Well, we are in Vero Beach. We got back to the boat on the 29th of Dec, rushed around and filled the frig with fresh stuff and prepared to leave the dock on New Years Eve. But, the wind had other ideas. Strong winds from the south pinned us on the dock. Early the next morning, there was a brief lull and we tossed off our lines and departed from Green Cove Springs.
The strong winds returned and helped us make a 65 nm day to Pine Island, near St Augustine. That night the temperatures dropped to the mid 30’sF and we had no heat aboard now that we had left the dock and power. Brrr. We snuggled beneath the comforter in the morning and hated to get out of bed. But, pre-dawn we were awake and moving. Murray puts the kettle on and brushes his teeth etc. When he finishes, I jump up and make the coffee, brush my teeth, try to make my hair look halfway decent and then jam a hat on anyway. Meanwhile, he has started the engine and pulled the anchor in partway. When I am on deck with all of the charts necessary, we haul the anchor up and start down the waterway once more. During the day, we take turns at the helm while the other one checks the charts, makes lunch or gets cold drinks. We put the anchor down again just before sunset.
We traveled 240 nm in four days, trying to find some warm weather. Each day, we put on sweats, then vests, then rain gear, hats and hoods to protect us from the cold winds. By mid afternoon, we were able to take off the outer layer, but never down to shorts.
Until Vero Beach. Finally. Fred & Cindy Meyer were there and picked us up for a home-cooked meal of soup and biscuits. The next few days they acted as chauffeurs and drove us to Sam’s ( for new batteries ), to West Marine ( for odds and ends ) etc etc. They flew back to Ohio for the Cleveland Boat Show after a few days, but left us the use of their car! Murray and Fred had researched the Honda and Yamaha generators on the internet – sort of a blind leading the deaf situation, but they learned a lot. We ordered a Honda 2000 watt generator and Fred was interested in the 1000 watt size for Brass Tacks.
After they left, we re-visited Sam’s and crammed even more stuff in this boat somehow. The waterline is disappearing, but we will eat well. A few other boat jobs entertained us while we awaited the generator. It arrived yesterday. At first try, the inverter/charger on the boat was not recognizing the power coming in. But, with Murray’s ingenuity, we managed to get things working. Our new batteries heaved an audible sigh of relief as they finally neared full charge. We even turned on the water heater. Wow, hot showers without motoring all day! Murray has made a shelf for the generator to sit on in the locker, that will also act as a support while it is on deck. The noise of the unit is not bothersome and we can talk at normal volumes even if right beside the generator.
So, now all is aboard and we are ready to depart. Oh, except for one little thing. We both caught colds and are coughing and sniveling away. I am doing my usual seal imitations. There is no window to cross to the islands this week, so we may just stay put here until we are feeling better. The weather has turned cold again and my feet are freezing. Time to find my slippers. Ahhhh, that is better.
So, that is what’s happening here. Lots for a while and then sit and wait. Usual life aboard. Maybe by the weekend we will head further south, looking for warmth and a window to get to the islands. Although, someone on the radio this morning mentioned snow storms in the Bahamas. I sure hope that he was kidding. He must have been…. right??
Hugs to all,
Murray & Heather aboard Windswept IV