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The First Mate's Journal
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Great Lakes to The Bahamas
Who: Wayne & Pat
Port: Jackson
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No more leaky mast
78*, sunny and calm
01/04/2009, Vero Beach Mooring, FL

Sunday, Vero Beach Anchorage

It was a nice quiet day on the mooring. We spent the day working on the mast - stripping off the tape, cleaning off the silicon sealer, loosening then centering the mast and finally building the mold to put the Spartite into the mast collar. Theoretically this will seal the mast so we don't have a leaky mast. It will also help to keep it in the correct position. It seems like whenever we hit choppy water the mast wedges come out, so with the Spartite we shouldn't have this problem anymore. The directions read that it was a couple of hours job. It turned out to be a 4-hour job, with all the prep to get it ready. Overall it went pretty smoothly. In the picture I posted, it's the blue jell looking material sitting on/in the mast collar. Today was a perfect day to do it, not much wave action and very little wind to move the boat or mast so that the seal doesn't break. I may be able to keep my pans where they belong now when it rains, and my hand towels can be used for... well - hand towels as opposed to mopping up rainwater. LOL.

It feels weird to be caught up on my blog again, but right now we've got the generator going to charge up the batteries, so it's the perfect time to get on my computer and use the wireless. Tomorrow hopefully we can get to the wind generator.
Work, work, work...

Made pork chops for dinner with left over spaghetti and a small salad. Wayne said "it's to much - but - he ate it all LOL

01/07/2009 | allllisssssssa.
you've became quite the photographer, dear.
01/08/2009 | Jackie
WOW!! Love the shirts. Good idea LAUR!!
On to Vero Beach
01/03/2009, Dragon Pt to Vero Beach Fl

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Morning coffee up top with a pelican (whose beak can hold more than his belly can)

Dragon Pt to Vero Beach Fl

Wow - you can tell it's a holiday break weekend on the ICW. There were boats zipping in every direction around us, having a good ole time. Fishing boats, motor yachts, sailboats, cats, pontoons, and wave riders all going in and out of each others wakes. This area looks like a good run for family outings. There are a lot of islands to camp on and quite a few of them had camps set up. I wouldn't have minded exploring them myself, except to get to them we had to go through 1-3 ft depths, and the only way to do that is to anchor our boat in the ICW channel and dingy to them (not a thing to do...).

We got into Vero Beach at 4pm and there's no anchoring allowed - you have to moor. Worse yet, you have to raft to another boat on a mooring. Some boats are rafted 3 & 4 on a mooring. Wayne wanted to move on, but there's nowhere else to go - NO anchoring, so we stayed. Salt Whistle is here again - we left right before they did this morning and he got here before us and was busy rafting to another boat. We asked if there was anyone available to help out (since we'd never rafted before) and were told - "no". "Get in your dingy and tie to the mooring after coming alongside the other boat." "If there's someone onboard, they'll help you." Alrighty then... For our first rafting experience, it turned out to be pretty good. There was no current to contend with, so I was able to nose up to the mooring ball, stop the boat, and grab onto the other boat (Silver). Nobody was aboard the other boat and there's a large "For Sale" sign on it. After putting the fenders between the boats and snugging up, we discovered that we attached to the side of our boat with the boarding ladder on it (oops). So we had to move the ladder to the other side in order to be able to get on and off the boat. We then got the dingy lowered so we could go check in at the municipal marina ($12/night + $1.07/shower) and a fellow Bayfielder came by to say hi - Ken from Second Wind. There are 2 Bayfield 40s here. I wish we could have all rafted together. According to Ken they raft up to 4 boats together (last weekend was used as an example) at any given time. Yikes! Popular place. I was told not to worry - the moorings are snuggly screwed into the bottom so the boats can't break loose. I hadn't even thought of that - only of privacy.

We ran into Ray from the boat Maria. We'd met him in Annapolis - he was working on the boat show - and we chatted briefly with him. It was nice to remember him (I'm pretty bad at names) and see a familiar face here. Afterwards we took a walk under the bridge to the Riverside Café for dinner - a popular place with reasonable prices on drinks and food. Not memorable but reasonable. Wayne got dolphin (mahi mahi) and I got ribs (kind of disappointing - very unoriginal sauce that tasted like ketchup and hot sauce). The beer was good, the atmosphere friendly, and Wayne liked the mahi mahi - I liked the cole slaw. We'll probably come back but I wouldn't recommend the ribs.

I had a problem getting our lock to catch and lock onto the dingy - twice tonight. Once going there and locking up at the dingy dock and then coming back and locking her to the boat. I thought it was locked and when I moved the cord, I heard sploosh - when I looked down - no lock (sigh). We have more problems with locks...

Hitchcock and dragons
Cloudy, lower 70s
01/02/2009, Titusville to Dragon Pt, Merritt Island off the Banana River.

Friday, January 02, 2009

After a last shower and checking out, we left the marina and headed south once more. It was a nice stop - the time spent with our little boat laced in her berth was very busy and constructive. After pulling out I decided it was time to catch up on my journal while Wayne had the helm.

We anchored inside of Dragon Point after letting another boat push us out of the spot we were trying to anchor in. He could see we were heading there and trying to anchor and he raced to beat us there, then pulled forward - so we continued on, then he came around again and started backing into us and gave us that double armed "What! What are you doing" posture. We ignored him and backed up a bit then anchored further back - what the hell, it's not worth his attitude, he can have that spot. There's supposed to be a 100 ft, 20 ton dragon that guards the point, but it's fallen into disrepair - majorly. You can't tell that it was ever a dragon - the statue is just a conglomeration of green concrete pieces in the water and on the point. A shame really - it sounded like it was quite awesome so I'm sorry that I never got to see it. I guess it was traditional that on the 4th of July it would breath fire and its nostrils would actually emit smoke. It would have been terrific to see! They're trying to raise funds to have the dragon rebuilt - I hope that they do it. After all what sense is there in having a point called Dragon Point, with no dragon to guide the way in or protect it? It was a nice travel day but a little weird. There were sea gulls following us the entire way and I had to keep looking behind the boat and into the water. I felt like I was in an Alfred Hitchcock movie. This had never happened to us before - we hadn't fed them or anything to precipitate this kind of attraction to them. I really had to keep looking behind the boat to see if we were dragging a manatee carcass or something (we weren't Thank God!). I still don't get it - we're not fishing boat or anything like one - yet. I did pick up that "Sport Fish of Florida" book that Diana had though! Awesome book with great pictures and techniques - Wayne is looking forward to fishing! I'm looking forward to learning how to cook all his catches. I'm not in a hurry yet though.

Nice anchorage on the Banana River, it feels good to be be moving south again.

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