Swing Set

Sep 3, 201204:41 PM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

Lower Mobile Bay to the Intracoastal Waterway

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We got an early start on Sunday morning at Dog River Marina. Engine oil was changed on both main engines as well as the generator. My earlier decision to buy two 5-gallon plastic buckets was a good one. The waste oil all fit in both buckets, plus two 1-gallon empty oil containers I had stowed in the engine room. Now, we have the four empty 2.5-gallon oil containers to use next time. If we keep buying oil in the 2.5-gallon jugs, we'll just keep trading them off. There are places to keep the empty jugs. We've decided to not haul around all of our oil anymore. It's weight we don't need to be carrying; we'll just get our oil when we need it, unless we plan on being somewhere where a trip to a big box store or auto parts is impossible.

I cleaned the two K&N air filters that fit our Walker AirSeps. The engines rev up fine and appear to be running fine after the oil change. The test will be when we head out and the engines are under load.The port engine is still losing a little coolant, to the tune of about two cups of coolant for 400 hours. I don't think I'll lose any sleep over it.

While I was toiling away, changing the oil and such (I also spliced a new thimble into our extra anchor line where I had to cut it), Rosie was finishing up all the laundry. We both finished our tasks and then took showers and had lunch. There was lots of boats cruising up and down the river as people were enjoying the Labor Day weekend. The boating around here hasn't been too good lately with the hurricane passing through, so boaters were catching up.

We dropped the dinghy, gathered up Holly and took a ride. First, we went up the Dog River for a few miles and then turned around and went out into Mobile Bay. The ride was a little rough out in the bay in the dinghy, so we headed back in and cruised through a couple of marinas. We saw some very beautiful vessels and some not so much. We wonder why anyone would have a boat that they just let go to ruin from non-use.

We parked the dinghy back behind Swing Set, grabbed a couple of beers and just sat in our cockpit and watched the boat traffic idle by. I made use of the dock hose to cool off periodically, as the heat was stifling. The river where we were docked is a no wake zone, and we were right on the channel, a perfect spot for people watching. Nearly everyone waved as they went by; in fact, the boaters waved too when we were out in the dinghy. It was like everybody was spending the first time ever on their boats. One thing though, when we were sitting on the boat, a woman from one of the other boats docked there walked by and as we said hello, she says, "Y'all sure picked a strange time to come south, being hurricane season and all." I was thinking that we were no stranger than all the hundreds of other boaters out buzzing around the area, and the ten of thousands of boaters all through the south. Why can't we join in on the fun?

At 4 p.m., music started playing at a bar just across the river from us called The River Shack. When we passed by it earlier, we could see they had a long dock out front and a big open-air bar and the band was "outside" more or less. We put Holly away and took the dinghy over.

Swing Set is docked way in the background, just about in the middle of this picture. This is a busy waterway just as you come under the bridge into Dog River.

We had a good seat, and the band was playing songs we liked; no wonder, the lead singer had grey hair and most of the band members looked like old hippies. The name of the band was August, and they seemed to have a good following.

We had a "so so" dinner, but we had a prime seat next to the view of the water and a nice breeze was cooling us off, and so were the ice cold Bud Lights. Makes me want one now. We were back at the boat before dark, and you'd have thought we had been gone for a week the way Holly wiggled and squirmed, trying to lick our faces when we picked her up. We played with her until we all got tired and went to bed early, anticipating an early morning departure.

We said goodbye to Ricky at the gas dock after a good breakfast and headed out into Mobile Bay as the sun was just poking out. I took this picture with our iPad and posted it on Facebook. We got some response from folks we never hear from on Facebook, and everyone was wishing us well.

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