Our new beach umbrella. We visited Siesta Key for perhaps the last time on Sunday after church.
Today was my last free day to take Beatitude out before we leave Regatta Pointe, the marina which has been our home base for the past two years. And, by the way, let me say how fortunate we have been to have spent that time here. The staff and fellow boaters at Regatta Pointe have all been wonderful. With the time rapidly approaching for our departure for things beyond, we wanted to take Beatitude out for one last trip to insure that things are in working order. Around 10:10 this morning, we pulled out of the dock and worked our way around to the fuel dock to fill up with diesel. Five-hundred and thirty dollars later, both tanks were full, and we were leaving the fuel dock, making our way to Egmont Key. (That’s only our third fill-up in the last two years of living aboard Beatitude.)
We’ve fueled up and ready to leave the marina.
Regatta Pointe Fuel Dock and Ship Store.
Sharon and John, two of many friends we’ve made at Regatta Pointe over the past two years, waving goodbye from the ship store/fuel dock as we head out to Egmont Key.
We anchored in about 13 feet of water for a couple of hours. The windlass worked well in both lowering and lifting our anchor. We then fired up the water maker and, for the first time ever aboard Beatitude, made water. This is one of those things that amazes me. We have a desalinating plant on board, making fresh water from salt water! We made 20 gallons over a couple of hours and shut it off, content that all was well. By replacing the membrane, we solved our problem.
It’s magic! Fresh, potable water from sea water!
Most importantly, our starboard engine worked perfectly. Kevin was unable to find a replacement part for the diesel uptake tube in the tank, so he manufactured one using copper tubing. That solved our engine problems. We were sucking in air through the crack in the tube, essentially causing the starboard engine to run out of fuel. No more.
Having fun on the water.
The light wind allowed us to put up our sails and make sure all was working well. We unfurled the genoa and inspected it. We experienced no problems with our genoa and roller furling. We then lubricated the slides on the mainsail and raised it. I went through the process of putting the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd reefs in the mainsail with Cindy, and we marked the lines with each reef to give us a better idea of when we are approaching the proper point on the reefing line. We then lowered the main, weighed anchor, and motored back to the marina.
Furling the last bit of our genoa.
Cindy took control of the helm station for all the sail maneuvers.
Our mainsail fully raised.
Marking the reefing lines with blue tape.
A brief swim to retrieve our blue tape which fell overboard. In retrospect, I was glad that it did as the swim was refreshing.
The third reef is in.
Everything went swimmingly on our trial run. We are officially ready to throw off our lines. Once home, I prepared some grilled salmon and grilled green beans while Cindy made a salad and some jasmine rice. We had this wonderful French white wine with dinner and a flavorful port wine for dessert.
Ready for dinner. Thanks to Cindy’s twin sister, Christy, for our new pillows adorning our salon.
Our dinner was accompanied with this wonderful white wine from Chinon, in the Loire Valley of France. Cindy and I stayed in this lovely town five years ago. There we visited the Chateau de Chinon, where Joan of Arc met with the Dauphin, the future Charles VII of France in 1429.
Tomorrow, we’ve got some cleaning and packing to do, and then we are throwing a Bon Voyage Party tomorrow evening to celebrate our impending departure. I work Friday and Saturday, and then we are immediately driving to Ohio to take the remainder of our belongings which we’ll no longer need on the boat. I’ll fly back the following Saturday and then do my first stretch of 10 shifts in 9 days. Following the 10th shift, we’ll begin the long-awaited cruising stage of our time aboard Beatitude.
Our Bon Voyage party in our next post.