Monday, November 18, 2013
Today I find myself on Don Pedro Island State park. It's one of those Florida jewels that can only be reached by boat. There's a narrow shallow channel through the mangroves that looks like it'll dead end any moment. Instead it opens up into a small bay. There are some decent small boat docks, a nice picnic pavilion, restrooms and a beach shower. The park is a very narrow barrier island. With the gulf waves at my back I can see my boat on the ICW side.
We had a short trip down from an interesting anchorage near Stump Pass. The Coast Guard does not recommend this pass to the Gulf unless you have current local knowledge. My lovely wife and I had stopped at Stump Pass Marina and Restaurant for the mandatory cheeseburger in Paradise. It had been a long day of motoring against the wind, plus the normal hassle with bridges. We chanced the Stump Pass anchorage as we were ready to call it a day.
With keel and rudder raised, we inched our way past wadding birds until we hit deep enough water to drop the hook. We had some interesting neighbors. There was a Canadian boat in close to the spoil island. I had no idea how he found enough water to slip in there. A couple boats looked like long term live aboards, tucked away from casual view. Then were a couple of recent wrecks to make the whole scene look like something out of a movie.
My lovely wife spotted her first manatee of the trip there. Pods of dolphins frolicked around the boats. Lots of sea birds. A blue heron spent the night perched on my kayak. Much to my surprise he didn't leave a nasty parting gift, so he was welcome.
Electrical problems have plagued me this trip. Problems that don't show up after a week appear in week three. My inverter crapped out on me again. Since I sleep with a cpap I need it for my machine to run. Unfortunately, I bought a cheap inverter that plugs into a cigarette outlet. I know that's not the most reliable connection, so I had two completely separately wired outlets. One has failed completely. The other stopped working last night as corrosion had worked its evil ways. Of course, it took a while today to find the problem. Its working again, but I'm not sure for how much longer.
As soon as I have the opportunity, the inverter will be replaced with a better one that's hardwired directly to the battery. Enough is enough.
It's been said that cruising is boat repair in exotic locations. Sometimes that's just what it is.
Don't feel to bad for me, as my happiness to hassle ratio is well in the plus column.