This morning, we arose and ate our cereal while awaiting the pump out boat from Marina Jack to make its rounds. “Pumping out “ is one of those “It has to be done” kinds of duties when living aboard a boat. We have a pump out at our slip in our marina, but it is a little bit of a chore hauling the hose down the dock, hooking everything up, pumping out, and putting it all away. That’s why is was well worthwhile to wait an hour or so for the pump out boat to pull along side and attach his hose to our holding tank. Quick and easy!
Around 10 am, we dropped our mooring ball and headed under the Ringling Causeway and up the ICW toward our home marina. Things went wonderfully, and the day was just as beautiful as the preceding ones.
I attempted to make a time lapse video of our entire journey, but my camera must not have been fully charged. It went dead after taking a little over eighty pictures (spaced 60 seconds apart). So, instead of getting to travel up the ICW with us, the following video will allow you to cross Sarasota Bay with us. The camera is mounted about head high in front of the mast.
Thankfully, we’ve had little go wrong on this trip. But, about an hour before reaching the marina, my port engine alarm went off. It was overheating. First thought… Is the cooling water exiting the side of the boat as expected? Yes. Second thought… I’d better shut off the engine and let it cool. Third thought…. Please, please, please let it start back up when I get to the marina. I’ve just gotten comfortable maneuvering and docking Beatitude with both engines. I’m not ready to try it with one! Fortunately, it did start right back up, and we backed into our slip and secured the lines without incident. Now, that I’ve had a chance to think about it, I was probably running the port engine a little to hard for too long. Normally, I motor with only one engine or the other running at between 2000-2500 RPM. For some crazy reason, I had the engine running at 2800 RPM for a while. I’m hoping this is all it was. I’ll have to have someone check it out for me.
After Beatitude was secured, we had lunch/dinner at the marina restaurant, Riverhouse Reef and Grill. We then gave our vessel the most thorough cleaning she has had in a while. She needed it.
Unfortunately, as we concluded cleaning, I stepped out onto the port trampoline to snap our cushions in place. Suddenly, there was a great ripping noise as the trampoline gave way. A gaping hole opened up into the worn rope and down I went. Thankfully, not all the way into the water, but down and onto the remainder of the trampoline. We knew our trampolines would need to be replaced fairly soon when we bought Beatitude. Seven years of hot, blazing sun with the rest of the environmental stresses take their toll. Fortunately, I ordered replacements over a week ago and they should be in in a couple of weeks.
It’s all over now. Six wonderful days cruising the southwest coast of Florida. We had a great time! Cindy and I were at first worried how Christy would hold up on such a trip. In fact, up until the day before there was still discussion about not doing it. Everyone is glad that we did. Christy did great and seemed to enjoy it all. She now heads home tomorrow. Our trip flew by. (And I think my arms and legs served as the sole source of nourishment for all the mosquitos from Sanibel to Bradenton! Aaaagh, I’m itchy!)
We now feel a little more like cruisers and not just live-aboards. There are many people who just enjoy living aboard a boat and don’t really go very far if anywhere. That is not our goal. We’ve been living aboard for seven months now, but have never been away from Regatta Pointe for more than one night at a time. This trip whetted our appetite for the fulfillment of our future plans. A little over 17 months and we will become essentially full-time cruisers. Based on our experiences this week, we are very excited about it.