27 November 2011 | Vero Beach, Florida
Beth / 80 daytimes
We're on easy street now. Leak found and fixed. Pension cheques started landing in bank account. Batteries maintaining charge. Hooeee!
Jim and I went through the boat from bow to stern, inspecting all thruhulls and shining a flashlight on every little bit of water we found. That is how we spotted a little trickle of constantly moving water coming from under the bath tub (yes, the Bayfield 36 does indeed have a mini bath tub) and dripping past the thruhull under the sink in the head down into the bilge by the mast. (That is how we also found a small leak at one of the chain plates, and another small leak under our berth when the deck wash pump is turned on - not the problems we were looking for but next on the fixit list.)
Two lines ran up that way - one to bring water into the toilet to flush it, and one to the deck wash. Jim figured the most likely source was the deck wash, and while Karin and I went for a walk, he and Ed (Passages) pulled out the line to have a look. Sure enough, there was a crack about 12 inches long that had been allowing water to seep out for who knows how long? Months anyway. There is a new Ace Hardware store on the road to the beach so when we got the call from Jim, Karin and I bought enough ¾ inch tubing to replace the old one and hustled home. With Ed on one end and Jim on the other, they wrestled the new tubing from the deck wash connection under our bed, under the bathtub, through the locker behind the toilet and attached it to the T under the sink. By the time they were done, the wine was poured (well - poured and half finished, if you want the truth!) and we celebrated a job well done. Next morning we turned on that bilge pump and not a drop came out. Yippee!
American Thanksgiving dinner was a fabulous success - enough turkey to go around and dozens of tasty contributions from boaters. I took a rutabaga/apple dish and fell in love with a roasted brussels sprouts/pomegranate seed one. We learned that even though dinner was at 2 according to the poster, one needs to snag seats much earlier than that. Thanks to Tom and Chris (Polar Pacer) we had seats with them, Ed and Karin (Passages), and Russ and Lori (Ortolan) - making a happy table. We chatted with Vic and Marilyn (Whisper) and Jeannie and Randy (Mutual Fun) during the evening and met up with Eric (Further) as well. Eric lives here now and has a successful business making vases, decorative tiles and sinks - just gorgeous pieces. See his work at commongroundpottery.com . There were over 100 people there and it was a wonderful grand time of thanksgiving and feasting.
Many eyes were on the sky Saturday morning as we watched the Mars rocket soar upward from Cape Canaveral. No matter how many times we watch the tiny specks of light shoot up into the sky, leaving behind trails of wispy white fluff, it is always thrilling to see these rockets headed for outer space.
We walked to the Farmer's Market at Humiston Park along the beach where I restocked my produce baskets with cucumbers, heirloom tomatoes, spicy lettuce mixes and multi coloured peppers. Like many markets, several of the stands had produce from the wholesalers, but I shopped at the small one that sold local, close to organic, produce. In the evening, we dined on tender pork chops, creamy pasta and fresh salad with Karin and Ed chez Passages.
Today, Sunday, I went for a fine walk on the beach while Jim rested. He has a bit of an intestinal bug and is trying to shake that before we go off on more adventures. It was a beautiful beach day and many children splashed and played in the breakers while older ones chased waves on their boogie boards. I crept up on a few little sandpipers as they skittered across the sand, and had a cursory look for interesting shells, but it just felt so good to get out there and walk as fast as I could - stretching out some tightened muscles and getting oxygen into every corner of my lungs, that I came back with empty pockets and unused camera - and a wonderfully fatigued sense of well being. We enjoyed having Cathy and Paul (Lucia) join us for Sundowners. We laughed at one more of those small world experiences. They are from Moncton, NB and we grew up in Amherst, NS - about 40 minutes away. When the usual "Did you go to Mount A?" question arose, Paul said his brother did, and it turned out Peter was not only a classmate of Jim's at Mount A but also at UNB Law School. Definitely a small world!
Tomorrow is laundry day here at the marina and a grocery store run on the little local FREE bus. We'll stay here another few days and then head on down to Stuart - just a short trip - to stay another while. We are into leisurely travelling until after Christmas.
This picture is of the birds that fish from the little mangrove islet just behind our mooring. I can pass away many hours watching the birdlife!