The Journey of S/V Moonshine

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

On the Sea again!

Well we're back on the move. Life was good in St. Petersburg and we could see how easy it would be to settle  into the shoreside life. But it was time to go. Made a quick sail out to Egmont Key, not far past the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. Had a nice pleasant night on the hook. Took off in the AM to head for Shark River......NOT! The alternater wasn't alternating!! Somehow blew a fuse that had no spare anyplace aboard. Ugh!! Decided we need that kind of electrical generation since it was the only reliable source of power we had. At least sort of reliable. We decided to go in at Longboat Pass Bridge and find a fuse. Sound easy?.....NOT! This pass has a reverse tide that doesn't seem to show on any charts. Tried coming in at the bottom of the ebb tide. That sucked us right up to the bridge as it was opening sloooooooowly! Made it through. We had been advised that there was an anchorage to the starboard of the bridge. That happened to mean IMMEDIATLY to the starboard after the bridge. Figured that out as we started sliding onto the bottom. Dang!! We did get to practice our ungrounding skills. Good Practice for about an hour. Anyway, we did get our electrical problems figured out. Only took a few days!! Now for the exit back to sea. It should suffice to say that it isn't easy to stop a 21,000 lb. sailboat when the bridge gets stuck half way up. Aaahhhhhh!!! NEGATIVE! NEGATIVE! NEGATIVE! Was my wifes response when the tender asked if we could make it that way!! They had to lower the bridge and start over. Exciting morning.
Our intended journey was to go to Shark River on the southern tip of mainland Florida, not to be. After getting out in the Gulf of Mexico we got on such a good tack and were sailing along wonderfully we just decided to go on to the Dry Tortugas instead. So the following evening we pulled into the bay in front of Fort Jefferson. Wow, what a beautiful location. Great snockeling, bird watching and tours of the fort. (snuck into the tours from the tourist boats) It was a great time. Stayed there for 5 days. Waited to pick another pleasant weather window to sail on to Key West.........NOT!! It started out pleasant even though the winds were contrary. By evening we were getting 20 to 25 kt winds right on the nose with no place to go, since we were in the South West Channel to Key west. Reefs blow us and reefs above us. The biggest problem we had, besides the 5 to 6' seas was we were sailing along way to fast and would end up coming into an unfamiliar anchorage in the middle of the night. What a night of bouncing around stalling for daylight.Made it in fine and tied up to the mooring ball behind Fleming Key and went to bed.  Wonderful.
Now we get to spend several days doing the tourist things in Key West. Truly a world of it's own in the Keys. Hard to explain. After leaving here we will continue up the Keys to Little Torch, Bahia Honda and Marathon. Hope to enjoy our stay down here till we start the larger leaps up the east coast to the Chesapeake. So for now it's Sloppy Joes and Key Lime Pie. Yum Yum!
Thanks to everyone for your nice comments. Hope I'm keeping you posted enough. Too bad we don't have access everywhere, but then again........
So long for now.
Stow aways to the Dry Tortugas

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Hey there, I'm back. We've been really busy the last few weeks getting ready to head south to the Keys then north to the Chesapeake. It has been a great time here in St. Pete, Fl. We'll miss all the friends we made here but with the help of modern tech. we will be able to keep in touch better than ever. We finished all our work on the hard. Changed out our sensor through hulls and put on another coat of bottom paint. Buffed and polished the hull with Poliglo. It looks great.

In the mean time we had a great Renaming Party. We crowded 12 hardy souls aboard and preformed a traditional ceremony.....well sort of. It was interspersed with some singing and general merry making.