paint flaking off. I've been in contact with John Bloch of Bloch Marine, where we had our bottom painted in March before we left. John has been instrumental in getting us in touch with an Interlux representative, who has been out to inspect our boat. We have contacted a local marina and may be scheduling a haul out next week to inspect again and perhaps fix the damage. We aren't sure how much adjustment John will allow us on repainting, but he has agreed to at least pay for a haul out. Things don't always go smoothly when work is done at any marine yard, but John has always stood behind the work they do and, even though we aren't in local waters any longer, John has said that he wants to do something for us. I find this type of behavior rare these days. I'll keep you posted, of course.

So, we'll be busy for the next couple of weeks getting our condo sold and working on the boat, but we're in a good place for it. There must be a Title Company on every corner down here in Cape Coral.

When the humidity drops some, we'll continue waxing the boat, and once we get our new winches for the dinghy davit, we'll get them installed, too. There is always lots to do, but we don't let ourselves get overwhelmed. And by "overwhelmed" I mean "overworked." We save time to read a good book occasionally, and sometimes just do nothing at all.

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