We are under way in Tampa Bay (perhaps you've detected a theme here) to Palmetto, on the Manatee River, where we will be hauled out tomorrow at Snead Island Boatworks for our stabilizer repairs. We dropped lines this morning from the yacht basin to leave on the ebb, and are basically retracing our steps back through the bay.
Vector in the Vinoy yacht basin.
We've had a lovely four-night stay in St. Pete. We connected with Ben and Karen another couple of times (and will see them again tomorrow as well), wandered the waterfront, and had several nice meals ashore. Most of the time spent aboard was given to answering bus questions on the eBay listing, and planning logistics for the upcoming sale.
At the indiee market street festival at Green Bench Brewing with Karen and Ben.
Speaking of the bus listing, we now have three bids from two bidders, with just over two days left on the listing. The listing has had nearly 19,000 page views and has over 320 watchers. I suspect most of those are just interested in following along and not actually interested in bidding, but really all we need is one or two more to get the party going.
With at least two bidders already, we're fairly confident the sale will close. Since eBay's terms require that to happen basically within one week of deposit (they have 48 hours to make the deposit), we've been scrambling to make arrangements for the boat and the cat, as well as to get ourselves up to Lottsburg to close the deal.
At this writing it looks like we will return to downtown St. Pete after we're done in Palmetto, so we can tie Vector up to a secure dock with access to power. Unlike Odyssey, there is no autostart system on Vector's generator; it's easy to add, but not a great idea since certain kinds of failures can actually sink the boat. Consequently, leaving the boat for more than two or three days means we either need a shore power connection, or we need to empty the fridge and turn it off. That's probably cheaper than a dock for a week, but the hassle factor is enormous.
Sunset over St. Pete from our deck.
St. Pete has a decent weekly rate, just $7 per foot plus power, and secured docks, so it's really the easiest option. I've already booked a car for the week, with unlimited mileage and no state restrictions, which will let both of us get to and from the bus, along with tools and cleaning gear, in the most cost-effective way. It also gives us a way to get the rest of our personal property off the bus while we figure out what to do with it.
That just leaves the cat, who will, sadly, have to be kenneled for the duration. We're working hard to keep the entire round trip down to less than a week, so it won't be too hard on her. We don't want to over-run our weekly rate on dockage or the rental car, either.
For the moment, our attention has returned to the boat and its systems. Tonight we should be anchored in the Manatee river near the boat yard, and tomorrow Stabilized Marine will arrive from Fort Lauderdale to take care of us. It will cost a bit more than the local yards but we have more confidence in their abilities. I don't want to speculate on a relaunch day until we get hauled out and see how everything looks.