Sunday, April 30, 2023

Brunswick Landing Marina - at a dock


Our little corner of the marina - you can see Fleetwing in back

We are very well protected from any wave action but it comes at a price - a 0.5 mile walk to the clubhouse. We had winds topping out at 33.5 kts but the water was calm here. They don’t haul boats over the weekend, it’s all closed up at the boat yard for storage on land. 

The docks are modern concrete and very sturdy. 

I’m using the waiting time until our haulout on Friday to rest my shoulder and arm, hoping for a quick recovery. Our car arrives Friday and it will be doctor city the week we return. We’ll have “fun” off loading from the boat after it’s up on stands into our Nissan Rogue. I will have to take our driver to the airport in Savannah so he can catch a plane home. Then it’s back to Brunswick to pick up Ann and Hoolie for the trip north. We should arrive in New York by Sunday.

I am slowly on the mend, it’s no fun being a one-armed sailor! Meanwhile, we’re catching up on Netflix movies - they do have good internet here by OnSpotWiFi (as usual). My only knock on the place is the long walk to the clubhouse where the laundry is located. 

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Brunswick Landing Marina - at a dock


Fleetwing’s home for the summer is behind the sailboats 

Storms were predicted for the afternoon but the morning was to be fair with light winds but what winds there were blew us against the docks at Jekyll. We had to go forward to depart but there was another sailboat about five feet off our bow. We couldn’t pull out usual backing out routine since we had an enormous power boat about 5 feet behind us that looked very wide. 

It’s looong way to the clubhouse, about 1/2 mile (not visible in the photo).

So, I put a fender by the aft section, tied a line to a forward cleat and led it back to the aft most cleat on Fleetwing and had Ann put it in reverse. We were working against wind and current that was pushing us into the dock but slowly and steadily, Fleetwing’s bow swung out. At about a 30 degree angle, Ann switched to forward, gunned it, and the dockhands slipped off the line we were backing on - and we were off without incident. 

The trip through Jekyll Creek was not a problem. I saw 5.0 MLLW at the shallowest point following the Bob423 track. So many people follow the track that now it’s the same path using Navionics SonarChart. 

Arriving at Brunswick Landing Marina, we at the extreme far end, next to the travel lift. We have to wait for our car to be driven south and that’s not until Friday so we have lots of time to prepare Fleetwing for summer storage. However, it’s a half mile walk to the marina where the laundromat is located. We may do without for the duration. For now, it’s time for some quiet time for me to recover and then getting the boat ready for haul out. 

Friday, April 28, 2023

Jekyll Creek Marina - at a dock


Zachry’s Riverhouse, a classic southern setting with moss filled trees

Storms have been rolling through for the last two days. We had a doozy last night with 30 plus kt winds and lots of rain. The dinghy nearly filled up with the rain. I took Hoolie out with rain still coming down, we both got soaked. 

A view of the docks at Jekyll Marina.We are down aways on the outside.

We had dinner at Zachry’s Riverhouse tonight, a nice restaurant less than 500 ft from the marina. The prices are less than what I’ve come to expect in Key West with a Mahi-Mahi sandwich with fries for $11.00. The place was packed, as usual, but there were still a couple of tables left at 6:15 pm. 

My greeting committee when someone wants to go out

We will be moving to Brunswick Landing Marina Saturday morning before the next set of storms move in. We have a haul out date of Friday now, the same day our car arrives from Deltaville. The local car rental places (Enterprise, etc.) will not rent a car one-way to Gloucester, Virginia (where an Enterprise dealer is located) so we’ve fallen back on our backup plan of using a driver we know to bring the car down. Once here, he’ll catch a plane back north. It’s not a cheap solution but it gets our car to the marina. 

Once again, we are sitting at the dock with rain coming down but at least we’re in for the night.

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Jekyll Marina - at a dock


Early morning at Sister’s Creek free docks

We were due to get rain all day according to one forecast but it was one of the best days ever for travel with full sun and light winds. However, thunderstorms were now forecast for the afternoon so we got an early start, before 7:00 am. 

The tug operator was concerned on fitting under the bridge with the high poles used to anchor the dredge

Met two fans at the marina!

Getting out of Sister’s Creek was interesting. We were facing away from the entrance and usually we just back out but it was a little tight with a 2 kt ebb current. It would have been a challenge to miss the boat between us and the entrance. Not wanting any drama, we decided to go forward and do a 180 to exit. At least that way, we were going away from boats, less chance of inducing damage to a very friendly group of sailors from Canada. 

At Jekyll Marina, we saw a tug pushing a barge through Jekyll Creek. He barely fit under the bridge. Meanwhile, I missed a step on the companionway and wrenched my shoulder, turning me into a one arm sailor. With that and other problems, we will be calling Brunswick Marina to see if they can store our boat over the summer. If they can, we’ll rent a car and head north to home to take care of my ailments. It will be a short trip up the ICW this year but we intend coming down again in the fall and spending the winter at Titusville and then perhaps go all the way north to Beaufort, NC next year. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Sister’s Creek Free Dock - at a dock


St Augustine is doing major renovation on their storm wall by the marina

We passed many dredgers today along with one that appeared to be a “pumper” - meaning it was situated halfway between the dredge and shore so it could hurry the dredge material along to its resting place on land. The dredge was off our port and more dredge pipe was off our starboard, we split the difference down the middle. 

It’s a pumper - moving dredge material from the dredger to storage on shore. 
Wonder why they needed so many outhouses? 

We arrived at the Sister’s Creek dock and found two empty spots at 1:30 pm. We took one but the other one is still available as of 7:00 pm. One nice thing about the dock is that boaters already there will help you in. We gladly accept the help but I imagine the ones already docked are protective of their boats too. It will be more challenging tomorrow morning with an ebb tide raging and with us having to back out but we’ve done it before.

Five of us are here are first but one more joined us on the inside later on

Larry and Terri came by to take us out to Pepper’s in Fernandina, one of our favorite restaurants. Many thanks to them for letting us enjoy a dinner with friends on our trip north! We will be leaving early to reach Jekyll Marina before the afternoon storms materialize, but first we have to get off the dock in an ebb tide Thursday morning! Wish us luck. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

St Augustine - at a dock


A view of the sunrise from the dinghy dock at Bethune Park

We had a nice sunrise this morning when I took Hoolie into shore. The forecast was for rain all day, starting in the early hours but we lucked out, no rain in the morning. We like the anchorage here at Bethune Park but the downside is the thick mud on the bottom. Weighing anchor involves thoroughly hosing down the chain before it comes aboard. The mud is so think that in places you can’t see the links. A high pressure wash down pump works well - which I have installed at the bow. 

The swimmer - not all that visible

As we approached Ft Matanzas, I found myself behind a tug pushing two barges end to end. His task was to make all the sharp turns through the passage. It was clear he was very experienced, he made it look easy. The Bob423 track is fine but I’ll be moving it a little more to shore for a couple more feet of depth. 

The St Augustine marina is missing a section of the north docks

We had one surprise when Ann spotted a float in the channel that appeared to be moving. Pulling up along side, we discovered it was a long distance swimmer! He (she?) was trailing a float but it wasn’t all that visible. Knowing that a tug pushing two barges was right behind me, Ann radioed an alert back to the captain but he had already spotted the swimmer. Since the tug took up a significant part of the channel and also had limited maneuverability, it didn’t appear to be too smart a thing to be doing in the ICW channel. 

We arrived in St Augustine by 3:00 pm in good spirits and tried out our new air conditioner - boy is it powerful! The marina is not fully functional. They lost part of the north dock as evidenced by a gap, a missing section of docks. The whole north dock is non-functional.

We’ll leave for the free Sister’s Creek docks Wednesday morning and should get there at least by 1:00 pm so we are early enough to get a dock before the crowds come in later. 

Monday, April 24, 2023

Bethune Park - at anchor

Our early morning start from Titusville - at least it’s not an “Oh dark 30” start

 We finally got off today and we were rewarded with a calm ride, no surprises. Ponce de Leon was at 8.4 MLLW, just follow the Bob423 track. We like the Bethune Park anchorage because there’s plenty of room and there a dinghy dock for tracking Hoolie ashore. It’s built with a tee on the end so your can get out of any wave action regardless of the direction of the wind. 

The dinghy dock as concrete docks - very steady

The park has a wide area for walking Hoolie which we took advantage of. We were immerse in rain for about an hour but found a hole in the clouds for the trip ashore. The forecast for Tuesday is not so good with rain all day long. At least there’re no thunderstorms in the outlook, just rain but it’s due to stop around 3:00 pm, after we are due to pull into St Augustine. 

I’ll report back on what I see at Ft Matanzas and the shallows there in tomorrow’s blog. We are on the move again!

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Titusville - Still here

The Ospreys are hard at work making more Ospreys. Most powerline poles have nests on top.

We woke up to the clanging of the rigging and the roar of wind this morning. Windy predicted winds of only 11 to 13 kts but I was seeing 25 to 30 at the dock. The route north is wide open to a north to east wind so we decided to stay another day. I backed off all the reservations we had made by one day and now we’re planning to leave Monday morning.

For those out on moorings, the dinghy dock is very convenient

It would not have been dangerous to leave, just uncomfortable - and at this stage in our cruising career, comfort is important to us. So we spent yet another day at the dock and enjoyed a matinee in the afternoon, Top Gun Maverick which was on Amazon Prime at no charge with a membership to Prime. It was an old fashioned, lots of action, uplifting movie with a happy ending - the kind that Hollywood doesn’t seem to want to make anymore. You would think that with the box office success of this movie that they would get the message - but they don’t. The movies the critics think are wonderful are usually the ones I don’t want to see. Oh well, vote with your pocketbook.

We are aiming for the Bethune Park anchorage on Monday night, just one day later than expected. Hopefully, the weather forecast will hold for light winds this time but we won’t know for sure until the morning. I did a comparison between weather apps on my Facebook page that some of you may be interested in. It can be accessed at the link Weather Comparisons

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Titusville - Time to move on

Definitely not glamorous, but a pharmacy within a 15 min walk is a real plus - unfortunately. 

 We’ve become quite fond of Titusville. The rates are hard to beat on the east coast of Florida, only $11.50/ft for a month’s stay. There’s the Kennedy Space Center to explore and the Merritt Wildlife Refuge with many nature trails. Orlando is only an hour away and there’re all the other coastal towns south of here for a day trip. 

The docks are next to a public road, the gates are 
Appreciated for added security

As we age, we like to have hospitals nearby and Titusville can fulfill that need along with urgent care centers when needed. Shopping is easy with Publix, Winn Dixie, Walmart Supercenter, Home Depot, Lowe’s, and several Ace hardware stores. There’s plenty of restaurants for dining out when desired. Next year we will most likely spend the winter at a dock here and not go south to Key West. We will bring our car south so we’ll have transportation for sightseeing, restaurants, and groceries. 

The marina itself is sturdily constructed with the biggest diameter pilings I’ve ever seen. They have three washers and three dryers and free twice weekly pump outs at your boat slip. The only downside is that it’s open to the northeast wind but we’ve learned to live with that. Mostly, it’s relatively calm but not always. The docks have carded access at gates to gain entry for security. Since we’ve been here so often, we know most of the liveaboards on our dock, we welcome each other when we arrive for our winter stay. 

All in all, we’re looking forward in the fall to a winter’s stay in Titusville. We’ve seen everything in Key West that interests us. We’re not ones to party at all hours of the night - far from it. Key West was fun for the 13 years we docked there but it’s time for a change. On Sunday, we move to the Bethune Park anchorage, staging for St Augustine the next day. 

Friday, April 21, 2023

Titusville - We get a new air conditioner


We now have a resident manatee - you can just see his back in the photo

Our old air conditioner was almost 20 years old and it finally gave up the ghost a couple of weeks ago. I ordered a replacement from Defender Marine and mentioned previously that I had missed the sale of 15% off by one day The unit was in my digital basket but I had not bought it at that time since I wanted to be sure I had a commitment for installation. I received a call from them that they would refund me the 15% difference in the sale price even thoughI bought it a day after the sale ended. I thought that was a nice thing to do by Defender, they are a great company to do business with. 

And - one more sunset - I never get tired of seeing them

We are now nice and cool but then the weather is cooler anyway this far north, not as hot as in the Keys. Maybe we’ll be using  the heating function instead since the unit goes both ways. We have one more day at Titusville and then we’ll head to the Bethune Park anchorage before continuing the next day to St Augustine. We are on the road home.

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Titusville - Provisioning with Uber

The first is over on Merritt Island with the smoke crossing Indian River. It missed us. 

 In the past we’ve used Instacart and Shipit to bring groceries to our dock. At first they were quite competitive and they were the only game in town unless you opted to rent a car. The problem with both services is that not only do they charge a monthly fee of $10 to $12 but they also do not provide in-store prices, they add a charge on top. I ordred a 16.5 lb of dog food and I knew prices have increased since the last time but I didn’t expect $38 a bag. I found out later that the in-store price was still high at $31 but wondered why the grocery delivery service deserved a $7 markup on one bag of dog food! Other items were similar. To top it all off, the person delivering the groceries expected a $20 tip. 

In the winter, the sun set at the left, behind the three palm trees. Now it has moved over more northerly.

Then I rediscovered Uber. A ride to the nearest Publix in Titusville was only $11, or $22 for both ways. That’s cheaper than paying the monthly fee, the item markups, and an expected tip to the driver. So now we have converted to using Uber to reach grocery stores, it’s cheaper and you can pick out your own produce - plus, you can get specials that are not listed in the shopping services apps. 

Friday is the big day we get our new air conditioner installed. It’s been delivered and the technicians are coming over Friday. However, it has also turned cooler so we’ve haven’t needed it the last few days but nevertheless, I’m sure it will come in handy as we move northward, especially in city marinas without a lot of breezes. 

We had some excitement today. There was a big fire off to the east, I guess on Merritt Island. I don’t know if it was a controlled burn or a wildfire. It’s out now so perhaps it was a controlled burn. It looked pretty ominous for a while. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Titusville - at a dock

Nice sunrise - we usually don’t see the sunrise with our usual late starts

 We left at “Oh dark 30” since we wanted to be sure of arriving at the NASA Causeway bridge before it closed at 3:30 to 6:00 pm. So we left at 6:30 before the sun came up but with enough light to see our way. We had a foul tide the first half of the trip until we passed Sebastian Inlet where the tide reverse and was in our favor.We went from arriving at 3:00 pm to getting to the bridge by 2:00 pm. 

The famous Wabasso Bridge. It’s supposed to be 65 feet
but it never is, always less

The bridge is supposed to be on demand but the bridge tender “likes” to bunch up boats. I guess he thinks he’s saving energy (his tone of voice was as if it was an imposition on him to open the bridge). There was very little traffic at 2:00 pm in the afternoon. So we waited, doing circles until the last boat caught up. None of the three boats thanked the tender for the opening as is usually done on the ICW. 

Having survived the bridge, we arrived at Titusville and got our old slip back on A dock, very nice. The place here is full, it’s a popular marina for both transients and live aboard. Next year, we plan on living here from November 1st to April 15th instead of wintering over in Key West. We’ll explore Florida next year. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Loggerhead Marina at Vero Beach - at a dock

The area around the marina is well designed, nice for walks

 Not so far to go today but we were somewhat concerned over the high winds. As it turned out, the ride was smooth since the waves were less than a foot and right on the bow, no rocking of the boat. We did see about a knot of current going south so our forward speed was likewise affected, it took longer than we had planned. 

The real test of speed will come with our trip to Titusville on Wednesday. We have to make the NASA Causeway bridge before they close it for work on the high rise replacement at 3:30. It will be a tight schedule since it’s a little over 50 NM distant. We will be leaving at “Oh dark 30” (first light).

The Wabasso Bridge is always a challenge for sailboats with high masts

The marina here is very nice. We have a facedock so it’s very easy in and out. We saw nothing less than 7.5 ft on the way in but you have to stay in the channel! With wind and current pushing you sideways, you have to pay attention to your navigation. It’s not a problem, you just have to pay attention. 

We plan on spending four days in Titusville and we’ll have our new A/C installed there on Friday. We haven’t had a use for A/C the last two days. Perhaps we will be using the heating function on the way north?

Monday, April 17, 2023

Jensen Beach - on a mooring


You can see Fleetwing in the distance at right.
With a north wind, it’s very protected - not so much with a south wind.

The morning was clear but the afternoon let in thunderstorms with lots of rain. Somehow, the worst of the storms missed us through pure luck but the rain came down in buckets. With radar on and Aqua Map Master with the USACE survey overlays along with the Bob423 track, there was never a question of how to navigate the channels. 

 A view of the dinghy dock - very stable but not enough space

One tricky spot was the ICW crossing at Jupiter Inlet which we hit on a drain tide (-0.2). I took the Jupiter Bypass route and had 8 MLLW but I wouldn’t recommend it for just anyone. You go around a corner and you can’t see who’s coming. Plus, you have to hug the shore, much closer than most people find comfortable. If you venture too far away from shore, you run into a 3 MLLW shoal. 

We had intended anchoring in Hobe Sound but we got there so early that we decided to push on to Jensen Beach, reaching there around 3:45. For us, it’s convenient since we need to take Hoolie in twice today and once in the early morning tomorrow. They have a concrete dinghy dock that’s first rate and protected from any wave action. 

Our next stop will be the Loggerhead Marina at Vero Beach tomorrow and from there, move on to Titusville where we’ll have our new A/C unit installed. Then, we have no more appointments to keep and we can are our time going north.

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Delray Beach City Marina - at a dock

The slips are wide. Notice the long gangway, never too steep like at some marinas. 

 When you’re in a good spot for doing boat chores, you want to take advantage of the opportunity. The city marina here is small, only a strip of docks, perhaps 20 in all but they are absolutely first rate in every respect. The city recently renovated the marina and in the process spared no expense. The docks are concrete, each dock has it’s own aluminum gangway, each dock has its own free pump out station, the ice is free (as much as you want), water for your boat, and the washer and dryer do not take coins (it’s free too). Of course, they have bathrooms and showers and they are very well kept. 

The stormy season is starting in earnest in Florida - we’ll have to negotiate that going north

The docks are at a right angle to land so you have to allow for current as you pull into your slip. We didn’t do quite a good enough job at that but the 60 ft fingers have rubber protection on the entire length. There’s a resident Dockmaster that will help you in, a very jovial chap who will give you the pass key for the showers and laundry and for doing your own pump out. 

So, being all fired up in getting things done, I did a pump out, took on water, did a laundry, defrosted the freezer, and otherwise got Fleetwing ready for the rest of the trip north. As a greeting, Mother Nature provided a lightening and rain show for us and the weather looks to be unsettled for tomorrow when we really need to go north so we can keep our date with the A/C repairman in Titusville on Friday. But then, watching the weather while on the water is nothing new for us cruisers. 

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Delray Beach City Marina - at a dock


Every stay in Marine Stadium requires at least one night photo of the Miami skyline!

Leaving Marine Stadium, we found the channel almost completely blocked. The tugs were turning a huge container ship around, a 180, and it was as long as the channel was wide. Eventually we found a path through the tugs. 

Oh no, how to get around? (Why me?)

We took the outside route to Ft Lauderdale today since winds were to be less than 10 kts with minimal waves - but it was still somewhat lumpy, but then it’s the ocean. As luck would have it, we traveled on the ICW through many bridges on a Saturday - far from an ideal time to pick. On the way through Ft Lauderdale, we saw one open mooring ball at Las Olas at 11:00 am but the dinghy dock didn’t look attached to land - but I could be wrong, it was far away.

This captures about 1/4 of the array of boats at Lake Boca Raton

People were out in droves in this great weather. I think the entire Lake Boca Raton was filled with boats in the shallow areas. People were out wading. I don’t think the boats in the middle could have gotten out until the perimeter boats left. I’ve never seen so many boater there. 

We are snug here at Delray Beach City Marina. It is very nice with concrete docks and pump out at every dock along with free laundry and ice. It’s only a short walk to town and the beach. We will stay here another day before resuming out trek north. 

Friday, April 14, 2023

Marine Stadium in Miami - at anchor

It’s a beautiful sight - Marine Stadium is open again!

 When we rounded the corner after passing under the Rickenbacker Causeway, we saw a lot of boats anchored outside the mouth of the Marine Stadium anchorage. Oh no, we thought, the anchorage is still closed. However, as we got closer, we saw dozens of boats anchored inside. The anchoring restriction must have been lifted and the ones outside haven’t yet had a chance to move back inside. That’s fine with me! 

On the other hand, we had a severe thunderstorm warning - coming right at us - but it missed!

We found our favorite spot deep into the anchorage and nearby a convenient shore for Hoolie relief. We put out way too much rode (90 ft of 3/8” BBB) for the 10 ft of depth with winds less than 10 kts but we feel secure. 

Later that afternoon, a severe thunderstorm warning was issued and the sky looked dark but it missed us. It’s strange that we had such high winds for two days straight and now we have just the opposite with winds less than 10 kts all day and the same forecast for Saturday when we’ll take the outside route to Ft Lauderdale. It feels good to start moving again!

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Key Largo - Last day


A fish cleaning station in Key Largo - guess who’s very interested in that action?

They were cleaning fish today that were caught on the many fishing boats that populate the area. In Key West, the  pelicans and tarpons come by for a snack but in Key Largo, they have a different customer. They are long and sleek, sharks! They swim lazily back and forth, unchallenged by any other creature, almost hypnotic. 

Looks like the sharks are interested!!

The news of the day was the delivery of our new water heater. It was ordered in time to arrive yesterday but it sat in warehouse for 24 hours before being shipped - and I was paying for 1 day air. Of course, they didn’t count the 24 hours of idle time in their equation of 1 day air. 

The technician came at 7:30!

It finally arrived in Key Largo at 5:00 pm today and now the challenge was to find someone to install it. I turned to my friend Brett Roach, the marine specialist that organized the repair of Fleetwing last year. He came up with a technician that had just finished installed a water heater on another boat this afternoon. Brett understood my urgency and convinced the technician to work past his quitting time to install my unit. He’s still hard at work as I write this at 8:25 pm. 

A by product of not having hot water is also not having any water at all - since the water heater was leaking when pressurized so we had to turn off all water pressure to avoid filling up the bilges. It will be nice to have pressurized water again as well as hot water for showers!

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Key Largo - The freight train stops


The African Queen from the movie of the same name is still in service.
Notice that it’s now driven by an outboard - no fire hazard in the middle of the boat.

All of a sudden this afternoon, quiet descended upon Fleetwing. It was roared here for the last two days, rocking the boat all through the night. About mid-morning, the winds slacked off and now it’s quite nice. It’s back to more normal Florida Keys weather. 

With all the high winds of late, the seas are still stirred up so we’re going to let them settle down over the next day and head out Friday when a south wind of around 8 kts is predicted. That’s the type of conditions we like for a moving day on the ocean. We’re less particular on the ICW but in the ocean where seas have a long memory, we prefer a calmer ride. 

The calm comes to Key Largo - what a difference!

I had ordered a new hot water heater to replace the one that died and had it ordered in plenty of time for it to arrive Wednesday for a Thursday installation by a local technician. Evidently the warehouse was aware of my desires so they let the unit sit untouched for a full day before UPS picked it up to start the delivery cycle. I paid for 1 to 2 day delivery and now it’s going to get here too late. It’s projected to arrive 7:00 pm on Thursday when I must leave at 7:00 am on Friday morning, there’s no time for an installation. I’ll shove it in the corner and hope I can get someone farther up the line to install it. 

Meanwhile, the reason for the tight schedule is an A/C unit waiting for installation next Friday in Titusville (not this week, the next week). To reach that appointment, I have to leave this Friday from Key Largo.

On the other hand, Defender Marine called today and said that although I ordered the A/C unit one day after the sale ended (an expensive mistake by me!) that they would honor the sale price for my purchase even though the sale was over. I thought that was a very nice gesture and good customer relations from Defender Marine!! It saved me $400! What a nice company!

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Key Largo - Ran and high winds, and more rain, and more high winds…

I don’t want to know this! That’s just the average winds, the gusts are much higher.

 Well, we had planned on staying in Key Largo to wait out the bad weather and it surely did come. It was nothing but rain all day long with gusting winds. Just a miserable day in the Keys. It was tough to find a slice of time without rain for Hoolie relief. 

A day inside - all rain outside with high winds. Oh fun…

The docks here are very protected with two story condos on either side of the canal. That doesn’t stop the wind from howling and the boat moving about. It also doesn’t stop things from failing on Fleetwing. Today it was the hot water heater. It started having a leak in one corner. I saw no future in that, I saw no way to get at the leak which was buried behind the sheet metal sides. Besides, it’s 20 years old, time for a redo. 

The next challenge was finding a replacement. There were horror stories about back orders due to supply line constraints but luckily, I found a replacement in, of all places, at Westmarine. So it’s now on order for delivery in one to two days. We’re leaving Friday so Thursday is the second day. Now it’s wait and see if the replacement can find its way to Key Largo. 

Such is fun on a boat! If it doesn’t arrive Thursday, we’re not waiting around. We are going to leave Friday for points north, we’ll see what transpires. 

Monday, April 10, 2023

Key Largo - Amenities of Marina Del Ray


This very big boat takes up almost all of the width of the channel and it’s a narrow passage by “crash corner” where the channel takes a right angle turn - be sure to call ahead on Ch 16 to know if it’s coming!

The marina here is protected 360 but it also has other things to offer. With the slip comes access to the resort area of the on-site hotel. You can enjoy a free breakfast in the morning with various types of egg sandwiches, cereal, orange juice, fruit cup, pastries, and coffee. Basically, it’s all you can eat. 

Our Easter dinner! The ham was cooked in our air fryer (recipe off the internet).

There’s also a pool for your use with a supplied pool towel. Today we did laundry in a well kept laundromat room where everything worked (hear that Key West!) The best part that Ann enjoys is the ease in stepping off the boat. No more, “over the bow,” to get to land, just step off the side. 

For tonight, we had our Easter dinner with a small ham, sweet potatoes, biscuits, and an avocado. I think we’ll be having leftovers for the next two weeks! Meanwhile, we’re waiting out the high winds but Friday still looks like a good day for travel.   

Sunday, April 9, 2023

Key Largo - Super calm ride


The prediction was for the winds to start late in the day - so - early morning departure!

It’s the calm before the storm for today’s run from Marathon to Key Largo. The seas were flat but the high winds are coming. It looks like we’ll be here until Friday but then the forecast can always change so we don’t really know. 

After our first substantive rain shown in three months in the Key - a rainbow!

We are once again at Marina Del Mar which is completely protected from high winds in all directions. We have a side-to dock so it’s easy on and off for Ann and Hoolie. The resort here features a complementary breakfast which we’ll partake of as we wait for better weather. 

Snug at a side-to dock, easy on and off

Unfortunately, our extended stay here throws all our plans in disarray for stops on the way north - an effort in rearrangement that will begin Monday. Once we get inside on the way to Miami, we’ll have more control on when to travel or not but in the ocean, we like calm weather.