Wieners on a Boat - and a weekend of Firsts

Dogs on a boat are tricky.  I'm not talking a big Laborador or Golden Retriever that could lunge gracefully up and down the companion way stairs.  I'm talking tiny little (chunky) wiener dogs.  4" legs - long backs prone to injury.  And remember that post about how far we are away from grass?  Yeah - this is going to be a challenge.

We took the boat out Friday.  Leaving the dock was ugly - and there weren't even any bad winds/currents/ storms to blame this time...  We didn't hurt any boats, it was way just too close for comfort. We headed over to a marina and finally got some fuel.  We filled up in Ponce, FL - you know, a month ago, right before we motor-sailed for 27 hrs in the ocean to get her home.  Then we took her out one day for 4 hrs and another day for 2, and last weekend for a little bit...  The fuel gauge kept saying 3/4 tank, so I assumed it was stuck or something.  Turns out, if you look at it head on, instead of from the wheel, it says 1/2 full.  And when we, oh-so-gracefully this time, pulled her up to the fuel dock Friday afternoon, she took 18 gallons (in a 39 gal tank) of marine diesel.  I'd say that's some pretty good mileage.  We went hundreds of miles on 1/2 a tank of fuel.  THAT, my friends, is why we bought a sail boat!  And the fuel gauge is correct - a bonus find.

This was a weekend full of all kinds of firsts - for us and the dogs.  These guys (Molly and Libby)

used to have a back yard with doggy doors into the screened in porch and my art studio (with both A/C and radio in the studio).  They had a pool to swim in, frogs and squirrels to chase, neighbors to bark at incessantly - they were living the dog life.  Then we decided to up and move to the condo.  Here they are on a walking schedule.  They have to stay on a leash.  There's (thankfully) nothing living in the condo for them to chase.  They were getting fat and lazy.  So now we're throwing the currently-dinghy-less boat into the mix.  We wanted to head out for a 3 day weekend - and the dang dogs insist on peeing at least a few times a day.  Enter the paddleboards!

Pee break!  (and maybe some bird chasing)

We thought about it - this may actually be the First time the dogs have been to the beach.  Stupid no-dog beach laws.

They also tromped in the marsh, but I don't have pics of that mess.

Other firsts this weekend include:

Anchoring - sure we anchored out all the time in the teeny tiny Stingray - but in this beast?  We finally got to use the windlass.  It was cool!  And the anchor held just fine.
Anchor alarm - this is on the chart plotter and I set it for the 2nd lowest setting: .05  I freely admit I don't know what the unit of measure is.  It was just a WAG. (wild ass guess)  Turns out, that mystery unit of measure is less than the pivoting of the boat as the tide changes - as proven by the alarm sounding at 3am.  Fortunately, I was sleeping right next to the chartplotter and checked our position and turned it off quickly.

Sleeping on deck:  it. was. hot.  We could NOT get comfortable at our chosen anchor point.  The wind died.  The a/c's only work on 110 power - thus when plugged into the dock...The Breeze Boosters only boost an existing breeze.  So Friday night - to be the First night on the new bedding, turned out to be the First night sleeping in the cockpit.  I thought it was pretty nice, actually.  Under the stars.  And the almost full moon.

We finally got to use that whisker pole!  Our first wing-and-wing set up.
And most important?  Solo (us, together, but without a "real" captain onboard) navigation down the ICW, thru Ossabaw Sound into the ocean and back in thru Wassaw Sound.  I have to say that the chart plotter was a huge relief in these activities.  I was also tracking everything in our chart book, but in the treacherous waters here - full of moving sand bars and mud flats - it was nice to see the depth and channel on-screen as well as in the paper charts.

Last but not least, I have officially been deemed Captain - by default, I suppose. I was a pretty adept captain of the 18' power boat, but this beast has a mind of her own. All those surgeries last year have made my chest muscles pretty useless.  That's not ideal when you're plowing toward someone else's boat.  I simply cannot fend us off of boats.  It's frustrating.  But after the almost-disastrous trip out of our slip Friday, it was quickly determined that I really need to be at the helm so that he can fend us off.  I just drive really r e a l l y slowly up to docks/our slip - and it seems to do the trick.  I'm sure with practice it won't make me want to throw up.  

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