Thursday, November 17, 2016

Titusville - The new transmission is installed!

Plenty of room behind the engine!
We had the rear oil seal ready for installation for the last several days but the transmission was late in arriving so we held off on the work until everything could be done all at once. Today was that day. Mike, the mechanic, showed up at 8:45 and started in. The Beneteaus are a favorite of the charter companies partially because they are easy to work on, there's plenty of room in the engine compartment unlike my previous boat, a 38 foot Ericson which had no room at all!

All the components came off in short order with the heaviest being the flywheel which weighed in a about 100 lbs! After everything was off, Mike said he would be back the first thing next week to complete the job... We were waiting for that comment! He was only joking of course. He took a lunch break and return around 1:00 pm to wrapped everything up. The hardest part was putting the flywheel back on. It takes a lot of strength but the hardest part was aligning the bolt holes with the back of the engine which trying to heft a 100 lb flywheel where you couldn't see the bolt holes. It took the two of us about 30 minutes at least to finally hit the right combination of twist and heft.; I was on the motor shaft to keep it from turning and Mike was hefting the flywheel.

Looks pretty innocent but at what cost?
Once past the flywheel re-installation, the rest was smooth sailing. Overall, installing the new rear oil seal and new transmission took 5.5 hours, about 1/2 hour longer than I anticipated. I made a pdf file of the whole procedure, Volvo D2-55 Rear Seal Replacement. Now Fleetwing is whole again and ready for the rest of the trip south. We'll leave for New York Friday morning and hope to arrive at our daughter's house by 3:00 pm or so on Saturday.

Since this is our last night on Fleetwing, it will also be the last night of the blog. The blog will resume January 4 upon our return to Titusville and this year we will have Finn in tow assuming everyone is healthy. We will have all the home schooling material with us and we plan on doing a lot of exploring with Finn to include the Kennedy Space Center, Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge and the Brevard County Zoo which is much better than you might expect!

Join us again when the blog will restart on January 4, 2017!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Titusville - The transmission arrives!

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder! It's a beautiful sight, the new transmission!
I was starting to get worried about the transmission when I got a call from the office that it arrived! I had everyone on lookout for a heavy box from Europe. The box was bigger than I expected. I guess they really wanted to provide multiple layers of protection for the transmission. The outside box was huge and barely fit in the dock cart.

The box inside the box, getting closer
Once on the dock I started to unpack. The exterior box was just a cushion for the interior box that actually housed the transmission. It had a plainly printed arrow that was horizontal relative to how the box sat. Oh well, I guess it really didn't matter since it had no oil in it. The lubrication is added after the transmission is installed.

Finally, the transmission itself
I called the mechanic and he's due over on Thursday at 8:30 am to begin the installation of both the transmission and the aft oil seal which I already have. The entire process should not take more than 5 hours, hopefully less. Once that is done we'll pack and leave for points north.

I picked up the rental car today, a  Hyundai Sonata. It's a great car for long distance trips and usually gets around 40 miles/gal. Now I would like to explain that in renting Florida cars I carefully examined all the particulars and then realized that the windshield washer fluid was not protected to below freezing. I would like to say I got to this conclusion through deductive reason but nothing could be further from the truth! In actuality, I rented a car one year and in driving north discovered that when I used the window washing option, the window was then covered in solid ice! Humm, something is not right here. Eventually I concluded that in Florida there is no need of freeze resistant window washing fluid so they just put in plain water or perhaps water with a little soap, not good for trips north. So armed with memory of a bad trip north last year, I drained all the fluid (lots of window washing) and replenished the reservoir with fluid good to 0 F! In my experience, I only learn by doing the wrong thing and then correcting the problem on the next try. All that led to my list of "tips" in negotiating the ICW and my slogan of, "I make all the mistakes first so you don't have to!"

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Titusville - No transmission yet

I moved the dinghy between Fleetwing and the boat next door, protected for our stay up north
Oh, there's no joy in Mudville today, Casey didn't deliver the transmission! Today I finally got confirmation that it was shipped although the date was a day later than it should have been, 11/11/2016, last Friday. Counting three business days, it should have been here today but then they probably don't count the shipping day which would make it due tomorrow, Wednesday. Well, there's nothing we can do about it but wait. I still don't have the tracking number yet, I suppose I'll get that soon.

The teak after a treatment of Semco
Meanwhile, it's more of the same - getting the boat cleaned and ready for our departure. I use a teak treatment by Semco that gives the teak a natural look. It's advertised to last a season but it doesn't. It's a stain so it's easy to apply, I use a microfiber cloth which is good for no spillage. I've found that in the Florida sun you have to apply it every two months but then it's no big deal since you just dip the microfiber cloth into the Semco and then rub the stain into the teak. You can do it in a bout 15 minutes when at anchor, standing in the dinghy. At a dock it takes longer since it's a little awkward bending down to apply the Semco, about 1/2 hour. It does keep the teak looking good in my opinion.

The transmission is coming from Europe, the east, this direction!
My mechanic is due Wednesday but I'll have to delay since I don't have the transmission in hand. Everything else is going fine. The boat is all cleaned up and we will be packing Wednesday which is when I'll also pick up the car for the trip home. Now if that transmission would only arrive!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Titusville - Getting ready

The wood storks were out today
Pins and needles are still in order, no transmission today although we really didn't expect it to arrive today even though it would have been three business days since ordering. However, if it doesn't arrive Tuesday, then we'll start to worry.

This is for Finn - see, we have trains down here!
Meanwhile we continue to get the boat ready for our extended stay away from "home". We try to take everything out of the freezer ever since we didn't do that one year and lost electricity. The mess in the freezer was unbelievable. We never want to go through that again! We are going to see if we can get some dry ice for the cooler to keep our frozen meats still frozen. It's an experiment so we'll see how it turns out. We bought a foam cooler for that purpose for $2.75 at Walmart.

The plan is for the transmission to arrive on Tuesday and be installed on Wednesday with us leaving Thursday. It's a nice plan if it works out. Otherwise we'll have it done when we return in January assuming the part eventually arrives. I promised the Yahoo Group at Beneteau 423 that I would take step by step pictures of the procedure. Replacing the aft oil seal turns out to be a common repair on the Volvo D2-55 engine.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Titusville - We visit Harvey's and the super moon

A bag of large grapefruit is $14.95, about 21 large grapefruit, very fresh, right off the trees
We wanted to stock up on citrus before we left for our trip north. The go to place around here is Harvey's Groves. They sell grapefruit and navel oranges already bagged but we go out back and pick out our grapefruit from a seconds bin. They taste just as good if not better since they are fresher due being such a good seller. The ones bagged may sit around awhile, we've tried both. Ann also got her fix of fudge for the trip home and for Sarah.

I'm fascinated by the long bow on this boat, I've never seen anything like it anywhere else
We got some last minute things at Walmart on the way home and now it's just waiting for our transmission to arrive, the first day it might be here is Monday. The last two days have been nice and easy but all that changes Monday when we must get the boat ready to be abandoned for almost two months while we"re up north.

A super moon over Titusville!
The alligator has not made an appearance since we first saw him but we did see a manatee today. The marina is famous for its manatees but there haven't been so many this year. Now it's pins and needles time waiting for the transmission to arrive from Denmark.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Titusville - A day at the beach

It really is a beautiful beach at Merritt Island
We have a lot to do in closing up the boat for our trip north for the holidays but today and Sunday will be holidays for us. So we visited the beach today and just drove around town and to the beach. Going to Merritt Island requires either a Golden Passport or a one day ticket. Since we have a Golden Passport, we breezed through the entry gate.

Lots of wildlife since the island is on the migration flight path
The beach is a classic sand beach with mile upon mile of soft sand. It is so large that there is very little crowding. We walked the beach and just enjoyed the sun and sand. Then we headed to Coco Beach and just saw the sights. Nothing was accomplished on the boat.

You are never too far from alligators on Merritt Island, this one along side of the road to Merritt Island
Sunday is donut day and more relaxing but Monday is work to include teak, anti mold, window washing and a good hosing down for the deck. Now we're just waiting for the new transmission to arrive from Denmark. It could get here by Monday but it will probably be delayed at least a day. We would really like to get everything done before we leave for New York. When we return in January, Finn will be with us and we want to visit the Space Center, Merritt Island and the Brevard Zoo. which is a real gem in the area, much better than we expected when we visited for the first time with Sarah. The zoo focuses on kid/animal interactions with great success. They even have a train ride around the premises and since Finn is such a train enthusiastist, I'm sure that will be a big hit. .

Cactus has flowers with seeds too
Meanwhile, we waiting for the transmission to arrive so we will be ready to leave for Key West in January.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Titusville - We get a car

The dog park is a daily occurrence in the afternoon. Hoolie just likes to run, never-mind the other dogs 
Titusville is recovering. When the shuttle program ended, Titusville went into decline. They did the best they could  but many stores closed and one shopping center went kaput! Gradually things got better. Today Ann went to the rebuilding of the shopping center that was just razed. The first store is a huge Hobby Lobby and there are many more to follow. The marina is in a revitalization program that started last year with a new WiFi system that actually works and allows streaming of Netflix, for example, in the evening.They are renovating the showers and restrooms over the next two months and you heard previously that there is now an indoor, air conditioned captain's room for cruisers. The outside captain's room is still there but now you have a choice, both have a panel HDTV.

We have a banana tree, sometimes we even have bananas
So today I took Ann by Hobby Lobby and I went on to the ACE hardware store just south of there. When you walk through the doors, there's a greeter right at the entrance to ask you what you need so they can direct you to the right aisle. I haven't found that level of service at too many places anywhere.

The tops of masts are just built for the pleasure of ospreys
The nearest Publix supermarket had our usual Friday night fare, a rotisserie chicken and sushi. I developed a taste for sushi during my six trips to Japan for IBM. Meanwhile we are waiting for news on the transmission but it will probably arrive ahead of any tracking information according to my dealer in Connecticut, Paul of McDonnell Marine.  The whole weekend will be exploration time for us, just visit around the area to see what's new. We will save packing for next week.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Titusville - A day where nothing has to get done

The area around the marina is lined with cookouts and picnic tables, a nice touch
Time for a true vacation day. Hopefully the new transmission is winging its way west from Denmark and actually arrives on time Tuesday. We already have the aft oil seal in hand so we're all set provided the transmission arrives. Fleetwing should be in fine shape once both are repaired for our trip to Key West. We've tentatively schedule the repair for Wednesday and to repair the oil seal and transmission at the same time. We plan on leaving for New York on Thursday morning, at least that is the intention.
Easier with the cart

So I thought we had enough excitement for awhile and we took the day off from boat chores. We've had steady stream of people drop by that have been reading the blog or used my cruising guide. It's always fun to meet new cruisers so if you're in the area, please drop by to say hello. We are at slip A43.

The alligator seems to have disappeared so the divers were around the last two days scrubbing boats and replacing zincs. With temperatures in the 70's, the weather is just phenomenal. Matthew was bad but otherwise it's been great. On Friday we pick up another car for the weekend and we'll do some more exploring.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Titusville - we haul Fleetwing

Fleetwing is airborne!
According to the diver we had at Hinckley, the prop shaft wobbled in the cutlass bearing. Therefore, it had to be replaced. So we scheduled a haulout for the purpose of replacing the hard rubber cutlass bearing. I had a replacement from Beneteau so we headed over this morning to the well. The crew at Westland was very efficient and careful with Fleetwing. Their travel lift is much bigger than the one at our club in New York so I didn't have to remove anything off the boat (bimini, dodger, backstay, etc.)

Once it was out of the water, the mechanic looked at the prop and tried to move the shaft from side to side, it didn't bulge, it was tight. The cutlass bearing did not have to be replaced. The diver at Hinckley was wrong. He must have confused the slop in the three blades of the folding prop with a loose shaft in the cutlass bearing.

No problems here, tight cutlass bearing and the prop is fine
We still have the rattling sound to resolve when underway so I enlisted the mechanic to ride with me in Fleetwing for a trial run in the bay. We all hopped aboard and motored out as I gradually increased rpm's. Of course, everything was cool and the rattling sound did not appear at first. Eventually it did start up with the mechanic down in the engine compartment. After about 10 minutes the verdict was in:  the gearbox was slipping under load. You had to be familiar with that sound to know what it was, this is why you need a mechanic. There are lots of sounds in the engine compartment. I now need a new gearbox. There is a possibility of reworking the gearbox with a kit but even the kit cost $1200 and that doesn't include labor and the possibility of more parts needed once everything is opened up.

Given all that and our requirement of being in Key West by the end of January, we decided to buy a new gearbox, they are not cheap! There were none in the US and the dealer had to order one from Denmark! It's supposed to arrive in three days which I hope happens but it would be a miracle if it does based on past experience.

So we are not feeling quite so flush but the boat is 12 years old and has 4400 hours on the engine so things wear out. If all goes according to plan (ha!) we'll have Fleetwing fully operational by Wednesday night. Then we'll leave for New York Thursday morning with the knowledge that Fleetwing is ready for the rest of the trip to Key West.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Ttiusville - Wrong part delivered from Volvo

There's a park that mostly protecting the marina on the way in
I have not had good experiences with the Volvo parts warehouse in Byhalia, Mississippi. While I was in Key West in March of this year, my repairman ordered a new injector pump and received instead a gear of about the same weight. He then reordered it and got another gear! On the third try he asked the warehouse shipping department to look at the part before shipment and they discovered yet another gear in the place of the $3500 injector pump. I think somebody found a quick way to get rich in the shipping department.

The marina has a dinghy dock for those on moorings and at anchor
Yesterday I received my order of a new aft oil seal for my Volvo diesel and once again I got the wrong part. The part number printed on the plastic bag with the part inside did not match the part number on the invoice. Now, I need this part rather quickly, before we leave for home up north. The dealer ordered the part a second time but this time I called the warehouse directly and asked them to look at the part to verify it's the right one before shipping. My friend up north couldn't believe I had actually gotten hold of someone in shipping at this giant facility that's the size of 21 football fields! I even got an email address for shipping to be used to pass the order number so they could do the checking. We will have to wait and see if any of this made any difference. The part is supposed to ship overnight so I should have it Wednesday morning. The oil seal repair is scheduled for Thursday so I really do need the part right away.
A view to the north, a boat launch is to the extreme left

The advertisement for the warehouse states it's a "state of the art" but it's less than that as far as performance for me. Meanwhile, I'll have the cutlass bearing replaced Wednesday at 11:00 am if all goes well. The cutlass bearing will be a separate repair since it can be done with the boat in the water.

With all of that excitement out of the way, today was much calmer and we once again concentrated on boat projects. On Wednesday we will have to unhook from land and mosey over to the haulout well at Westland marina. After the repair we'll take Fleetwing out for a spin and hopefully the vibration problem will have been fixed, stay tuned.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Titusville - More wind, schedule a haulout

Ann' completed a pastel today. The leaves were from trees in our backyard, you don't get these colors down here
There is never a day that when you get up in the morning you say, "Gee, there is nothing to do today on the boat."  It doesn't happen. There is always a list. I think I could spend a full month here and work everyday and still not get all the way through my "to do" list. We are now scheduled for a haulout Wednesday at 11:00 am to replace the cutlass bearing. I got the replacement in the mail today, it's a rubber tube about six inches long that fits into the aft section of the prop housing. We are hoping that the boat can be hauled and worked on while still in the slings and then returned to water. The work on the aft oil seal can be done while the boat is in the water, later.

A popular fishing spot, and also an alligator hangout
The wind is still blowing like stink down here. Unfortunately, it's right out of the northeast which is right into the marina. It's not bad but there is a bit of rocking. The wind is due to die off over the next few days and switch to the south and west, a protected direction for the marina.

We haven't seen the alligator for a few days now but we still haven't heard from our diver, he doesn't like alligators around for some reason... At this point we don't need him since we're going to have Fleetwing hauled anyway.

You can't have too many lines out when you leave a boat for 2 months
We no longer have a car, the $10/day rental fee was only for the weekend. We'll rent another car for the drive home for the holidays. It's a break even proposition on whether you rent the car one way twice or just keep it for the full 1.5 months. With that we might as well just keep the car.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Titusville - a day off with a visit to Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge

Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge is one of our favorite spots
Enough of all this stuff of working on the boat, there will be enough of that next week. So with that we started out with donuts from the best donut shop in Titusville, Donuts for U. It looks like nothing special from the outside and even inside it doesn't look like anything to set it apart from hundreds of other donut shops. However, once you taste the donuts they make, it's another story. They are the best we've ever had. I would have a major crew revolt if I didn't buy donuts here on Sunday mornings.

Lots of interesting birds
Well, with that requirement out of the way, we spent a leisurely morning and then headed out to the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge, one of our favorite spots and a must see for us every time we visit Titusville.  This time of the year the birds are still in migration and most have not arrived yet. Their high season for bird population is January and February, not November. Still, it's an interesting tour and it's free if you have a Golden Age Passport which is also free to anyone over 65.

And, of course, there are the ever present alligators all around
The refuge has wooden walkways through a forested area and a drive through area where the birds spend the winter months. We did both. The refuge is part of the Kennedy Space Center which let the refuge be formed from land they did not need. It's been a boon to the birds and bird watchers.

I have replacement parts for the cutlass bearing and the oil seal due to arrive on Monday and if all goes according to plan, we'll haul Fleetwing on Wednesday and repair the cutlass bearing. We will wait to hear from Brian in Connecticut, a Volvo dealer,  before deciding what to do with the aft oil leak but at least I'll have the parts. Replacing the cutlass bearing requires a haulout but repairing the aft oil seal does not. So the plan is to get the cutlass bearing replaced first and then schedule the oil seal repaired later, but not too later!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Titusville - High winds and no diver

Glorious Flowers in full bloom around here
We waited for our diver this morning but it was a no show. When I called he relayed that there was still a sighting of the alligator I took a picture of yesterday and he didn't want to be in the same water as the alligator. So now we're waiting for an "alligator free day" before the diver will show up. In the meantime we'll go ahead and schedule a haulout for Wednesday to replace the cutlass bearing. In the Beneteau it's an all rubber fitting to cushion the shaft and with grooves to let cooling water through.

No visit to Titusville is complete without fudge at Harvey's - and also fresh grapefruit
Replacing the aft oil seal on the Volvo will be a separate event. That repair can be done in the water unlike the cutlass bearing replacement which requires a haulout. That procedure should be completed within a day so we'll still have the use of Fleetwing for overnight sleeping.

Our next door neighbor with a sunset - lots of friendly people here
It's been a busy fall for us, not like previous trips down the ICW. Hurricane Matthew really through a monkey wrench into the whole affair and we're still recovering from it. Everywhere down the ICW we see boats up on shore, even down by Titusville. It will take awhile to clean things up. In fact, we're still recovering from our own disaster with the dinghy line.

Sunday is a day off for us. We'll visit Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge, one of our favorite places and generally take it easy.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Titusville - Order parts and we see an alligator in the marina

Must be in a Florida marina, I see an alligator in the fairway
We took advantage of the usual $10/day weekend offer from Enterprise and picked up the car around noon. It's due back Monday at noon for a total cost with tax of about $40. Not all Enterprise offices have this offer but Titusville does. So we are now provisioned and did a wash in Titusville's new commercial grade washers and dryers ($1.50 for a wash and $0.75 for use of a dryer).

He's not all that big but big enough for Hoolie
Sitting on the back of the boat during lunch we saw a familiar sight in the water, an alligator. It wasn't a particularly big one, maybe 6 ft? Any size alligator is a threat to Hoolie so we keep him tight in the cockpit or below in the cabin. The alligator was moving very slowly through the fairway. Now we have a diver coming Saturday morning and I wonder what he thinks about being in the water with an alligator nearby.

The marina manager converted his office into an air conditioned Captain's Room for customers, great!
Meanwhile, we talked to the mechanic at the marina next door and  they have a travel-lift that easily handles Fleetwing. With that I ordered a new cutlass bearing to address the noise while rev'ing the engine in forward and I also ordered a new rear oil seal. The parts cost is modest, it's the labor and cost of hauling the boat that will be the major factor. We'll know more Saturday after the diver inspected the prop and shaft but I suspect we'll need to replace the cutlass bearing, it has 4400 hours on it anyway and suffered stress from the wrapped rope which had pits of cutlass bearing melted into the rope.

Another view of the Captain's Room
This will be the fourth time we've replaced the aft oil seal. They seem to last 1000 to 1500 hours at best before going bad. It seems to be a weak point with Volvo D2-55 engines. If all goes as expected, we'll haul the boat Wednesday and get the repairs done the same day (I even said that will a straight face...)

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Titusville - at last

Sunrise over Daytona - we do get up early sometimes...
When we were in the Skull Creek marina, we backed out and the current was so strong we flipped our dinghy and backed into a line on our dinghy. We thought we were in the clear when the diver took the last of the rope off the prop and we motored strongly afterwards with no ill effects. The next day was uneventful as we motored to Ft Matanzas and anchored out. However, the next day we started hearing a rattling when the rpm's went above 2200. We thought perhaps there as something still on the prop so we went through a backing up routing several times but the rattling was still there above 2200 rpm. We motored to our Daytona anchorage and had no ill effects as long as the rpm's were low. Today we motored for Titusville and the top rpm without a rattle gradually grew less. As we enter Titusville, we couldn't get above 1800 without the dreaded sound.

So now we think that either we still have something on the prop or the cutlass bearing has deteriorated, allowing the shaft to wobble and produce the noise. Strangely, it doesn't produce any noise in reverse, even at 3000 rpm (as we tried to spin off anything on the prop). We have a diver coming Saturday to look at the prop and the cutlass bearing and we'll take it from there. In addition to that we have to get the rear oil seal on the engine replaced, a separate issue. It will be a busy couple of weeks.

Titusville is full!
I guess the word has gotten out about Titusville. It's busier than I've ever seen it. In fact, it's almost full. Usually C dock is almost empty but not anymore. The new management has taken great steps to make the marina one of the best on the east coast. All the docks have key card gates for security, the WiFi is first rate and suitable for streaming Netflix, no problem there. There's a dog park for pet lovers right next door and lots of trails for running and walking. Downtown is within walking distance and Enterprise is nearby with their $10/day weekend rate. Tonight we had Papa John's pizza delivered to the boat, great service.

Now I have to schedule the repairs on the boat in time for us to leave for the holidays up north. We'll see how that goes after the diver comes Saturday morning.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Daytona - at anchor at the Bethune Park anchorage

Nice anchorage, nice docks for Hoolie
It's only 35 Nm from Ft Mantanzas to our anchorage in Daytona at the Bethune Park anchorage. It's easy to enter, easy to anchor with lots of room and there's a free dinghy dock for Hoolie relief. It has all the requirements for having a dog on board. We've used the anchorage for the last three years and it's perfect for us. We used to continue onward to Rockhouse Creek but at the height of the migration south, it can get crowded. There is no possibility of this anchorage getting crowded. Along the way we discovered that the Ft Mantanzas shallows has a buoy off station, R80B is far to the east of its charted position. Boats that try to honor the buoy (pass it to starboard going south) have gone aground! I put an update to Active Captain and a note to Cruisernet on the problem. All you have to do is follow the green buoys for 8.7 MLW all the way. The catamaran behind me went aground when it went towards R80B.

Along the way, why all the large screens?
Well, we've developed some problems aboard Fleetwing. We have a new oil leak that needs to be addressed. The engine has 4200 hours on it and the seals are starting to seep. On top of that, just today we developed a rattling sound when the engine is rev'ed to above 2100. We're wondering if that's due to the worn cutlass bearing from wrapping the dinghy line around the prop? So now we have two concerns and we're limping into Titusville hoping to get both addressed before we return in January for our trip to Key West. Boating is always an adventure.

The weather continues to be outstanding and we are on our last leg to Titusville. We got a call from them this morning asking if we were still coming and we replied, "Of course". I think the word has gotten out about Titusville and the value it has for the cruising community. They said they had twice the business they had last year.

A Daytona sunset't need that level of support!
We talked long distance today with our Volvo mechanic, Brian McDonnell about our rattling and leak. He is an outstanding resource and runs McDonnell Marine which has the largest inventory in the northeast of Volvo parts. Their staff travels all over the east coast to fix Volvos. I hope I don't need that level of support.

We'll leave early Thursday to allow for lots of time to reach Titusville, 42 Nm south. We can't go at our usual 7.3 kts with the rattle so it will take longer than usual.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Ft Mantanzas - at anchor

Ft Mantanzas - It's a national monument, free tours
Our neighbor who we were tied to wanted to leave at first light, an earlier start than what we're used to but since we were on the outside, we obliged. Along the way the devastation from Matthew was apparent all along the ICW. Mostly it took the form of torn up docks and walkways to the docks. The houses seemed okay and the boats must have been stored elsewhere. There is a lot of cleanup work to do still. The free docks where we stayed was piled high with grasses. Interestingly, they were not allowed to just put the grasses back into the creek where they came from. They had to be carted off somewhere else. As a result, the docks were piled high and only about half the width of the dock was available for a walkway.

Typical scene along the way, lots of this type of dock damage
We've taken to running the heater in the cockpit to keep the windows clear, it's better than raising the window which lets a lot of cold air in. We need our 3000 watt Prosine inverter for that but it works well and the batteries are still being charged by the 100 amp alternator. We like our comforts.

We stopped by St Augustine for fuel. They are functional except for the moorings which still needed inspection. There were a lot of anchored boats. We arrived at the  Bridge of Lions at noon, not a good time since it does not open at noon, otherwise it's every 1/2 hour.

On the way to Ft Mantanzas we had a dolphin race along side Fleetwing, the second time we've seen that. Ann took a video.  This time there was only one, Hoolie kept a close eye on him, no boarding!!

We plan on anchoring out at Daytona as our last stop before Titusville. It's another anchorage with Hoolie relief nearby, this time via a town dock. Then it's our home away from home in Titusville.