Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tropical Storm Noel

We are anchored across from downtown Miami waiting for tropical storm Noel to pass. The winds are up to 40 mph, but we are well protected in our hurricane hole. A friend of mine, Matthew Pellar, lent us his car for a few days, so we have been getting the last few things we need before our crossing. Getting to and from the boat is a challenge in the wind, rain and waves with the dinghy. (three loaded dinghy rides latter, and the boat is finally provisioned.)

We felt like those rediculous weathermen standing in the middle of a storm, while reporting on how windy and rainy and dangerous the situation is.

The generator is working just fine again. It ended up being an issue with bad fuel and clogged fuel filters. We were just about ready to ship it back to the manufacturer when we figured out what the real issue was. It took us an entire day to empty the spoiled fuel, dispose of it, change the filters and refill the tanks. Every one has asked what do we do all day long when we cruise, well, there went one day.

On our way from Ft. Lauderdale to Miami (on the outside because of a fixed 56 foot bridge in Miami), we encountered a couple of squalls. One was wicked, and I (Sue) was at the helm. All of a sudden, there was a wall of rain coming toward us fast! The waves were already 4-6 feet and the wind kicked up to 25 knots in an instant. So after yelling to alert Mike to come out of the cabin, he promptly pulled in the head sail (with all his might I might add). He was grunting with each pull and when he was done, Phillip said to him while patting his back, "You are my big, strong man!" (sorry, no pics for this one)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Captain's View

Overall the departure went fairly smoothly. We left the dock and managed NOT to snag the dingy or the other stuff hanging on the aft end of the boat on one of the pilings. Great Start! We also made it to the anchorage, still with everything on the aft end intact. Great Success!

Yes, the hue on our faces had changed to a lighter shade of green for a while in the morning, but we made it to our anchorage in 24 hours. (not that we are in a hurry). We did witness an amazing sun set. The kind you can only get out as sea.

Sailing through the night is tiring; and the boat looks like a hurricane blew through it when you're done. When the sea gets rough, no one wants to spend too much time below, so things get tossed in the cabin. By the end of the leg, stuff is everywhere.

There is one place on board that is the most comfortable spot to be when the waves kick up. The exact center of the boat moves the least, both forward and aft and side to side. Doug found this spot and spent the night with his pillow on the hard salon floor, another obstical to get around on the way to the head!

First Mate's View

After a heartfelt farewell at "C" dock, a tearful wave to the Luby Family at the Dunlawton Bridge, and a heart wrenching goodbye to Andrew in Ponce Inlet, we set sail in the Atlantic for Port St. Lucie (at Mike's insistence). After only 30 minutes, Doug hooked a 22 inch Spanish Mackerel! It was rough sailing and by morning everyone was green, so the decision was made "unanimously" to head in to Ft. Pierce. (Don't worry it was a bonding experience.) We happily motored down the ditch the rest of the way. It made anchoring out seem like a luxury! We set the hook at Peck Lake in Hobe Sound for the night. The next afternoon we went to see Steve and Martine (brother and sister-in-law). This was an adventure in itself. In order to meet them we had to bring the dinghy to Peck Lake Park and meet them there. We did, but we had to hike 3 miles to the parking lot through the swampland on a boardwalk/paths etc... to reach them. This was very hot and buggy, but funny. More humorous, in fact, was the trip back to the Adamo. The park closed at in the dark with a "shake to light" flashlight in covert style we hopped the fence and hiked through the dark paths back to the ICW where we ever so quietly (well, there we a few giggles) unlocked the dingy from the underside of the gazebo where we hid it. Upon our return to the Adamo we discovered that our generator was not working properly (our first clue was the loud knocking sound, duh!). So Mike worked on it...and the next day...Mike worked on it more with help from factory no avail. Since we had to pick up our life raft in Ft. Lauderdale we figured we would have it repaired there. We anchored in Lake Worth and the small "lake" in Boca Raton and now we are docked at the Coral Ridge Yacht Club in Ft. Lauderdale. Great Club and Location (close to the Galleria Mall....and much more) and guess what? they have water galore here so I can do laundry (not to mention taking a long hot shower). Life is good!
By the way, motoring down the ICW gives you a whole new view of the world.. There are incredible mansions and the "backyard" boats are 80 ft. long and the mega yachts are too many to count. WOW. We have seen this many times before, but this time the boat show is here so it is exaggerated!


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Bon Voyage Party

Hi to all,

The party was awesome. We had a great time, and we thank all of you for coming to celebrate with us. After the party, we knew we still had our work cut out for us, but Mike has worked day and "early" mornings to plow through the endless list of things to do. After a couple of unexpected repairs (rebuilt injection pump) etc... we are set to depart the dock on Sat. 10/20/07. I have one more day to provision the boat and take care of the last minute minutia.
It is difficult for me now that we are set to up communication with all, only to rely on infrequent email communication, and leaving my first born on his own to survive in the big world and that of the Gator Nation. I will miss everyone, but I do expect visitors at various ports along the way! So get ready to book your flights!

First Mate, Only Mate, Perfect Mate