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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Haul-out and a river run with dolphin escort!

Another couple of whirlwind days here, working to get the boat back in shape. Not that she is out of shape, we just want her to look her best! So, after Richard and his crew worked all weekend, we were delighted to see the results. Equinox is lovely! We were very happy with the way she looked, gleaming and glistening in the sunshine. They will be our go-to folks when we need the boat detailed in the future, for sure.

Early this morning, Ron and I zipped south in Eclipse over to the Hutchinson Island Marriot where Equinox was getting spiffed up; we needed to get the tender stowed back atop Equinox anyway, and it saved us the drive over. From there, we took Equinox west on the south fork of the St. Lucie River towards Lake Okeechobee to American Custom Yachts for a "fast haul-out" for a bottom power-wash and zinc change. It was a long trip -- two hours from Stuart, with the current against us, but pleasant with the scenery gliding past us. I have to say, I love Florida!! Palm trees, quiet canals lined with mangroves and pretty homes on the river....all good!!
A typical Florida river view: lovely!

We actually arrived at American ahead of time, but we were hauled out promptly after the launch of the boat scheduled ahead of us. Very efficent! Thankfully, Equinox's bottom wasn't so bad as I feared...the hull was quite clean, although the running gear had a bit more growth that needed to be removed. I do think our cleaning and scrubbing in the Exumas helped keep the growth to a minimum! The zincs were in need of replacement though, which was to be expected. So...a productive haul-out and we were delighted to have made the trip, happy to get to know the route and the lay of the land, and to have seen the facility. It's well-run and the guys are definitely professional in their work!

Equinox awaiting the launch of the boat ahead of us

Ron lining up Equinox before heading into the haul-out bay

She's a big girl out of the water!

Of course, the afternoon squall clouds arrived as we were leaving, and threatened showers all the way back to Outrigger Harbour. Thankfully, though, we had sunny weather and nary a drop of rain, despite the clouds ballooning about us. Even better, we had a pod of dolphins that escorted us along the way, from the Roosevelt Bridge down to the crossroads of the St. Lucie River and the Indian River. They were a cheerful bunch; I swear they each rolled on their sides to get a better look at us as we looked at them, especially when I waved and smiled at their antics alongside Equinox! It was a lovely moment in time, sharing the waters and appreciating their company!

Coming up alongside Equinox

Leaping and cavorting!

Just having fun!

Once secure and tied up at OH, Ron and I indulged in a hot tub before an early dinner in downtown Stuart at the Black Marlin. An old-time Stuart restaurant, we relaxed in the laid-back ambience and enjoyed the delicious food quite a bit, before the much-anticipated rains finally arrived. It was an appropriate ending to a satisfying and productive day! Never fear, we have more to do to tomorrow!






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