Starting to work South after the Holidays
21 February 2014 | Tiger Point Bost Yard and Marina, Fernandina Beach, FL
Sylvia - rain and thunderstorms
11/3/2013 – 2/20/2014
Our marina based life style continued at Brunswick Landing Marina through November and December and into January. We were able to spend some really fun time with friends from MN, Donna and Scott Nichols on Saltine when they came through Georgia on their way south. We first met them years ago when we joined the group of “been cruising or planning to go cruising” sailors who met every month during the cold MN winters to discuss, learn, commiserate and most importantly to dream of getting into or returning to cruising. We learned so much from everyone and what a joy it has been to reconnect with some of them as they have gotten down here to warmer climes. Well, they should have been warmer climes but as with the rest of the US and Canada this winter in Georgia was strange. There were many very cold days and our heater certainly got a work out. We were so glad we have a diesel heater; folks with electric heat ended up with some whopping electrical bills.
We never did get any snow but there were several times when the docks were icy but it was still better than what folks up north were getting so we just bundled up and were thankful that we could still get out and do things – like the monthly trips to the Confederate Station for bluegrass and Sunday night games of Chicken Foot Dominoes. There was strolling around downtown Brunswick on First Friday nights and time spent wandering around Fort Fredericka with Ric and Linda Bailey imaging what it must have been like to have lived in those early days.
The Thanksgiving feast at the marina was well attended – over 80 folks were still around. The weather had slowed some trips down and had postponed the start of others so we had a larger crowd than other holidays. The new club room addition worked out well and everyone was able to be inside.
After Thanksgiving there were a couple of weather windows and Phil and Jeanne and Buster on Knot A Dream took off. Doris and George on Grace had already left and Bob on Acadia left as well in the next weeks. Jules and Karin on La Contessa VII who were docked almost bow to bow with us left just before Christmas. Things got very quiet and lonesome down at our end of the marina with all of these folks gone. Ric and Linda on Magic left as did Paula and Dave on Vesta. There were beginning to be a large number of empty slips in the marina. Now our hope is that some where along the line we will be lucky enough to meet up with some of them again. In any case, we will certainly try to keep in touch with them and periodically find out where they are and how things are going. The internet has made it so much easier for all of us to keep connected. I can't imagine what it was like before. What a sad time it must have been when folks parted knowing that really keeping in touch would be difficult.
The potluck on Christmas Day was smaller than the one at Thanksgiving but we all enjoyed ourselves and, of course, with all of the lovely things available we all over ate. There was a night boat parade with several of the local boats all decorated and lit up. We had 3 of the loveliest ones right on our dock and the captains were nice enough to set the lights up on timers so we were able to get into the Christmas spirit every evening.
We planned to leave and go to Tiger Point Boat Yard in Fernandina the first part of January but between the weather and me not feeling well the day we had a great weather window, it was the 20th before we finally left BLM and had a very comfortable motor sail down to Fernandina. And it was a good thing we took advantage of that day. There was only that one and then the weather turned ugly again. We ended up on the dock for a week until the winds and the tide were such that we could be hauled. But when we arrived we were met by Ric and Linda on Magic who had driven up from St. Augustine and Paula and Dave on Vesta who were here at Tiger Point getting some work done. We weren't at the best tide time to come in and as Bill put it “dredged the creek with our keel” for a bit but we never got completely hung up and when we made it there were all of those hands to take lines and get us handily tied to the dock.
We have rented a car a couple of times and were able to lunch with Ric and Linda in Jacksonville before they took off for places further south. Jerry and LeeAnn from Bella stopped by one day to pick up their car. Both Bella and Magic are now in the Bahamas. And Paula and Dave on Vesta were here until Feb 17th so we had fun messing around with them. They are heading to the Bahamas in several weeks so we may be lucky enough to catch up with some or all of them.
Paul Weigel is here working on Liesel; we met Paul and Elizabeth 2 years ago here at Tiger Point and they shared a wealth of knowledge about the Exumas. And Ken and Vicki who are the new owners of Painkiller (a boat that was in Brunswick) are still here as well working on their boat. We aren't completely alone at Tiger Point.
We finally were hauled on the 27th and have been on the hard since then. We needed to have standard maintenance (the first since we left Lake Superior) done on our propellor and Bill cleaned the paddle wheel on our knot meter so we will have that as well as the GPS to give us speed. Our dinghy motor started just fine but it wouldn't go out of neutral gear so Walter here at Tiger Point looked at it and was able to fix it without having to work on the gear box. Thank goodness. The main reason we are here is to have some work done on the mast. The electrolytic corrosion between two metals (the stainless steel screws and the aluminum mast) was causing the screws to become welded into the holes with the chemical reaction that occurs. And the reaction was also causing the paint around the equipment to bubble and come off. We are having the screws taken out and replaced using a different goop when screwing new ones back in that will hopefully isolate the SS from the aluminum so there is no reaction. We are only doing this from the first set of spreaders down to the deck but it is a good thing we are doing it now. A couple of the screws were so corroded that their heads sheared off and the remainder of the screws had to be drilled out. Glad it was only 2 of them. Walter has done a wonderful job of getting the screws out and cleaning the mast paint off where necessary and is repainting before things are screwed back on the mast. He only has about a day's more work and it will all be done but we are supposed to have rain and thunderstorms for the next 4-5 days. More bad weather this winter. But we can say we don't regret getting to the Bahamas last fall. The weather there has been cold and windy and stormy just like every where else the fronts go roaring through.
We are tired of being on the hard – up and down the metal stairs to the head/shower and planning meals when there is no refreigeration on the boat certainly can get old in a hurry. We have had several nights of below freezing and the first evening of one 3 night stint our diesel heater went out. The next day we had to uninstall it and send it to RI to have a new blower and circuit board installed. It was back in a week and we had a space heater as well as one loaned to us by Paula and Dave so we survived. Now since we have gotten it back and reinstalled we haven't needed it, of course, but we have a working one if we need it. Don't imagine we will for the next year though. We will just run it once a month to keep the spider webs out as the saying goes.
If you want to get a better look at Tiger Point, you can do a YouTube search for Tiger Point Boat Yard. If you look quickly you will see Paula and Dave working on Vesta and Eos sitting on the hard next to the big shop building.
Next week we should be able to get back in the water, turn on the reefer and freezer and stock up. Then we will look for good weather to work our way down the coast or if we are lucky enough and there is a long enough window we will just go two days straight to West End, Grand Bahama from here. We will hang around the Bahamas until the end of March when Ken Gelao a friend from MN will join us for the trip from the Bahamas to Puerto Rico. We would like to be there by the middle of May. But as always it will depend on the weather and the way it has been this year who knows how it will go. But you can bet that any weather window we get we will keep moving south. No dilly daddling around if the weather is good. We will look at spending more time in the Turks and Caicos and Dominican Republic when we return to the States.