Saturday, February 18, 2012

Departure Date is Fast Approaching

Here we find ourselves at the end of February and the migration bug is hitting us hard. We have put things into over drive trying to get the odd jobs complete and the almost done deck finished. About once a week I head off to Wal-Mart to fight the peak season crowd here long enough to have my fun meter pegged than head on back to the boat to find room to stow it all. Our plan is to get out of here as early as March 1, that’s our shoot for date, head down the west coast, under the 5 mile bridge in the keys and up to Marathon to do last minute provisioning and that’s where Capt. Butters has to go for his last minute vet check. Once we get several good days of weather we will head to Rodriguez Key or points close to jump off from. We plan to check into Bimini which is new for us as we usually enter in the Abacos up north. We decided since we were so far south that from Bimini we would head straight into the Exumas and go from south to north this time. It will be different for us as we are usually in the Abacos when it’s still a bit chilly and I don’t swim unless the water is 80 or higher.

We made a few purchases that needed to be made here on Renegade. The first being a new Sailrite sewing machine.

Our new Sailrite, got the one that does zig zag stiches also

 We have eyed them for a couple years now, but really didn’t have the space to store one until now. For those of you who do not know, Sailrites are a very heavy duty sewing machine that allows one to sew sails, canvas and any other heavy duty materials that regular sewing machines just can’t handle. They also allow one to sew even delicate curtains and interior cushions so basically I can take the small sewing machine off the boat. The big determining factor in buying one was the fact that we needed to have the sacrificial sun cover on our jib re sewn or replaced. After getting several quotes we found that for a couple hundred more we could purchase the machine and do it ourselves. We also had a quote done for some new canvas projects such as a cover for the deck box and new helm cover to fit the new instruments. That quote quickly ate the other money we saved buying and doing it ourselves.

Dirk with his first project, new cover for the deck box

So Dirk has been busy sewing and I even managed to make a nice lee cloth for the forward bunk to keep stuff stowed behind along with a few curtains. I have started on making screens and want to get them done by the time we make the Bahamas. We also purchased two new fiberglass propane tanks like we had on Tybee Time, our last boat.
New fiberglass propane

New cover made for the tank

 We currently have two horizontal aluminum tanks; one has a problem and can’t be filled. They were also in the port side deck locker under the “couch” on deck. With that locker empty we now have room for the snorkel gear and fishing gear all up top. Dirk sewed some covers and they will be mounted behind the couch on deck and secured to the aft rail. We went from having 20 lbs of propane to 40 lbs. It will be nice not having to worry about running out.

Lately we have been in touch with several cruisers and friends we met last year. Bill and his wife Kiran who we had actually met 2 years ago have visited several times. Lynda & Harry from s/v Cool change were in the area and stopped in to do a little catching up.
Lynda & Harry from s/v Cool Change
Bill & Elaine from s/v Triumph came by for a session of catching up and finally Ace & Suz from s/v Ace’s Wild pulled in behind us to stay for the night in order to catch up, play some cards and eat some chili.

Dirk with Ace & Suz from s/v Ace's Wild

I just love the cruising community as you can meet someone in the Bahamas, along the ICW, or just in a marina and sometime down the road you know you will run into them again.

We also had Dirk’s best friends; Mac & Margie come for a second visit on the boat.

Dirk with Mac & Margie

They had come for Memorial Day but we couldn’t take Renegade out as we were redoing the rigging. This time however we had beautiful weather and took her out for a sail in the Gulf of Mexico via Tampa Bay.

Dirk enjoying the ride on the bow sprit out in the Gulf of Mexico

Wind in the sails

It was perfect sailing weather, great winds, calm seas and a good time had by all. I think we now have them convinced to visit us in the Bahamas this season. Not like we haven’t been trying to get them to come for several years now…..

Well this will be a short post, but a post none the less. Mom was asking when I would be posting again and quite frankly I have bored of marina life and when you have groundhog day everyday with boat work it makes writing very difficult. I am actually looking forward to travelling again, different scenery, beautiful sunsets, making new lifelong friends and adventures shared with my husband. So keep your fingers crossed that the next post you read will be in fact written with no dock lines attached to the boat. Below is a photo of Capt. Butters keeping warm. Most days this is where you will find him if he isn’t completely covered.