Swing Set

Sep 23, 201308:40 AM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

Goodbye Miami

We spent a total of two weeks in the Dinner Key Mooring Facility, and even though the main reason we stayed so long was because we wanted to see a friend who was coming in to town, our visit was not a total waste. Our friend had just purchased a home in Hollywood, Fla., and as it turned out, he and his family were too busy getting the house in order to take the time out to see us. We get that.

What we did learn was that we wouldn't entertain the idea of staying at the Dinner Key Mooring Facility again, unless it was for a day or two. It was just too rough there. We do like the marina there, and we could stay there for a while sometime. As we visit areas, we make a mental list of places we would like to visit again, maybe for a longer time. Coconut Grove is one of those places.

I also replaced the vinyl on the inside of our transom door with a nice piece of Starboard. I cut it to fit with my jigsaw and then sanded the edges with my orbital sander. Looks better than new.

We spent our last weekend "in Miami" at Elliot Key, on the southern end of Biscayne Bay. Lots of boaters gather there, and some other spots, on the weekends. We're used to the party atmosphere at Missouri's Lake of the Ozark's, or even our home port on the Alton Pool of the Mississippi River. We weren't impressed.

What is hard for us is to constantly be the "newcomers" in every place we visit. We need more than a few days to make an impression. Make that a "good impression."

Yesterday afternoon we left Elliot Key and made our way south. We didn't know how far we were going to get, but the afternoon was very nice, we had a pleasant breeze on our bow, and we were just enjoying the ride. 

After a couple of hours of cruising, we picked a spot on the northern end of Key Largo. We had shelter from the wind and spent a quiet night after a quick dinner of pasta.

This morning, we waited until a squall passed us, then we followed the Intracoastal Waterway for eight hours until we found ourselves back in Marathon. The ICW is shallow in some spots, and narrow, but we had the tide working to our favor and made the trip without bumping bottom.

As you can see, there is not much to report. We'll be spending more time in marinas in the next few months, and the blog posts will be less frequent, but I could tell I hadn't posted anything recently because I started getting emails in the last few days with folks wanting a blog. So, here you are.

One thing for sure is that it's HOT! The nights in the Bahamas were usually nice and cool, at least in the mid 70s. But since we've gotten back to Florida, the lows are closer to 80 degrees. We'll be happy to plug into shore power and run our air conditioning when we get to Key West in a week or so.

We have dental appointments here in Marathon this week, and I need to change oil and repair the seat on our dinghy. There's always something, but one thing is that our engines are still running great after I cleaned our heat exchangers.

Another project due is to replace our hot water heater, but I'll do that in Key West. One issue is that I need to take apart the exhaust hose to access the water heater, and that may permit water to enter the bilge from the exhaust line. I bought a plug at Home Depot that plumbers use to seal a pipe when they are working on it. The plug is for a four-inch pipe, but it gets inflated with air and will expand to six inches. That should be enough to seal the exhaust outlet on the starboard engine and allow me to take the inside exhaust hose apart. I'll fit it into the underwater exhaust port and inflate it with my Hookahmax.

When we left Key Largo this morning, Rosie piled some pork chops that we had bought in the Bahamas into the crock pot, dumped a can of vegetable soup in there and let it slow cook all day. She made a pot of yellow rice, and we had just about the best dinner you could have with little fuss. It was great!

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