November 2003


Well, we left the marina on Thursday morning. Plans had been made to leave Wednesday afternoon but, when we got back from storing the car and paying the marina bill, the wind had switched around and was pinning us to the dock. So, we stayed put for one more night.

In the morning, we arose at dawn to slip out before the wind picked up. We had to motor all the way to Jacksonville, about 20 miles. There we picked up a favourable current which gave us increased speed through the water. Of course you realize, that was planned by the intrepid navigator. The current carried us along at over 8 knots and we made good time. Before we anchored for the night we had covered 62 nm. It know that it doesn’t sound like much compared to car travel but we are not going very fast.

We tucked into a quiet spot for the night with only one other boat nearby. The anchor was hauled again at first light. Timing was perfect for the Bridge of Lions at St Augustine at the 8:30 opening. That was the last bridge for a while that has restricted openings – the rest open when you call them.

Now, we are motoring beside huge houses. And, as we go further south, they only get bigger. We will stop briefly today to fill up with diesel fuel. Then, no stops until we reach Daytona tonight. Not quite such a quiet anchorage tonight – the boat traffic there never stops and we will rock violently at times. Tomorrow we should reach Titusville and meet up with some friends. We may stay there a day or so.

A few gliches have shown up so we have some chores to do in Vero Beach and will stay there for a week or 10 days. Besides, I have to go shopping with Cindy! Without the guys!

A few high points, we saw dolphins, pelicans,a bald eagle and storks all on the first day. Today we saw white pelicans and another bald eagle. The sun has shone both days with high temperatures in the 70’s ( or 20’s C ). We bundle up in the early morning but strip down to shorts and tees before noon. Lovely.

Hope all is well up north. Stay warm. Hugs to all, Heather & Murray

Splash Down

After sweltering and sweating for a week, we are in the water! Yeah!

We put painted her bottom with fresh bottom paint, cleaned and waxed her hull, touched up her name paint job and managed to get Windswept IV looking spiffy again. After launch, we spent two hours washing the deck to get rid of the summer’s accumulated dirt and grime.

Below decks, we have scrubbed with bleach and cleaned all the nooks and crannies. The cabin already looks liveable, unlike most years with gear piled everywhere. The car is unpacked and stuff stowed aboard. The things that will be stored in the car are heaped on the dock temporarily.

Now, courtesy flags for the Bahamas to sew as well asa new mattress cover for the V-berth. Murray is installing the Ham radio. He finished the installation of the new invertor/charger. The last message indicated that it had started working, right? That was an aberation – it was dead and no longer supported by the manufacturer, so no repair available. $$$$$$ Boat units – Do you know what BOAT stands for? Break Out Another Thousand! But, we decided to replace it, so – the new one is nice.

After the flags and other sewing, floor varnishing, installing sails, etc etc then we will start filling the lockers with food. Sam’s Club, here we come.

The current plan is to attend the SSCA conference in Melbourne next weekend and, hopefully, sell our old outboard motor. Then, a few days more after that and we should be ready to head out. Hope to be in Vero Beach by Thanksgiving ( Nov 27th ).

The weather has changed today and cooled off appreciably. It has been 90’s ( mid 30’s C ) in daytime and very humid. Today, with NE wind blowing hard, is low 70’s ( 19- 20 C ). Great for working! We are still in shorts but the locals will be wearing coats.

That is all the news from here. Hope all is well with everyone up north. Stay in touch as we sure enjoy getting your letters.

Hugs, Heather & Murray

Back Aboard

Well, we arrived in Green Cove Springs in time for the Halloween party! We always seem to find a party happening here.

The boat was moved from the storage area to the work yard in the afternoon. We had been dismayed to find a lot of mildew below decks. It had been a very rainy summer and early fall, and there was some standing water in the bilges.

The jobs started right away, so that we could sleep aboard that night. I diluted some bleach and got right at wiping down every surface. All the lockers will have to be emptied and wiped down as well.

Murray was trouble-shooting the electrical system. Many boats had been struck with lightning during a violent thunderstorm and we worried that we had also been affected. But, after some testing, Murray found that just our inverter/battery charger does not function. Everything else seems ok.

So, the boat is tore up inside with big tubs of gear everywhere. The electrical panel is open and hanging over the nav station. We are sleeping and eating aboard though, and working through these challenges.

Now, the biggest problem of “life on the hard” – everything you need is down ( if you are up) or up ( if you are down ). It sure is good for strengthening this knee of mine. And, the bathroom is down and a block away! So, we will work hard and get into the water as fast as we can.

Eureka! Murray thinks that the inverter is working. That will save time and money, if we don’t have to get that repaired or replaced.

I should say that the temperatures hare now are mid 80’s ( 30 C ) daytime and cool for sleeping at night. Lots of sunshine, except today it is raining. So, we do have a few advantages even though we are living in a mess.

Stay in touch as we love to hear from you.

Hugs to all, Heather & Murray

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