Sunday, February 26, 2012

A little different view

While going through the cuts between the different bodies of water, the one thing that has caught our eye is how different things looks when viewed from up high.  One of the biggest changes from GH to Nati is that now we see objects from above and not at water level!

I seem so tall!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Watch out!

We are now heading south to pick up a spool of amsteel and our mail in Marathon.  Yesterday there was some sort of poker run that mostly missed us but I did get this video ....

The poker run had jets following it and photo helicopters almost at water level.


Look what we have!!!!!!

It has been over a decade since the last flower but Cruz finally delivered!  This orchid has been all over the country, tossed around boats and almost fried.......

Happy hour!

We met up with our friends on Flight Plan at our anchorage near Star Island.  They recently picked up their new Seawind 1000 and were in the market to spend money too.  Jen, Vince and Ralph came over for cocktails and Jen did some practice readings on us.  This weekend she is going up to the Fisher Poets meeting for poem readings.  They were really good.  Too bad the video I attempted didn't work.

Good luck Jen!

Heading to Miami

Since Nati is new to us we figured there was something we could use so up we go to the Miami Boat Show.

 A nice sunrise at Elliott Key.

Great colors!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

More firsts for the day!

Check out our new grill!  The O-grill kicked butt on our lamb chops.  Amy........we made sure it was your favorite color!!


Lamb...our first meal on the grill!

By the way this is the last bottle of very good French wine that we have........hint, hint..........Anniversary is coming soon!  Thanks Chief and Millie!!

Dad, skip the hot sauce and focus on the tall bottle!

We are outta here!

The engine is working great.  The boat show is coming up this weekend and we NEED to sail!

This morning we dropped the mooring and headed out.......NE in the Hawk Channel towards Channel 5 Bridge.  Nati felt great and we made good time up the channel in 10-14kts.  Granted she is not a pinching machine like Grey Hound but we still managed 6.5-7.4kts and didn't have a drop of water touch the cockpit.

A view through the floor hatch

We pulled into Shell Key for the night and we are the only boat here.......SO nice to be out by ourselves!

Sunset from Shell Key

Meanwhile......back on shore

We are thinking this cool machine could be right up our alley.  How much fun it would be to pull into Hidden Ridge Trail driving a Japanese Mini Truck?

Of course, even though it did cost $14,000 new we could drive off with this machine that is almost the same color as a John Deere Gator for $800.............

Batteries not is electric too!

I finally caught something!

Almost forgot........during sea trials we couldn't get the port engine up to revs.....guess what we found???

Ring any bells Phil & Cathy?

At least I got to jump in and swim around for a short while!

Dang crab pots!

See anything in this picture?

For those of you that pay attention.............OK, maybe there is one or two of you!

See the blue fabric item stuck in the top right side of the picture????

So I'm in the dink asking for the drill and I hear........."Oh Honey......I think I found something"  So of course I do .....huhhhhhhh??!!

Yep, somehow I managed to do a very good job of hiding my wallet in the drill, Anne says putting the wallet away with my tools!

Oh well......all is well that ends well and now I have new credit cards!  Safety is no accident you know!

Hooray! One week to the day!

Marathon Diesel has the engine ready so we went back to Burdine's (who have been very nice to let us dock out in the back) to have it put back in.

One thing is certain.......this Yanmar has not lost any weight during the overhaul!  Forklifts are very nice for a portion of the job.

These guys mean business!

Just what we need at the nav station

After the installation all of us went out on sea trials and everything went great!  We cannot say enough about the mechanics that work for Luis.  If we had to do this work I can't imagine a better way to get it done!


I'm quality control......

They call this guy Mr BIG
Oh yes, we did have the unexpected supervisor of all of this.  Maybe he just wanted to make sure we stayed off the bottom this time.........(we did).
Note....the dinghies are 9-10 feet long!  And note the midget on the dock!!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

When in Rome....I mean Marathon

Since we are hanging out here waiting for our engine we've been able to try out the oven.  For the first time ever on one of our boats Anne has made "Boatfish Burritos"!  We had them for dinner and the next night she sliced them up and used them as hors d'oeuvres when Jim and Sharon came over.  Yum yum!

Boatfish Burritos!

The next morning was kind of cool so the theme of oven use continued......


A great way to start the day!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Stuck in Marathon still!!

Some of you may wonder what the heck we are still doing in Marathon.

Well.........  How about the long version:

While coming down the coast we kept a keen eye on everything since Nati is pretty new to us.  In particular, the starboard engine was using more oil than it should and at times it would not start up right away.  When we pulled into Marathon I asked around and found Marathon Diesel and they have a real good reputation in the area so they came out to do a compression test on both engines and then we tested the injectors.  Yep, good guess!.......the starboard engine failed big time.  Since we will be going north in the not too long future we felt it would be best to address the situation now.  Hence, the following story unfolds...........

First we left the mooring and headed over to Burdines, who were kind to let us dock in the back, right next to Marathon Diesel.

The engine had to come out.........maybe these guys aren't Super Man but they sure had a lunker by the tail and over a two hour period they were able to disassemble the engine and get it off Nati.

The men of Marathon Diesel

Once we were able to get it off the boat things were a little easier......forklift to the rescue!
Bad engine!!

This is what the engine room looks like without an engine........rather empty I'd say.

Oh yea, and old Chinese proverb says that when you dock in shallow water for the day, make sure the moon in not full or else one should plan on staying put until high tide.  Your right again!  By the time the engine came out we were on the bottom with the starboard hull.  Time to go have a beer!

How come we are not level??

So before sunset the tide came up and we limped back to the mooring ball on one engine.  We really didn't have a choice since that is  all we had!  

As a side wallet went missing so if you find a blue wallet floating by your boat please deliver it to us as found.  Keep the money, just give me back my ABC Liquor card!

Then to continue the saga; the next morning Luis calls and tells us that the block will need some special attention and it can only be done in Miami.  He will send it up UPS but the process will take a least a week so the only alternative is....right we go to Miami in a rental car the next morning at 5am to deliver the block and head.  It is very dark and quiet in Boot Key harbor at 4:30am!

We just made it back to Budget Rent-a-car before they charged us another day.  Chalk up another 280 miles of driving for us!  Lets not forget the 6 mile round trip walk to get the darn car!

Next day.....time to clean up.  But first, new belts for the port engine as they were starting to make noise.  Another first for us......Diesel maintenance 101.

good thing I fit in!

Have to make this place sparkle!

Stay tune for the install.  With luck we will be back to two engines by Tuesday or Wednesday.  Who said this is a vacation for us??!!  Looks like another crazy day in the KEYS!!

Some history flying by.......

Last weekend the airport at Marathon held a small air show and a number of vintage WWII planes came in.  The held tours and a few lucky people were able to take rides.  The P-51 was very cool to see and hear but never got close enough to take a picture of.  The B-17 went by but the camera didn't take a good picture of it.
The plane below is a B-24 and it was the best shot we have.....

Look! Our new dinghy, "Dingo"

I'm not actually sure how we picked up the name but I think it has something to do with Marty and Kathy being involved.

Jeff, want to race?????  10'2" of hard bottom boat with a 9.8hp on the back.  She may not be pretty but she sure goes when the throttle is turned!!

Friday, February 3, 2012

What would our blog be without a sunset!

This is what 25-30 knots of wind is like on Nati!

Phil & Cathy

Sure looks scary!
Phil & Cathy were our first guests on board for two nights.  We pulled into Plantation Yacht Harbor and they jumped on during a fueling stop.  We spent a night in Long Key Bight and then headed down to Boot Key with the headsail reefed and had a good time going down the Hawk Channel.  No water came on board at anytime!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A few interior shots.....

The guest quarters

Main salon

Our galley

Captain's berth

Nav station
Anne is still working her magic but we are getting things in place........

A sailing video

A little background for the past month...

We will go backwards a little just so everyone can see some of what we did since selling GH.  First our survey of Nati:
 - So now we had to do a "quick-haul" of Nati so our surveyor could take a look at the whole boat.  The Hinkley yard in Manatee Pocket did a great job at taking care of this.  Tony and the rest of the workers there could not have been more professional!