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Date:Sun Dec 04 03:29:00 UTC 2022

St. Augustine

Amazing Town, Amazing People

     Today was our second day going in to explore the old town. There was a parade this morning for Christmas and of course that was lots of fun!. We had breakfast at "Peace Love and Donuts" and watched the parade. Then we spent the day walking the town. We had lunch at "The Irish pub" and then icecream at two or three different shops on St. George street. In the evening we listened to a wonderful young singer named Lucy. It was just her and her guitar and we sat and listened for her entire show. While we were there we went to see the "Old City Hammocks" shop at #4 St. George St. Jeanette is the most wonderful woman and runs a great little shop. She was so kind to our friends and their daughter on Moral Compass. I can't say enough good about their experience at the shop or about their product. Get a hammock there if you come here or at least drop by and say hello from us!
     We came back in the dark and after a long day it's time for bed. I'll try and post some pictures of our day soon
Hannah in her new Hammock!

Date:Thu Dec 08 17:40:00 UTC 2022

St. Augustine 2

Moving Anchor

     Nothing goes as expected. We got up this morning and after a week our anchor had moved a little closer to one of the other boats than we would like so Sam and I went up to move it. When we pulled up the anchor I put it into gear and heard the loudest clattering I've ever heard the boat do. I immediately told sam to drop the anchor again and we stopped where we were and went below to find out what had happened. Upon looking at the drive shaft we had completely seperated the two halves of the shaft and the carrier barring was loose as well. We will have a youtube video of our repair up soon. But it took till about noon to re-attach and re-align the drive shaft so that we could re-anchor. I'm glad we caught it today and not when we were ready to leave for Cape Caneveral. The nuts and bolts were in the bilge and our grabber claw went overboard a couple months ago so we had to use Hannah's Salad tongs to reach the hardware. I don't know how they came loose but I must assume vibration. We torqued them to 40 foot pounds this time. One of the nuts/bolts of the carrier bearing is loose and is spinning so this fix is not permanant. We will have to keep a good eye on it and that will be something to fix in the yard next time we are doing serious maintenance. This is not how we wanted to spend the morning.
Date:Wed Dec 14 00:03:00 UTC 2022

Ft. Pierce

Continuing south

     We arrived this morning in Ft. Pierce, Anchored around ICW mile 965 and cleaned up after 2 nights off shore.
     We left St. Augustine at about 1300 on Sunday the 11th. Hannah made chili mac and we ate as we were leaving the anchorage. The tide was going out so it was easy to get out of the inlet but the wind was blowing from the east stacking the waves up 5-6 feet or perhaps a little more. Lilah tried to jump out of the boat but we locked her in the V berth. She was not happy and threw up. Poor cat... After we got away from the coast the swells were 5-6 feet out of the east at about 12-15 sec. We ran jib and jigger all the next day and night and made a steady 4-5 knots. The wind was from the NE at 10 and we were on a broad reach all the way till just past Cape Canaveral. It was really rolly. We put down the centerboard and it helped a lot. The next morning Hannah made egg burritos for breakfast. For dinner we tried one of our Wise packages of Stroganoff.
     The trip was uneventful and on Monday evening we were passing the Cape at sunset. It was really beautiful and we could see the launch facilities from miles off shore. They are so big!. As we rounded the cape the winds picked up to 15 and the seas grew to 6-8 feet. We ducked in west a little and the waves were much more pleasant. We continued south to Ft. Pierce and at about 20:30 there was a little gust front from a little storm that picked us up to 7.5 knots and the wind was 25+. Sam and I took down the mizzen sail and reefed the Genoa to 50% and we were still making 5-6 knots. As it turned out the storm was just a little thing and it passed in about 30 minutes with just a little rain. On the other side the wind shifted east to a beam reach for the rest of the trip to Ft. Pierce. Sam took 8pm to midnight and a couple more to 2am and I went from 2 am till we anchored. At sunrise I put up the full Genoa and a storm started forming just north of us moving south. It blew it's self out about 10 miles north of us but there was another forming just beyond it. We raced it into the inlet.
     As we came into the inlet the tide was slack and we sailed right up to the jetty's before starting the engine as the winds died on shore. We anchored near mile 965 of the ICW and about 30 minutes later the rain hit from the Thundershower. It rained hard for about an hour. Hannah, Sam, and I all got into our swimsuits and showered on the deck in the rain. People on the ICW in their rainsuits passing us probably thought we were crazy out there in the cool rain but it felt good after 2 nights off shore.
     All cleaned up we got the boat re-organized and I took a nap. At about 1600 I woke up and we made a youtube video talking about our journey which will be posted soon and one of us repairing the switch/lock for the pump out. I tried to pump out well off shore but the switch was not working.
     I'm still worried about the vibration of the drive shaft. It is not aligned correctly and it is not as smooth as it used to be. I'll address it tomorrow. For now we made calls, updated this blog and done with dinner. Hannah made fresh soup with potatoes, carrots and lintel's and beans and we ate that with left over honey orange carrots and home made bread. Now it's time for bed and it's raining lightly. There was an amazing full double rainbow from ground to ground as you looked east just before sunset. The anchorage is quiet with only 2 other boats here and a derelict/wreck left over from the hurricane a couple months back. The Marina is still basically closed for repairs.
Date:Thu Dec 15 01:20:00 UTC 2022

Ft. Pierce 2

Walking the town

     Today we got the dinghy down and at about 11am we headed for town about 1.5 miles south along the ICW. We started out at the Manatee obversation center where we did actually see 1 Manatee and learned a lot about the ecology of this area and why Manatee's are endangered. Then we went with our friends from Moral Compass to eat lunch at the 2nd Street Bistro. Great food! and reasonable prices for a lot to eat. We sat outside and had a wonderful time.
Sam's Dinner
There were christmas lights on the waterfront and a community market where Hannah picked up fresh eggs, potatoes, carrots and tumeric. We're going to eat good tomorrow! Then we went for ice cream at "Uncle Carlos Patisserie and Gelatto" and listened to Cuban music.
Cuban Music and Ice Cream
Afterwards we had a long dark dinghy ride home to the boat. After the anchor dragging last night we were a bit paranoid but she was right where we left her!
Date:Sat Dec 17 02:26:00 UTC 2022

Palm Beach

Arrived Palm Beach

     This morning we left Ft. Pierce at 5am local and arrived at Palm Beach at 16:30. It was dark as we pulled up anchor and started navigating the lights to the inlet. Coming from the north on the ICW the reds and greens are backwards. It's red on the right leaving. Once in the turning basin we headed for the inlet. Hannah was on the bow keeping an eye on the bouys helping me find them in the dark. As we neared the Jetty's there is a double flashing green on our port side that was NOT a channel marker but it was very confusing and very shallow, you don't want to pass it on the wrong side. The tide was going out and the wind was from the north so the inlet was calm. After we got out about 2 miles or so we turned south about 165 and unfurrled the Genoa and the raised the mizzen. We did about 4 1/2 knots and ate breakfast till sunrise when I hoisted the main and we went wing and wing the rest of the way. The wind was steady from our stern and with 15 knots of wind we were going 5.5-6.5 knots.
Wing and Wing
It was weird being so close to land and as we made it closer to Palm Beach we got closer and closer to land finally being only about 1/2 mile off shore. We could see people surf parasailing and wave running. about 5 miles from the inlet a storm started brewing just like windy predicted, and we used the opportunity to reef the main just in case. It blew it's self out pretty quick but we didn't bother to un-reef it.
     Near the inlet we were followed by a whole bunch of dolphins including many babys. They were swimming together, jumping, and racing the boat all the way the last few miles. They were really cool!
     As we came into the inlet with the sails put away under power it started raining lightly and we anchored just inside the inlet on the south west anchorage in the rain in 10 feet of water. The lights of Palm Beach are pretty at night.
     We had dinner with our friends from Moral Compass and now it's time for bed. We got lots of good video which we are working on for the youtube channel. Nite nite.
Date:Sat Dec 17 23:02:00 UTC 2022

Palm Beach 2

The Search for Food

     Today was a lazy day but in the afternoon we went looking for dinghy docks and food or other supplies. After much online research and forum reading and waterway guide and charts we couldn't find much of anything. There is a dinghy beach by the north bridge but it's in a high crime area, There is 1 marina that will let you tie up for $16 for 3 hours to get supplies. There is a public dock by downtown West Palm Beach and that is about it. The anchorage is very crowded but nice with good depths and holding. There is plenty of room but everything is very far away. This is not a neighborhood that is kindly to cruising. I'm not sure how you could stay here for long without staying at a marina. There is a Yacht club where you can join to get access to a dinghy dock or laundry and showers, however we have not been able to make that happen yet. Contact them well in advance. We are trying to get reciprical privledges from our membership in Blackbeards. We did dinghy the 3 miles to the town dock where there are resturants and bars but it's a pretty long walk to a grocery store from there. You can anchor infront of the town docks after passing through a draw bridge south of the inlet.
     On our way back we met the folks (AJ and his wife) on sv Happy Place and Sailing Oblio (Eric) They are also on their way to the Keys in their 2000 Caliber 47 center cockpit! An amazingly beautiful boat! We hope to see them again soon. They had just arrived just 30 min before we got there. Eric had lost his dinghy.
Date:Tue Dec 20 22:42:00 UTC 2022


Where have all the sailboats gone?

     We left Palm Beach on a run at 16:30 Dec 18th in 3-5 foot seas and stayed 1/2 mile off shore. Every time we strayed more than a mile the water temp increased 1-2 degrees and the swells grew and the period shortened. Each time we lost about a knot by being out there. In the early evening we were making over 6 knots wing and wing but as the night wore on the wind went down from 20Knots to 10 and we could barely keep 4 knots. That also made the swells more uncomfortable. We were on our way to Marathon and as we approached Miami I checked We were slated to arrive with over 12 hours to spare before the thunderstorms hit Marathon, but the forcast shifted to earlier and as well we were no longer able to keep 5 knots or more. I decided that if we were leaving Miami at that time for Marathon with only a 6 hour window for a 22 hour run that I wouldn't risk it. So we pulled into Miami at sunrise. There were three HUGE cruise ships on there way in to the Goverment Cut as well as us.
We snuck in between 1 and 2 with 3 about 5 miles out yet. The second one caught up to us and the pilot boat came by to make sure we knew to stay well to the southern (red) side of the channel. As the huge ship went by we waved at the people on deck and amazingly there was absolutely no wake. Even their life boats seem bigger than us.
Massive Boat Passing us
After it passed we took fisherman's cut as Government Cut has a restricted security zone when cruise ships are in port. Moral compas peeled off to anchor just off fisherman's island and we continued on to explore an anchorage recommended to us on the Maritime SSB net the night before. We headed straight through the port of Miami right into the ICW where we turned north went under 2 bridges and then headed directly to Miami Beach. There is an anchorage just south of Belle island that gives you pretty good access to dinghy ashore to resupply at Publix or Trader Joes and a Marina less than a mile away for fuel and pump out etc. We anchored there and are still there now.
Date:Tue Dec 23 10:20:00 UTC 2022

Miami Beach 2

South Beach anchorage

     There is an anchorage right by Belle island to the south. It's a very protected anchorage. There is an anchorage to the north as well but it is more crowded. If you head north under the Ventian causway by dinghy there is a town dock near the Police dock and you can get water there as well as tie up for 20 minutes. To the south about 1 mile is the Miami Beach Marina where you can get fuel and water. You can also tie up there for the day for about $80/day. It's a beautiful marina, well protected and full of the most amazing super yachts. Just south of the bridge there is a canal you can travel up under bridges for about 1/2 mile and tie up across from the publix. But the water is pretty discusting. Not like the clear anchorage. Still, all services are available. Any store you want, and a laundrymat, a gas station and a multitude of resturants. Hey, it's South Beach and if it's not here it's not important.
     When Hannah and Sam were ready to be picked up from the laundromat I couldn't find my wallet!!! I'm not sure what happened but It's not anywhere so I'm going to have to cancel all my cards and order a new drivers license etc... oh Bother! I'll probably find it right after I've canceled everything. I'm afraid it was left on a dock or fell out in the water. Who knows.
Date:Tue Dec 25 15:20:00 UTC 2022

Coconut Grove

Found the Sailboats!

     Yesterday the 24th we left the anchorage at Miami Beach and motored down the icw for about 2 hours to Coconut Grove. We left at about 13:30 and arrived here about 15:00 and motored around investigating the area finally dropping anchor near our friends on Moral Compass at about 16:30. It was a cold sail with the high for the day only about 55 and cloudy with a strong north west wind. The trip was uneventful.
     This morning I got on the single side band radio and checked into the Waterway net as well as Cruisheimers. They have nets every morning around 7:45 to 08:30 and we keep track of eachother locations and any news or information pertinant to our travels. There are many people who don't think SSB is important any more but I disagree.
     As well, this morning, I was up sending pictures and happy holidays to family, and everyone on our phone list.
     We have been tracking a saltwater leak for the last few days and this morning I think I found it. There was water appearing on top of the grey water tank that is salt water. with saltwater entering the boat I always have nightmares about through hulls failing but after digging through the floorboards for a bit I found a leak on the stuffing box at the forward end of the swing keel/centerboard. So I got out the big pipe wrench and tightened up the stuffing box a little bit. Then we pumped out the water and hopefully there won't be more water there tomorrow. It was dripping about once per second.
     Hannah is making pancakes and the boat smells wonderful. It's good to run the stove on a cold morning as we don't have a reverse cycle heater/air conditioner. It's raining outside so I think Brad and Stacey will be over to cook Christmas Dinner. So it will likely be a busy day.
Date:Tue Dec 26 16:51:00 UTC 2022

Holiday Party

Time with Friends!

     So Yesterday evening we spent with friends on the boat. We had Turkey and sweet potatoes, Latkes, Foccaccia bread, Jerusalem Kugle, and the most amazing home made key lime pie. Then we spent the evening playing games and chatting till about 10pm. It was cold outside, dropping to 47 deg and windy with light rain. This morning is a lazy day just hanging out and staying warm. We had a nice breakfast of latkes and eggs and home made bread toast. and now we're talking about going into town to run a few errands. Some folks we met in Palm Beach arrived last night at no name harbor about 5 miles across the bay from us and we hope to see them later as well. They are in sv "Happy Place". Date:Fri Dec 30 23:46:00 UTC 2022

Family Arrives!

Melodi and Paul are here!

     Today our daughter Melodi and Paul came to visit us! We were so glad they could make it. We went out to Peacock Garden and had a wonderful time. The food was excelent and the atmosphere with family there was amazing. It had been 7 months since we had seen her so this was a real treat!
Peacock Gardens!

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