Where we at

Monday, February 27, 2023

Miami Boat Show and Key West

Boats! As far as you can see!
After weeks and weeks of projects we decided we needed a vacation. Some would say living on a boat is a vacation, and we don't disagree. But it is a fair bit of work and, well, we needed to get away from it.

The Miami Boat Show served as a good place to start. Many of the projects left us with lists of things we'd like to buy. Things like a seasucker handle (since we cut in new steps on the back we removed a handle, so a suction-type would help getting on and off the dingy without permanently installing something), a new diving hooka, an emergency self-inflating raft, and an LED searchlight to replace our current one. 

BIG boats, too! Fun to check them out.
We'd been to the boat show before, but it had been a couple of years now, since before Covid. It had completely changed since then; now it was in a new location and clearly had a much higher entrance fee for the vendors. As a result, many of the small vendors weren't there. Seasucker, which had been there before, was missing, and we didn't find any LED lights. Tons of boats, engines, flooring, beds, and furniture -- all the high end stuff.

Despite that we did have a great time. We got to see the crew of High Wind again, Hannah and David. They were seeking some warmth in Miami since their boat was stuck in Baltimore. We also got to have dinner with an old high school friend of mine, Bill, who lives in Miami.

Raw bar is right next to a marina.
From there we headed south to Key West for a couple of days. Mostly we walked around the nifty town and ate pizza, tapas, and oysters (not at the same place, mind you) and sipped Dark and Stormys on the porch of the Rum House. This was our first visit to Key West since a cruise we took 25 years earlier. We even found the raw bar we ate at back then. Still open, but the $9/dozen is now $22/dozen, and that's the "happy hour" special!

Key West gecko hanging out by the boats.
During the 4 days we walked anywhere from 15k to 18k steps each day. Once we got back to the boat we kicked our feet up, needing to take a break!

Monday, February 6, 2023

Monthly Update

Kinda been living like this for weeks now.
Yes, we are still around. Still in Longboat Key. Still doing... stuff.

It seems there is never enough you can do for your boat, and just when you think you have it under control something totally, out-of-the-blue, happens. This morning we had no water.

Water in the tanks, pump is on, but the pump isn't working. We put in that pump about a year and a half ago while on the Ohio. These are notorious for being short lived but less that 2 years is really short.

New oven, woo hoo!
We have a spare on the boat because we are prepared. Given Russ was already doing a bunch of plumbing, this fit right in as "a bit more to do." It couldn't be just swapped out; details like affixing it to the wall and electricity had to be worked out. It took the better half of the day but Russ got it working.

We have completed:

  • New oven / new toaster
  • Replace electronics of new cooktop (oh yes, there's a story there)
  • Steps cut into the stern, which I'm totally jazzed about
  • New plumbing switches (electric, not manual)
  • New engines starters (since the old ones died on our way home)


Recall we just got a new cooktop? While working on the new plumbing we had a line break and a stream of water jetted right into the underside of it, shorting everything out. Rather than replace the whole unit the manufacturers sent us just the bottom part with electronics.

We do get dramatic dawns, tho
inQuest has two water tanks. We keep the front one either full or empty -- if it's half way and there's any motion from wind or waves, it sloshes, which is rather loud, making nights long and noisy. As a result we use the back solely, and when it's empty we drain the front into the back. This requires Russ to go into the engine room and open valves. Now these are electronic. With a push of a button the valves should open between the tanks. Sounds nifty. Can't wait to try it.

If you recall we had engine issues 2 days from being back in LBK. At the time Russ fixed it with duct tape. Turns out that part is not at all replaceable -- they do not make them anymore. So, Russ had to redo the electrical system including how the engines start, stop, and we get data like oil pressure and fuel gauges. That involved redoing the helm controls and installing a new chart plotter. Can't wait to try it, either.

Hopefully we're about done with the big projects and can do some fun stuff. We're planning on going to the Miami Boat Show later this month, then spend a few days in Key West.

Assuming nothing out-of-the-blue happens...