We've often heard the joke that nothing goes to windward like a 747. Just substitute a Ford F250 for the 747. Each hour driving north, we covered more than a day's travel for Jr by water. So, our first stop, Daytona Beach, was the equivalent of 7 or 8 days of travel by boat.
With several tons of boat and trailer behind us, logistics for the trip became more complicated. Stops for fuel needed to be truck stops. Hotels needed to have large vehicle parking, preferably with pull-through spots. Rest areas were the favorite rest stops. Careful consideration was needed when pulling into parking spaces. There was no way we were going to be able to manhandle this trailer into a tight spot. The truck would need to do the work.
Once we finished the first highway trip, our first peek inside the boat showed we had stowed everything well for the normal side to side motion we were used to, but hadn't considered the momentum of things moving forward when the trailer comes to a more sudden stop. Some well-placed bungees kept the storage drawers in place for future legs. Then there was the rain. When it's coming down at 60mph, it finds new ways to get inside. There were some odd water trails, but nothing excessive. Another surprise was the dirt all over the main saloon inside the boat. We had expected this to be all over the exterior. Hmmm. . . Outside, the boat tie-downs and those for the mast and bimini supports all held well, but we found that we needed to add some chafe protection to the rear boat straps to keep them from damaging the hull. The flags are not working out well either, so we'll need to get something more durable for the long term. Although they did provide an unexpected benefit. The mount for the windex and mast light broke off while underway and was caught in one of them. So, we were able to retrieve it and keep it from damaging some vehicle behind us.
It wasn't too bad for a first trip. There still a lot to learn in moving the trailer around and getting it to go exactly where we want it, but we have time to gain more experience.
While in Daytona, we scheduled some time with Blake at Barefoot Boats to do some maintenance on our 2 outboards. They were running fine, but overdue for a tune-up. Blake had offered to let Dave watch and learn what he could about how they worked and how to maintain them. (Cathy came along to "document" and tried to stay out of the way.) We had never been to Blake's shop before, but it was impressive – a huge space that was almost completely full of boats he and his mechanics were working on. And there was another space next door for fiberglass work that we didn't even see. As we worked through the maintenance and repairs on the motors, we also saw that he had the right tool for every task. And how that made some difficult tasks much easier.
Passing through Daytona the week before Easter meant stopping at Angell and Phelps was a higher priority than normal. Stocked with chocolate bunnies, we were fortified for our trip north. With some help in finding a spot to park Jr along the way, we were able to spend time with friends and family as we traveled.
From there we moved back north to pick up Orion Jr, intending to make the drive to Hampton, but we were waylaid once again and decided to stop by New Bern to see Skip and Cherylle. Skip was working hard on his new project, Annie Bell, a 30 foot Oday that was looking pretty sharp. Dave offered a hand with a few 2-person projects in preparation for her maiden voyage the following weekend.
But we needed to actually finish this trip, so on the last day of April, we arrived in Hampton and began turning our attention to Orion once again, until we take Jr on the road again. She seems to like going to windward this way.