Windy day on anchor

by Glen

Saturday 8 Jan, cruising day 42, Key West: Lazy day, rocking on anchor and inspecting the hull.

Really a nothing-happening type of day. We did plan to have another evening in town, especially given it’s a Saturday, but the wind is forecast to blow this evening making for a potentially very wet dinghy ride ashore. And a wet bunny doesn’t make for a happy bunny!

In the morning I take a swim around the boat, and for the first time this season I give the waterline a scrub. It has gained a thin green beard with us not moving much just recently. In previous years, when I wipe the waterline clean, the antifoul paint would come off in clouds of blue. But I’m surprised when that doesn’t happen this time. In fact, the sponge doesn’t even get blue.
By accident we had changed our antifoul paint this year. Usually we apply Interlux Micron Extra, but I had accidentally purchased Micron CSC instead and was unable to return it. CSC is cheaper than Extra and I was a bit concerned applying it would mean less protection from growth vs the Extra. But so far all looks good, apart from this green waterline which easily wipes off, and thankfully without removing any paint this time. Maybe the “Extra” simply means extra ablating (eroding) properties? Whatever, I like the fact that I can clean without eroding the paint. Maybe this was a good accidental discovery, because in the waters we sail in, I have no problem to regularly dive and clean the hull. And doing that without the usual cloudy of blue around me will be much more pleasurable. The downside of low ablating paint is paint-layer build up. With the Micron Extra, 2 coats were almost fully gone in one season. It will be interesting to see if we have any of the usual bare patches when we haul in May.

While in the water I also flush the seawater intake for the bow toilet. This is the toilet we use most of the time. The aft toilet, being fresh water, uses up a lot of our precious RO water. Trouble with this bow toilet is that after about 6 weeks bacteria builds-up in the intake hose and filter system resulting in the flush water smelling of bad eggs. So every 6 weeks I swim outside with a bottle of diluted bleach, which is placed over the intake while Oana flushes the toilet inside. This solution is then left in place for a few hours during which it completely kills all the bacteria, and no more bad smells for several weeks. You see, cruising isn’t all a bed of roses. Captain also needs janitor skills too.

While under the boat I take a look at the bottom of the keel and rudder to see if touching that wreck did any damage. But none that I can see other than a bit of paint of the bottom of the rudder, likely where it briefly touched on the mud in Marathon.
I also inspect the Gori propeller to check it still folds back and forth smoothly. And, as usual, I’m very happy with the PropSpeed paint. No sign of any growth on the parts that I painted. Contrary to the shaft anodes, which already have beards on them.
My other pleasure, while down there, was to be able to wipe inside the bow thruster tunnel. Previously we had metal bars across the entrances to the tunnel which greatly restricted my ability to clean in there. During the re-fit I had removed those bars and sealed up all the screw holes. I’m now wondering why I didn’t do that years ago?

The rest of the day we are inside as the wind increases. I still wanted to go ashore this evening, but reading comments on Active Captain regarding where we are anchored, I read several saying the holding is not good above 20kts of wind. (Holding is a term used to describe the quality of sea bed for anchoring). Apparently, the sea bed here is too soft and anchors tend to drag. With the winds forecast to rise this evening it seems prudent to stay on board rather than have another good evening ashore and risk coming back to find the boat has drifted out to sea. Oh, the problems of boating. Can you imagine coming back to your house and never really knowing if it will still be there or not?

Rest of the day is relaxing inside, Oana reading and baking a cake, calls to the family, catching up on the blog posts and trying to work out the best time to leave to Mexico.
All rather quiet and non-eventful day on Cloudy Bay.

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