Update from Sharon and Richard on Lucky, January 31, 2013
The last update was mostly about our land life from July to December. So I am sending this little auxiliary update to fill you in on the boating life from then until now.
On Friday Dec.28, we arrived at Indiantown Marina. When we got the netting and tarps off, Jesse was waiting to move our boat to the work yard, and we really got to work, so we could sleep on the boat that night.
Richard wiped down the slightly mildewy wood inside, and then scrubbed the entire deck and cockpit. I moved the things from the SUV up the ladder into the cockpit and unpacked and put them away. We lowered the dinghy and I carried all of the things piled in the boat and on the deck and in the deck boxes in the dinghy and put a tarp over it, so we would have room to work. When we were really beat, we went to Dee Stephanos, the Italian restaurant in town, for supper.
The next day, Richard took the roller furling apart. All of the bearings and other moving parts had been cemented into a solid mass by a cormorant which had had landed on it many times when we were anchored near Tavernier. We thought it was cute and took many pictures of it. We didn’t notice the many deposits of shit it made in our roller furling (read cormorant toilet). Later, I had to go to West Palm for new parts for it.
On New Year’s Eve day, we put things away so Maggie and Shirley would have a place to sleep when they came for the marina party that night. The party was good. It was warm, not too many mosquitos, and the potluck food and meat supplied by the marina was plentiful and tasty. A cruiser, Phil on Loopy Kiwi (New Zealanders doing the great loop) played his guitar and sang after supper. He was a wonderful entertainer. I sipped wine all evening and when we were ready to leave, I could barely walk. Apparently I invited everyone back to the boat for Richard’s wonderful crêpes the next morning, but I have no memory of that, or even how I got up the ladder and into bed. Maggie and Shirley slept on the boat, and I felt badly about being such a poor hostess and swore off booze. I was pretty useless as a worker on New Year’s Day. Vince and Sharlene from Finn MacCool came to visit.
We had to go to Stuart because the TV had no sound and we needed get a new one. I also insisted that we get headphones for the noisy violent “action” movies Richard loves to watch. Later we had to exchange the headphones (only one had sound) and the TV (it stopped). Best Buy was very accommodating and now we have a happy boat, where I can write and read, and Richard can watch the movies he likes. If we were married, I guess you would call the headphones a marriage saver.
With the right parts, it took us a day to get the roller furling back together, even with four hands instead of two, but now it works like new.
All of the time we were in the yard, Vonny, from Toronto, was trying to get the yard boss to finish the paperwork on Wishbone. (Remember, it was hit by lightning in No Name in May.) He had already been paid and on Monday, January 14, Don Depencier from Bothwell came in a Bothwell Boatworks truck to take Wishbone back to Canada. He took three hours to tie the boat down. He did an excellent job. Today Vonny found out the local surveyor who is representing the insurance company is now happy with the paperwork and has submitted it to the insurance company.
Meanwhile we continued working as hard as we could every day. (Yes, there was the odd nap when it got really hot some afternoons.) I was Richard’s step-and-fetch-it, and drove to the hardware store and all of the other places where we needed to get things. Richard fixed the wobbly rudder bearing, put on the new feathering prop, and put in a new cutlass bearing. He cut out the floor behind the steering pedestal in the cockpit and replaced it with skillful fibreglassing. There was the usual washing down of the topsides, and we sanded, taped and repainted the deck, which made the boat look clean and spiffy. Richard put the bottom paint on. There was a lot more, but I’ll spare you the tiresome details.
I managed to distribute quite a few copies of Idiot Afloat, Book I and II, and played a couple of Scrabble games. On Saturday nights, we attended the potlucks and enjoyed the company of other hard-working cruisers. One night we had six guests, definitely against the rules, Moose the cook explained, so we brought extra meet to compensate and, of course, extra food. Three were friends from Pickering Ontario and the others were Richard’s good friends Richard, Renita, and Renita’s 88-year- mom. We all had fun.
A big surprise was the day that John and Sheila, my brother and sister-in-law pulled up in their little rented car. They were on their way from the cruise ship where they had travelled the islands, ball-room dancing every night, and the villa they had rented for a week or so in Orlando. They climbed the ladder and we made room among the tools and paint cans in the cockpit for them to sit. I served tea and fancy Christmas cookies. Sheila said everything looked very convenient. But I suspect they wondered how people could even consider this kind of cruising when it involved so much work. I wished they could have seen the nice parts, like now.
On Friday, Jan. 18, we were launched. This year, we went on a dock while we finished the remaining tasks – sails on, groceries bought and stored, laundry, returning friend Richard’s ladder and shop vac, visiting Richard’s friends Ben and Blanca, fixing the steaming light, and so on. This was a real luxury, which we decided we have earned because of our advanced ages.
Tuesday, January 22, we cast off our lines and headed out at noon. Twenty minutes out, we turned around and headed back. The stuffing box was leaking quite a bit. We anchored near Indiantown Marina, just in case.. Richard got out some big wrenches and tightened it. After he mopped up the water in the bilge we were underway again. With our new feathering prop, we flew. Two hours later, we went through St. Lucie Lock, with no waiting – except for it to empty down to the lower level.
At 4 p.m. we turned right at marker 37, went up the river a little ways, and anchored, all alone. We cooked a little roast and later watched a movie. When the movie was over, we went out into the moonlight and realized that we were a little too close to shore and parked solidly on the ground. So Richard started the motor, put it in forward, we rocked the boat back and forth, and gradually moved into deeper water. We reanchored where the wind and opposing current would keep us in deeper water.
The next day we were able to sail for a while, before we came to the restricted bridges. We heard Three Penny Opera calling the same bridges and we ended up in North Lake Worth together. I made a good soup between bridges, and we took it over and reconnected with Pat and Addison. We hadn’t seen them for three years. Reconnecting with old friends is a nice part of cruising.
When we left the next morning, we swang by Anne and Michael on Nimue, flying a British flag. We met them when we had dinner at Ben and Blanca’s and will watch for them down the road. That day, in Riviera Beach, we shopped at Boat Owners’ Warehouse and had drinks with Richard’s old friend Jim Moore, who restores Trumpys, and lives on one. Such an tasteful, beautiful boat. We sat in the gleaming dining room, and they recalled the times when they had worked together, many years ago.
Friday – eleven bridges and nineteen miles. We spent an hour or two waiting. We anchored in Lake Boca Raton. Saturday – thirty-one miles and thirteen bridges, and two hours waiting. We dropped the hook here in Lake Oleta at Bakers Haulover at 4 p.m. Mick and Sue arrived on Jenny on Monday. We haven’t seen them for two years, so we have spent a lot of time together, catching up on our friendship.
On Monday, I pulled Richard to the top of the mast and he replaced the old tri-colour light.
We’ve been getting rid of the boat yard dust and dirt, and organizing cupboards. And doing yoga, swimming, and just chilling. Sue and I took the shuttle bus to get fresh food at Publix yesterday. Tomorrow Shirley is coming to dinner, and will take us to do errands.
We’ll wait here for a Bahamas window. This is cruising.