La Aventura with Patti & James

06 July 2018 | Faial Island –Atlantic Portugal
24 June 2018 | National Holiday day in Faial
22 June 2018 | afternoon whale watching boat trip
20 June 2018 | an enjoyable day trip to another island.
19 June 2018 | Fabulous Faial. – Azorean Island
18 June 2018 | Faial Island – Horta Harbour - Mid Atlantic
29 May 2018 | Mid Atlantic - in the middle of nowhere
26 May 2018 | the cruising yachtsman’s haven
25 May 2018 | party day in Hamilton
10 May 2018 | Vero Beach/Ft Pierce –road trip to Jacksonville.
12 April 2018 | Vibeke onboard
17 March 2018 | lovely to return to Belize and Mexico and meet up with sailing friends along the way
24 January 2018 | I have become so interested in Guatemala textiles
17 January 2018 | So great to catchup with so many friends and our families
01 November 2017 | what a wonderful Guatemalan fiesta to experience
29 October 2017 | Volcanic crater
28 October 2017 | Antiqua - Guatemala

Life up on the hard- Green Cove Springs Boatyard – October & November 2016

26 November 2016 | Northern Florida
Hurricane Matthew

IMAGE various photo images

La Aventura had been in storage at Green Cove Springs since late February whilst we were back in the UK dealing with my breast cancer issues - surgery and extended recovery due to a hasty infection. We were so pleased to see that she was in good shape when we returned at the end of September. On 29th September she moved from the designated storage area to work area….now the work begins!

OCTOBER – Green Cove Springs Marina & Boatyard
On our arrival we made contact with Pam & Frank the local Ocean Cruising Club Port Officers - they became a great source of knowledge, assistance and friendship during our 2 month stay in Green Cove Springs.
On our 1st weekend in town we attended a local Soul Food festival with them, and later visited their waterfront home for more chat without the LOUD music.
Within the first week of our return we found ourselves in the path of Hurricane Matthew - the 1st hurricane to make landfall in Florida for approx 15 years. Pam & Frank insisted that we leave the boat and come to their home during the Hurricane. We prepared the boat as best as possible, and left on Thursday 6th afternoon – still with a landfall predicted. Thursday night we all went to bed very concerned of what was coming. By Friday morning 7th, the eye of the hurricane had moved 30 miles offshore – so we would have tropical storm force winds for the next 24 hours. Power went out at the house from mid-morning on Friday for 30 hours. Thankfully Pam & Frank have a very comfortable home and we all enjoyed each other’s company, the generator kept the home fridge running and we had gas for cooking etc – also their private water well enabled us to still have use of all the facilities. Our candlelight Chill dinner on Friday night was very enjoyable indeed.
On Saturday morning we drove back to the boatyard to check on both of our boats and a few other OCC boats and their various other friends boats also on the hard. All the boats in the work and storage yards on the hard were safe and sound – but there was much carnage and damage for those boats on the moorings and many of the docks were badly damaged.
We enjoyed another day and evening at Pam & Franks home and returned to La Aventura on Sunday 9th October. It took a few day for the boatyard to sort things out and get back to normal operations – and we got back on with our maintenance list.

When we returned to the boat we had diesel in the bilge- after a process of elimination we found that our port fuel tank, situated below the shower and toilet area had developed several small holes in the top of the metal tank. We cannot take this tank out for repair, without a major dismantling of the inside of the boat – so found a recommended local welder to have a go. He as very helpful – but at the end of the day his spot welding did not do the trick – we have decided to go without this fuel tank for this coming season, instead using our starboard tank and carried jerry cans on deck.
Thankfully there was a good bunch of people also working away on their boats on the hard – so a lift to the supermarket for the weekly shopping was no problem, although we did have a hire car for weekend to do our running around for bits and pieces at the various hardware stores in the area. Many of the cruisers in the yard were French/Canadian and Americans, with 1 Dutch (friends of Dennis and Anke), 1 Nord - Per, 1 Swedish couple ( Keki and Steffan- also OCC members) and 1 Danish couple( Renne and Doria) so a good international crowd. Our weekly ‘outing’ was to Tuesday night ½ price chicken wings deal at a local sports bar/restaurant in town. At the end of October Pam & Frank also held a dinner at their home which everyone greatly enjoyed.

NOVEMBER- Green Cove Springs Marina and Boatyard.
Working our way through our jobs list and trying to keep sane. I was trying to keep up the pace, but some days I was too tired and my chest was sore – so a few ½ days for me… but not for James he just had to keep going – head down tail up!
We had a hire car for 2 weekends to run around getting so many bits and pieces. On one of these weekends there was a music festival in the town – so we made the most of the car to enjoy a few evenings off the boat listening and watching some great bands of many different styles and talent level. The Celtic Rock/ folk band was our definite favourite. When we were just about done with our ‘list’ James made time to check the engines…. our number one engine would not hand start!! The mechanic in the yard – Rick was a good guy and worked well with James – but we had a big problem – engine seized due to hole in the water exchange unit. Thankfully there is a Perkins engine parts place locally and Rick arranged for the engine to be stripped down, checked and fixed…. but this all took time!! By now were had seen most of our neighbours and new friends launch and set off- leaving us behind! and by now we were now well over living in the boatyard.

We were finally launched into the water on Saturday 25th, and then took another week alongside of the dock still sorting the engine before we finally left. Unfortunately the yard manager lost it during our final week and threatened to cut our lines to get us off his crowded dock!!

Our final word on Green Cove Springs Marina – you love it and hate it – both at the same time. The price is cheap, but the work yard is nasty – very dirty and disorganised. The yard team don’t work together and don’t communicate with the office staff – and show little knowledge or care for our boats. General maintenance of the facility appears never to happen, the toilet/shower facilities are not cleaned to an acceptable standard, and the rubbish bins not emptied regularly – only when they are overflowing and the place is a total mess. We hope to never return and could not recommend GCSM to anyone.

We finally motored away from GCSM out the St Johns River on Friday 2nd December – but only as far as Julington Creek to meet up with Annette and Kenny at Hurricanes Bar for Friday night drinks. As it happened the annual Christmas Boat Parade was on the following night – so it didn’t take much convincing for us to stay from the event and after party.

Unfortunately when we went to leave early on the Sunday morning we still had engine problems. Charlie the owner at the Mandarin Holiday marina gave us a dock space and his mechanic worked with James to find our problem and solution. This time we found a hole in our exhaust elbow allowing water back into the head and pistons! What a pain… we spent another 2 weeks – (and a big mechanic bill) at Charlies. Thankfully the supermarket and library were both within walking distance, and we had dock time to get a few boat jobs completed. Hurricanes Bar was just across the road – very handy to meet up and hangout with Annette and Kenny.

We finally left Julington Creek on Tuesday 20th with the early morning tide – in the fog - to take us to downtown Jacksonville. All good – we moored for the night on the town dock right under the enormous Christmas tree. We arrived in plenty of time to do some internet stuff during the afternoon in the lobby of the waterfront hotel. The weather was cold, misty with a winter feel.

Wednesday 21st we started our 1st journey for the season –a 2 nights sail down the coast to Fort Pierce….. better late than never!!
Vessel Name: La Aventura
Crew: James & Patti

Who: James & Patti