Thursday, January 29, 2015

Vero

We have decided to stay in Vero for the season.  Weather windows have been too short and we like it here.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Yanmar problems

Back at st. Augustine because the brand  new yanmar manifold is defective.  Arrrrggggg.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Fog and more fog

Weather for Saint Augustine, FL, brought to you by Weather Underground: http://wxug.us/wxapp

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Navionics navigation app.

.Tried to put the old, paid for Navionics program from my old phone onto my new phone.  The phone accepted it but won't run it.  Navionics took 6 days to respond to several queries only to say they no longer support that app.  No offer to supply a replacement.  I tried one of their apps which uses "govt charts".  You would think this was a NOAA chart so I uploaded all the NOAA charts I need and tried again with the new app.  The "govt" charts show NO buoy numbers or the names of the bridges on the ICW.  They show depth info only at the highest zooms,   According to them: "The source category for this layer of detail is listed as government. Our chart sources are proprietary and we do not provide this information publicly."  In other words, their chart reading app does not accept the free NOAA charts and you must buy their charts.  If this isn't Bait and Switch, ...  Needless to say I uninstalled their app and will be using another FREE app which does take both NOAA and Explorer charts. For the computer, I still prefer "OpenCPN" which does everything the high priced programs do and does it for FREE.  It works on both the Mac and the Windows environments and, at least on windows, shows me AIS with a receiver.

Splashed in St. Augustine on Catamaran Harmony in 2015.

2015.  We are in the water and the bilges are dry.  Seals are working as are the engines.  Did have some electrical issues so I cleaned off every connection to the 6 batteries and found that I needed to replace 3 of them. Boy batteries are heavy!  Went to test out the system and the 110 was NOTHING.  I couldn't figure out what I might have done to disrupt the 110 system while working on the 12v system. Spent about an hour tracking down everything and cleaning everything only to finally discover that the plug on shore had loosened and was not connected.   AAAARRRGGGG! Talk about feeling stupid.  The shifter for the starboard engine was really stiff for the transmission but not for the accelerator.  Ordered a new cable only to find out that the problem was in the shifter itself.  Cleaned the shifter itself and now it is working just fine.  
The anchor chain has been completely replaced with new BBB (the best stuff).  The windlass is working fine.  AHHHHHH.  
This is one of Florrie's drawings which I may have posted before but it is one of my favorites.  We went to dinner at Vero Beach a couple of years ago and this is how we got back to the boat when it started to pour.  



Friday, December 26, 2014

Launching a catamaran



  No it is not ours.  This one is too big for the usual lift.  It is 65 feet long by 38 feet wide.  Weighs somewhere around 140,000 pounds. 


Another season begins...Saint Augustine Marine Center.

Well I must apologize.  Most of my posting has been on facebook under Lew Hill   It has been over a year since I last posted here.  Since then we have wintered in the Bahamas again spending most of our time at Black Sound, Green Turtle Cay and Treasure Cay.  A very pleasant winter.  More recently, we arrived in St Augustine on Dec 5th only to find that they had installed the new Yanmar engine and put us in the water only to find out that the shaft seals were leaking on both sides.  They had to haul us out again.  Ordered new shaft seals and when they arrived, we see that one of the reasons they were leaking was that one shaft itself was worn and actually pitted while the other one was worn but might have been salvageable.  My rule of thumb is that is something is happening on one engine...be sure to check the other one.  We decided to replace both shafts.  In order to get the shafts out, the rudders had to be removed which meant lifting the boat or digging a 5 foot hole under the rudders as a place for them to go.  So we lifted the boat and removed the rudders which are now lying on the ground.  While the shafts are out, might as well polish the propellers since we had to take them off anyway.  One of the cutlass bearings was showing noticeable wear while the other was showing a little.  Might as well replace them while it is easy.  Oh, I forgot that in order to take off the shafts, we had to take off the couplers, a junction that connects the shafts to the transmissions.  Both of these were in need of replacing and it took a lot of grunting, etc. to get them off.  Not by me, you understand but by our man Allan at the Saint Augustine Marine Center  AKA SAM.  Then we waited for parts which arrived about 2:00 on Dec 23.  This is important because SAM closes for the holidays at 12:00 on Dec 23 and doesn't reopen until the 29th.  All in all we have spent almost a month living on the boat on the hard in the boatyard.  At least we have had electricity for the heaters.  The boat is now provisioned for the winter and, knock on wood, we might even get into the water this year.    So we have a new engine in the port hull.  All new hoses and connectors on both engines, new shafts, cutlass bearings and couplers.  If things had to go wrong, better it happen in the hoist at the marine center than 60 miles out into the ocean.  
But all has not been hardship.  There have been several parties at Rivers Edge Marina,  Florrie has had ample time to explore St. Augustine, the SAM yard threw a really nice Xmas party for their employees and those cruisers who are here.  We have met several couples also in the yard and watched them bring in a huge crane to lift a 65 foot catamaran and put her in the water.   BUT I am ready to be on our way.  After we get put in the water, we will still have to check everything about the new engine before we take off.   Hard to wait.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Xmas eve

click, click, click...click, click, click. On and on at 5 AM. Wan\sn't the clock but about that loud. Was it the voltage regulator on the solar panels? Shouldn't be because the sun isn't up yet. Click click click. On a boat when you hear a strange sound, it could be anything. Got up and went outside. Click, click, click. It wasn't coming from our boat. It had woken up the roosters who all added to it and it was louder outside. CLICK, CLICK, CLICK. And then, very softly and very far away I heard "And come let us adore him. And come let us adore him." It got softer for awhile and then louder. The carollers must have gone over the hill or behind a house singing and playing their drum to celebrate Christmas Eve. A good way to start the day. Merry Christmas Eve to everyone.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Alarm clock

Our 5 Am alarm clock.  
 
 For more pictures go to my facebook page  under the name Lew Hill

Blogspot

They changed something and now I can't post the usual way so I am sending this by email.
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 Some local creatures.
 
 
 
 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

West Palm to Green Turtle Cay

This is why it is called "blue water sailing" The second one is the Cape Canaveral rocket as it passed over the Bahamas. Also a hitchhiker, sunset over the banks, wild parrots and sunset in West Palm.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Jensen Beach

Now I remember why we usually go outside from Ft. Pierce either to West Palm or directly to the Bahamas.  It is to avoid places like Jensen Beach.  This is one of the homes for large sport fishermen who think they are the only ones on the ICW.  They seem to delight in Waking sailboats and do not respond to requests for a "slow pass".  We made the mistake of being there on a Sunday.  DUH!  But now we are in West Palm and had planned on going across today.  Weather looks a little too lumpy in the gulf stream so we "plan" to cross tomorrow when it lays down.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving at Vero

Yep we are still here waiting for a window.  Tomorrow is Thanksgiving so there is a potluck.  Imagine 200 people, each bring a dish of food to share with each other.  Below is the dinghy dock today.  Tomorrow it should be double.  We don't worry because we can always find ours as it is the Grey one.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Nov. 20

A good day to be on the mooring and not have to go anywhere.  Yesterday, we went in and filled the fuel and water tanks.  Generator is working.  All's well.  Today there is a thunderstorm with heavy rain going on.  Internet is very slow.  A couple of days ago we did walk up to the beach and wrote your name in the sand.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Bald Eagle

Don't know how clear this is or if you can enlarge it BUT that really is an American Bald Eagle standing on the sign.  WOW!  This is the first time I have seen one so low.  Sometimes you will see them on high branches.  This one didn't seem bothered by us at all as we went past.