If time is money and you have more time, Do you need more money?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Fritter And Waste The Hours In An Offhand Way

"Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day 
You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way. 
Kicking around on a ..."

After crossing the Gulf we anchored at Anclote Key for the evening.  This had been a late afternoon dash to be inside the barrier islands before the southerlies started preceding the impending next cold front.  As the sun arose the next morning we were met our doom.  Well not really, just the south wind was blaring at 20 plus knots.  Pulling a Vega's anchor in 20 plus without using the motor is a work out.  We had no real need to leave until later in the day when the forecast called for 15.  So we sat there doing miscellaneous boat stuff and wasting the hours away.

Just past high noon it was obvious the wind had found it's low spot.  Varying between 10 and 15 with a few gusts.  We started our little motor and pulled the Manson.  Off we went making a whopping 2.2 knots dead into the wind!

As we approached the cuts between the keys we often slowed to 1.5 knots, still beating into the wind.  (This is where the Fisher King chimes in with "That's all we've gone")  At times the wind was such a burden that when, not if, we allowed the bow to drift toward the side it would be unrecoverable with the tiller.  I had to use the motor as a secondary tiller on several occasions to regain our course.  (That's all we've gone?!)  Pushing the rear around to get the nose in the wind.  We continue to windward averaging around 1.6 knots according to the clock and charts.  Finally making it to Three Rooker Bar.  (That's all we've gone?!)

At Three Rooker Bar there is a channel going off to the east toward Klosterman Bayou.  There is also the cut between Three Rooker and Honeymoon.  With the tide, the wind and the intersection of the deep water/shallow water we were having problems.  The wave action exceeded the short shaft at this point.  Trying to battle the conditions with the little motor made it spit, cough, rev and die.  As I tried to restart it and the Fisher King was trying to stay in the main channel and not drift toward the east things were hectic.

Vroom!  Off we go south again. Gaining the lost ground and thinking of alternative courses.

  1. Sail to windward in a bay with ever decreasing depth
  2. Wait for the wind or tide to change again.
  3. Head north and anchor at Anclote again
Then we reached the same spot with the waves higher than the rest.  No way around in the channel so we tried them once more.  Spit, cough, rev, die!  We couldn't risk any damage to the little motor so we chose number 3.  The trip that just took us 4 hours was made in reverse in less than one. (without burning any gas)

Anchored just off the lighthouse again

We put out two anchors with gale force winds forecast for after midnight.  Remaining for the next 24 hours.  We sat there on the hook burning up too many amps with the lap top running the anchor watch and watching episodes of "The Walking Dead"  

Someone wasn't quite as lucky,  It has been here long enough to be stripped from what we can see.

Our little motor?  We have had so many issues with the 9.9 Mercury Pro Kicker that I swore after last years $900 repair bill the next thing that broke I would give it to Davy Jones!  Being a bit more logical when the tilt switch failed and it didn't start by the third try I sold it.  We then bought a simi-used Mercury 3.5 for a good price to power the dinghy.  With the foreseeable battle with the state of Florida over our Walker Bay not having a title from Alabama we decided to put it on the main ship until we bought a dinghy we could store better on crossings.  The Walker Bay with the RID kit on the fore deck is a nightmare!  We also have a sail kit for it taking up space.  So we have some first hand experience with the little motor on the Vega now.
  • It will make 4.2 knots in calm water with the boat heavy stores for the Bahamas and dragging the dinghy.  
  • It will take 3-4 swells but not 3 foot chop.  
  • We normally burn 10 gallons with the old 9.9 from PC to Apalachicola.  With the 3.5 we burned only 5.  Wooo Hooo!  By the time we get from PC to Tampa we have usually burned 30 gallons,  This trip it is less than 10.
  • It runs it's little tank dry in about 42 minutes. (0.3 gallons/42 minutes @ full throttle) We need to make an attachment for the tank.

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