Sailing South on Solitude

John, Penni & Timmy

Windy Day

We traveled from Melbourne to Titusville today. It was a distance of around 35 miles. We did not rush our morning and left around 11am. We figured we would still arrive in Titusville before 6. We would then anchor and dinghy in to take Timmy for a walk. It was a super day. The tide was with us from the start and the wind was steadily around 12 - 15knots. We made 6-7 knots the whole way. I enjoyed helming and tried to get the speed up. We were heeling nicely at times. And then, without warning, it happened. We had been hoping for this the entire trip but it seemed impossible. It nearly happened a couple of times, but not quite. It had happened for all our friends, but never for us. We overtook another sailing vessel. I know! You didn't think it possible! We had overtaken a kayak on one occasion but I still think that was only because he was fishing, John disagrees. But this! This was a definite overtake of a sailboat similar size to Solitude. Made our day! It made a windy day all the more worth it. The waves were a little choppy so it made going moving around the boat a little tricky for me. The wind was noisy so there was not much conversation going on between us. The ICW looks wide at this point but the channel remains fairly narrow. There were a couple of bascule bridges but both opened on demand so there was no waiting around. We got to our anchorage early and decided to take a mooring ball that gave us a position closer to the marina. Just as well. We had debated whether the $20 was worth it, but decided it would save us $5 to moor our dinghy and we could use their facilities. We prepared the dinghy, put the engine on, loaded ourselves up and started the engine. It powered up, then suddenly stopped. We tried again and the same thing happened. We circled the boat keeping the engine on low power and managed to keep it going. John looked at me. I persuaded him to risk it and we headed to the marina. It would be a long slow row back if the engine gives up, but I am an optimist and it is John who would have to row. We managed to reach the marina even if our speed was a little pathetic. We tied up, Timmy did his business and we headed to the store to get a few provisions. The closest store was called 'Save a Lot'. I imagined it would be a bit like Costco and joked that it should be called 'Spend a Lot'. I was wrong. This is the place to go if you need to save money. Nothing organic. No name brands. Meats looked a little suspect. We got some necessities and left, saving a lot. It was a nice walk for Timmy and we nearly forgot about our engine woes until we got back to the dinghy. Optimism was the word of the day so we loaded the shopping, Timmy and ourselves into the dinghy and started the engine. Then restarted the engine. Then got the oars out as we drifted purposefully but not intentionally towards a large powerboat. Whilst rowing, John was then able to start the engine again and keep it on embarrassingly low revs. We limped out of the marina smiling and holding our heads high as if we thought it was cool to motor out at rowing speed. We considered every inch that we got closer to Solitude as a bonus. We were grateful the wind had dropped so the waves were not pushing us back. We made it to Solitude, put the engine away and determined to forget about it. Having just fixed the alternator, still working on the generator, we cannot face another battle today.