Waking up with it being 40 degrees inside as well as outside, is not fun anymore. We have not camped in anything like that in over 20 years, and really do not like it. Mean Kitty and Nice Kitty are not pleased with the situation either.
We finally got put back in the water January 12th, got the boat provisioned, the rv packed up for storage, got the taxes paid, got the kitties poked and probed, and we departed Jan 18th. For the first time, we DID NOT run aground within the first 2 miles of heading south from the San Sebastian River. Yeah!! And, we still have a little bit of bottom paint showing at the water line, with fully loaded water, fuel, and provisions (and SOME books.)
On another note, our Interlux Micron 66 bottom paint will slough off if we stay in water below a certain salinity level. This is over a timeframe of days, not months or even years. So, we are a bit concerned about the amount of time we will be running the ICW down to Miami and having to wait out storms. We have already been dockside for most of a week. The paint will actually reattach, once we are in the ocean. Crazy. This stuff is not cheap. Especially when we cannot apply the paint ourselves anymore. Most boatyards have EPA requirements that dictate the yards have to apply the paint. The one layer of paint and adding 2 inches, cost us over $2000. We do not want to have to redo it because of the water we are running in. That would add insult to the injury.
It was still brutally cold until we hit the Jupiter area. We were wearing full layers inside as well as outside. The constant shivering, all day long was miserable. Angie was useless and living on pain meds. She could help with anchoring, but that was about it. The last couple weeks of pushing to get boat projects completed, pushing paper, and just the general movement of getting on and off the boat, packing, unloading, and cleaning everything before it got put away, took its toll.
The further south we got, the warmer it got! South of Lake Worth, the multiple bridges had us sitting and spinning with the wind and current pushing us around, waiting for openings. We no longer were making 70 miles a day. We saw one river tug, pushing a barge, push a monohull out of the channel, which caused them to run aground.
Angie loves running the ICW. The wild life viewing is spectacular….dolphins, manatees, and various birds. It is also fun looking at all of the houses and boats docked up along the way. The vast majority of them, we will never be able to afford. I don’t even know if we could even afford the lot fee at the trailer parks. Nope, we didn’t win any Powerballs the last couple of weeks.
Mark got the generator running. It had a bad water intake impeller. We can now turn on the heater!
We are currently riding out a storm, and small craft advisory, in Lake Boca Rotan before heading to Miami to wait for the weather window to cross the Gulf Stream. So far, we have only seen gusts up to 35 and off and on rain. Mark is working on boat projects, and Angie is working on blog posts (These three today have taken me about 8 hours to get published.)
Boat projects include a New 1 inch+ Anchor Bridle with spliced, thimble ends and a fire hose anti-chafe guard. This is no small feat, threading 1 inch+ line through an 1.5 inch hose that is lined with very sticky laytex. Things are not going “smoothly” to say the least. One 14 ft section took over 3 hours, but 2nd one took only an hour.
He also had to splice our lightning rod that goes from the mast into the water. When we were in the boatyard, we heard of multiple boats (within 100 ft of us) that had their electronics fried from lightening strikes. We had our mast lightening rod ran to, and buried in, the ground. We are thankful our electronics were fine. However, Mark found a fried spot inline. He cut out the bad, spliced it up, and we are good to go again. We are very thankful we have this device. We are also glad there is a 30 story high rise near us that has multiple antennas on top. We are NOT the tallest metal thing around during this storm.