Where did 2 months go?
Ft. Launderdale, FL, with a short MA and MD Trip
After Ft. Pierce in December, we sailed overnight directly to Ft. Lauderdale. We stayed for 6 weeks on the New River City Docks, what a deal at 1.35 cents a foot not including 20 days of 15% BoatUs discount since we straddled two calendar years. The lovely Broward Center for the Performing Arts was right accross the river, and Don scored us last minute tickets to both Hamilton and Gladys Night! We ended up next to cruiser friends Irv, Bonnie, &Colin (S/V Bonnie Jean), as well as Luke & Dillon (SV Wanderbird). We combined business with pleasure, by attending respective work meetings, and catching up with our son, Josh. Flying through BWI as a hub, gave us the opportunity to celebrate my sister, Debbie Fink’s, birthday and see other family members.
We then sailed again overnight to Marathon, and have been here for two weeks at Boot Key Harbor. Yes, there’s a pattern! Overnight sails allow us to avoid a lot of day traffic, which close to shore often includes drunken weekenders and fishing charters. Having waited 2 1/2 weeks for a mooring ball for $15/day versus $12/day, it’s worth the upcharge!
SSCA Events: We attend weekly SSCA luncheons and Eddie Tothill and Addison Chan collaborated on a terrific presentation with USCG and Glen Tothill on Safety at Sea and Communications when in areas with limited connectivity.
Dancing: We’re having a great time learning dancig at the Marathon Community Theatre, including Carolina Shag and Salsa. For $25 a couple, the annual membership includes all you can take dance lessons. Anyone down for Bellydancing?
What’s a Shadow Yacht?
One of the things that happened in Ft. Lauderdale was that our daughter, Tali Preuss, stayed with us while she secured the necessary certifications to work on yachts as a Sous/Crew Chef. Mission accomplished!
Tali is now working on a shadow yacht as a Crew Chef for 7. What’s a shadow yacht? It’s essentially the floating garage that holds the toys that slow down and clutter up the mothership: helipads and their helicopters, 40′ tenders for the mothership, see-doos, dive equipment, yada yada. We’re quite proud of her landing a job within 3 months of graduating Cum Laude from Johnson & Wales University with a BS in Culinary Arts.
The honey-do list on land is NOTHING compared to the projects list on a cruising boat. Ours never is finished, and we do most of the work ourselves. What did we do?
- Repower: We purchased 4 new SunPower 320 watt solar panels and an arch, five 100 amp Dragonfly LiFePO4 batteries, and a 3000 watt Victron inverter from Sea-tek Marine. Per their reputation in the cruisers community Alex and Dan were absolutely fantastic. They work smart and clean, leaving your boat better designed then when they started.
- New Sail: After purchasing a used 140 m Parasailor from a sailor in Grenada, we had it shipped very cost effectively via Amerijet to Miami. We rented a car and went to the Miami Airport to clear it through customs, and didn’t have to pay any duties since it was Used and Country of Origin was Germany. Martin Town, the US rep, came on-board to train us on how to use it. We purchased two Gardhaur blocks from him, and bought and installed two standing blocks on the bows for the new running rigging.
- Security system: Shhh, but we installed a great security system which required lots of wiring, hidden detectors, cameras, alarms, and lights.
- New trampolines: having ordered them from France which takes 4-6 weeks, receiving one that was not like the other, and waiting for the replacement. ATN Yacht Equipment was good about it though, and Don did a great job installing them.
- Readying for Dinghy Chaps: We put in a big order with Sailrite. But, this being another major project, we will take it on some time in the future.
- Autopilot Power Saver: We installed an EcoPilot for our Autopilot and tested it out on the sail to Marathon. Works fine!
Maintenance & Lessons Learned
- Gave up on New Cushions: Unfortunately, after coming to Ft. Pierce specifically to work with Sunnyland Canvas based on a recommendation from a friend, we realized they were not a vendor of choice for new salon cushions. We parted ways after the principal hung up on me. We’ll take this project up again in Panama, most likely.
- Leaks Kill: Our 4 kw 230v Onan Cummings generator had a leak some time ago, and over time, rust created by it caused the oil sender wire to fail. Easy fix, $30 part and we’re up and running. Lesson learned ;(