Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Shake Up Cruise (Day 3 &4)


With a storm rushing in this guy was trying to get home fast


Holiday weekends.

I guess I've been out of touch for too long and forgot how much I hate them.

But thanks to the past couple of days, I've been brought back up to speed (speed being the operative word here).

First of all, I had Day 3's post all ready to go when BAM! I deleted it. So now I'm back to sqaure one so I'll just combine two days into one and call it a day.

We spent a full day on Monday motoring down the gulf because there was no wind. That didn't stop Hans from putting up our brand new main because when you have a brand new main you're itching to use it. We're very fortunate to have an electric winch and all I have to do is push a button while Hans stands by the boom and guides the sail up the mast.

Should be easy.

But when Hans had difficulty threading the halyard's shackle through the too small loop at the top of the sail he let go of the boom and TIMBAH!!!! I've know Hans long enough to recognize when he's losing his balance and heaven help you you better get out of the way. Down he went but luckily he was able to pivot a bit and instead of falling off the starboard side of the boat and doing god knows what to himself, he ended up sliding down the dodger's windshield where his butt landed right on the cleats that control the halyard and furling lines and directly in front of my face thus giving me a full and entertaining view of a very large plumber's crack. From now on I don't care how overly cautious it appears, he's going to wear his life vest when hoisting the main (and perhaps a belt).

We exited the gulf and went into the Longboat Key pass. Of course it wasn't until we were finally anchored later on that I read you should only use this passage with local knowledge as it's greatly shoaled. No kidding! We saw depths of under 2 feet and we're pretty sure we scraped bottom at one point. Once we got through the bridge after fighting a very strong 2 knot current and literally weaving our way through fishing boats that insisted on motoring just feet from our bow we emerged onto one of the strangest scenes ever. It was like something out of an Ira Levin book (This Perfect Day meets Rosmary's Baby). Every kind of power boat imaginable were jockeying and jostling for position with people, kids, dogs and whatnot, crawling on and off and over and around like starving ants at a picnic. We hooked a left turn and got out of there as fast as the Knotty Cat could go.

Motoring through the Intracoastal to our anchorage meant zigzagging for about 15 miles through all the wake created while once again every idiot with a motor boat had to see how fast they could blast past us. Add to that all the jet skis buzzing us like angry wasps, needless to say we were very happy to get to our anchorage.

A lot of wind and rain cooled things down

We ended up with a late afternoon storm on Monday night. Our anchor held nicely through 27 knot winds, and Windy our generator was in heaven pumping up to 15 amps into our batteries. We did start our engines though 'just in case' since this was a new anchorage for us, and Wilbur sat very quietly through the whole thing.


Tuesday was a much quieter day as most of the motor heads must have gone back to work. We headed into Marina Jacks in Sarasota and picked up a mooring for the night. We put the dinghy in the water with minimal drama and the only casualty was a boat hook that we dropped but luckily it floats and we got it back. We ended up eating dinner at O'Leary's which is pet friendly and Wilbur enjoyed attention from many fans and was rewarded with his own water bowl and salty sticks (french fries).

Of course another storm was brewing so we finished up quickly and took off in the dinghy back to the boat. Just in time too, because the skies opened up and we could barely see the boats beside us.


So after a pleasantly cool night we will be leaving the mooring and heading to another anchorage just a short distance away. It's actually in a tiny body of water surrounded by huge 'estates'.

Why do I wonder what they're going to think of the Knotty Cat dirtying the view. I'll let you know.

So far this has been a very memorable Memorial Day Weekend.


This is Wilbur's favorite perch while underway. That's the captain's cooler and it's full of ice. It makes a comfy spot for a hot pitty.



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