Back In The Saddle

Felt good to be back out on the water today. Michele has taken over picking all the anchorages and daily runs. Today she picked a 55 mile run and we dropped the hook at Five Fathom Creek, MM 430. It’s a nice place, but only for overnight as there are no services close by.

When we left Osprey Marina we ran into something I had yet to see on the ICW. There were minefields of large and small groups of what looked like water lilies. This went on for miles and miles. It looked as if a storm had come through the area. They didn’t pose a problem as long as we didn’t run over the largest ones. About mid afternoon we had the first dolphin sighting! They were corralling fish along the bank and feeding. Really cool to watch.

P1020957 P1020958 P1020960 P1020963 P1020966

Until Then….


The Toughest Part…

The toughest part of cruising isn’t the bad weather you run into or the endless maintenance list or any number of other things. The toughest part is leaving family and friends. Tonight was tough. Tomorrow we head out south and we will miss the newest addition to our family, little Eliana. We’ll also miss Genne and Zack stepping into the roll of mom and dad. The good news is, that in March we’ll be back this way to spend a few more weeks together before heading north to Annapolis.

Here’s the cracked weld in the solar panel support. It’s Halloween appropriate in that it looks like a Jack O Lantern!


Here’s the solar panel in place. This is still just a temporary solution until I get more solar panels and fabricate a proper mounting. The aluminum crossbar you see that is bent, was bent in a tropical storm. It used to support a wind generator. This will get rebuilt when the new panels are installed.


P1020956With the new tube inserted into the existing old wind gen tube, this will serve to stabilize the panel and keep it from swinging.

Until Then…




Almost Right

Finally got the parts back from the fabricator and one job out of three was right. The way the salon table legs were built caused the table to sit an inch too high. I had warned him about this and gave him the critical dimensions. Oh well, I think I can hand work them myself to get the fit right. The other small job was welding a small tube onto another small tube for the solar panel. The tube was not aligned properly and when I tried to move it by hand, the weld broke! I guess it was better to find out now rather then have it break in a squall and have the panel become a projectile. The other job involved two 1/4 inch welds and that was right. So, back to the weld shop on Wednesday because Thursday morning we’re outa here. Gonna miss the kids and the baby..

P1020950The weld that broke is at the intersection. Better pic next post..


P1020945 P1020939And the promised Eliana pics!

Until Then….




All Boat Projects Finished!….Yeah, Right!


Boat projects are never, ever done. While you’re working on crossing things off the top of the list, the bottom of the list just keeps growing. Since Wednesday-Thursday is our leave day, things have been steadily crossed off the list. The last projects to finish are in the hands of a local welder-fabricater. I’m not sure when to start worrying, but a job he said would take a couple of hours has stretched out to ten days counting tomorrow. All that has to be done is make two shorter table legs and weld one 9 inch long piece of tubing on to another piece of tubing for the solar panel. Sometimes I wish I had bought a small TIG weld machine and brought it along. Maybe next year..


Today was provision day and now the only thing left to stock are the meats we want to bring to the Bahamas. Once we get to Florida and met up with our cruiser friends, we’ll have one last major provision run that should last for the next three months. I don’t know how Michele does it, but she always has great menus even when things are low. I look in the storage spaces and say, “there’s nothing here to eat”. She can look in there and thirty minutes later have a nice meal on the table.

Here’s a few projects off the list…

P1020929You think that there may be a problem with the compass?? I haven’t been in a hurry to replace it, but now that our plans include the Bahamas, I figured a working compass would be a good idea…

P1020931The hole where the old compass went..

P1020933And the shiny new compass all ready for mounting. I still have to check and adjust for any deviation.

P1020934This is the ring that holds the manual bilge pump together. It’s a Whale Gusher pump that we would use in case the electric bilge pump fails for some reason. This is what the clamping portion is supposed to look like.

P1020935This is what it’s not supposed to look like. The starboard side had the same kind of break and had been repaired with a hose clamp. The hose clamp seemed a little stronger then the plastic, so hose clamp it was.

P1020936First had to grind off the plastic bolt holders to make room for the hose clamp. I left just a little plastic on the sides to capture the clamp and keep it in place.

P1020938All finished and ready to install on the pump.

As always, thanks for taking the time to look at the blog and we welcome all comments, tips or suggestions….Sid

Until Then…