Memorial Day on the Water

It's Memorial Day!

It’s Memorial Day!

Time has a way of getting away from you. It is hard to believe it had been five weeks since we last had Beatitude out on the water. Yesterday, Cindy and I decided to head off for a day on the water and an overnight at anchor. Since I worked the night before until 1:00 a.m., we arose around 9:30 a.m. to get the day started. We took a quick trip to Publix for provisioning for a Memorial Day picnic on Beatitude. Upon returning to the marina, I made my way down into the engine compartments, at the stern end of both hulls, to check the engine and sail drive oil. The sail drives, which were serviced recently needed a little oil. Being a contortionist, or at least very flexible (neither of which describes me), is a valuable trait to possess if one is required to work on the engines.

Doing my best contortionist impression in the engine compartment

Doing my best contortionist impression in the engine compartment

Adding a little oil to the saildrive

Adding a little oil to the saildrive

At 11:15, we left our slip and motored about 3.5-4 miles out into the gulf and cut our engines for a couple of hours. There was little wind and little current, so we did not drift very far. We had lunch, and I took a swim in the refreshing 82° aquamarine waters. I attempted to coax Cindy to jump in with me into the 29 ft. deep waters of the gulf. She eventually succumbed and took the plunge, enjoying it as much as I. (She never did let go of either me or Beatitude, though.)

9.7!

9.7!

Swimming in the gulf

Swimming in the gulf

Holding on to the swim ladder on the starboard hull stern steps.

Holding on to the swim ladder on the starboard hull stern steps.

Cindy in the Gulf water!

Cindy in the Gulf water!

Soon, we fired up the engines and retraced our path to DeSoto Pointe where we dropped anchor in 7 feet of water. After we both enjoyed a brief acrylic painting session, I fired up the grill to make some burgers for our Memorial Day picnic. Macaroni salad, deviled-eggs, a bottle of Bordeaux wine and some Key-lime Cheesecake rounded off the meal. We had almost finished eating when the thunder, lightning, gusty winds, and rain showers began. We hastily beat a retreat into the salon where we finished dinner and watched The Monument Men in commemoration of Memorial Day. These were men who gave their lives, not just for our country, but for the preservation of the history of Western civilization. Cindy and I highly recommend the movie.

Aaaaah, how relaxing!

Aaaaah, how relaxing!

Relaxing while underway.

Relaxing while underway.

IMG_5971

The weather which interrupted our picnic!

The weather which interrupted our picnic!

This morning we arose and did some work on our water-maker. We have a Spectra Catalina water maker that turns sea-water into potable water at a rate of 11-13 gallons/hour. We’ve not had the necessity of using this yet, since we’ve been in the marina most of the time and never far from a place where we can easily obtain water. That will change in two to three months, so we felt we had better service this thing and make sure it makes water as advertised. I changed all the filters (50-micron, 20-micron and 5-micron pre-filters as well as a charcoal filter). The pre-filters filter the sea water prior to it entering the membrane which desalinates and cleans the sea water. The charcoal filter removes the chlorine, etc. from shore water which has been used to fill the boat’s fresh water tanks from ashore, so that it can be used to auto-store the membrane when not in frequent use. We hit the “run” button on the water maker and voile, water started coming from the hose leading from the water maker and into the holding tanks. A few seconds later, however, the stream of water stopped and the “reject” light illuminated on the LED display. After some unsuccessful finagling, we gave up the fight for a day. I have a feeling we will have to replace the membrane (not cheap, but then what on a boat is!?). The manual states that the average cruising lifespan is 6-8 years, and Beatitude is 7 years old.

Changing one of the pre-filters

Changing one of the pre-filters

It's making water! (At least for a few seconds)

It’s making water! (At least for a few seconds)

Since we had several errands ashore, we came back to the marina early. We arrived at noon and smoothly secured Beatitude to the dock. Tomorrow is a sixteen-hour shift in the emergency department to shock me back to reality. I really must get Beatitude out more often. I have grown impatient waiting until we can leave our home port and start cruising. An overnight getaway is just what the doctor (or in this case, Cindy) ordered to renew my patience.

Beatitude’s New Lettering

We’ve been checking a couple of items off our “to do list” over the past couple of weeks. One thing that Cindy has wanted since we brought the boat up from Ft. Lauderdale is to enlarge the lettering of Beatitude’s name along each hull. We paid $500.00+ to the folks in Ft. Lauderdale to place “Beatitude” on the hulls. We really had no idea how to advise them or how large to make the lettering (we were in Lakeland and not on-site at the time). Unfortunately, the size they chose was way too small and barely visible from even a short distance away.

Cindy sitting on the port bow ready to assist me (in the dinghy taking the photo).  The old "Beatitude" is below.

Cindy sitting on the port bow ready to assist me (in the dinghy taking the photo). The old “Beatitude” is below.

Using the blow dryer to soften the adhesive on the back of the old lettering to make it easier to remove from the gelcoat.

Using the blow dryer to soften the adhesive on the back of the old lettering to make it easier to remove from the gelcoat.

Our nameless boat

Our nameless boat

Cindy removing the old lettering from the starboard hull.

Cindy removing the old lettering from the starboard hull.

Well, while Cindy was recently in Ohio, I hopped in our dinghy and measured for new lettering. It came in a few days ago. Yesterday, we removed the old lettering, and today we placed the new. Doing it ourselves cost only $175.00! We both agree that it is much more appropriately-sized and beautiful. We bought the lettering from Boat US, whose pricing and service was great. The instructions were straightforward, and we even found Boat US YouTube videos on how to remove the old lettering and place the new.

Cindy in the dinghy with the new lettering taped in place, prior to removing the backing

Cindy in the dinghy with the new lettering taped in place, prior to removing the backing

Squeegeeing the newly applied lettering to remove air bubbles

Squeegeeing the newly applied lettering to remove air bubbles

Applying masking tape to the center of the new lettering in preparation to remove the backing.

Applying masking tape to the center of the new lettering in preparation to remove the backing.

Pulling off the backing, revealing the new lettering

Pulling off the backing, revealing the new lettering

The new lettering on the port hull

The new lettering on the port hull

The new lettering on the starboard hull

The new lettering on the starboard hull

After putting up the nearly eight feet-long and seventeen inch-high “Beatitude” on each hull, we celebrated with a trip to Siesta Key Beach to enjoy the sunshine, the cool, white sand, and the warm turquoise water. An added and unexpected bonus was the privilege to swim with a herd of about six manatees on the sand bar off Siesta Key Beach. We were within about ten feet of the herd, which, according to the lifeguard, consisted of a female in heat and a group of males keeping her company.

Cindy standing in the park across from the marina.  Beatitude, with new lettering, in background.

Cindy standing in the park across from the marina. Beatitude, with new lettering, in background.

One of the manatees surfacing for a breath near swimmers.

One of the manatees surfacing for a breath near swimmers.

Relaxing in the sun.

Relaxing in the sun.

Not Much Happenin’

Since my last post, Cindy and I spent a few days in Boston visiting our youngest daughter, Mariah. I flew home this past Saturday, while my wife flew on to Akron, OH, to be with family. I’ve been home alone for the past week. I’ve survived influenza (although, in my mind, the outcome was in doubt). Four days of fevers, chills, and achiness while I worked 27 hours in the emergency department has left me slightly weakened. Missing the woman who makes my life complete and worthwhile has weakened me further.

Otherwise, life aboard Beatitude continues. I’ve lacked both motivation and health to get much accomplished on our boat during the last week. I’ve attempted to pass the time as best I can. I’ve made a couple of trips to the beach, a trip to the Ringling Museum, watched Teaching Company courses on The Greatest Classical Piano Pieces and Photography, played a little ukelele, and did some reading. I look forward to worship tomorrow. Afterwards, I’m planning to go to the movie theater to watch the Royal Opera House’s presentation of La Traviata on the big screen.

Cindy rejoins me on Tuesday. Until then, here are some random photos of the past few days…

Beatitude to the left with our neighboring catamaran, Enchanted, to the right.

Beatitude to the left with our neighboring catamaran, Enchanted, to the right.

Even the sunset refuses to reveal its full glory with Cindy gone

Even the sunset refuses to reveal its full glory with Cindy gone

Colorful Creature

Colorful Creature

My feet in the sand at Siesta Key

My feet in the sand at Siesta Key

Foraging in the Surf

Foraging in the Surf

Bean Point, Anna Maria Island

Bean Point, Anna Maria Island

The Gulls (sometimes joined by the Pelicans) play a version of king of the hill on the pilings next to our boat.  One gull (the King) establishes his place atop the piling.  Other gulls approach from behind.  At times, the King's squawking and threats fend off the usurper.  At times, the usurpation is  successful.

The Gulls (sometimes joined by the Pelicans) play a version of king of the hill on the pilings next to our boat. One gull (the King) establishes his place atop the piling. Other gulls approach from behind. At times, the King’s squawking and threats fend off the usurper. At times, the usurpation is successful.

The King has been Dethroned

The King has been Dethroned

The sun sets behind Beatitude

The sun sets behind Beatitude