Firstly, the knee is fine. As bad as it hurt when I twisted/turned/pulled/sprained/broke it the other day by the simple act of going down the steps into the cabin, it’s like nothing happened and it feels fine. No swelling, bruising, or after effects. So far.
As for the boat swap, I’m still waiting for the other party to try to arrange to transport the Spirit from Ft. Myers to…someplace. There are several scenarios we can do:
Rent a trailer and vehicle, or hire a transport, and bring the Spirit to Key West by trailer. Then load up the Seacraft and take it back to where ever it will end up. This works best for all concerned. No sailing around, both boats are trailerable, and we can do the swap right here. There is a ramp about a mile away that should work if the tide is right. But there is some difficulty. Transporters are expensive and permits may be needed although I am doubting it. We can’t use a yard or marina as we thought. Boat yards will want excessive amounts of extra money to do things that are not necessary. Like raising and lowering masts and stuff. All things we can do ourselves. The cost of this option will fall on the Spirit owner. I don’t have any spare cash for such an operation.
Next option is to trailer the Spirit to Key Largo. There I have a place I can dock the Spirit for free for a few days whilst I move the cats and my few scraps of clothing onto it. Then take a few days to get the boat in sailing condition, and when the weather is good, sail it back to Key West. A trip of that sort would take 2 or 3 days with an overnight stop in Marathon or Bahia Honda along the way. In the meantime the new owner of the Seacraft could come down, throw a motor on it, and sail it back to Key Largo.
One side option, I sail the Seacraft up with his motor, and sail the Spirit back. Not a bad option either way. I will end up spending a bit for essentials for the trip but I could sail either the bay or ocean side of the Keys all the way down and stay safely inshore about a mile or so from land. Given my unfamiliarity with the new boat, this is important because of the next option.
Leave the Spirit in Ft. Myers, the new owner of the Seacraft takes it back as in the second option. Somehow I move the cats and I all the way to Ft. Myers, a six hour drive, can’t take them on the ferry, they would freak out. Then once there I get the Spirit ready and sail back to Key West.
This option brings up some issues. Not knowing the boat that well, I would be attempting to sail from Ft. Myers down along the southwest coast of Florida along the everglades and then sail across 50 miles or better of open water along the ICW to Marathon, then down to Key West. A trip of 3 to 5 days depending on weather. I would need more better gear, probably a tune up on the engine, and the ability to anchor off here and there to sleep. Not the best option. The other route would be somewhat easier, but longer and more expensive. I would take the Spirit across the Okeechobee Waterway from Ft. Myers to Stuart, then down the ICW through Ft. Lauderdale, and yuck, Miami, and then down through the Keys. A trip like this would be over 400 miles, most of which would be under power from a 5 hp Briggs and Stratton outboard. Very risky and factoring in fuel, docking at marinas along the way to sleep, and all, could mean a trip costing 8 to 10 days and nearly $1000.
And too make it all more better, we really need to get this swap down before the week of the 24/25th which is lobster mini season. The very last thing I want to do right now is try to sail a boat across the Keys when every idiot in south Florida is down here trying to catch dinner. We can wait until after as well, but, I’m getting a bit antsy.
If things were just a wee bit different, as the title states, were my income a bit more dependable, were my disposable income able to handle outfitting the Spirit all at once, I would be sorely tempted to leave the Spirit up in Ft. Myers, arrange transport to the boat, get it outfitted, and go do some cruising. Give up the slip here at the Labombard House of Ill Repute, go sail around the state for a month or two, then work my way back down through the Keys until I find a new home. Very tempting indeed. It would make a really cool adventure but the timing is just not right. Too many if’s, what’s, how’s, and monetary issues to do that. Maybe in the near future, or next spring when the snowbirds are heading back north. But not now.
What I need is to get the Spirit someplace in the Keys, here, Key Largo, whatever, and then go from there. I have people who can get me from one end of the Keys to the other, with the cats, and sailing down from Key Largo to here for a couple of days, would be a nice little trip. I know the waters pretty well, and as long as the weather is good, it should be an easy trip.
I should know more later this week as to what we will do. Stay tuned.