Monday, December 31, 2018

FL, New Years Eve

Walk to Publix for breakfast and WIFI, Linda updates her iPad. Back at the boat I try to wash the hull from the dinghy, but can only get one side done with the boat tied up and lots of current. Linda cleans the interior. We walk with Mark and Karen to the “Royal Pig” for lunch outside on Las Olas Avenue. Back at the boat while we are putting things away, I drop the gallon jug of distilled water and the bottom splits dumping most of the water on the floor with most of it running into the bilge, that Linda just empted yesterday.

Manana at Nu River Landing

More contruction

Skating rink, don't fall

River Walk

Our favorite Publix


Sunday, December 30, 2018


I walk up to Publix to get a gallon of distilled water since I just used up the last of our distilled water refilling the house batteries. Also did some more WIFI computer work at Publix, before returning to the boat. Linda worked on cleaning the bilge of remaining water and doing bank statements. After dinner, we have cards night on Sea Vu Play.

Lots of cranes and construction

Saturday, December 29, 2018

FL, Laundry

I drive Karen and Linda to Cooley’s Landing (part of the Municipal Marina further up the river) to do laundry. I then take the car back by the boat and walk to the UPS store to mail home some extra cushions we mistakenly brought with us. Then back to picked up Karen and Linda. Linda and I make a couple more quick stops before I drop her off at the boat and return the car at noontime and walk the 1-1/2 miles back to the boat.


Our friends Steve and Joanne who live in Delray Beach come down to visit us around 2:00 pm. We have a late lunch at “Downtown” and come back to the boat and visit until 9:00 pm when they head home.

Friday, December 28, 2018

FL ,Costco

We all walk over to Publix for breakfast and WIFI. Publix has a little Cafe stand and lots of tables near their entrance. With their very fast WIFI we all update our iPad navigation apps. I walk to Enterprise to pick up a car “reserved” at noontime, with Mark. We get there an see that is not going to happen. There is a long line and no cars for everyone with “reservations”. They only have cars as people return them. Mark heads back to their boat and I don’t get a car until 2:30pm. I have my iPad so I get caught up with some correspondence. Then they tell me I need my car insurance policy, something new for Enterprise. You would think that they would email their regular costumers ahead of time with that change. Now, I know what all the additional commotion at the counter was about. I found a copy of ours on Dropbox, which took me a while to remember.

We head to West Marine then Costco. Stop at Pollo Tropical for dinner. Back to the boat to unload and then we drive to Publix. Their parking garage is over the store and you take an elevator or people mover down to the store. Then back to the boat again to put everything away.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Fort Lauderdale, Haircuts

This mornings project is defrosting the refrigerator, 2nd time on this trip. After that I fix the new electrical outlet I put in the head a few weeks ago. I did not cut out the outlet hole quite large enough. After lunch we walk to get haircuts at a shop that Mark had been to before. We all get haircuts, except Karen. Stop at Kilwins for ice cream on the way back to the boat. Later that evening we walk to “Downtown” a restaurant on the River walk for dinner with Mark & Karen.

Louis "Dockmaster" talking with Mark

Motorized Bars

Don't fall of the bar stool !

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Fort Lauderdale, CVS

We head to CVS to deal with some prescriptions that Caremark, our usual provider has been continually screwing up. They have a hard time dealing with people traveling. Other boating friends have had similar issues. Linda has spent nearly 5 hours on the phone over the last couple weeks and they don’t do anything they say they are going to do. Even customer service gets involved and the orders continue to get screwed up. After about 1-1/2 hours at CVS and on the phone with Caremark Linda gets her medicine. On the way back to the boat we stop at the Library to get Linda’s food list printed out. After lunch we all try to take the bus to West Marine about 1-1/2 miles south. We don’t get very far and give up and walk most of the way. We also stop at BOW (Boat Owners Warehouse) McDonalds (a fabulous hardware store) and Sailorman (boating used equipment store). We take an Uber back to the boat. After dinner we take Mark and Karen to Publix, a few blocks from our boats, one of our favorite Supermarkets.

  Tour boat

Third Avenue Bridge

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Fort Lauderdale, Xmas

We have Christmas dinner on Manana with Mark & Karen. Linda makes broccoli salad, Karen bakes potatoes and they come over to our boat around 2:00 and we grill steaks for the main course. Karen baked a minced meat pie for desert. She is giving that new oven a workout. After dinner we play cards and then went for a long walk.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Fort Lauderdale

Since we have a 50 plus mile day we have the anchor up and our on our way by 7:00 am before sun up. I had not been listening on the radio, but Mark tells us that a cruise ship is coming in. As we come around the bend in the inlet the Cruise ship looms ahead. We stay to the edge of the channel. Glad we are going in opposite directions and not being overtaken by this ship. 

Wind is out of the northwest so we motorsail for a good part of the day.  

Unfortunately the following seas become more rolly as the day progresses and gets rather annoying until we turn up the inlet to Fort Lauderdale around 2:00PM. We get tied up on the River Walk around 3:00 after we get our waste tank pumped out. Previously here, pumps out were available all along the wall, for all the boats, but as parts of the system failed the town has not fixed them. We head to the office to sign in and pick up some packages. After we shower on the boat we all walk to the Cheese Cake Factory on Las Olas Boulevard for dinner. Christmas eve and they are quite busy. We are all enjoying the Christmas lights of Las Olas Boulevard and along the River Walk.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Lake Worth

Moonsetting over Sea Vu Play
We have a short day traveling to Lake Worth so there is no rush to get going. I make pancakes for breakfast. After breakfast while brushing my teeth I take a long look at the catamaran behind us and realize it is “Adrenalin” owned by a young couple, Billy and Seria, whose YouTube videos (Tula’s Endless Summer) we follow. They travel up and down the east coast and the Bahamas. We had run into them at the Annapolis boat show back in October. Their “home port” just south of Peck Lake is Jupiter. They must be sleeping in and we don’t see any activity on the boat.


As I pull up the anchor I tell Linda to head for the green buoy. Unfortunately the one I intended was obscured behind an anchored sailboat out of my sight at the moment. We quickly go aground in the shallow area. After a few minutes of maneuvering I get the boat free, with a falling tide I was worried we would be spending the day here waiting for the tide to come back up to float us off. We have lots of Bascule bridges today with some tight timing between the ones that open at fixed times.

We get to Lake Worth around 1:30 and anchor just south Lake Worth Inlet. Until the mid-19th century Lake Worth was a fresh water lake fed by the Everglades. Inlets were opened to the ocean for commerce making it a salt water lagoon.

We anchor, but with the opposing current and wind the boat wanders all over the place. We spend the rest of the day on the boat and intend to head out on the ocean to get to Fort Lauderdale and avoid the 18 Bascule bridges between Lake Worth and Fort Lauderdale on the ICW.
Sunset on Lake Worth

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Peck Lake

We leave the mooring at 8:00am and stop at the marina dock to pumpout our waste tank. The marina claims that the pumpout is now fixed. They think it is working, but it is not. Nothing gets pumped out which I can see from our tank monitor which I can check via BlueTooth on my phone. Gee a free pumpout, was worth every cent.

Sea Vu Play

Another cool morning and we are enjoying our cockpit enclosure again. My goal today is Peck Lake, which is adjacent to the Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge just south of Stuart. A protected anchorage where you can dinghy ashore and walk across Jupiter island, a barrier island, to the ocean at an undeveloped State Park beach. There are a few boats anchored when we arrive around 2:00 pm. After we are anchored Mark and Karen picks us up in their dinghy and we go for a long walk on the deserted beach. Picked up lots of shells. Right after sunset we get to enjoy the full moon rising through the palm trees.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Vero, Verizon

We take the bus to the Verizon store to get answers on our cell phones and iPads not syncing our contact lists and a couple other things. Still getting a few rain showers. We go back to TooJays for lunch and then to Publx and the dive shop. While waiting for the return bus, another shower rolls through. The wind is picking up and the bus to Vero beach may stop running, they don’t like going over the bridge when the wind speed is over 30 mph. My cold is making me tired so I have a nap when we get back to the boat and Linda works on her computer. We have a steak for dinner done on our grill and then head to Mark and Karen’s boat for cards.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Vero, Squalls

Windy, rain on and off most of the day and night. We only get off the boat to take showers after breakfast. Work on our taxes and other boat projects.

Ugly Day

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Vero, TooJays

Had planned to get up early for breakfast and walk over to the beach to watch the SpaceX launch. It was canceled before we got out of bed. We spent most of the day working on our computers. Mark and Karen had drove to the west coast of Florida to pick up a replacement oven for their boat that they had found on eBay. That evening we have dinner at TooJays an excellent New York deli in Vero with Mark and Karen. Then we all head to Lowes, Walmart, Home Depot, Dollar General, Home Goods and Marshals in their rental car. Linda and I are looking for a cheap wall clock since our expensive Weems & Path brass clock doesn’t always work. Mark is looking for parts for his many plumbing projects.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Vero, SpaceX

I get up early and walk over to the Beach to watch the SpaceX launch. It gets scrubbed at 9:30. I text Bill that it is scrubbed, he had stopped at a beach further south to watch on his way to pick up Mark and I. We are all heading to Marine Connection Liquidators again. Mark and I return and exchange parts and Bill checks out future purchases. Linda and Karen takes the bus to Vero to do some shopping.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Vero, Mr. Manatees

I return the Enterprise rental car in the morning. I get back just in time to meet the Pump-out boat at our mooring. After lunch, Linda does laundry. The marina has a good size laundry-mat.

I work on replacing the anchor windlass safety switch, which involves removing some wood panels and trim in the V-birth to get access. Nothing is ever simple on a sailboat. Late afternoon Mark & Karen and Linda & I take our dinghies a little ways south on the ICW to “Mr Manatees” for their cruiser night. There is about 40 cruisers from the marina there, some by car and some by dinghy. My cousin, Bill who spent the day at Kennedy Space Center meets us there.

Gathering for Group Photo

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Vero, Riverside

Spend the day with Mark and Karen shopping for parts, tools, etc., Lowes, Advance Auto, Harbor Freight, etc. My cousin Bill, drove down today from Fernadina in their RV for a few days. His wife Deb and his sister Jan are off on a trip in Europe. That evening we all drive over to the RV park for appetizers and drinks, then we all head to the “Riverside”, near the marina for dinner.

After dinner Linda and I head to Publix to do some more provisioning for the Bahamas. Linda has a long list of what we need. We almost don’t have room for the full canvas bags and both of us in the dinghy.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Vero Farmers Market

Linda gets off the boat to go the Farmers Market with Mark and Karen, so I can work on installing the new heat exchanger. I had not removed the old one yet, so at least we could motor around if necessary. The new hoses I installed six months ago came off without too much effort. In a couple hours I had the new head exchanger installed.

Old Heat Exchanger on engine
New and old heat exchanger

Put new coolant in the engine and found a couple clamps I had not fully tighten, leaking the coolant into the pan under the engine. Once I finish I run the engine for half an hour with no apparent problems. The real test is when we head south. In the evening we drive to Mulligans for dinner with Mark and Karen.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Vero, Car

Pick up our weekend Enterprise rental car, much better deal than Titusville, $52 for three days and we get an upgrade. Mark and Karen go with us and we head to West Marine in Fort Pierce and to Marine Connection Liquidators, which has surplus marine supplies. At Marine Liquidators you never know what you will be walking out with before hand. I find some specialized paints and primers for painting the new heat exchanger for a lot less that I paid to paint the old one last spring. Mark buys a new galley facuet and some other plumbing items. On the way home we stop for lunch at “Taco Dive” in Vero, was very good.

We get back to the Marina and to my surprise the new heat exchanger was delivered in the morning. Not only that, but it is already painted and comes with the engine mounting clamps, which are now spares since I bought the same set last spring.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Vero Beach, Cruiser get together

Work on the computer dealing with taxes and various boat items. There is an afternoon cruiser get together so I bake some brownies to bring. We spend some time talking with a couple that we briefly met at a fuel dock in Deltaville, Virginia, back in October. They remebered the boat name, but not us, not to say I did much better. Linda had to remind me where we had all met.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Vero Beach

Before we can leave I have to hand crank up the anchor. The safety switch has been failing and I have procrastinated replacing it with the spare I bought back in the Chesapeake. I get a little more morning exercise than I was planning on. My aching back !

We get into Vero Beach at 2PM and refuel the boat and as usual the Municipal Marina pumpout is not working. We also pickup a number of packages we have mailed to the marina here. We head to mooring #22 recommended by Mark. Mark and Karen have been here for a couple days already. Since the pumpout is not working the benefit of Mooring #22 is it is the closest to the dinghy dock and the bathrooms. We share the mooring with 2 other boats.

I spend some time searching for a replacement heat exchanger on the internet and have a couple choices. The least expensive also claims same day shipping. It place the order with them.

Another cool evening and after dinner on the boat we walk over to the beach side to Mulligains for their famous Key Lime pie for dessert. I is quite cool and there few people in the restaurant, that is normally crowded. A cold night (in the 50's) in Vero Beach is like a snow storm at home, no one goes out, the streets are deserted. We are disappointed with their “Key Lime Pie”. They changed the recipe, it is now really Key Lime Cake, good, but not Key Lime Pie !
"Cutie-Pie" and desert

Monday, December 10, 2018


I take the car back to Enterprise after breakfast and we leave at 10:30. Another cool day. Around noontime when Linda is making lunch she notices that the carpet in the galley by the engine is wet. I open the engine cover and see that the radiator cap is loose and water/coolant is running down the side of the coolant reservoir. I tighten the cap and monitor the engine temperature closely, but it stays at the normal operating temperature even though we have lost a fair amount of coolant. So we decide to keep going to Melbourne. Our goal in Melbourne is to have dinner at Squid Lips with our friends Ron and Ginny’s daughter Jessica and her new husband Joey.

Once we get the boat anchored on the south side of the bridge causeway protected from the northwind, I open the radiator cap after the engine cools down some. I expect to see low coolant, but it is filled to the top, but a pale green. Apparently, our heat exchanger has failed internally allowing salt water to pass directly though our engine, diluting the remaining antifreeze. I would have not known that, if the radiator cap had not been loose. I will have to order a new heat exchanger to install at Vero Beach. I had removed the old heat exchanger last spring, cleaned and repainted it and replaced all the hoses, so at least I am familiar with the process.

Dinghy dock at Squid Lips

Jessica recommends another restaurant they like better than Squid Lips so we dinghy ashore to meet them, leaving the dinghy at Squid Lips dock. We drive south to the other restaurant to find they are closed for an employee Christmas party, so back to Squid Lips we go. Have a nice dinner at Squid Lips with Jess and Joey. We always have fun with Jess.

Joey and Jessica (I suck at Selfies, the others were out of focus)

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Titusville, Orlando

We head to Orlando to do some provisioning at Costco, Publix and hit a few other stores. Another cold front crosses Florida and it rains most of the day, but it clears up in the late afternoon on our way back to the boat.

We stop to take this selfie on our way back to the marina for our House Sitters, Sam & Aubrey Titus. They were unaware of this town in Florida named after them.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Titusville, Kennedy Space Center

After breakfast we head to the Kennedy Space Center for the day. At the NASA causeway we had to wait for the opened draw bridge for some stupid sailboat to go through. For a weekend the Space center was not very crowded, but it still took all day to see most of it. Still missed a few things, but we were running out of time. Got back after dark after making a detour to avoid the Christmas parade through downtown Titusville and had dinner on the boat.

Waiting for the ICW draw Bridge


Rocket Girl

Friday, December 7, 2018

Titusville Marina, Canvas Day

We get up early, have breakfast and get our Enterprise weekend rental car. Back at the boat I tackle a project I have been putting off. Cleaning our dodger and bimini and re-waterproofing the fabric, which means I have to take all the canvas off the boat. After removing the green mold that was starting to appear on the canvas (I did say we have had a lot of rain) I have to wait for it to dry before I can spray on the waterproofing. I found a clear area on the dock out of the way to spray on the waterproofing and let it dry. 
A selfie for our cruising friends who first took us here

In the evening we go to Dixie Crossroads a popular local restaurant that we have been to many times. Although, this is the first time we have driven there, it is a 1-1/2 mile walk from the marina. After dinner we do some shopping at Walmart, Target and Linda’s favorite, Bealls

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Titusville Municipal Marina

We get a late start, hard to leave such and nice facility. Sunny, breeze and cool day, but comfortable in our enclosure Hot house. We get into Titusville Marina later than I cared for, around 4:45, just ahead of sunset. Once we got squared away we walked into town for a quick dinner at “Philly Cheese Steak”.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Halifax Yacht Club. Daytona

The wind, hard out of the north was pinning us against the dock. Unfortunately we where hemmed in between to boats that were in no rush to leave. Finally the sailboat to our stern left and we were right behind them at 11:20. Since we had a short run to Daytona and the Halifax Yacht Club it was no big deal. 

I have been wanting to stay at the Halifax Yacht Club our last two trips, but always got in late because of problems timing the two Daytona drawbridges. Today, there was no problem. The second draw bridge was removed last year and they are in the process of building a replacement 65 foot high bridge. We get into the Yacht Club at 3:15, which is in a very protected basin out of the wind, so docking was easy. Scott the dock master gives us a tour of the club facilities. They have a restaurant (jacket and tie) and lounge/Pub (collars on your shirt). I could handle the dress code for the latter, which is very nice, second floor with views of the harbor. They had a piano player for the evening. A very diverse menu made it hard to decide what to order. After dinner Linda did some laundry since their machines are free to use in their captains lounge. The Halifax Yacht Club is one of the oldest in the country founded around 1890.

We missed the Xmas Baot Parade

Club house view from our boat

Halifax Yacht Club Pub

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Palm Coast Marina

Short day to Palm Coast Marina. We haven’t stayed there before, but have heard good things about Palm Coast and their dockage rates are good. Before we leave at 10:20 Mark stops by to pick up a couple scraps of clear vinyl to make some straps their cockpit enclosure. 

Sunny but cool day. Pass by Fort Mantanzas, a very small Fort that the Spanish built to prevent other countries from attacking St. Augustine from the “back door” at the Mantanzas inlet. Passing by this area on the ICW is always fun. This area shoals quickly and the channel takes us within a couple boat lengths of the western shore. You have to pay attention to the navigation aids that are constantly being moved to the deepest passage. Charts are always out of date here.

Transient Face Dock

We get into Palm Coast around 2:30. After we fuel up and pump out we tie up to the transient face dock. Nice quiet marina off the ICW, with no current. They have a resident duck that hangs out around the fuel dock quacking away at times. I guess they started feeding it and he decided to stay. We had a quiet evening and dinner on the boat.

Resident Duck

Monday, December 3, 2018

St. Augustine, Day 5, Quiet Monday

Spent the morning on the boat working on our laptops. Mark and Karen come to our boat to play cards in the afternoon. Headed into town for dinner, hamburgers at a local pub. Quiet night in town after a busy weekend with lots of tourists here for the Festival of Lights.

The Main Square

Sunday, December 2, 2018

St Augustine, Day 4, Blue Hen

We all walk to the Blue Hen a breakfast place that has been recommended to us by a number of locals. We have about a 45 minute wait, but it was worth it, very good. We walk back towards the marina reading many of the historical signs about the civil rights movement. Played cards in the afternoon on “Sea Vu Play” Mark and Karen’s 40 foot sailboat. It rains of and on during the afternoon. We later head back to our boat before another bout of heavy rain approaches the area.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

St. Augustine, Day 3, Cafe Alcazar

Linda’s medicine puts her right to sleep and she wakes up without her recent morning vertigo issues. We meet Mark & Karen at the dinghy dock and walk to our 12:45 reservation at Cafe Alcazar for lunch as it starts raining. Cafe Alcazar is in the bottom of an 1890’s hotel swimming pool, less the water. This is one of our favorite places to visit in St. Augustine. They have always have live music either a guitar or piano. 
Nile, Mark, Karen, Linda, "Treading water"

Cafe Alcazar, 2018

"Cafe Alcazar" 1890's

Flagler College

The rest of the building is now the Lightner Museum another turn of the century hotel for the wealthy across the street from “The Ponce de Leon Hotel” (now Flagler College) an exclusive luxury hotel in St. Augustine, Florida, built by millionaire developer and Standard Oil co-founder Henry M. Flagler and completed in 1888. Now is it the home of Flagler college. Flagler’s railroad expanded to Miami and to Key West.

After lunch we walked around and later stopped at a brew Pub which has a very good coconut porter that Mark and I enjoyed. We played cards at the pub until we checked the weather radar and notice some heavy rain approaching, so we hurry back to our dinghies and our boats for the evening.

Friday, November 30, 2018

St. Augustine, Day 2

When Linda gets up she is still having reoccurring issues with vertigo and balance, especially when she first gets up in the morning. Not good to have anytime, but even more so on a boat. We decide to go to the local Hospital ER and get her checked out. They did a CATSCAN. Did not find any issues. She has not been needing to take ginger capsules her normal cure for motion sickness. They prescribe two other medicines for the vertigo.

Our friends Mark and Karen get into St. Augustine in the afternoon. We all go out to Harry’s Seafood. Linda and I again split their Shrimp and Grits which are very good. We call it an early evening so Mark and Karen can get to bed early.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

St. Augustine

Our friends Mark and Karen left Beaufort, South Carolina this morning to sail overnight to St. Augustine. They had to haul their boat for a couple days there to make a repair on their drive shaft packing.

Finally a relatively warm morning and a fairly slack tide to get off the dock. Two of the boats leave just ahead of us.

Container Ship heading up the St.Johns river to Jacksonville

We cross the St. Johns River and soon pass under another bridge having some work done. Unfortunately a few days ago our friends Jack & Ann had their mast light and VHF antenna damaged snagging the bridge covering hanging under the bridge. This cover lowered clearance by 3 feet and they went through right at an exceptionally high, high tide. The bridge was being sand blasted and it sounded like a jet airplane immediately over head as we passed underneath.

A pleasant day for a change. We get through the “Bridge of Lions” at 1:30 PM. Should of made the 1:00 opening by my timing was off and we had a short wait. We pickup our mooring at 1:15PM.

Bridge of Lions, St. Augustine

We head into the marina to pay our bill and take showers. Later we head into town to have dinner at the “Latin Kitchen”. We have eaten there before and dinner again was very good. I should of quit there, but we decided to split a desert. They mentioned a new desert, “Avocado Crème brûlée”, so I thought it had to be good since it sounded kind of disgusting. I should of stuck with my first impression, even without it being green, it was more green pudding than Crème brûlée.