Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The boat is Eximius, but Peggy is Special

I mean that in a good way.
This past weekend, we had planned to be on the boat in Lake Sylvia for the Blue Moon. The weather wasn't looking that great and there was quite a risk of rain over the weekend, I would have understood if Peggy had begged out, but she didn't.

Friday I finished work early, and I was home by 5pm. Peggy was sat on the couch and in front of her was a pile of stuff we needed to take down to the boat for the weekend. Not just some of it, ALL of IT!
Our clothes, bedding, Food, Drinks, Boat manuals (we bring them home to read between movies) everything! All I had to do was load them into the car.

We knew that the bridges on the New River would not open during rush hour between 4:30pm and 6pm, and Sunset was around 8pm, so we planned to leave the slip by 7pm which should give us plenty of time to get to the lake before dark.

We did. Here's some pics.
Pier 66 - at least it's blue.
And the blue moon:

We were anchored on the outside edge of the lake, and I had set the anchor alarm to 75' with 50' of rode out. I know, if the boat swings 180 degrees, that's pretty close. So I woke up several times overnight to check to see if the alarm meant we were dragging. Swinging a lot, but not dragging.

Breakfast of eggs, fried turkey breast (an acquired taste) tomatoes and cuisants, creme cheese and, that oh so important, Steaming Coffee.

Then we headed out of the lake to the Ocean. As we approached 17th Street Causeway bridge at high tide, I was not sure we could get through without an opening. The bridge tenders tend to ignore us as we classify as a 'little' boat despite we need 55' of air to pass under a bridge. As luck had it, the Spirit of Lauderdale was passing us as we crept up to the bridge fenders to read the tide boards. Spirit is much taller and has to have an opening no matter what the tide, so we just poodled along behind her and called the bridge asking he keeps it open while we passed. Sweet.

The ocean was a bit lumpy, not big lumps, but plenty of them. We flew the reefed main and about 60% of the jib and headed out to the 3 mile limit. We quickly had 6+ knots through the water and nearly 8 knots on the GPS, so I guess we were inside the boundary of the Gulf Stream. It was a great sail.

After a pump out, we headed back to the shore, wind had turned up a bit, probably around 18-20knots. The boat handled it well, but Peggy didn't, but she handled not handling it very well. If we had some fishing gear we could have caught something with all the chum she put out. Peggy amazes me sometimes. After 30 minutes of being left alone to recover and a bottle of G2 she was just fine and once we turned south to head back to the port, into wind with the engine running, she took the helm while I pulled the sails down.

Now at low tide, we had clearance under the 17th street bridge, We headed up past Sandbar Park and then east towards Bahia Mar for the southerly entrance to Lake Sylvia. That's when we found how skinny it gets in the lake at low tide. We're 5'7" draft and we found a spot with only 5'3" of water!

After two hours of waiting for the tide to come back in and float us off the bottom, we finally headed into the lake and to anchor. We deserved the nice dinner and some wine. A great day.

Sunday we headed back to the slip leaving the lake at high tide (we won't ground there again!). Now the tide is ebbing out as we head in past the bridges. That's ideal, if we have to stop while a bridge opens or to let some outbound boat pass, it's easy for us to slip into neutral and keep steerage as the boat comes to a stop. Peggy has that process down now. Sure makes for a less stressful end of the day trip back to the slip.

Back at the slip we did some boat project work. I needed to test the engine temperature instrumentation, it has not worked since we have owned the boat (can you believe that it's over 2 months already!). The good news is that I was able to figure that it's the temperature sensors, not the gauge or the wiring. That's an easy repair. Also able to test the fuel gauge system (there's a manual gauge installed right now, and I have to crawl into the aft berth with a flash light and mirror to read the gauge). Turns out the gauge and wiring for the fuel level works fine, I just have to purchase a new fuel level sender.

We had a snack on the boat while we were getting everything ready to head home. Out west the rain clouds were building, quickly! So we moved into high gear and carried the remnants of the weekend trip back to the car. It started to rain as we drove home.

It really was a great weekend on the boat. And it all started with Peggy getting everything ready last Friday.

Thanks Honey!