Swing Set

Oct 8, 201203:21 PM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

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 30 years. Ed and Peggy drove down from Lutz, Fla., but most of the others lived in Apollo Beach, some of them living in homes that Doug had built for them over the years.

Ron and Lorraine Ellwood were there, too, and Doug and Jeanne had invited them and us to go boating on Sunday in their Grady-White walkaround fishing boat. So, early on Sunday morning, we hooked up this gigantic 272 fishing boat to Doug and Jeanne's SuperCab and headed to a boat ramp near the entrance to Tampa Bay on the Manatee River.

We had a great day of boating, and we visited Passage Key, a fun little island out in the middle of nowhere. It was fun being a passenger in someone else's boat for a change. Lorraine is a veterinarian, and we were discussing the fact that Holly still had some of her puppy teeth, so Lorraine offered to pick Holly up on Tuesday morning on her way to work, pull her puppy teet, and return with her at the end of the day. It was an offer we couldn't pass up, but it meant staying at the dock we were in for a couple more days than we had planned.

We had a day to kill on Monday, so I decided to make the most of it. The rollers on our salon door have been needing to be replaced, but I didn't know how to do it, even after seeing some instructional material on Google. Doug not only builds homes, he's the landlord and handyman on all the properties he owns, so he knew just how to take the door apart to replace the rollers.

Once I learned that I had to take the bottom rail off of the door frame to access the rollers, it was a piece of cake. Doug came to pick me up and first we went to his door and window supplier to see if they had the rollers and to get a stainless-steel cap to install over the aluminum rail that the door had been rolling on for over 16 years and had some "bumps" in it. I found out about the rail back when we were in Tellico Lake but had forgotten about it. I still would have wanted to replace the rollers at the same time I installed the rollers.

They had the rail but no rollers, and I began to think I'd have to order them and have them sent somewhere, something that I didn't want to do since I had the door apart already. I had had to take it apart to see what the rollers looked like in the first place.

We went to Home Depot, and they had the rollers hanging on the rack! While Doug was getting some electrical supplies, I loaded up my arms with all the stuff I've had on my "hardware" list for months.

The door was repaired and installed in just a few minutes of returning to the boat...one thing off my list of bigger projects that had been hanging over my head.

Since we were staying until Wednesday morning anyway, we were invited to a birthday party on Wednesday night with the Ohio folks again. Why not? We squared it away with the fella that got the dock for us, and he came by so we could give him some money to get to the owner of the dock for the electric we were using.

Tonight, we are staying in at the boat to rest up. Tomorrow, we'll spend the day in a nervous wreck until Holly is safely returned to us, but we know Lorraine will take good care of her.

We've been having a lot of fun around here for the last few days, and more than one person asked if we were going to set down roots. We answer that it still gets too cold here in the winter and we never get any dispute about that, so heading south is still our plan. Our sights are set on Cape Coral, where Gary and Judy from St. Louis will be arriving in about 10 days. We'll have to let them get things in order once they get back to their condo, but then we'll meet up with them probably by the end of the month and see what kind of trouble we can get into down there.

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