Despite the stormy weather, we had a great time, stayed all day and could easily have spent more time.
Ice, Ice Everywhere
Several years ago, when we first started cruising with Marianna, Merlin and Milano Myst, there was a running joke about having an ice machine on board for cold drinks. Although, with all the cold of late, it was hard to believe that the time would come that we would want it, we had purchased an ice machine over the summer and needed to upgrade some wiring to handle it. Dave kept it hidden until just the right time during our trip south, to provide ice for drinks while we stayed at R. E. Mayo. It had the desired effect. Fred couldn’t get over the fact that Dave had kept it a secret for so much of the trip south.
We had originally wired a little 500W inverter to an AC outlet by the nav station to power our blender. This would not be enough for the ice machine. So, we purchased a new 1200W inverter and installed it in the engine room, closer to the batteries to avoid power loss. With a remote switch, it is pretty easy to turn on, without crawling into the engine room. It is wired to the same AC outlet. So, when the weather warms up, we will be able to make ice and enjoy a cold drink even while at anchor.
We spent much of the time in Daytona on provisioning: shopping for food and supplies, stowing what we bought and removing anything that we could that was no longer necessary. When we were done, Orion was full of stores, food, and water, making her ride lower in the water than we have ever seen her. While Cathy tried to keep her clean on the inside staying one step ahead of the condensation from all the cold weather, Dave worked on the outside, having a diver come and clean the bottom and replace the zinc. We were pleased that the report was that the bottom was very clean and the prop especially so. The PropSpeed seemed to be working well.
Cathy found a warmer day to finish stripping and applying Cetol to the swim ladder steps, a project she had begun but was unable to complete before leaving Deltaville. Unfortunately, the weather was not nearly as warm the day before leaving Daytona, so she did her best to make as quick work as possible of topping off the water tanks and cleaning the strataglass in the enclosure. She didn’t consider the effect of having all that water running across the deck onto the lines. When Dave began casting off the next morning, he found the lines that had been neatly coiled on deck, were now frozen in that shape. It wasn’t until late morning that the lines thawed enough to unwind.
The work to clean the enclosure seemed to pay off on the day of our departure, when the glass was clean and clear. However, it wasn’t good enough to prevent the glass from completely frosting over the next morning as we prepared to leave Cocoa Beach. Cathy had to take care to clean the glass without scratching it and without her hands going numb from the cold. This isn’t supposed to happen in Florida.
Daytona to Vero Beach
We took 2 days to make the run from Daytona Beach to Vero Beach, clearing the 2 bridges near Titusville just before their 3:30pm restrictions on the first day to make Cocoa not long before sunset. We took time to top off Orion’s fuel to fill the tank for the first time in a month. We topped her off again in Vero once we arrived before taking a mooring. Although our original plan had been to depart after just one night in Vero, Chris Parker reported that the cold weather in Florida was kicking up the windspeeds in the Gulf Stream by 10 or more knots, making for a rough crossing at night, which was our plan. With this new information, we reluctantly decided to wait for the next window, which would keep us in Vero for another week.
We made use of the time to visit with friends who were already in Vero Beach. Libby and Dick from Tarwathie, who had been our neighbors for a week on the hard in Deltaville, invited us over for dinner one night. Later, we enjoyed an evening with Euphoria, Cattiva and Marianna on Orion. Each night of our stay was gradually getting warmer, until finally the shorts and T-shirts came back out again.
Another week passing meant more grocery shopping, laundry and, with the warmer weather, time spent drying out the boat and cleaning up the mildew from all the condensation. Finally, we are ready to go – again. Our plan is to head south out the Fort Pierce inlet, down the Florida coast to some point south of Fort Lauderdale, where we’ll cross to Bimini, arriving there in the morning of the next day. If all goes as planned that will be Tuesday, Jan. 19th.
So, the next update should find us in the Bahamas.