A break at Saint Augustine March 31

After arriving on Sunday, March 31st and settling in at the North Mooring field at Saint Augustine, we dinghied ashore and walked into town & split a slice of Pizza Time pizza which was HUGE! They were voted #2 pizza by trip advisor, and rightfully so! Sunday night winds changed as predicted, we were glad to be settled in Saint Augustine. April 1st was unique…first time Phil did not pull off an April Fools joke on me…and I was prepared if he did try, although I’ve started out that way before and fallen for his tricks. We did a lot of trip planning had a nice hot soup for lunch as it was a cold rainy day. Tuesday we went to Castillo de San Marcos fortress in St Augustine, it has an amazing history. Went to a boaters GAM at Anne O’Malley’sWednesday evening. Thursday rode our bikes to Anastasia Island lighthouse and explored the area getting to see the beach side. Trip planning has been ongoing with watching the weather as it changes currently we plan to leave with three other boats Friday morning. Our plan is to try to make it as far as Beaufort North Carolina, a trip of approximately 370 miles. 

Oldest wooden schoolhouse in US
Unicorn on mooring ball in Saint Augustine
Our dinghy at dock with “friends”
Now that’s a snake!

The bird rides on the handlebars

Castillo de San Marcos fortress
Trip planning for our next ‘move’ north
Bike ride to lighthouse and beach
Crossing bridge back to St Augustine
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Vero Beach to Saint Augustine

Wednesday the 27th Phil worked on alignment and Kathy worked on quilt. It was a rainy day very windy and cold. We also started our taxes. Thursday Phil declared the engine is ready to test/use. We went to the afternoon boaters GAM, biked to Panera where we were able to finish and file our taxes! Friday morning Phil had already put the walls back around the engine compartment by the time Kathy got up, it was a nice treat to have the boat back together again! We spent a couple of hours Friday morning reviewing weather apps to determine if we could get from Vero to Saint Augustine during a weather window that would materialize Saturday morning and last until about late Sunday afternoon. We finally decided to take the ICW to Saint Augustine for two reasons 1.  the weather window was not quite long enough and number 2. we wanted some confidence that our transmission replacement was all OK and the engine was properly aligned. So we headed to the dinghy dock, folded up our bikes, got a couple more gallons of gas for our outboard and prepared to get underway to Eau Gallie. Yes, it was with great fear and trembling that we started the engine and prepared to get underway from the mooring ball. As we departed Vero Beach at 12:30 we slowly increased the RPM as we headed north on the ICW. 1200 RPM OK, 1500 RPM still no sign of any vibration, 1800 RPM still good, 2200 RPM everything felt great, 2500 RPM no vibrations at all and finally 2700 RPM which is what we max out at and the engine was running smoothly. We both had REAL smiles on our faces! After being underway 2 1/2 hours at 2200 RPM with no issues and the engine running very smoothly, we decided the transmission project is now in the past! 
We anchored Friday night at Eau Gallie, weighed anchor and got underway at 6:55 AM Saturday morning and headed north. We also started talking about the possibility of going out Port Canaveral instead of continuing up the waterway all the way to St Augustine. We decided going out of Port Canaveral was preferable. A big blessing was when we got on the Port Canaveral Canal, Phil called both bridges to make sure they were operating. It turned out the 401 bridge which is located just west of the lock does not open between 11 AM and 2 PM on Saturdays and Sundays, and it was Saturday! It was touch and go if we could make the 11:00 am opening. Phil talked with the lock master and he said he would do everything to get us through the lock as quickly as possible and had the lock open and ready for us. It turned out we got to the 401 bridge at 10:55 AM which saved us a three hour wait! We also found out it’s a long way around the shoals at Port Canaveral. We sailed most of the day Saturday at 3 to 5 kts. We didn’t need to be in Saint Augustine until 4 PM Sunday afternoon, Didn’t want to stretch that weather window :-). Sailed all day Saturday until the middle of the night when the wind completely died. We motored for about 10 miles and the wind picked up to 6 to 10 kts from the SW which was about the time we passed Ponce Inlet. We sailed the rest of the night at between 2.5 and 3 kts under jib alone. When it got light Sunday morning, we put up our main and were making a whopping 4.2 kts 11 miles south of Saint Augustine Inlet. Very relaxing sail! Got to Saint Augustine inlet 10:30AM Sunday. Arrived at marina 11am, fueled up and picked up a mooring ball in St Augustine.

Sunset at anchorage in Eau Gallie
Sun coming up Saturday morning
Ducks enjoying the morning
Go north young man, go north…in the canal
Winner of the most solar panel contest
Disney cruise ship, at Port Canaveral with waterslide on the top deck
Port Canaveral
Cargo ship being loaded
God provided another beautiful sunset offshore heading to St Augustine
Approaching St Augustine Sunday morning
Cross located off Saint Augustine channel
View from our mooring ball – Castillo De San Marcos
Bridge of Lyons opening for Unicorn
Kathy at the helm of the dinghy…and she can start it on her own!

Psalm 107:23 Those who go down to the sea in ships, Who do business on great waters; They have seen the works of the LORD, And His wonders in the deep.
Love never fails.
Blessings, Phil and Kathy


Transmission Repair Velcro

It wasn’t the “Velcro” that kept us here, it was thbe transmission. We got up at bright and early Friday morning ready to tackle removal of the V-drive and transmission. After a long day of removing bolts that you cannot see, and rigging blocks and tackles over the companionway to remove the V-drive and transmission from the Engine compartment, by late afternoon we had all the components out of the engine room. We immediately called Transmission Marine in Fort Lauderdale to schedule a pick up of a rebuilt transmission on Monday morning. We reserved an enterprise rental car and were set to pick up our new transmission on Monday. Turned out a friend of ours knew someone that would gladly lend us his car so we were able to cancel the enterprise car and load the transmission and V Drive in his car on Sunday afternoon that way we could leave here at 6am Monday morning and get to Transmission Marine when they opened at 8:30. Saturday was like a day off. We dinghied to Veterans Memorial Island and attended the wedding of Chris & Heather who are on a boat in Vero. We also cleaned, organized bolts and discussed procedures for getting the components from the main salon to the cockpit and from the cockpit to our dinghy and from our dinghy to the car all separate little projects when you’re moving around a V-drive and transmission that weigh 90 pounds each. Sunday we rode our bikes with Roy & Krista to visit the church they’ve been attending while in Vero and in the afternoon said our goodbyes to them before they left early Monday morning. After church Sunday we tackled the logistics of getting the components to the car. Once we got to the dinghy dock we had plenty of help which was nice. Monday we got to Transmission Marine 15 minutes before they opened and picked up our rebuilt transmission and bought a new engine mount for one side of the V-drive. We ended up getting back to the boat with our Transmission and V-Drive about 2:30 PM and miraculously we had the transmission and V-drive in place by 6:30 PM both being held in place by only a couple bolts but it was nice at least having them in place. Time for a shower and to declare victory for the day!  Our sweet mooring ball buddy, Michelle, delivered dinner to us Monday night and then brought homemade key lime pie over for dessert! It was a full day and we were pretty worn out, actually went to sleep by 9pm.Tuesday we spent the day completing the installation of the transmission and the drive as well as connecting all the ancillary equipment that we had to remove: bilge pump, freshwater pump, some wiring and all the piping for our freshwater system. We finished up around 4 PM took a shower and enjoyed a well-deserved relaxing evening. The only tasks we have left are to connect V-drive coupling to the shaft and make sure they are in alignment. Sounds easy but could be very time-consuming. We carefully marked where the old mounts were previously installed. We’re hoping the alignment will be fairly straightforward. 

Removing Transmission
Couldn’t have done it without Kathy
Ready to lift transmission out of main salon
Heading to wedding Saturday afternoon
Hazel the flower girl dropping flower petals
Bride escorted by her dog
You may kiss the bride!
Have some cake
Back to work…moving the transmission to our dinghy
Kathy lowering the V-Drive…She’s wearing a back brace…why not just pick it up?
Saying good bye to Krista and Roy
Transmission Marine…Just how did you get them in the trunk?
Out with the old…
…In with the new!
Help getting Transmission and V-drive into dinghy
Dinghy reads to be off loaded
Transmission inside boat…any smiles you see in these pictures are “fake smiles”
Michelle, our mooring ball neighbor, with her dog…thank you for dinner
Everything back in place…last task is to align…TOMORROW!

Psalm 107:23
Those who go down to the sea in ships, Who do business on great waters; They have seen the works of the LORD, And His wonders in the deep.
Love never fails.
Blessings, Phil and Kathy

 

Busy in Vero

First we’d like to once again say Happy Birthday to Tim, the best son-in-law ever, who gets a tradition homemade St Patrick’s Day/birthday meal each year courtesy of Rachel’s amazing cooking! We got back to Vero Beach on Saturday afternoon and got on the bus to go to Advance Auto for mystery oil only to find out buses stop running earlier on Saturdays and don’t run at all on Sundays. We were on the last bus of the day, so no return trip. Fortunately we’d only gone several hundred yards before finding this out and the driver let us off even though we weren’t at a bus stop. We switched from bus to our bikes and rode them to town instead. Turned out to be a nice bike ride and less time than using the bus system! Sunday morning we rejoined the morning walking group and had a fun time sharing stories and catching up with what people have been doing since we’d last seen them. We then rode our bikes to the church we attend when we are in Vero. Afterwards we rode our bikes to town, this time to West Marine for “boots” for our spreaders, but they didn’t have the correct size. Phil found some thick rubbery cushioned type material which would work and Kathy hoisted him up the mast to install them Monday. Later in the afternoon we went to an anchoring seminar at the marina and in the evening we joined a large group of boaters at the weekly gathering at Mr Mantees for dinner. Tuesday, the 19th was a rainy day, Phil talked to an engine mechanic who is familiar with our engine/v-drive setup. Spent time working on engine, finding what could be potential problems or obstacles for our repair. Kathy got some boat cleaning done when not helping Phil. Birgit and Werner came over to watch “The Walk”…it was a nice afternoon break. Wednesday was cold and windy. We joined the morning walking group which was small, but had a great walk. In the afternoon our friends from Horizon, Werner and Birgit joined us going to see My Fair Lady at the Riverside Theatre. Thursday morning we said goodbye (for now)to Horizon as they headed north. Kathy did a morning laundry ashore while Phil talked to the boat yard about our repair. There are three main steps to removing the transmission: 1: remove wiring, waterlines and pumps, 2: remove V-drive and 3: remove transmission. We spent most of the day with Phil dissembling the engine room area in order to get the v-drive out. Kathy took notes so we could reassemble when we get to that point. By 4:30 Phil was taking out final 8 stubborn bolts on the shaft coupling, got that last stubborn one out at 5:30! We ended up with 33 steps so far & haven’t touched the transmission yet!
Sunday Morning walking group
Monday walking group
Engine diagnostics
Surfs up, a lot of sand erosion
Enjoying seeing God’s power through nature
Timing is everything…
He dared to go a step lower!!
We thoroughly enjoyed a relaxing afternoon seeing My Fair Lady
We’ll miss you Birgit and Werner
He forced a smile. Whatever the task, he works so hard, is persistent and I love him so much!
Hope my notes will be complete and make sense.
Back to work

Psalm 107:23
Those who go down to the sea in ships, Who do business on great waters; They have seen the works of the LORD, And His wonders in the deep.
Love never fails.
Blessings, Phil and Kathy

                   

Green Turtle to Vero

We left green Turtle Thursday afternoon at 1245 as the tide was coming to high. Turned off engine once we were out of the channel and headed west to Matanilla Shoals, sailing wing on wing until 0755 Friday morning when we reached the shoals and got on our heading to cross the Gulf Stream. Morning fishing Friday was amazing, caught at least 4 or 5 nice sized Spanish mackerel, kept some released others. Winds shifted to ESE and eventually shifted to SW and very light. We continued sailing even though the winds were down to six knots at times and the direction changed to a less desirable point of sail.  We didn’t experience much of an effect from the Gulf Stream until we were fairly close to Ft Pierce. We dropped sails 1 1/2 miles before the Ft Pierce inlet. Had a very interesting time negotiating the Fort Pierce channel entrance as we had 4 to 5 foot rollers going in, tide going out against us with wind against the current. Phil watched the bouys and Kathy watched watched the plotter. We anchored in an anchorage along the Ft Pierce channel and slept well! We officially got back to the US about 10 PM Friday night when Phil checked in with customs and border patrol. We ended up going from green turtleto anchored in Fort Pierce close to the coast guard station using the engine only 2.5 hours for 170 miles, averaging 5knots. We had a great sail! After a good nights sleep, we made the short trip up the ICW to Vero Beach where we’ll wait for another opportunity to hop offshore!

Phil and Werner going over the plan


Phill putting out lures on Thursday

Making good speed under sail alone

Sunset Thursday night

Enjoying fish sandwiches courtesy of Phil’s fishing

Spanish mackerel
Always enjoy dolphin visits.


Psalm 107:23Go to go down to the sea in ships, Who do business on great waters; They have seen it works in a LORD, And His wonders in the deep.
Let’s never fails.
Blessings, Phil and Kathy

MOW-Lynyard-Green Turtle

The last four days in Man of War Cay (MOW), we did a lot of exploring as well as snorkeling, before heading to our next destination which was Lynyard Cay, on Sunday, March 10. Our plan was to snorkel at Sandy Cay on the way to Lynyard, but it was too rough, so we went straight to Lynyard. Weather often changes plans when sailing in the Bahamas, but so can boat issues that pop up. Our transmission was slipping and that changed our plans abruptly. We made a U-turn to go back to MOW, while Phil checked out the transmission. We found the transmission needed fluid and we topped it off. With the added fluid, the transmission worked fine. So we made another U-turn to head to Lynyard Cay. On the way to Lanyard we determined that the transmission had a slow leak. We decided to cancel our plans to go to Eleuthera and start heading back to the states after snorkeling at Sandy Cay. The snorkeling at Sandy Cay was amazing, seeing lots of fish, manta rays and one lone shark. After snorkeling we headed to Green Turtle Cay to start our journey back home. We anchored outside Green Turtle as the tide was too low to get in. Tuesday morning we went to Munjack Cay to dinghy up a small creek where we saw plenty of large turtles and rays. We also walked across the island to the oceanside where we snorkeled and saw a huge barracuda (so big that Phil didn’t want to get close enough for a picture) stingrays and a huge school of fish. We returned to Green Turtle and came in at high tide and got a space on the dock at Donnie’s. The rest of the day was pretty much a project day, buying transmission fluid and working on other projects. We took a walk to the store to get ice cream with our remaining bahamian dollars. Planned to head back to Florida on Wednesday, but winds were too strong. Wednesday we had a final lunch together with friends we’ve met along the way at The Wrecking Tree. We’re looking to cross back to the states Thursday, March 14. God has been really good to us, we’ve enjoyed our time in the Bahamas and the people we’ve met along the way. In addition He’s been very gracious in giving Kathy enough energy for the trip!FB3FD379-7177-4349-8A26-6D2DEBCC4F46.jpeg

Hopetown Lighthouse
Spending a lot of fun times with Werner and Birgit of Horizon
View from Hopetown lighthouse of boats anchored.
Phil still at top of Hopetown lighthouse
I love the way the dog sits on dinghy with tail hanging off the side
Queens Highway on Man of War
Another fish, another fresh fish dinner!
Good engine access
Keeping those yummy fresh fish dinners coming
Munjack
The art of coconut husking
Enjoyed a birthday call with Josh & Clare
Evening gathering at Donnie’s dock
Tight on dock, maybe 5″ between dinghies
Note the flags…a lot of wind!
Lunch at Wrecking Tree before saying goodbye.
Psalm 107:23
Those who go down to the sea and ships, who do business on great waters; they have seen the works of the LORD, and His wonders in the deep.
Love never fails.
Blessings, Phil and Kathy

Green Turtle to Man of War

Sunday morning we got underway from Green Turtle Cay at 0945 with Horizon. We stopped to see the pigs at No Name Cay. Winds in the anchorage at No Name were strong with rough waves. We could not get our anchor to hold, so after three tries Phil switched anchors and the Danforth held the first time like a champ! Brigit had leftover scraps for the pigs, but apparently they weren’t too fond of their veggies…only bread! Once we got underway again we were able to sail with jib alone making 6+ knots. Phil put out fishing lines and fished all the way to Man of War (MOW). We traveled under sail alone until the final mile to MOW.  We picked up mooring balls in the east field which Buddy had saved for us until another boat that is scheduled to leave moves elsewhere in the Bahamas.We enjoyed MOW on our last trip 3 year’s ago and currently plan to stay several weeks to a month traveling to other spots or going out to fish offshore.

Crew of Autumn Borne
Phil cleaned our bottom side
Pop-in from Birgit and Werner
Hydroponic produce market on Green Turtle
Bocci ball can get pretty competitive
Music courtesyof Dean
“Slightly competitive” crew from Seeker
Crews of Horizon, Seeker and Unicorn
Beach at No Name Cay
Local island resident

Pigs are protected
Feeding a hungry pig
Kathy with crew from Horizon


Fish on the line
Horizon under sail
My favorite helmsman!
Appetizers including fresh fish
Mexican Train Dominoes winners


Psalm107:23

Those who go down to the sea in ships, Who do business on great waters; They have seen the works of the LORD, And His wonders in the deep.                                     

Love never fails.               

Blessings, Phil & Kathy

.               


Finally Bahamas Bound

February 16th we finally left Vero Beach along with Autumn Borne, Seeker and Horizon and headed down the ICW to Fort Pierce inlet on a nice sunny day. We had light morning winds. We got to Fort Pierce Inlet channel and enjoyed a 10kn ride with the current out to the ocean. Winds were light from the south so we were motor sailing. When we were far enough  out, Phil put out his fishing lines and caught us lunch. The weather was not at all what we expected from hearing the forecast. Winds picked up and did not shift as forecasted and the seas got “lumpy”. The northerly push of the Gulf Stream was so light that we didn’t need a southern offset to our route. Autumn Borne went more northerly, but then developed engine trouble. They decided to continue to Great Sale Cay, anchor and repair their engine. Once we got to Great Sale we had perfect winds and sailed at 7+ kts all the way to Green Turtle Cay where we got a mooring ball at Donnie’s Sunday afternoon. Monday we checked in to the Bahamas and had a celebratory lunch afterwards. For whatever reason Phil was looking at our customs paperwork to ensure that we were good for 90 days, and it turned out we were good for only four days😬! We were blessed to be able to sort the whole thing out by dinghying across the sound to Treasure Cay where they could correct our mistake and issue an extension of 90 days. We then began enjoying Green Turtle exploring both on foot and by golf cart with our friends from Horizon. Also found out we need to hone in our bocci ball skills! 

Saying see you later to our good friends, Greg and Lyn on Paperbird
Heading out with Autumn Borne, Horizon and Seeker
Going out Fort Pierce
First fish

 

Lunch



Sunsets are so beautiful at sea

Another day another fish


Horizon and Seeker
Center of the world rock
Horizon catching a good wind
Finally moored in Green Turtle

New Plymouth, Green Turtle, Bahamas
Walking to customs

Crews of Horizon, Seeker and Unicotn
Phil and Werner at Beach stop on golf cart trip around island
Dinghied from Green Turtle Cay to Treasure Cay

Sunset from anchorage
Morning boat project, cleaning deck.

Psalm 107:23 Those who go down to the sea in ships, Who do business on great waters; They have seen the works of the LORD, And His wonders in the deep.

Love never fails.

Blessings, Phil & Kathy

Still Enjoying Vero

The weathers been getting warmer, but the cold fronts have continued not giving sufficient time for a good weather window to cross to the Bahamas. As our friend David says “March is coming” i.e. why cross now, have patience! We’re making use of our time in Vero doing boat projects, seeing local sights, getting in some walking, biking and food shopping. We’ve been joining other boaters at weekly Monday night gathering at Mr Manatees for dinner…just a short dinghy ride across the ICW. On Thursday afternoons boaters also bring snacks to share and enjoy time together at the marina. The boating community is very friendly as well as active at Vero Beach city marina. Generally a group does a long morning walk which we sometimes go on. We’ve also done some biking, including at 28 mile round trip to Sebastian Inlet State Park and McLarty treasure museum. 

Anchor project so a second anchor is ready to use if needed
Waxing hull, yes Kathy did help, but Phil did the brunt of the work
Dinghied with Greg and Lyn exploring around the north field part of our anchorage
Cat enjoying a morning bike ride
All sorts of activity on the water
Walking group on boardwalk
We did a 28 mile round trip ride to Sebastian Inlet State Park and visited McLarty Treasure Museum which displays treasure from the plate fleet of 1715 Which was destroyed by a hurricane

Rest break on the 14 miles into the wind on the way to museum…ride home was much faster!
A break to walk on beach
Heading back on jungle trail from Sebastian
Small walking group…We got rained on
Heading to Mr Manatees for a dinner, where boaters get together every Monday… a short dinghy ride from anchorage
Walk on beach, yes I got my feet wet
Another day, another group walk

Psalm 107:23 
Those who go down to the sea in ships, Who do business on great waters; They have seen the works of the LORD, And His wonders in the deep.
Love never fails.
Blessings, Phil & Kathy

Enjoying Vero

We have been enjoying Vero Beach and the sailing community here. Vero beach has been a blessing and has given us time to do projects around the boat as well as enjoy the surrounding community. Last Sunday afternoon we wandered around the Vero Veterans Memorial Island sanctuary. For exercise we’ve been doing some walking exploring around Vero. Monday we walked almost 5 miles during the day. I am still working on getting my energy level up and could probably sleep half the day most days, even though I sleep well at night. We also spent a day touring the US Navy SEAL Museum which was full of fascinating information and displays as well as a 2 hour movie on the evolution of the Navy SEALS. Wednesday we toured the Piper airplane plant whose story is also very interesting. Thursday it rained off and on and was a good day for us to dinghy in and do laundry. In the afternoon we saw a runaway dinghy coming our way  being pursued by the sailor from the neighboring boat. Saturday we got up ready to head down the ICW to stage for crossing to the Bahamas on Sunday, but the forecast changed making it no longer favorable to cross the Gulf Stream. It was a good decision, but a part of us said we should have gone. Saturday we decided it was time to venture out on our bikes and we rode 13 miles on a nice mild afternoon. We were also able to walk to Christ By The Sea United Methodist Church to visit again. On the way walking back to the boat we stopped at The Red Onion for delicious grouper sandwiches with Greg and Lyn who highly recommended it. It is a definite must try, but be sure to share one sandwich as they are huge! Walking back to the marina we also enjoyed a garden fest that was going on. You never know what treats you’ll experience each day.

“The only easy day was yesterday”
Boat with an attitude
Rappelling…
There is a person in this picture!
This bridge holds the record to this day of the largest detonation of man fused munitions during evacuation of Korean civilians
UDT divers recovering project Gemini space capsule
Custom motorcycle built by a Navy Sealas a tribute to 11 seals and 8 army night stalkers killed in Afghanistan in Kune 2005 during operation Redwing
My Seabee
Wet ‘n windy dinghy ride
Runaway dinghy being towed “home”
13 mile bike ride on bike path/lane
Water pots at garden fest


Psalm 107:23 

Those who go down to the sea in ships, Who do business on great waters; They have seen the works of the LORD, And His wonders in the deep.

Love never fails.

Blessings, Phil & Kathy