February 18 – Feb 25, 2017
We launched! We did not sink! You can still see water line! Woot, woot!!
Not all of the boat projects got completed. So, we will be doing some things along the way. It always feels good to be back on the water and feel the movement under the boat. Having it up on the hard, on land, just does not feel right. Also, as soon as we get in the water, you can hear the Snap, Crackle, Pop, like Rice Krispies, of the barnacles or shrimp or whatever little sea creatures, trying to suck onto the bottom of the boat. The first time I heard this, I thought it was osmosis bubbles bursting, and we were sinking. Now, it is just a little creature trying to eat something, but our bottom paint won’t let them attach.
Speaking of bottom paint, since we are now in the water, we have a timed event in need of monitoring. It seems that our very expensive bottom paint (over $270/ gallon) will slough off the longer we stay in brackish waters (where fresh and salt water mix). When we first heard this, we thought it could not be true. However, when Mark called the factory, we were told we have 7 – 10 days before we lose the paint. So, since we are running the ICW (the Ditch) all of the way to Ft Lauderdale, we need to get moving. It is all brackish. Once the paint sees the higher saline content of ocean water, it will reattach to the boat. We know boats whose paint has completely fallen off. We do not want to be one of THOSE boats!
It is good to be back on the water. We decided to leave at slack tide, so we would not be dealing with current pushing us against the dock. And, we wore out our welcome at the dock next to the haul out pit. Everyone would be going back to work after the holiday weekend, and we needed to move. We are leaving St Augustine about a month behind our “schedule.” A few favorite sayings of boaters are, “Plans, set in sand at low tide,” and “ You can pick the time or the place, but not both.”We did NOT run aground, like we normally do, within the first mile of being back on the ICW, but we were close. It appears that our chartplotter needs to be recalibrated. It showed our boat position being 90 degrees from reality, and 180 degrees from the way were heading. So, I can understand the confusion of looking at the chartplotter and visually trying to go between the Red and Green channel marker buoys. Now, to remember Red on Right? Right?
Dolphins escorted us down the channel, so we have good luck for our trip!
Of course, within the first minute of Angie taking the helm, we ran aground. Go Figure. It wasn’t a hard hit, but enough to scrape off that very fresh bottom paint on one the keels.
Nothing major broke in our 5 days of motoring to Ft Lauderdale. We found a wide area in the ICW to recalibrate the compass and chartplotter. Of course, this requires us to zig zag multiple times and run circles both ways, multiple times. A boater saw us and thought we were in trouble. Nice to know someone was looking out for us.
We waited out a storm tucked behind a causeway bridge in Melbourne. Mark worked on installing the satellite texter antenna, 12 v phone chargers with digital read outs, and setting up the satellite texter/emailer. Angie continued trying to finalize our banking needs and transfers. Of course, the hatch leaks now, that is over or bed. At night, the anchor alarm keeps sounding, waking Angie with a jolt to the heart. It keeps losing the GPS signal. With the winds from the storm, we swung around 360 degrees on our anchor. When we departed the next morning, we left in fog. This is a first for us! Very eerie. Angie freaked out at first because she could not see where to go to get to the channel. Once we found it, you could barely see the channel markers. However, sounding the horn in consistent intervals relieved some of her anxiety. The fog finally lifted, and we had 10 dolphins escorting us (in a feeding frenzy) and then beautiful skies for the rest of the day.
One of Angie’s favorite spots on the ICW is the Haul Over Bridge section. Lots and lot of birds. Lots and lot of manatees. Never any pictures of either.
We were waked by a power boater, and Angie ended up with a winch between her legs. So much for always holding on to something while sailing! I believe the quote is, “One hand for you, and one hand for the boat, at all times.” She was reaching up to adjust our boat hooks, not holding on to anything, and got punted backwards. The discoloration between her thighs will not get chalked up to mystery bruises this time. It was a very memorable event. Not one she is wishing to relive.