Mike and Kathy
11/16/2008, Vero Beach, Florida
November 15th, Saturday Vero Beach, FL
Opening day of deer hunting season
We pretty much sat around reading and doing various odd jobs during the day. We had heard they were blocking off some streets near the beach and having music and food vendors so we walked down to the beach with Charlie and Kathy from "My Time Too" and met up with Jim and Nancy and Jay and Di. They had been driving around looking for some action and found nothing, so we all went out for dinner and had a nice time.
November 14th, Friday Vero Beach, FL
It rained on and off during the early morning hours but was just cloudy at sunrise. We sat around for awhile after coffee but I can only sit so long...I had been thinking about the problem with the Honda all night and decided that the symptoms pointed to bad gasoline, a clogged fuel filter or a sticking float in the carburetor. I had already changed the gas and the fuel filter seemed to be hiding so I took the carburetor apart again and cleaned the ports. The needle valve was sticking, but after liberal doses of Carb cleaner, seem to be working properly. When I got things back together it worked. However, I would like to have a spare carburetor. What I really need is some of the stuff that you soak carburetors in over night to clean them out...maybe NAPA.
Feeling a little better, I crawled down into the basement of our boat and with Kathy's help form above extracted our new bilge pump and the water witch (bilge switch) which I had left in disgust... tangled in the bottom of our keel yesterday.
Yesterday's attempt was to replace the old bilge pump with the new using basically the same system. By morning I had come to the conclusion that I need to reengineer the completely. So...I went to shore, got on the bus to West Marine, purchased some fittings, caught the bus across the street on it's return and went to work. By lunch time I had the new system built and by about 1:30 had it installed in the bottom of the bilge.
After a shower and an hour of reading Bahamas Charts for places we haven't visited, we went to shore to hook up with Jim, Nancy, Jay and Di for a two car caravan to Titusville to view the Shuttle Launch that night. It took us about 2 hours up Hwy 1 to reach the good viewing areas, but most were full by the time of our arrival. We passed a couple of parks on the Indian River that were packed with folks and were beginning to worry about finding the a place to watch the action when we passed a tiny city park.. .after a few minutes of indecision, Jim made a u-turn and headed back. There seemed to be lots of room in the parking lot so things were looking up.
There were picnic tables and playground equipment and a long T-dock on the shore with a few picnic tables .. which were all occupied... but at the north end of the dock there was a large bench which seemed perfect. We were directly across the Indian River from the launch pad. Jay, Kathy and Nancy ... made a run to the store for some dinner while Jim, Di and I stayed to stake out our claim.
After a couple of hours of conversation and roasted chicken, the Shuttle took off making the full moon seem like a dull candle. It was spectacular! After what seemed like a long time we heard the noise... a low rumbling. By the time we quit watching ... a matter of minutes, it was in orbit.
Viewing a launch has been one of those things that I've always wanted to do but had never made it a priority. Thanks again go to Jim and Nancy for hauling our butts around and another rewarding evening.
The pictures were taken by Jim and Nancy of "Solitaire". You may want to read their account of the event at:
A little hitchhiker
Mike and Kathy
11/15/2008, Vero Beach, Florida
November 13th... Vero Beach, Fl
Mike and Kathy
11/13/2008, Vero Beach, Florida
Side note: When we were offshore on our way to Fort Pierce, we had a little bird hitchhike on the back of the boat for a while. He/she was good company and we forgot to mention it the other day. We actually forgot until we downloaded some pictures.
Our main task today was to replace our bilge pump...probably the single most daunting task that we had to deal with in the last 16 months of traveling. The aft 6 feet of our keel is hollow( it's about 10 inches wide) and at the very bottom is the bilge pump, about 3 feet beyond my reach when I am crammed sideways into the basement of our boat. Through the hollow area, from front to back, runs out prop shaft.
After about an hour, I was able to work the old pump up and past the prop shaft by pulling on the discharge hose with one had and turning the slimy pump upside down with the other.
By then I was filthy and had to get cleaned up before taking the bus to West Marine for a replacement.
I was back at it by about 1:30 and got all the wiring in place.... but try as I may, could not get the pump to sit upright in the bottom of the bilge area. I tried everything I knew but failed. Nancy was supposed to be picking us up at 3:30 so I quit and we headed ashore for showers and a load of laundry to do at their condo.
The condo was really nice and we had a great time with Jim, Nancy, Jay, and Di who joined us for dinner also.
When we couldn't eat anymore without pain...and the laundry finished, Jim and Nancy drove us across town to the marina ...
November 12th, Wednesday Vero Beach, FL
We wasted lots of time this morning but finally got it in gear to make the 11am bus to town. (I did make a batch of marinara sauce for dinner at some point in there.)We got off at West Marine to look at bilge pumps before walking across the street to Publix for some vegetables and fruit. Our bus was running late so instead of taking it back to the marina we got to ride into the transfer point in town before making our return trip. Local color is always interesting.
My afternoon was spent ordering spare parts and reading while Kathy worked on ordering a few items from various places on the computer.
I talked to Dave for a few minutes about hunting .... But he seems to have it under control.
We had a very nice dinner of spaghetti, garlic bread, and salad.
November 11th, Tuesday Fort Pierce to Vero Beach, Fl
Happy Birthday Carol!
Happy Veterans Day!
Two other boats had spent the night with us but one was gone when we awoke and the other was on it's way shortly after. We made our requisite pot of coffee and checked the weather via computer. For breakfast I made cheese grits topped with a poached egg. Steve got a box of free grits while watching a Redskins game at a bar last week in Charleston and shared it with us. Now as most of you from north of the Mason Dixon know, grits are nothing more than mush...but if you jazz them up a little make "good eats" In this case I cooked the grits with a little extra salt and dump in a cup of sharp cheddar. Then poached two eggs and wala... a tasty breakfast
Our anchor was hauled at about 9:30 and we headed north for the first time in weeks, to Vero Beach. Motoring on the ICW for 14 miles seemed strange after our a week in the Ocean but in no time we were rafted to "Solitaire" on mooring number 45. We plan to be here for at least three weeks.
The afternoon was spent reading... I finished Cork Boat which was passed along by Bill and Christy last summer. If you can deal with nonfiction with an emotional bend, I send my recommendation. Kathy is working through a Grisham book that she doesn't seem to put down much.
We lowered the dinghy and went to shore to check in and check things out. All seems about the same here. We took a little ride around the mooring field to see who's here and then went back to the boat to wait for Jim and Nancy to come out for a visit. They came from their condo for a visit before dark and we made plans to get together on Thursday.