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.

1 comment:

  1. Similar to your vessel, Summertime, I wish I could clear the bottom of our cars by driving thru the choppy winds we have here. Choppy seas are better but we have no seas in Las Vegas. But we sure have winds and dirty cars.