Eos has finally moved – at least a few miles
02 February 2012 | Fernandina Beach, FL
Sylvia - Warm and lovely
Again, I have been negligent in keeping up the blog and now have to catch up on what has been happening to us for the last 3 months. Wow, that is a long time. We were in Brunswick for 2 of the three months working on Eos, of course, and enjoying the holidays and all of the friends we met there. We celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Years Eve with other cruisers and had fine dinners and a great time. There were between 40-50 people for Thanksgiving dinner, 30-40 for Christmas and a hardy 15 or so for New Years Eve. We even managed to stay up until “the hour” – the first time in many, many years. What fun it was to sing Auld Lang Syne with new friends while thinking fond thoughts of friends of many years. The local Christmas boat parade was small – a dedicated group of 6 sail boats but they went all out and were quite festive with lovely lights as well as Santa and Mrs. Claus.
While in Brunswick there were the Wednesday night happy hours as well as smaller get togethers. I enjoyed the gatherings for Mexican Train/Chicken Foot dominoes while Bill would come along and read or stay busy on Eos. Sherri and Clyde on Morada and Ann and Lynn on Sea Tramp were gone for most of the time but we did get a couple of good games in after they returned.
We spent several lovely times with Jack and Diane on Moonglow. We discovered that we had the same taste in music and Bill and Jack were busy playing “How about…” for many singers, song writers, arrangers and bands. We even got some new music CDs. Lynne and Bob on Traveller and we even got to help Jack celebrate his 70th birthday. These ex-sail boaters took off together on their trawlers a few days before we left and we were sad to see them go. Jack and Diane are now on the west coast of Florida but Bob and Lynne are near Cape Canaveral (generator problems stopped them there) and we are hoping to get together with them when we get to Canaveral on our way south. And we so want to be able to connect again with Jack and Diane as well.
I had a squamous cell-carcinoma removed from my cheek and am now very conscientious about sunscreen and a hat. I never thought much of it all those years on the lakes in MN but the damage was done and I am lucky that they actually got the entire carcinoma removed when they took the tissue for the biopsy. They took a single slice of tissue later as part of the MOHS treatment but it came back negative so there wasn’t any more tissue that needed to be removed. I was lucky and now will be very careful. Take note all of you sailors and especially you northerners.
We also got our Soda Stream soda maker so we can make our own pop. It isn’t much cheaper than the cheapest you can find at the big box stores but the space savings is gigantic. All we have to have is the small machine, the CO2 bottles and the small bottles of syrup. It is just as good as we can buy and not having to deal with the empty cans is another big advantage.
Spanker has had all of her shots and all of the various papers and permits are ready for her entry into the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. So with the carcinoma, the soda maker, and Spanker’s papers we feel like we are truly cruisers now. These are things that many cruisers deal with and have on board.
We heard from Patric and Karrin on Artful Dodger – sailors we met in Nova Scotia. They were married in the Bahamas last year and were back in Canada but were looking at a boat for sale on our dock. We looked it over for them and sent them pictures. They were still deciding when Patric got a chance to got to S. Africa to work for a year so a new boat may be on hold for awhile. But because they were looking they had some other friends heading down the coast stop by and check the boat out as well. Doug and Cherry and Pino (their little Yorkie) stopped by and we had a nice but short visit with them. We were talking about hoping to put Eos on the hard in Fajardo, Puerto Rico next hurricane season and found out that Cherry has a condo on the island of Leyte just across from Fajardo that we may be able to rent. It would be so great to be able to have folks come see us there. We are 4th on the waiting list for a spot at Puerto del Rey and they are considering opening up some additional space so we are waiting to see if there are enough cancelations or if they open up new space. It will be a couple of weeks before we might now about the new space. If we can’t get in there we will have to decide whether to return to the States or ride out the season in Luperon, Dominican Republic (a well known hurricane hole). Time will tell.
For a while there was quite a little cadre of cruisers on our dock after many months of just George on Joybird and Bob and Renee on The Mary H. Jeanne and Doug came back and spent lots of hard work on the teak on Hawke. Duffy and Steve came in on Kat and Paul and Donna came in on Cavalier II. So for awhile there were gatherings right on our dock. Duffy and Steve were the first to leave, then Jeanne and Doug and then finally Paul and his brother Mike took off just before Christmas (Donna was in Canada and would meet them in the Bahamas). Bob had fallen and broken his hip and he and Renee were in a condo on St. Simons Island until his PT had gotten him to the place where he could get back on the boat. We had a lovely lunch with them at the condo before we left. So when we took off on Jan. 9. there was only George to see us off from our dock. Hawke, Kat and Cavalier II are all in the Bahamas now so we are in hopes we will meet up with them again somewhere.
George, by the way, was busy working on his mast while Bill was up ours re-installing our wind instrument. Here we were with an electric sheet winch to hoist Bill up and Paul handling a safety line while George at 86 hoisted himself up with his block and tackle and hung there for hours sanding and varnishing his mast. The man is amazing. But then we continue to meet people like that. We met an 84 year old live aboard woman here in Fernandina Beach who just had her knee replaced and was waiting for her daughter to come down and sail with her to the Bahamas on her almost 40 foot sailing catamaran.
We got together with Sherri and Clyde, John and Brenda, Geoff, Linda and Nellie and Ann Saturday night. Ann came over Sunday evening to the fuel dock where we were to tell us good-bye. She was a real help to us with her car and we hope we will meet her and Lynn again somewhere along the line. We left for Fernandina Beach at 0500 Monday since we needed to get down here to Tiger Point Boat Yard and Marina at high tide or we wouldn’t be able to get up the creek to their docks. We were tied up overnight and then the next day at high tide they put Eos in the well and pulled her out. She was soon blocked up and settled on the hard for the task of cleaning the paint off her bottom and putting on new. We had seen the work they had done on other boats and were comfortable leaving them to the job so rented a car that day and were off to visit the Robinsons in North Fort Meyers.
It had been almost a year to the date since we were last there for the Christmas grouper sandwich outing with Gary and Judy and Jay and Diane. That was when we got Spanker so she got another chance to thoroughly enjoy their lovely lanai for several days and be petted and pampered by the “godparents”. Jay and Diane flew in from Texas Thursday. Diane and Dick Grabow from MN were in FL again this year and the 8 of us rented a pontoon and had a lovely leisurely trip up the inner waterway then it was off to The Fish House for the grouper. The food was good and the company even better. It was a very relaxing and laid back visit. Judy and I hit the pool for some aqua-aerobics and we even got to see a couple of movies. Sunday Jay and Diane flew back to Texas and we drove back to Fernandina Beach on Monday. As Jay said who knows where we will meet next year for grouper.
The thought was that it would only be a week to scrape and paint the bottom BUT it turned out that the barrier coat under the paint was coming off. So that meant more to take off and a couple of epoxy coats to be applied before the bottom paint could go on. Great, more $$$ and time. But it needed to be done and we are very pleased with the job the folks here at Tiger point have done. The weather didn’t help a couple of times but work progressed as quickly as it could and she now has a lovely clean new blue bottom. While they were doing the bottom we had their wood worker come in and repair the ding in the teak rail we got during one of our “adventures” at the small boat docks by the St. Lawrence locks. He did a marvelous job – it is hard to even see the seam. And we had the stainless steel man repair one of the supports on our bimini that had been bent during that same “adventure”.
David got the “fun” job of rebuilding the head. It had stopped working right on the way down. We had the rebuild kit and after a couple of hours it was back in order. They don’t have a pump out here so it was many trips up and down the ladder to the head both before and after the rebuild and the bucket at night. We just looked at it as exercise and part of living on the hard.
While in Brunswick we added what I call a sissy bar to the dinghy to make it easier to get on and off at docks and such. It is actually a Ding-Ez. It will be great not to have to crawl out of the dinghy or any of the other contortions that one often goes through in going ashore with the dinghy. It was Muellerized, of course, here in Fernandina Beach. The bar made it difficult, actually impossible, for a single person on the dinghy to get to the bow. So the local stainless steel man made a gap in the cross bar and added a support for the uprights down near the seat.
We were on the hard for a couple of weeks and it was fine. There was the long trip up and down the ladder and because our refrigeration is water cooled we couldn’t use it. We were down to very little in both the reefer and freezer and were able to store what little we had in the small kitchen they have here at the boat yard. We kept the car for another week and I did a lot of non-refrigeration provisioning. Luckily, we have the hoist on the stern to raise and lower the engine on to the dinghy and for hoisting things on to the boat. I wouldn’t have even tried to do any of it while on the hard had we had to lug it all up the ladder.
Plans were to put us in the water last Friday but the weather most certainly didn’t cooperate. There were heavy storms coming across FL and the winds were very strong blowing right down the creek. That Friday night Eos wiggled a little with the wind gusts but no real thunderstorms came through here. As Bill said, “ Boats don’t often get blown over when on the hard but if it happens we are in a boat yard”. That would have been more exciting than I was ready for. So it was another week-end on the hard. Monday we were launched and Bill and Walter started to look at getting the water maker going. We decided to run it once here (just to test out – not for a real fill of the tanks) while we had folks around who could help if it wasn’t working as expected. While they were checking things out they discovered that the thru-hole for the water maker input was leaking. The only way to replace that is get the boat far enough out of the water so there is no pressure from below. The part was ordered and arrived today and they just hauled her, replaced the thru-hole and put her back in the water. Now Bill and Walter can continue the water maker check out. Tomorrow the weather is supposed to act up again and it looks like it won’t settle down out there on the big water until Sunday or Monday. All in all Jackie and Bill (the owner) and their crew have been great to work with and we are happy with the jobs they did. AND We WILL get to St. Augustine one of these days!!!
Final update. We got the water maker up and running and works but there are a few leaks one of which is in a factory part and that part will have to be sent back to California. As I told Jackie, the marina manager well we are here for a little longer. But again we are glad we are where we are so we can get it fixed and checked out. And I repeat, we WILL get St. Augustine and beyond on of these days.!!!!!!!!