Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Titusville - Last post in 2023

Taco Grouper - very  good 

We did the last of the packing this afternoon and we’ll be leaving early Thursday for Lagrangeville, NY. I spent most of the afternoon installing an automatic dewatering pump in the dinghy (since we leave it in the water - it tends to fill up from rains). 

We said goodby to Titusville with a dinner at Pier 220 Seafood and Grill. It’s a nice place with a view of the ICW although tonight it was very stormy, no boats were passing by. It’s popular with the locals and it has live music on Thursday through Sunday night. 

This is the last post of 2023 as we leave Fleetwing to tend to itself while we’re away. We will return the first or second week of January but I may not restart the blog until we head north again on April 15th, we’ll see. Until then, stay safe!  We miss Hoolie…

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Titusville - ICW Cruising Guide Facebook work


This is a typical update. The blue dotted line is the new track, the red is the old track.

I review all new USACE surveys on a regular basis to see if there’s new shoaling that’s endangering the Bob423 track. In looking at the area between Beaufort, NC and Southport, I found several areas of concern so I spent the afternoon revising the Bob423 track for that part of the ICW. 

Another example, this one of Browns Inlet. A shoal is working its way out from G61A. Best to think ahead and avoid.

After revision, then I post it to the download site and upload to my Bob423 Aqua Map account which triggers automatic updates to those subscribed to Bob423 syncing in Aqua Map. It’s an efficient way to keep up to date once you set syncing up the first time. Everything after that is fully automatic. 

I’ve got the car half loaded for our trip north and we’ll pay a visit to a local restaurant for dinner to celebrate our departure and the start of the holidays. Then, it’s hit the road time Thursday morning. I figure I don’t need any of my summer wear for my northern visit so we’re packing light for the trip. We, sadly, have a lot more room now without Hoolie. 

Monday, November 13, 2023

Titusville - Workshop at Titusville


It’s handy having access to a workshop. A radial saw is available too. 

Titusville Marina has a workshop available for use by transients. You can bring your own tools but there’s more available. If you schedule in advance so a dockhand is present, you have the use of a radial saw and other major equipment. It’s handy for work projects on your boat. There’s no charge for the use of the tool room. 

Just like any house, boats are decorated too for the holidays, in this case for two at the same time. 

The marina is home to many liveaboards and they decorate their boats as they would their house (if they had one). When Halloween rolls around, the decorations come out. Thanksgiving is honored too and although it’s early, Christmas will be well represented when that time comes. For many of the boaters here, they’ve sold their house and their boat is their residence - a moveable residence, which is the nice part. 

Our car is now ready to travel. It received a multi-point inspection and an oil change so it’s all ready to go. We’ll start packing tomorrow and load the car Wednesday. Our time here is getting short.

Sunday, November 12, 2023

Titusville - A park nearby

I probably won’t be taking up this sport - at least not yet…

 The marina benefits from having a nearby dog park, skateboard park, play area for kids, and paths for running in the morning for us. We get out around 7:30 to 8:00 for our exercise during the week and perhaps in the afternoon, get out for another walk. It’s something that’s easy to do in the warm, Florida weather. 

For the kids. You don’t see wooden playgrounds anymore

However, when we go north, we find that our tolerance for cold weather has been comprised. If it’s less than 70, it feels a little chilly (where’s that sweatshirt?) We used to laugh at our southern friends when they came north in the winter or fall. We would out in tee shirts in any weather above 50 and they would be wearing heavy jackets. Now we’re in the same bucket - or rather will be when we get back to Lagrangeville, oh well. 

Next week will be a short week, just three days before leaving for home. We have friends on the dock that’s will look out for Fleetwing while we’re gone, good to have such friends!

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Titusville - Weekends are for lazing around

We have roaming flocks of ibis harvesting the grass

 There are boat projects to do but as we approach our departure date for returning north to New York, I find a lack of enthusiasm for starting any new ones. Since we’re spending the winter in Titusville, there’s no trip south to Key West - I have all the time in the world to get things done for the trip up the ICW in the spring to Beaufort, NC. That knowledge alone contributes to massive procrastination. 

Titusville Marina has a convenient dinghy dock by the office with showers and laundry nearby

Although we often tour through Black Point drive, there’s a goodly amount of bird watching to be done right in the marina and next door in the nature park. We have both manatees and dolphins swimming around as well as a large collection of birds that have no problem finding sustenance.

As if that was not enough, we have Space X launches too, usually one a week but sometimes twice a week. We walk down to the end of the dock and watch the rocket rise above the bridge in the distance. It’s a pretty sight at night. For last night’s launch, the rocket returned to the Kennedy Space Center and made a safe landing. It is turning into a very routine procedure now, who would have thought? 

Friday, November 10, 2023

Titusville - All electric boat


I don’t think it can run continuously on solar power but if it charges during the week, perhaps on weekends.

The way things are going with inflation, we all may be headed to either sailing a lot more than we’ve done in the past or switching our motive power to solar. I’ve seen several boats along the way going south outfitted with solar arrays and an electric motor but they are usually not very big. 

There’s one in our marina that, I guess, sits in a slip during the week gathering in the sun’s rays for use on the weekends. I’ve haven’t seen it out yet, perhaps it’s a summer use boat. For a place like Florida, it makes a lot of sense. 

Always the sunset,,, 

Meanwhile, we did our last provisioning, this time a Winn Dixie again. He find it to be a better store for fresh produce than Publix which surprised us. The prices are better too. The phenomenal weather continues, we’re spoiled not only for waters to come in New York but also for just the usual Florida weather. We haven’t had rain for weeks but I won’t complain.  

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Titusville - Beaudtiful days


Right next door is the dog park - where Hoolie loved to run. This is along the way. 

Now that we’re getting close to our departure date, it’s hard to stay focused on getting boat chores done. We did manage to get some essentials at Winn Dixie (love that name!) but that was about it. After working 38 years for IBM, I still have the mentality of “What did you accomplish today?” The answer today was, “Nothing” which strangely is bothersome. I wonder if everyone has that problem? (Or, anyone else?)

I’m a sucker for a sunset

The weather has been out of a travel brochure for Florida - winds less than 10 kts, highs around 80, full sunshine, no rain since we arrived 11/20 - just perfect days. Not that I’m complaining, mind you, but we’ll see a different weather report up north for sure. 

We sit on the back of the boat with our wine, watching the sunset so I keep taking photos of the event. Tonight, we’re scheduled to see a Space X launch, around 8:30 pm. The nighttime launches are the best, spectacular. I’ll see if can capture some worthwhile pictures. 

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Titusville - New batteries installed


The evere changing light… 

The downside of 4D batteries is the weight, over 120 lbs. Yesterday it took two strong types to get them off the boat, very awkward. Today, putting two back on the boat was easier - gravity being what it is - al downhill. 

I used No-Ox on all the connections to prevent corrosion. It coats the terminals to keep out corrosive fumes. You can’t seem to buy it in small batches. The tube I have will last years. I’ll do a final test tomorrow morning and then throw the switch and stand back (only kidding). 

We are doing the last of the boat chores before leaving next Thursday for New York for the holidays. It seems strange making the trip without Hoolie. It’s been dead still here for the past four days with winds less than 10 kts. We’ve enjoyed the view off the back of the boat and the perfect weather with temps in the high 70s and low 80s. It’s going to be a shock going north.

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Titusville - 4D battery weigh a lot!


Wood Stork - there’s a flock of them that hang around the marina.

I have three 4D batteries and when it comes time to replace them, it’s a big deal. They have to be hoisted up the companionway, across the cockpit, and down the side of the boat to the fixed dock. It’s a task for two people with strong backs. Each battery weighs about 130 lbs. 

Well, today I had help and the three of us horsed the batteries ashore. Now I have to travel about an hour to the nearest Interstate store that has them in stock. They are back ordered at most places. The 4D’s cost $340 each. If you wanted absorbed glass matt (AGM), then the price rose to $995 each, ouch. Interestingly, Walmart sells AGMs made in China but I wasn’t ready to try them out yet, even through the price was only $345 each for AGMs in the 4D size. 

We’ll drive to the Interstate store to pick them up on Wednesday and then it’s another trial in getting them loaded on the boat, into the cockpit, down the stairs, and into the engine compartment. I’ll be asking for help again tomorrow. Hopefully, they will last at least three years, the same as the last ones. 

Monday, November 6, 2023

Titusville - Battery problems


After the time change, sunsets come during wine time

I have three 4D Interstate deep cycle batteries on Fleetwing. They tend to last about three years before they start to fail. It seems a little short but they’re used eight months of the year, every day. I know when one goes because it starts to vent a lot and never reduces in the charge current, reaching 40 amp even though they were fully charged. 

Now I have to decide between flooded lead acid or AGM. The Lithium batteries look attractive but they are out of sight in price. The Interstate 4D lead acid were on back order, over a month wait time if then. Of course, everything is getting much more expensive - don’t we all know that!

I get the estimates on battery prices Tuesday for both the lead acid and AGM. I’ll relay what I find out here. One thing about being on a boat, there’s never a lack of things that need doing - and spending money on. One of these days, I’ll do the last boat chore and then I’ll rest…..

Sunday, November 5, 2023

Titusville - Being a Sunday Driver to Black Point

There’s always room for an alligator photo (Merritt Island)

 We had to get “out of the house” today so we headed for Black Point drive in Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. I wanted to get a more detailed map than I had but found the Visitor Center was closed! It’s not open on Sundays. It would seem that Sundays would be prime time for visitors but the park thinks otherwise I guess. 

Blue Heron at Black Point - he poised for us, didn’t move a muscle

Apple Maps now shows the off road trails through the park so we just followed that Apple Play display. The dates for the birds to arrive here is advertised to be from November 1st to April 30th so we thought, now’s the time. However, not many have arrived yet. Perhaps it’s due to the unseasonably warm weather up north? (except for this past weekend). We did see a few more than the last time we drove through but nothing like the peak times in years past. 

The winds have died and it’s dead still here tonight. I guess the winds have gotten to wherever they were headed and they’re happy now - for a while.

Saturday, November 4, 2023

Titusville - Hoolie crosses the Rainbow bridge


The day we brought Hoolie home

It is a very sad day on Fleetwing. Our Brittany of 14 years passed over the Rainbow bridge this afternoon.  He’s been with us on all our boat adventures, to Maine, to Long Island Sound, to Block Island, and every year down the ICW. He was a dear member of our boat family and he will be missed. 

As we will remember Hoolie forever, “Throw the ball already!”

He was ever enthusiastic and always ready to chase a ball. He would snuggle up to Ann when I left in the morning for a run to keep her warm. He kept us company on Fleetwing and guarded the boat from being boarded by dolphins and manatees. He regarded the dinghy as his personal transportation and you could not be seen preparing it for launch without his eager attention, and getting in the way. 

He was spry and full of pep until about 6 months ago when he started to go downhill with problems in his hips. He could no longer chase a ball or negotiate the stairs in our house or on the boat or do other dog things. He had a good life for 13 years. Hoolie, we will miss you dearly. We’ll call for you when we cross over the Rainbow bridge ourselves. 

Friday, November 3, 2023

Titusville - Books-A-Million and a beautiful bridge


On our way back, we drove alongside the Kennedy Space Center. Blue Origin has
 a huge complex and yet they are far behind Space X in launch capability. 

One thing about the demise of bookstores is that the extensive magazine racks went with them. There are mags at supermarkets and a few other places but nothing beats the selection at Barns and Nobel or Books-A-Million. Ann was in the mood for holiday and art magazines so we headed south to the nearest bookstore, Books-A-Million. The selection was huge. 

I really have no need of a bookstore since I get all my titles loaded to my Kindle from Amazon. It’s harder to get a wide selection though for magazines although I do subscribe to several digital versions. But if you’re not sure what you’re looking for (as Ann was), then an old-fashioned book rack is hard to beat. Ann walked away with about 1/2 dozen mags. 

The Titusville to Merritt Island bridge passes the first prerequisite, it’s 65 feet high! 

The first prerequisite for judging a bridge “beautiful” on our boat is that it must be at least 65 feet high! After passing that requirement, its aesthetics can be contemplated. One such bridge is pictured that has more than just slabs of concrete between pillars. It’s by the restaurant we ate at last night, the bridge from Titusville to Merritt Island. 

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Titusville - A dinner at Pier 220


On this side, it’s shielded from an east wind

We’ve been going to Titusville for 14 years but have never eaten at the restaurant by the bridge - Pier 220.  Today that changed. We met Tony yesterday when we docked at the end and came over to meet us. He’s bought my cruising books and was pleased with the Bob423 tracks. 

I didn’t realize they had docking for the restaurant

This morning, before he took off, he gave us a dinner card for Pier 220 in appreciation for all the work and Ann and I took advantage of the card tonight. The restaurant has been renovated and has both outside and inside seating. There’s a musician holding forth outside. Since the wind was still blowing about 15 to 20 kts, we decided to take an inside table.

Many thanks to Tony for the gift of the excellent meal

We had wine followed by conch fritters as starters. I had the crab sandwich and Ann had fried shrimp. All was good. The place was quite lively on a Thursday night. There was a larger crowd than I expected. We’ll go back at least one more time before heading north in two weeks. It’s a nice place.

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Titusville - 34 kt winds visit us from the north (you can’t escape)


You can see the flat water in the marina just past the entrance

Titusville Marina has both slips and moorings, both were almost full. We had one of the calmer docks for which we were grateful. We’re tucked into the northeast corner which provides protection from a NE wind. The boats out on a mooring received the full force of the frontal’s passage. It’s better to be on a dock. It’s a tough ride into shore in these winds. 

A dolphin paid us a visit, see link

They have considered building a breakwater but the EPA was concerned about the fishes. They will probably try again. The marina would be a hurricane hole with a breakwater. Still, we survived the last hurricane that came through in 2022 without a problem. It was bouncy but the boat was safe. 

The peak wind gust was 34 kts with most of the wind in the high 20s all day. The cold front brought cooler weather but the low tonight in only to be 62. A little farther north at Brunswick, our home for the summer, will get down to 45 tonight. It pays to be in Florida rather than Georgia. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Titusville - Space X launch - finally


The Space X launch was supposed to happen on Saturday but it was cancelled with 30 seconds to go in the countdown. It was delayed a day; So last night, we once again lined up at the end of the dock to view the launch. This time is was successful, right on time. The full video is at

Titusville Marina is not a bad place for viewing the launches. You have a clear view of the southern sky towards the Kennedy Space Center and last night, we even had a moon with Jupiter off to one side. First you get the light of ignition and a little later, you hear the roar of the engines. 

Up, up and away!

The odd thing is that is climbs as expected but once it gets almost overhead, it starts to dip towards the horizon. It’s actually going down range but it gives the illusion that the rocket is losing altitude. The first time I saw this I wondered what was going on but once you think about it a bit, you realize that it’s just the perspective you have form the ground. The rocket is gaining altitude all the time but also distance away from you, follow the curvature of the Earth’s surface so it appears to de descending. 

We usually keep track of all launches since it’s so convenient to watch from the marina. The view was show from “A dock”, at the end. 

Monday, October 30, 2023

Titusville - Biolab Road

Looking for dinner

 Although we often drive through Black Point, we like to try other roads in the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. One such road is Biolab which borders the Indian River Lagoon. It’s a change of pace from Black Point with views over the water of the Lagoon. There’s not many birds out yet, they will arrive later with the cooler weather.

A black mangrove reaching into the sea. Mangroves can tolerate salt water where 
many other plant species cannot

We did see an osprey out and about looking for its dinner from a perch on the upper-most branch of a dead tree. He was patiently waiting for something to appear, I guess, so I took a photo. I was hoping for an eagle but none were in sight. 

It’s a pretty drive with the beach by the lagoon and mangroves trying to extend the reach of land into the water. With temps in the 70s every day and lows in the 60s, it’s not hard to take down here. 

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Titusville - Space X Launch Tonight

Nice picture of the moon and Jupiter tonight - but no Space X launch

 One of the perks of having a dock at the Titusville Marina is the clear view of the southern sky to watch Space X launches. The night launches are the best, they put on a great light show. With the Space X stepped up launch frequency this year, they’ve almost become routine. Everyone used to gather out on the docks to watch but not as much anymore. 

Later this year, a Falcon Heavy is scheduled to launch. That will bring a crowd! The two side boosters will return to the Kennedy Space Center and land in tandem, settling down in sync. A pretty sight at night. So I I’m waiting for the southern sky to light up with a launch - but discover the launch has been scrubbed. It will either go up later tonight or on Monday. 

The Kennedy Space Center offers up close viewing of a scheduled launch but if it’s cancelled, after you’ve been bussed to the viewing site, tough luck. 

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Titusville = Easy docking


All lined up, the wind is directly behind him

A 60 ft yacht came in today and showed how it’s done when you have all the power and control in the world working for you. He was put on the face dock, a plus right there. Adding to the advantage was an east wind pushing him against the dock. As if that wasn’t enough, he was standing outside the pilothouse next to the rail with what looked like a game controller. As the boat was pushed by the wind towards the dock, he was controlling the forward and aft thrusters to keep the boat parallel to the approaching dock. Gently, he touched and right where his crew had already placed three fenders - matching the three pilings exactly. Must be nice.

Note the game controller the captain is holding, looking intently where his fenders are located

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we continued our no drama week. Maybe next week I’ll get down in the aft locker and tackle that autopilot that went on strike. I wonder if it will settle for the same terms Ford did? However, it’s got to work seven days a week.

Other than the autopilot, the rest of the electrons are flowing well. 

Friday, October 27, 2023

Titusville - What happened to yesterday’s post?


Playalinda beach - a national seashore is nearby - lots of room as you can see

For some unknown reason, the blog post of yesterday did not get published, strange. I’ll see if I can recreate it later. Meanwhile, we continue on our mission of catching up on 6 months of missed resting. We did Black point, went to the seashore, got odds and ends at Home Depot, and mainly just puttered around. 

From out visit yesterday to Black Point drive

We met one guy today that came to Titusville Marina intending to stay a couple of months and now it’s going on five years. There are quite a few like that in the marina. All the regulars know each other and we’re becoming familiar with everyone too. It’s a small community that looks out for each other, especially if a storm comes through and help is needed to tend to a boat that’s not tied down well enough. 

With the marina personnel being on-site from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm, it helps to look after things. All the docks have a badge lock for entrance - you just have to remember to bring your badge with you when leaving, and I’ve already forgotten my badge several times. Parking is within 30 feet of our dock entrance, no problem there, and there’s plenty of it. 

I’m looking forward to being here for the winter. We have a long list of places to visit and things to do. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Titusville - Not a busy day


Right next door on a fence by another marina

One wouldn’t want to over extend oneself, so it was a “not do anything” day. Of course, relative to the activity level of those still working, even our high activity day is a rest day for everyone else. Oh well, we enjoyed it.

The flowers are starting to come out, the first ones are peeking out now. It’s nothing like what we’re used to in Key West but it’s a lot closer. The winds are still piping out of the northeast which causes some of the boats on the other dock to bounce some. What an east wind does is pile in water, being pushed northwest along the Indian River. We are steadily gaining water depth in the marina as the winds continue. There’s about a plus or minus of a foot of water difference between a south wind and a north wind, There’re no lunar tides, just the wind tide. 

Boats coming to shore is a regular occurrence, usually due to their own lines parting, not the mooring

There’s a mooring field to the east and an anchorage used for long termers. There always seems to be a boat or two that breaks loose and comes to shore. I took a photo of the latest causality. At one time, it was the pride and joy of some sailor - sad what it has come to - sounds philosophical. We’d better look out for ourselves, better. 

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Tisutville - Not really a vacation


This boat was also on A dock but on the other side. A boat is not a house (in an east wind)
see the motion.  (This is not us, we’re much calmer)

Some people who ask about being on a boat think the entire trip is like a vacation - with no responsibilities other than eating and having fun. We reply that it’s like having a second house with all the responsibilities that entails. You still have insurance, pay electrical and fuel bills, repair stuff (!), pay for someone else to repair stuff if you can’t do it (!!) and so on. There are renovations, upgrades (things wear out), and maintenance even more so than owning a house - the marine environment is harsh - plus - your house won’t sink but your boat could!

So sure, it’s a lot of fun, but it’s not all a bed of roses. The boat requires constant attention (is that why boats are referred to in the feminine gender?) I don’t generally have to pay this much attention to my house - but the boat is demanding (feminine gender again?) 

You also must learn how to balance lines so your boat can stay off the pilings in high winds.
In the photo above, the wind is coming from the right, the aft port cleat (upper right in photo) is 
secured with a rubber line cushion since it’s so short and the bow is pulled to port by the two lines you 
sec at the right of the photo. If you get it right, the boat rides in the slip with little motion. 

So on a boat you must do laundry, get groceries, etc. just like at home. Tomorrow we plan on taking a day off and actually enjoying the time like we were on vacation. Perhaps take a drive on Black Point to see the wildlife. After all, aren’t we on vacation??

Monday, October 23, 2023

Titusville - Road Trip to Brunswick to get our car


Early morning at Titusville. There’s a competition going on for best Halloween decorations with 
prizes awarded of $100 for first place, $50 for second, and $25 for third.

It’s surprising to me how few car rental companies will rent a car one-way. They all used to do it before the pandemic but now few do. In my search for reasonable rates, I found only Avis and their sister company, Budget, willing to rent one from Titusville to Brunswick. It’s a little over 200 miles and it cost $300 after taxes. Other companies wouldn’t rent one-way at any price. 

Our rental car for the day. I suppose it would be fun for some of the back roads 
but for the expressway, it was very noisy.

We were supposed to get a Nissan Rogue like our car but wound up with a Jeep truck. It’s one of those trucks that are quite popular where the doors and roof can be removed. I could picture a group of kids at the beach with a cooler of beer in the back. We, of course, kept all the doors and the roof intact. It was the noisiest car I’ve ever been in. It was almost impossible to carry on a conversation. I can only imagine the wind and road noise after a bunch of kids get done with all the removable parts. Are we just old-fashioned?

The trip was uneventful and now we have our Rogue with us for the winter at Titusville. We plan on exploring around Titusville and northern Florida. There’s the Merritt Island Nature Refuge, Kennedy Space Center, dozens of parks, Playalynda Beach, and some interesting places to eat. It’ll be fun.. 

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Titusville - Donut Day


Oh the selection - all good and fresh

There’s a place in Titusville with the best donuts in the world, Donuts 4 You! We always pay them a visit on Sunday mornings, it’s a tradition. They average about double the size of the typical Dunkin Donuts and taste much better. They are baked fresh every morning, a real treat. If you’re ever in Titusville, be sure to get some donuts from them. 

Ann’s making a happy face, she saw the donuts I got

I washed down the boat today and especially rinsed the chain of salt water. It’s not a good idea to let salt water stay on the chain over the winter, why invite rust. Next it was refilling the tanks and that was enough for today, no use overdoing it… 

The big event is driving a rental car to Brunswick on Monday to pick up our car for a return trip to Titusville. If you’re going to stay for the winter, you really need a car to get around and see the sights. Brunswick is only three hours away so we can do the entire car exchange in one day. 

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Titusville - A day of rest


Before sunset

We’re big here on resting days. We got the dock we wanted and we’re all set for the long haul - but first a few days of doing nothing. In addition to being a Waterway Guide Contributing Editor and Aqua Map beta tester - I’ve also signed up to beta test the Pitufino gateway. I’m working with a guy in Fiji that designed it. He has a PhD in electrical engineering from a college in Europe and it advertises some unique features. 

A gateway is connected to your instruments through SeaTalk or NMEA and broadcasts the instrument data over WiFi for your tablet to access. Both Aqua Map and Navionics apps work well with that setup. The unique feature of the gateway is two decimal precision in all the data flows. Most gateways only feature one decimal precision which introduces rounding errors. While he was at it, he threw in autopilot control and a few other unique features. If you have SeaTalk1, there’s no need to buy a separate SeaTalk1 to SeaTalkng converter from Raymarine, the Pitufino has a converter built in. I will be testing it over the next few months in preparation for an on the water test when I go north in the spring. 

After sunset

Other than that, it was a quiet day. Hoolie is getting along but he looks more and more like an old man of 100. He’s still walking and doing dog things but not with the spirit he used to have. He’s 14 now. I don’t think he’ll be with us much longer.

Friday, October 20, 2023

Titusville Marina - at a dock, at last

Our home for the winter

 One thing about hauling anchor at Bethune Park is that you have to budget time to get the mud off the chain. I have a wash down pump and it’s pretty effective but it still takes time to get rid of all the gooey stuff. Other than that, it was a very quiet night, good for catching up on sleep. 

This couple was doing some world class paddling. They were keeping up with us at 7.3 kts.
They switched sides in paddling in perfect synchrony. Amazing to watch.

The park has been renovated with new plantings, new sidewalks, and the dinghy dock is in good shape. I made three trips in with Hoolie. The outboard has now been certified to work as expected. The major thing left to be done is to get the autopilot working. I also lost one battery over the summer that needs to be replaced. Everything else is ready for cruising. 

We have the same dock as last year, near the end and on the north side It’s about as protected as you can get in Titusville Marina. We have no plans to move on to Key West this year, it’s getting crazy expensive down there and we just want to enjoy the warm weather - and Titusville is warm enough for us.

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Bethune Park - at anchor


The dredge at Ft Matanzas. Note the diamonds on the right side of the pilot house.

Sunny with light winds and a following tide, what more could you want for traveling the ICW? We came through Ft Matanzas and the least seen was 9.4 MLLW on the Bob423 track. They were dredging the passage but they were out of the channel, off to the west side. The dredge had the diamonds displayed so we just honored the diamonds, no need for using the VHF - the correct side to pass on was obvious. 

Fleetwing was part of the racecourse! They all missed us!

In the past, when they dredged this inlet, they dredged the entire width of the passage which is unlike most areas where they only dredge a channel 75 or 150 feet wide. The sand was being pumped northward to a beach area just south of Marineland Marina. 

The trip took about 6.5 hours to travel the 49 NM but we were still happy to stop. My autopilot is still not working, another to-do later on and certainly before my trip north in the spring. I don’t use the autopilot to automatically follow a route, I just use it with the + and - buttons to manually keep Fleetwing on course for the many straight sections of the ICW.

The youth sailing club was out in force and Fleetwing served as one of the turning points so we saw everyone up close. It’s good to see the young crowd learning to sail. Tomorrow is the last leg of our trip south this fall and we’re looking forward for a relaxing time in Titusville.