SV Sereine

Cruising on a Whitby 42 based in Maine

Vessel Name: sereine
Vessel Make/Model: Whitby 42
Hailing Port: Georgetown. Maine
Crew: Marilyn, Charlie and Wil
About:
Wil has sailed the coast of Maine for more than 30 years, working up from a C&C 25, 34, and finally a Whitby 42. Single handed from Maine to Florida in 2018. Marilyn is the co-captain, nurse and gourmet chef. She joined me in Fort Lauderdale in January of 2019. [...]
26 February 2021 | Marco Island, FL USA
20 February 2021 | Man of War Harbor Key West, FL USA
06 February 2021
02 February 2021 | Lake Boca Raton
16 January 2021 | Lake Worth, Florida
06 January 2021 | Hutchinson Island Fort Pierce Florida
06 January 2021
30 December 2020 | Fort Pierce Fl
22 December 2020 | Fort Pierce, Florida
16 December 2020 | St Augustine, FL
10 December 2020 | Stono River
06 December 2020 | Butler Island, SC
14 November 2020
13 November 2020
12 November 2020 | Mile Hammock Bay
12 November 2020 | Mile Hammock Bay
31 October 2020 | Shephard Point Boatyard, Morehead City NC
11 October 2020
03 October 2020 | Gulf Stream
26 September 2020 | Gulf of Maine
Recent Blog Posts
26 February 2021 | Marco Island, FL USA

Pleasantly Surprised

Ships Log 210226

20 February 2021 | Man of War Harbor Key West, FL USA

Paid the Tab

Out of the mouth of babes. I logged a whining noise from the drive shaft the night we anchored of Rodriguez Key. The next morning we motored for about an hour before we saw a significant reduction in speed from 6.8 to 4.5 knots at the same engine RPM. Decided to turn around a get to anchorage inside [...]

06 February 2021

Rodriguez Key

We left Coconut Grove(Miami) at 0730. We were offshore of Cape Florida Light on Key Biscayne at 0900. It was cloudy, threatening rain and light winds for most of the trip. It wasn't when it was raining and windy.

02 February 2021 | Lake Boca Raton

The dawn comes

Today is February 2, 2021. It is 02:12 in the morning, 46 degrees, and I find it interesting. I have been awake for a couple of hours listening to the 18-25 knot wind rush across the lake to jerk Sereine on her anchors. I can't help remember the night, months ago, at Mile Hammock Bay, North Carolina. [...]

16 January 2021 | Lake Worth, Florida

Day 9 at Lake Boca

Okay, skipping over the obvious fact that I am horrible at keeping this blog updated, we finally left Fort Pierce, Florida. We were both anxious about being back on the water. I was desperately trying to remember how to sail...

06 January 2021 | Hutchinson Island Fort Pierce Florida

Today is the day

Enjoying the weatheryesterday then off to Archie’s a pet friendly outside restaurant with karaoke.

Pleasantly Surprised

26 February 2021 | Marco Island, FL USA
wil boisvert | sunny and warm
Ships Log 210226

I did finish the mizzen sail repairs, and Mondy morning we did tool in to the marina for fuel, water and a pump out. getting out required spinning on slightly more than a dime. We went outside of Wisteria Island and took the Northwest Channel. It is a defacto highway between the Florida Straits and the Gulf of Mexico. Saw a lot of shrimp boats.

Once we were able to turn NE, and into the wind, It was bouncy but not rolly. I think I have this nautical jargon down pat. There were many areas with as many crab pots as we have lobster pots in Maine. Those were dificult sailing as the boat was crabbing due to the wind. It was impossible with a autopilot, so mainly manual steering.

We stayed pretty much 1-3 miles west of the keys in less than 20 feet of water. Eventually we headed East into Johnson Key Channel. Anchoring in the Keys is pretty much like camping in the dessert. You just stop and throw out your anchors. The water was eight feet less than the depth we travelled all day. In Maine it could be several hundred feet.

It was a glorius time at anchor. Light winds, azure water, large swirls in the water that could be Tarpon or sharks. No swimming here. Nighttime brought a crystal clear sky, and temps down into the upper 60's. Flat water aided in a peaceful nights sleep, although I have yet to break the habit of waking after four hours. It is a maritime rule that disaster always waits at least four hours after you fall asleep. I know this is the point that I usaually relate some disaster, but I have turned over a new leaf. It was a pleasant night.

Casual breakfast and the ceremonial black coffee and talk. We still have not outgrown the joy of just talking. This is another travelling day, so we hauled those babies out of the water, and ramped up to 6.7 knots. There was very little wind, and the seas were correspondingly still. This allowed us to cruise at 6.9 knots, when yesterday at the same RPM we were doing 5.5.

Our next stop was Middle Cape, part of Cape Sable in the Everglades National Park. This was outside the Keys, and good old fshioned mainland.

We anchored in some hefty wind and waves, then dinghied in to the beach with Charlie. The beach is several miles long, and littered with sea shells. The only people on it were a father and son camping. They had come in a open fishing boat. The father was fishing off the beach when we arrived. The son loved Charlie, and Charlie responded by digging a five foot diameter hole in the beach with more enthusiasm than a riverbed full of salmon in Anchorage.

He also did his plop into the ocean and lie in the water to cool off. He was home! This was so much like his Savannah Beach in Virgin Gorda, BVI. On our way back to the dinghy, we passed the father still fishing, only now he had something on the line. His 30 pound test line still required a lot of precise rod bending and reeeling up the slack to bring it closer and tire it out. Eventually we saw that it was a ray with about a two foot wingspan. This could be one of the reasons for all the seashells.

We made it back to the boat, and enjoyed another gourmet meal that Marilyn routinely turns out. Anchoring in the Gulf of Mexico, we were counting on the accuracy of the weather report that called for smooth water and less than 56 knots of wind. We had 10 knots, and a very rolly anchorage. Late at night, the anchors dragged and I had to reposition. SHortly thereafter the wind and seas died.

The net day brought a more Northwesterly coast as we were just outside the Everglades boundary and headed for Pavilion Key, about 30 nautical miles. We arrived early afternoon, and anchored in 9 feet of water. This time checking the tides, were were in for a four foot drop to low tide around, 6:30 in the morning. Decisions, decisions...

I woke at 0400h, collected the anchors, and motored at 3.9 Knots into eleven feet of water. I then set course for Marco Island and began the seven hour trip. Was glad when the sun rose, so I could actually see what may be in the water ahead.

Marco is a very precise community. Everything is just right. The people in boats actually obeyed the No Wake signs, which was unnerving after Key "Wild" West. We anchored in the Marco River Oh, the children are above average.

We dinghied into Rose Marine this morning and for $5.35 we were ble to tie-up for 24 hours. This allowed us to walk to shop and deposit some of our ubiquitous trash.

Tomorrow we will do the same, as I need a propane refill, and Marilyn needs to walk Charlie and see the sights. The nerest Ace Harware is 3.7 miles away.

Our medium to long term plan is to stay her for a couple or more days to complete some projects, then travel the 33+ miles to Sanibel, and hopefully make the cut to allow us anchorage on the inside. We will take a leisurely cruise up the inside of both Sanibel and Captiva before circling East to come down Fort Myers and then find a marina to tie up for a week. This will give us the first marina since Moorehead City, NC back in October.

We may extend our time along Sanibel/Cativa, as we don't need to head back toFort Pierce until April. The marinas around Fort Myers are dicey, but set expectations to not be disappointed. Also, how bad can a marina be if all the reviews revolve around rum?

Anyways, have not shoveled any snow off the deck, so could be worse. ;>)

Paid the Tab

20 February 2021 | Man of War Harbor Key West, FL USA
wil boisvert | windy
Out of the mouth of babes. I logged a whining noise from the drive shaft the night we anchored of Rodriguez Key. The next morning we motored for about an hour before we saw a significant reduction in speed from 6.8 to 4.5 knots at the same engine RPM. Decided to turn around a get to anchorage inside of Tavernier Key under sail. I was not chancing running the engine until I knew more about the cause.

We slowly entered the anchorage with 10 knots of wind. This is too low to tack with just the head sail, so we jibed. Jibing loses more ground than tacking, but with patience we made a spot that was promising.

Promises, promises. The was enough weeds in the sand/clay to clog the Danforth and Fortress, and we eventually dragged. We made one more try for a sandy anchorage. This took multiple runs and jibes, including very close to another boat and a very slow speed. We found a spot just beyond and set both anchors quickly.

Inspecting the situation, it was clear we had a transmission fluid leak, though where from, was not clear. I keyed on the underside of the transmission in the most inaccessible position. Maybe I would get to use the 1.5 ton chain hoist after all...

Practicality saved the day, and the plan formed to get more transmission fluid. If this solved the propulsion issue, then we could nurse the problem until Key West, where more capable people could repair it.

The next morning we took the dinghy 2.4 NM over 3-4 ft of water. Eventually, we made Snappers Restaurant, where we tied up. We Uber'd to Advance Auto in Key Largo. I grabbed a gallon of transmission fluid. Thought about less, but chose more.

The dinghy ride back provided the opportunity to see an Eagle Ray in seven feet of water pass under out eight foot dinghy. We don't see that in Maine.

Reached the boat, quickly refilled the transmission, and verified that we once again had propulsion. Weighed anchor faster than you can say "weigh anchor". Back on the road again.

Motored at 7 knots w/o headsail. Around noon lost some propulsion. I never pass up the opportunity to straddle a hot engine in rolling seas, so added another couple of pints of transmission fluid. We were back in business, with the devil adding a little more to our tab.

We made Long Key and anchored for the night. I made note of the 65 foot bridge, as that shortcut would trim 5 days off our return trip. Quiet night.

Next day, more transmission fluid and port beam rolling seas. Again around noon more fluid. We made Pye Key and anchored so far from shore, that it made a Mainer like me nervous. However, we were in 8 feet of water.

Next day was the last leg to Key West. Travel was the same as the last two days, with one exception. The devil asked to have the tab paid.

We made the turn at Key West and went into neutral while I readied our dock line for Key West Bight Marine where we had a slip for four days.When ready I slipped it into key and nothing. No propulsion, I added the last couple pints of transmission fluid, but still nothing. We were just a half mile away...

Inspection showed the forward half of the shft coupling had come away fropm the transmission. What?! How? Why? Why now?

Nothing left to do but call TowboatUS for the eighth time this voyage. Oh, almost forgot about the devil and our tab. Seems the marina will not allow one to be towed into the slip, reservation cancelled. Through many calls, we were towed to Mark's Marine Deisel on Stock Island. We "tied up" to a large menacing cement wall, with a four foot climb to get out of boat.We were there for three days. The replaced the coupling lock nut, the transmission rear seal, and most importantly aligned the engine and shaft, something Shearwater forgot to do.

With the devil paid in full, we motored to Man of War harbor off Key West. Anchored over a rocky bottom, with a hit or miss holding. We have been here for seven days, while I FINALLY fixed the alternator! We also took dinghy into town many times to sample restaurants, shop and most importantly give Charlie some land time.

Big winds the next 30 hours. We will keep anchor watch, because of the bottom, previous incidents of anchor dragging, and boats immediately aft by a couple hundred feet.

Will work on finalizing the mizzen repair tonight and tomorrow. We hope to dock for fuel, water and a pump out Monday morning. After that we can start on the next chapter of this voyage, the one where everything works.

Rodriguez Key

06 February 2021
wil boisvert
We left Coconut Grove(Miami) at 0730. We were offshore of Cape Florida Light on Key Biscayne at 0900. It was cloudy, threatening rain and light winds for most of the trip. It wasn't when it was raining and windy.

This was the first day in which we were able to use the "refurbished" autopilot. Works great and very quiet, unlike the old relays that would loudly click every activation.

It is great to finally be at the Keys. We are just East of Key Largo's southern tip and just west of Rodriguez Key. This protects us from the S and SE 10-15 knot winds tonight. There are weeds below in the 8.5 feet of water, and it is highly recommended that you anchor in sand for better holding. I am watching us drift about and we seem to be keeping a roughly 90 ft radius around the estimated anchor position. That's about 60 ft of scope and 30 ft of boat (bow to GPS).

As always, I am hyper about anchor holding. We are 0.1 ftg short of high tide and 0.6 ft above low, so tide is not significant. Wind of 15 knots will be, as well as the "chance of thunderstorms" tonight...

The alternator was not charging today. The alternator may be bad, or putting the voltage sense wire on the house batteries may not complete the proper circuit with the alternator. Something to keep me from being bored.

The autopilot worked as previously mention until I disabled it to maneuver a boat, then attempted to re-engage. The control head may have gotten wet. It is in the engine compartment drying, and will try it in the morning.

Tomorrow, Sunday, will be 5 knots of wind and flat seas. We have 29 NM to the next anchorage at Long Key (just short of Marathon). Looking to anchor by 1530, so as to see the bottom.

We have three days planned from Miami to Key West.


The dawn comes

02 February 2021 | Lake Boca Raton
wil boisvert
Today is February 2, 2021. It is 02:12 in the morning, 46 degrees, and I find it interesting. I have been awake for a couple of hours listening to the 18-25 knot wind rush across the lake to jerk Sereine on her anchors. I can't help remember the night, months ago, at Mile Hammock Bay, North Carolina. It was also windy, and the botttom was mud. Sereine's anchors did not hold well then. Tonight, in Lake Boca, we hold. WE HOLD!

This is the 24th day here on the lake. We certainly did not plan a stay this long, and we are running low on fuel and water. The whole cannibalism thing has been shelved as being a bit premature, and in bad taste. For once, I can claim that was an unintientonal pun.

During these 24 days, we have managed a lot of waiting, spending precious time with friends and relatives, and performed maintenance on Sereine. Yesterday, we have solar power from two new 100W panels and charger controller, refrigerator cool enough to call a refrigerator, and something near and dear to my heart, a working autopilot. The last bit involved a non-reduntant array of inexpensive devices (power relays) to achieve a responsive and reliable control of he hydraulic pump.

It is with some trepidation that we once again thrust ourselves into another leg of this classic adventure. This morning around 0730h we will pass under the Boca Inlet bridge, out to sea and on our way to Biscayne Bay and Coconut Grove. We are not sure of what we will find beyond some dear friends, fuel and water. We hope to grab a mooring, posibly with launch service. We may have to anchor.

I hope to get into a rhythm of blog entries, more frequent, reflective of better times, unencumbered by disaster, and filled with halcyon days. Failing that, there is always pirates, treasure and very large fish.

Day 9 at Lake Boca

16 January 2021 | Lake Worth, Florida
wil boisvert
Okay, skipping over the obvious fact that I am horrible at keeping this blog updated, we finally left Fort Pierce, Florida. We were both anxious about being back on the water. I was desperately trying to remember how to sail...

Some trepidation as we motored down the Intra-coastal Waterway(ICW) towards Lake Worth. I was feeling a periodic hum/vibration every half second. It was VERY similar to what we experienced before the SHINY.

Once we made Lake Worth, we anchored SE of Peanut Island just of the inlet. Sanding bottom, significant breezes and strong current. We put two anchors down.

The next morning we headed out the inlet. It was a great day with lots of sunshine and fairly flat seas. The vibration from the driveshaft was gone, causing me to think I had caught something on the shaft/prop, which came off in the current the previous day.

We motor/sailed to Boca Inlet (approx 50NM). At times we hit 8.6 knots. The inlet is very narrow, We kept to the east side of the lake, and anchored in the NE corner in 9 feet.

The past nine days have been spent visiting and enjoying the hospitality of Marilyn's cousin and her husband. Lots of boat shopping and projects.

We will be here a few more days to finish projects and reposition. Some items ordered have not arrived yet.

Visited with friends and back to the boat after sunset.

Today is the day

06 January 2021 | Hutchinson Island Fort Pierce Florida
wil boisvert
Enjoying the weatheryesterday then off to Archie’s a pet friendly outside restaurant with karaoke.

Packing up and running some last minute errands this morning. Waiting for the call that says the boat is launching.

We so need to be moving on.
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Created 15 November 2020

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