Monday, January 9, 2017

Hard Starting...

Not the Merc on the Ding, that starts pretty easily. It is getting it to idle that is difficult. What proved hard was getting back to cruising, getting off the pier.

A manatee showing us how to relax
Friday was the initial start day. Daughter Eldest and Family departed before sunrise. The plan was to have Kintala underway shortly thereafter. A blustering cold front made leaving the dock problematic, and the oven was having ideas of its own. Ideas that included fluttering, popping and puffing flame balls. Ditch the idea of leaving the dock. Heading out with an oven that was threatening to turn into a hand grenade would be pure lunacy. There is enough of that in the world without my contribution.

There were other small tasks that needed done as well. Good thing, since the oven gremlin was elusive and persistent. It took until Sunday to root him out and send him on his way, with many thanks to Todd at Sure Marine for his troubleshooting help.

Sunday. Oven was fixed. Water tanks were filled. But man was it cold. Monday would be good. We could leave early in the morning. And with that thought in mind Deb went out to check all of the boat's exterior lights. All of which worked except for the bow navigation lights. I am a boat spark chaser, we are sitting in a boat yard that has, and can get, parts. It seemed kind of silly to head off with something like the navigation lights not working. Still being hooked to shore power meant we could at least fend off some of the cold with our little space heater. Monday was planned as a work day. Departure day to be determined.

Monday. Monday morning a water leak was evident by the regular cycling of the pump. Deb found it in less than five minutes. I went to work on the navigation lights. It was just a burned out bulb. Snead Island had the right one in stock. Fixed.

The now properly repaired jib pole didn't fit in its improperly installed brackets any more (thank you previous owner). Since we were (still) in the boatyard I pulled the aft bracket and remounted it to the deck in a place so the pole would fit. It is better than lashing said pole to a stanchion. And the missing battery voltage at the helm charging plug wasn't missing after all. The adapter(s) we kept trying were shot. Get a new adapter and all is well with the world.

Monday afternoon. The days of delay have left us a little short on provisions. Deb borrowed a car to make a run (thank you Nice Man at the Marina). Our bikes went north with the kids, better than leaving them down here to slowly rust into a pile of dust. When she got back it was still just early afternoon. The winds had faded, the sun was out and warming the air, and there didn't seem to be any reason to stay any longer.

While Deb sorted the last of the provisions I topped all the water tanks and started undoing the snarl of lines and power cords that had become Kintala's nest. It all became a bit surreal, but finally, after 285 days of sitting at a dock, we gathered in the lines (instead of leaving them attached to land) and motored out of the basin.

We didn't go far, just out to the anchorage in the Manatee river. Barely a quarter of a mile off of the beach and maybe a mile from the dock, the anchor went over and took a good set. Yet, somehow, the little distance traveled was enough to find an entirely different universe. How can that be?

The sky is clear. The air is cool but the setting sun warms my sweatshirt and reflects off of blue water. Cold front winds have settled down to a gentle breeze, though Kintala swings to the incoming tide. And I am a bit stunned. How could I have forgotten how good it is to be swinging to the hook, with so little care as to what the rest of the world is doing?

A new view out the galley window
There is no telling what the next few hours will bring, let along the next few days or months. But at this moment, though there may be people in the world as content as I am, there is no one more so. Kintala is free of her restraints and on her way once again.

And so am I.


Sheri Gallic said...

Safe travels brother!

Phil Gow said...

Glad you have cast off again!