Swing Set

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time


Key West Again

On our last day in Boot Key Harbor, last Sunday, we took the dinghy over to Sombrero Beach to try out our beach umbrella setup with the rod holder I installed near the bow of our Mercury dinghy, on the bulkhead of the anchor holder. Rosie and Holly sat in the shade while I completed the overdue job of cleaning the dinghy with the Formula 88 Degreaser that we bought at Home Depot. Outside of some subtle mold spots on the dinghy, it looks close to new. With my work completed, we took a slow cruise over to Sunset Grille for a late lunch. Even though it's the slow season, the pool was full of kids and adults, and we stayed for most of the afternoon, getting back to Swing Set before sunset. We left Boot Key Harbor at the break of dawn on Monday morning and had an...

Posted at 09:33 AM | Permalink | Comments


Familiar Boot Key Harbor in Marathon on Vaca Key

Our first night back in Marathon was very calm and peaceful. The harbor is protected from most any wind as it is, but on Monday evening it was especially calm, but it was also hot. We'll be happy to get to Key West and turn on our air conditioning. In the Bahamas, I had made a repair to the seat in our dinghy. The thin fiberglass forward seat had begun to crack, so I made a truss to run along the bottom of the seat to give it some support, but the seat itself was beginning to de-laminate, so the damage continued. The material I needed couldn't be found in Miami, at least in places we could walk to, so early on Tuesday morning, we took a walk to K-Mart and Home Depot in Marathon to pick up some things on our list. I bought some plastic trim board at Home Depot, an...

Posted at 08:44 AM | Permalink | Comments


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...

Posted at 08:40 AM | Permalink | Comments


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

If you've been keeping up with our blog, you know that we've been having some issues with our main engines overheating. While in the Bahamas, both raw-water pump impellers were replaced, and this improved the operating temperature of the starboard engine, but when the impeller on the port engine was replaced some months later, the high operating temperature was not solved on that engine. Therefore, we "limped" home to the U.S. at our normal cruising speed of nine miles per hour. I began to focus on the heat exchangers on our engines and made a call to Key West Engines to verify a few things, then I began a mission to clean the heat exchangers on our engines. We made no less than five trips to Shell Lumber and Hardware in Miami to purchase what I needed to CIP...

Posted at 09:27 AM | Permalink | Comments


Making Ourselves at Home in the Grove

We met with John and Jen Ziegler last Friday night at Scotty's Landing. Scotty's is dog friendly, so we brought Holly, and John and Jen brought their poodle, Bella. Wagering was light on the possibility of a dog fight; in fact, it was a non-event. Bella and Holly largely ignored each other, but happily barked at anyone passing by. The humans had fun, too. We hadn't seen Jen in 10 years, but we saw John two years ago before leaving St. Louis. As always, we reminisced about old times and what public school was like for us in a suburb of St. Louis. On Saturday morning, we left Grove Harbor Marina and found our mooring ball next door at the Dinner Key Mooring Facility. We wanted to get a pump-out on our way out to the mooring, but the pump-out station at the dock was...

Posted at 02:54 PM | Permalink | Comments

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