Every morning before we set out, I go down into the engine room and do a quick systems check. I am looking for anything that seems out of the ordinary. I check the oil levels in the engines and generators. I inspect the transmission fluids and fuel levels and other things like that. In reality, it is an excuse to putz around down there because I did the same exact check the night before, but I like to look busy around Kim.
Today during the check, I discovered that we were getting low on water. Our boat carries 450 gallons in two separate tanks and it is used to take showers, wash dishes and such... just like in a house. We still had some left in the tanks but I thought since we had several days left to go, it might be wise to stop at a marina and fill up. When we started the journey back in Norfolk, the tanks were full. One of the things we wanted to discover on this trip was to see how long these full tanks would last. We weren't trying to conserve any water at this point. I took my normal showers (heaven knows that it doesn't take me long to wash my hair anymore) and Kim did too. We were busy cleaning a lot and we found that the toilets used a fair amount as well. So it was no big deal to find out that after three days, we had used about 2/3's of what we carry.
We have these wonderful guide books that are similar to AAA travel logs. They list every marina and boat supply stop along the ICW. It was easy to just thumb through and find one that was along our route. We were packed up and rarin' to go early. The mission
today was to put another 60 miles behind us and
fill up with water. The weather was perfect again. Clear skies and calm winds. Kim worked part of the morning trying to figure out how the oven worked. She was going to make fresh cinnamon rolls for breakfast. I think that she had to use plan B as the big oven would light off. We have this backup toaster oven on board that in reality worked better. All I knew was that after about an hour, the smell of freshly baked rolls began wafting up onto the flybridge. It smelled grand!
The route today took us through another stretch of man made canals that connected a couple of rivers. We wouldn't be at the marina we picked out until around noon so we had much of the morning to drone along at 8 mph. One of the nice things about this marina was that it had free wifi available. We had been out of contact for several days now and I was starting to get withdraw symptoms. No internet? No cell phones? How could one survive under such spartan conditions?!! On top of that, it would be nice to just step on dry land again, if only for an hour or so.
We found the marina with no problems. They were glad to see us as business had been slow the past several months. We bought some fuel from them, even though we didn't need any. They had a dog, which gave Kim lots to be happy about. All in all, it was a nice pit stop.
About an hour after we left the marina, we were able to get a cell phone signal again. I felt like Tom Hanks after his rescue in 'Castaway' when I saw those bars appear on my phone. "We're back!" I called down to Kim. Three days out of the loop seemed like a long time. It was good to be connected again. Unfortunately I only had one message and it was from AmVets. They were going to be in the neighborhood and wanted to know if we had anything. I guess there wasn't much going on in the 'loop' anyway......
Our final anchorage looked to be a delightful spot. It was right off the ICW in an area surrounded by trees. It was protected on all sides from the wind and the water was calm. Unfortunately one of the reasons it was so calm was because it was so shallow. As we approached the entrance to the cove, our trusty depth sounder let us know that we were getting into waters that MAYA wouldn't like. We want to keep at a minimum, 4 feet of water under the hull. We weren't even near the spot we wanted to drop anchor and we were all ready at the limit. The chart said it was going to be tight anyway and upon further reflection, we decided to press on down the way to another spot. It turned out to be for the best anyway as it was still early in the day and we wanted to keep going if we could.
Another perfect anchor drop for us. We were now 2 for 3 and hoping for a continued winning streak moving forward. Pasta was on the menu for the last night on the hook. Another great sunset and it was time for lights out. I was playing around with one of the TV's and was able to watch a little of Jeopardy! Couldn't ask for more than that.