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Swing Set

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

02/26/13

Back in Marathon with a Laundry List

I'll get a couple of things out of the way first: The wind generator worked for a couple of days and then quit again, so we're going to embark on a plan to get it fixed. On a successful note, I put on my snorkel gear on and quickly found our grill that I had sent flying into Newfound Harbor by accident. On Friday and Saturday, we spent some time visiting other boaters on Picnic Island. For the most part, the people we met were nice. Two couples from Canada waded over to meet Holly. We talked for a bit, and one of the things we talked about was Little Palm Island Resort. The one fella told us how they visited one time, and two shots and two appetizers came to a total of almost $300, and dinner was typically $500 and up. To spend the night there ran over $3,000. You can...

Posted at 05:07 AM | Permalink | Comments

02/22/13

We Emerge Victorious, For Now

The wind and rain has let up finally. Three days ago, we pulled up anchor and tried to get into Dolphin Marina to get our water tanks topped off. I quit using the water maker because, without the port wind generator working, the power drain was too much on our house bank of batteries. Toward the largely unmarked northern end of the channel leading to the narrow secondary channel into the marina (which is marked) we began to stir up sand, so we turned around and got away unscathed, and decided to learn more about entering Dolphin Marina before we make another attempt. We also didn't go at high tide, which would have helped. If you read the comments on our previous posts, you already know that we cruised over to Little Palm Island to get water. Active Captain indicates...

Posted at 08:00 AM | Permalink | Comments

02/19/13

Prophets Come in Many Forms

Remember that fella we met in Key West at the Conch Republic Bar? The one who started his conversation with me by saying that our wind generators were noisy and were going to break? Yes. Him. It turns out I should probably go back and find him and anoint his holiness with adulation and praise, for he is apparently a prophet worthy of being the center of a new religion, because his prediction has come true. Our portside wind generator is broken. The portside wind generator started "braking" for no apparent reason when we left Key West 12 days ago, but I suspected it was because our house bank of batteries was just fully charged and the generators don't supply a charge when the voltage is at an acceptable level. Then, over the weekend, when winds were blowing...

Posted at 06:04 AM | Permalink | Comments

02/15/13

Back In Newfound Harbor and Defying Logic

The islands north of U.S. 1 in the lower keys are abundant, but the routes through them are shallow and meandering, and there are plenty of good anchorages to protect boaters from wind that may arise from just about any direction. Tarpon Belly Key We left Johnston Key after spending four nights there and moved just a few miles east to Tarpon Belly Key. The wind protection wasn't any better, but we wanted a change of scenery, and we found it. Tarpon Belly Key used to be the site of a shrimp farming operation many years ago that didn't pan out. Since I'm not a historian, nor a travel guide, I'll dispense with the facts about it and suggest you peruse the Internet if you want to find out more about it. One thing remarkable is that, due to its historical...

Posted at 08:27 AM | Permalink | Comments

02/12/13

Time for a Scenery Change

This is the fourth dawn breaking over Swing Set here in Jewfish Basin, and it looks like rain. We haven't had any significant rain since we were near Everglades City. When was that? On Sunday afternoon, we stayed on the boat. I had secured the dinghy, and we deployed one of our auxiliary anchors for a Bahamian Moor. This view to the East shows the whitecaps here in the basin. Out in the Gulf, the waves were much bigger. We have a rule to not leave the boat when the wind picks up, in order to be on hand for evasive action, and we will adhere to this rule even if it means missing out on social activities. We really dodged a bullet when our anchor dragged on Sunday morning. It was entirely my fault and could have been avoided had I put out enough scope, but I let...

Posted at 02:55 PM | Permalink | Comments

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