Friday, June 5, 2015

Issues in Florida

Well we had the opportunity to really get to know Lake Worth and Riveria Beach quite well.  We ended up there for 12 days not because we wanted to.  After we got our very expensive fix in Ft.
Lauderdale with our fuel hoses we decided we had not spent enough money so we went to Rybovich Boat yard and tried to get our alternator fixed.  After 12 days of pure frustration, 3 techs and Harry working beacoup hours our electrical problem was NOT fixed and we had no idea what to do next.  For those of you who are boat owners here it is in a nutshell.  We had not been able to put out enough amps to charge our batteries properly.  So the technician took the alternator to be fixed.  They did that and it works great, our batteries were tested and they are great.  So they decided it was the voltage regulator.  We bought a new one – so expensive and it did the same thing as the old one.   It reads 14.2 Volts so therefore it thinks the batteries are fully charge so we don’t get the charging we need.  They switched every wire possible but nothing changes.  Process of elimination tells us its in the regulator itself so Balmar asked us to send the new one in to be tested.  Of course it was fine and that cost us more money. 
Sorry to expound on this in a blog where non sailors are reading but it is such a perplexing problem I thought the boat owners would be interested. In the meantime we really got around Lake Worth and enjoyed a day on Peanut Island.  It’s a large island in the middle of the lake that has been remodeled for local folks to go for swimming, snorkeling, picnics etc.  It is really neat place but you can only get there by dinghy or small boat
We never got the problem resolved and are really frustrated so finally after much discussion we decided to go to Ft. Pierce inside on the ICW as the weather was horrible outside and we anchored to go into a marina in 2 days.  We rented a car and headed for Bradenton, Fl on Monday to visit folks and do the doctor appointment thing.  We had a great time in Bradenton.  Tuesday evening we met 10 cruising friends for dinner and had a fun evening getting caught up.  Then Wed Linda (my close friend that we always stay with) invited a few nurses over, that I use to work with and we had a great time getting caught up.  Then Thursday night we stayed all night with another friend who had 4 others over.  They are all friends from our old marina.  We had another great time and by Friday we had to recover our livers and quit eating. 

Ula Hewitt, a very long term sailing friend from Crown Pt where she and her late husband, Alan sailed and raced with us for years.

Ray, Debbie and Nimo back in Bradenton when we went to visit.  We had great times with them at TDM

Nursing buddies from Manatee Memorial where I worked.  It was great seeing all of them

 Back to Ft. Pierce and off we went on Sunday up the ICW which we said we would not do.  We planned to go outside and sail but because of this stupid electrical problem inside we stayed and went to Cocoa Village Marina.  We knew an electrician there that we had used 13 years ago and really trusted from Marine Pro.  So Mark came and spent 8 hours but finally found 2 problems which we think has solved the problem.  Yea!!!.  So at last we feel better.  Cocoa is such a cute little town that anyone traveling the east side of Florida should definitely stop there.  It is quaint with cute little shops including an old fashion ice cream shop and a cute bakery/café where all the locals go for breakfast.  All the old retired mean gather there each AM for coffee and talk.  It was fun to watch and the food was delicious.  We left the next day and on the road again.  The best part was getting to see an atlas 5 rocket take off from Cape Canaveral launching a satellite.  The coast guard announced it would go off at 11:05 and we happened to be motoring up the ICW just as the rocket went off.  It was exciting and very unexpected.

Not real impressive but the rocket going off

Goodyear blimp which we have not seen in years

As we were motoring the next 50 miles up to Daytona we saw a most amazing ocean going rowboat with a man from Africa rowing away with music going.  He had rowed 5000 miles from west Africa with a destination of the Brooklyn Bridge.  He is raising money for HIV in Africa.  Below is a picture and you can go to .  

This is the boat he built and rowed 5000 miles across the Atlantic and up the east coast  It is amazing.

  Just about 4 miles from our planned anchorage in Daytona we received a call from Harry’s sister to tell us their Mother is very sick and may not live long.  She is 90 in a nursing home and the phone call was not a surprise but once again we had to divert from our plans, pull into a marina and fly to NY the next day.
We ended up spending a week at Pat’s outside of Utica. Mildred died about 30 hours after our arrival.  I thinks she knew Harry was there but not sure.  It was a lovely Memorial service and we had the opportunity to see family and friends, had  a great visit with Pat and Buz and delightly we had a 2 day visit with our youngest daughter who was able to drive up from Pittsburgh.  Unfortunately our oldest daughter lives in Arizona and could not come as much as she really wanted to be with the family.

Pat and I put up a display of pictures with Harry's Mom in them through the years.  The 2 tablecloths she made which you can't really appreciate in this.  She was a true artist and could easily have been professional.

We flew back after a week and started moving up the ICW once more.  We made it to Fernandina Beach in 2 days and got a short visit with Colleen (our old sailing buddy) and her Mom.  Unfortunately John was out to sea so we missed him
We spent a day hiking Cumberland Island.  It is a national park and quite beautiful.  We saw deer and birds and the highlight was all the wild horses for which the island is famous. The history of the island is quite interesting with a lot of families taking possession and then leaving.  The famous Carnegie family once owned 90% of the island but shut down their mansion in 1920 when the last daughter got married.  It is now ruins but very interesting.

Walking through Cumberland Island, so pretty with tons of wild life

A few of the famous wild horses 

Plaque about  Thomas Carnegie

Carnagie ruins of their famous mansion

An old picture of the Carnegie mansion when it was full of life and parties back in the turn of the century.

Last Monday we left St. Mary’s River to go outside and sail to Norfolk.  It ended up being 4 days and 4 nights and 550 NM.  Unfortunately we ended up motoring almost all the time except for about 10 hours but all went very well all the way up including going around Cape Hatteras which can sometimes be a big problem.  We had one squall with 25 KN winds and torrential rains but otherwise great until we started coming through the entrance at Cape Henry into the Norfolk area.  It was 10pm dark, thick fog, winds at 24 KN, rough waves and about 20 huge ships coming at us.  Quite frankly after 13 years of cruising it was my scariest moment.  Thank heavens for chart plotters and radar –would not be with out!!!  Then after about 3 hours of terrifying motoring thru this thick fog where we could not visually see the ships that were only a mile from us we got to an area where it was safer, winds died down, fog started lifting and just as we felt like we could relax which now was 4 or 5 AM the engine suddenly stopped in the middle of a shipping channel.  Clogged fuel filter which Harry changed in record time then on we went and when we got 1 mile from our long awaited anchorage the engine stopped again.  Funniest think, we ran out of fuel after motoring for 550 miles.  So Harry made a very rapid fuel filling event with the extra fuel we carry on board.  Now we know why we carry extra fuel.  It is the first time we needed to use it in an emergency after all these years of carrying it.  So at 6AM we dropped the hook in Ft. Monroe anchorage and had a celebration drink.  It was my crazy idea to come up to the Chesapeake for the summer and do this long passage.  I told Harry to ignore me the next time I come up with these wild ideas.
Our little visitor while we were on passage.  He really didn't want to leave.

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