Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Day - and we have lots to be thankful for!

It was quite cold last night, getting down to 29 degrees. We still managed to get by without having to run the heaters, and it was only 42 degrees inside the boat. Perfect for snuggling!  We awoke to an absolutely gorgeous day, even the wind has finally subsided. When I first went outside there was frost on the cap rails and decks.

Poor Duke was having a real time of it trying to use his mat on the bow. The bow deck has quite an angle to it, and he kept sliding past the mat. Poor guy had just started peeing when he slid the final time. He decided to wait until I gave him a ride to shore. We bundled up and hopped in the dinghy and headed to his favorite spot. As I was leaving Paula handed me the wrench I was constantly forgetting. Thanks, dear!

The cold air had Duke feeling really frisky. Once he completed his contribution to fertilizing the bushes, he came flying back to the dink. He leaped the last 4-5 feet and landed half way back in the boat. Then he did a butt-tuck run, made a u-turn, and jumped back out and tore off down the small beach. He repeated this process a half dozen times before finally exhausting his energy. The water was much lower than normal, so exposed the muddy bottom. Needless to say the dink is full of muddy paw prints now!

Once that job was completed, we headed over to the abandoned sailboat to retrieve the propane tank. As we came around the corner, there were 8-10 deer along the shoreline. I expected them all to bolt into the woods, but most of them stayed at the water's edge. I managed to get a few pictures, but I was a fair distance away, and cell phones don't take good zoom photos. Duke saw the deer, too, and kept his eyes locked on them until the last one disappeared into the high marsh grass. We probably spent about 10 minutes watching them.

Once that excitement was done, it was time to get down to work .The sailboat had moved a bit from its previous location. The high tides and winds had pushed it further up to the bank. In addition, we now had an extremely low tide, so the boat was sitting up out of the water. It apparently has twin keels and it is resting on them. It made it a bit more difficult to retrieve the propane tank, as it was now located at chest level. Once I removed the hose connection and tried lifting it, it was obvious that the tank was full. It was heavy, and hard to lift out of the propane locker. But I was successful. You can see that the boat has been pretty well picked over already. I was quite surprised no one had taken the propane tank yet.

When we returned to the boat I eased the dinghy up to the swim platform, as usual. Duke then hops onto the swim platform, then deftly hops up through the boarding gate to the back deck. It did not happen that way this time. He got his front legs on the platform, then hesitated. It only took a few seconds, but by the time he decided to continue on the dinghy had drifted to the side a little bit and he lost his balance. His back end went into the water and he desperately tried to hang on to the swim platform with his front legs. That didn't work and he fell in with a big splash. I plucked him out quickly and pulled him into the dinghy. I pulled back up to Microship and this time he wasted no time in getting aboard. Oh well, no more muddy paws now!

A short while later it was time to begin prepping for cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Grilled turkey, sweet potato casserole, shrimp & sausage dressing, cranberry-apple relish, and one of Paula's pecan pies. What a feast. It was nice to have two propane tanks; I could use one for grilling turkey outside, and the other with our two burner propane stove for cooking sweet potatoes and dressing ingredients. After we stuffed ourselves silly all we could do is sit around the boat and complain how full we were. A perfect Thanksgiving!

The sailboats rafted up behind us went through several boats. There were never more than three at one time, but one would leave and shortly after another would arrive. You could sure hear that everyone was having a good time.

Around 3:00 pm I just had to go have a nap. It just would not be Thanksgiving without it. When I woke up I looked out to see a little flotilla arriving. I don't know if they were traveling together, or just coincidentally arrived at the same time. But three trawlers and three sailboats were coming in. One of the trawlers anchored on the opposite side of the sailboats from us. The other two trawlers and a sailboat continued on to the back of Ingram Bayou, where we were. I don't know why, there was plenty of space to anchor before they got this far back. One of the trawlers anchored within 50' of us. I had to call them on the radio to request they give us a bit more room, as we had 100' of anchor chain out and were swinging in a large circle. They courteously pulled up the anchor and move a short distance away. He is closer than he looks in the picture.

One of the other trawlers, really more of a houseboat, tried to get their generator started. After trying for an hour or so they gave up. They are now sitting over there with no lights showing at all. The hailing port on the stern is somewhere in Iowa. The other boat here is from Rhode Island.

The wind has been pretty light all day, and is totally calm right now. The marine forecast for tomorrow says 10-15 knots from the NE, even less Saturday, then less still on Sunday. Depending on how the wind is actually blowing in the morning, we may make a run for it. Otherwise, we will have to wait until Saturday. I would prefer not to have to wait until Sunday, as we need to be back in Hammond Monday.

But, it will be what it will be. The most dangerous thing on a boat is a schedule!


Scott Kolek said...

Sounds like a great Thanksgiving day overall, and probably not a lot of leftovers like we have! :>

Wonder why a sailboat would be left like that, maybe washed up by a storm at some point? Not sure I would have trusted a propane tank salvaged like that, but sounds like it work out. :)

Ken Tischler said...

It was one of those exchange tanks, and in very good condition. It could not have been there long.