Friday, February 12, 2010

A week of cruising ...

We are at anchor in 8-9 feet of water between Hole in the Wall Island and a small spoil island just off the ICW at statute mile 946 near Winter Beach, FL.  We arrived at 1250 and the storm we were expected followed thirty minutes later with 25+ knot winds.  It has been quite a week.

On Tuesday, Feb 9, we left the Titusville Marina with our new alternator installed and the blessing of many, many pelicans perched on the marina pilings.  A couple of miles down the ICW discovered the alternator was still not charging the batteries.  We called on mechanic, Phil Scanlan, and he suggested we pull in at Kennedy Point Yacht Club and Marina, just another mile down river.  He would meet us there.

We felt our way in a rather shallow channel and managed to dock at a rickety end finger.  Tying up was a bit of a trick, and Pen successfully lassoed a piling a dozen feet off the starboard bow.  Phil arrived and checked out the Balmar regulator and Guest battery isolator, had some conversations with Balmar and Guest tech support people … both pointed the finger at the other’s products.  We decided to order up replacements for each.  They would be delivered the next morning.  It rained that afternoon and night, so I covered up everything we'd removed from the sail locker.

Phil arrived promptly the next morning to install the new parts, and while it took a full day, we finally managed to snake wires and get everything installed and working (see maintenance log).

Two fellows in a trawler came in during the course of our stay and told us there was to be a 1030 rocket launch at the Cape on Thursday, so we lingered until about 1000 before pulling out from the dock and picking our way out the channel.  Indeed, the launch came off just as planned.  Not as spectacular as the night time shuttle launch, but nonetheless great fun to watch!

The temperature hovered somewhere in the 40s all day.  Pen observed it seemed more like Fargo, North Dakota than central Florida.  We motored down the ICW to an anchorage behind a couple of spoil islands at Rocky Point, statute mile 925.  It was a lovely little spot, very peaceful, and we slept like babies after having a couple of drinks, a great clam linguini dinner and reading ourselves to sleep in bed.   The LED lights are working beautifully, they use almost now power, and our batteries were fully charged in the morning thanks to our trusty wind generator.

Pen has carefully plotted all the possible anchorages along our route, combining those shown in the ICW Chart book with Skipper Bob’s Anchorages book.   So far, I think I trust Skipper Bob’s thoughts on the anchorages a bit more, but both are good resources and it’s great to combine them by plotting Skipper Bob spots on the chart book pages.  Pen’s planning also includes a method of estimating just how far we can go in both statute and nautical miles at any given average speed (5 knots, 5.5 knots, 6 knots, and so forth).  So, we can easily include weather likelihoods with locations of anchorages and estimated travel times in planning a day’s trip.  I think she needs to write this up and share it with others.

The trip today was pleasant enough.  The temperatures got into the 50s, and though bundled up, we never were shivering.  We’ve seen lots of birds along the way: flocks of white pelicans, blue herons, osprey in their nests on the ICW markers and seabirds of every stripe, often following our boat.  There are lots of dolphins about, and today a pair swam with us for almost ten minutes.  I really thought Pen might be able to touch one with her hand.

We are headed to Stuart tomorrow, where we’ve booked a slip at the Harborage Marina and will connect with David and Ginger Kauppi, who we met coming down from the Chesapeake last October.  It will be a nice diversion to see them.

For our location on Google map/satellite, go to our "cruising blog."  I can't seem to get the blogger map location thing to work.

More photos from Titusville, Kennedy Point and underway

Locate Alizee on Google maps


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