We made the short trip from Ft. Pierce to Lake Worth Inlet as expected, arriving about 2:00pm.
The trip was ideal; we spent most of the day on the flybridge enjoying the Florida winter sun. The seas were calm and much clearer than we have grown accustomed to in the Chesapeake.
We made our way into the wide ship channel, and went around Singer Island, past Lake Worth where Old Port Cove is based, under 2 bridges, which we needed to time for openings, and into Soverel Harbour Marina, the only place with any space for us this time of the year.
With hurricane damage from Irma is the keys and in south Florida, the marinas are heavily booked.
Soverel is mostly a private marina, full of sport fish boats, with Carmines restaurant overlooking the slips. Carmines is a South Florida icon, with an amazing delicatessen and colourful food counters. Pretty amazing place to shop, but it is not cheap.
We are getting stuff ready to go back to the Bahamas. One big project was the crane, now completed and reliable. We have our water maker off the boat with Halden Marine, for an overhaul, and new membranes.
JT brought the water maker over to the marina from Ft Lauderdale, on Saturday after our arrival. He reinstalled it and it tested great. Good output at 16 gph, but we had a small leak in one of the stainless steel tubes going from the Clark pump into the membrane. He was pretty bummed as this minor repair means another trip to NPB for JT.
We took the dinghy over to have the Yamaha serviced, conveniently located adjacent to the marina. We learned that the carburetors were toast, likely not salvageable. Cost of each is $800 x 3, plus labour. It is estimated at least $2500-$3000 to repair the 2004 outboard, and so we priced out a new outboard and decided to order a new Mercury 40 HP 4 stroke. But we have to wait for the New Year to go by, end of next week we are told.
So we haven another unplanned expense. We were watching for lightly used dinghies for sale, but this makes more sense. We can re-tube the RIB and we will have a great set up for about $10k.
It is hard to find another newish tender for that.
I found an excellent marine electrician, Rob from Ocean Current Marine, to take a look at our AIS (Automated Identification System) which give our name, course and speed to other boats, as well as telling us on our system where other boats are that may pose collision potentials. A very nice system. But ours was not broadcasting our details. Rob looked over the system, chased some wires and found the problem and had our AIS working as it should in less than an hour.
So we are happy with how we are getting along on the repairs side. Not too happy with the cost of all. But all needed to be addressed at some time.
We rented a car for a week to do some provision, spent too much at Total Wines.
We surrendered our boat docs to US Customs yesterday, as our cruising permit expires on the 1 Jan.
We go back when we are ready to leave, get the docs back and get a clearance for the boat. It was a pretty easy process.
Near customs, we went by a dive shop to have our regulators overhauled and our dive computer batteries changed.
I had a chance to catch up with an old friend from Provo, who lives in Palm Beach, Cookie.
It was great to see her we sat on the dock in deck chairs as the dock was too low for her to negotiate the upper deck of Southern Star. She shocked me a bit when she took off her red Santa hat, to reveal the results of some cancer therapy she is undergoing; but her attitude is cheerful, and her sense of humor is great, the prognosis good. It does make you stop to think that you don’t want to put off doing your dreams, as life can change very quickly.
And so we sit now at Old Port Cove, our first marina last year where we took Southern Star’s helm from Robbie and Jo. Soverel asked us to move as they needed the space, and fortunately OPC had room.
A few more items to complete and we wait for a weather window to head to the Bahamas.
It is Dec 30, only a few days away from a new year and it has gotten pretty cold today. Florida cold means the doors are closed.
And life is good.