Tuesday, February 28, 2017


On Saturday, we came by SummerTime long enough to drop off items we had picked up at the Saturday morning New Smyrna Beach Farmers' Market held by the town square, and pick up the laundry to do at the condo. At the Farmer's Market we bought a fresh pineapple which was cut for us, Florida wild honey, and some veggies at the Farmers' Market. Not a very big market, but a good assortment of Florida products. And we met Gene in the street, a fellow looper we first met at Cooley's Landing.
      We moved back to the boat on Sunday after church. As we had a rental car since the last of our children left the condo on Saurday, we drove to the local "Church of The Nazarene". It was too far too walk the past Sunday, but as it is our denomination of membership, we thought we should check out one of the Nazarene Churches in Florida. They had a person in to speak on "The Church" mission work, so we could not compare.
      Monday we got up and returned the rental car. We did small chores on SummerTime and took inventory of what we would need to start traveling after nearly two weeks off. On Tuesday afternoon, I walked to Avis and picked up another rental car.
We are going to Tarpon Springs on Wednesday for hopefully the last dental visit to repair the Steinhatchee broken tooth in Barbara's mouth. We get up early on Wednesday morning, and head for Tarpon Springs. It is a much shorter drive than the trips from Marathon in the Keys. We easily arrive in time to have lunch before the noon appointment. The dentist spends a little time putting the new bridge in, maybe an hour, and we are off to return to New Smyrna. We stop in Orlando and visit with my cousin and his family. They provided the name of a great BBQ restaurant to meet at, and my cousin, his wife, two sons, Barbara and I have a good sit down dinner together. We get back to SummerTime about 9.
       On Thursday morning we head to stores to re-provision SummerTime. Barbara goes into Aldi's to get a supply of her favorite chocolate. She picks up a few other items also. We buy groceries, staples, and hard goods to re-stock the boat for traveling. We know we will be getting on our way north again when we get up Friday.
       Friday morning we get up and ready ourselves to leave. We get the holding tank pumped out, and we fill the water tank afterwards. We are now set to fill the fuel tank completely. We are learning the sequence to get one tank empty, and one tank full. The water tank is 90gallons, or about 750 pounds when full. All the weight is on the port side, as the tank runs the length of the outside 1/4 of the boat. When the water tank is full, it is nearly impossible to empty the holding tank, as its pick up for pumping out is on the starboard end. The starboard side is elevated when the water tank is full.  And it is easier to fill the transversely mounted fuel tank, inlet on starboard side, with the water tank full. It gets the inlet on the fuel tank high, so the air comes to that point for venting and quicker filling. The New Smyrna Marina does not sell fuel, so we plan to stop at Ponce Inlet where fuel is listed at about 25c per gallon cheaper than other marinas. We get away from the dock after some last minute socializing at about 10:30.
We take the alternate channel from the ICW to Ponce Inlet to stop for fuel. The inlet is pretty, the water still very clean here, and the Ponce Lighthouse makes a beautiful subject in photos.
But when we finally get hold of the marina to determine the channel in, they tell us their docks are blocked. They can not sell any fuel. So we continue on by turning north to the ICW. We pass through Daytona Beach on the ICW. There are some nice homes along here. And a good anchorage, but it is too early to stop. My plan is to anchor this evening, but farther north on the ICW. I am just not sure where. Most of this part of the trip is rather uneventful, some in dug canal, some in creeks or rivers marked and dredged for use as a part of the ICW. The narrow areas, with few to no side canals has me re-thinking the anchoring. About 3:30 we call Palm Coast Marina about 5 miles before Marineland. We know from the persons we talked with this morning on "Odyssee" that there may not be slips at Marineland, which was my out if no anchorage was found. Palm Coast tells us that they can put us at the fuel dock for the night. We get to their dock about 4:30. And we fuel here for the first time since Boynton Beach area. We take on 95.7gal of fuel for 32hr of running time, and 7.5hr of generator time (about 6-3/4gal). We eat on the boat after debating going to a nearby resort where there is supposed to be an assortment of restaurants. We wave the walking to a restaurant as it is farther than we think we should exercise Barbara's leg which is actually getting better. We turn in early as we know we have to get up and leave early to clear Palm Coast's fuel dock before the fisherman and pleasure riders show up.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


      Saturday is windy with strong winds from the north when we get up in Cocoa. It feels cooler than NOAA temp reported due to the northerly winds. We have to do about 55 miles today, so we get moving early. We make good time initially as we are in open waters of Indian River. We meet the tug "Little Bully" again, pushing a chemical/fuel barge south.
We passed him the first time just south of Jupiter Inlet, where he was pushing a crane on a barge.
We get to the Haulover canal connecting the Indian River to Mosquito Lagoon. It is full of little boats fishing as it is too rough in the two bodies of water on either side of the canal.
We also see several manatees in the canal. The waterway runs straight north in Mosquito Lagoon, by a National Wildlife and Bird refuge area. We are careful to stay in the channel as it is shallow on both sides.


We make good time until we get to Edgewater, then the dreaded "No Wake, Manatee" zones. Our arrival time for New Smyrna Beach Marina goes from 3pm to 4:30pm. Lots of houses on the one bank of the waterway, but not like around the Beaches south of Jupiter Inlet. And the east side of the waterway is mangroves. I think the manatees are hiding in there, as I never see them where the slow zones are. About 2 miles before New Smyrna Beach bridge, and after about 10 miles of slow, we get an open area. We are able to add some speed and clean the engine from all the slow idling. We get to New Smyrna Beach City Marina about 4:30, and the dockmaster, Rick, helps us to get in against the strong winds. A very nice marina, with floating concrete docks. Not a big complex, but very nice. And we are near downtown. Rick tells us about restaurants, and some about the art walk that happens on "First Saturdays". We hike only 3 small city blocks to find a good restaurant to eat at. I order shrimp and grits again, and this offering is different from all past ones. Barbara gets a shrimp and crab au gratin dish. Great salads, and a good desert. As the art galleries are closed when we get out of Jason's, we walk back to SummerTime and turn in for the evening.
       On Sunday we get up and get ready for church. This is the closest a marina has been to a church our whole trip.  There are 5 churches less than a half mile from us. It is two blocks to First Baptist which is where we choose to go this Sunday. The church is in a very modern building, just across the street from the original First Baptist. The people are very welcoming, and the pastor delivered a good sermon. After church we go back to the boat to wait on our youngest daughter flying in from Ohio to Orlando, and driving to NSB. While waiting we meet other Loopers and travelers who drop by the boat. Our daughter arrives about 1:30, and we go back into town to eat. We eat at "Yellow Dog Eats Kitchen and Bar". We all have different BBQ sandwiches as that is their specialty. And they serve a very good Carrot Cake. After lunch we go back to SummerTime and pack to live away for a week. Later in the afternoon, we leave the marina and SummerTime and go over to the condo we have reserved on the beach. We are going to spend a week on shore with our daughters and son-in-law.

       On Tuesday, we leave the beach long enough to come back by SummerTime. We bring parts and spares that were ordered by me and delivered by the young married couple. We put their boxes on SummerTime and leave for another day at the beach. We return on Friday after the one daughter flew out on Thursday. We are going to use the son-in-law to help diagnose why the upstairs stereo does not play. It powered on when we tried to use it, but did not make any sound: with a CD or via a tuned radio station. There is an amplifier in the system mounted in a downstairs cabinet. After wire chasing, the ground to the amplifier turns out not to be connected. After that we have sound. We were going to take a wildlife exploration ride, but the air temp is only in the 60s, and the north wind makes it feel cooler than that. So we wave the wildlife exploration. We leave the boat knowing we will not be back until Sunday when we check out of the condo.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


      We get up on Saturday morning and start prepping to leave. We are in no hurry as we are waiting for the dockmaster to arrive so we can get a credit for the night we are not going to be staying. I am on the flybridge programming the GPS to our destination when another Looper shows up. We help him tie up and dock, and exchange notes. "Galene" is coming south and we are about to head north. We get a good suggestion for an anchorage north of Jupiter from the newly arrived skipper. We leave about 11 and wish our new friends well. Going out the New River on a Saturday morning there is much less traffic than coming in at rush hour on a weekday.
       We do not have a long run today. We are headed to DelRay Beach-Boynton Beach area for a marina. I have relatives in DelRay Beach, and we are going to stop where we can visit them. There are more big houses along the waterway on this route. And lots more "SLOW, MINIMUM WAKE" zones. Sometimes we are at speed, sometimes we are at slow, fast idle speeds. And we go through more low bridges.
We get to Palm Beach Yacht Center a little before 5. My relatives arrive as we are fueling SummerTime. It is the first fuel stop since the tank truck at Marathon. It does not take that many gallons, 83 which includes some generator time. We go to dinner in Boynton, to a Korean BarBQ house. It is my first time to eat advertised Korean food, and my BBQ pork dish is very good. And we go for ice cream at an ice cream parlor farther south on the beach. My relatives loan us their truck, so we do not get back to SummerTime until about 10:30           
       We wake up to rain on Sunday morning. Sometimes it is hard. The heat comes on in the boat, and feels good. The fact that Barbara has used the oven to bake the normal Sunday morning biscuits helps to dry the boat also. We go to Grace Presbyterian Church. They were not the closest church, but they did have their service times posted. It was good we had Tom's truck, as Grace was a ways (over a mile) to walk in the rain. After church we use the truck to go shopping. I pick up  some needed filters and other parts at a NAPA. They did not have the replacement alternator/water pump  belt needed for a spare. And we get groceries at a Winn Dixie. Florida seems to offer two major chains, Publix and Winn Dixie for groceries just about everywhere. It is nice to have a choice. It is still raining when we get back to the boat. But the heat is on and it feels so nice compared to the 55F and humidity outside. We go back to my relatives in the evening to return the truck and for dinner. They bring us back to SummerTime after a wonderful evening of socializing.
       On Monday morning, we dally on getting ready to leave. We are in no hurry as we are headed to New Smyrna Beach, and do not have to be there until Saturday. We only need to average 31 miles per day to get there, or about half a normal days run. We have lots more fast zones today. We are able to make better time. There are still some slow zones. We pass Jupiter Inlet after about 4 hours of running time.
And we find the anchorage thAT Captain Gene from "GALENE" told us about. We are near the 1000mi mark on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. A sailing catamaran is anchored in the best spot for north wind protection, so we anchor a little south of them. We are in the midst of crab pots, but not close enough to any one to hinder the fisherman when he comes to tend them. It is a little windy, but there is a sandy point which shields us from the bigger white caps. We run the generator in the evening to cook, and retire for the night.
       Tuesday we wake up and the boat is right where we anchored it. Always a good thing when you are anchoring where you are exposed to wind and currents. But we were inside the "no-wake" zone, and we were not rocked during the night thanks to the anchorage recommendation. I start the generator for heat and coffee. It is 55F in the boat, and NOAA is reporting 46F at Jupiter Inlet about 3 miles south of us. We have to be at mile 845 by Saturday, so need to rush to get going in the cold. We weigh anchor about 10:15, and are at the channel to Ft Pierce Beach about 2:30. We choose an anchorage near the beginning of a "no-wake zone", and near some shallow water. We are only rocked by some fisherman heading into the mangroves to fish. We see a lot of turtles around us sticking their heads above water to get a breath of air. We can not get a picture of one, no matter how patient we are. They are as camera shy as Monarch butterflies. We could never get a photo of one of them flitting across our deck either. We run the generator to cook and make sure the batteries have a good charge. And we get showers on board while there is heat available. We turn in for a quiet night on anchor.
      Wednesday morning it is 61F in the boat when we wake. We run the generator for heat, cooking coffee, and warming up pop tarts. We only run the genset about an hour. When we go to weigh anchor, we find the chain covered in mud. It is soft mud, and washes off easily. It just takes a lot of buckets of water. The bottom is apparently very soft where we chose to anchor. Good thing the wind did not blow here like it did on Monday night. We might have drifted in the soft mud bottom. We have determined we only need to make 32 miles a day to get to NSB. We are headed to Melbourne, or more specifically "Eau Galle" up the waterway about 32mi. One marina at Eau Galle has no space, and the other never returns our calls. We make contact with Telemar Bay Marina, and they have space for us across the way from Eau Galle. We arrive at Telemar Bay on the Banana River about 4:30 pm. amid afternoon sailing practice for the local club.
  The staff at Telemar Bay is most helpful in getting us docked, and the dock boy even stays a few minutes to find us an adaptor so we can plug our 30A cord into their 50A receptacle. They tell us where to go to eat and for groceries if we need them. While we are getting situated, the sculls from the oar and paddle club pass by.

 We go up the street about a quarter mile and eat at "Doubles Beachside", a very nice sports bar with good burgers, reasonably priced. The locals seem to come in here which may be why the price is good. We walk back to SummerTime after dark and retire for the night.
       I get up on Thursday and walk up to the 7-11 for milk. We have managed to run out of milk and can not have a normal breakfast of cereal. After breakfast, we put the dinghy in the water and go over to Eau Galle for lunch and history touring. We eat at "Squid Lips", a recommendation from one of the guide books.
I have shrimp with grits, and the grits are made with pepper jack cheese. They are very good. Barbara will not try the "Grouper Reuben", though she likes fish and a Reuben is her go to sandwich. She gets a chicken wrap though she ordered a fish wrap. After lunch we go up the hill into town. We tour the two old homes open to the public. The one, Rossetter, is interesting as it is two houses joined by breezeways and has no heat source.

Pretty amazing as two nights ago we were running heat on the boat at a slightly more southern latitude. And we amble into a couple of antique stores. Our trip back across the waterway in the dinghy is a little wetter as the wind has got up from when we came across. In the evening we are entertained by the dolphins that feed along the seawall. The swells from their aggressive swimming actually rocks the boat.
       We get up Friday morning to get moving again, but not quickly. In the morning Barbara goes to the marina's laundromat to do our clothes.  I decide I need to get back into an exercise routine, and walk and jog on the street. There are good walkways here, and exercise is easy, being not right on the road itself. We are in no hurry as we only intend to get in about 20 miles today to get to Cocoa. We leave Telemar a little after 1 and are anchored in Cocoa harbor by 4:30.


There are sunken boats in the harbor, I am assuming from when Matthew went up the coast last fall. It is a quiet evening. While there are a number of boats anchored around us, only one appears to be occupied. The wind shifts direction during the night, but the anchor only drags a little until it resets. The alarm did not go off, but the path of the boat is traced on the GPS that is the anchor alarm when we get up on Saturday morning. A new week has started.

Saturday, February 4, 2017


       We wake up in Thursday Cove after a peaceful Friday night on anchor. We see the other boat here leave as we prepare breakfast. We have quick cereal instead of the normal pancakes on Saturday mornings. We are also anxious to get across Biscayne Bay before bad weather catches us. High winds are in the forecast for the next three days, along with thunderstorms. We get across Card Sound fairly easily. Almost at the other side, I turn 180 and run SummerTime hard against the chop. This sometimes helps to clean the bottom from parasitic growth. The results are minimal this time. SummerTime's top speed only increases to 11kt, and that is with a tailwind. The engine still only turns 2500. I suspect that growth on the prop is the main culprit. The ride across Biscayne Bay is non eventful. We have a tail wind, but not enough to cause pushing seas or white caps. We meet a lot of boats coming south towards the keys. And there are a lot of smaller boats coming across the bay from the mainland that I assume are heading for the beaches or dive spots at the outlying cays.
As we approach Key Biscayne, we hear radio calls about "Hurricane Hole" at the south end of the key. People are wanting to know if it is available for sitting out this coming blow which now is forecast to have winds with gusts to 45mph. I start calling for a marina to duck into. MiaMarina, at Bayside, near the cruise terminal has a space. We make reservations there for 2 nights, with the possibility of a third night. We arrive mid afternoon on Saturday. Other boats are coming in as we arrive into the harbor. The dockmaster is busy with three boats showing up at once.
After securing SummerTime, we prepare dinner. We go over to Bayside for dessert (gelato) after dinner. We return to the boat and listen to the bands playing in the small amphitheatre there. They are still playing when we go to bed, and when I wake in the middle of the morning.
       On Sunday we get up and go to the Miami First Methodist Church. It is only  a quarter mile walk, the closest church we have attended near a marina. It is also the most modern church building, being only about 30 years old. After church, we go back to SummerTime to get in more casual clothes. We head over to Bayside to eat lunch, and spend the afternoon shopping. We also watch some performances in the open theatre area there.
We have ice cream as an afternoon treat this time, from a chain store. And we stop in a store called "Fit 2 Run", a Florida running store chain. We are looking for a brace for Barbara's knee. The young man who helps us is much more savvy on joint care than the pharmacy tech in a major drug store chain where we bought the first knee brace. He tries several on Barbara, and observes how they fit when she is moving. We get one that immediately makes her knee feel better. During the night the thunderstorms come. The wind has been blowing all day, so we were thinking the rain was never coming. But one of the claps in the morning hours lets us know there is a TS nearby. It sounds like it is in the boat's salon.
       Monday is windy, and the rain stops in the early morning. We choose to stay one more day at MiaMarina. We ask if they know divers who will clean the bottom. In about an half hour, a person is at the boat talking in Spanish to a diver that will come on Monday and clean the boat bottom. Barbara goes to do laundry while waiting for them. I work on making a rod holder for the rod & reels that are loosely stored on the fly bridge. Alex and Mario show up about 2:30pm. Barbara calls as I have gone to the grocery store to get a few items. I show up as they are putting their wet suits on.  They spend about an hour below SummerTime, and tell me as good as they can that the bottom (including prop) is not too bad. I think it is a bargain at $75, and gladly pay them.
       Tuesday morning we prep to get underway. In the course of checking the engine, I see that anti-freeze solution is needed again in the closed cooling system. It takes over a quart. Looking over the front part of the engine, it appears the seal on the closed coolant system pump may be leaking. I will have to watch this. We are going to Fort Lauderdale, about 30 miles today. We want to be there about 2:30 to 3 to dock at slack tide on the New River. We encounter delays in preparing to leave. In the end, our 10:30 departure turns into a 1pm departure. We are trying to time for bridge openings, which are usually a half hour apart. Most are on the hour and half hour, but occasionally if two bridges are close together, one of them will open at 15 and 45 past the hour. Our second bridge is one that we are too high for. Even though we have taken the mast down, and tilted our radio antennas to get the bimini top our highest point (air draft in nautical terms) at 16' above the water, we are still too tall. So our trip to Ft Lauderdale starts out trying to time for a bridge. We do get a stretch to run wide open in. The bottom and running gear cleaning by the divers did the trick. SummerTime is now back to 14kt plus on top speed, and the Perkins is turning 2700rpm. The fuel savings on 21% less drag will pay for the divers in short order. But the speed run is short lived.
There are lots of "Slow, No Wake" zones here. At 2:30 we call the Fort Lauderdale dockmaster to tell him we will most likely be there about 4:15. I am complaining about the slow zones and making excuses to the dockmaster when the water taxi passes me again while I am trying to maintain minimum wake.
4:15 is the time the GPS seems to go to with each bridge and slow zone after a fast zone. There are a lot of beautiful, expensive, homes along the waterway.
Some with very nice statues in front of them. And there are a lot of "big" boats, or small ships, depending on how you view them. We get to the New River to head to Cooley's Landing Marina in Fort Lauderdale a little before 4. This is a major good thing, as the bridges close to water traffic from 4:30 to 6 so people can get home from work. It is a very twisty, tight river, with boats docked on each side. In maybe the sharpest turn, we meet the "Jungle Queen" a dinner-tour boat maybe 80' long, and there is a 100' yacht behind her. A little radio work, maneuvering by us, and all parties get through the turn okay without delay. We arrive at our slip at Cooley's Landing at 4:20. After securing SummerTime, Barbara and I head into town for dinner. We pick what sounds like a pizza parlor, and end up at a nice Italian restaurant, Pizzacraft, eating on the sidewalk. Our waiter is a Serbian immigrant, very good, who has seen more of the US than me.
        On Wednesday morning, I get up and check the Perkins water pump. I decide it will need replacing, so I find a business with a mobile mechanic to come and replace it. They are a Perkins dealer, and can have a tech to the boat on Thursday afternoon. Barbara and I take a walk and catch a bus to go sight seeing. We get off at a Publix, and buy some non perishables to take to the boat. We eat on board in the evening as we have exercised Barbara's knee enough for one day.
        We do simple chores around the boat through the morning. The diesel tech from Custom Yacht Service shows up at 1:30. Removing the old water pump looks to be a bigger job than I thought it was going to be. Chris confers with a tech back at the shop. In the end he gets the old pump off without removing the thermostat housing. It is good as there would have been a couple of parts that we did not have for spares. Chris gets the old pump off, the drive pulley relocated, and starts to clean the block for the new gasket. He leaves a little after 4 to go back to their shop.
        I have been working on making a rod rack out of a plastic board to fit on the flybridge. Chris does not make his 9am time. He shows about 11:30, but he works through lunch. He brings oil and filters with him, and gets the new pump on and the header tank filled by a little after 1. He changes the oil and filter on the Perkins. He then changes the oil, oil filter, and a fuel filter on the Westerbeke generator. He is done with everything a little after 2. I complete the rod rack and hang three of the rods we have been carrying in it. Barbara and I prep SummerTime to leave on Saturday now that we know we have a good water pump.