Great weather prevailed this weekend as we explored east into Choctawhatchee Bay to Hogtown Bayou and then relaxed at Crab Island on the return to Fort Walton Beach. Besides stretching the legs on our Regal 2760, we were also collecting up a host of a new waterway photos to use with our EarthNC Marine Charts for Google Earth.
Last weekend, we got a chance to make our 1st ‘distance’ overnight trip of the 2007 boating season in our Regal 2760 ‘Southern Comfort’. South winds made for calm water in the Gulf Intercoastal Waterway as we cruised west to Little Sabine Bay in Pensacola Beach. Our boating weekend would include camping out with friends Travis and John and their family members Friday night, followed by a beach-side church shrimp boil on Saturday.
We’ve had a slow few months of boating with windy weather and holiday activities, but this weekend we got a respite from both. Calm winds since Thursday provided flat seas for a night in Destin Pass and morning cruising the gulf and bay. We didn’t have much luck with the fishing, but the scenery was unbeatable. With 5 adults, and 4 children aboard, we also set a new overnighting record for our Regal 2760 and achieved a top speed of 41.6mph on the GPS with a full load of water, fuel, and supplies.
UPDATE: Considerable information, links, and commentary has been posted on the BoaterEd.com Forums.
CNN is reporting the tragic death of 5 people when 2 boats collided during the “Highroller” Poker Run at Lake Texoma on the Texas, Oklahoma boarder this weekend. From intitial reports, it would appear that one of the boats broadsided with the other at high speed killing 4 occupants of 1 boat and 1 of the 2 occupants of the other. Continue reading
CNN posted a 45 second video of a 819 lb Mako caught in California on its website this morning. The video shows the shark upon arrival at Marina Del Rey (just north of the LAX airport in Los Angeles).
You can see the video HERE. It appears to play best in Internet Explorer.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the friends and family of Chester “Chet” Robinson who suffered cardiac arrest shortly after reboarding his boat following a dive on the USS Oriskany last Saturday. The general consensus is that his passing was not directly related to the dive itself, but stemmed from pre-existing heart conditions. I happened to be monitoring channel 16 on our Regal during a break from photographing the Emerald Coast Poker Run and heard the land side of the Coast Guard response. Hearing the exchange made me think about handling on-water medical emergencies – especially one that might incapacitate the primary “captain”.
Even with the best preventative care, boat motors are notoriously subject to failure. For the typical inboard/outboard, the raw-water impeller is one of the #1 wear items and sooner or later you’ll have one go while out on the water. If you’re lucky, you’ll have 2 motors so you can get back home on the “spare” – otherwise you can plan on a tow. Once you’ve got the boat in a position to do some work, this is a fairly simple fix that can save you a lot of labor cost vs hiring a mechanic. Read on for some of our lessons learned and tips to make your water pump overhaul go smoothly.