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Sunday, November 29, 2020

LaBelle, City Wall

Recall last night when we were tied up between 2 dolphins. When we did that there was a current pushing us southward (we were tied east to west) pushing on our beam and away from the pilings. We knew that if the wind pushed the other way that could be an issue, but we tied the boat up to make sure we didn't rub or bump, and we dropped the dinghy so it, too, wouldn't bump on the pilings. We also triple checked with the weather, and no such wind was supposed to come up.

And yet.

Moonset, just before dawn
A south wind came up around 11 pm. By 11:30 there was some banging. Russ investigated. The south wind was only around 7 mph, which is nothing, making a slight chop of about 6 inches, which is also nothing. But our dinghy is crazy back heavy with a big motor and a very small free board. Taking the weather on its beam made it bounce into our boat, then bounce off the pilings then back. Russ tried several line configurations to get it either secured or away enough to keep it from hitting anything but nothing worked. After struggling with it for 2 hours, the wind direction shifted, and so the the waves. The dinghy then settled. And remained settled through the night.

Leaving the lake you meander through grasses,
like one of those air boats.
That's the second time the dinghy has been an issue while tied to inQuest. Russ is done. A new dinghy has been pushed to the top priority list.

Despite the lack of sleep, we got off the dolphins and raised the dinghy without any problems. We crossed Lake Okeechobee, which was absolutely placid without and problems. Russ took the helm most of the day and locked us through the two locks before we got to our destination, LaBelle. The entire day was perfect.

Lots of smoke from sugar cane burns.
By the way, we were half way across the lake, commiserating over the events of the evening, when it dawned on us what we should have done. We carry this spool of dynema line, which is long, strong, and floats, for med-mooring. We've used it once. IT WOULD HAVE BEEN PERFECT! We could have use that to tie up between the wider-gapped dolphins and never even lowered the dinghy. I was so frustrated that we didn't think of it that I almost turned inQuest around to go back and try it again.

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