Thursday, January 28, 2016

in the water and gone

28 January, 2016
This was the view from our condo in a gated community,

 which we rented through airbnb. (If you haven’t used an airbnb before and would like to try it, let me know.  I’ll send you an invite which will give you a $25 discount on your first rental.) We enjoyed the space rather than living on board while doing the many projects.  If we had been living on board, we would have had to put tools and a million other items away so we could eat, sit down or go to bed, only to drag them out the next day. It should have sped up our progress. Maybe it did, it is hard to tell.

This is our view this week. 

Check out for their take of life on the hard. It did feel good to climb into our bed here on Submit for the first time is several months. Our weather has been less than tropical. Friday it rained most of the day with severe weather warnings. Today is windy with gusts expected up to 35 miles per hour.  I put the last coat of barrier paint on our new rudder, just minutes before it started to rain again. Superman Reggie successfully shielded the rudder, so we think no damage was done. Anti fouling paint will go on this afternoon and tomorrow. We will be ready to launch on Monday.

It is about a 3 hour trip from here to the lock, which we will have to go through at high tide. Unfortunately, high tide will be at 4:00 AM.  The plan is to motor down the canal after we launch and anchor out close to the lock. Get up at 0 dark 30 and negotiate the lock in the dark. Tuesday is predicted to be good weather, but Wednesday and Thursday, not so much.

From Reggie:  We’ve had various adventures since arriving.  One I had not counted on was a night in the hospital.  Apparently I developed Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) while doing a lot of desk work this fall and it was exacerbated by the 11 ½ day road trip.  It could have dire consequences, but they would be dire on the boat or at home, so off we go.  Yes. I know I would be closer to medical care at home, but odds are I won’t need it, and besides, aren’t sunshine and sandy beaches supposed to be healthy for you?  Keep moving.  Do not become sedentary.

We had a couple minor problems leaving Charlotte Harbor Boat Storage, all caused by operator error, mine.  Nothing catastrophic, just embarrassing. 

A long day began at 3AM Tuesday, out the lock, and motoring to Fort Myers Beach.  We picked up a mooring ball in the municipal marina, $16 per night.  We stayed on the boat all of Wednesday due to non-stop rain.  Even though we have 120 gallons of fresh water on board, we collected several gallons of rain water to use for dishes and a sponge bath. 

Today, Thursday, we dinghied to town in the rain, and after stopping at a local bar/restaurant for “toast”, hopped a trolley to Lovers Key and back.  At the moment, we are at the public library for correspondence.  A couple more stops and back to the boat for the evening.  Tentative plan is to head to Marco Island tomorrow, then on to Little Shark rive perhaps on Sunday and Marathon on Monday.  Weather permitting.  Always, weather permitting.

Friday, January 15, 2016

"The white line is the lifeline of our nation"

“The white line is the lifeline of our nation”  14 January, 2016

This year’s trip to Submit starts differently for us.  We normally fly to her.  It takes a day to a day and a half depending on flight schedules and distance from her to the nearest airport.  This year it took 11.5 days.

Good friends and fellow members of North Flathead Yacht Club (check it out at decided to join us.  Ray and Anita have been thinking/ dreaming/ preparing to go cruising for a long time and this year was chosen for the acid test.  Is cruising really for them?  Do they have the right boat?  And myriad other questions need to be answered.  What better introduction than buddy boating with experienced, knowledgeable cruisers.  When they couldn’t find any, they decided to come along with us!

Submit is currently in Placida, Florida.  Their beautiful Dana 24 was in Somers, Montana, sitting on its excellent triple axle trailer in almost a foot of snow.  No problem.  Hook onto it with their ¾ ton 4 wheel drive GMC crew cab pickup and tow it 3, 715 miles!  We didn’t even have to chain up the truck.  Gust-O came right out…on the third try.  And, since the truck has 2 rows of seats, why don’t we just ride along with them?  We can help drive, share expenses, and try to help if there are problems.  Road trip!

The plan was to get as far south as quickly as possible to get past any snow storms and bad roads.  It worked fairly well.  Our first day saw us driving bare and dry roads under cloudless sunny skies to Pocatello, Idaho.  The second day provided gray smog in the Salt Lake valley, then several days of clouds and rain showers.  We saw snow in Montana, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and Texas but didn’t have to drive in any.

As we drove south, see started to see billboards advertising all the good deals and entertainment to be had in Nevada.  One recurrent advertiser caught our eyes, rooms for $27 per night at the Virgin River Motel and Casino in Mesquite, NV.  For real?  And if real, would the rooms be awful?  Since the theme of the trip was adventure, we decided to try it.  The rooms really are $27 per night if booked on line, $32 if you just wander in.  They had 2 queen size beds and were nice and clean.  They only lacked in-room coffee (cut rate!).  Prime rib dinners were available for $6.99 if you wanted to wait in line at the cafĂ©.  We chose the buffet and it was great.  Next morning I had eggs, hash-browns, toast and the largest ham steak I’ve seen for $3.99.  Then Barbara and I gambled.  $5 disappeared quickly in the first machine.  The second machine allowed bets as small as 1 cent.  I made a $1 donation to it and played it up to $7.65.  Barbara insisted I cash in, leaving us with a net gain of $1.65 over all.  Who says you cannot be big winners in Vegas?

Our next memorable stop was in the Phoenix area where we were wined and dined and spent the night with two couples who are friends and fellow sailors from NFYC. 

Next was a brief stay in El Paso with our son, daughter-in-law and newest grandson.  He was not quite 4 months old.  He barely survived all the squeezing!  Even thought the stop was brief, it was great and we even had a short visit with a niece.

We could not believe the amount of rain we saw in areas which are supposed to be deserts.  At one point, we had to pull off and stop to wait out a cloudburst so heave we couldn’t see the road ahead of us.

We made a lunch stop in San Antonio and met nice friends of our cruising partners.

Our road trip had no snags.  The boat traveled beautifully and turned many a head.  It is too bad repairs to our interstate highways didn’t make it onto that famous list of “shovel ready” projects we supposedly funded a couple years ago.  Some of it is really bad.  However, lower fuel prices took some of the sting out of the trip.  The lowest price paid was $1.54.9 per gallon.  We averaged about 8 miles per gallon.

It seemed the nearer I was to Submit the more apprehensive I became.  What would we find?  Had she been invaded by cockroaches and other wildlife in our absence?  Had she leaked and flooded the interior?  Had she been converted into a pit of toxic mold?  None of the above.  She fared well.  A little cleaning and reassembly and she’ll be good to go.  And it always brings a smile to see her.

A much better and more entertaining write-up of our trip can be found in our friends’ blog   You are invited to enjoy it.