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Demotivated in Paradise!

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!

 

 

Settling Back In To Boot Key Harbor – and a Bad Scare

Yume is back in Marathon Key, 40 miles east of Key West, on a mooring ball for a couple of months.

It’s great to be back here, where we are sort of known, and slow down a bit after 1250 miles from DC to here in about 45 days – including a 14 day yard break, and a ten day layover in HHI for Christmas. That is averaging 60 miles a day for 21 days! No wonder I crashed when we got here!

The trip from St Augustine to here seemed to fly. We had lots and lots of wind as cold fronts kept barrelling down from the north every other day. At one point somewhere around Melbourne we were seeing almost 40mph winds. That is a lot of wind on the water!

We stopped overnight in a marina in Palm Beach so Shelly could have a night out with her long time friends Sue and Kathy – and we fueled and did laundry while the wind blew some more.

The next day we jumped out of Lake Worth Inlet on an absolutely beautiful day and sailed south. 75% of all the bridges across the waterway are between Palm Beach and Miami so we wanted to get outside into the ocean and sail around them.

We passed the inlet to Miami Beach around 3 in the afternoon with a goal of Hurricane Harbor in Key Biscayne by sunset.

The wind had increased during the day and the seas were getting a bit uncomfortable as we passed our Key to the south to come back up into the channel. It was good to pull into the harbor just as the pink glow of the sunset winked out into darkness. We were out first light and back at sea with two days to go.

We grabbed a couple of little mackerel on the way which were delicious! Goose loves fresh fish…

Once south of Biscayne we were officially in the keys. The wind was still blowing pretty hard from the NE so as we turned more to the west as we started passing keys we came under the lee of the islands which made for a much more peaceful sail. Too peaceful in fact.

We were out in Hawk Channel after lunch. The sun was out, the wind behind us, and we were sailing along at hull speed with few boats in sight about three miles from land. I was in the cockpit alternately reading a book and looking around to watch for boats and our course.

Then…

I saw four or five Cormorants fly left to right directly in front of the boat. That in itself was very strange as those birds usually do not fly that high, and are usually long gone by the time we get to them.

Our foresail is cut way too low and I cannot see under it very well, so out in the ocean I get lazy and do not bend down to check.

There was a piling with a marker that I did not notice on the chart, and had not seen.

The birds were sitting on it and flew off just before the sail caught the marker.

3 miles out in the ocean and I hit a marker. Bummer.

The noise was enough to wake the dead and scared me so badly I was still shaking 15 minutes after it happened.

And it happened so fast it was all over in less than 10 seconds as we were moving through the water at about 9 mph with a 28,000 pound boat!

Apparently, the foresail caught the wooden marker on the piling, which pulled the sheets very tight that control the sail. The sheets are lines that are 3/4 inch in diameter and very strong. One of those snapped in half, then a section of the sail about 3 ft along the leech and foot simply ripped away. Later I found that the block the sheet runs through was also mangled pretty badly and must be replaced.

Right about then, the boat hit the piling on the port stainless rubrail, ripped a 3 foot section right off, and left another 3 feet sticking straight out.

All this happened in just a few seconds. And we were still under full sail downwind with the main and mizzen, and the Genoa flapping like crazy free as a bird. I am holding the torn end of the sail with one sheet left on it, looking back at the piling rushing away from us and noticed that the marker was in the water.

I was sick to my stomach, and Shelly and Ryan are now on deck thinking we are sinking…

End result is I am very fortunate that we didn’t hit the damn thing head on, or that we didn’t catch the rigging and bring the mast down, or something like that.

I have known for a year that sail had to be fixed and couldn’t figure out how to afford the changes. Well, that has been decided for me. And now we get to finally get rid of the last of the old canvas color. The new Genoa sun protection canvas is going to be a beautiful bright yellow! It still made me physically sick, as well as very upset with myself.

After all that fun, we pulled in behind Indian Key about 430 and picked up a mooring at the state park. While Ryan and Shelly took Goose in, I dropped and folded the foresail, and cleaned up the lines and mess from the piling, again realizing how lucky I was to just tear the sail and a little rub rail. It could have been so much worse!

We pulled into Marathon around 1 pm last Thursday to find a backlog of boats in the harbor. Many boats come here before jumping over to the Bahamas or further south in the Carribean. The weather had not cooperated and many were waiting for a weather window to leave.

It took three days for one of the 300 moorings to free up. It took us a little longer to shift attitudes from traveling mode to stationary.

So now we are playing softball three times a week, stopping into the Hurricane Restaurant across the street for the $2 Gunniess happy hour, and playing some music on Saturday nights at the Tiki Hut.

Shelly got into maintenance mode and the varnish is getting an uplift. We ordered new floors as Goose has used these up. And I am trying to figure out how to stop these last couple of very annoying oil leaks on the engine.

And of course we are working on the sail.

Friends have made noises about coming to visit – so we plan on staying until about the first of March, then turning the bow north again.

Maybe we can see you along the way?

 

 

Heading South Again!

After two weeks in the boatyard, much of it in 40 degrees and rain, cloudy and otherwise yucky weather, we are all very happy to be back on (and in) the water heading for warmer days.

Most of our want-to-get-done list was completed including replacing three broken through hull valves, a broken port in the hull, reapplying bottom paint, and fixing the refrigeration one more time and we are very pleased!

I have learned a lot about refrigeration! It had been acting up by defrosting itself (not supposed to do that but handy) and I knew something was wrong. In the end I figured that a little moisture had entered into the system during the emergency repairs last summer and was freezing at the orifice in the evaporator. To fix this is fairly simple. Just use a vacuum pump to suck everything out and recharge.

The problem was the quickest anyone could come do it was two weeks! So I ordered the pump to do it myself. Gotta love Amazon! Unfortunately Fedex missed their delivery so we had to hang around and wait until Tuesday. In the end, I learned how to replace the filter/dryer, vacuum, and recharge. Amazingly, it works and we are very pleased!

I was still checking it as we dropped the lines and headed out Tuesday around 4 pm. We figured a couple of hours with the swift outgoing tide would get a jump start on the trip out the river.

After we had settled in, and Yume seemed to be running well, I set the autopilot and went below to check the refrigerator. As I headed back to the cockpit, I could hear the alarm. Crap!

The water temperature had spiked during the three minutes I was below!

I shut down the motor and dove below to find the cause. It was easy to find as the salt water pump pulley was lying in the bilge…

Luckily the pulley, nut and shaft key were all right there and easily reassembled. Weird why it came off but who knows. We were back running in less that ten minutes.

However, somehow the engine which had not been leaking any oil now seemed to be pouring out of the starboard top of the oil pan.

That was enough. I steered over to the side of the river, dropped the anchor and got a rum.

During the night it occurred to me that I probably had too much oil in the engine, and that the overheating had allowed things to loosen up causing the leaks. I was up and working on it at 4 am as I wanted to catch the tide.

It took until 545 to pull, caulk and replace two bolts. They were very hard to get to but turned out to make a big difference. Still have the hardest one to do.

We were underway by 6am in the dark, but you could tell it was going to be a beautiful day! As Yume motored on a glass still river and we approached the I295 bridge around Jacksonville Fl – I realized what is was that made all the work we do worth every minute.

After 12 hours yesterday we made it to St Augustine, filed the fuel tanks, and dropped an anchor for the night. After a run on the beach for Goose and the crew early this morning, we are southbound again with plans to be in Ponce inlet by this afternoon.

I shot this video of St Augustine while waiting for the bridge. The audio is bad due to the engine. Sorry!

Goose and Shelly are up to something again!

 

 

Yume is on the Hard in Green Cove Springs Fl

On the hard – also known as hauled out- means we are busting our behinds to get a bunch of maintenance and repairs completed that can only be done out of the water.

Before we catch up, let's take a minute and say thank you again to everyone who commented, who called, who actually helped, and who prayed to help us find Goose New Years. We believe you made the difference, and cannot begin to tell you what it means to all of us.

We left Darien Ga and our new friends to head south once again. At Jacksonville Fl, we took a turn to the west to travel the 25 miles or so up the St Mary's River to Green Cove Springs Fl.

It was blowing fairly hard and we were able to sail through Jacksonville proper, but the river takes a hard turn to the south and we ended up motoring directly into the SW 15 knot wind all morning.

This Marina is a haven for do-it yourself boaters with hundreds of boats out of the water either in long term storage as people go back to work for cruising funds, or in the yard as we all do our own work. It is quite the community.

As they haul a lot of boats these guys have it down to a science. The travel lift picks you up and the hydraulic trailer gets you from the lift and sticks you in a hole among many other boats.

Then we get to work. But first, Mother Nature decides to send a super strong cold front with 30 mph winds and 30 degree temps, followed by cold, windy rainy days. Yuk.

At least there are no bugs!

We finally get a bit of a break and get to sand and paint the bottom. We spend $150 each on 3 gallons of an epoxy paint full of cuprous oxide (copper) which is supposed to kill the marine organisms that love to grow on the boat. Before the EPA there were much better products that actually worked and were much less expensive. Now only governemnt vessels get to use those.

Other fun stuff is replacing broken thruhull valves, zincs (to stop disimilar metal corrosion), fiberglass repair to the stern tube (where the shaft from the engine passes thru the hull to the propeller), and adding two coats of paint to the boot stripe above the waterline.

A big project, and a scary one, was to find and fix the oil leak on the engine. If you remember, back last August we had to stop in Myrtle Beach for a month and basically rebuild much of the engine due to an exploded transmission pressure plate.

At that time, I decided not to replace the rear main oil seal and I had just had enough by then.

Well… It really only took a couple of hours to take it all apart again, but even more this time, to find out the oil pan gasket had gotten kinked during the install. Now with the whole thing apart it is easy to see and fix. (Easy being relative of course!)

This is a pic from the back of the engine. I have removed the transmission, ring gear, bell housing and oilpan. Now everything is cleaned and painted and ready to back together. First the oilpan ( making sure the gasket seats correctly… Hehe)

The refrigerator is acting up again, and since there is no one who seems to want to come work on it, I just ordered the tools to do it myself!

Shelly is cooking up all the stuff in the defrosted freezer, and the milk is almost warm. This makes for a grouchy crew!

No worries… We will back in the water, and heading toward much warmer climes by the first of the week and this will be just another memory!

 

 

The Yume Odyssey – a Different Approach to Life!