They Got Me…

The bridges, that is. Fifteen bridges today, count ’em, fifteen. Between the wind, the rain and fighting the current, we’re exhausted. The plan was to drop the hook in Middle River and stay tonight and tomorrow, getting some laundry done in the process. When we got to the anchorage we didn’t like what we saw. There was room for maybe one more boat and since it was forecast to blow 20-25 tonight, Michele just didn’t feel comfortable dropping the hook and being so close to the other boats. To tell the truth, I didn’t feel all that great about it either. So we backtracked about a quarter mile to where there was an open bend and another canal that intersected the main canal. Great spot, plenty of swing room, only one problem, it was 25 feet deep. This meant that I had to lay out at least 125 foot of chain and with the weather coming, Michele was not a happy camper with that idea.

Next, I tried to raise another cat that was in Lake Worth with us and followed us today down the river. They had chosen Lake Sylvia, but I questioned this choice because I knew it would be jammed with folks waiting to cross over the stream. When I finally got a hold of him, he confirmed that, indeed, Lake Sylvia was full. He had waited until a dayboat left and then grabbed that spot. At this point Michele is really upset and I’m upset too. It bothers me seeing her upset about having to worry about not having a good hook set or being too close to other boats. Then I feel guilty because maybe I could have planned a little better. Then I remind myself that hey, it is what is and we had no way of knowing if the anchorages had room or not.  Worst case scenario was that we go back seven miles through four bridges and drop the hook in Lake Santa Barbara.

Then I remembered that Las Olas marina had a few mooring balls across from the marina proper. So I called them up and sure enough there were two left. I tried to reserve a ball, but it was first come, first served. Looked at the clock and it was 2:20 which meant the Las Olas bridge just closed and would not open again for an hour. Dang. No way were we gonna fight the wind and current for an hour, so we dropped the hook just outside the channel and waited. At 3:15 Las Olas opened and we slid through dodging all the other boats in the area. The balls were just after the bridge and Michele made an absolutely perfect approach in the wind and we were hooked up. No muss, no fuss! As our friend Terry would say, ” nothing to see here”. 🙂 The real shock came when I went to the Marina office to pay, would you believe 90 bucks for two days! Sometimes peace of mind comes at an expensive price! But hey, Michele will sleep good tonight…

P1030375The sun through the clouds this morning..

P1030380I wish I could explain this. The backhoe was just sitting there on this little mound of dirt. How did it get there? How’s it gonna get off?

P1030391One of the prettier drawbridges we encountered..

P1030393Even the trailer parks are waterfront with boat docks here..:)

P1030395 P1030396Yesterday it was the treadmill on the superyacht…Today, it’s robots mowing the lawn!

P1030405 P1030401 P1030397You can’t go through Fort Lauderdale without oohing and ahhing  the mansions.

Until then….

 

 

Black Friday…On The Move

Hope everyone’s Thanksgiving was everything you hoped it would be. Ours was really nice, plus the Ravens beat the Steelers! What more could you ask for?  Gary and Jane aboard Dreamcatcher, invited us over, along with Bob and Lynn from Storymaker and Andy and Pam from Grace, for Thanksgiving dinner. The turkey and everything else that everyone brought was excellent. Gary bbq’ed the turkey in the largest bbq I have ever seen on a boat! The thing was humongous and he cooked the bird to perfection. Afterwards, it was apple pie and cheesecake for desert. You couldn’t have asked for a nicer time. Thanks to all you guys for inviting us over.

Michele woke up this morning and had a severe case of “happy feet” and suggested that today should be the we leave. Who am I to argue? So it was a quick dinghy ride to Publix to drop off the Red Box movies and off we went. After fighting the bridges and making a whole 17 miles we dropped the hook at Lantana. For some reason all the bridge schedules have changed and not in a good way. For example, Flagler Memorial opens a quarter after the hour. Royal Park Bridge opens also a quarter after the hour. Here’s the problem, the Royal Park Bridge is only 9 tenths of a mile away. That means by the time you get through Flagler you have to wait an hour to get through Royal. If Royal opened on the hour and half hour like it used to, then there’s no problem making it through without a long wait. Ok, rant over. It’s still better then being stuck in traffic on the Beltway. In a snowstorm.

P1030339On one of my dinghy runs to the store..

P1030342Bob, on Storymaker, made this vase with all our names on it. It was the centerpiece for the table.

P1030345Just some of the delicious food..

P1030348Clockwise from nine o’clock..Gary and Jane from Dreamchaser….Michele from El Camino…Lynn and Bob from Storymaker….Pam and Andy from Grace..

P1030357Our Thanksgiving sunset…

P1030362This same house was here last time we came through. Would love to know the story on it. This is right across from Peanut Island..

P1030366 P1030367I had to get a shot of this sailboat. Look at the size of that thing! It’s called Squall, so tonight maybe Google will be my friend..

P1030371

P1030373Doesn’t everyone have a treadmill on their yacht? 🙂

P1030374The anchorage here at Lantana.

Until then….

 

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

This time last year on Thanksgiving day, we made the transition from the motor home to the boat. So many things have transpired since then. We have met some wonderful people and made great friends along the journey. We have had our resolve tested several times and hey, we’re still here on the boat! Michele has become quite the weatherwoman, planner and boat handler. We’ve learned to work together and not sweat the small stuff. Above all, we realize just how blessed we are to be able to follow this dream.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

CIMG9390Last years Thanksgiving dinner right before moving on the boat. 🙂

Until then….

It’s The Weather..

Yes it is. The weather. Still here at Lake Worth waiting for a break in the weather. Looking at high winds and some rain for the next few days so trying to make a decision on when to leave hasn’t been easy. On one hand, we want to get further south. On the other hand, for the next 25 miles or so, there are only a few spots in which to anchor. And those few spots only hold five or six boats, so by leaving you are rolling the dice as to whether you’ll have a spot to drop the hook. I would think that the other cruisers out there are staying put as well. Plus there’s the 20 or so bridges to be dealt with.

With the thought that we may spend Thanksgiving here in Lake Worth and since we won’t be with family, I tried to find a place to volunteer at on Thanksgiving Day. Sounds like a simple task, doesn’t it? Well there was no love to be found. Either the places we called were not doing a Thanksgiving dinner for the needy, or we were too late in getting a reservation to volunteer. I never knew you needed a reservation to help out! I guess that’s a good thing if you have so many willing to help that you need reservations. So, how we are actually going to spend Thanksgiving is up in the air.

The freezer project is coming along, I think. Took a cab to AutoZone to buy some 134a in order to try and see if that was what was needed to fix the system. Since there are two compressors I had no way of knowing which compressor went to which plate. The condenser tubing is hidden behind the refrigerator so there was no to trace the lines. It was a 50/50 shot of guessing which was which and of course I guessed wrong. Now I had a system with not enough 134a and one with too much. I could tell there was too much 134a because the condenser line started to frost over. At least now I know which compressor goes to which plate. Hooked up the can of 134a to the other compressor and promptly overfilled it too. The condenser plate did start to frost over, so at least we were on the right track. Now the trick is to slowly bleed off the excess 134a without bleeding off too much. All this would be pretty simple if I had a set of A/C gauges, that way I could see exactly how much to bleed off.

Another thing that needed checking was how often was the system running and for how long. There was no way of telling when the system was running because the pumps are so quite, I can’t hear them when they are on. So, in the best spirit of MacGyver, I wired in a small LED light that comes on when the system starts a cycle. Ran the wires to the countertop where I just duct taped the light to the counter where I could see it. Worked perfect!

On a side note. One of my flip flops broke yesterday and today we went to find a shop to buy a new pair. I did find a pair at West Marine, but before West Marine I walked into this little surf shop that had flip flops. My question is…Who spends $116 bucks on a pair of flip flops?? They did have a year guarantee, against what I didn’t ask, but $116 bucks??

P1030334The two freezer compressors.

P1030331The LED light I temporarily rigged up to come on when the system is running.

Until then…