|St Augustine skyline view from masthead|
January 15, 2012. In early December Quinn and I thought we were going to bring the boat further down the Florida coast, say about West Palm Beach, so we would be positioned in January after the Christmas rush to either head over to the Abacos or down to Key West. As it turned out, we were on the boat for two weeks and it was never untied from the dock. It was one of those cases where everything we tried to fix on the boat that week prior to the planned departure, went upside down. At the end of the two weeks work, we left with more projects than we started with. We fixed the refrigerator, three days later it completely blew up. We put on the referbished windlass, three days later we completely blew it up. Before we left, the fresh water accumulator tank blew up; o.k. actually nothng blew up, it just developed a leak, but it still had to be replaced. We had some mast-head work to do and after a couple of attempts, it never worked out. With all of that, we still got a chance to see some of St. Augustine and eat some good food. Anyway, we went home, enjoyed Christmas, regrouped and headed back Jan. 15th.
Things went much better this time. We now have a completely new refrigeration system that works just like it should. I would highly recommend Hansen Marine Services in St Augustine for refrigeration work. That caused us to need to beef up our battery system, and after installing a new starting battery bank (which was much more complex than expected), we are pleased with the finished product. After four days on the dock, we tore ourselves away on day five. From then on we made good time heading south. Because of all the system, electrical and mechanical changes we had made, we decided to stay inside on the ICW for the first couple of days as a sort of sea-trial. Everything worked fine.
At Cape Canaveral we headed out to the Atlantic again and were able to make some good overnight passages.
|Arriving Port Canaveral barge canal at dusk.|
|Gov. ships at Port Canaveral|
Sunday morning about noon we pulled out of Ft. Lauderdale Los Olas Marina and went to another marina to top off the fuel tank. We took on about 22 gals of diesel and then headed out under the 17street bridge which we can make without having to lift the bridge. The bridge is 55 feet and our main mast is only 48 feet with a few feet additional for antenas, anemometer, and windex gear. We passed all the big homes and super yachts that adorn Ft. Lauderdale and headed out to sea at 1200 hrs.
|Leaving Ft. Lauderdale|
We were met by a good friend and sailor, Bob Mcdonald who had left Gulf Shores and came down the Gulf of Mexico to Marathon about the same time that we left St. Augustine. Since he had gotten there a few days earlier, he had discovered that most of the marinas and especially the municipal mooring balls were all booked up. I knew there were lots of northern boats coming south for the winter, many from Canada, New York and the Chesapeake, because we had seen and met many of them on our way down the East Coast during the last two months. I just didn't know that they were all going to Marathon. Bob spent a few days searching the out-of-the-way marinas and found a contact that happened to personally own a couple of slips in Burdines harbor, and he was willing to let us stay there for a reasonable price. It was also a bonus that this guy was a well known diesel mechanic in the area, and was able to help us with a waterpump issue that was developing on the boat, although it had not run hot to this point.
|Burdines dock and front porch. We tied up here |
when we first came in.
|Burdines at dusk|
|Bob and Quinn at City Marina, Marathon|
|Tied up with "Windy City" our friend from Gulf Shores. Of|
course he was originally from Chicago and has been everywhere.
|Burdines marina off of Boot Key harbor in Marathon.|
|A romp in the Gulf Stream with all sails up|
|Point South, Cuba 80 miles.|
|Sailing out of Marathon for a day-sail|
January 24, 2012. On Tuesday Quinn and I couldn't stand it that we were in such beautiful sailing territory, and here we were tied up to four poles. We decided to go for a day-sail and explore the territory and get some good sailing in with the blue sky and 15 knot favorable winds. We headed out South about 5 miles to Sombrero Key Light, a 142 foot tower, and then sailed another 10 miles south in the Gulf Stream directly towards Havana. With the favorable winds that we had, we could have been in Havana by 0800 the next morning. Though that may have been fairly easy to do, we were concerned about the leaving part that might be problematic. With that, we turned around and just enjoyed the raucous romp back across the Gulf Stream and back into Hawk Channel to Marathon.
|Marathon City Marina|
After we got back to Marathon and tied up comfortably, it didn't take long to get into the spirit of "island time". The days start with breakfast, then a nap, then lunch, then a nap....
|New curtins in the aft cabin.|
|Oiled teak woodwork project|
|OneEighty"s private Pennant|
January 27, 2012. As great as Paradise is, it finally became time to head home. We both have wives and lives that need attending. We tied up OneEighty with good long lines so that she would accept a broad range of high and low tides as well as high wind speeds. Fortunately Bob McDonald is staying and will be right beside One Eighty for the next month, so he had graciously agreed to look after her. That gives us a great comfort in leaving her here for a short while.
5 a.m. leaving the boat to head home
To see all the pictures go to: https://picasaweb.google.com/101211161196102038779/StAugustineToMarathonJan152012?authkey=Gv1sRgCNDup_Ohrt35dA#