Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Key Largo - Home Port

We made it past all those bridges and the East Coast. 
The weather is still cool, but not cold and we’ll take it! 

We arrived in Key Largo.

We tucked into a cove to protecting us from a North wind. Jimi went out to explore the area; he returned with a 20 hp outboard. He found it in the mangroves submerged in saltwater. Age doesn't matter... boys will be boys. 

After it was on deck for a few minutes, a large crab, as big as his foot, came out and scurried around the stern looking for a safe haven. He stumbled overboard before I could get the camera. Then Jimi pulled this fish out of it. No, we did not eat it. Tee-hee.

A few days later without realizing, the winds shifted, blowing from the south, we dragged anchor and were blown into the shoal. Sanibel has about a 4 1/2 foot draft and we were touching seafloor and listing. Jimi figured the depth was under 4 feet.

The wind was only getting stronger; Jimi wasn't giving up. 

Together we worked with everything we had to get us free. Yes, boats can still float while listing! We maneuvered two anchors, the windlass, the dinghy and it's outboard motor for several hours until we finally did it. 

Then as we motored our way to another, more suitable anchorage our diesel began screaming at us; it was overheating. If we slowed down to one knot to keep the diesel happy, we lost steerage and the high winds took over. Wow- this has been a tough season. We've run aground more this season than in the 5 years living aboard combined. A lot of it is due to uncharted shoals created by hurricane Irma.

 We went for dinner and dessert afterwards. 

Jimi spent two days scraping barnacles and oysters, cleaning the engine inside and out, cleaning the carburetor and electrical, starter, cylinders, and changing the oil and she’s purring again. It’s a 2015, 20 hp, Tohatsu, 4 stroke.
Here's a short test run before he finished cleaning it up.

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