The Adventures of CS33 Borean
2003 - 2004

Instalment 2 - November 7th, 2003 - Miami 

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(Occationally, editorial comments from Don of S/V Destiny Calls, host of this web site and southern waters frequenter, will appear in green italic)

Second Installment
(A reminder please do NOT send images by email. Only send TEXT!!!)

We are now in Miami, anchored in front of the Miami Yacht Club. I had a morning coffee and watched a pair of dolphins feeding in the harbour.
We finally left Cooley’s Landing Marina in Lauderdale on Thursday November 7, 2003 in a heavy rainfall. It rained all day long from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

It was time to move. We were getting complacent as the comfort level was increasing. We kept doing pretty much nothing but relaxing and reading occasionally a little chore while we were observing the performance of the refrigeration.

By Thursday after the third visit by the refrigeration man we were certain that it was working. Being so close to all the amenities one wants, one can put roots down rather quickly. I also had to return the car, after one week and this made shopping a little more difficult, but it kept Janette out of the stores….(she can’t resist a bargain as you all know) and there are lots of bargain stores around here!

Our stay there was pretty uneventful. There were only two incidents that were noteworthy.

Janette and I had gone to a monstrous outdoors store, the kind that sells hunting and fishing gear. They even have a big indoor pond with all sorts of game fish. The idea being that you can try out a rod and reel before purchasing it.

However I did not see a forest inside with wild animals so you could try out a rifle or shotgun, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was one! As we left the store I walked towards the hot dog stand and as I approached the woman behind the counter screeched. (Yes I was fully clothed!) What had startled her was a baby possum that was looking for food scraps in her stall.

She was clearly frightened of this creature and I came to the rescue to rid the premises of the beast. Unfortunately I did not have my camera with me to snap some photos, but here is what I recall.

I went behind the stand and put on my angry face, and the critter disappeared back in to the wilds of suburban Fort Lauderdale. Not really but we did roll drink cans under the stand to make it move. And we did move one upright unit until the opossum went to hide under the long rows of shopping carts. The opossum wanted to eat the cat food left out to feed the feral cats which the hot dog vendor put out daily.

The other incident has it’s humor as long as it doesn’t happen to you. My french speaking boat neighbour (from Port St. Lucie FLA, an expatriate from France) at Cooley’s landing needed to pump out his holding tank. For those that don’t know what a holding tank is… it is a fiberglass tank that holds all our business (if you know what I mean) till it can be pumped out and disposed of through the proper waste management system.

This is a “do it yourself” system that they have there. You are given a large portable pump with one hose that sucks out and one hose that pumps it into the city sewage system. Rene told me had never used one before and asked me if I knew how to operate it. I answered in the negative but told him I would assist in any way. After hooking up the hoses to the fittings he asked me to “switch her on”. After what seemed like a minute or so Rene wasn’t quite sure if this was working right. He slowly pulled the nozzle out of the receptacle it was finally pushed out by the pressure that had built up inside the holding tank.

There was an enormous fountain of human waste that gushed skyward to a height of 10 feet, till the pressure subsided. The rest just oozed out into his cockpit. Rene was covered from head to toe with the waste! His boat was coated with it too including the roof and his bilge.

The pressure that built up in his tank was so great that it blew out his overboard discharge through hull. This gave me a whole new meaning “when the shit hits the fan”. Luckily I was standing just far enough away and I was not coated with it. And the smell!

I can still see him using our hose to wash himself off. It is not funny al all but it is in a way. After wards Rene came and told us that too. The reason was a wrong connection (the dock master’s advice) and at the end Rene did not have to pay for his electrical connection and day fee. All was right at the end.

We are both happy to finally to be on our way even if it was in the pouring warm rain. We have friends to visit with in Miami. And have made plans for a Saturday evening dinner,depending on weather we will head off on Monday towards the Keys.

Here are a couple of asides considering boat maintenance. At Cooley’s Landing there was a sailboat, brought in by it’s owner 14 months ago. It is a 30 foot yawl. All the hatches , ports were missing. The interior was completely stripped of any casbinetry or fittings. The lines used to tie her up were old,chafing through, and not passed through anychocks. U estimated the value of this boat to be approximately 3000.00$. The owner has already paid the city of Fort Lauderdale 14.000.00 $ dockage fees.

The other boat we encountered was upon our arrival at the Miami Yacht Club. Arriving in pouring rain and visibility being poor, I thought this was perhaps a stake in the water marking the channel. As we got closer to it we saw it for what it was. Asking around I later found out that it is a 25 foot Catilna that sunk because of neglect….another good reason to check our through hulls.


Ah holding tank stories, everybody has at least one. My holding tank story goes like this.

One summer, away back when Joni and I had a 24 foot Shark in the early 1980’s, we were returning to Pointe-Claire Yacht Club and locking through the last Seaway lock at Beauharnois. As luck would have it several club members and their boats were going through with us so we were all chewing the fat and swapped a few 1000 Island stories..

This is the lock that plunks us back into Lake St Louis for the five mile run back to Pointe Claire Yacht Club. Most of our friends were going to squeeze one more night of summer vacation on the hook. Sadly, along with another small boat, one more night wasn’t an option. The holding tanks for both our porta-potis were full so it was a race to see who’d get pumped out first.

Our friends, the Allen’s, owned a Mirage 24 and could motor just a tad faster than we could that dead calm day so got to the pump-out dock ten minutes ahead of us.

Back then, the PCYC pump out sent the effluent to a tank buried behind the gas dock. Once a month, the “Honey Wagon” pumped out the tank for processing at the local sewage plant. The“Honey Wagon” arrived at the start of the month. Unfortunately, it was the last day of July when Jim Allen attached the pump-out hose to his deck fitting, and the wife and kids helped.

Sadly, what nobody knew was that the vent for the tank had become completely blocked, allowing pressure to build and build inside the tank .

It had to blow eventually, and unfortunately for the Allen’s, today was the day.

First there was a lot of excitement below decks were the youngest son of the family, who was operating the flush task of the pump out. Loud panicked panting sounds mainly. The pump-out hose had reversed flow and blew out all the fittings below decks. It was now filling up the boat. When a ca-ca covered kid ran out somebody quickly removed the deck fittinging.

The hose flapped around like a rabid fire hose, spewing ca-ca everywhere.

That’s when we rounded to break wall to get our pump out.

The scene was like a mini Armageddon. People screaming and jumping into the Lake, bar patrons gasping and running to safety, and the shrill voices of sheer panic “Don’t dock! Turn back! It’s HORRIBLE!!!!!”

It took a long time to clean up the little Mirage, and we couldn’t get pumped out for a while, but it all ended up as one of the most told holding tank stories on the great Lakes.

And it’s true. I was almost there.

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