01/02/2012, Marathon, Fl
Happy New Year All!
We left the Sunset Bay Marina in Stuart on 12-27 and spent an interesting night at Peck Lake on the hook. Weather announcers told us to expect a front during the night so in anticipation of that possibility we arrived early and Captain decided to put out 90 feet of rode in our 12 foot depth of water. Shortly before sunset a rather large motor yacht arrived and anchored very near us and in front of a sailboat which had been carefully anchored a distance from us. So Captain said to the motor yacht captain, "Capn' I have 90 feet of rode out here." To which the other captain said, "What do you need 90 feet of rode in 5 feet of water?" He did move two more times and re-anchored before we turned in. Meanwhile it was getting dark and later the wind piped up and Captain did an anchor watch but all was well. Upon rising in the morning we wondered what happened to the motor yacht and lo and behold it was in the shoal waters and he had dragged his anchor during the night and gone aground. Seatow was there to assist and we headed off south.
From Peck Lake to Lake Worth with the current in our favor we sometimes made 7 knots! It paid to clean and paint the bottom of Blue Bay!
Next day we headed out of Lake Worth inlet before daybreak on 12/29 and motor sailed until the following afternoon when we arrived at Rodriguez Key on the outside. The Atlantic had 2-4 foot rollers and mild winds from the North which helped us along. We had a chance to check out the new auto pilot and all is working well! Next morning before sunrise we were up and away and arrived in Marathon, Florida after three days and one night of motor-sailing, more motoring than sailing, unfortunately. We did sail from 1:00 AM until 7:00 AM one night, which was a great smooth sail and the most fun we had! Waters were smooth and winds were never over 10 knots. It took a bit longer than we expected and we actually did not keep track of the miles, but our Cruising Guide says it would be around 200 nautical miles. Unknown to us was the fact that the City Marina at Boot Key closed on New Years Eve at 3 PM. We arrived after 2:30 in the afternoon! Timing is everything. We headed over to Keys Fisheries for a fantastic grouper sandwich to celebrate New Years!
The plan is to be here for a month or so.
During our sail we spotted several very large loggerhead turtles and several dolphins followed us especially near inlets and fishing areas. Lots of fishing going on and we plan to get in on it soon!
Hope everyone has a peaceful and happy New Year!
Here we are in Stuart, where we are enjoying access to all kinds of services and hospitality of the Sunset Bay Marina. They certainly go out of their way to make cruisers feel welcome and help you in any way they can! We have enjoyed Meet and Greets, Sunday Potlucks, Thanksgiving dinners, biweekly transports to WalMart, Harbor Freight, Publix and of course, West Marine, use of bikes, a Cruisers' Lounge, reasonable washers and dryers, mail service, and the great long-running hot showers! What more could a cruiser wish for? Well, we would like to move on, go south along the east coast and end up in Marathon for part of the winter months.
It has been helpful to be here in Stuart so that we can work on some important issues before we head south in a week or so. During this time we had discovered that we thought we might have a fuel leak, which we found must have been an overflow, but which involved taking the table out and checking into the bilge and checking over the engine. We also had some worries because the boat had not been in the water for a year and a half, so we wanted to make sure we didn't have any leaks in the through-hull fittings. Also we broke the head which needed a part and it makes you realize how important it is! Several other things have needed fixing but first we had to find the parts. The macerator pump needed overhauling, the outboard motor needed work and the running lights have quit suddenly! These are some of the challenges of the cruising life!
The other part of cruising, the fun part, is meeting all kinds of nice cruising friends. We have met some old cruising friends, and made some new. Sharing meals, happy hours and trips to the stores have all been fun.
We do not expect a white Christmas since we are expecting 80 degrees and sunny! It has been windy quite a bit but being on a mooring ball is pretty safe and mostly comfortable. One night we had between 8-10 inches of rain and when Dick went out to take us to shore he had to bail the dinghy with a gallon bucket! It was full to the top and overflowing with the gas tank floating!
We also have been in contact with Nancy's Mom, who is doing really well so far this winter. Our sons are busy with their lives and probably won't be visiting this winter. We have had a visitor from home and hope for more
We wish you Happy Holidays!
First weeks Oct. 27th to Nov. 21st
We have been working so hard on the boat that we have not done a good job of keeping up the blog. Now that we have settled down here in Stuart, Florida, we thought we should do a little summary of what we have been up to. We stayed at the Fountain Resort in Ft. Pierce for a week until we could get enough things done on the boat so we could move into the boat. When we arrived at the boat we inspected the bright work we had done last winter. The good news is that all the varnish work Nan did last winter survived the summer in excellent condition. That is mostly because we covered it with Sunbrella material. The bad news is that any teak which we had put Teak Guard on that was exposed to the sun all summer looked spotty. Anything that was covered looked great but if it got direct sun it did not hold up.
When we moved in the boat we also had the boat moved to the working area of the boat yard at Riverside Marina so we could begin work on the bottom paint. The job turned out to be a bigger project than we intended. First we just sanded down the bottom paint but after further inspection we decided to take off all the layers of bottom paint and put on a couple of coats of Inter Protect primer and after that two coats of bottom paint. This took us over a week, doing a very dirty job.
All our time was not spent working though. We had some great neighbors while working in the boat yard. Bud and Bill, two other cruisers were working on their boats also. Bill, a single hander had been demasted during a trip up north, was working on a used replacement mast. Bud removed both of his masts and was updating and painting them. We had plenty of time to talk about each others' projects. We got help with ours from Charlie who asked us if we could use his help. As it turns out we would have had a very hard time completing our work without him.
One day we spent driving up to Daytona to meet with our son Luke and his girl friend Holly. It was a nice visit.
Here at this yard we find that most of the other cruisers are from Canada. On Friday nights those who are still working on their boats get together at a near by restaurant for dinner. We were invited to come along on two occasions. There were 25 or more of us who got together and we were the only ones from the US. Some new faces and many we had met before.
It felt good to be back in the water again and after doing some compass adjustment for our new auto pilot we motored down to a spot just off the ICW that is very peaceful in settled weather for a restful night. In the morning we waited for the tides to change so we could make our way to Stuart with plenty of water under our 5'9" keel. We will be here in Stuart through the Holidays and moving south soon after the first of the year.