11/23/2008, Vero Beach, Florida
November 16th, Sunday... Vero Beach, Fl
A front went through during the night. There wasn't any rain but the wind blew, the air dried out and the temperatures dropped. It was about 55F by daybreak after going to bed with 85 degree temps. During the day it warmed up to about 65, but it still felt cold to those of us with thinner blood.
We've done some provisioning as we've had the opportunity on our way south but haven't kept very good records so our task this morning is to inventory the food items currently on board. After going through the pantry, the storage below the settee, and bagged items beneath our berth I was finished with the list. Kathy organized a spread sheet on her computer and by about noon we were finished.
Knowing what we have on hand and what is readily available in the Bahamas, we spent some time during the afternoon creating a shopping list.
We spent the remainder of the day reading, talking with the kids in England and putting together an early supper before listening to the Spartan's opening basketball game.
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
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 ...