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Thursday, May 28, 2015

On the water with the new boat!

On Tuesday, Glenda and I drove down to Ft. Pierce, and on Wednesday morning we became the official owners of Dusty Weather, a 1969 Willard 36' Aft-Pilothouse Trawler.

I spent most of Wednesday replacing some shore power outlets and temporarily wiring my VHF radio and my chart plotter into the boat for our trip home. I also added a usb charger for our phones and iPad.

Wednesday night Clyde and Sandra (who had owned Dusty Weather since 1992), took us out for a great seafood dinner, and then gave us a tour of the area before dropping us off at the boat for our first night aboard. Clyde also offered to accompany us on our first day's journey on the boat - an offer I quickly accepted! I was still a little nervous about driving such a big boat that I wasn't familiar with, and I felt much better with Clyde there on the first day. His experience proved very valuable when I ran Dusty Weather aground. But, I'll let Glenda tell you about that, since I know she's going to anyway😆.

This morning, (Thursday), we did a little organizing, called the insurance company to let them know the needed repairs were done, and then Glenda and I went grocery shopping. With Clyde coaching me, we pulled away from the dock around 11:30 and headed South toward the Okechobee Waterway. We travelled about 38 miles today and driving the trawler was lots of fun. The pilothouse has a 360 degree view, and the height adds emphasis to the view. We are tied up now at a private dock just East of the St. Lucie lock, which opens at 7:00 am. 

Glenda says:
First let me begin by telling what wonderful people Clyde and Sandra are!  We have not just purchased a new boat, we have made great new friends.  Clyde and Sandra gave up two days of their time just to help us be more comfortable with "Dusty Weather".  They gave us a personal tour of Ft. Pierce, a fantastic dinner, and fun company.  

We left Ft. Pierce around 11:30 Thursday.  We traveled along enjoying the beauty of the Florida shoreline.  I even took the helm for a few minutes, just to get a feel of boat.  Tom was following his Garmin charts very carefully and watching the channel markers closely. Clyde had come along for the first leg of the journey.  Sandra had promised to meet us at St. Lucie lock marina.  All was going well.  Suddenly at 4:55 we ran aground.   The garmin showed that we were in the middle of the channel.  The boat was stuck it would not move.  Tom just stepped aside and let Clyde take the wheel.  He saved the day!  After much patience, expertise and perseverance and with the help of couple boaters wakes we were free.  We had no clue why the channel markers were off but I suppose the water shifts a lot of sand around.  Sandra called to tell us she was at the lock and we assured her she would not have to wait long.  We arrive at 6:08--- the lock closed at 5:00.  Again we were going by the information on the garmin that said the lock was open 7 to 7.  Now Sandra is on the other side of the lock and we can't get to her!  After a series of phone calls, it's decided that we will go back up river a few miles into a neighborhood where Clyde and Sandra have wonderful friends.  The entrance into neighborhood is narrow and shallow but once again Clyde's expertise gets us safely in.  (I was instructed to leave out the part about not being able to fine the house, so I will😇)  So here we sit on our new boat in this nice quiet neighborhood being thankful.  Thankful that God let us meet 2 such
special people.  Thankful that Clyde was with us when these "adventures" took place.  Clyde and Sandra taught me with grace and humor, to enjoy the journey.  That is a lesson God has been trying to teach me for a long time.  

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