Friday, May 15, 2020

Not ours anymore

There's a saying in the boating world, that the happiest days of a boater life is the day he buys the boat and the day he sells it.

This week we closed on the sale of Cat-n-Dogs. I'm thoroughly crushed. I really loved the boat. For a while we thought we might keep her and move her up north where we could do summer vacations cruising the great lakes while wintering inQuest on the gulf and Atlantic. Alas it's not to be.

The new owners are scuba divers and wanted an "outting" boat for long weekends or a couple of weeks of cruising. She'll do that well. She's been vetted.

The last time I took her out was for her sea trial for these buyers. It was just a quick out-and-about kind of cruise in the Sarasota Bay. We took her wide open for about 5 minutes, which should have been fine, but on of the engines overheated. Later we discovered her running gear was fouled with growth (barnacles, worms, whatnot). We had her cleaned up and did another run a couple of weeks later (different pilot, though, not me) which she passed with flying colors.

There there it is, the real end of the blog. She took us on quite an adventure. I hope the next owners have similar experiences.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Seriously, the end...

Well, the caveat is that we haven't sold the boat yet, so there may be other adventures that await her.

In the meantime, I have my new blog up and running. If you want to follow our current travels (which are on hold until some upgrades are done) you can find it here.

She wears the yellow burgee. At least for now.
We've had a NEMA system that tracked various data, like our speed, our pitch (front and back up and down) and roll (side to side up and down). It gets displayed in a graph; blue is speed, green is pitch, and red is roll.

Below is how that data looks from the gulf crossing. You can see that when we slowed down (and it was rough, which is why we did) the pitch and roll worsened. The peak on the red was over 10 degrees on either side. Once we could speed up, things calmed down. 

Saturday, December 14, 2019

St. Petersburg to Longboat Key (The End)

(Postdated, since we actually crossed last Saturday, December 7)

We'd put it off for long enough. We purchased a slip in Longboat Key, but it isn't ready for us yet (there's still a renter in it). The marina let us stay a couple of nights in another slip in the interim for free. So. We came.

One of our navigation systems had mapped out the entire voyage, so when we approached the Manatee River, we could see exactly where we'd been, exactly where the adventure started. We watched as we slowly approached and retraced the beginnings.

Been a crazy year.

Up early, we headed out just as the sun peaked out over the horizon. It's Saturday, and we wanted to be off the water before most of the weekenders got on. The bay was calm with a slight chop. The trip was uneventful. As we closed the gap to our starting point, we took photos.

I've been weepy-eyed on and off  ver since.
Showing off our golf looper burgee

For starters, we're now "gold" loopers, and while that's an accomplishment (early on it was mentioned that there are fewer loopers than people who have climbed Mt. Everest), it means we aren't "white" loopers. We've graduated. Ask most grads how they feel and they'll typically say things like, "Now what?" Sure, we have plans, and we intend on doing new things, but it's over. We'll never be white loopers again.

Secondly, we bought another boat -- more on that later -- which means we're selling this boat. As I was docking Cat-n-Dogs I wondered how many more times I would do that? We at least have to move it to a more permanent location, and we might possibly take her to Looper-palooza (if we can get in). But otherwise, maybe not for months. Maybe not ever.
The last white flag sunrise

Lastly, now there's a ton of work to do. The new boat (which is just like the old one, but with a different layout. Yes, we loved it that much that we bought another Endeavour) will need a bunch of stuff done to it, just like Cat-n-Dogs did when we first got her. Not to mention moving off one and onto the other. Not to mention the intense deep cleaning Cat-n-Dogs is going to need. Hey, we lived on it for over a year.

So it ends. With the new boat will be a new name. And a new blog. I will put one last post on this blog when things settle, announcing the new name and blog. This one has reached it's conclusion.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Tampa to St. Petersburg

We stayed about 2 days longer in Tampa than we originally intended. Largely because is was *such* a cool city. Our buddy boater friends have told us that one of the goals for them on the Great Loop is looking for their "forever home." We may have found ours.

But not anytime soon, mind you. We have more boating to do!

We decided to make our way back along the bay a bit, to make "crossing our wake" a shorter trip. St. Petersburg is a highlight for many boaters, but tough to get into this time of year. Additionally, this weekend is a boat show, making it even tougher. However, the hotel, the Renaissance Vinoy, has a marina, and spaces. Not cheap, but there you go.

Look close -- that's a chicken in a tree. In Ybor.
Tomorrow we'll attend the boat show. These are wonderful places to learn about new technologies and get references for any upgrades or modifications you want to make. We have a list. For example, we'd like a water heater (or heater in general) that uses its own diesel motor instead of needing to run the generator. Our RV had such a thing. Very efficient, and much quieter.

Russ helping himself to beer at Oak & Stone.
You help yourself to beer, including samples.
We think, if the weather is good, we'll do it Saturday -- finish the loop! All we have to do is cross Tampa Bay and we're officially gold loopers. We have the flag already. We've been hesitating because we are in the process of purchasing a slip on Longboat Key. It would be really nifty to cross our wake and pull right into it. It won't be quite ready (still some paperwork, and a renter who's going to have to move his boat). However, the marina is willing to comp us a slip in the interim. So, yay!

The trip from Tampa was only a couple of hours. With the exception of passing two tug boats, there wasn't any traffic to speak of. Or incidents. Parking was a bit tricky only because (yet again) we're in a crazy narrow slip. I'm to the point where we just break out a jar of Vaseline, rub her down, and look out!
Just wave your armband in front of the tap and it knows
you are the one pouring. When you're done, hand over the
band, and the waitress adds your beers to the tab.
It's like an adult Disneyland!

Monday, December 2, 2019

Lovin' Tampa

Having lived in San Francisco, I am fond of urban life. I love being able to walk to the grocery, take mass transit to restaurants, and have entertainment options, like museums and live performances in easy access. Tampa is shockingly similar. Smaller, true, but the little city has a lot going for it. We are impressed.

I didn't get a chance to post many pics of our travel here with my niece, so I'm adding them here. 
St. Petersburg in the distance
Passing a REALLY large tow on the bay
Empty container ship coming in to get filled.
A tug boat is waiting to escort.

My niece was tickled at the dolphins.
Admittedly, so was I.

Waiting for the transit to Ybor.
Did I mention it was free?

The historic town of Ybor -- just darling!

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Gulfport to Tampa

Technically, we're going the wrong way. We're supposed to be heading south, and in just 15 short miles we'd cross our wake. However... my niece who came to visit last week got held up by the snow storms in Denver, and got to stay and extra week. She changed her departure location from Orlando to Tampa and came with us for one more boat ride.

This morning we all woke up at my parent house in The Villages. We left there are 8 am, got to Gulfport around 10 am. Russ took the rental car back, and we were casting off lines close to 11:30. Originally we planned on doing this tomorrow. However the weather today was absolutely stunning. Warm, calm, smooth seas. So we opted to do this a day early.

We went up the right side, only to have to turn around
and to up the left side.
And hey, we get an extra day to spend in downtown Tampa, which is thriving, active, and bustling.

We had a wonderful day. As promised the weather was awsome. We also had quite a few dolphin escorts throughout the day.

The map of our travels doesn't quite show the end. We travel by a technology called Navionics. We enter an ending destination and, with knowledge of our length, beam, and draft, it plots us a course. Today, however, is the first time it failed us, not taking our height into account. We were within tens of feet of the marina, but between us were two fixed bridges, each about 10 feet high. We're a 17 foot tall vessel.

So, we had to go all the way around the island and back up the other side. A first for us, despite how much time we've spent doing things. It's always something.

Russ hailed the marina. They didn't respond. We hailed them again, no response. And a third time. As this point we could see the marina. I told Russ I was just gonna park it, which would probably get someone's attention. I pointed at slip dead ahead and aimed for it. As we approached, a guy came running out onto the finger pier, waving his arms to get our attention. He hollered, "Who are you?" Russ hollered back, "Cat-n-Dogs!" The guy pointed at the very slip I was aiming for. I spun her around and backed in, lickety-split.


Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Waiting for the holiday in Gulfport

Today we met with Curtis Stokes, which a popular name if you are in the boating world. He's a broker. After much thought, we've decided that we do want to continue boating, but not with this particular boat. Don't get me wrong, we love this boat. So much so, we're buying a boat almost exactly like this one. It has a different floor plan, so it's not exactly like it. The new floor plan with be better for us and geriatric dogs.

Now there's a "for sale" sign on Cat-n-Dogs. Breaks my heart. I really do love this boat.

We're also trying to determine if we'll keep the name Cat-n-Dogs. One of our dogs is getting on. I'd hate to have to explain why we only have one dog when the name is plural.

Near us are a number of boats, and two of them have a "Man of La Mancha" thing going on. Maybe we should take that as a hint. Tilting Windmills? They Might Be Giants? (A band took that one a while ago)


Possible Dream

Totally getting off topic, we seem to be in parrot land.

Look closely in the tree
Gulfport was a bit of a surprise. We'd never been before. It has a bit of an "old Florida" vibe, before grand condominiums and mega-million dollar homes. Cute downtown and nice marina. All near Tampa and St. Petersburg.

Not ours anymore

There's a saying in the boating world, that the happiest days of a boater life is the day he buys the boat and the day he sells it. This...