Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Hurry Up And Wait

I’ve been lax in documenting our progress south.  I really wanted to just hold my breath until we reached the Bahamas, not wanting to jinx it…  Evidently that isn’t working, we’re STILL jinxed!  

My mind has been in such a muddle, what with the holidays, both Christmas and New Years…  So many things churning around in my head.  It’s just been difficult to come up with anything interesting to say other than that we are marking time, slowly making our way towards the Bahamas and just goin’ with the flow… what else can we do?

Once the excitement of our daughter’s engagement and our (now) son-in-law’s winging died down, we left Titusville and continued on our journey.  We stopped for one night in the Banana River near what is called Dragon Point, although the dragon for which it was named has long since disappeared.  We have some friends from home who have moved to this little town and keep their sailboat in the marina just south of the Mathers Bridge.  

I still love swing bridges
We opted to go through the swing bridge and anchor just north where we had the river to ourselves.  (N28°09.119’,W080°36.465’) The anchorages south of the bridge were very crowded… I guess nobody wants to wait for the bridge opening… which is “on demand” and not a problem at all…  We spent an enjoyable evening being fed and pampered, followed by a blissfully peaceful night.  

Morning - Time to go...

Living up to our resolution to sail more.

Happy hour our second night in Vero Beach
Weather is completely in control of our lives.  At this point, we are thinking that we can spare a couple of days in Vero Beach to visit with friends, top off our tanks, and then scurry onward to our staging point in Lake Worth where we would spend a solitary Christmas eve and then LEAP!

You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave...
Vero Beach has a reputation for holding Cruisers far longer than their intended stay and once again, this proved true.  Weather didn’t look great for a crossing and Christmas was coming.  We had dear friends with whom to celebrate and access to everything we could need in the way of supplies and entertainment… so we stayed.  

We wiled away the days taking almost daily (free) bus trips to shop and dine.  We walked the streets for exercise, we enjoyed the warm temperatures and the beautiful beach.  We hung out with other Cruisers for happy hours and Christmas dinner.  We hosted dinners aboard our boat and enjoyed other dinners with friends aboard their boats…  It all merges to form a pleasant blur with the purpose of passing time until we got the weather OK to LEAP!
Lighted Kayak Christmas Carolers.

Big waves

Land of endless summer

The view.  Why do they look so young?

A favorite pastime

Finally there was a good looking weather window… we spent a day loading final provisions and topping off tanks, generally making ready for our departure from the US.  As we prepared for bed that night… Bruce asked me: “What do you know about dentists in the Bahamas?”…  WHAT!!!?  

So, we delay our departure again, miss our weather window and plunge into trying to get him a dental appointment at a time of year when many dentists take their vacations!  The best we could do was the following Monday… a work-in appointment for which we would have to “wait”.  

Our appointed dental visit day arrived.  We took two busses and walked a bit to arrive early at our appointment.  We sat for hours in the waiting room, forced to experience the dreaded “daytime television”.  It was blasting so loudly I couldn’t concentrate on my book… someone is now famous for being so addicted to alcohol that she drinks hand sanitizer… Oh my brain hurts from it!!!

By the end of the day, Bruce was finally next up to see the dentist but we had to leave to catch the bus back to the marina… so we left without Bruce being seen.  

The next day we tried again.  We parked ourselves on their doorstep until they saw him and ended up waiting less time… It wasn’t good.  There is a lot going on in Bruce’s mouth and their estimated cost of nearly SIX GRAND and six to eight weeks delay had our heads spinning.  This is definitely something we need to sleep on….  

Anchored in Peck Lake
Fast forward through a wet and dreary New Years Eve which was spent onboard in our jammies alone… Good or bad… we decide to go and try to see a dentist either in the Bahamas or if he can wait… to see his home dentist in May.  It looks like we have another weather window opening up a a couple of days so on New Year’s Morning we took off, next stop Peck Lake!  

Beach path
The anchorage at Peck Lake is one of our favorites.  It’s easy to get into and there is a wonderful beach.  We arrived in the early afternoon to find it full of boats but still room enough for us.  We walked the beach and enjoyed this peaceful place to contemplate the upcoming year… 

Easy to entertain...

Tiny Man-o-war were all over the beach.

My new worry stone.  I'm gonna need it!

Sunrise at Peck Lake

Once again we’re on the move, happy and hopeful (if not a bit anxious) that we would be enjoying a peaceful crossing and finally reaching our ultimate goal very soon…  We found our intended anchorage just south of Peanut Island blocked by dredge boats, so we picked a spot among the many other Cruisers staging to cross.

Gorgeous moonrise at Lake Worth
We enjoyed the rising nearly full moon and the sunsets and the feeling of knowing that in a couple of days, we will be joining dozens of other boats in a midnight departure with favorable conditions all around.  The moon, tide and winds would be, if not perfect… at least reasonable to assure an uneventful crossing.

Sacrificial anode has made the ultimate sacrifice
Until we tried to charge up our batteries and a warning light came on… We took off the covers on the generator to change out a belt and found a steady stream of salt water spurting into our engine room from a hole in the generator.  Noooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!

Long story short, we missed another weather window, resigned ourselves to at least another week here and ordered a part and several others for spares... and we wait until they arrive...

The water is gorgeous on the incoming tide

Lots of BIG boats coming and going

The beach at Peanut Island

View of the anchorage from Peanut Island

The moon was big every night

One of the frustrating things about Cruising is that we often find we have limited access to shore.  Florida especially seems to want to keep us out.  Not so here... We found the Palm Beach Sailing Club to be a welcoming and convenient place to get parts shipped.

They have a nice facility where they extend the welcome mat to us for a small fee.  We get access to shore for the dinghy, wonderful hot showers, wifi, water to fill our jerry jugs, and a couple of days a week, they have food service and happy hour at their bar.
Next time we'll bring a hose and fill the jugs in the dinghy

New part - old part
After a couple of free days, our parts arrived and we set about getting this thing installed so that we could be ready for the next weather opportunity for a crossing.

But our jinx was still in full effect... we couldn't get the bolts to bite.  After trying for what seemed like hours, we finally gave up with the realization that the holes in the generator weren't good.  We'll have to go in search of a tap and die set to fix the holes...

You can see where the marina, anchorage and PBSC are located
The forecast was calling for a couple of days of clouds and REALLY high winds...  So we took refuge at the nearby Riviera Beach Municipal Marina.

The docks are nice floating concrete, the people here are very welcoming, which is nice... there is a bus stop just outside the marina area.

Jetsam takes a little walk-about on the dock
So here we sit... spending more money and time than we really want to be spending... Contemplating life and how it throws curve balls just when you think you're getting somewhere.

"Don't worry... the Bahamas will still be there when you get there..." you say.  But our pet permits (the ones that took literally MONTHS and a couple hundred bucks to obtain) will expire on the 31st of January.  If we don't get there before then, we will be delayed yet again for who knows how long.

And the weather continues to be uncooperative as well...  so we hurry up and wait once again...

But for now we're in a safe and cozy spot where we have access to stuff.  We have unlimited water, I can clean and get the laundry done.  We can take the bus to Publix easily while we're here... and there's wifi!  Lovely fast wifi!

Cross your fingers that we can get this generator thing worked out before our permits expire and I lose my mind.  


  1. I so feel for you. We spent a month on the dock in Oriental in 2013 with an engine problem. Still, I'd rather be waiting on parts in a marina than having our crossing to the Bahamas being delayed by spending $8000 on an insurance deductible for a biopsy and waiting to see if I have breast cancer. Wanna trade?

    S/V Kintala

    1. Oh no! As usual I am reminded that as much as my life can be frustrating, there are always others who have so much more to worry about. I too had a similar experience some years back so I know how horrible the waiting is for that news. I hope that your news is good and thanks for the reality check. Maybe we'll meet out here somewhere sometime.

  2. So sorry to hear about the delays ... and Bruce's mouth! Hopefully he'll be able to find a cheaper alternative .. and hopefully you'll be in the Bahamas soon! Although I must admit ... looks like a great place. We can't wait to get there ... it's in the high teens this morning!

    1. Yes the teeth are worrisome and we hope we can find someone like his dentist back home or wait until we get there... Cheryl your time will fly by and you'll be out here in no time. Can't wait to meet you guys!

  3. Good luck on breaking away from that US magnetic field! You have certainly had some setbacks. Don't go to Ft Lauderdale(a.k.a. Port Everglades) to cross. They really hate cruisers there and you'll almost nowhere to stay and no dinghy access. We are in St John's and loving it. Just stay focused on the prize it's worth it. Ed & Cheryl sv Slowdown

    1. Thanks, evidently we need some luck! Eventually the setbacks must end, right? We will wait patiently (yeah right) here in Lake Worth... the weather must let us out some time... We are hoping to be following you next year so be sure to document heavily for us. You're an inspiration!