One Washing Machine Ride Later
23 November 2011 | Vero Beach, Florida
Beth / 83 and sunny
For the first hour after we left St Augustine, we said, "How wonderful it is to be out here and not dealing with shallow water, bridges and passing boats." For the next 12, I wasn't in much condition to say anything at all, and for the remaining 19, interspersed with long periods of silence we said, "Maybe there are advantages to coming down the ICW." It was too rough to read or knit or play scrabble or do little boat jobs or any of the things we usually do on passages, and that made it seem loooong, even though, compared to coming down the ICW, it is a short way to get from St Augustine to Vero Beach.
It was supposed to have been a benign trip. And I suppose it was, really; the winds weren't all that high; 12-15 kn and from the east, so not on the nose, and the seas weren't all that terrible; 6-8 ft, and we weren't plowing into them, but there was no consistent direction; we corkscrewed this way and that way the whole trip. After two miserable trips down to the cabin, once to heat water for instant soup and once to change into warmer clothes, I quit going there and announced that crackers were all that was being served for meals for the foreseeable future. On more than one occasion, Jim remarked that meals were a whole lot better on the Norwegian Sun. It went from a humourous remark about 12 hours in, to a plaintive wail by the end of the trip. However, I noticed he didn't go below to do anything more than fetch a bag of potato chips either!
Once we entered the Ft. Pierce Inlet and headed up the ICW to Vero Beach, we felt much better, and even managed a fairly decent chicken stir fry for dinner before falling into bed.
Vero Beach is full of boats for Thanksgiving week and the coming cold front. We found Polar Pacer and Passages (New Hampshire) here among many other familiar boats and look forward to meeting up with more folks at the Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday.
In the continuing saga of glitches, we discovered that our batteries were reading only 12.3 after 32 hours of motoring. We knew they were a little "iffy" but had hoped to get another season out of them. However, that was just too low a reading for us to last any time at all without running the generator many hours each day. So after a good sleep on Tuesday night, Jim woke with a plan to replace them. Vero Beach turned out to be the perfect place for this because Indian River Batteries had Trojan 6 volt golf cart batteries (exactly what we needed - 4 of them) for $115.each. (lower than any other price Jim found.) They delivered them to the marina and took away our old ones. By 4 o'clock, Jim had installed and hooked up the new batteries and we were cooking. So ... I think we got our Christmas presents early! Just what I always wanted - new batteries!
Tom (Polar Pacer) was in a mast climbing mood, and after he went up Passages mast he came over to Madcap and we winched him up to our spreaders with a new line for our radar reflector. Two fixes in one day - yippee.
After cleaning up, we went out to Nancy and Jim's (Solitaire) for a delicious pasta dinner - making a perfect ending to an altogether pretty good day!
Wednesday brought another glitch and some fun. Aaargh - will the glitches never end? I was just leaving the boat to go shopping with Nancy when the high water alarm blared, meaning there was more water in the bilge than there is supposed to be. Jim quickly hit the switch and emptied it, but the question remains, "Why was all that water in there?" We thought the new muffler had fixed that. So - another problem to explore and figure out.
While the two Jim's stayed aboard their vessels, Nancy and I went off on a "girl outing" and had just so much fun while we upgraded our cruising wardrobes a bit more. We each found cleaner boats when we got back - such nice men those Jim's are - but no easy discovery about the water on ours.
For the afternoon, we went about our boat chores, each trying to ignore the bigger worries and just pay attention to what we were able to handle. And isn't that just the way of life anyway?