11/14/2009, Vero Beach. FL
November 7th, 2009 Vero Beach, FL
11/14/2009, Vero Beach, Florida
"Sapphire" is covered with salt from our time in the ocean waves. We sprayed off a little at the gas dock when we arrived but it was a half-hearted effort at best. This morning I washed the solar panels so that any sun we have can find its way to the batteries.
Then I turned to the refrigerator, which just hasn't been as cold as it should be. Steve has the hoses and a manual so with them in hand and a can of coolant. I went to work. After studying the situation and taking a few readings, it was obvious that we were low on coolant.
The manual called for bringing the evaporator to room temperature, in order to get an accurate reading on the amount of gas that I was adding so I emptied the freezer, put in a tin cup of boiling water and waited for 20 minutes.
Adding coolant was easy...open the valve and let a little go in at a time... then watch the gauge.
We caught the 11 am bus with Steve and Kim and got off at West Marine. I ordered a new nav light and purchased a new snorkeling mask at the dive shop next door. We did some more shopping and returned to the marina around 2:30.
I removed our boom vang, which had come loose from the base of the mast during our trip into Canaveral. It looks like I can replace the bolts and call it good. I think only one of eight is stripped.
At 4:30 we went in to the dinghy dock where Jim and Nancy met the four of us for dinner at their condo.
We had a great time as usual. Jay and Di joined us as well.
November 6th, 2009 Melbourne to Vero Beach, Fl
11/11/2009, On the wya
We listened to Chris Parker in the morning trying to figure out how IDA is going to affect us. It doesn't seem to be a real serious problem but some of the computer tracks have her aiming at the west coast directly across from us.
Leaving at 8am we motored south through the Indian River... which is real boring. The 30 mile trip took us until about 1:00. On our way through the southern end of the mooring field, on the way to the fuel dock, we were welcomed by 4 or 5 boats whom we've meet during the last two years. Most of them are Georgetown people who go there and stay the entire winter without moving their boats.
Jim and Nancy took our lines at the dock ... it was like old home week. We fueled up and rinsed a lawyer of salt off the boat before heading out to our assigned mooring. "Fine Lion" got hooked up and we pulled in beside them to tie along side. There are a few empty moorings but with bad weather in the forecast this place will fill up fast. We prefer to be doubled up with friends so asked to share a mooring.
Later we had lunch on "Fine Lion" and wasted away the afternoon chatting. Around 4 p.m., we lowered the dinghy and motor. A little later, we dinghied over to the restaurant under the bridge for a nice dinner. The ladies made plans for a shopping trip on Sunday, since Nancy has a car.
November 4th and 5th, 2009 Cumberland Island GA to Melbourne FL
We listened to Chris Parker (the weather guy), as "Sapphire" pulled out of the anchorage around 7am. It was a 3 or 4 miles to the inlet and another 4 after that against the current. With our engine running as hard as I dare, we made 3.2 knots for 2 hours getting out of Fernandina. Once on the ocean we found winds of 15 to 20 from the NE. Good sailing, but some good sized waves as well.
I shook out the single reef in our sail in the morning and rolled out the staysail so that we had everything flying. We had a cold lunch of Jarlsberg Swiss, Triscuts and smoked oysters as we flew down the coast, occasionally seeing a tower ashore about 15 to 20 miles.
Kathy took the first watch that night with the moon out and winds slacking a little to 10 to 15. I didn't get much sleep but returned to the helm at 11pm. It was another wonderful night on the water. The biggest problem was staying awake.
As we approached Cape Canaveral around dawn the winds were building again but were directly behind us. If we took the time to jibe our way down to Fort Pierce... using the wind, there was a good chance that we would arrive after dark. So we decided to bail out here. We had to sail another 18 miles south to pass the southeast bank before heading due west into Cape Canaveral and by the time we got to the turn the winds were at thirty and the seas had built dramatically. We still had a full main flying along with the mizzen.
In preparation for the turn to the west and the 6 mile run into Cape Canaveral, we moved the main to the port to spill some wind...(I wasn't going on deck to reef at that point), when we made the turn... and the autopilot decided that there was too much resistance on the rudder and shut itself off. I grabbed the wheel and understood exactly what the rudder was saying. It was all I could do to get us back on course with 34 knots on the beam.
We spilled more wind out of the main and tried the autopilot again and it was much happier...taking over the steering without complaint. Meanwhile waves were smashing into our starboard side throwing spray into the air where it was picked up by the wind and thrown back into the cockpit. The windows protected the forward half but that's not where I got to stand at the time.
On our way in we saw a couple of gusts of 38 knots and it didn't subside as we approached land. Steve called on the radio saying that there was plenty of room to lower sails once we got through the channel entrance... so we flew right in....
It was still windy on the inside but the water was flat. We got the sails down and motored up to the first bridge. After the opening we entered the lock where we were lowered to the level of the Indian River...about 6 inches at that time. The wind pinned us to the side of the lock but with two tries we got off without any damage to the dinghy hanging off the back of the boat on davits. After another 4 miles we waited for the next bridge and then motored out into the ICW.
It was noon by now and too soon to stop. We still had 25 knots behind us so we decided to motor south to Melbourne and hide behind the bridge causeway on the south east side of the bridge. When we arrived we found two other boats had had the same thought. We anchored in the lea of the causeway with no waves... but still some substantial wind.
We had a nice dinner and I was asleep by about 6:30... waking about 6am the next morning.