Wednesday, November 04, 2015

The Big Adventure

Well, the day we have been looking for has finally arrived. After 11 years of wishing, and planning, we are finally going to be full time cruisers!

We have spent the last two weeks preparing the boat, and moving, what feels like, half of our house aboard. As well as extensive provisions for us and the dog. I don't know where we are going to put it all, or how we are going to remember where we put it once we need it!  It's not like we can't make a grocery store run when we need to. But, we like to avoid marinas as much as possible so hope to only have to go to the grocery every 2-4 weeks. We'll need to stop at least once a month to top off the water tank, anyway.

Forecast for today is east wind at 3-8 knots, calm seas. That is supposed to continue until Friday, so good news for crossing Mobile Bay tomorrow. It's time to go!

I had hoped to leave around 7:00 am this morning, but that was not to be. I woke in the middle of the night with the realization I had not checked to be sure I had plenty of motor oil aboard, for the main engines. So, up at 6am and checked, to find that I had only two gallons. That meant that we had to make a trip to the auto parts store. Since we had left my truck at friends house (thanks Tyrone & Alice) last night, and they shuttled me back to the boat, we had no transportation. Paula made a quick call to a local taxi service and solved that problem. I ordered the oil online, and she went to pick it up while I continued getting everything ready in the engine room.

By the time Paula returned, I was ready to go. We stowed the oil, then realized we still had to load stuff still on the dock. Bicylces, crab traps, utility cart, water hose, etc.  That took us longer than I expected. In addition, the valve on the dock water connection would not turn off, so I could not remove the hose without water spraying everywhere. We called the marina maint. folks to alert them, and asked they come repair it, or turn off dock water. We waited for over an hour, made another call, then finally gave up. I removed the water hose, and as we pulled away from the dock, water was spraying everywhere. Paula made a final call to the casino to let them know we were leaving, and advise the issue with the water. I hate to leave something like that, but the maintenance folks have never been very responsive. I could not wait there all day. In the end, it was 10:30 am before we got away from the dock.

45 minutes later we were approaching the CSX RR bridge across Bay St Louis.  After repeated attempts to contact the bridge tender on the VHF radio, we finally had to resort to calling on his cell phone. That resulted in an immediate opening, so we were only delayed a few minutes. Good enough!

Conditions were as forecast, and we had a beautiful day, with smooth seas. Upon transferring fuel to the day tank I found there was a small amount of water in the bottom of our main fuel tanks. That was easily remedied by running the fuel through the polishing filter. All in all, an easy and uneventful day... the best kind!

After a 7 hour run we ended the day anchoring off Petit Bois Island for the night. Great dinner, beautiful sunset, and a little TV and we were done for the night.


Cricket Chirps said...

I can't tell you how happy I am for you! And jealous too. Here's wishing you fair skies and calm seas, I look forward to living vicariously through your journals.

Many hugs,


Unknown said...

Congratulations guys on a well earned exit. I'll be eagerly following you progress!!