Thursday, April 29, 2010

Changing Course in mid-Stream

Here we are in Stuart, Florida, ready for our run up the Saint Lucie River to Indiantown where we have decided to keep the boat for the summer.

Freedom - a 1926 Trumpy - sistership to the Kennedys'

We left Nassau after the Keys and reversed our route from when we came down.  The Berry Islands are nice and we will spend more time there someday.  Caught a couple of fish – one edible, the other a monster barracuda.  Made Mike’s look like a minnow.

Barracuda - too big might mean cigateura (poison)
Barracuda - too big might mean cigateura (poison)

At Great Stirrup Cay we found the engine awash in water in the engine pan.  Turns out a hose clamp let go and we had water pouring all over the engine – especially the starter (foreshadowing!)

Into Freeport with a little excitement along the way.  We were hit by a squall.  It seemed like it would never stop although it was probably only half an hour but my goodness, the rain!!!  It rained so hard that it washed a bird’s nest out of the boom.  Who knew we had a birds nest in there but we certainly had mud and twigs all over the deck afterward. Berlington took Glen around to a marine store for beer and hose clamps!  Problem solved.

We had a benign crossing. No wind, no waves, just 17 hours of motoring.

On the way over we watched the Coast Guard board a huge motor yacht.  They veered over towards us but when they saw we were Canadian (Canadians don’t pack heat!) and that we smiled and waved, they sped off in search of bad guys.

Coast Guard
Changed course in mid Gulf Stream… literally.  We changed our minds about going north.  We will keep the boat at Indiantown Marina in Florida.  The marina is 20 miles inland and hasn’t been bothered much by hurricanes.  Our insurance company is happy – and so are we.

At 11 pm, after a harrowing entrance into the Fort Pierce inlet we anchored, had a glass of champagne and had a great sleep.

Clearing Customs involves putting up a quarantine flag when you arrive, grabbing a taxi and reporting in at the nearest airport to fill out a ton of forms.  So the next morning we shared a taxi with another boater in the same situation and were done in an hour.

We stayed in Fort Pierce for a couple of days and then left for Stuart.  On our way, we decided to fill up with fuel in Manatee Pocket.  When we were fueled and ready to go we found that the engine would not start.  Turns out, the water spilling over the engine caused some damage.  We were towed to the nearest boatyard where mechanics spent a little time and we spent a lot of money to solve the problem.  Now we have a shiny new starter solenoid!!!

TowBoatUS - kind of like BCAA
TowBoatUS - kind of like BCAA

Yan Diesel with his New Solenoid!
Yan Diesel with his New Solenoid!

We are down to some odds and ends in the pantry.  Pam is creating strange things with canned black beans, onion, green beans and salad dressing.  She created nachos a la sausage for lunch yesterday and later announced that Vienna Sausage will not be making our provisioning list again.

Last Red
Last Red

We will put the boat away on Monday or Tuesday and head home right after.  It will be good to see our family and friends… and we are already looking forward to the new adventures of the Blue Pearl next year!

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