Monday, October 28, 2013
Test run in the Gulf of Mexico
Our test run of the boat got off to a bad start. We couldn't even leave the parking lot. A brake switch that I'd replaced turned out to be defective. Nothing worse than new parts that don't work. Once that was sorted out, we finally hit the road and drove to the boat ramp.
The first launch after a long trip always takes longer. The boat gets stripped down more than normal when hauled long distances. The rig takes time to set up and tune. There's lots of fiddling around with boaty bits.
We finally got out on the water. The outboard started on the third pull and ran great. The new plugs made a big difference. The new fuel tank worked the way it was supposed to. My storage box for the tank worked out fine too. It's not in the way, which was a possible concern.
My fancy cell phone with all the navigation bells and whistles? Due to a miscommunication, it was left back in the van. We continued on with our Garmin GPS, compass, paper charts, tracfone, and two VHS radios. The relevant waypoints were still in the GPS from last year, so navigation was easy.
We also discovered the mast light wasn't working. We travel at night and often anchor out, so it's mission critical. I'd thought I'd fixed it back in New Hampshire as I'd found some bad wire connections. However, I didn't get a chance to test it before hitting the road. Apparently, there are more issues to be resolved.
Another thing we need on the boat is more AA batteries. We had plenty of AAA, but not that many AA -the size the GPS takes. Usually I keep a good supply of both on board.
The main thing is that we got out on the water. Motoring out is pleasant enough, but I really start to smile when the sails go up. The wind picked up, the dolphins came to play and all was right with my world.
While out in the Gulf this little fellow landed on our boat. The poor thing was exhausted. It rode with us all the way back to the boat landing. Once we got near shore it flew up into the trees.
As soon as we loaded the boat on the trailer, the dog wanted to head out on the water again. She really loves boats. The dolphins were very exciting.
There's nothing like time on the water to lift my mood.