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

20 November 2018
14 November 2018 | Sunset Bay Marina, Stuart Fl
10 November 2018 | In transit
09 November 2018 | Indiantown Marina
08 November 2018 | Indiantown Marina
07 November 2018 | Indiantown Marina
05 November 2018 | Boynton Beach FL
27 September 2018 | Hilton Head Island
22 September 2018 | Falls Lake NC
16 September 2018 | Chenango Valley
10 September 2018 | Keuka Lake State Park
05 September 2018 | Rochester NY
23 July 2018 | Gilbert Lake State Park
22 July 2018 | Upstate NY
14 July 2018 | Rochester NY
10 July 2018 | Hilton Head Island
16 June 2018 | St Lucie Canal
14 June 2018 | En route to Indiantown
07 June 2018 | Stymied in Stuart
21 May 2018 | Boynton Beach FL

Hanging on the Ball

19 January 2020 | Sunset Bay Stuart
Sally | Typical of the time of year
The winter weather patterns have set in with a vengeance. It’s a merry dance around the mooring ball as the wind clocks and Light Reach with it. Generally each cold front will bring strong winds from the Northeast. A couple of days of those followed by equally strong winds from the east that eventually clock south and then west before the next front arrives. At least the view changes with each wind change. It can be a little disconcerting because generally the direction of the boat changes while we are sleeping. You have to get out of bed to know what direction the bow is pointing. Ha.

The period of southerly winds is usually the shortest and the calmest. Those are the “windows” people moving to the Bahamas look for to make the crossing. This year the windows have been teeny. We’d like to get down to Miami and the keys if the weather will allow it. For now, we’re glad to have a mooring and Stuart is a great place to be.

We walked into town to visit the farmers market and have breakfast this morning. They have replaced all the decking on the river walk, which was a surprise for us. After the past two days of high winds it was nice to be able to get off the boat and stretch our legs. Jan and Kevin have asked us over for happy hour this evening and the marina is showing a movie tonight with pizza and popcorn. It's a good life.

This past week we did a good size provision run, polished some interior teak, and fixed an electrical issue with one of our 12V sockets. How we manage to get all this done is amazing! LOL the days do fly.

The picture was taken while I was out walking. Oleander park is on the North Fork of the St Lucie River. Sunset Bay is across the expanse of water on the South Fork. You have to look hard to make it our on the opposite shore. Early in the morning the water can be quite calm, but once the sun is up the winds are up with it.

Sunday Brunch

12 January 2020 | Sunset Bay Stuart
Sally
The marina put on a brunch for us today. They supplied the food, danish, croissants, fruit and coffee. There were mimosas available for $1.00 but we skipped on those. They got a decent turn out and people hung around for several hours swapping stories. We sat at a table with Jan and Kevin and managed to spend several hours doing nothing but flapping our jaws. LOL
It rained several times while we were there. We had an umbrella over our table that saved us from getting wet.
After a bit Jan and Kevin headed out for a bike ride and to do some shopping,.We came back to the boat where I am typing this post and the Captain is reading. It has been rainy off and on today but at least the wind has abated a bit. Right now we’re getting pushed around more by current than wind. The picture is of a beautiful rainbow that appeared over the marina after one of the showers. It really does not do justice to the vivid colors we witnessed.

Stuart Boat Show

10 January 2020 | Sunset Bay Stuart
Sally | Partly cloudy with no chance of meatballs
The Stuart Boat Show is this weekend and we do love a good boat show so over the bridge we went on foot. The show was surprisingly crowded for a work day for most. We visited all of the tents, talked to a few vendors and ran into (not literally) a woman with whom I had gone to high school. We spent a few minutes catching up before going our separate ways. Small world indeed. There were loads of very expensive power boats both new and previously enjoyed, but nary a sailboat in site. This boat show is nowhere near as large as the ones in Ft. Lauderdale or Miami and caters more to fishing, water sports and cruising yachts. It is fun to see the beautiful boats and their price tags. We talked to some people in the Bahamas tent and were happy to hear that the Abacos are on their way to recovery and encouraging folks to visit.
After the show we hoofed back over the bridge to the marina. The winds have been pretty relentless and today was no exception. Since the coffee shop has been opened in the same building as the marina offices and lounge the foot traffic is very busy. It doesn’t leave much room for lounging on the Marina porch. It has certainly changed the marina’s ambience. I left Scott ensconced at a patio table while I walked down to Publix to pick up milk and bread. We were completely out of both. It’s not a far walk and we didn’t want to chance losing our parking space on boat show weekend. Afterwards we schlepped back to the boat where we reviewed the literature we’d picked up at the show.
We had a quiet dinner on board stuffed flank steak, one of the Captains favorites, and watched the game shows before heading off to bed at cruisers midnight. What a life!
Since I failed to take any pictures at the show here’s one of the program. 

Windy day on the mooring

09 January 2020 | Sunset Bay Stuart
Sally
Our first full day in Stuart was pretty quiet. Many of the folks at the marina we already know which is fun. We caught up with Lynn and Jim on Cat Tails, Linda and Mahlon on Just Ducky and Jan and Kevin on Aria III.
We shared a pizza on shore with Jan and Kevin which was great I didn’t have to cook.
As predicted the winds picked up last night and it’s blowing like stink. We’re rocking around a bit. The wind today is out of the east which is where this mooring field gets the most protection. We did make it into shore for a garbage run and it was remarkably calmer close to shore. We’ve have no plans for anything important today which is fine by us.

The picture was taken as we were approaching one of the four bridges we had to pass under coming east from the lock.

Locking thru

07 January 2020 | Underway to Stuart
Sally | Calm
We were both up before light, that happens when you are anticipating a voyage, even a short one. We got the boat straightened, had coffee and made preparations to leave. A little bit before 8:00 Scott unhooked the shore power and I got out the gear for traveling. The St Lucie lock requires you to wear a life jacket while locking through which was our first order of the day after leaving the dock. I dug out our harness style gear along with gloves to handle the lock lines. The weather was perfect almost no wind and dead calm. After saying good byes to our fellow boaters we slipped the lines, Tom guided us back from the dock as Scott put us in reverse. Easy peasy and that is not always the case! Thank you Tom!
I hailed the lock keeper to request an east bound locking. He needed to bring the lock level up so we waited the 10 to 15 minutes it took to fill the lock and open the gates. We slooooowly entered the lock, We must have seemed a little timid coming in because the lock keeper asked Scott if he was afraid. To which her replied Yes. It is a bit intimidating, Light Reach is slippery on any given day and getting her stopped can be a challenge. We had no real issues and soon had the lock lines around the cleats on the Starboard side. I was forward Scott aft and w tended the lines as we slowly lowered the 12 ft to the St Lucie river. Once lowered the east side gates were opened, we returned the lines to the lock keeper and made our way out. Total locking time was approximately 18 minutes from entry to exit.
It was a beautiful day to travel the river was calm and the sun was shining. The trip from the lock was unusually quiet. We passed only one sailboat headed west and one fishing boat, nice! As we approached the mooring field with binoculars out we could see it was very full. After a bit of searching we did locate an open mooring. Scott motored us right up on it and between the two of us we got a line through. We were both excited that we were able to get one as neither one of us really wanted to hassle with anchoring. This section of the river can be pretty rough no matter what direction the wind and having to watch an anchor did not appeal to either of us.
Once we got the mooring set up properly with lines Scott started preppeing the dingy. We needed to get her pumped up and off the front deck and into the water. We use a winch on the mast and one of the halyards to accomplish this task. Scott hauled had her up while I maneuvered her over the life lines, just then the winch slipped and she went crashing into the water. No injuries except to pride and the only concern was had we damaged the dingy to the point she was taking on water.
Scott hopped down in and bailed her out and we waited. Dodged that one she was fine had only scooped some in as she landed which was thankfully right side to.
Getting the motor on went much smoother and we loaded the necessary gas, documentation and safety gear to make her legal. We climbed in and were off to the marina office to make the mother ship a registered guest of the facility. We did sign up for a month. It's more economical to do that and with the lack of available mooring spots the bird in the hand falls into play. The weather hasn't been all that cooperative for Bahama's crossings and with Dorian wiping out the Abacos a number of folks are deciding to stay in the states this year.
I stayed behind at the marina while Scott Ubered back to the lock to pick up our car. That worked out perfectly and to cap our great day he found a parking spot. With the car taken care of we dinghyed back to the boat and settled the rest of the boat.
The picture shows just how calm our start to the day was. This was taken just after we left the lock.

final days at the dock

06 January 2020 | St Lucie Campground South
Sally | Cooler
Well didn't this week fly! We spent the week taking down our Christmas decorations, provisioning up in the event we have to stay at anchor for a while and catching up with cleaning and laundry. I gave the boat decks another good scrubbing while we still had water available and cleaned down below too. It has been so nice to have hot water on demand.
We took a trip down to the condo where I did the laundry and both of us had hair cuts. I've completed 4 of the 6 panels that will allow us to have a full enclosure for the cockpit. Been too windy to hang them up so far and we need to order some permanent fasteners. We filled the water tanks in preparation for leaving tomorrow. We rather hate to leave the place it has been such a pleasant place to stay. We decided to leave the car here while we move the boat. There was a small weather window to get to the Bahamas this week and we have heard that there are moorings available in Stuart. The plan is to pick one up and spend a month there. We can get an Uber back to the lock and bring the car to the marina. We are pretty much ready to leave by 8:00 tomorrow. Tom (Toucan Share) has offered to help us off the dock and the weather looks promising for moving to Stuart.

These guys were out wandering around the campground. Apparently they are rather shy and uncomman. Roseated Spoon Bills
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
About:
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