Moon over Miami
11 February 2009 | Biscayne Bay, Miami FL
Very nice weather
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
I had to check to see if there was a full moon... I couldn't sleep much last night. I kept waking up to the dream/thought that I'd be standing in water if I got out of bed. So I'd lay there, listening to silence, waiting and expecting for the bilge pump to kick on, only it never did. New fear: the bilge pump has stopped working! But, it hadn't, it came on in the morning during my coffee.
I tried finding the phone number to any of the bridges, around here, on the charts and couldn't. I wanted to call one of them to see if they could give me any data on the restricted times for the bridges on the Miami River. I know the first one is restricted between 7 and 8:30 in the morning and 4 to 5:30 but didn't know the schedules to the rest of the bascule bridges. Since there are so many that we need to transit to get to Riverside, in order for them to look at our leaking stuffing box, I figured it would be a good idea to check the times. The river is narrow with a lot of freighters in it (on Google Earth) and one of our books says it has swift currents so I wanted to know what to expect and how many of the bridges opened on demand. I figured not many since it was down in the heart of Miami. I finally decided to call Tow Boat US. I figured they'd probably know the bridge schedules (since they're local). In chatting with the guy, he asked if we were the sailboat with the stuffing box problem from yesterday and I told him yes and how nobody had ever returned our calls yesterday but we did manage to get through to Riverside finally and they're up the Miami River. He'd never heard of them, and asked if we were getting hauled out? I told him I hoped not, and told him about our problem of not being able to turn the locking nut and hoping that was all we needed to do. He said he'd come out and take a look (to my surprise and relief), so we gave him our coordinates and waited for them to show up. They didn't have a specialized wrench but actually had something better - a filter changer with a tarp type cloth that wraps around the item. With that and a hammer, the stuffing box tightened in a jiffy. He then asked if we had a wire brush so the next time we had to do this it was cleaned up for us and then proceeded to remove the patina from the locking nut. We then heard a clunk, then "oops" and a comment "my you have a deep bilge". Wayne said, "oh oh, you added to our collection?" He added our wire brush to the bowels of Kolibrie, so we now have an antique hammer, chisel, and wire brush in Kolibrie's growing toolbox! I gotta tell you - Towboat US are my heros. They always seem to come to our rescue. So to the guys at Biscayne Towing and Salvage/Boat US - Cudos to you for your help! You fixed our problem (hopefully), saved us a trip up a river that I didn't want to make, and hopefully spared us from losing our weather window if they talked us into hauling out and repacking our gland in the stuffing box (hence saving us some needed funds too)!
After squaring things away again below deck, I radioed over to the Island Packet - "Surprise" to see if they were heading to the Bahamas (they are). They're waiting for the same window. In looking at the projected forecasts it looks like it's backed up to Saturday instead of Thursday and Tom said that Chris Parker was projecting the same thing. Tom & Linda (Surprise) are heading for Nassau which is a longer jaunt then ours to Bimini - 30 hours.
While I was up top I spotted 2 dinghies coming our way from the West. I looked and saw a beautiful head of white hair and thought "is that Marie from Spirit?" I didn't think so because I thought they'd headed for the Keys with Last Boat, so strained my eyes a bit more - Yes it was - the dinghies from Spirit and Last Boat. I had to laugh because I couldn't believe they were here - I thought both couples had headed for the Keys. It was good to see them again - they were tooling around in the dinghies visiting various places at the boat show and were anchored down in front of the Sunset Marina in the east end of the Venetian Causeway. It sounds like it's a quieter anchorage (wake wise). [We keep getting these huge motor yachts roaring by us and waking us - and I mean a couple come really close to us going back and forth like they're on a mission. A couple of them had cameras going off the back end so they might be video for the boat show, but some of the wakes had things falling over below.] Anyhow from what they were saying, there's a Publix, hardware, etc... in dinghy/walking distance and they're anchored in front of the Police station & we can get water there, so it might be worth taking a look...