Archive for: ‘December 2014’

The Four Questions: 2014 Update

December 18, 2014 Posted by Deb

Storms?

No open ocean bad weather in over 4,000 miles but we scrambled twice in Belize with 50 knots plus while at anchor. The first hit in January when we were loaded with company and we tucked around the south end of Caye Caulker where we’ve hardly ever seen a boat anchored. Probably because it is very thin in every direction. The blow pinned us down for two days but we held on two anchors and company caught up on reading. Going ashore was challenging and only two of us made in during the worst of it.

The second was a wall cloud that hit on beautiful hot afternoon when the locals said it wouldn’t. We almost lost a solar panel on that one. Deb road it out hanging onto the panel while I ran the engines to keep the stress off the hooks. Frigate birds were flying backwards at about 30 knots.

The Light Show Ahead of the Norther

The Light Show Ahead of the Norther

Bad Guys?

We saw our first physical altercation that left a man out cold on the street with his groceries scattered everywhere, we heard a massive cell phone screaming rant, and one other nice verbal battle that we had to back away from but that was our first three days in Florida. Guatemala, Belize, and Mexico were fine.

Welcome to the U.S.A.

Welcome to the U.S.A.

Bucks?

It looks like we will finish up 2014 with a total tab that is slightly over 150% of our former land life. On land, we were pretty dug in and pretty efficient. The numbers are still surprising because we thought we would do better each year as we did in the 1993-1996 voyage of Sanity. It looks like medical including dental and eyes have gone way up and we are travelling a lot more. Also, we kind of knew the closer we got to the U.S., the higher expenses were going to be and that has definitely played out. Our planning for retirement had us a little over 110% of our former life so we’re definitely running hot. We do not intend to make any changes other than swearing off surgery for a while.

What Do You Do All Day?

This is the “little if any fun” period in Brunswick, GA. Monday was calm so we hoisted the main and cleaned off the mildew and mud daubers. Nasty job and it took most of the day. We had to give the boat a bath as well. Tuesday we ripped the water heater apart due to a leak and spent most of the day searching for replacement parts, the most difficult was an inline pressure relief valve with a built in check valve. Ahh… the French.  That night we did a muriatic acid bath on the parts that were going to be re-used. Wednesday we re-assembled the water heater twice and waited to do a fresh water pressure test. All of the water heater repair time was spent head down, one knee on the chest and the other stuffed over the exhaust chamber with one hand for support leaving only one for doing the work. That afternoon we took a four-hour side trip to Bailey’s Gym for a workout and shower. Any down time on these projects went to phone calls trying to juggle vendors, marinas, haulouts, rigging work, regulator testing, and admin on a nasty package of bills that arrived. Tomorrow, Cumberland Island hiking if we get over the stomach flu. If we don’t get better, we’ll turn in the rental car and wait for the chumming to stop before another road trip. When we get to the Bahamas, we will replace this section with something more fun.

Dock 12

Workin’ Off Dock 12

Jags

December 16, 2014 Posted by Deb

Almost exactly three years after our sailing buddy Vickie visited us in St. Martin, we got a call from her inviting us to a Jags football game (that’s the Jacksonville NFL team). We jumped in our little rental car and drove to St. Augustine a day early to take in the festivities. We loved that town before and even more now. We did the light show, parades, and two restaurants we hadn’t been to before including our new lifetime “best burger” at the Candlelight. They put shaved steak on top of the burger and it is wonderful. I decided to quit drinking some other day.

St. Augustine

St. Augustine

Night of Lights in St. Augustine

Night of Lights in St. Augustine

Football, Alcohol and Food

Football, Alcohol and Food

Lunch Bike to St. Simon

It was a big deal because Deb had not biked since her surgery. She was also using one of our folding wedgies rather than her recumbent (wedgy is derogatory for regular upright bikes with small seats). Some of you may remember that it was a wedgy that blew her neck out initially back in the 1980’s on a 100-mile ride called the Split Rock Century. It is eleven miles each way to get to a restaurant on St. Simons with a beach view so a nice break in for her. The end result … gorgeous day but she probably shouldn’t have run 5K that morning.

St. Simons Causeway

St. Simon’s Causeway

Biking Under Spanish Moss

Biking Under Spanish Moss

Turkey Trot – Amelia Island

This one came out of nowhere and before a reality check, we were entered in a race on Amelia Island. We felt a bit better as we checked out the crowd and found that not everyone had their semi-pro running outfits on. We felt even better after the start and we were walking faster than most of the other walkers and we actually were even with a group of runners. The runners just ahead of us were kind of bouncing up and down but not moving forward very fast. We ran/walked the final half and were proud to beat our 10K time by over 2 minutes for a 5K race. Deb finished 7th in her age group and would have finished 5th if she hadn’t stopped just before the finish line to have her picture taken.  I finished 12th in my age group and no one passed me when Deb took my picture. All in all, a very good time and a fraction as hard as a Grenada Hash.

Cross the Finish Line First, Then Take the Picture

Cross the Finish Line First, Then Take the Picture

Fuel Filters

Entropy is gaining on Neytiri and the road trips above are quick diversions from an ongoing battle. Fuel filter changes are not pleasant but the whole process is over pretty quickly. Some even have to change them out in heavy seas when their fuel tanks get churned.  The key is to get all the air out of the lines post filter change and for that, we rely on a gravity fed fuel system. Our routine change of four filters became a two day ordeal when the gravity fed system failed to gravity feed. The process of elimination involved a complete Racor flter tear down, topping off the fuel tanks with jerry jugs for more gravity pressure, a fuel shut off valve tear down, and a lot of sloshing around in diesel fuel. All for nothing. Still no fuel.

Below is a shot of our second to last option. We taped off the fuel tank vent and taped in the hose to our dinghy pump and started pumping. Instant success and a bit more diesel fuel to slosh around in.

Insert Air Here

Insert Air Here

Dock 12

Dock 12