Shakedown Shivers


We left the marina yesterday for another shakedown cruise out in Pelican Bay/Cayo Costa. Our first stop was the Burnt Store Marina fuel dock on the way out for our very first fill up. It was a little strange being on that side of the dock as we have been walking past there for the last three months. We filled up both tanks and our jerry cans too. The dogs got their daily treat from the marina staff as we handed over the credit card. Ouch! It was almost five times the cost of filling up an SUV! As the old saying goes, BOAT stands for bust out another thousand!

We had a nice sail out across the harbor with all three sails up. Toward the end we motorsailed a bit and dropped the sails before following our tracks into the narrow entrance to Pelican Bay.

Peter and Josh raised the dinghy over the lifelines with the main halyard and prepared for the trip to shore. The outboard was acting up and not getting fuel correctly. Peter and I chanced it to take the dogs to shore but Josh and Leah hung back just incase it stopped working all together. We made it to shore and I took the pups for a quick dinnertime walk to do their business. We got back to the dinghy dock only to learn that the outboard wouldn’t start again so Peter and I had to row back. Luckily the current was heading towards our boat this time. We forgot to grab the seat for the dinghy.

We made it back and started prepping for dinner. Leah and I had everything ready to go and I went to turn on the stove to boil some rice. AND there’s no propane! I checked the safety button on the wall, checked the breaker, everything seemed right but there was just no gas in the lines. The guys checked the tanks and discovered the needle in the gauge for the house tank was broken off. Weird! The BBQ worked fine off the small tank so they switched it to hook up the small tank to the main lines. Still no propane getting to the galley. We checked the breaker and wires but it all tested fine. It was getting late and dark and VERY chilly! We were all looking forward to a hot meal. Looks like this will need to wait until we get back to calmer waters back at the dock.

Even though we had a change of plans, we still put the steaks on the BBQ and cooked a bunch of veggies in the microwave. Our FourWinds wind generator was cookin all night long so we had enough juice to run the inverter for the microwave for awhile.

After dinner we tried for hot showers again like we did last time at anchor. For some reason the hot water heater just wasn’t getting as hot as it normally does. Peter tried a shower anyway and it was not a pleasant experience with the weather so cold outside. We’re going to test out our solar shower next time. So weird though… first the outboard, then the propane, now the hot water heater? We sure are shaking out some kinks while shivering on this shakedown :( Better to find out now than after we leave the dock for good!

It howled at 25-30 knots all night long. Josh and Leah were kept awake by the loud crashing of the waves against the bow while Peter and I had to listen to the wind generator prepare for lift off. It’s crazy how loud that thing gets when it’s really cranking. Peter and I were also paranoid about dragging anchor with the high winds so we didn’t get much sleep. Maybe an hour or two all night. The anchor alarm went off a couple times and scared us half to death. Turns out we were just swinging all the way around from where the anchor was dug in. After the sun came up we were convinced we were still holding good.

Gunner wouldn’t go potty before bed but Betsy did. It was too cold and windy out and Gunner wanted no part of that! They both went on deck in the morning though, thank goodness! No #2s but we’re off to a good start. At least we know they’ll go if they really have to.

We got the dingy back in place on the bow and began stowing everything down below. Josh drove while Peter tended to the windlass and pulled the anchor up. This time he wore gloves :) The wind was still blowing 15-18 but we got out of Pelican relatively easily. Our boat does circles around the anchor no matter how you drive her when there is wind and strong currents. The keel hit sand a couple times on the way out with 5.6 on the depth gauge. We made it out only to hit 15 knots on our nose all the way back to the marina. Peter opted to motor back to get to the dock before sunset.

We’ve got the tunes going in the cockpit as I write this and we’re all relaxing in the sun for a rolly ride back to Burnt Store :)



    • Hey Kevin! The anchor alarm is built into our chartplotter (and a secondary alarm in an iphone app) and we mark the GPS coordinates of where we drop the anchor. The alarm can be set for the amount of chain and rode we let out so we know if we are swinging in a circle around the anchor or if the anchor is dragging on the bottom in which case we would be too far from the original location :)

  1. Bean says:

    Great Pictures.

    Very cute of Leah and I Love the one of the dogs in the dinghy. They look like they are on their own and have made the great escape. Okay, Betsy, you look that way and I will look this way…….no one has spotted us so far…….Yea!

    Sorry puppies, it is not true, you are stuck being boat dogs for many days to come. We all know you are loving it.

  2. Mark ( Dad ) says:

    What an awesome Blog… This is such an incredible way to be able to follow along with your amazing adventure. So proud of you. All the things that you’ve done, Do and are about to.

    I found a great very fitting quote:

    Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did do.

    So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.


    ~ Mark Twain

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