In the heat at last - Fort Lauderdale
Sun 21 Nov 2010 03:28
We have been so spoilt with the wildlife on the ICW: we see dophins at
least three or four times a day, manatees, and lots of different birds. It
quite lovely steering down the waterway and seeing so much wildlife which
do not get in the Caribbean. The treasure in the Caribbean is under the
water. We had three manatee's eating grass right next to the boat - it was
We been having fun, what Gray missed in his last blog was that he hit the
boat in a lapse of concentration, or rather reading the Waterway Guide and
steering at the same time
was the lapse of concertration - see, men should not multitask. Not too
damage just a scrape, which I managed to clean up and the rubbing strake
came off which Gray managed to put back in with a screw driver and a hammer.
You'd think he learnt his lesson, but today he managed to hit a side of a
bridge, pulled the bumper off the back, again fixable, but as you know it
always comes in threes, so he was not allowed to steer for the next hour or
so. I think we had our record amount of bridges today, 21 in total which
been fun getting the timing right as they all open at different times, also
you have stink pots (large gin and tonic powerboats) zooming around you
you are trying to get through the narrow gaps.
The last blog we were in St Marys, and we then pottered down to St
oldest inhabitated town in the USA. On the way down we got hit with 44 knots
wind, and we had the mainsail up at the time. Gray managed to drop it, but
broke the lazy jack in the process of dropping in such high wind. I could
not turn in to the wind as I was in a very narrow channel with only 2 metres
under us, so I held the course and shook, crossing my fingers that we did
not rip the
main to shreds, while Gray wrestled with the sail. This meant another trip
mast, to sort the lazy jack out, but it was beautiful looking down at the
playing in the water.
We managed an overnight stop at New Smyrna, then continiued down to
Titusville. We stopped here last year and left the boat while we popped
back to Jersey, so we know the marina and town well. It was good to see
Santa Bob had not exited for his christmas expedition, he really is a Santa
for six weeks of the year, and yes he really looks like Santa. We also met
his wife Lisa who was lovely, they both spoilt Lucas rotten, see the turtle
picture, Lucas and I are still fighting over who gets to sleep with Turtie.
Bob and Lisa also gave us a real treat and took us through the wildlife
reserve, which was fabulous: birds, turtles, and aligators.
Gray's mum did us proud while here, we had cakes and scones galore, diet to
start soon. Lucas had lots of entertainment, or was it Julie had lots of
entertainment? I'm sure she is enjoying the peace and quiet back home now.
Having rented a car to get Julie to the airport, we did a huge shop. The
definitely lower in the water. I think we bought a ton of beer to keep us
going through the Bahamas as it is so pricey, so the further down we go and
the more we drink the faster the boat will go. Good philosophy.
I have been making the most of my sewing machine, repairing one of the
biminis, making a new back drop window, to keep the sun out in the Caribbean
and a side drop-down to keep the wind and rain out at anchor. They turned
out pretty good considering. Of course Gray was changing his mind as we
were going along, he thinks I am some sort of wizz with all the ideas he is
having. The list for the sewing machine is now growing by day.
As the title says we are in the warmth again, the bikini came out today,
last time having been in Bermuda. We have been feeling the cold but just
those few degrees further south makes all the difference. As we anchored
realised there is a problem with the port engine, so in the water tomorrow
to see if something is wrapped around the propeller. At least it is 26C in
the water. Engine problems have been this week issue, our super Balmar
alternator decided it had had enough, so we put back on our trusty original
Hitachi. Balmar is a swear word on the boat now, as this is the
second time within a year we have had problems with it. Not any more, I feel
the scrap yard its where it belongs. Also we have just replaced our anchor
and gypsy (the bit of the anchor winch that the chain goes on). Ohhh that
was way too painfully expensive, but it had to be done,
both very worn and original to the boat. I have to say it is so easy to
anchor now, with out having to put my foot on the chain, to stop it from
jumping out of the track. We now have 60 metres of chain, which weighs
almost as much as a whole American.
Now we're waiting for a weather window for the trip across to the Bahamas.
The wind has to be from the
south ish because of the gulf stream has to crossed. Once there Gareth will
be joining us again for a while, so maybe a blog from him next time?