Saturday December 17, 2014
We are anchored in Ft Lauderdale now.
The engine installation went well. Spent a lot of effort to ensure the output shaft of the engine matched up to the template I made of the propeller shaft in the boat and that the engine was at the proper angle. The actual install went very quickly after that. The engine was in place and adjusted by the end of the day including a couple runs into town for miscellaneous parts. I ordered new control cables and while waiting for them got hold of the welder again and modified the exhaust to cross over to the opposite side. While he worked on that I had to modify the engine compartment to move the lower edge back an inch or so to give the exhaust more clearance. When the welder came back with the new manifold I gave him the last project to weld up, an “A” arm to attach to the new wind generator tower to lift the outboard off the dingy onto the big boat. The projects this year were, install new engine, install wind generator and tower, weld on brackets for dingy lifting, sand blast keel where it was rusting after the keel bolt and epoxy coat it, bottom paint where needed, install new galley taps, test our new mattress, Repaired the outboard so that it can be tilted up where it was rusted up solid at the hinge. We ordered new Chicago screws for the windows but they never arrived until we got to Ft Lauderdale and they are back in Green Cove and we just found the order is wrong. We ordered for delivery to Vero Beach and installed an Actisense NMEA 2000 to 0183 converter to get GPS data into the radios, and lastly a valve rebuild kit for one of the bilge pumps.
We left Green Cove on Wednesday Dec 3, a sunny but cool day without enough wind for sailing. What wind we had was out of the north. Prior to leaving the railroad bridge had been locked in the down position for a week for maintenance. Once it was opened there was an exodus of boats finishing up and departing to get through and south, some just in case the bridge should get closed again for more work. The RR Bridge is old and they only now seem to be catching up on long needed major work. From what I understand the pivot hinges that the entire bridge rides on had to be replaced. Not a small job for the B&B men to get done.
We arrived at Jacksonville Landing that afternoon and would wait until the next day to try and ride the tide down to the ICW. Someone misheard the Main Street bridge times and we had to wait until after rush hour for an opening. The motor sail down to the ICW was uneventful and we got as far as Pine Island that day. We might have made it to St Augustine that day but we’d forgotten to change the GPS to the correct time zone after changing it the previous year. But Pine Island is a nice peaceful place to anchor and we would have been fighting the current the rest of the way if we’d continued. We anchored south of the mooring field seeing as there were no moorings left after topping up with fuel and water and pumping out. We anchored for two nights and had dinner one night at the VFW hall. Sunday we left St Augustine for a motor sail down the ICW and that afternoon we stopped at Palm Coast Marina. They offer a $25 a night dockage with no services but a nice lounge and gift shop/chandlery and good hot showers. The next day was cold and blustery with occasional showers but we were determined to get farther south. We intended to anchor just north of New Smyrna but the cold wind was blowing straight down the cut. I was already cold so we continued on and I treated Jeanne to a night at the New Smyrna Marina where we could get another hot shower, I took two, and plugged in so that we could fire up the space heater and warm up the boat for the night. We left early the next morning for the long fifty mile run down to Cocoa Beach and arrived there at 15:30 to anchor for the night.
The next morning we left for another long run down to Vero Beach and arrived at the mooring at 16:00 Wed Dec, 10 with ¼ tank of fuel left and 43.1 hours on the new engine. From St Augustine to Vero we ran 27.2 hours on 14.75 gallons of fuel for an average consumption of 0.54 gallons per hour. With a 20 gallon tank and 15 gallons on deck leaving a ¼ tank in reserve we should be able to motor for almost 60 hours.
We spent a few days in Vero waiting on parts and just relaxing. The Actisense arrived first and once connected we now have lat/longs and time fed to our two radios. Our butyl tape arrived the next day but the screws still hadn’t shown up back in Green Cove. We decided to move on to warmer parts. On Sunday December 13th we pulled up to the fuel dock at dawn and took showers while we waited for the marina to open. We were fueled, watered and pumped out and left the marina at 08:20 in the company of Tangara and Panonica for the run down to Ft Lauderdale. We anchored for the night in Hobe Sound and continued on in the morning. At Lake Worth we headed out the channel and continued on to Port Everglades, Ft Lauderdale Arriving at the entrance after dark at 19:00 and had to dodge a cruise ship turning in the basin to head out. Distances can be very deceptive at night and it appeared that the ship was backing out. The rate of turn and the visual on the AIS and the appearance were confusing but a pilot boat that was accompanying the ship could see us on the AIS and called to ask our intentions. We told him we’d be going north once inside and he told us the cruise ship was turning to head to sea and that we could hug the north side and all would be well. We told them that if needed we could wait at one side for the ship to pass but that was not necessary and we continued up the ICW to Lake Sylvia. We slid in along the east side close to shore and were safely at anchor about 20:00.