Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Week #25, 14-20JAN017, TRAVEL & CRUISING

       I attempt to do some chores on the boat. We have been transporting a box with a 2" sheet of Soundown noise barrier since we left Port Clinton. I am working on the area to install it under the floor deck, removing the old insulation and prepping the area for the insulation to attach to. It is a tight spot, over the engine starting battery and the water tank. I get the old insulation removed, and the new insulation area prepped. It is slow working in the confines of the bilge.
      On Sunday after church, we launch the dinghy and take a tour of the harbor. I am still astounded by the number of boats on the city's mooring balls (they have 226 reported) and the additional boats anchored near them. And then there is the number of marinas and the amount of slips that they posess.
We take the dinghy all the way to the Knight Channel. And we also go out Sister Creek to the Atlantic. There is a public beach here that is widely used. There are 14 boats anchored in this creek. I think that there are maybe 300 boats on mooring balls or anchored in the Marathon harbor from my attempted count.
      On Monday I get the sound insulation up in its new place. It is not easy as there is like five inches of vertical space over the water tank, and the insulation is 2" thick, with pins glued overhead that are 3" long for it to mount onto. There is maybe a 1/4" extra to slide the insulation through so it can be shoved up on the pins. Some of the pins bend or fall as the insulation is moved in, so another mounting method for these areas will be needed.
       On Tuesday we put the dinghy back on its davits. And I go pick up the rental car as we have to be in Tarpon Springs on Wednesday. We leave in time to meet the crew of "Somewhere In Time" in Punta Gordo for dinner. It is a wonderful re-union with planning for travel together again in the spring. We get to a hotel in Clearwater about 11. We run shopping errands in Tarpon Springs for items not available in Marathon. And we get to the dentist in the afternoon. The mold is a success this time. The next time we come back it will be for the permanent appliance. We get back to SummerTime in Marathon just a few ticks after midnight.
       We use Thursday to provision SummerTime again. And I run some errands to K-Mart and Home Depot for items not available at the grocery store. I get back from returning the rental car just in time to meet the fuel truck. A group of us have gone together to order fuel. In aggregate we take over a thousand gallons, so we get a 70cent discount per gallon. I only can take 56gal, smallest of the group, but a saving. We spend the afternoon preparing SummerTime to travel, as the engine has not been started since it was shut down on Arrival to Marathon on 17Dec.
Friday morning, we get up and complete our preparations to travel. I settle up with Sombrero Marina on a the extra days we stayed. They give us a Christmas present late, and we only pay for electricity and pump-outs. We get underway about 10:30 am. We are taking the inside, or Florida Bay, or waterway route back to the mainland to start up the east coast. It is a much better day than when we came to Marathon. All is not well though. SummerTime apparently has a lot of hitchhikers on the bottom after sitting a month. She will only do 10.1kt at best, and the prop keeps the Perkins from spinning higher than 2500rpm. As we pass Islamorada, we catch and pass a tug pushing a barge. First one we have seen since Tampa Bay. But he is only moving a construction crane on a barge. And we are re-joined by dolphins in our wake on this route.
The one pod has 6 in it, the biggest pod we have been able to see. The water is 9' deep, and very clear, so nothing is hiding. Sometimes you can see the dolphins shadow below them.
        We get to an anchorage in Card Sound about 5pm.  It is a nice anchorage, 9' deep, and protected on three sides from wind and waves. And quiet, there are no buildings nearby, and only one other boat in the anchorage with us. We prepare soup for dinner without running the generator. It is good to be moving again.

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