Albiet, strange, a fellow Floridian happened to be in the Bahamas and documented the demise of our former, beloved old US 30, WU-WEI… We shed more than a tear as we learned our former love (of 9 years) was destroyed on the rocks on a remote Bahama island after trying to tow another, much larger power boat in that was disabled… Apparently the suspect power boat was involved with human trafficking and smuggling, and there was at least 7 arrests associated with the derelict vessel.
We arrived out to the boat on Friday morning. We brought the kayak along, since we would also test out this elusive new kayak cart Brian bought from Amazon. The verdict is still out on this one, as it is not the easiest thing to install (and the way our gate to our dock swings open, it is a PITA, as there are many obstructions to navigate.) After loading up the boat, we took the kayak out for an afternoon trip up Salt Creek, and around USFSP. Brian pointed out that in the USFSP basin (which is also the Harborage Yacht Club area), there was an anchorage. Be advised, boaters- no longer can you anchor here due to a floating buoy which states, “No anchoring. Area Under Construction.” Since I saw no construction whatsoever, it is rather suspect… Anyhoo, it was uneventful yet fun trip (other kayakers seem envious of the pedal drives as we power past them), and we arrived back to the yacht to greet other boat neighbors (there are quite a few new faces on Dock 3) as they commented, “This is the life, isn’t it?” Indeed. The ice maker was full, so it was time to commence cocktail hour.
Our boat neighbor, John had returned and when he saw me, started groveling, “I am a dock-line stealing scoundrel…” You see, when we were supposed to launch in December, we had left really expensive dock lines on the dock (and they are pretty unique) and we unable to launch due to bad weather from Salt Creek. A few days later, we returned to the dock to find our dock lines were gone. Dafuq? Asking around and searching dock to dock left us with no prevail- they were gone. This is a jacked up thing, and I am pretty sure we regaled our story to John, who commented, “That is messed up.” So imagine my horror last weekend to arrive on the boat, mix up a cocktail, look at our neighbor’s boat, and say, “Hey, Brian, I found our missing dock lines.” Initially, Brian did not believe me, “Noooo….” “Seriously, they are ours- complete with sweet website on the tag. I bet if you measure them, they match ours…” And they were. Now, word gets around pretty quickly in a marina. Dave, a Dock 3 resident, greeted John when he returned with, “Oh man, Chris, your boat neighbor, is hot- she said you have her dock lines…Scoundrel!” John did try to give me a sad story, “But, when the previous tenant left, they took my bow line, so I thought they left me these dock lines…” Nonetheless, the lines are back. “I am a scoundrel…” he kept stating as he passed our boat. I think his punishment enough is now having the reputation as a dock-line thief and having to go to Korea for a year.
Saturday- after a sleepless night in the V-Berth sweating (it is pretty hot here for May) while wearing earplugs (fans are loud- even faced on you, it was like an oven), we came to the conclusion that we really are going to need air conditioning in order to survive Summer. We spent the morning on the kayak, going up through north St. Pete. When we got out of the bay, which was choppy, we were greeted by a Police boat. The gentleman looked concerned for us until he drew closer. “Where are you heading?” “Just out in the bay for a bit.” “I am just making sure you are okay. I see you have PFDs, so that is good. Do you have a radio?” “Yes, sir, we have a VHF radio.” “Well, you’re better equipped than most. Don’t go too far. There are a lot of drunk people out on the bay already.” (It was 10 AM- how are people already drunk at 10AM? And all we had to do was listen to the traffic on CH 16, and we knew they were. Who does this?) It was relatively uneventful- the water was choppy, but hot damn, the sail drive pedal propulsion does indeed rock. After seeing some dolphins and trying to capture them on camera, we gave up and made it back to the boat. By then, it was noon. Time flies so fast on the water. We took showers and headed to Saturday Market.
I was starving by then. Brian, based on last weekend’s most delicious trip, just wanted a tamale, but we had to see the St. Pete Taco Lady to see if she lived up to the hype. “Don’t worry- you will get a tamale after Taco Lady…” Lies. The tamale stand had a forlorn sign that stated, “Sold Out” in front of the empty vats that had a few hours prior contained tamale deliciousness… Nonetheless, they did still have horchata, so that was a plus. St. Pete Taco Lady’s wares were pretty good, and we enjoyed them, but damn, it was not a tamale. Nonetheless. I did not see any cheese curds at Stamper’s Cheese, but Brian spotted them on the way out. The dude sadly informed us that would be his last weekend at the market, and I may have wailed, “NOOOO!!!! WHY?!?” And threw a tantrum at market. Yeah yeah, I can still order them and go pick them up at WineSmith- this is too much effort.
When we got back to the boat at almost 2, the clouds were building. It was too choppy for a good sail, and hot- 95+ degrees. Brian, “Do you want to go home?” Well, I really thought the weather would pass, but after melting again at Saturday Market (and commenting to Brian at Saturday Market- “Why did we even bother to shower today?”) said, “Yeah, maybe it is time to go home, despite the fact the forecasters say it won’t hit the boat.” More lies because as soon as we got home, a huge storm popped up in the bay, and the boat got some nasty weather. Ironically, as we were driving home, Brian (having taken 1 semester of Meterology) was telling me about the clouds, energy, and why it was going to rain… Our weather people major in this, and still cannot get it right, Plus, air conditioning is nice. I am not going to lie- I enjoy having a house to escape to in crappy weather, with air conditioning.
Happy sails, Chris
Spent the day kayaking out to Ft. Desoto and around the Skyway bridge. The weather has been iffy with the prevailing winds from the east and the sea breezes pushing in from the west, so we almost managed to stay within an hour of our launch point. The water was very warm, over 80, and the sea grass seems to have made a comeback in the flats of Tampa Bay. Supposedly this is an indicator that the bay is becoming a more healthy place for the little animals that come into the bay in the winter time to spawn.
The day started out cloudless, but we knew better since were in central Florida and in the beginning of a summer time weather pattern. We decided to stat at dock instead of racing in after an afternoon a sailing trying to outrun the storms. It was windy and hot, but a few very cold boat drinks whipped up by Cap’n Chris made it all better. After checking the weather the next morning, we decided to go kayaking for a few hours and head home. Glad we did, it ended up getting pretty nasty the next night.
Sailing after a quick pump out. There was no wind to be found… anywhere, then all of a sudden had 12-15kts with all the sheets out. It was an awesome sail up to 7kts for about an hour after that, then the winds started to die back down. Ended up dropping the sail and motoring back in and grabbing a mooring in the St. Pete. North (Vinoy) basin and having an awesome calm anchor for the night. Insert boat drinks! All was great until the, I won’t mention the name, boat moored next to us decided to do a stealth pumpout at midnight. The smell was so bad it woke me up. Poor aminals!
A video of how to change the alternator belt on an old Yanmar 2GM20F diesel engine. Then I got side tracked.