Saturday, April 2, 2011

Starting back North

Thursday, March 30
Fort Pierce to Vero Beach
Distance Traveled:  11.95 nm
Miles to get Home:  508.73
Total Distance Traveled:  3201.46

After my nap, I heard Ken on S/V Sail Away hail me on the radio as he was going through the Fort Pierce North Bridge.  I didn’t expect to see him this soon after we got in Florida, but was glad.  He’s going to Vero Beach today too, so we look forward to seeing him again.  After Phil woke about noon he started on replacing the zincs on the prop shaft.  I don’t know the complete reason why (Phil could tell you) but salt water is a conductor and the metal on the boat in the water gets eaten away and we have zinc on the prop shaft and engine so they get corroded away first and not the metals in the prop, prop shaft and engine.   So first thing Phil replaces the zinc on the prop shaft.  There was a strong tidal current which made it harder to do than normal as he has to dive under water to do this job.  By 1249pm we’ve started the engine and are underway going through the bridge at 105pm.  The wind is S to SSE 8-13 kts and as the afternoon progresses, it climbs to the low to mid 20’s and then the upper 20’s.  It’s a warm wind so feels good and is strong enough that at 220pm we let out the head sail and turn off the engine and get 30 minutes of sailing to Vero Beach Municipal Marina.  We get assigned mooring ball #10, which I think is the same one we were on when coming south.  Even with the high winds, Phil and I work together and pick up the mooring ball first try!!  By 355pm the dinghy is taken off the deck and put in the water and soon after the 8hp engine is on the dinghy. 

While Phil was taking off the straps, the lid flew into the water and start floating away.  Soon after, a dinghy passed towing Ken and they were kind enough to retrieve our Tupperware type lid.  After chatting, we received an invitation to the Riverside Care Happy hour and dinghied over after checking in at the office.  It’s now $13.50/day for a mooring ball.  Turns out we had supper there.  Phil had the best mussels and nachos and I had a salad, still being full from the corn beef and cabbage dish I warmed up for lunch today while underway.  We had a great time getting to know Debbie and Kevin from S/V Grace, a Morgan 35’.  Back at the boat, there were dark clouds on the horizon so I quickly took a sun shower before it cooled off.  The clouds and winds blasting to 35+kts went through, but no rain and after the clouds passed the winds were light and the sky was clear. 

Taking advantage of being able to use our Verizon MiFi hotspot, Phil was on his computer while I knitted a baby blanket. 

Thursday, March 31
Vero Beach

We had thought about staying here a few days to get some boat jobs done and take advantage of the good bus service here.  We caught the Go Line bus at 910am and went to West Marine picking up some boat items including the part for the grill and then to Radio Shack to get the CD’s.  We went to a few banks to try to exchange the Bahamian money into dollars with no luck since we don’t have an account with anyone.  I think that next time we go to the Bahamas, we’ll open an account with Royal Canadian Bank so that we can take out cash there without any fees charged and I would recommend that you either than $4-5 thousand dollars or do the same.  We went to Publix for just a few items as Phil was anxious to get back to the boat.  Back my noon, the winds was anywhere from the upper teens to upper 20’s with a few low 30 kt winds in there also.  We put an extra line on the mooring ball just to be safe as north of here they were tornado watches and warnings out and talk of 60-70kts winds that may get to us.  Phil got to work removing the diode and front heat sink from the Plexiglas mounting board, which had gotten hot enough to melt the Plexiglas where the bolts were.  He installed a Battery combiner to remove the source of the heat.  When we rarely used the motor, the diodes and heat sinks weren’t a problem – big problem with all the motoring that we do on the ICW.

We heard bad news on the radio from the Coast Guard – S/V Endorphin a boat that was at  Great Sale Cay with us – is taking on water 20 mi off the coast of Lake Worth – looking at the coordinates, they are still in the Gulf Stream.  As we listened for a couple hours, a Tow Boat reached them and they were rescued.  The winds here are 16-31 kts so I can only imagine what the wind was like on the ocean. 

This evening we went to Ken’s for supper on Sail Away.  He made beef shish kabobs and I brought cupcakes that tasted like brownies I made from scratch.  Debbie and Kevin joined us for dessert and we had an enjoyable evening, leaving about 830am as another rain cloud was on the way.  It turned out we got to the boat at the right time, as it started raining mod to heavy and continued through the night until after 2am.

Friday, April 1
Vero Beach

6 boats left the mooring field including Sail Away and Grace.  The Cabin temp is 74F and Air temp outside is 68F.    We have clear skies and light winds.  This morning I did 6 loads of clothes and was able to visit with Polly of S/V Chinook who sold me the knitting needles in Georgetown.  They have been back in the States for a week and are working their way back home to Virginia.  Maybe we’ll see them again along the way.

After laundry, we went to visit a C&C 40 centerboard that I found for sale on the bulletin board in the lounge at mooring ball #55.  It’s a nice boat – a 1981 – and has a lot of big projects already done.  I like the boat as does Phil – but if we are going to get a bigger boat, we have to sell Changes first – so I’m open to offers now – but will officially have to wait until we get home. 

This afternoon after Phil got diesel and water for tank – we too the bus to Publix and got more groceries – we checked out West Marine and se need the regulator for the part we bought to connect to the propane tank.  Of course they’re out of them.  Hopefully we can get the part while we’re in Florida so we can grill the crawfish tail meat on the grill.

We have decided that we’re going to move on tomorrow – trying to get to Titusville, FL.  WE have a lot of miles to cover to get back home and need to get started.  We’re lucky in that the days are longer so should be able to make about 60 nm a day.  We plan to get to St. Augustine, FL on Sunday, see if I can see my friend Liz; go to Sailors Exchange on Monday and then leave Tuesday, weather permitting, for points north.

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