Swing Set

Sep 12, 201309:27 AM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

The Key to Having a Good Idea is to Have Lots of Ideas

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Rosie and I put all our tools away, then we took showers. Next, we popped a couple of beers and left the mooring field. I was in no hurry for potential disappointment.

We had some packages at the marina office, and we had to fill our water tank, so the next stop was the Dinner Key Marina. Rosie made the trek up to the office to retrieve our packages while Holly and I filled our water tank.

Finally, we were headed out to Biscayne Bay. Both engines were warmed up, and I put the coals to them. We ran up and down Biscayne Bay without any temperature alarms, and I verified our panel gauges with the engine room gauges, and we were well within proper operating temperatures on both engines. Rosie and I gave each other a high five.

I still think we could be running at cooler temperatures, so I'm going to make sure we have no restrictions in any of the heat exchangers in the way of errant broken off zincs, but for the time being, Swing Set is running, and running well.

I had been thinking about the little sunshade umbrella that we bought to use on the dinghy so Holly wouldn't have to sit in the sun all day, and was wondering why she got all the shade and we had to endure the sun all day.

I searched Amazon, and then West Marine, and then some other umbrella manufacturers, and would up ordering a non-corrosive umbrella from Amazon to use on the beach, or in the rod holders on the dinghy, so that we could all have some shade when we took the dinghy to the beach.

What we bought has an aluminum pole and nylon ribs so that nothing will rust. While the umbrella was being shipped, I thought of an additional use for it on the boat, as you can see from the photo.

It always happens that our cockpit faces the setting sun in the afternoon for some reason, and the heat is unbearable at times. My idea was to use the umbrella as shown in the picture, so that we could get a little more shade in the cockpit than our small overhang on the flybridge provides. The rope keeps the umbrella post from turning when the umbrella is in the tilted position.

I can envision our friends in a raft up back in Missouri using an umbrella like this to provide some shade as they gather behind their boats having a cold one.

So, today was a good day. After our trial run, we cruised to downtown Miami. Not many boaters were out, because today was overcast all day, but we became a little more familiar with the area. We took a spin through the other Municipal Marina and saw a boat similar to Swing Set at a dock, surrounded by much larger boats, and we were reminded of just how small of a boat we are living on. And we don't care.

This little tub may be small in comparison to some of the other boats we are running across, but dockage is charged by the foot, and a bigger boat just means more cleaning, not to mention more fuel to make it go. The most important thing is that, with each maintenance issue that we're able to do on our own, we put another notch in our belt of independence, and although total independence from outside sources will never be accomplished, just getting closer to being "off the grid" is very satisfying.

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