Life Afloat on SV Light Reach Two Sailors and a Sea Dog

05 April 2021 | Stuart Florida
02 March 2021 | Stuart Fl
01 February 2021 | Stuart
30 January 2021 | Boca Raton
29 January 2021 | Stuart Fl
21 January 2021 | Boynton
19 January 2021 | Stuart
29 December 2020 | Stuart F:
25 December 2020 | Sampe as we have been Ho Ho Ho
17 December 2020 | Stuart
16 December 2020 | Sunset Bay Stuart
14 December 2020 | Stuart Fl
13 December 2020 | Sunny Stuart
03 December 2020 | Sunset Bay
27 November 2020 | Stuart Fl
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16 November 2020 | Stuart Fl

Spring in Florida

05 April 2021 | Stuart Florida
Sally Stearns | Sunny Spring weather

Another month has managed to speed past. March was a quiet month for the most part. We did have a first in over a year when we went out to dinner at a sit down restaurant with my two older sisters, their spouses and one of our nephews and his daughter. It was a delicious rib place and a real treat to see family. We had a couple of really nice beach visits together while Mary and Gil were here. They’ve returned north and sister Abbie and her husband will leave the middle of this month.

The mooing field has been emptying out. It’s at about 50% capacity and of those only a few have an occupant on board. And the marina has not been spared the virus. Our friends on Toucan Share both contracted it. Tom had to visit the emergency room where thankfully they were able to get him treated. Veronica only had mild symptoms. We hadn’t seen them in a couple of weeks and had been wondering where they were. Tom has family living in Sturar who had also contracted it so they all stayed together to recover.

We’ve set the date for our summer haul out. We’ll leave here for Indiantown on May 12 with a scheduled haul on May 13. In the meantime we’ll enjoy our time mucking about on the boat. We haven’t got any big projects planned.

The picture is of the beautiful Grand Banks on the dock. That’s the boat that almost got wiped our when Mambo broke her mooring. Good news is all the moorings have been since inspected. Several have had weak parts replaced. We all sleep much better now.

That Whoosh was February flying by!

02 March 2021 | Stuart Fl
Sally Stearns | Sunny and Breezy
Well February certainly whipped by within the blink of an eye! We spent a good deal of it on land. First we traveled to the condo to watch the Super Bowl. We spent a couple of days there doing laundry getting groceries in addition to watching the game. We returned to the boat on the 8th with plans to return to the condo on the 18th in anticipation of Scott’s second Covid shot on the 19th. Mine was scheduled for the 22nd. We had heard that the second shot could have some side effects so we planned a couple of extra days in case either of us didn’t feel well after the second dose. We felt it would be best to be on land with all the amenities that entails if either of us were under the weather. Scott had no ill effects from his second dose. I wasn’t as lucky, and had a low grade fever, chills, headache and extrodinary tiredness for two days. The headache lingered on for 4. Still it will all be worth it to be able to go out without an extreme fear of contracting Covid. We have a 12 day wait period for the antibodies to build up to provide sufficient immunity. We will still be wearing masks, practicing social distancing and avoiding crowds. Supposedly you can still spread the virus even after vaccination as a carrier. Out of respect to our fellow still unvaccinated citizens we’ll stick to the CDC guidelines and comply. Neither one of us is in any rush to spend long periods of time inside with people we don’t know. Hair cuts and in store shopping will wait a bit longer.

We are looking forward to being able to have an outdoor dining experience, going to the beach and taking a few walks into downtown Stuart. Second big sister and her husband are coming to Florida this month and we hope to get together along with First big sis and her husband while they are here. It will be great to see them in the flesh. We’ve been Zooming once a week since the holidays. They have all been vaccinated so it should be a reasonably safe visit.

And we are absolutely looking forward to traveling north this summer and seeing friends and family. By then we hope they will all be vaccinated and we can have some lovely visits. I’ll probably torture the poor Grandgirls with my goings on about how much we missed them.

We returned to the boat on the 26th and quickly settled back into our routine. Poor Light Reach must have been some flock of birds resting place while we were gone. She was covered in bird poo, ewwwww. We brought out a bladder full of water and swabbed the decks. Such is the glamour of boat life.

Sunday was a day full of excitement. The Captain’s glasses decided to break, the bow fell off in his hand when he put them on. That put him in a mood, his second pair were at the condo. He did have another pair on board but a much older script. They’ll do until we get back to the condo in a week or so. He was able to glue the bow back into place but it’s a precarious repair.

The winds were piping out of the southeast with a steady 20 knots gusting to 25. We had just come back from shore and I was down below when I heard Scott shouting to come let him loose. George (SV Gracie) needs help. I ran up untied Scott and looked up to see George onboard SV Mambo (another cat) pushing Mambo off SV Lily Grace and frantically deploying Mambo’s anchor. Her mooring ball had broken loose from its anchor and Mambo was dragging through the mooring field headed toward A dock and a multimillion dollar motor yacht. Holy Sh*t. Scott got our dingy between Mambo and the motor yacht and was pushing her out and away from it. George had the anchor our which fortunately bit. By this time Mambo had drifted back enough and the folks on A dock were out to assess and help the situation. By the grace of God there was an open space on the dock between the two mega yachts and lines were tossed ashore to pull Mambo into the spot. Scott squirted the dingy out from the dock side of Mambo and with some shoving, pushing and a lot of luck they got her tied up.

The whole incident was serendipitous as George just happened to be in his dingy ready to head to shore when Mambo broke loose hitting Gracie in the process. He had the presence of mind to jump on her, start shouting and deploy the anchor. We had just gotten back from shore and Scott was able to help and there was an opening on the dock big enough for Mambo. There were some angels working with us that morning. Mambo was locked up tight as her owners hadn’t been around for a while. They were notified by the marina of what had happened. The damage to Gracie and Lily Grace was cosmetic and thank goodness she hadn’t hit the Grand Banks Trawler or brand new Mega yacht on the dock.

Yesterday we got an e-mail that the mooring will all be dived on and checked in the next few days. Thank goodness. We really do put a lot of faith in a mooring ball.

The picture is of Light Reach on her mooring, that little ball in the water behind her is the mooring ball of one of the other boats in the field. We tie a 14000 lb boat to one of those little balls. Not sure what that says about us.

Cold front coming

01 February 2021 | Stuart
Sally | Bouncy
One month of 2021 already in the books, even in trying times the days fly by. We are dong well. Both of us have had the first of the Pfizer vaccine and are scheduled for our second towards the end of this month.

The winter cold fronts are happening very frequently. They bring strong clocking winds. Today we have a steady 20 knots with gusts to 30 from the NW. That's the worst direction for the mooring field as the wind screams down the North branch of the river straight into the bay. Fortunately Light Reach takes it well but we do bounce around! We had to go ashore this morning, the captain was out of his favorite adult beverage and we needed water. We kicked the front tank last night. With winds this high predicted for a couple of days we bit the bullet and decided to haul out the water since we were going in.

We've been using contactless pick up at the package store which works really well. Afterward we stopped at the bagel shop's drive thru for breakfast.

The ride back to the mothership was boisterous and wet! It is supposed to get down into the 40's tonight, we aren't acclimated to that anymore. We'll hunker down with the cabin heater, put on our woolies, and I'm making a lentil stew for dinner. Stay warm and well everyone !

Picture is of the Happy Captain with his new motor.

Off to Boca

30 January 2021 | Boca Raton
Sally | Sunny in the 70's
We were up bright and early this morning . After setting the boat straight and gathering our gear we climbed in the dingy to row ashore. It was much calmer this morning thank goodness! We were about half way there when a Good Samaritan took pity on us and offered us a tow.

We hopped in the car and headed to BOCA BABY! (Credit to Fran Dresher
I took just a little over an hour to get there. The dealer Sea Sea Marine was located in a business park tucked back off the main roads. We would have never found it by happenstance. The guy that waited on us could not have been any nicer. He took the time to go over the engine with us. He put it in a bucket of water insured it started and went into gear. In addition to the engine we needed the proper hoses, gas tank and oils. He made sure we had everything we needed to be good to go when we got back to the marina. It was a good experience albeit a wallet lightening one!

Scott had suggested we stop at the condo on our return and take showers. We were going right through Boynton on our way. Boca is two towns south. Not one to turn down a chance to shower with copious amounts of water I was all for the idea! We grabbed some lunch to have while we were there as well.

We returned to the marina, grabbed a dock cart and unloaded the motor and gear. The installation went remarkably well and by 3 PM we were back aboard Light Reach. The new motor is quiet. Fingers crossed it gives us years of trouble free service.

The picture is of the place where we got the motor. It's a Mom, Pop and son operation. Some of the best kind.

RIP Dingy motor

29 January 2021 | Stuart Fl
Sally | Cold and blowing
We watched the Bills lose to Kansas City. We were sad but proud that they did so well this year. We came back to the boat on the 26th. On Thursday returning from our morning abulations the little Johnson motor hiccuped. We didn't think too much of it and went about our day. This morning she refused to start. The captain investigated the issue and found a broken throttle rod up inside the engine head. This little two stroke 3 HP engine is the one we bought from Roger and Sue when they swallowed the hook. We aren't exactly sure how old it is but quesstimate it at about 20 years. Finding parts may not be possible.

Scott wasn't happy but we have the 4 HP Yamaha that needed the carburetor cleaned. It had been giving us grief so we swapped it for the Johnson and added that job to the Captains list. It isn't a fun job and the captain was frustrated with the engine so it had gotten pushed down in priority. Today it popped to the top. Along with the carb job the little stinker had been jumping out of gear the last time we ran it. Armed with PB blaster, alcohol wipes and an arsenal of tools he set about the task.

The emission standards for these outboards have been made surprisingly rigorous through the years. They have incredibly tiny jets in the carb that easily gets plugged with whatever may end up in your gas. When Scott tore the carb apart he found quite a bit of rust in the chamber. WTF! That wasn't good how did it get in there? Water in the gas? Leak somewhere? We had no clue, but it sure as heck wasn't a good sign. He meticulously cleaned all the residue from the surface. Any specks of loose gunk can easily clog the jet. After reassembling the carb and installing on the engine he tackled the gear shift. No luck, he couldn't budge the shifter. It was firmly stuck in neutral.

Scott was beside himself. We had gotten a replacement carb for the engine a couple of years ago at a local marine supply/repair place, so we called them for advice. In a few moments we had a diagnosis and it wasn't good. The lower unit had packed it in. He had none in stock and wasn't going to be getting any.

The dingy is our car and we absolutely need the engine to get to shore and back. We weren't excited about the idea of buying a new engine but that seemed the best path. I got online and Scott got on his phone, neither of us were having much luck locating a dingy motor. Most places had large monster motors but no one seemed to have any outboards under 9 horse.

One of the folks suggested an online outfit. We looked them up and they did indicate they had motors in stock. Scott wanted to find out how long it would take to ship it and called the number listed. No answer.... Not wanting to pull the trigger on that until we had a shipping time we continued to look for something local.

We needed to go ashore and without a working motor Scott rowed us in. Rowing an inflatable is a God awful task. They really aren't intended to row. Add to that fact the wind was blowing like stink from the NW made the job that much harder. God bless him, he got us to shore and we ran our errands.

Sitting in the car with our phones we continued the search for another motor. We expanded the radius of the search to pretty much anywhere in Florida. Several places could order them but it would be March at the earliest that we would actually see it. Crap! The only ones we could find were Yamahas and after the last experience we were very hesitant to go that route. The current motor wasn't quite 6 years old.

In between calling marine businesses he kept trying the online place’s phone to no avail.

He finally found a dealer in New Smyrna that had a 4 horse Suzuki but he'd have to let the service manager give us a call back. We continued to search. After waiting and searching another hour Scott called the service manager at the New Smyrna place. They did have a motor but it was missing a part which he thought might arrive tomorrow but he wasn't sure. He said he’d call us when the part got there. Double crap!

After about 3 hours of frantic searching he hit gold with a small family business in Boca. They had a Honda 5 horse in stock. We'd had a Honda prior to the Yamaha and it had worked quite well. It wasn’t our first choice but at this point we would be happy to get an engine. It had gotten too late to pick the engine up today. They were open on Sat so Scott made arrangements to pick it up as soon as they opened.

We got lucky George (SV Gracie) was on shore and offered us a tow back to Light Reach. Thank you George!

The picture is the rocky mooring field. The picture doesn't really show just how rough it is out here. you can see where I've sanded the port side toe rail.


21 January 2021 | Boynton
Sally | Sunny and Spectabular
We returned to the boat on Monday. We would have just stayed at the condo until our Thursday appointment but since out original plan was to come back on Monday neither of us had packed to stay that long. We decided to come back on Wednesday and plan to stay through the weekend. Hoping that the cable will be back up to watch Sunday's game. Right now as I type the tech is here and the cable is on life support. He's on the phone with advanced tech support. This is not encouraging.
The cable tech has left and we are waiting for the picture to appear. Supposedly some power on high is going to fix the issue remotely. I have his cell number to call if we don't have video within 15 minutes. He seemed most anxious to be on his way. I suspect no appointment should last more than two hours and now he is behind schedule. Nothing is simple these days! We finally got it up and running yeah!!!

On a good news front Scott has an appointment to get his first Covid vaccine. We got an email yesterday with new instructions on how to register for an appointment. Each individual has to register separately. I sent both of ours within 3 minutes of one another. Scott's was first and I suspect within those three minutes thousands could have gotten ahead of me in the queue. You might think they would want all eligible people from the same address together. Of course trying to handle the logistics of getting everyone who wants to be vaccinated is not an easy task. I won't get started on what Scott thinks of the whole issue.

I suppose I should write some boat related stuff since this is a sailing blog. I've started the port toe rail. Scott has started repairs on the salon hatch. Were both enjoying sitting in the cockpit with books, puzzles and people watching for amusement. There is a good amount of activity at the marina. Last weekend was the Stuart boat show. I was surprised they held it and even more surprised that it was well attended. I guess lots of folks are a little more relaxed than we are. We have been sticking to what has pretty much been our routine since March.

The picture was taken one morning when we had a heavy fog which happens rarely.
Vessel Name: Light Reach
Vessel Make/Model: Pacific Seacraft 37
Hailing Port: Annapolis Md
Crew: Scott and Sally and missing our CSO India the wonder Schnauzer she sails on in our hearts
Scott and Sally met in college, married and lived the average dirt dweller life for years always somewhere near the water. We fell in love with sailing in the early 90's. Summer of 2014 we both retired and became full time cruisers. [...]
Extra: "I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky; and all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by." John Masefield
Light Reach's Photos - Main
August 2015 visit to Keuka Lake (New York Finger Lakes)
1 Photo
Created 2 September 2015