Friday, March 8, 2019

The Importance of Being MacGyveresque

March 8, 2019

Anyone who decides to go cruising and is neither mechanically inclined nor a wannabe MacGyver, should make sure they have a nice "cruising kitty". Fortunately for us, Jim is a bit of both because the cruising kitty is problematical.  

Part of our sailing in Charlotte Harbor was fairly rough.  If you have never been aboard a bouncing sailboat, it is hard to imagine the chaos that is created from things that are not tied down.  Think "earthquake".  Jim in an ever resourceful mode designed a system for keeping the cupboard doors shut where he stores spare parts and other supplies.  Somehow he finds picking up large numbers of bolts, nuts and screws less than fun.  (Think closing the barn door after the horse has already taken off)  Most cupboards have hooks where we can attach a single shock cord, but this one doesn't. So this was his temporary solution - at least I think it is temporary. 

A door, a broom, a roll of paper towels and a shockcord!

Heading southward, we anchored for the second time at Cabbage Key.  What a difference a day makes!  No crowds, and a quiet peaceful anchorage. "Entertainment" was provided by a SeaRay power boat which had apparently cut a corner by the channel and had dug himself into the shallows.  TowBoat US spent the whole day putting floats under the boat. (They were walking in ankle deep water!)  At high tide, they were three boats strong, two pulling on the grounded boat and a third who tried to get passing boats to make pretty good wakes to help rock it loose.  After about an hour or two and after high tide they gave up for the day.  We left early the next morning and didn't get to watch the final extraction but passing by a week later the searay was gone!
Three Boat US Tow boats and Sea/Ray
When we arrived at Ft. Myers our plan had been to have our dinghy motor worked on. (this after a complete overhaul at Safe Cove)  It idled way too fast which made docking tricky and putting it into gear very jerky.  No one in Ft. Myers was available to work on it!!  So altho youtube info was not helpful, Jim braved it and after three adjustments we now have a slow idle!  

Our freezer and fridge seem to be inhabited by some inconsistent malevolent creature.  We have two separate Isotherm systems that are proving to be quite the challenge. They cycle intermittently and when one is on, the other won't go on...sometimes.  Temperatures vacilate between below 0 degrees and 38 in the freezer and 8 degrees and 53 in the refrigerator.  We discuss strategies ad nauseum, adjust dials, shift food around and rant and rave with no discernible effect.  This might be one for the cruising kitty.

As much as we have travelled, we are pretty naive about trolleys and trams.  (Ft. Myers has a nice system but on our first try we got on the wrong one and had to start over.)



Yesterday we ventured out and after two trolleys, two buses and two hours we arrived at the Edison Ford Winter Estates and Museum in Fort Myers!  The grounds were a veritable buffet of colorful flowers and shrubs, and contained an incredible variety of trees, many imported from all over the world.  Unfortunately we left the museum until last and although it was the most interesting  (Edison was issued 60 patents in 60 years!) we had to give it short shrift because we were concerned about getting back to our mooring field before dark. 

Jim and Mina Edison
Marg and Thomas Edison

Words of Wisdom:  Keep the electric drill away from the dinghy!!  Jim has been working on replacing one of the steps on our swim ladder.  He was sitting on the dinghy and drilling a hole through the stainless steel rung when the drill slipped off and though it didn't fall, he couldn't prevent it from hitting the inflated tube of the dinghy.  It did not create a perfect quarter inch hole - but it might as well have.   So with slightly elevated blood pressure and heart rates, we dug out our various repair kits and patched the hole.  We still have a slow leak despite several additions to the patch.  We carry both a pump and additional repair materials with us when we go out in it.  It is a bit nervewracking - I mean this is our "car"!


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