Miike-Sunny and warm
12/10/2008, Vero Beach, Florida
December 9th... Vero Beach, FL
It was windy this morning but the weather for the next few days is supposed to be worse so my first task of the day was to go back up the mast to attempt to repair the anemometer. Because I had it working yesterday, I was confident that I had broken one of the tiny wires in the process of replacing the cap on the top of the mast.
As it turned out, that is precisely what happened and in just a few minutes I had it repaired and was back on the deck.
Then it was off to the dinghy dock to fill our water containers. I made two trips and hauled about 80 gallons. Tomorrow I'll top off the tank.
Kathy worked on Christmas cards and has that job just about wrapped up.
The afternoon was hot and spent quite a bit of time reading in the cockpit. We were going to dinner at Jay and Di's new condo so I made some bacon wrapped water chestnuts to take along for a snack.
Nancy came out to check "Solitaire" during the afternoon and we returned with her to see Jim and to catch a ride to dinner.
We had a great time and some wonderful food at Jay and Di's place before they hauled us back across town to the Marina.
12/09/2008, Vero Beach, Florida
December 8th, Monday... Vero Beach, Fl
That's the Windbugger in the rigging, and a smaller, more modern wind generator in the background.
Today Kathy was feeling fine so we were off to return our rental car by 8:30. On our way back to the boat we stopped to chat with Berry and Susan and to ask if they could drive me back to West Marine this afternoon. It was a nice morning so I decided to get our mast steps out and get some work done aloft.
I went up the mizzen first to remove the old Ham radio antenna that had been tied off for a year. I also tore down the lazy Jacks ( a system to gather the sail as it is lowered) which we never use and are just in the way.
Then it was up the Main. There is a splice in the wiring of our anemometer up there and it hasn't work for a few months. It's not really that critical, "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows." But it's a nice feature when sailing.
Anyway I was up there wiring for about 2 hours and finally got it working. I also permanently tied up our ssb antenna to free up a halyard. When I climbed down and checked the wind gauge, it wasn't working. I must have broken one of the tiny wires in the process of putting the top back on the mast.
I left the mast steps in place with the idea of going up again tomorrow.
After some lunch, I cut the fuel line, took some measurements and a few minutes later Barry stopped by to take me back to West Marine. Returning with the proper parts, I began what should have been a simple installation. It really wasn't too bad getting it mounted but getting the air bled out of the system proved to be a little tricky. It took me about an hour and I was soaked with gasoline. I was just finishing when Barry and Susan showed up with snacks.
I baked some chicken breasts in orange juiced for dinner but we were so full decided to save them for tomorrow.
We really had wanted to be gone from here by now but the weather isn't cooperating. There are two fronts going through this week with squalls and high winds. Then over the weekend and into next week the high pressure will bring us north winds at about 25 knots for a few days. So we'll just stick around here until we see a possible window.
December 7th , Sunday... Vero Beach, Fl
Kathy woke up feeling horrible and spent the morning sleeping on the couch. In the afternoon she remained on the couch but graduated to reading. After coffee, I put the wind bugger together and hoisted it to its working location in the forward rigging. We didn't have much wind but there was enough to prove that it was working correctly.
Then I went to shore to ferry the groceries that we purchased yesterday out to the boat. It took two trips but eventually everything was aboard.
Getting everything there was easy, finding a place to stow it all took hours. First I took everything out of the lazarette and was able to get a few cases of beer back there.
Next, with Kathy's help from the couch we added everything to our manifest and double bagged all the smaller items.
Then I emptied the garage (starboard berth) and repacked it with our new purchases. Paper products are very expensive ... so we take two large packages of paper towels and two of toilet paper....not much weight but lots of bulk.
By the time I finished it was afternoon. I cooked some lunch and then drove to West Marine to purchase a water separator for our dinghy. Since I didn't know the inside diameter of our fuel line, I'll have to go back tomorrow after I cut it.
Back at the boat we spent some time talking to our family and then listened to the Spartans.
We baked some ham and sweet potatoes for supper and watched a movie before bed.
Nancy set a festive table for dinner
12/08/2008, Vero Beach, Florida
December 6th... Vero Beach, FL
We were hungry this morning so we had poached eggs on cheese grits again. It's different but tasty. I was off to the grocery to purchase some beef which is difficult to find in the Bahamas. Returning to "Sapphire", I repackaged it all into meal size portions and using the Foodsaver. By then Kathy had some packages that needed to get to the post office before noon, so we were off again in our rental car. We swung by the hospital and Kathy ran in to borrow a key to Jim and Nancy's condo. (As Nancy's new sister Kathy can visit in the ICU.) Jim is recovering better than expected and may be released on Sunday.
Back at the boat we worked on our last provisioning list for awhile, talked with Sam for a few minutes, and then headed ashore with our shower stuff, a load of dirty cloths and our newly packaged meat. After our showers we drove headed for the Condo but stopped at the NAPA store for a couple of oil filters and some carb cleaner. The Napa guy told me that he was out of the stuff that worked best and sent me to the store on the west side of town. Since that's precisely where we were headed it was going to work out perfectly.
At the condo, I unloaded Kathy, the cloths and the meat, and then continued on the NAPA store. By the way, we are flash freezing our meat in Nancy's freezer before wrapping it in newsprint and transferring it back to our own tiny freezer compartment.
When the clothes were in the dryer, we drove back a mile to Walmart with our last list of stuff to pick up. We can purchase most everything we need in the Bahamas, but choices are limited and the prices are usually about double.
Then it was back to the condo for our clean clothes before making the trip across town to the Marina.
We loaded the perishables into the dinghy and left everything else in the trunk. It was just dusk as we motored back to the boat. Berry was on the deck of "Night Hawk" so we stopped for a minute to chat. We have both been watching the forecasts on the computer and it is unlikely that we will be leaving here on Monday.
Back at the boat we took care of our purchases, made dinner ....baked cod with spinach and dill, before some video.
December 5th... Vero Beach, FL
At about 7:30 I took the dinghy down to tell Barry and Susan that we were leaving for Ft. Lauderdale at about 9:30 if they were interested. Enterprise picked us up at 8:15 and we were ready to head out by about 9am. Jay gave us the membranes for his watermaker that we were going to drop off for testing and Barry loaded up an anchor that he wanted to trade at a consignment shop. The main reason for the trip however, was to pick up our wind generator that had been repaired there.
Although it was a lot of driving in south Florida traffic, we had no problem finding our destinations with Barry and Susan's TOM TOM. Sailorman, the consignment shop, was much like Bacon's in Benton Harbor where one portion of the store is dedicated to salvaged boat parts with everything imaginable, and another area for normal retail boating items. Kathy found a couple of cursing (he meant cruising) guides that we had been looking for, but that was the extent of our purchases. Barry made his anchor trade and got what turned out to be a great recommendation for a place to stop for lunch.
On our way back north we stopped in Jensen Beach to stop at a Boaters World where we both purchased ocean trolling rigs. I have been using my Great Lakes salmon tackle but it is too light for fishing on the Ocean. This reel holds 500 yards of 40 lb test and has a lever drag system instead of the older star-drag types.
We rolled back into Vero a little before dark and stopped at the Riverside for a happy hour and then back to the boat. A lady on the dinghy dock told us that the water police were in the area and we didn't have our lights so Barry and Susan towed us back to Sapphire to avoid a ticket.
As usual we watched one of "Solitaire's" movies before going to bed.
December 4th ... Vero Beach, FL
This morning the plan was to get to shore by about 10:30 for showers and then meet Nancy so that we could take her car up to the Customs office at the Melbourne airport to do the paper work for the Frequent Boater Option which would allow us to reenter the country without reporting in person on our return from the Bahamas.
Kathy had made an appointment a few days ago and the guy she talked to was doing everything in his power to make us go to another office. However, Melbourne was the closest and the appointment was made.
As we were getting ready to leave the boat, Jay (Far Niente) called on the VHF to say that they were a mile out and that they were going to request to be moored next to us. So we stayed to help them tie up before heading to shore. They also needed a ride across town to their Condo. After our showers, we dropped Nancy back at the hospital and the delivered Jay and Di to their home before heading north to Melbourne.
We got to the Customs office a little early, so we wandered the airport for awhile before our appointment. Unfortunately, when we did go to the Customs office a few minutes before 1:00 no one was there. We waited for about 20 minutes, but the Customs officer (and there is only one in Melbourne) stood us up. Kathy was ticked.
There was nothing to do but drive back to Vero to return Nancy and Jim's car.
We spent the remainder of the afternoon reading and watched a movie in the evening.
December 3rd... Vero Beach
Having the use of a car here in Vero is something of a rarity but today we seem to be flush with transportation. Tom and Cathy "Perseverance 2", borrowed a car from a lady who gave them a ride last week and Barry and Susan took the folks with whom they are rafted to the airport in Orlando and had the use of their car as well.
Kathy and I met Tom and Cathy at 8:30 at the dinghy dock and we dropped Kathy off at the Hospital to sit with Nancy. The rest of us made a trip to West Marine and then to the propane filling station.
Tom and Cathy dropped me back at the Marina and I did a few boat jobs before Kathy called for a ride back to "Sapphire." The surgery went well and Kathy (as Nancy's new sister) got to talk to Jim in the ICU before she returned. He was in good spirits and wanted some coffee which was not going to happen.
Later Barry and Susan stopped by to see if we wanted to ride with them to Walmart and with nothing better to do, we joined them for the trip.
We picked up another dinghy load of provisions....and somehow found places for everything. With the exception of another bundle of paper towels and meat, we have everything that we need for the winter.
Barry and Susan came back for snacks later and to discuss plans for crossing to the Bahamas early next week. From here we are going to head down to Miami and then we'll wait for weather to make an overnight passage to Andros Island to check-in. We'll head south along the east side of the island and then cut across the Tounge of the Ocean to the Exumas.
December 2nd... Vero Beach
Our morning was spent on boat projects... Kathy cleaned and I used Nancy's snap tool to add some snaps to our side curtains and went down to our basement to replace a hose clamp on our bilge pump hose. Our holding tank pump hasn't been working right so I checked it out to find that the diaphragm had two small holes. It took me about 2 hours to run down a service kit but eventually got it ordered.
Jim and Nancy came out to check "Solitaire" in the afternoon and we returned to their condo to do laundry and have a wonderful spaghetti dinner. We also played a new game that Nanny had picked called "Scene it" which was interesting.
We said good by and wished them both the best for tomorrow's surgery.
December 1st Vero Beach
We wasted most of the morning before going to shore for showers and to catch the noon bus to town for lunch at Kelly's.
After shopping a little in a nearby strip mall, we wandered across the street to the Publix where we purchased primarily canned goods. We have about everything we need now with the exception of meat which we'll pick up just before we leave Vero.
Tom from Perseverance 2 called inviting us to join them for dinner to say good-by to Bill and Betty from Inspiration who are leaving tomorrow bound for the Keys. We had a great time as always.