Back On the Hook

(My blogging app is new and I’m having problems uploading pictures, so you’ll just have to use your pretender)

April 25, 2015

I was off by an hour and a half on the sunrise. This is what happens when you forfeit connection to lord google. I make coffee twice, grabbed land food and started loading the folding bikes.

A few minutes before the office personnel arrived to find we’d stayed longer than paid, we cruised out of the marina. We dropped the hook just past the nearest mooring field to get the other three hours of sleep.

For breakfast #2, I had some fresh baked goods from my friend Stephanie at Frenchie’s. After we jumped in the water with snorkel gear to scrape six months of tropical wildlife from the bottom of the boat. Steve and Chris took breaks to chase snapper with pole spears. No luck. A seaturtle visited a few times, taking breaths about 30 yards behind the boat. We had a resident nurse shark and some wierd three-finned fish that looked like a swimming skink. I could really use that GoPro about now.

After much debate, I began tearing apart the head plumbing to discover the problem. Calcium deposits in the 1.5” plumbing caked the walls so that it looked just like a corated artery with a hole the diameter of a pencil remaining. It’s a wonder the system worked at all. After 6 hours or so of fun with muriatic acid and scraping petrified waste, I had the entire system renewed. In case you are curious, it wasn’t that bad. The concrete-hard blockage broke apart like hard clay after contact with the acid and smelled like raw seashells.

It’s after midnight now and Steve and I are finally taking a break from boat projects. Where we are anchoring is the quietest place I’ve been to since Danielle and I paddled through the middle of the Everglades.

April 26, 2015

Leaving the first anchorage, the boat is beginning to look like a boat again. Chris is right, the more people on a boat, the safer. It reduces the strain of being constantly vigilant all the time.

Motoring past Carl’s boat to drop off a painting, the wind is in our face, coming out of the West. By Tuesday, it is supposed to clock around to the north and put us on a beam reach, generally the fastest point of sail, to the Dry Tortugas. From there, we plan to take a left and let it push us south through the Yucatan Straits. That’s the plan today.

At the other side of the island, we weave through narrow channels until the mistake is made and it gets really shallow. The boat turns and reveals a sunken boat, but it’s too late. Boom. The keel hits first, then the prop. Broken shear key leaving us minimal power and control.

A local who speaks no English tows us with a fiberglass dinghy. It’s going well and he gives us a generic all’s well hand motion. Looking back, it could have been an all’s bad signal because we immediately run aground again. Three more dinghies tow us out and we finally arrive at our new anchorage. Other than breaking my toe on the seat and jumping in the water constantly to help push the boat, it was a great day.

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