|This Arctic Ranger was dressed appropriately for most of |
our journey -- especially St. Augustine. it was c-c-c-cold!
Okay, now that I have that out of my system, let me tell you what has happened since our last entry from beautiful Beaufort, SC. With few exceptions, we have been on the move almost constantly. We stayed one night each at Thunderbolt Marina, the anchorage at New Teakettle Creek, Brunswick Landing Marina, and the anchorage at Ft. George. We then stayed three nights on a mooring ball in St. Augustine on the last of which we watched ARMY BEAT THE HELL OUT OF NAVY! (You didn’t really think I got it out of my system in one paragraph did you?). We then spent one night each at the anchorages at Fort George, Rock House Creek and Palm Shores before we stopped at the marina at Ft. Pierce and finally, our destination at Old Port Cove Marina in North Palm Beach, Florida. Let me break it down a little.
Originally we had planned to anchor at an anchorage near the little town of Beaulieu on the outskirts of Savannah. But, on the way we had a little problem. I need to go back a little ways to explain what happened. You see, after they put the extra batteries in last year, the boat developed a slight list to port. You probably couldn’t notice it unless you were looking for it – but, of course I looked for it. I was talking to a friend that had a similar problem. He told me that he controls his list by controlling the amount of fuel he puts into his wing tanks, i.e. a little more fuel in the light side and a little less in the heavy side. It sounded like a good idea to me, so to find out how much fuel I should put in each tank, I ran an experiment. On the way to Beaufort, I set the system up so it would draw fuel from the port tank (the heavy side) to run the port engine and draw fuel from the aft tank to run the starboard engine (the light side). I would draw no fuel at all from the starboard tank. I would then check the list and see if how much fuel I would need to keep in each of the wing tanks to re-balance the boat. After there was about a 50 gallon differential between the starboard and port tanks, I put everything back to normal – or so I thought.
Now, in my own defense, I ask you to remember that I ran the experiment on the way to Beaufort, and we stayed in Beaufort for three days. About 2/3 of the way between Beaufort and Savannah, GA the starboard engine stopped. Originally, I had no clue what had happened. I knew I set up the fuel flow correctly and it had run just fine for a day or so before arriving in Beaufort, so I knew that couldn’t be the problem. In any event, we decided to go to Thunderbolt Marina. There, I would be able to get down in the engine room and figure out what the problem was. If I could not, the marina would know where I could get a decent mechanic. After I thought about it for a while though, I realized that it didn’t take a mechanical genius to figure out what had happened. I had screwed up. After a few trips to the engine room, I realized that we had simply run out of fuel in the port tank. As soon as I changed the draw from the starboard tank to the aft tank (and cranked the engine several times), the engine started right up. You see, each tank has both a “from” valve and a “to” valve. (Diesel engines draw more fuel than they need, then return the excess back to the specified fuel tank). Anyway, I had apparently left the valves in the position that was drawing from the starboard tank all right, but was returning it to the aft tank – which filled up the aft tank but drained the starboard tank. (If you were here right now, you would hear a deep wistful sigh, for this was another lesson re-learned. I had done something similar about four years earlier)
By the way, I know I spent way too much time on our little incident, but after I started I couldn’t stop. Then it became something of a challenge explaining what happened. But no, since I have a lot to cover, I’ll write a little faster.
|Spot, watching the birds at New Teakettle.|
After New Teakettle we spent the night at Brunswick Landing Marina. We had intended to fill up with fuel (Brunswick Landing generally has the cheapest fuel in the area), but since we had taken on diesel at Thunderbolt – after my fuel tank faux pas – we just enjoyed a night plugged into electricity and water. From Brunswick we went to the anchorage at Fort George. Usually when we stop there we visit the National Historic Site at Kingsley Plantation, but this time we were just passin’ through.
After Ft. George we stopped and took a mooring ball at St. Augustine. We had been planning to stay at St. Augustine for three days specifically because we were sure we could find someplace to watch the Army-Navy game. Did I mention that Army beat the hell out of Navy? (Sorry, I couldn’t resist). Anyway, the first two days we explored the historic district of St. Augustine – as we have several times in the past – and prepared for the game. We also used the opportunity at St. Augustine to test out our dinghy, which we had not used for several months. Well, we got it started and it took us to and from the dinghy dock at the marina, but we learned that we needed to have the carburetor either cleaned or rebuilt. In fact, there was one scary moment when I was testing out the engine and it just stopped. Now, this can be a bit dangerous because with the currents in St. Augustine harbor, you are not going to be able to row against the current back to the boat. To make a long story short (yes, there is another “Dumbass Mike” story here, but to get it you will have to buy me a drink some evening), I managed to get the motor re-started and return to Traveling Soul.
To watch the Army-Navy game we usually avoid sports bars. Not only can they get noisy, but a lot of people would rather watch different games. So, unless we could get a personalized table and TV, we would be out of luck. Instead, we have learned we can go to Carrabas, a chain Italian restaurant with pretty good food, sit at their bar, eat a few appetizers and drink a few beers, and enjoy the game. This year we went at 2:00 (the game started at 3:00), got to know the bartender, assumed control of the remote and watched a game the results of which I guess I should not gloat quite so much. Anyway, it was a good game and we had a great time.
After St. Augustine, it was on to the anchorages at Rock House Creek and Palm Shores. It was smooth sailing to both locations with nothing very interesting to report. We then headed to the Fort Pierce City Marina. We were stopping because it had been a while since we had been to a marina and because we needed fuel. The good news is that, although expensive, the fuel we took on at Ft. Pierce was going to get us to the Bahamas and around the Abacos. Moreover, Ft. Pierce had the cheapest diesel we could find in southern Florida (from reports both the Waterway Guide and Active Captain). The bad news is that the terms “inexpensive” and “Southern Florida” are mutually exclusive. Let’s just say the fuel was VERY expensive and cost us a little over a Boat Unit ($1000).
At Ft. Pierce we renewed our acquaintance with David Jansen, the gentleman who a year ago found Spot in the furled sail of his boat Fifth Quarter. I think Ann will describe our encounter in more detail below.
On 13 December we finally arrived at our destination – Old Port Cove Marina in North Palm Beach, Florida. Here, we will relax for a few days, then leave the boat and drive up to Maryland/Virginia for Christmas, return to Old Port Cove in early January, provision the boat, and wait for a weather window in mid-January to head for the Bahamas.
|Nik receiving his "first salute"|
from his step-Dad,
December 13th was also momentous for another reason. Our eldest grandson, Nikolas Applegate, was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. It is interesting to note that, from this moment on, I will know more about what is happening to Nik than anyone else in the family. After his Basic Course and possibly other schooling, Nik will, presumably, become a rifle platoon leader in the Marine Corps. Although I was in the Army, I was also a rifle platoon leader – in the 82nd Airborne Division. Actually, I led several platoons in the division and was eventually an Airborne Infantry Company Commander – the Army equivalent of a position to which to which Nik will aspire once he figures out how the Marine Corps works. Anyway, Ann and I both want to send our congratulations to Nik as well as my daughter, Lisa, and son-in-law, David, for the manner in which they have raised this young man.
|A better picture or Nik and Dave |
(Dave is the one with all the medals).
Ann’s Notes: At last we are in, what is supposed to be, warm and sunny Florida. It is actually rather chilly outside, though not as cold as it is in VA and MD. Michael didn’t mention the fact that we ran into some pretty heavy fog while traveling in GA. However, we have done the ICW more than a few times so I have many notes on my charts. Plus, we ran the radar and I had my binoculars glued to my eyes, so we did fine.
We stopped at one of my favorite anchorages, Rockhouse Creek, where I can see the Ponce de Leon light house shine at night. I truly love light houses.
I am going to back track to Beaufort S.C. where we linked up with our good friends Becky and Mark Covington on their boat Sea Angel. Becky and I had a wonderful girl’s day out. We went to a farmers market – that was actually a farmers market and not a craft fair. I bought some fresh vegetables, the most yummy blue cheese I have had in a long time, and a warm baguette. We then went into the beautiful little town of Beaufort, SC did some shopping and went out to lunch. The day was topped off with a trip to the new Walmart on Lady’s Island. All-in-all it was great to reconnect with a great cruising friend. Thank you Becky for making it a special day.
The picture on this blog is Spot with the gentlemen that found Spot in his sail last year when we were at Emerald Bay Marina. He recognized the boat name and asked how Spot was. We were busy filling up with fuel so I was rather distracted and didn’t recognize him. However, we think some good came out of Spot’s escape attempt; she will now wear a new tag while in the Bahamas. This one has her name on it, our boat name and our Bahamas phone number, just in case she sails away on another boat.
|David Jenson, the an who saved Spot from a life |
of servitude on his Catamaran Fifth Quarter last year after
her near escape from Traveling Soul
We are getting ready to pack up and drive back to VA/MD…let the Christmas celebration begin.Congratulations to our first born grandson Nik and his new rank of Lieutenant in the Marine Corp … Semper Fi … Nik.
Maddy, our granddaughter, will be graduating from ASU in the spring and hopefully enter a Veterinary College.Trent will finish up his first year at ASU in the spring, he is following both his brother and sister as an ASU Sun Devil.
Michael and I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year in 2018.