Monday, January 12, 2009

Cutlass bearings, coral reefs and Little Tunny

Well, we went to Marathon in Vaca Key to haul out for a survey (someone looks at your boat and assesses the condition, similar to an appraisal) that we needed to get insurance for the Bahamas.
The boat did well but did need to have a small part in between the propeller and the inside of the boat. It keeps the water out of the boat while also letting the prop turn. Ours was worn out. So after hanging out at the mooring field a couple of days we came back out of the water to fix it. Of coarse nothing ever goes as planned and it turned into a bigger job: There is another part called the shaft log that holds the cutlass bearing in place and it was discovered that it was no good. So, they didn't have one in stock and had to order it, and over night it, this is Friday afternoon. We couldn't stay on the boat for insurance reasons and so found ourselves at the nearest motel. The next day we did indeed get everything put back together and then they nicely let us stay on the wall for the weekend. Ironically this is the very wall we stayed at the day we bought the boat as we waited for the truck to pick it up and take it to Maine. In the midst of all this Papa Charlie came down for lunch. Marathon has a small airport and that made for a special treat for us!

One great thing about Boot Key harbor is that we met a couple of families with kids our kids age! A nice couple from Tennessee had a little boy named Reece (he was a little younger) and then a couple from New Zealand, Leighia, Cameron and their kids Maya and Finn. Dakota and Alistiar loved Maya and Finn and all four would scream with delight when they saw each other! We played just about every day we were there and had a great time. Cameron and Leighia have a business aboard their boat installing alternative power systems etc. A delightful couple, we very much enjoyed them!

Today we left at 7 AM to go to Sombrero reef, about 3 nm from Marathon. We got there around 8:30 and picked up a mooring (Florida puts moorings out on the popular reefs to prevent damage from anchoring), it was cloudy so we decided to go fishing for a while. We got back around 11 and picked up a mooring and over the side we went. This was my first time diving a reef and it was awesome!!!!!! I saw so many little sargent majors, yellow snappers, parrot fish, damsel fish, plus sea fans and many fish that I couldn't identify. It was so funny to be swimming or holding the ropes that Charles rigged on the boat(due to a decent current) and look next to me and there swimming along side me was a bunch of snappers and sargent majors, just hanging out, just looking at me, not concerned just like I was on of the school. I was amazed and can't wait to go again!!!

After we took off to go somewhere for the night and we thought we would fish. BAM, whizzz. Charles had a blast hauling in the 24" little tunny! Unfortunately at the time we mistook it for a frigate mackerel and threw it back! Bye bye dinner, oh well. We are still learning! But never the less Charles was very happy!

What a beauty!


Matthew said...

It was MINUS 2.5 degrees F here in Middletown, CT this morning...
I went XC skiing. What'd you do?

Gail said...

Avast ye matees on the high seas! You missed a beauty of a snowfall in Maine. Brunswick got 14" - looks a lot like marshmallow, weighing down the tree limbs. A couple of days before the storm, we recorded a low of -20 degrees. Chilly, eh? We've been discussing your tough life in the tropics and wondering if you'll ever come back to the wilds of New England. Hope so...someday....probably when the marshmallow is gone, right? Enjoy!!

Heidi said...

Wow. That is some fish! The boys look so happy. I am glad you guys are having a good time. We miss you as always.