Welcome to the web site of Alan & Nancy Oates!
This website is designed to document the 2005 southwestern Florida cruise of my wife, Nancy, and I on our 37' trawler, Moby. We hope the site will give our respective families and friends an insight to what we are doing.
Back in 2001 Nancy & I cruised the Bahamas and the Chesapeake Bay on our sailboat, Artemis. We greatly enjoyed the experience but felt that the sailboat wasn't necessarily the best option for what we wanted to do. Now with Moby we can still only go about 7 knots but don't have to worry about a 5' draft and 60' mast hitting a bridge or attracting lightning.
This is a thumbnail picture of Moby. For more pictures and descriptions please click on the picture or any of the Moby hyperlinks on this page.
Last summer Nancy & I were deep in the planning of another cruise to take place sometime in the next five years. We were going to save up all our nickels & dimes, retire early and do the Great Loop - the trip up the East Coast through the Erie Canal, across the St Lawrence, Great Lakes, down the Mississippi and Tenn-Tom waterway, across the Gulf of Mexico and back to Florida. This trip takes about a year to do and covers over 5000 miles of America and Canada.
A chain of events made us decide to do some cruising, now! Fate! My job suddenly and unexpectedly dissolved just 3 days after Nancy finally made the decision to give her notice and leave her job. Shortly after, Vero Beach (and the rest of Florida) was repeatedly struck by hurricanes. Fortunately we suffered very little property damage and we had moved Moby from our slip at Southbridge Marina in Ft. Pierce to Grand Harbor in Vero Beach. Moby got through both Hurricanes Francis and Jeanne with very superficial damage. Many of the boats that stayed in Southbridge Marina were completely destroyed as was much of the marina. It was time to get out of there and go cruising!! For financial reasons the cruise was shortened to the west coast of Florida for the winter and spring months of 2005.
Due to many prior commitments we were not able to leave until the beginning of this February. The following description is subdivided into the Cruise Preparation on this page and Ft. Pierce to Ft. Myers, Cayo Costa, Punta Gorda, Boca Grande, Gulfport and St. Petersburg on their respective web pages.
Moby had not been out the slip for quite a while and needed some serious work before he was ready to take us anywhere. I finally was able to get the teak decking caulked and partially sanded before we left. The owners of Southbridge Marina were rebuilding so we brought Moby back to his original slip to finish preparing for the cruise. We had the diesel injectors removed, cleaned and reinstalled by a local mechanic. We had to replace the electric motor on the water maker because it was full of water thanks to one of the hurricanes. We installed a 20 gal holding tank because the existing 8 gal tank wouldn't last more than three days before needing to be emptied.
The first time we tried to leave the engine overheated and we had to be towed back to port. We then discovered that the starter needed to be replaced. We needed a large supply of fuel filters because, despite our best efforts, the fuel tanks were still contaminated. Finally, on February 3 everything was finished and we were able to leave port without anything else breaking.