Sunday, November 28, 2010

New Season In Florida

Our trip to Florida was much like last year except that we left Painesville on Sunday, November 14th, a week earlier than usual.  The 2.5 day car trip was uneventful.  Apparently Lucy has accepted her fate as a cruising cat, as each morning in the hotel she would eat breakfast and then go directly to her cat cage.  Past years she would hole up somewhere in the room, causing much frustration as we tried to pack and leave the room.  The drive down was easy, and we arrived at the Glades Boat Storage yard earlier than expected on Tuesday the 16th.  We found "Passage" in the work yard next to "Some Dream", crewed by our Sudbury, Ontario friends John and Brenda.  Note that you can expand the pictures twice by "clicking" on them.

We exhausted five containers of Softscrub with bleach in a day and a half, transforming "Passage" from green and black to bright white.  Sue then began prepping the interior so that on Friday we could move aboard, or as she likes to say, live in the treehouse.  Saturday was spent waxing and also scrubbing the fuel in the starboard tank.  The filter system that Jack designed and built with the help of David Blystone with imput from Sue worked great!

We lived aboard in the yard for four days while we worked on the drive leg and put two coats of wax on the hulls.  We just touched up the bottom paint with one quart of antifouling paint, but we added cayenne pepper to the paint.  We will see if that makes a difference.  A late shopping trip to LaBelle for food and supplies enabled us to be independent for a few days after launch.

We were scheduled to launch at nine, but the crew was late and our North Fort Myers friend Craig Wilson took a little while painting the pad marks of his boat "Kinsella" and installing a new cable on the centerboard.  So we launched at 9:45 and were motoring on the Okeechobee Waterway by 10:00 a.m on Tuesday, November 23rd.  We shared the waterway with "Kinsella", with Craig and his neighbor Tom Nelson aboard, who were transporting her to their dock behind their home in North Fort Myers.

Tom, on the left, and Craig make quite a delivery crew, don't they?  The Caloosahatchee River was deserted, as we saw only one other boat the entire day.  One never knows what one will see on the river, as witnessed by this photo Jack took last spring on our trip up to the Glades Storage Yard.

As usual, we stopped for the day at the Franklin Lock Campground. We could then sterilize and flush our water tanks before dark so that we would have usable water.  Wednesday we installed all of our running rigging.  On Thanksgiving Day we bent on the jib and mainsail, and "Passage" was a sailboat far earlier than any other year.

Sue then cooked a turkey breast, and we enjoyed a great Thanksgiving dinner complete with all the trimmings.  We really enjoyed our three days at the Frankllin Lock, despite the nocturnal screachings of a supposed "rare" Limpkin.  When I took his picture, a man from an RV asked if I had anything to shoot him with other than a camera!  Perhaps that explains why these obnoxious birds are so rare.

We completed our passage to Legacy Harbour Marina in a light rain of Friday the 26th.  Lucy expressed her disgust with the sound of the Westerbeke engine by assuming "the pose"

Apparently, burying her face in her blankets makes motoring barely tolerable.  Captain Jack, on the other hand, displayed a completely different attitude while at the helm!

John and Brenda from "Some Dream" had been at Legacy for quite a few days, and they drove us out the Glades so that we could pick up our car and dingy trailer.  Soon we found ourselves enjoying "happy hour" with John and Brenda and Tom and Doris Johnson, who are cruising a Mainship 350 out of Severna Park, Md.

We are settled in at the marina and have already been to two West Marine Stores.  Saturday Sue did a load of laundry.  Meanwhile, Jack rebuilt the head, which had decided to be stubbornly uncooperative, while he tried to watch Ohio State pummel Michigan.  All in all, Saturday was a great day at the marina; and we capped it off with dinner at the Joe's Crab Shack at the end of the dock with the same happy hour crew as yesterday.  Excellent!