Man plans, and God laughs as the saying goes
28 March 2014 | Rybovich Boatyard, Riviera Beach, Florida
Partly Cloudy and VERY windy
3/16/2014 - 3/28/2014
We did get a new bolt for the engine mount and had a hole drilled in it. Dennis got it installed and an R-clip (even better than a cotter pin) in the hole. The engine was now ready to go as were we but the weather didn't cooperate. In the mean time, we had an enjoyable time with Lynn and Bob from Traveller - friends we met initially in Brunswick. They were wonderful chauffeurs and we had probably one of the best good old fish and chips dinners with them at Fishlips restaurant near the marina. We did a minimal grocery run and got our second 20 lb. propane tank filled. It was nice enough to run out there where we had help getting around.
The day after we were escorted in, a lovely blue sailboat was towed in and placed just aft of us on the T-head of the dock. They, too, had engine problems. Julie and David Tait on Bluefin are from Sydney and are truly big water sailors. We enjoyed having them there with us and we all enjoyed a lovely happy hour in their cockpit. Their problem was one the Yanmar mechanic had never seen before but he did find it. A replacement part and they were off after only a couple of days in Port Canaveral. Bluefin is being taken to Lake Worth for a new paint job on the topsides while they return to Sydney for several months. We so enjoyed meeting them and are sad to think that with their plans we probably will not reconnect with them. They will, however, be a fine part of our cruising memories.
The weather finally improved and we had a 2 day window to get directly from Port Canaveral to West End. Our friends, John and Joan Lane on Changing Lanes were moving down the ICW and were planning on being in West End the day before we were planning to arrive. Judith and Gordon on Tres Bien were considering heading over then as well. We were so looking forward to seeing all of them and having conch and lobster tails and coconut bread together. But .....
Our fix didn't work and Judith and Gordon decided not to head across. John and Joan had to do the feasting without us. We were out 18 hours and 11 miles from Lake Worth crossing the Gulf Stream when the engine started to act up just like it had before. With the lack of service in West End we, of course, turned around and headed to Lake Worth. Once more TowBoatsUS (Capt. Greg this time) escorted us down the channel and into the mooring field just off to port after transiting the channel. It was night and dark and we were certainly glad to have him lead us in and show us where to anchor. He made sure we were secure for the night. The unlimited towing insurance we have with TowBoatsUS is the best value under $200 we have ever spent. Luckily, the engine never did quit but it was still doing the fade and surge dance. We called it a day at 2230 after having left Port Canaveral at 0200. We were tired sailors!
There was a huge boat show that had just ended that Sunday so there was no place for us anywhere. The next morning Capt Chris this time contacted Rybovich Boatyard and they would be able to get us into one of their deep draft slips later in the week. So we hung on the hook (with several bouts of re-anchoring due to the high winds and swirling currents) from Sunday night until dawn on Friday watching the truly huge mega-yachts leaving. The winds were about 20 the whole time and one of the other boats in the anchorage dragged and bounced off of us in the middle of the night. We heard them calling "Eos" and rushed on deck. Luckily, it was a gentle bump and there was no damage to either boat. They are from Holland and they were having engine problems as well. In fact, they had no engine and were having to get her re-located and re-anchored using their dinghy along side for propulsion. No fun in those winds and currents. But they got themselves re-anchored for the night. Helen and Harry from Zwervers (Dutch for Vagabonds) dinghied over the next day to make sure all was okay so we got to meet them briefly.
The only one of the crew who was happy on the hook all of that time was Spanker. The wind didn't bother her and we left the companionway open most of the time so she could go out whenever she wanted. We didn't have to worry about her going walk-about.
We are now safely docked at the Rybovich Marina north and glad to be here. There are to be 2-3 days of heavy thunderstorms and the winds are still 20 and gusting higher. It is good to be attached to the dock. Much easier on the nerves after the multiple re-anchorings in the mooring field. We just watched Tow BoatsUS bring in a large Jeanneau Sun Odyssey that evidently had problems. It is a much lighter boat than Eos and it still took two of the tow boats to bring her in and get her tied in place with all of these winds. It was a bit of a Chinese fire drill but they got her settled. Those fellows are good. After I clapped, one of the Capts said it would have been something else to try to handle us in all of that wind. Both he and we were glad we made it in under our own power.
We may see the Cummins mechanic later this afternoon and if not it will be Monday. I have a feeling this is going to be a real conundrum. It may take some real doing to find the problem. This may be the end of the plans to go to Puerto Rico this year. Time to get there is running out and unless we have a definitive "This is the problem and this WILL fix it." we are not interested in heading that far. We may run it at a dock for hours - it takes hours to manifest the problem (18 hours the last time) and see if it is good for 12 or so hours. So far after the engine has been off a while it starts right up, no problem and will go again for hours. But we can't live with it that way; it just takes one time not starting and we can be in real trouble. We will want some long hour trips along the coast without the problem to convince us that is fixed before we are willing to head out. Besides the window to get down to Puerto Rico from here is narrowing on us. And the weather is not moderating at all so a quick trip down seems hardly likely. It may be back to Brunswick for this hurricane season and then another try. It will be great to see friends in Brunswick if it comes to that but it is not what we had planned.