We are back in the old haunts of south Miami Beach. It's different as all the cruising boats have gone north. Too bad. This is the canal where we go for groceries, hardware, and to walk Goose at the park.
We left Marathon and Boot Key Harbor last Friday morning. As we motored down the harbor, we talked about the old 'never sail on a Friday ' baloney, and were just so pleased to moving after our 3 month stay in one place.
Cutting through Sister's Creek as a shortcut to get outside to the ocean, I wondered if we had enough water but the tide was coming in and I knew I could always float off a grounding.
Goose had yet to go ashore so we planned to stop at the park right at the ocean cut, and dinghy him in for his morning tasks.
That is where Friday started.
The anchor windlass wouldn't work. By the time this was discovered we needed to pick it up as the current had swung Yume too close to some rocks for comfort. A 45 pound anchor and 25 feet of chain is heavy to pull in by hand! After resetting the anchor, and taking Shelly and Goose in, I hung around and waited for them as there was an ominous looking squall line coming in off the ocean and we had not put out that much anchor line.
Just when I got uncomfortable enough to head out to the boat in the dinghy, Shelly showed up and I ran back in to pick them up. Looking back at Yume, I realized she was dragging, and headed right for the mangroves.
Shelly saw it too and hurried into the dink so we could roar back to the boat. I got the engine started and steered back out into the channel while Shelly secured the dinghy and got Goose up.
The is started to rain. Friday huh?
We had to laugh. No harm done.
Then as we start out the cut, the heavy glass lens for the spreader light falls out and shatters on the deck scaring the crap out of us! Sheesh!
We motored on out the inlet in the rain, and then stopped to pick up the dinghy and wash off as many glass fragments as possible. I do not like dragging the dinghy, (or leaving it down at night for that matter). We then set a course to get out 8 miles or so to seaward so we could sail our course up the coast.
By midday, the wind and waves were not large, but choppy and uncomfortable so we altered course and went back inside Florida Bay at Channel Five and picked up a mooring at Lignumvitae Key State Park. We had enough time to dinghy in and take a private tour of the old homestead and other cool stuff with a very bored ranger. We then followed him in his boat 2 miles over to Indian Key on the ocean side and walked around that 11 acre site of the first seat of Dade County.
Look it up when you have nothing to do. It has a really cool story to it. Indian attacks, ship wreckers, fortunes made and lost…
For the next two days we hung out in Islamorada, working on the boat. Several fun things popped up.
Noises heard from underneath the bunk turned out to be the autopilot drive motor magnets coming loose from the housing. Of course this means hand steering all the time. I was hoping there would be someone who could fix it Monday. The windlass issue also turned out to be the motor. No idea what is wrong, just know it is the motor and need help.
Monday we would find out that there is no one in the keys that works on electrical motors. Tuesday we would discover that if there is someone in Miami that works on them we can't find them!
On Monday the generator started overheating (isn't cruising fun?) I had ordered a rebuild kit for the salt water pump, so I tore into it. The next discovery was that the main core of the generator was badly corroded and in fact had been previously epoxied. Oh boy. I added as much epoxy as I has available trying to help it last a bit longer. The plan is to replace the genset with solar and wind someday.
After four hours everything was back together and ready for testing. The test was not so good.
It took a while of depressing beating myself up to figure out that a bunch of seaweed had gotten solidly packed in the intake hose restricting cooling water flow.
Same with the main engine when we finally started up and got underway. More fun and games.
I am getting good this stuff though!
Monday we had a really great sail all the way to Gilbert's in Key Largo where we spent a nice quiet night.
Tuesday we sailed most of the day all the way back here to Venetian Isles in South Beach where we have been working on projects and getting caught up on clients websites.
Yesterday we rented a compact car for $12 (they gave us a new f150!) so we could drive up to ft Lauderdale to the same repair place we took the generator back in December. Hopefully he can fix the motors so we can pick them up Monday when we get Ryan from the airport.
Life goes on. Goose loves it here as there a huge iguanas everywhere and he would so love to get one!
We wanted to say thanks and cya to our friends in Marathon. Maybe we will see you next year!
And we are really looking forward to our next guests who say they are going to meet us wherever we are June 23. That should be interesting…