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Melissa & Dave - Adventures at Sea

Day 12 - Almost

There are some days you get up and after a while wonder if it might have been better to stay in bed.  Maybe it’s the nearly full moon.  This might have been one of those days.  We dropped the mooring buoy at Otter Bay and headed off to Bedwell Harbor again.  We could all use a soak in the Poet’s Cove Spa hot tub and hang in the steam cave.  So we set out with that goal.  We would fail at that and several other things along the way.

Jim cooked us a great breakfast.  Leftover pork tenderloin and scrambled eggs with green onions.  We put that over corn tortillas with a sprinkle of cheese and salsa.  And Dave insisted on mimosas because “its been days since we had them”.  It was a solid start to the day.

However, Melissa discovered that the remaining blueberries had tried to commit suicide and spread themselves in a big mess in the bottom of the fridge. Sigh. First fail of the day.

Underway, Jim, Margaret, and Melissa have all updated their guess as to who the “murderer” was in their “who done it” game.  They decide to read the solution.  Melissa starts reading out loud, and much of the solution we had right this time.  Alas a couple of very key bits of evidence/puzzles we totally missed.  And in retrospect obvious.  Second fail of the day.

We made our way to Bedwell Harbor and there were a number of open mooring buoys.  So we choose one and Jim and Melissa set up on the bow to grab it as Dave approached it.  Jim snagged it, but the ring wouldn’t come up through the middle.  And it wasn’t tall enough for Melissa to reach and put the line through it.  So Dave says, “get it from the stern”.  This is where the chaos begins. 

Melissa ties one end of the dock line to the bow cleat and runs the line to the aft where Jim grabs it.  Melissa gets the boat hook, and Dave backs up to the buoy.  Tricky because now the wind is blowing pretty good.  But we snag the buoy and loop the line through.  At which point the buoy flips over and twists the rope.  And somehow we also managed to get a knot in the line.  Jim then (under Melissa’s instruction) loops the other end of the rope to the aft cleat.  This makes a triangle – the mooring buoy, and the forward and aft cleats.  The wind is blowing hard so now boat has turned sideways to the wind – and hence the lines are tight as guitar strings – and twisted and knotted.  Doh.  Melissa wonders for a moment if we will have to cut the line because its now too tight to walk the line forward so that both ends of the line are at the bow.  Dave is not a happy captain.  His crew has failed him.  Jim and Dave start pulling with all their might on the line trying to pull it in so that we can get the line off the aft cleat and try to walk it forward.  Jim manages to get it unhooked from the aft cleat.  They both continue to pull.  As they try to walk forward, Jim has to let go for few seconds and Dave lurches over the side.  Melissa squeels.  Dave’s reading glasses – which were tucked in his shirt - go splash.  Oh yeah.  Not a happy captain.  Through sheer force of will, Jim and Dave manage to get the line walked forward – at which point the boat turns into the wind, and they get the line properly tied off.

We would have been better off using our anchor.  Sigh.  Mooring buoys are supposed to be easier.  Not today apparently.  We must have looked like total rookies.  Third fail of the day.

Note: Upon reflection, Dave says that the “right” way to have done this would be to approach the buoy from the stern but in such a way that the wind was blowing us into the buoy so that (hopefully) we could walk the line back the bow without so much tugging and pulling.

We had heard from a friend that they had managed to catch crab by dropping a line in the water with bait tied to it.  Then pull up the line and the crabs won’t let go of their dinner.  We decide to give it a try.  Jim takes the lamb bones we had saved from last night’s dinner and drills holes in them so we can string them on a line.

Here is the readied fishing line.

Dave says “your chances of catching a crab are zero”.  None the less, we purchase Jim a fishing license just in case.  Its only $7 so no biggie even if we fail yet again.  Dave says we should only purchase it if on the off chance we catch something.

An hour later we try to pull up the line.  We theorize that the skiff is the best bet because if in the off chance we actually pull up a crab, we can get it into the bottom of the skiff and then decide how to deal with it.  So Jim and Dave get in the skiff to attempt this maneuver.

Margaret pulls the line.  Cuz Melissa is on camera duty.

And…. a crab is pulled up but jumps off at the last minute…  So we put the line back down.

After hanging out for a bit, Dave and Melissa head off to the liquor store in the skiff.  We are short red wine.  Should be a quick jaunt across the bay.  Key words, “should be”.  We head off with the 2.5 HP motor.  Its slower, but given the time needed to deploy the 20 HP motor using the boom, its going to be faster to go across the bay with the 2.5 HP motor.  Yeah. Not. So. Much.  About 2/3rds of the way there, steam starts coming out of the engine.  Dave stops the motor.  Its overheating.  After starting and stopping several times, Dave determines that the cooling water is not coming through the motor properly.  But it seems to cough and then start working again.  Dave speculates that something got sucked in and then was coughed out.  So he decides to keep going.  A short bit later, the water again turns hot and steam is coming out of the engine.  We turn around.  Dave deduces that the issue is quite likely the fresh water impeller has failed and the water is no longer cooling the engine.  Now this is not a do or die deal.  Melissa has her cell phone.  So even if its too far to row (which it probably is) we can call someone to come get us.  But MacGyver can’t ask for help.  So he babies the engine all the way back.  Jim is up on deck taking pictures.  So Melissa says to Dave, “smile for the pictures!”.  Fourth fail of the day.

Back aboard the boat, Dave and Melissa are SHOCKED to find that Jim has pulled aboard a crab.  Ok, yeah, you didn’t see that coming did you?  Figured that would be another fail?  Nope.  It actually worked.  Much to everyone’s surprise.  Jim kept pulling up the line every 30 minutes or so.  He had a few more crab, but they all jumped off before being pulled back aboard.  He cuts the fat of a steak we planned to have tomorrow for steak and eggs.  That too works as bait, but the crabs successfully make their escape.

We didn’t have any fishing gear aboard.  So Jim crafted crab measuring devices for both red rock and dungeness crab out of wine boxes.

Jim and Dave put the 20 HP motor on the dingy and Melissa and Dave head out yet again to the store.  Red wine is the goal.  This time – success!  We snag some wine and come back aboard.

And then we head out to the spa.  Margaret who is not feeling great stays behind.  By the time we finally get there – its 4:30 and they close at 5:00.  Not feeling like 30 minutes  is worth the $25 per person day pass, we head back to the boat.  Fifth fail of the day.  Blame it on the 2.5 HP motor.

Despite our troubles, the boat next to us seems to be having a worse day.  The husband and wife get into an argument and start screaming at each other.  “F&#+ You!”  Not clear what they are arguing about.  We all go up into the cockpit to watch the carnage.  The wife has now gotten into the dingy.  We speculate she plans to leave.  But she can’t seem to figure out the engine.  More screaming.  Eventually the husband joins her in the dingy.  At which point the physical fight breaks out.  Yes.  We saw her throwing punches – pulling back only a few inches from his face.  He appears to grab her foot and pull her down into the dingy to prevent her from landing a punch.  We can’t hear all the words – but the visuals seem clear enough.  Eventually things seem to calm down a bit.  We *think* maybe she was trying to learn to use the dingy and he was trying to show her.  Husbands should never try to teach wives and vice versa.  Never ends well.  In any case, we are all grateful not to be married to someone who would threaten with punches.

We then cooked the rock crab.  Simple – pot of boiling water.  Pull the crab out when its done.  Well that is only after Captain Dave dispatched and cleaned the crab for us.  (Captain Dave saves the day yet again.)  And then cool it off.  Melissa takes it and puts it in the freezer.  Yeah – fifth fail of the day.  She just dumped a ton of heat into the freezer.  The “normal” process is to put the cooked hot crab into a bag, tie it to a rope, and dunk it in the ocean to cool off.  That way we don’t burn power cooling it down.  Dang it.  She knew that!

Time to cook dinner.  Hamburgers.  Captain Dave’s favorite.  Yesterday Melissa took the hamburgers out of the freezer.  Jim had packaged the hand ground burgers up in two packs of four and one pack of three.  Knowing we were having hamburgers, Melissa defrosted the second pack of four (the first pack of four having already been consumed).  Or so she thought.  Nope, she defrosted the pack of three.  Fail number six.  Jim recovered this by warming the pack of frozen solid burgers in warm water, and then grilling.  Captain Dave was a happy camper because this “fail” means he has an extra burger to eat.  Too full to eat the crab, we leave it for tomorrow.

After dinner, a spider hunt ensues with the vacuum.  We caught yet another 20 spiders.  Yuck.

So in the end, was it a “bad day”?  Nope.  Still a ton of fun.  Good food, good friends, and a few adventures.  Almost perfect.

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