Wednesday, July 5, 2023

July 4th Cruise 2023

No Wind = more of an RV event than an SV event for Eximius

High tide dictated that we would have to leave the dock on Thursday evening so we loaded the boat Thursday afternoon, it was Hot! so we plugged in shore power in order to run the Air Conditioning. We left the dock about 18:45, it was looking like we would have good weather but no wind, so our plan was to anchor overnight at Sunrise Bay. We dropped anchor before the Sun went down and made a dinner ( see that disaster here

Oh! we tried out our new Anchor Ball in Sunrise Bay and it gets my ***** votes right now. I have it setup for a 12' 1/8" white line from the ring on the ball to a spring hook to attach to the Anchor chain close to the Anchor shaft. That way, the ball will float without trying to pull up on the anchor in waters up to 12' deep. 

It was nice being able to see where the anchor was relative to the boat, it also indicates where it is compared to other boats especially when they are dropping their anchor. The Bay was almost empty, plenty of room to anchor and our nearest neighbor was about 80' away ( we have a digital laser range finder ) and was the type of boat that would not stay overnight - no cabin.

Ouc  cabin was reasonably cool overnight so we slept well although I did get up at 2am to turn off the dry bilge system, it's not that it's loud, but just annoyingly loud enough to cause me to wake from a not very deep sleep. Once the dry bilge system was turned off, I was able to go back to sleep.

We woke up around 7am and had a cereal breakfast with skillet toast and that so important Coffee! The morning was off to a good start.  After breakfast, Peggy took the helm while I hauled in the Anchor Snubber and then we worked together as I pulled the anchor and Pegs kept the boat so that the anchor chain was mostly straight up and down. We wore our headsets and that always makes it easy to communicate. Once the anchor was up, the anchor ball removed and everything stowed, Peggy turned us to the East side of the Bay so that we could turn North on the ICW.

There was no wind, as expected, so we motored up the ICW and easily made all of the bridges. We have a Cheat Sheet with all the ICW bridges listed and the distance and time to the next bridge if we were traveling at 5 knots.  We had the ICW on the nose all the way up to Lake Boca. Not many boats on the center of the Lake, however, we were able to anchor about the center of the North side of the lake. We used the anchor ball again and this time it was really useful.  Most of the boats along that North side of the lake are in various states of abandonment and they are permanently anchored and not necessarily on reliable anchor rodes.  But we anchored safely and the anchor ball helped us know where we were relative to the anchor. Most of the night, the anchor ball was touching our hull, so we were over the top of the anchor.

We had a cooked breakfast of eggs, sausage, tomatoes and skillet toast plus the coffee. Then it was time to cleanup the deck. We get a lot of tree droppings landing on the boat at the dock. While I was sorting out the deck, a guy came along on his JetSki and asked if I knew who had set the mooring ball off of our Bow. I explained that it was our anchor marker ball. He then proceeded to tell me how a boat had broken free of it's anchor and had collided with his dock  - mind you! His dock is on the frontage of his huge home that overlooks the lake. He told me that he pays $250,000 taxes a year for the property and that he had 'poop' in the water by his dock. Then he went on to complain about the boats in the lake emptying their poop buckets in the lake and rinsing them out.

Ok, let's keep this straight. I don't care how much you pay in taxes or even if you don't pay any taxes. In my mind, it doesn't matter - we all deserve clean water and none of us want to swim in a Bay that is polluted by human waste. 

Personally, we take pride in running a clean boat. We just spent $$$$ on replacing the toilet hoses and pumping out the holding tank as well as replacing the Macerator pump on our waste system. I'm happy to report that our system is smell free. Also, the Thruhull for the waste system is locked off and cannot be accidently opened. That's the Law! To my knowledge, all of the members of our sailing club that own boats follow that same law. 

However! When we see boats anchored for months, if not years, in the Lake and never moving, plus there is no mobile pumpout facility close to the lake, then those boats do not 'pumpout' and if there are people living on the boats, they must produce some waste and they need to dispose of that in a healthy manner. By the way! Wrapping it up in garbage bags and dumping it ashore in a trash can is not a healthy manner!

So, I understand the complaint of the home owner about finding poop along his dock - I must admit I have my doubts about that - poop disintegrates in water pretty quickly especially when there are plenty of power boats navigating around the sides of the lake away from the anchored boats. Those power boats are like floating macerators!

Anchoring restrictions are an issue in South Florida, primarily due to boats being used as a really low cost housing option.  But I see no reason why those boats cannot be maintained in a healthy manner and I support local legislation that would enforce that.  

Florida has a program that encourages mobile and static pump facility services. It's probably abused by big corporations taking some of the grant money and then closing the facility ( Los Olas Blvd Marina might be an example of that )  We really do need pumpout facilities within reach of all anchorages. It should be easy to request a pumpout that would arrive within a few days, and local law enforcement could easily monitor that the pumpouts are being used without even visiting the boats.

Ok, end of Rant!

I'll close this post and start a part II covering the great weekend on the water and the parties with the HISC members on their boats.

See you on the water.


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