|Aboard the Sailing Vessel|
|December 8, 2004|
First Day Out
At 10:12 we passed Ormond Beach and David parents were at the Granada Bridge to wave goodbye. Their neighbors,Herb and Midge, were there with them too. The viewing at the bridge has come to be a regular ceremony when we leave for our southbound trips.
Most of the morning we heard boats on the radio having trouble with the shallow bottom near Ponce Inlet. When we got there Dark and Stormy indicated that they were getting readings too low for their deep draft. Dark & Stormy draws 6'7". So Shibumi pulled ahead and started scouting for deep water... Shibumi's draws only 4'11". Needless to say we ran aground while testing the water. I had to jump up and down on the bow while Jill gunned the engine to get us off. Mary said that from a distance it looked like I was having temper tandrums. Not quite but I wasn't far from throwing a fit. We worked our way free of the sandbar in just a few minutes and Dark and Stormy found their way around the dicey area with help from a another boat, "Los Breezes", who had local area knowledge.
We reached New Smyrna Beach at 2:30 pm. We had trouble making our anchor hold in the loose mud. Don and Mary picked a good spot and got their hook in easily. We finaly repositioned Shibumi and found some good bottom to drop anchor on.
I spent the balance of the afternoon working in the engine room, adjusting the lock nut on the stuffing box and checking the fluids and such.
Jill and I had Sloppy Joe's for dinner. We had cocoanut rum for happy hour. Don and Mary remained aboard Dark and Stormy for dinner this night.
Sunrise over the Atlantic Intra-Coastal Waterway
Second Day Out
Shibumi was in the lead today. The weather was partly cloudy. We witnessed a nice sunrise beneath the clouds.
Around 9 in the morning our autopilot quit. I heard a clanging sound in the pedestal and soon there after realized that we were wandering all over the ICW. We had to hand steer the balance of the day.
Jill made arrangements with SALT to pick up a new themostat, for our cranky freezer unit, at the Vero Beach Municipal Marina on Wednesday.
The weather all day was nice. Partly cloudy with very comfortable temperatures.
We anchored near the bridge at Palm Shores (mile marker 909). We were north of the bridge. It was about 4:30. One hour before sunset. There was not enough day light left to dig into the autopilot. So tomorrow will be another day of hand steering.
Don and Mary dinghied over for dinner. Flank steak and asparagus... erk... I always believed that friends should serve asparagus to friends, but Don and Mary seemed to like it.
Third Day Out
The weather again was partly cloudy with nice temps and a beautiful sunrise.
We listened to the weather forecast on the marine band radio. A cold front would catch up to us toward the end to the week. The promised some theunderstorms strong winds and chilly air. We started to think about places to duck into to ride out any foul weather. Along this streach of the trip there are very few good anchorages for Dark and Stormy because of her deep draft. Shibumi has more options but we won"t abandon the fleet.
We pulled into Vero Beach quite early, about 1:30 pm. Shibumi went to the fuel dock to take on diesel and top off our water tanks. Dark and Stormy picked up a mooring ball.
After refueling we rafted next to Dark & Stormy. Laundry and showers. Walk in the park. Dinner aboard Shibumi was black beans and rice. Don and Mary ate aboard their ship.
Later we had much discussion about the weather and where to hide... David was the only one who favored staying in Vero. Everyone else wanted to push on.
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