Maiden Voyage

First Weeks on The Boat

We are lucky enough to have two weeks off work over the Holidays. We had a glorius plan of leaving the docks immediately and heading on the best vacation ever. Of course, boats have their own plans. It was still the best vacation ever.....

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Arrived to notice dinghy completed deflated. Seams have utterly failed and repair is doubtful. Planning on washing the boat, getting groceries and running engine checks in preparation for Monday departure to vacation heaven; however, staring contest with hotel guests wins as being the more entertaining and achievable goal.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Today was a sh*tty day. I got PTSD washing the boat and being pelted by birds - to right, to left, in front, volleyed and thundered and finally took direct hits to the head and back. Instead of taking an opera shower in my luxury shower stall, I was faced with no water pressure, caused by no water in the tanks which had just been filled, caused by a broken fitting at the transom shower. At least the engine room enjoyed a nice fresh water bath and the bilges are now sparkling!

Being helpful, I then turned the bilge pumps on while Matt sat down in the salon to announce that the crisis was temporarily abated. I delicately asked why the starboard bilge pump was running non-stop if we were no longer sinking? Is it another, previously un-supervised leak running amuck? Investigation showed that it was my mistake for forcing the bilge pumps on at the panel. Lesson learned.

The good news is our toilets are manual pump and seawater flush so at least we don’t have to use a bucket for that! Spoke too soon – toilet clogged. All that is needed to fix it is to tear it apart and get covered in sh*t! Winning! Don’t worry – Matt was fine!

Because of the difficulty of interpreting what Matt’s “I’m fine” means, we instituted a Scale of Suffering, 1-10, 10 being the most suffering we can currently imagine and it’s time to sell the boat. The scale of suffering expands daily. SOS was at a 6 today.

Upshot: Not leaving today, tomorrow is not looking good either. Haven’t accomplished the list we began with as more urgent things keep crapping out!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Day - toilet is fixed, however, we are now trashing toilet paper instead of flushing it. I go to use the facilities, forgot to pre-prepare the baggie, and start raging profanity as I could not open the infuriating baggie while holding the offending tissue in one hand. Matt calmly informs me that a nice family has just sat down to brunch at the docks – they brought their own white tablecloth and perhaps they would appreciate peace and quiet instead of listening to a stream of obscenities. SOS has topped the charts! We’re calling our broker to curse him out! At least I remembered to close the lid while pumping the requisite minimum 29 times. It can be distressing to have the splashy splashy in your face.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Boxing Day – up at 5:45AM to run the engines and depart! Yay! Best day ever! Engines start fine, but the starboard one does not discharge water – meaning It is not being properly cooled and will be damaged if it continues to run. We contacted maintenance, and even though they are closed until Jan 5th, they sent someone out to look at it. He was able to quickly fix us up and we are anticipating a Saturday departure. Supposedly, it's bad luck to leave for a sailing trip on Fridays. Meanwhile, I have gotten a lot of work done on the salon curtains and cockpit cushions. We’ve fixed a lot of things and are really learning the systems.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Repeat of Friday – except we actually leave the dock! Hastings hates the way the engines rumble the whole house, he is convinced that it means death is imminent. And then the house he’d just gotten used to – moved. Bloody murder!
Sailing Ft Lauderdale canals at sunrise in a Lagoon 380 sail catamaran
We cruised through Venice of America canals and waited for the Las Olas bridge. We were hoping to make the next opening at 17th Street, but made it 1 minute left – which gave us 29 minutes to practice maneuvering and tuning out the rabid dog howling, pacing, etc. Through 17th St, past Steven Spielberg’s yacht – through Port Everglades with lots of cruise ships in port including the world’s largest, Oasis of the Seas. Hastings was not impressed.
17th Street bridge opening, Ft Lauderdale

We got the sails up fine and killed the engines. Dinner Key Mooring Field didn’t have room at the inn so we’d have to continue and sail a total of 65 miles to Elliot Key.

Suddenly, there was a loud snap and I noticed a small shoestring size string fall from the general vicinity of the sail. The boom started swinging. Investigation showed a shoddy shoestring was holding the boom. We took down the sails and Matt rigged a quick fix. Later, there was another snap – one of the lazy jacks failed and dropped the folded mainsail and reefing blocks onto Matt's head. At least it didn’t hit anything he needed! Ha! Now the bilges were running full time and the engine room was filling with water – again.

We somehow made it to our anchorage before sunset and even managed to anchor for the first time without too much drama. Next up – take the dog to shore for a potty break. Unfortunately, our dinghy engine kept dying. We knew it was sick but Matt had tried to tune it up. After 6 restarts and deaths, we rowed back to the boat. It was just too far to row to shore against the current.

High level crisis talks and blame gaming ensued. What we were going to do? I was blamed for not buying a fake patch of grass that I knew he wouldn’t use. He’s going to hold it for 48 hours while howling and pacing and then die from uromisitis! Anyway, the crisis solved itself – Hastings had gone on the deck to prepare himself before the dinghy ride. (Why he couldn’t have told us this sooner, I do not know.)

Sunday, December 28, 2014

A day of not moving in order to solve yesterday’s issues. Dinghy outboard taken apart, lazy jacks temporarily repaired, engine room water issue discovered to be something our mechanic had been fiddling with but hadn’t closed off, so that was easy to fix– reading and sunbathing also accomplished.
Working in the engine room on a Lagoon 380 sail catamaran
Boat dog taking a nap on a Lagoon 380 sail catamaran

Monday, December 29, 2014

Let’s sail to Mi-ami! We pulled anchor and then decided on Key Largo. Actually, I think we’ll go to Elliot Key! We got in 18 miles of sailing and made good 1.6 miles. Winning! Headed to shore to walk to the Atlantic Beach. Ambushed by a plague of 20,000 mosquitos. Hastings enjoyed a real “out”. Back to the boat!
dinghy trip with the boat dog

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

Let’s sail to Miami - for realz this time. We had left the dog’s dry food in our car so he’s been eating with us, which is spoiling him. No Name Harbor had been sold to us as the most amazing anchorage you’ll ever find. We arrived to find a stifling, crowded freak fest. Executed first docking maneuver with no injuries and minimal yelling / blaming. Sit out to watch other people injure themselves / yell / blame, over what should be 5 dock spots and 5 anchor spots, but was actually 20 and 20, with 6,000 people competing for spots.

We are not here to contemplate, we are here for dog food, so we walked to Winn Dixie in the unseasonable heat. We got back to No Name Harbor, had to fight small children to remove them from the dinghy, and collapsed on Inde. Then we tensely watched more people enter the anchorage and anchor very close to us. (Vacation is exhausting. Can we go back to work now?)

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

I wanted to get the hell out of this hell hole, so awoke at dawn ready to go. I was perturbed to see yet another boat had crammed into this tiny, stifling, miserable hell hole and anchored right on top of our anchor. Intense glaring awakened the interloper and he quickly moved, allowing us to depart to less entertaining anchorages. Sorry about the laser holes I drilled into your head with my thoughts, interloper. It must have been very horrid coming into here in the middle of the night! What larks! 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

A full day spent at anchor off Elliot Key. We read books on the trampolines and decided it was rather boring being on the boat when nothing breaks. The water at Elliot Key is crystal clear and simply delightful. There are plenty of opportunities to dinghy the dog to various shores for walks (providing you have a working dinghy and engine), sandy beaches (just ignore the bugs) and the stars on a clear night are astounding. It’s a lovely place to get away from it all.

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

All good things must come to an end: it's time to sail home. Adios, Miami!

Stiltsville and Cape Florida Lighthouse
Made it to our home dock in time to give a docking show to the condotel guests. I hope they were entertained!
Hastings is not excited about vacation being over and is highly suspicious of this blasted work excuse the humans go on about. Best vacation ever! 

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