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

Settled for Summer

31 May 2020 | Indiattown on the hard
We made three trips up to Indiantown this past week. We had two full days of rain which have brought the water levels in the marina up quite a bit. We could have used that last week. LOL
We managed to get the fridge defrosted, all the provisions off, removed gear that doesn’t take the heat well, covered the teak and dingy and washed the interior with vinegar and water. We’ve plugged the thru hulls with steel wool and covered the ports and hatches. It was beastly hot work the weather has definitely set into its summer pattern. Hot hot hot and humid with thunderstorms most every afternoon. We’ll be going up to check on her every week or so.
The move to the condo has been mostly quiet. It has been a challenge to find spots for everything and the closets are bulging at the seams. The sails are still at the loft, I could let them keep them for the summer. LOL Not sure if they would charge us storage.
We’ve been staying low key since we arrived. I braved Publix for a grocery run and we had a contactless trip to Wal-Mart. The captain has picked up an ear infection from some place that got bad enough for him to call the Doc. You know it really hurts if he considers calling the doc. She did a virtual visit with him and put him on some antibiotics that seem to be working. I’ve been trying to do some kind of activity every day, been our walking a couple of mornings and using the exercise bike. It would be really easy to be a slug in front of the tube. Our plans are still up in the air regarding travel north. We’ll get through June here and assess again the first part of July. Unless something exciting happens the blog will go on hiatus. Plans for next season are in the same flux as our trip north. Stay well and safe all and lets all pray for some sense of normalcy to return sooner rather than later.
The picture is of the travel lift team sliding Light Reach into her slot on the hard. Scary how close it is to the boats on either side. It is a real skill to drive one of these monsters.

Summer Haul Out

21 May 2020 | Indiantown Florida
We were scheduled for haul out at 10:00 but the 8:00 boat canceled. We got bumped to 09:00. There was one sailboat ahead of us, a single hander who had come in shortly after we did yesterday. We had gotten up and had coffee and I was getting the boat cleaned up while I had the luxery of hot water from the tap. I was in the midst of cleaning the salon when Scott yelled to me to come and help with the lines. We needed to move Light Reach around the corner and into position for the travel lift. I hastily closed up the ports and made sure the sinks were plugged. We learned that lesson last year, when they power washed the boat and the nasty bottom growth was forced up the sinks into the interior.
With the help of the single hander whose name I never got, we manhandled Light Reach out into the . Using the lines Scott had rigged we pulled her into position from shore. Scott hopped aboard shut the thru hulls and made sure she was buttoned up for her bath. He had no sooner finished his tasks than the lift arrived. Haul out went well and soon they were spraying 8 months of sludge and grunge off her bottom. We followed the lift up to the yard to Light Reach’s summer home. She is way out in God’s country this year! It took no time for them to block her and by 10:00 she was on stands and the lift was off to its next job.
We both got on board and finished up the work we had to do. We’ll make several more trips up in the next week to get her settled and things buttoned down for the summer.

The picture is Light Reach in the slings just as she was hauled. Note the dirty bottom.

Traveling up river

20 May 2020 | St Lucie River
We left Stuart with very mixed feelings today. If it weren't for hurricane season we would stay put on our sweet mooring. However the thought of staying aboard during a named storm is more daunting than the risk of Covid-19.
Rumor had it that the water was lower than normal and a trip to Indiantown on Monday to drop the car off confirmed those ruminations. There was considerable beach in the marina basin. Scott stopped by the office to confirm our haul and to inquire for a dock space today. We had originally planned on spending the night at the docks by the St Lucie lock. Our reservation was canceled because they decided against opening the park. It was originally scheduled to open on the 18th but has been pushed out to the 1st of June. Fortunately for us the rush to Indiantown has slowed considerably and they had room for us on the face dock.
We decided to unload as much gear as possible last week to get our water line up as much as possible because of the skinny water. We took the life raft to the condo, a considerable amount of weight, about 80 pounds. And a good amount of canned provisions were removed along with a plethora of other bits and bots. When we completed the purge we actually raised the line a couple of inches. We also were pumped out yesterday and so the holding tank is empty. In a rare move Scott has decided we will tow the dingy to keep that weight off the bow. We did take the motor off and mounted it on the rail.
We had also been warned that the normally low spot just before the Palm City bridge was bumped by an Island Packet that had left earlier in the month. High tide today was at 10:24 so we timed our departure to coincide with a rising tide as we passed through that area. We dropped the lines at 09:30 and began our trek up the river. We saw 6.5 ft of water as we passed over the low spot. We were at a +0.9 on the tide table when we passed not a lot of water for nearly high tide. Traversing at low tide would have been dicey.
We arrived at the lock a bit after 10:00 and were told that we would need to wait for the lock to lower to our level. The lock is being limited to two boats that must be 50 feet apart to lock through. The lock keeper wasn't sure if both of the power boats that were ahead of us were locking through or not, We would have to wait to see if we could lock through or wait for another cycle. As it turned out the one power boat was just fishing and we were able to go through with the other power boat. The lock keepers have been instructed to do zero contact locking so we had to grab the lines from the wall of the lock as opposed to having them tossed to us. After chiding the captain for our slow entry the lock keeper warned us that the turbulence might push us back and that I should pull up on the bow line. I much prefer going down as opposed to up in a lock. We were raised the 14 feet that would bring us level with the St Lucie canal and after about 45 minutes we were on our way.
The remainder of the trip was quiet and uneventful. The water level was noticeably lower than what we have experienced in the past. The railroad bridge at Indiantown was in the open position and after confirming with the bridge tender that it was safe to pass we glided by it.
The entrance to the marina was a bit disconcerting. We had been instructed that the deepest water was right up the middle and to tie up to the face dock just past the sailboat that was already there. The depth guage was reading 3.5 when we came in but we didn't hit, silt? , or whatever in the water? Not sure, by all intents we should have been hard aground at that reading. Gary gator was sunning himself on the new beach on the starboard side as we came in. We got to the dock without any real problems although we did bump one of the pilings with our anchor. The total trip took just over 5 hours, not bad1
Once tied off we hooked up the electric and pulled out our fans. It was hot and very little breeze was to be had. I tidied up the boat and stowed our gear while Scott got us set with the office and prepped to bring the dingy up on the bow. She came up surprisingly well and we secured her to the bow for her summer rest.
The car was already packed full of gear and what remaining space was left soon full. We spent the remainder of the day getting Light Reach ready for her haul out. We had sundowners in the cockpit and dinner down below and were in bed by cruisers midnight.

The picture was taken as we came up the river,not the sandy beach.

Hoping for rain

14 May 2020 | Stuart Fl
Sally | dry
We heard reports that the water level at Indiantown was quite low. As is the level in Lake Okechobee so there isn't any water coming into the canal. We decided to take a ride down to the marina to assess the situation. The water level is down quite a bit. This makes for a bit of pucker factor as we need a bit more than 5 feet. Scott spoke to Debbie in the marina office who assured him that there was 6 feet if you stay in the center when approaching the marina. Should be interesting, we are scheduled to haul in 7 days. Debbie assured Scott that she would notify us if the level dropped below navigable depths. Fingers crossed that it does not. Pray that we get 7 straight days of rain to bring up the levels!

Our intention is to leave here next Wednesday, make our way through the lock and then spend one night at the docks just past the lock. We had made a reservation and all seemed well until yesterday when we received notice that the docks were to remain closed. At least they refunded our money.

There is room to anchor for the night on the opposite side of the canal from the dock which we may do. Or we might see if Indiantown has a spot on a dock for that night with enough water to keep us afloat. Normally we'd just get up at first light and make the trip in one day. But nothing is "normal" in the days of pandemic. The lock is operating under a limited schedule and we aren't sure we could get to Indiantown and make our scheduled 11:00 AM haul time. It all makes for more stress in an already overstressed routine.

The marina has, as of Monday, relaxed some of the restrictions put in place. Contractors are now allowed on Wed and Thurs. A rule that is definitely not being followed. We've seen them every day in the past two weeks. They're supposed to check in the office and have a temp check done but few do.

The bathrooms for the coffee house have been reopened and a half dozen tables have been placed on the porch and patio. The avocado toast crowd is out in droves. None of them with face masks, nor do they practice social distancing guidelines. Because the shop offers free wifi it's a popular spot to squat for hours on end.

We try to get in early, get our errands done and scurry out to the boat with as little contact as possible.

We have made two trips to the condo to offload some stuff that we won't need between now and haul out. We were pleased to see that the guard gate is now manned 24/7. I'm not sure what the procedure is if you're having work done or visitors. We'll find out when we take up residence again. All the common areas with the exception of the laundries are closed. We did notice that many of the snowbirds are still there. Since most are from the tri-state area, and with the virus so prevalent there, and considering their age it isn't surprising that they have extended their stays.

We feel so fortunate to have replaced the A/C unit last fall. It will make it so much easier to keep our distance.

Today was the first time in over a month that either of us has been inside a store. We went to Harbor freight to get a tarp to cover the dingy while we're on the hard. Of course we picked up a few other things while we were there.

Other happening since the last update. The sails have been removed, always a bit of a sad task. We took them to Mack to have them inspected and folded. It's a bit of an expense but good for the sails to be properly stored and folded.

Still up, cleaning the dingy bottom. That is going to be a ridiculous chore. It hasn't been done since late Jan. We Procrastinated and now we will pay the price.

We've a car rented for Monday so we can drop ours at Indiantown before we head out. We felt it was a safer option than using Uber. I'd like to get another order from the butcher shop,but that may wait until after we get the fridge at the condo up and running. We'll have to make a few trips back up after we are hauled to get the boat settled for the summer. I've started washing down the interior with vinegar and water.

The weather has been pleasant and the boat is cozy and comfortable. We both hate to see this season end. Right now we have no idea if we will make it north this summer. We have no place to self quarantine for 14 days. Unless the guidelines change it isn't looking good. That makes me terribly sad, though I know it's for everyone's well being. Stay well and safe my friends.

The picture is of the mooring field taken towards the marina. Can you see all the empty moorings?

Waiting it Out

24 April 2020 | Stuart FL
Sally | getting ready to storm
I imagine your lives are very similar to ours on Light Reach. Our space is most likely a bit smaller but our activities are about the same. We cook, clean,read, listen to music, binge watch by streaming videos and a wee bit of network tv.

We remain on the mooring in Stuart. It still seems the best choice for us. We have a scheduled haul out date of May 7. Currently we are thinking of seeing if we can extend it by 2 weeks. Martin County has seen many less cases of the virus than West Palm where the condo is located. It will depend on if the marina can alter the schedule. We definitely want to be out of the water by June 1.

We are still going ashore each morning for the usual chose, laundry, showers, and to bring supplies out. Anything non perishable stays in the car trunk for a minimum of 24 hours. Perishables get a wipe down or repackage before being stored. We've washed our hands to the point where I think my fingerprints have disappeared!

More boats have left and the mooring field has many empty moorings and several of the boats on moorings have no occupants. We're pretty alone out here.

We have enjoyed watching a pair of ducks take up residence on the catamaran moored next to us which is unoccupied by humans. I'm sure the owners won't be happy when they return as they're leaving quite a mess. No ducklings yet but Scott thinks they may have nested in the boat’s dingy.

We also marvel at a family of 6 living on a boat that is less than 30 ft. I don't know how they manage to keep their sanity.

The kids scamper all over the boat like monkeys. They get along famously with one another. The oldest beng about 12 and the youngest about 3 and so precocious. She has one decibel level and that is loud. They do get into mischief and Dad reads the riot act. They have two kayaks that are put to much use. Currently grounded from since they somewhat intentionally capsized one this week. They wear their PDFs when in them. Mom home schools them even when things are normal. They have made us smile so many days just watching their antics.

And so we wait trying not to get too involved with the news and the craziness of the political posturing. Hoping you are all well and safe.

The captain just called Indiantown, we were able to push out the date for haul out to May 21.

The picture is of the family’s boat.

Sheltering in a place that floats

09 April 2020 | Stuart Fl
Sally | Windy
Two weeks and a day since the last update. We are well, touch wood, and remain on board in the mooring field in Stuart. Very few boats have left and when one does its mooring is quickly covered to insure no new boats come into the marina.

Florida remains on lockdown during this crisis. We've pretty much turned the news off . Scott checks it on his phone to see if there are new edicts and updates me. The numbers continue to rise and we pray that they slow soon, so many people it breaks my heart. We are supposed to wear masks when we go out now.

Some of our better angels must have been watching over us, because I actually have my sewing machine, a travel iron and a bit of 100% cotton fabric on board. That is rather unusual because I normally sew at the condo. I found a pattern on Line and spent this past Sunday making us 4 masks. Material is getting hard to come by, but I did manage to purchase two more yards that I've yet to sew.

We had begun to run low on fresh produce, dairy, and bread. Jessica had a good experience with getting an order with drive up at Wal-Mart so we decided to give it a try. I was able to select the Stuart store and place an order on line. They didn't have everything we needed but almost. Not surprisingly paper goods, disinfectants and sanitizer we're not available. The biggest issue was scheduling a pick up time. The website only schedules one day out. This means you have to be an early bird get a slot. The site did save the items in our cart. I was awake in the wee hours of the morning to schedule a slot on Monday. They send you an e-mail when your order is ready. You're supposed to be able to use their app to tell them you're on the way but for some reason I couldn't get it to work. It isn't really crucial as when we pulled into the pick up area there is a phone number to call. That went very smoothly. We called and minutes later an associate came out trundling our groceries behind him. He loaded them into the trunk. We paid never touching the card reader and we're off, easy peasy. Scott had a mask and gloves on for the transaction.

On our way back to the marina we ordered drive thru take out from a local BBQ place to have for dinner. That turned out to be delicious and it was so nice not having to cook for a change.

We try to find something meaningful to do each day. I've put two coats of cetol on the coach roof teak. It needs another coat and I would like to put a couple more coats of clear over that.

Scott has been giving me tutorials on boat systems and dingy driving lessons. Things I should have learned years ago. I've never been able to start the 4 hp Yamaha, I just need some technique change and to put my bum into it!

Today we did laundry. It had been awhile. Only one person allowed in so we I started it washing and we sat in the car between wash, dry and fold.

We do dingy into shore each morning to take in trash, pick up water and use the facilities, all with our masks on. We don't see many folks out but keep our distance when we do. If we chat with folks they are in their dingy and us on the boat or vice verse keeping our social distance. There are remarkably few people to talk with. Most folks on the docks are hunkered down in their boats.

We plan to stay aboard until things return to some semblance of a new normal. Hoping that happens before the heat drive us out and before hurricane season. Praying that all our family and friends stay well and safe.

On a happier note we have just celebrated the 10th anniversary of purchasing Light Reach. And on Saturday April 11 we'll celebrate the 11 th anniversary of welcoming our Granddaughter Chloe.

The picture shows the teak with its new coat of varnish. If you look at the toe rail you can see what it looked like before. I'm not anxious to start the toe rails but that may be next if we are sheltering in place through May.

And a shout out to Paul thanks for your comments on our last post. It's nice to read a voice of reason.
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