Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sadler Marina in Jacksonville - next to the travel lift

John and Michele Kwak

We left around 9:30 or so in order to catch the flood tide to Jacksonville which is about 15 miles down the St Johns River. The current here can run up to 3 kts so you certainly want to catch a favorable tide!

At least on an Easter Sunday, there was very little traffic on the river. Proceeding along we came to several sets of free docks offered by the city of Jacksonville. The ones by the downtown area looked pretty good. There's no electric or water but then they are free docks! John Kwak docked his boat there and spent several days enjoying the downtown area. We passed by him on the way to our marina where the genset will be installed.

May or may not have to be hauled - but still in mud at low tide
We're now tied up at Sadler Point Marina and the festivities will start at 8:30 am on Monday. Meanwhile, we're sitting in mud at the moment. We pulled in at high tide and saw 4.3 ft on the depth meter - which is located in front of the keel. Off the back of the boat we had 7 ft. However, tonight is a drain tide and we expect to lose 1.6 ft of water! So we're tied off and should be okay on our flat bottom keel, a specialty of the Beneteau 423 design. 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Harbortown - dinghy repair day

Very well kept area, good for dog walks too
I hauled the dinghy onto the dock to inspect the damage by the oyster beds to the soft underbelly of the dinghy. It's a hard bottom but it's not hard everywhere, the sides are still inflatable material and can be punctured - as I found out first hand.

Oysters! You do not want to touch these things with a soft dinghy!!
Looking at the dinghy, the damage was in the area of the dinghy where I had applied bottom paint. So the first task was to remove the black paint to expose the hypalon underneath. The patch must directly contact the hypalon to secure a good bond. Fast forwarding, after a hour or so, I had cleared enough of the black bottom paint away to apply a patch (oh so slowly as to not damage the hypalon underneath the paint). I had a spare can of repair adhesive which I broke open, applied two coats, cut the patch, rubbed it on with a roller and now it's out on the dock drying. Hopefully it's a good enough bond to be airtight and allow Hoolie and company good traveling to and from his favorite spots!

6 kts of current through here!!

It's warming up down here, finally. We're back to the high 70's but it's still in the 50's at night. On Sunday we're headed to Jacksonville downtown where Sadler Point Marina will install the new genset. It will probably take two to three days for the full installation so we'll rent a car one day to explore and provision while staying on the boat overnight. Ann has an Easter dinner planned with ham and all sorts of side dishes, should be good!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Harbortown - at a dock

It was 45 this morning! Hoolie was cold! (he lost his winter coat)
We started out this morning at sunrise, early for us. We took Hoolie in for his morning romp and took a short cut to the beach with exposed mussels. They tend to stand with their shells pointed upward, perfect, we later learned, for penetrating an inflatable dinghy, especially if any pressure is applied (Hoolie jumps in, a passing boat tosses the dinghy onto the mussels, etc.)! I didn't notice anything at the time but when I went to secure the dinghy for the night in the marina, I found the forward chamber deflated, ugh!! Pumping it up, I then leaned against each edge and then saw the telltale bubbles streaming up on the port side from underneath. Normally it's no big thing to fix but I foolishly (didn't know any better at the time) applied anti-fouling paint to the bottom, including the inflatable part (most of the bottom is a fiberglass but the inflatable part is exposed where it is glued to the fiberglass). Once the anti-fouling paint is applied, it must be removed completely in order to do a repair - a very hard task - if doable at all. It's one of those "if only I had known". You never want put anti-fouling paint on the rubberized portion of an inflatable dinghy!! Once on it's very difficult to repair!! The adhesive won't stick to the anti-fouling paint! Oh well, it's a task for Saturday.

The marina has beautiful plantings! 
Later in the day we arrived at Harbortown in Jacksonville, a private marina that also rents out docks to transients. We've been here a couple of times before so we know the dockmaster, a very nice chap. The marina is home to a condo complex that's very well kept and Hoolie relief is just a step away off the back of the boat.

A larger view - one of several beds around the marina
There's a Fresh Market supermarket about 1/4 mile down the road and ice available next door. The docks are first rate (floating concrete) and the area is quiet. We like it here and we're due to leave Sunday morning so we're at Sadler Point Marina for our genset installation on Monday.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Fort Matanzas - at anchor

The fort protected the southern approach to St Augustine at one time

We made it through the shallow areas successfully by following the paths suggested by the local SeaTow operator. In both cases, the route was outside the ICW! It takes a little faith to depart from the comfort of the ICW magenta line and forge out into the unknown but the advice was true and we did better than following the magenta line! One would think that if the local SeaTow operator (any many of the locals) know of a better path around hazards, that the Coast Guard would just re-position the markers to take advantage of what the locals know to be true. Alas, that has not happened and many snowbirds continue to run aground right in the middle of the channel, one boat actually sunk! Active Captain did warm of the hazards however so we were aware of the problems and called the local SeaTow operator to find more details - which he happily provided.

We considered stopping at Marineland Marina which sounded interesting with a nature walk, kayaks and the Marineland shows. However, when the harbormaster warmed of shallow water to 5 ft we remembered back to whenever we're heard this spiel before that the depth quotes was usually the best possible ever seen at low tide, if that good. Today was a drain tide where the low was 0.8 ft below the usual low tide so there was no hope for us regardless of what the harbormaster said. He assured us that there were no "refrigerators or engine blocks" on the bottom, just soft mud and that we could "push through" - not for us.

Back of the boat, wine in hand, enjoying the sunset - what more to want?
With that we continued on to our usual anchorage in this area, Fort Matanzas  It's a better place anyway since, first of all it's free and second of all, it's more beautiful. We are the only boat in the anchorage and we have the sunset all to ourselves as well as a great view of the fort. The current does run through here! It's currently showing 1.8 kts on the knotmeter!! But the holding is good and we're secure with our 66lb Spade anchor with 60 ft of 3/8" BBB chain, no problem! Even with all the current, we are still just hanging on the chain after the current reversed - not even pulling on the anchor yet.

On Friday we're headed to Harbortown for a couple of days before moving on to Sadler Point Marina in Jacksonville for the installation of our new genset. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

New Smyrna City Marina - at a dock

Just hanging out, doesn't look too pleased...

Time to move on. We headed out for New Smyrna Beach after refueling and the trip north was smooth. We had wanted to anchor out at Rockhouse Creek but that was on the other side of the Ponce de Leon inlet by the ICW where the shallowest spot on the ICW exists. We would have hit the spot at a drain tide, not a smart thing to do. So we took a slip at the New Smyrna Beach city marina. At only $1.25/ft, it's a good value. Plus, they have floating, concrete docks - a rarity in this area.

The free city dock - a little raw
I called SeaTow for advice on transiting the trouble spot and they advised going outside the ICW markers! I now have a route in the GPS that takes me north of the markers and actually passes the green buoy to port when the normal course of action going north would be to pass all green markers to starboard. This is the same SeaTow operator that pulls many boats off the shoal that happens to be right in the middle of the ICW, between the red and green buoys that you're supposed to pass through! This is the route he takes to pull boats off the shoal. So it will be very interesting on Thursday to see how all this plays out. I do plan on following his advice and recording the depth readings as I proceed. Further north he also advised passing two of the red buoys on the "wrong side" (to starboard going north). With all of that, it ought to be interesting on Thursday morning, tune in to see how I did.

This tree has seen some tough times - from the ocean direction!
The city here, like many in Florida, is trying to reinvent itself. Their downtown area is fixed up very well with many restaurants and local shopping. However, there is no convenient grocery store nearby nor a marine store. Still, they are trying. They built two docks that boats can stay at overnight at no charge. There are no facilities there but the dockage is free nevertheless.

On Thursday we're off to Ft Matanzas for an anchorage and then on to Jacksonville. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Titusville - Last day

Right next door, he was hunting!
The boat one down from us has a bow that the osprey favor. With all the wildlife in the area, some can become a nuisance but then the osprey likes to hunt from high perches and the bow of the boat is ideal for being close enough to the water (fish!!) and still high enough for good scanning of the area.  With the abundance of wildlife in the area, I don't think anyone goes hungry.

We did our usual things on the last day of a stay in a marina - do laundry, check for packages, etc. Hoolie has been in dog heaven given his twice a day runs at the dog park. There's always other dogs to play with but Hoolie just mostly runs and runs and runs. He comes back to the boat all pooped out.

Farewell photo
We saw nothing of the alligator today. There were plenty of manatees still around and ospreys but no alligator that we could see. The trouble is that he could still be lurking somewhere, out of sight and would come to any splash of water (don't fall in!!) thinking of prey. We'll get started Wednesday around 8:00 and head to the New Smyrna Beach City Marina. We've never stopped there before since we'd rather go the extra 3 miles to the Rockhouse Creek anchorage. However, by the time we reached that area, it would be a drain tide (a tide below even the normal low tide) and there are two spots where 3.5 ft have been reported in the ICW at low tide. So discretion being the better part of valor, we decided to layup at the marina just before the shallow spots and traverse them on a rising tide the next morning.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Titusville Alligator in marina!

Off the back of our boat in the Titusville Municipal Marina!
I was coming back from my morning run when I spotted what looked like an alligator in the distance. I could see the head but nothing else. As I got closer, he disappeared from sight, sinking down beneath the water. It was hard to tell how big he was but I alerted the dockmaster anyway.

Later that day I was sitting on the back of the boat when I glanced out and saw the alligator again. This time he was clearly visible right back to his tail. Judging from the length of nearby boats, he appeared to be about 8 ft long if not 9 ft! He was lazily swimming between the docks, not paying much attention to anything. A manatee swam directly under him, not bothered by his presence. Dolphins surfaced in the marina and totally ignored him. I would think that any of the birds we see everyday would provide a tasty snack.

Here's a better comparison in size to a nearby boat
He swam along the dock and headed out to the bay the last time I saw him. What comes to mind are the stories of physical exploits they are capable of, like dashing 30 mph in short spurts or 8 ft leaps into the air when the attraction of prey is great enough. They appear very slow and lazy, something they use to their great advantage in catching prey!! There was a report of an animal guide for a tour boat that lost a hand to an alligator when trying to feed it for the benefit of his passengers in the boat. He didn't expect the quickness from such an apparently sluggish creature.

So with all that as background, we give the lagoon a wide berth - no swimming for Hoolie!!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Titusville Severe thunderstorm with tornado warnings

58 mph winds!
We are about to get a change of weather with the temperatures plunging into the high 60's. The forerunner of the change is a line storm moving through this afternoon. We could see it coming on our radar over the internet so I double checked all the lines and buttoned up. The initial winds gusts reached 58 mph along with rain but luckily no hail. Other places close by reported 1 inch hail! There were tornado warnings out by we saw none nearby.

Watering time at the manatee zoo!
The marina here is totally protected. The gusts came from the west where our best protection is in place. It's only a couple hundred feet to the bulkhead and beyond that there's trees and a ridge so we were well situated. Hoolie sought out the comfort of the nearest crew member and the boat pitched and rolled as the storm passed.

Now it's very quiet. We just walked Hoolie and found the usual manatee group gathered by the rain drain pipe soaking up the fresh water. They live in salt water but they apparently love to sip salt free water when they can. All of the manatees had prop marks on their backs from encounters with high speed boats. You will never hit a dolphin but manatees are not so fast, they get hit.

Our Kohler geset was delivered to Sadler Point Marina on Saturday so it's there waiting for us. We still plan on a 4/1 arrival and start of installation. We'll mosey on north Wednesday. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Titusville - Dog Parks

So much room to run! But Hoolie already did that, he's pooped out
Titusville is a town that's trying hard. With the space program giving fewer launches, the attraction to Titusville as a place to watch the rockets take off has lessened. As a result many of the local stores have closed. The local shopping center with Penny's as the anchor store has closed as well as the more local downtown shopping area. However, the town has not given up. They've invested in several new parks by the waterfront, a new sidewalk into town from the marina, have kept the town looking in great shape (no grass growing in the sidewalk cracks, no divider lanes covered in weeds - as in Poughkeepsie) and in general they are trying hard to weather the current economic downturn. 

The usual afternoon crowd gathers with their dogs
For the marina, they decided to start a free shuttle service to downtown Titusville from the marina starting April 1, in time for the annual northern migration of boats (we're a little early for that). Next door to the marina is a world class dog park. It has two fenced in areas for dog exercise. One for dogs larger than 25 lbs and one for dogs smaller than 25 lbs. The dog parks themselves are a good reason to stop in Titusville. There's always a crowd with their dogs which gives Hoolie a chance to socialize with others of his kind. He just runs and runs and runs until he can run no more. 

After 5 hours of doing taxes, it was time for a break so naturally we headed to the dog park, only about a 5 min walk away. We heard back from Sadler Marine, our new genset arrived! It's a 6kw Kohler unit that is waiting for us in Jacksonville at the Sadlier Point Marina where we plan on being April 1, a Monday, for installation, another adventure - I'll take pictures. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Titusville - Kennedy Space Center

the Saturn V launches and the shuttle launches all started here!
For the last day of having a car, we decided to visit the Kennedy Space Center. It's still a working complex but they have many exhibits that turned out to be much better than I expected. With space flight being over 50 years old, I expected dusty memorabilia to dominate the displays but I was totally wrong. The day started out with a ride on a bus to two viewing stations with the last one being under a Saturn V rocket, the moon booster. They had two theater type shows of the first Apollo mission that went around the moon without landing on it and and other show on Apollo 11 that was the first to actually land on the moon. The landing on the moon was not as smooth as I thought I remembered. They had computer gliches just as they were supposed to touchdown that Adrian, the pilot, decides to ignore and they landed at least 3 miles further away than they intended. It was really touch and go for awhile - the fate of future moon missions and the entire US space effort rested on their shoulders as they approached the moon for a landing! The presentations were outstanding. The first one occurred in the actual mission control center, not a mockup.

Three of the five engines for the Saturn V moon rocket - compare their size to the people below
During both shows they replayed the recordings of Kennedy's speech on the goal of the space program to put a man on the moon and return him safely within the decade. I had forgotten how inspiring his speeches were, wow! It sure gives you something to compare present day politicians to, they all come up short.

If Buzz Adrian hadn't set it down perfectly - they weren't coming back!
Riding back to the main exhibit area from the Saturn V exhibits, we took the simulator ride on a Space Shuttle launch. You strap in and the entire room tilts to a 90 degree position to duplicate the feel of being in a Shuttle launch where the starting position on the ground has the astronauts looking straight up, lying on their backs. Once the shuttle takes off, the simulator shakes with the impulses of the engines and it all feels very realistic.

Ann touches a real lunar rock!
I must say that the two shows on the moon missions and the Shuttle simulation was top notch, none better. They spared no expense in bringing a realistic experience. If you're ever in the area, you must see the Kennedy Space Center!!

How's that for a job listing?!
As a hint, it's more cost effective to join the Space Center for a year at $65 than get two $50 tickets. With one $65 annual pass you get the second ticket for $40 and you don't have to pay the $10 fee for parking plus you get 10% off the restaurants and souvenir shops.  There was more to see that we didn't have the time for, namely the two IMAX films. Your entrance fee lets you see everything in the park at no additional cost. It's actually a good bargain for the quality you get.

On Saturday it's back to work! Now it's time to do taxes, how exciting it that! We plan on leaving for points north next Wednesday morning.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Titusville - We visit Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

Pictures cannot describe the beauty
As usual, Enterprise came to the marina to pick me up, it's a nice service they have and the main reason I use Enterprise for my car rentals although now Hertz will also pick you up if you ask - they've found that they have to do so to compete with Enterprise. So all ready to go we left for Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. We found the place to be far beyond what we expected. They have stunning walks through the forests on elevated walkways (it can be a bog at some times of the year on the ground), you hear birds constantly and there's a thousand different shades of green all around you with the sun streaming through the canopy above. I took a 20 sec video of one such walk but it doesn't do justice to the beauty of the place. The video was recorded at 720p, be sure to up the viewing resolution to that level when loading it if your internet connection can stream a that speed.

Painted Bunting - relatively rare - what a sight
In addition to the many hiking trails, there are several roads to drive along with stops to observe dozens varieties of birds, some of the photos are included in the blog. 

We found this fella by the side of the road!
Raccoons were cleaning up under the feeder
The Visitor Center with the excellent exhibits, the hiking trails and the driving tours all cost a grand total of $5 per car load, such a bargain! If you have a Golden Passport (for those over 65) then it was free! It was a great day. 

We celebrated with a night out at El Leoncito and on Friday we'll head out for a day at the Kennedy Space Center.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Titusville - at a dock

John Kwak was here the previous day, leaving this morning
We got up and saw on radar that rain was coming, about 1/2 hour away, so we headed into the marina for a slip. Ann was at the helm all the way and she's getting very good in handling a 42 foot sailboat! She steered Fleetwing into the dock without touching either side pier, no small feat.

They just love fresh water!!
The slips at Titusville have fingers that stand about 4 ft off the water, perfect for a sailboat but not so good for a powerboat. For us it's a side step to get off the boat, very convenient. There's less than 1 foot of tide so you can tie up to a fixed dock without a worry about water levels. The marina has free WiFi that's strong enough to reach all the docks and all the other amenities you would expect except for free transportation into town. They do have a new concrete sidewalk but it's too far for Ann to walk. For entertainment, there's the manatees, about 20 in the marina. The all love fresh water and when it rained for awhile, many of them gathered under the nearest rain drain to lap up the overflowing water. We also found a new CVS store in town with the best part being a Redbox kiosk for $1.30 movies! So we plan on catching up on all the movies we've missed while cruising the ICW.

I have a car reserved for the next two days starting Thursday morning for exploring the Merritt Island National Wildlife reserve and then the Kennedy Space Center on Friday. Inbetween times we'll provision at the nearest Publix and have a night out at a promising restaurant. Time for fun!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Titusville - at a mooring

Up she goes!!
We had intended going to the Cocoa Beach anchorage but the day was so fair and the winds so light and the seas so flat, that we continued on to Titusville. We would have arrived around 5:00 pm but we had not figured on the bridge to the Kennedy Space Center being closed to ICW traffic from 3:30 to 5:00 pm. We got there around 4:00 and had to kill an hour waiting for the bridge to open. On the plus side, shortly after we went through the upraised bridge, the bridge tender called us and said there was going to be a rocket launch in a few minutes that we might want to see. We knew nothing about it at the time but we eagerly awaited the event, idling along the ICW until the appointed time.

After a long day, a nice sunset
Far in the distance was the Kennedy launch pad for the Atlas V rocket. It was scheduled to send a geosynchronous satellite into orbit and it launched right on time. We watched it ignite and climb into the sky and shortly thereafter, we heard the noise of the launch! Impressive!

Coming into Titusville we decided to pick up a mooring rather than going into the marina for a dock since it was no late. Titusville initiated a new policy of allowing you to pick up a mooring at no charge as long as you had a dock reservation for the next day and it was after 4:00 pm. We met both criteria. I rushed Hoolie to shore and then had wine on the back of the boat, watching the sunset, nice!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Vero Beach - Last day

Vero Beach Yacht Club
There is more here than just Vero Beach City Marina, namely the Vero Yacht Club right in the middle. It has no moorings but does have a bunch of docks. We've never stayed there but we could since we're also a member of a yacht club (in Poughkeepsie, NY). We'll continue to stay at the Vero Beach moorings for now.

Spot the "oops"?
So think about this, you're commissioned to chisel a sign in wood for the local marina. They convey what message they want to give and you take your chisel out and commence to hammer into the wood for the sign. You would think that the first thing on your mind would be to not misspell anything. After all, it's not like auto-correct on your iPhone, what you wrote is embedded in wood!   Well  peruse this photo above, see anything suspicious?  Once done, it's very hard to correct mistakes and the sign chiseler did not do so at the time. Maybe no one noticed?

Now, which way do you go here??
One of my favorite signs in the area is this one above. Which way is the right way to go? Straight ahead? (to the water?)

We'll leave Tuesday morning for Cocco beach anchorage for the night provided the winds are not too bad. There's a dinghy ramp nearby for Hoolie and it's generally calm. We'll wind up at Titusville for a week so I can catch up on tax prepration and rest up for the rest of the trip north.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Vero Beach City Marina - Getting ready

Kids fishing under a bridge - great summer fun
The low this morning was 45! That's much colder than we're used to, enough already!  Since our genset quit working last week, we no long have heat in the morning so we're roughing it. So we're now running the main engine to recharge the batteries. The output is not as powerful and it's much noisier - and it takes longer too. We're still in negotiations with Sadler Point Marina in Jacksonville for a replacement (NOT a Panda!!) and we're aiming for 4/1/2013 for the start of installation. Somehow, April Fool's Day doesn't seem propitious for the start of a new genset but that's how the dates worked out.

Would you choose a name like this for your boat??
Today was wash day and for doing teak work. Restaining the teak only takes about 10 minutes so that's not too bad and it looks good when done. In the afternoon we took our dinghy tour of the area that we do every time we're here. The harbor is completely protected from all sides, a great place to ride out a storm but today it was very calm, perfect for dinghy exploring. Marty Siverstein's boat is in good shape but we didn't see him around. John Kwak has not gotten this far north yet so there's no meeting of PYC South scheduled yet.

For Monday we'll use the free buses offered by the city of Vero Beach to see town and perhaps a trip out to the beach. The one unique thing about Vero Beach is the free bus service. Everyone else charges a bus fare but somehow Vero Beach gets by with free service. As a result, they are very popular with the cruising crowd and you would think other cities would take notice. At any rate, we'll enjoy it Monday.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Some smoke but also fog 

This morning we awoke to smoke! We then heard that Florida was doing a "controlled burn" for some reason and the smoke from the fires were filling the ICW, we felt it immediately, especially Ann with her allergies. Luckily, as we moved north, we got out of the smoke. The air this week in Florida is very dry and there's a fire alert for the next few days. One wonders why they would intentionally burn brush during a fire alert?!

Two dogs on the  boat behind us shared the bow
It was a great day for going north on the ICW. There was no wind and no waves and the sun was warm on our backs as we headed north. We are about 2 to 3 weeks ahead of the northern migration but we'll lose some of that head start at Jacksonville we're scheduled to replace our genset. We've been sending e-mails and photos back and forth the last few days to get things finalized, another reason why I need a reliable internet connection via Verizon. At some locations we've gotten 36 Mbps on their LTE network, amazing.

Marty's boat is here but not Marty
Pulling into Vero Beach City Marina, we found they had plenty of empty moorings. As I said before, we're ahead of the migration and taking advantage of the marinas not yet being full. The weather continues to warm up but the nights are still cool with temps around 60 in the morning. We'll be here until Tuesday morning when we'll head north again to spend a week at Titusville where we will rent a car to see the sights at the Kennedy Space Center. We've never been there and we thought we ought to go before they close the place.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Hobe Sound - at anchor

Tiger Woods place on the ICW iin Jupiter - with a par 3 course

Today was a 12 bridge day and we didn't do so well. The tide was against us all the way and we missed two bridges by a couple of minutes each resulting in 1/2 hour waits at both. The killer for making bridges is when one bridge is late ("waiting for traffic to clear...") and the next bridge is ready to go on the dot.

Our first sunset in awhile - we need a few more clouds
Eventually we made Hobe Sound which is the back side of Jupiter Island, the home of many multimillionaires, one of which is Tiger Woods. We knew where his home was from satellite photos posted on Google Earth so as we went by I snapped a few photos. Unfortunately, it's pretty well shielded from the ICW side. You could see the par 3 holes  by his home in the satellite photos but they were not visible from the water. 

We're now anchored just north of his home, very peaceful. The wind has finally died down and it's due to warm up over the next few days after a cool night tonight. Our next stop will be Vero Beach on a mooring, leaving here in the morning. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Hypoluxo - Last day

Across the ICW next to the ocean is the high rent district - where Chico's was located

Every once in awhile, Ann has to visit the nearest Chico'sto get her "Chico Fix" and today was the day to do that while we still had transportation from Joe Mastri. It's a great place to shop for clothes (for women) that actually fit. They don't cater to the under 20 crowd and so they've been very successful.

The palm trees are the giveaway - this isn't home
Joe took us by the nearest Sam's Club for dinner supplies and they exceeded what I had expected, their meat counter was way above average. We had lamb chops for dinner and I stocked up on wine since, in Florida, wine is sold in grocery stores. The problem with Sam's Club is that they specialize in large sizes. I had wanted just one bottle sprayer but the smallest size package they had was 6 sprayers, didn't need that many even though the cost for the 6 was almost the same as the cost of one sprayer in a hardware store.

The winds howled again today out of the north with whitecaps on the ICW. We could have gone north but why bother? We would prefer more pleasant conditions which should be the case on Friday. We're headed for our usual Hobe Sound anchorage, just north of Tiger Wood's mansion in Jupiter on the ICW. I'll snap a photo as we pass by, perhaps he'll wave...

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Hypoluxo - We provision

A daylight photo of the bridge they are proud of

The wind shifted around to out of the north during the day so I had to reposition all the lines which had been braced for the 25 kts winds out of the south. Still, winds from the north are much better for our slip. We're partially protected and the bow now faces into the wind. However, the winds are due to increase over the next 24 hours so we'll just stay here another day and leave on Friday instead when the winds abate.

Hoolie's best friend in Florida
Provisioning was the order of the day and there's no better place to do that than a Walmart Supercenter which has groceries as well as anything else you might want - and at good prices. There are no Walmarts in the Keys so there's one bus that originates in Key West that travels up the keys and turns around in the parking lot of the nearest Walmart, the one in Homestead near Miami. They know their clientele.

The search for the right genset to replace my 4.2 kw Panda continues. I got a call back from Sadler Marine on the exact dimensions of the starboard locker. I would like to fit a 6 kw Kohler diesel genset in the space but it's going to be tight. Thursday morning I have to carefully measure the locker dimensions in all directions and then we'll make a final determination for fit. I told the yard manager that the passing grade would be awarded by Ann only if she asks the question, "Is the genset running?"  (while the genset is turned on!) I want quiet! 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Hypoluxo - Palm Beach Yacht Center - doctors

The palm tree is totally dominate in this area -  you never see one uprooted by wind

Doctors, doctors. Joe had an eye treatment today and Ann had a meeting with a pulmonary doctor, so it was long hours in the spent in getting ready, sitting in waiting rooms and seeing the doctors. Oh well, life does not stop even if you're cruising. You still have to attend to problems. Luckily, we have nothing but good things to say about our experiences with medical facilities along the ICW. Ann is doing much better now, she had a series of colds that her allergies intensified into bronchitis and constant coughing.

Dear Fleetwing - sprung from all sides, needed for last night's winds
After all the medical visits, we just stopped by a Publix supermarket and got a rotisserie chicken and a few sides for dinner. We hope for calmer conditions than last night when the wind blew out of the south, directly into the marina and onto the back of our boat at 20 to 25 kts! There's about a mile of reach for the waves to build up and we heard them slapping up against the aft section all night long. The wind has now shifted around to out of the west, the most protected direction of all since the marina is on the west bank of the ICW.

With the winds to gust to 25 kts or more out of the north on Wednesday and Thursday, we'll stay here until Friday when winds calm down to a more reasonable 10 to 15 kts. Pounding into north winds and waves driven by a 25 kt wind should be avoided if you want a comfortable ride as we do.