27°12’03.3″N 80°15’34.7″W November 3rd, 2021

I should finish my journey! A month ago I left you hanging with me sitting at a temporary “transient” slip at the marina.

With the electrical problems discovered on the trip up the coast, it wasn’t safe to safely continue to North Carolina without addressing them. However, with no slips available in Florida that I could find, at least none I could afford, that left few options. I decided to tie Strider to a mooring ball for the foreseeable future. Even this was more expensive than a slip in NC, but not too much more. All-in-all not a bad solution, just different from what I’d planned just a week ago.

We had a plane to catch out of West Palm, so not a lot of time. We quickly tried to get Strider ready for sitting idle long-term: washing bedding, stowing gear, and tidying up. A bit after noon we motored over to the mooring field, selected one of the few remaining open mooring balls, and tied up to it.

For anyone who isn’t familiar with mooring balls, it is a floating ball chained to an anchoring system on the seafloor. This anchor may be some type of large, heavy weight or block of concrete, or screwed into the seafloor.

Diagram of a mooring system
Mooring setup

Since we’re brand new to this type of boating, we’d never used a mooring ball before. It turns out the pickup buoy is a fair bit heavier than it looks! I was at the helm and the Admiral was trying to grab the pickup buoy with the boat hook. It ended up being a real struggle! There were some tense, emotion-filled moments until finally we successfully tied up and were ready to go.

Heading Home

I called the marina and requested a pickup. They were kind enough to bring a skiff out and pick us up with our luggage and take us in to the dock.

We threw the luggage in the car and raced south towards the airport. This leg of the journey is finished and it is time to return home to family, jobs, and “real life” once again. So long, Strider, be safe! And so long, friends. Thank you for coming along on this first adventure.

Strider and others at rest in the mooring field
Strider and others at rest in the mooring field

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