We have, successfully, completed our five day commissioning period. Nothing major was found; there are one or two small niggles, which should be sorted by next weekend. Joe Hanko was an extremely helpful guy; he adjusted all the rigging and answered all sorts of questions, without any tuttings or clicking of tongue! Maggie’s spinnaker was deployed on more than one occasion. I hope the picture comes out well. We are delighted with the end product.
Manta Catamarans appears to be entering liquidation; the new owner is not prepared to put any money into the company and is doing cost-cutting exercises, instead. Seven employees were sacked, yesterday. The General Manager and the company secretary resigned yesterday, as well! This is a very unsettling experience for us. Even if the company does not fold, it seems unlikely that the owner will honour the five year warranty on the hull.
Maggie is missing her ducks! These were a group of 7 or 8 ducks, which were fed almost daily by Maggie. They associated Maggie with food; as soon as they saw her, they would either waddle, furiously, towards or fly to her side. They even escorted her to our hotel entrance! The ducks roosted, at night, in trees! I thought, at first, that they were avoiding alligators; but, I am advised that they were avoiding racoons. I thought racoons could climb trees, though?
At any rate, we will sail, daily, around the Tampa Bay area for the next two weeks. Thereafter, we may take off on longer trips, ultimately arriving at Key West. If anything goes wrong with BEESMEJ, we can still return to Bradenton. Neither of us is keen to stay in a marina until the end of October. We will need to keep a close weather eye open for approaching hurricanes; our nearest hurricane hole is Charlotte Bay, some 16 hours sail from Key West. The message I am receiving loud and clear is “Do not stay in a marina, if a hurricane is going to hit”. It just needs one boat to slip its moorings for complete carnage to result. No boat at anchor has been damaged in a hurricane, provided they are away from houses and trees. I have been advised to deploy three anchors over a 130 degree angle. Problem is: my insurer will not cover damage or loss if I am at anchor……sort of Catch 22!
posted Saturday August 2008