To Return or Not?
Top most on my mind as I begin this season’s cruise is the
notion that this might be the first leg of the journey to return the
Sirius II to Puget Sound—from
whence I came nearly 14 years ago.
Thus, the subtitle.
However, in the recesses of my mind are the many interesting areas of the
Another subtitle I toy with: “The Voyage of the Keystone Kops,” as so many things happened on this trip that can’t happen. But, they do, as you will read.
So, for the first time in three years, the
Sirius II will set out on a
southerly course with
The usual steps are taken in preparing for this trip. First, the trip to one of the few working boatyards remaining in the Key West/Stock Island area for a haul out. (The boat yards are one-by-one being bought out by investors who want to built exclusive condo-marinas, similar to what is occurring with hotels and trailer courts throughout the Keys.)
The yard mechanics note that the cutless bearing is worn, but all other components of the drive system are A-OK. A crack is later discovered in the propeller and that is replaced, although not with an identical propeller, which might explain the problem with speed that is experienced later.
Finally, back into the water to fuel up and take on the remaining stores. We go back to the anchorage to retrieve the mooring ball held in place by two anchors, anchors which are needed aboard the Sirius II for this trip. I still hear the rattle.
Another long day is needed to secure the houseboat for my absence—especially in the event of tropical storms or hurricanes. Housemate Ray will still occupy the lower deck, but I need to secure the skiff, dock boxes, sliding glass doors aft, etc. Then, we are ready.
It is early morning