Had to burn a couple of vacation days so we booked four days/three nights on a mooring ball at Marina Jack's in Sarasota, FL.
The humidity had broken a bit and there was a strong breeze from the ENE Saturday and Sunday. Made for an interesting crossing of Sarasota Bay, taking several waves over the bow. The ball we were assigned had a lot of growth on the pennant and float so it was a lot heavier than my wife had expected but she managed to wrestle it high enough to get the first line through and secure it. I came down to help with the second line and we were good to go.
A) The electric start on the dinghy was not working. (More on that)
B) The valve adapter for the inflator pump for the dinghy was missing.
There was enough air in the tubes to get by, tho it wasn't optimal. The pull start still worked on the first pull so we could get by without the electric start.
Side note: The key turns but there is no sound, not even a click, from the starter. We removed the battery from the circuit and hooked up a jumper. Still nothing. We tapped on the side of the starter motor with a hammer but that had to effect. This weekend, I'll do some more diagnostics.
It's a 30 HP Suzuki with electric start and tilt. I'll check the voltage at the solenoid. If it has power when the key is turned, we can rule out the key, the kill switch and any inline fuse. If not, we'll start backtracking. If so, we'll check to see if power is passing through the solenoid to the starter. Step through the flow.
With the breeze blowing through the aft deck, it was a very pleasant weekend.
Our 100 pound lab whined and cried about getting into and out of the dinghy but she eventually worked it out.
Wife's eldest daughter and youngest daughter drove down to join us for a couple of days. Sunday night, we went to dinner. Wife and eldest daughter decided to stay in town for a few drinks. The youngest and I and the dog returned to Wanderlust. About 1:30 in the morning, wifey texted for me to come back to the dock to pick them up. On the way back to the boat with them, the Coast guard was patrolling the mooring field and noticed our movement. They decided to investigate and boarded us to do a safety inspection. Cool beans! This was something I had been wanting to arrange, anyway.
The Coasties were polite and respectful and were there for about half an hour. We passed with flying colors. No surprise there. Honestly, I was glad they were out there watching over things at night. I didn't feel harassed or anything.
Throughout Sunday evening and into Monday, the generator would randomly shut off. It always restarted easily right after. The temp gauge was always within the normal range and the strainer was always clear with good exhaust water output. After the daughters left Monday afternoon, we shut off the air in their cabin and had no more shutdown issues.
Monday morning, I took the dog ashore to take a walk in the park. While there, a photographer from the local newspaper, the Herald Tribune, took a photo of us as part of a "First day of Fall" story. He approached, introduced himself and the name of his paper, and asked for my name. I said, "That's so weird... that's my name, too! Harold Tribune!" After a few confused blinks, I told him my real name.
He said the photo was going to be in the paper the next day but we never found it.
Monday night, we took a sunset ride in the dinghy before stowing it.
Tuesday was a gorgeous day! One of those days where you just want to turn left and keep going, rather than return to your home port.
We saw lots of playful porpoise and beautiful sunsets, had some great food, and a generally good time. There are some shots in this album
and a 43 second video taken on the way back.