After a year and a half of always seeming to have a goal – get here, finish this, get there – we sit on a mooring in St Augustine Fl and read books, and walk the town and the dog.
Maybe visit a cell or two…
In some ways, sitting is a difficult thing to do! I even find it challenging to write a blog post!
The mooring field here in St Augustine is very busy, very crowded and fairly uncomfortable as there a many moving boats to churn the waters all day, combined with a few windy days, and fast moving large tidal currents all conspiring to rock us from morning to night.
We passed through here last week on the way to Jacksonville to pick up Ryan from his trip to Atlanta… So let me catch up on that.
When last we were together, we were in Miami Beach with Ian, and calling a cab to take him to the airport and back to Air Force Combat Control School in San Antonio. We had a great short visit with him. It is so cool to see your little boy all grown up (and paying for the drinks and dinner!)
Then there was Shelly and I all alone again, for one of the few times in the last 23 years… What in the world do we do? (Besides walk Goose twice a day!)
We were supposed to head to West Palm Beach and pick up Ryan but the word came down via text that he was extending his stay for a week and we should pick him up in Jacksonville instead. We had 10 days!
Nice! We headed north, moving very slowly, and getting used to stopping after only 20 or 30 miles a day.
From Miami we only made it to Ft Lauderdale. This is not our favorite place unless we need something fixed. They do not like sailboats here at all…
We jumped outside the next morning for the short hop up to Palm Beach and the visit with Shelly’s buddies from when we lived here in Naiad and Ian was two! While Shelly was out with Kathy, I dug out the hookah (not what you are thinking. It is a small electric air compressor, 40 foot hose and a mouthpiece for diving!) and cleaned the whole bottom of Yume from the growth that comes from sitting for two months in Marathon. The water in Palm Beach around Peanut Island is crystal clear to 25 feet and a nice strong current washes the stuff away as you clean.
West Palm to Hobe Sound was a half day sail up the waterway with a nice wind at our backs. We had not been anchored long when another Irwin 41 pulls in right next to us and anchors! Since only 45 were built ( we are hull #44) it was exciting stuff. The owners were from Jacksonville and had the bought built for then (#2) 32 years previously and had taken extremely good care of her. It’s fascinating to go aboard a boat just like yours and see the differences owning for that long can make!
The beach here was stunning and we had it much to ourselves – and took full advantage.
Hobe Sound to Vero Beach was another lovely short sail. We begin to get into a slower mode, walking for miles with Goose to see things we have sailed by before. Out to the little beach village and back to the anchorage is quite a hike, but the weather is perfect and the neighborhood is super peaceful and pretty.
The strong SW breeze continues in our favor the next day as we head towards Cape Canaveral. We don’t go there as it is out on the coast and the waterway swings inland following the Indian River. (This used to be where all the oranges came from but now it is mostly houses!)
We have to stop at 430 and wait until 530 for the bridge at Addisons Point. They hold up boat traffic for 1 1/2 hours for the Canaveral workers to get across the bridge and go home. Jerks.
As we waited we watched huge thunderstorms north of us building and building with huge bolts of lightning in the distance. That is always fun when you remember we have a 54 foot high metal pole stuck up in the air!
No worries though as we get through the bridge, hoist sail and haul butt the 5 miles to Titusvile where we grab a mooring just before the 30 knot cold rain filled wind howls down on the slower boats who came straggling in behind us. It’s nice to be one of the fastest (cruising) sailboats out there!
The next night it is Rockhouse Creek at Ponce De Leon Inlet. This is really cool place, with a very old lighthouse, (not needed any more as the inlet is all silted up) and one of the best places to run Goose ever as the big tidal range leaves a great big sandbar at low tide with really nice sand and lots of tidal pools where he can run his heart out (and no wild hogs anywhere).
There is price for everything though, and here it is noseemums at first light. The anchor was up and we were gone without even getting Goose off at first light! Man those things can bite!
In St Augustine we stayed a day or two, then moved on to
Jacksonville to figure out how to get Ryan from the airport to the boat. We also had talked Deka Battery into warrantying all the batteries bought last May and that had to be done there as well.
We ended up at the free dock just inside a Sisters Creek, renting a car for a day and getting everything done, including a much needed grocery run.
With new batteries, a restored son in the foreberth, and plenty of food, the question was what to do?
If you remember, Shannon, Ryan’s girl friend from Marathon was going to be in St Augustine for the summer starting May 1, so we decided there was time for a last week together before we headed towards DC.
But first, we turned north to visit Fernadina Beach and Cumberland Island. Both places were very cool, with many more miles walked on beautiful beaches and forests on Cumberland, and more spent peeking in and around the old town of Fernadina.
I did not know that Nathaniel Greene from Revolutionary War fame had been given land on Cumberland and had built a house there in the early 1800’s. Then the Carnegies came, bought it all up and built mansions. Too cool.
Walking around Cumberland was awesome…
Goose could care less how long ago the Indians lived here!
We visited another old fort on Amelia Island, Ft Clinch, that guarded the mouth of the St Mary’s River. Now the old fort just watches nuclear submarines go in and out from the sub base up the river.
Which brings us back South to St Augustine, reading books, and taking strolls around the old town watching tourists and glad we aren’t one. Hehe
We will hang around for two weeks, try not to go crazy, then start making our way up the coast again. Next extended stop is Beaufort SC to do our best to set up a fundraising golf tournament for spring 2016.
We are moving again. After a hectic last week of preparation, and visits, and goodbyes, we rented a car for a day to join the chaos in the big cities.
Early Friday we headed to Miami International airport to pick up Ian for a 6 day visit, then continued north to Ft Lauderdale airport to drop Ryan off to visit his buddy Sam and family in Atlanta for two weeks.
Then we turned around for the 3 hour drive back to Marathon, stopping at several places and spending all of our monthly allowance for provisions for the boat while we had a car to carry them.
Everyone only wanted a little more time together with both boys…
After a cool full blood red moon, and watching the space shuttle cross the night sky, Saturday was music and potluck at the Tiki Hut.It was a great night and very enjoyable to both listen to and play with Ian again.
Most everyone was appreciative and sorry to see us go. Sunday we hung around for the last softball game as most people have left to go north, and the Phillips are taking a third of a team!
We also made it out to Sombrero Key for some snorkeling (and a trial run for Yume). Although we rolled badly in the swell, we still had a swell time. Hehe
Monday morning we pulled out at daybreak into a choppy ocean with good strong winds. We stopped and tried spearfishing for supper but there were nothing but reef fish so we moved on to anchor at Smugglers Cove for the night on the inside of the bay to get out of the sloppy ocean.
Goose was not very happy to be back at sea. He has about 1250 miles to go.
Tuesday we made our way up the bay side to Key Biscayne Bay, and dropped an anchor at Adams Key. Shelly did some laundry for Ian, and we just hung out, played cards and took it easy. That is what you supposed to do when cruising!
Early Wednesday we pointed Yume out the really long Caeser’s Cut Channel to the ocean to see if we could dive on Pennekamp Reef but it was a bit too rough.
So we just headed towards Key Biscayne, flying along with the jib and mizzen. I cut in behind Key Biscayne channel to get into calmer water, and the bridge that leads right past downtown Miami and over to Venetian Isle.
We were there with the hook down by 130, and the crew was ready for shore leave!
Along the way, a dolphin with a missing piece of his fin joined us for about 30 minutes, just swimming at 6 knots beside the boat, and coming up for air every now and then. It drove Goose absolutely nuts! It’s times like these you really wish you could talk dolphin…
Ian had no trouble adapting to the slower cruising schedule, except when we ran out of cell tower. How is the world going to survive without Internet? Sheesh.
Yesterday was tourist day for us in South Miami Beach Beach. We walked for miles, drank in an Irish pub off the very costly main avenues, then found a cool place for dinner. Seafood of course.
I found an old friend Miss Piggy on the way home who asked for my support. Glad to help Ma’am!
Ian flies out today at lunch, and Shelly and I will make out way to West Palm Beach to pick Ryan up on the 12th. Then we will meander our way to DC to be there by September.
We start the countdown to Yume’s Marathon departure, and the beginning of our second trip back to DC up the east coast of America the Beautiful! We are ready!
In the flurry of last minute things, Shelly’s Mom and Aunt Joan came for a couple of days. The girls all went to Key West on the bus for a day and we heard a great time was had by all. No drinking anyone under the tables though…
We took them over to the bay side to The Fisheries for some fresh shrimp the first night. Yesterday we actually moved the boat off the mooring over to Burdines on the water so they could more easily get on and see the boat. The dock master was kind enough to let us sit on the dock while we ate fresh fish, fresh made tuna fish, and other delicacies, then they came down for a short visit. Nice.
On Friday we pick up a rental car, drive to Miami airport and pick up Ian who comes in at 1030am then we will grab a bite and let the brothers chat while we drive Ryan to the Ft Lauderdale airport for his 330pm flight to his buddy Sam’s house in Atlanta for 10 days.
Then we drive back the long (minimum 3 hours) trip with all the weekend ‘lets go to the Keys’ traffic back to Marathon.
We will probably hang around for the Saturday music playing at the Tikki hut so Ian can play some songs with me, then leave Sunday morning.
Two weeks ago, with the help of some friends we arranged an “Evening with Capt Jack” which was a lot of fun. A bunch of cruisers brought in pot luck for supper, then we gave Jack a microphone and I walked him through 94 years of life. It was fascinating!
We don’t see much of Ryan unless it is time for softball (we all play softball three times a week) or it is time to eat… It is easy to understand why with a pretty girl, and unlimited internet all day.
This all changes Friday as he flies out, then even more when we pick him up on the 12th and head north again. Back to school and animating on his new computer!
Goose found some baby chicks (doves we were told) that we mothered for a few days before they gave up the ghost. We either over fed or underfed them but they surely got lots of loving!
Yume has been testing me as usual. The generator turned out to be quite the project to stop the oil leaks and get the salt water pump working. I am tickled to report no oil leaks and I simply routed the air conditioning salt water pump to cool the motor until I can get a replacement pump. It is working even though this timing cover and I got very well acquainted.
This is what that hole looked like last year when I started – before the hot water heater was moved under the sink. No wonder no one ever fixed the generator!
The engine is still not exactly right, but close. I still have two small leaks from the oil pan, and now the transmission wants to leak at the rear seal. Drives me nuts, but all I have to do is remember what I would be fixing at the farm right about now and I just smile.
Last week, I was desperate for some generator parts that I could not find, when “coincidentally” an ad pooped up on Facebook for someone to come pull agenerator out of a boat about 40 miles away that looked very close to mine. Which meant I might get parts from it!
End result – a friend (David) drove us up last Friday and we removed a 500 pound generator from a trawler in about 5 hours and somehow got it in the back of his truck and back to Marathon. But the parts weren’t right so I put it up for sale.
Another cruiser moored two boats away from us traded me a great sewing machine we have wanted for a long time and 500 for it, then the boat right next to us bought our old Reads sewing machine the following day! Pretty cool.
We are really looking forward to Ian getting here this coming week, and getting underway again. Time has flown by so fast, and we have not been able to do all we wanted and visit as much as we would have liked.
Although it seems like we have just been vegetating now that the temps are up in the 80’s every day, that is probably not the case.
After a month, we have actually made some progress on projects.
The Genoa sail was removed and taken in to Keith (who lives Moonlight Sue) for repairs and refit. He did a great job repairing the torn panel, shortening the sail by removing 18″ from just under the head, then replacing the sacrificial sunbrella on the leach with our last canvas upgrade! Hopefully next time I will see the stupid marker before I hit it. (See last post for more on that sorry subject)
We chose a sunflower yellow color for the sail to make it stand out from the blue and we think it looks great! Especially when seen from the stern with the yellow wind scoop, and the yellow spot on the stern with the Japanese characters painted by Shelly…
The generator salt water pump had been needing attention as it had been leaking progressively more water. I finally bit the bullet and paid an exorbinant amount of cash for a complete rebuild kit, and started in to get er done early one morning.
That job turned into a major production when it was discovered the aluminum timing gear cover had really bad corrosion that could not be seen until the whole thing was pulled off to see where the oil was leaking.
Westerbeke is super proud of their 30 year old engine parts as they have not made that engine for years – a new cover costed out at over $550. We were very (very) happy to find a used one on eBay for $60!
That should be here this week and we can put our main source of power back together…
In the last 30 days or so Shelly has been able to add 7-8 coats of varnish to the starboard and aft rails and is gleefully looking to start on the port side… She also sanded and varnished the inside of the main hatch and hatch doors and all looks nice!
The most fun things are the ones with instant gratification for not a lot of effort. We replaced all the foam floors and they look great! We really love these floors, but Goose does a number on them, so we will just replace them every year. Easy! We went with a little darker color this year to hide more dirt. Hehe
Of course there is softball three times a week, playing some music at the Tikki Hut Sat evenings, and walking Goose twice a day (at least).
Ryan has been spending most days in the marina with friends, (and his special new friend Shannon), and generally acting like it is summer vacation. This will change when we start north again in April.
He actually flies up to Atlanta and his second home with the Williams Family April 3rd. Ryan got his new computer two weeks ago and his ability to create his animations has soared. A very special thank you to all who helped!
BTW if anyone needs a mid to high level Thinkpad Lenovo laptop (two years new) please let us know!
Shelly and I are so worried about how we will ever manage without him! We are dreaming about actually going on a trip to the Dry Tortugas while he is gone. By ourselves – unless the Everetts hop on board. Check out a map of Key West to the Tortugas. It looks like a great trip!
This month is already filling up. The popular Marathon Seafood Festival is 3/14 and 3/15. This weekend is the Boot Key Harbor cleanup and party. Sunday is the softball party at one of the players homes. There is also a sailing regatta coming up.
This life is much more difficult to manage than you would think. I hope you are starting to feel sorry for us? Imagine having to sit outside with a cold beverage and watch this full moon come up over the harbor. We did have to put on a tshirt against the evening chill though.
And, although you probably don’t want details, we do actually work in between all this for paws4people foundation and a few other clients we have. (Thank you all!)
It’s hard to believe but we are already thinking about heading north again. Although we will not know for sure whether we return to DC until late April, we still are going to do some traveling towards the Chesapeake. We know we will be staying around Parris Island in Beaufort SC for a week or two setting up a charity golf tournament for spring of 2016. We need help if you have an interest or know someone who lives near there..
That should about do it until next time… Stay cool!