Can't believe it is March already! We will be departing Legacy Harbour Marina this Thursday to head to the east coast via the Okeechobee Waterway (weather permitting). Our jello plans are to spend some time in the St. Lucie/Stuart area then head down to Ft. Lauderdale for Deb's departure to Arizona for her Mom's birthday. After that we plan to meet up with Big Run in the Abaco's for some R & R during the month of April. Our projects continue, mixed in with some fun, but buying a bigger dinghy has lead to a plethora of projects that were not on the list. We originally thought one hoist would be sufficient to lift the 450 pound beast up to the flybridge. But, after deciding to try lifting it with the old system (a manual block and tackle with non-self-tailing winches) to see if it would fit in the dinghy cradle, we both looked at each other and said "we need two hoists - no further discussions! First off, thank goodness our friend Marty showed up while we were attempting this feat - his optimism, encouragement and extra muscles were much needed and appreciated. Secondly it was a good thing the people in the slip next to us were not on board to watch the dinghy hanging precariously; inches away from their pretty blue hull. Anyway we managed to get it up and she fits in the existing cradle - and again, that gym membership this past summer is still paying off.
Now the fun begins. Hoists are ordered. We need a cover, a lifting bridle and also wiring from the DC distribution/breaker panel and the battery bank up to the flybridge for power to the hoists. A footnote here, we opted for a Warn DC 800 hoist which is engineered to lift 800 pounds. Many boats use winches for this purpose, but, in the words of the manufacturers' "winches are for pulling, hoists are for lifting". We were not comfortable having our dinghy hanging over our body parts with a winch system which uses a clutch assembly, versus a hoist that has no clutch but a constant brake should there be any motor failure. In other words we opted to spend a little more money and stay with the manufacturers' recommendations.
The captain has taken up crocheting (because he has nothing else to do) - who would of thought making all those macrame projects in the 70's would come in handy someday.
Making the bridle for lifting the dinghy. Hmmm - might this be a money maker? After 11 years of this cruising thing and realizing how much it takes to float this boat - we may need to become greeters at Walmart or figure out what that money maker thing might be.
Battery cable being pulled from breaker panel to flybridge. Always fun putting another hole in the boat.
Installing new circuit breaker for hoist motor.
Project complete on this end. Now up to the flybridge to wire the hoist.
A Boaters best friend our P-Touch labeler -we have learned YOU MUST LABEL EVERY THING! (We know what it is today, but next year, month, week "what was that wire for?")
While waiting for hoist #1 to arrive - back to the list - stripping the varnish. So now we are now multi-tasking and as a result....
the pilot house, once again, has become command central. I call it out of control, Rick calls it organized chaos.
Mounting the solenoid and control switch for the hoists. The panel will be placed in the port flybridge locker - tucked neatly out of sight and nice and dry.
Ok so the hoist parts started arriving (bear with me this is lenghty, but there is a point to this story), however the first hoist ordered thru a company called warnfactoryoutlet.com aka truckaddons.com fumbled the ball royally. The second hoist was ordered thru a company called gowarn.com (because the first company had only one hoist in stock). The second hoist ordered thru gowarn.com arrived in two days as promised. The first hoist ordered thru warnfactoryoutlet.com has still not arrived (21 days after order was placed). Rick sent a somewhat angry (well angry in Rick's standards) email to Warn Industries (the manufacturer), only to find out that warnfactoryoutlet.com has no relationship with Warn Industries and that gowarn.com would be their recommended distributor in our area. Needless to say the 1st hoist order has been cancelled, although we have yet to receive a confirmation on the cancellation which we are now certain will show up on their new eta of March 12th (30 days after placing a supposedly in stock order). An expedited shipment is now en route to us thanks to the customer service department at Warn Industries and their distributor gowarn.com - both have bent over backwards to get us another hoist asap. I guess the point of the story is DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES USE WARNFACTORYOUTLET.COM .
One hoist and remote control installed. If all goes well, the second hoist should be here on the 7th of this month.
Our new dinghy cover arrived, but it will need some modifications - time to get out ye olde sewing machine. Also Sunbrella covers need to be made for the hoist motors - my 8th grade Home Ec skills are soon to be tested.
We listed our Apex on Craig's List (minus the 15hp Yamaha - we are taking it back to Minnesota to use at our cabin). Within about a week after it was listed, it sold. Kind of sad to see it go - 11 years of trusty service, but time to move on.
I could barely stand to watch as the new buyer quickly pulled the plug, deflated Apex and shoved it into the back of his pickup. That dinghy was our lifeline to land for the past 11 years - I was hoping for a little more respect from the kid. Oh, well, move on Deb, move on.
We heard a noise the other morning, stepped out onto the cockpit to check it out. Appears some Jacks found the mother lode of small fish to feast on - it lasted for several minutes, kind of exciting, and nauseating at the same time.
We enjoyed a day with Robbie, a friend from Minnesota. She was in Naples visiting her parents so we drove down and had lunch at a cute dockside restaurant. Good conversation and food - thanks, Robbie for taking time out of your busy schedule to join us. Doug - we were really counting on you to come this year, also!
Some friends told us about a dog park near Ft. Myers Beach. We didn't know exactly what to expect, but loaded Izzy into the car and away we went. Wow, can't say that we have ever been to a dog park that had it's own beach - cool. Any of you that know Izzy can picture her excitement (we call it the wild eye) she came thru the path and spotted the dogs out playing loose in the water, she couldn't believe it - which caused her to totally lose it and start chasing after any small dog she could find - pretty comical in hindsight, but scary in the moment - hey she just wants to play. We suggested to her that she should play with dogs more her size, besides by now most of the small dogs were in protective custody of their owners, so it was pretty easy to redirect her. She romped, she swam, she found a ball she found a stick, we rocked her world - she thinks she'll keep us.
A Lab, water and a stick - what can I say - priceless.
Ruh, Roh - he's got the car keys and my lead in his hand - not looking good.
More fun in the sun to follow.