Feb 14 Update, 2016 from Sharon and Richard on Lucky

Being in the water was wonderful, but there was still lots to do. We had to fill up with water, gas and diesel, and buy more groceries – a lot more.

The first night, when we got back with supplies, there was an odd smell in the boat, from the saurkraut and sausage we cooked the night before, Richard thought. But I could detect a subtle hint of gas, so Richard shut off the propane tank, and went to bed, with the rain pouring down, as it had been doing all day. The next day when we turned on the propane, there was a loud hissing noise.

It rained all day. And all day, Richard climbed in and out of the locker where the propane regulator and hook-ups to the stove were – in the rain, as the tarp didn’t cover the whole cockpit and our bimini was away, a pattern for the new one being sewn by a seamstress in Tequesta. I spent the day driving back and forth from the marina to the hardware store and the Gas Company in that pouring rain. We replaced the copper line – had to lift the stove out to get it out. The hissing continued when we turned the propane on. Then the LPG line. Still hissing. I was getting frazzled from all the driving in the heavy rain. Late in the day at the gas company, I backed into a short metal post that I couldn’t see and now the van needs a new bumper.

Finally I went back for a new regulator, and when Rich installed it the hissing stopped. It kept raining. Richard climbed creakily out on the locker, a hero in my eyes.

And that was supposed to have been our day of rest after our three weeks of slaving in the yard!
But things got better. I did laundry quickly the next day in town, where there are many machines and I was early enough that I didn’t have to wait.

In the afternoon we went to Tequesta and waited an hour for Beth to finish the new bimini. She had forgotten to make the changes we requested and her grommet machine didn’t work. $335 U.S. Richard said he should have done it himself, but he already had so much to do.

We had a good visit with Richard’s old friend Ben, who thinks Trump will solve all of the problems in the U.S. if he gets elected.

I played a few wonderful Scrabble games with some very good players – Joy from Sandals, Joan from Tranquility, Debbie from Our Way and two or three others. They needed a little brushing up on the rules, as most played on the computer, but took that well.

On Monday we moved up the canal a little ways to the dock of Richard and Renita Brooks, Richard’s good and log-time friends. Most of the power boats that passed slowed down and left small wakes. Richard spent an afternoon helping Richard B. install a pump in his pool. We relaxed a bit.

Richard got out his 50-year-old Pfaff sewing machine out and started making cockpit cushions. (He had brought the foam and beautiful waterproof material from Canada.) He worked on them many days in our two different anchorages until now.

It kept raining off and on. One morning we woke up surrounded by a floating island of foliage that had floated down the canal. With the boathook and broom, we were able to get it off of our lines in pieces and sent it on towards Stuart. We have seen these large floating islands all along the way. Yesterday one was blocking the boat ramps near our current anchorage, and another stretched almost across the canal.

We took another trip to West Palm Beach to look for a replacement for the broken spring in the tensor unit of the sewing machine. After being sent from one place to another, Brad kindly agreed to fix it while we did more grocery shopping. We all agreed that it was a miracle that he had the part in stock. After that the sewing proceeded at a better pace, although Richard still had to keep taking those tiny pieces apart and putting them back together, with his reduced eyesight. I held the flashlight and threaded the needle.

On Feb. 1st, there was still a light drizzle, but we decided nothing was so crucial that it couldn’t be done farther down the water. Richard had put the car to bed the day before while I played two last games of Scrabble with those wonderful players.

We detached the electrical line and two dock lines, pulled up the four anchors and I motored slowly west down the canal while Richard tied everything down.

At the railroad bridge with the 49-foot clearance, Richard approached slowly into the oncoming current and went underneath the bridge. It cleared the light on top of the mast by about 6 inches and the aerial went “ping” as it bent to go under each girder. Phew! Once under, we anchored before the lock. We had decided to take the southern rim route and weren’t sure we could get to the next possible anchorage before dark. We watched “Sex Tape”, one of the movies downloaded for us by Bill and Eileen on Moshulu. Richard picked it for the reasons you would expect, but it turned out to be a good comedy.

In the morning we went through the Port Mayaca Lock and motored into the southern Rim Route. Late in the day we anchored in a little side-pocket just east of the swing bridge at Torrie Island. There we rode out a strong cold front and stayed three more days. We spent much of the time working on the cockpit cushions, Richard nursing his crotchety old Pfaff machine along.

In the evenings we watch movies that son Mike and Richard’s son Colin downloaded for us. We have become addicted to the Castle detective series (so nice with no commercials) and watched “12 Years a Slave”. Thank you Mike and Colin!

On Feb. 6, we moved here, to the enclosed anchorage just north os the South Bay Trailer Park and boat launch. All of the nights have been cold and we woke up to temperatures from 35 to 55◦ F. every night.
A few days ago I hand-sewed the last corner on the last cockpit cushion, and they are beautiful. Very subtle beige colour, but they give the boat a bit of class that was missing last year with the smelly damp old foam and the loose pieces of cheap plastic laid on top.

We met Steve from Maine, a winter resident in the motor-home park, on the dinghy-dock, and he has come over to raft alongside Lucky in Opa’s Island, his Bayside cruiser, with his wife and guests. They have offered help whenever we need it. We meet the very nicest people while cruising.

Jim and Lynda came in yesterday in Morning Star and rafted alongside and we shared the fish Steve had given to us for supper. Sue and Mick on Jennie may stop by on their way home tomorrow or the next day and Dennis and Kika, old friends of Richard will drive over tomorrow.

Today is lovely and warm but another front is coming through tonight. Jim and Richard got out their fishing gear. Now, at 3:30 p.m., they are both napping. They say the fish bite better at night.
At 4:30 the birds will begin roosting in the trees near us and I will watch for the beautiful roseate spoonbills I saw two nights ago to flutter  onto a roost. Perhaps we will stay here all winter!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Sharon and Richard, taking it easy on Lucky

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