Wednesday, December 08, 2004

First Cruise

We took David's mom and dad on our first overnight cruise to Desoto Point over Thanksgiving weekend. The weather cooperated beautifully, giving us a favorable beam to broad reach in each trip across Tampa Bay.

The bottom still needs a good scraping and painting, but the boat still averaged about 6 knots on each day.

We learned a few things, some good some bad. In the good column, it's really NICE to own an electric windlass. That anchor just comes up so easily when all you have to do is push a button with your big toe. And we certainly appreciated the shallow draft of Pelican. We were late to the anchorage, but were able to sneak in right near shore and drop the hook in about six feet of water. It made for a bit of a restless night for David, who kept getting up hoping we had not dragged into shore. We didn't.

Added a few jobs. It turns out the biggest, heaviest battery on board was completely dead, and hidden from David by a funky wiring configuration. David and Betsy and Larry spent the better part of a day following the trip building a battery and wiring diagram. Again, good and bad news. It's really tough to lift a 132 pound battery out of a boat. But we've now successfully replaced them with a nice set of 6 volt golf cart batteries. At least when they have to be replaced it can be done by one person. The good news, is the boat has two excellent battery chargers, I now know what I need to know about the system, and the batteries are well on their way to being well maintained.

The other job we need to address is rebuilding the forward head. Ick. Not exactly a clean job, but it appears that one of the gaskets should most likely be replaced.

We cooked dinner using a combination of the propane stove, the gas grill and the microwave. Breakfast we grilled up pancakes. It's like living in the lap of luxury!

And the new canvass is starting to arrive. The new bimini top and wind dodger are great. The trip would have been mildly cold were it not for our huge new dodger. We can't wait for the new Doyle sail stak-pak to be installed. That will make raising, lowering and stowing the sails much simpler, making our trips even more enjoyable.

All in all a great trip. Hardly full of any adventures to speak of. We handled the boat almost like we were used to sailing a bigger vessel. (short of an unplanned jibe or two on the downwind legs we did great. Considering we had 5 people and a big drooling dog on board, we never seemed to get in each others way. Nice.

So lets see, the wish list/need list has additions of:

1. whisker pole
2. head rebuild kit
3. 2nd battery desulfator
4. more soft drink can holders for the cockpit (available at JSI)
5. a bottom job.
6. a big Bruce anchor and second anchoring system for the foredeck.
7. autopilot
8. radar
9. rudder position indicator
10. electronic wind indicator
11. wood steps for the aft ladder


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