Monday, December 10, 2018

Last minute fix-ups before the Christmas voyage

The trip back from Endeavour went like clockwork. We showed up, we loaded up, then they put us in the water (a little boat-repairer's secret -- don't put them in the water until the bill's been paid), and we hoisted off. The trip out was as tricky as the trip in. The depth gauge read 3 feet in places as we slowly made our way back to the Tampa Bay. Not that I minded, since amazing wildlife kept me company. Dolphins of course, played in the distance. Manatee! We dock on the Manatee river and had yet to see them. There were dozens about, floating, flapping, and just being buoyant. The niftiest thing I saw were some sting rays, three of them, swimming in formation. Sadly, by the time I could tell Russ, "Hey, Look!" so he could take a picture, we'd drifted past them (he was a bit preoccupied with the lines while I was steering away from the rocks). So you'll just have to take my word for it.

The crossing was absolutely perfect. Perfect seas, perfect temperature. We got into our slip with a little difficultly -- the winds were up here -- but we managed with no damage our boat or anyone else's, and that's our definition of victory.

Shiny new anchor
We're planning on heading south for Christmas later this week. Our first stop is in Fort Myers where we meet the "anchor people." They will take us out on our boat and teach us how to anchor this puppy. We suspect we'll need to know that for the trip to the keys. Everyone is there who can be there, so slips and moors will be stuffed. We have a reservation, but we believe we'll need to anchor at some point. After a fair amount of research Russ realized our current anchor was too small. Hence, we bought and installed a bigger one. Which sounds easy typed, but was a task.

Saturday night was the Christmas boat parade. It was the warmest night we'd had for a while. We sat on the top of the boat, giving us a clear view, and watched 27 decorated boats float by. Participating boats had dancers and music as well as animated reindeer. It was quite a spectacle.

Russ in the port engine room.
That's in the floor.
We also got a new outboard motor for the dinghy, which has yet to be installed (issues with a remote). We received all the things Russ sent from SF last week, like his kayak and the folding bikes. And we familiarized ourselves with the bar-b-que that came with the boat, cooking over the last couple of days. We made blackened red snapper. Again, no photos. You'll just have to take my word for it.

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