Week 14 2 -8 April 2018 Harbor Island, Miami – West Palm Beach 65 nm
2 April Monday Harbor Island
The sun is starting to get very hot! It’s already very hot at ten, but luckily Moon is in the shade of the house until just after ten, and after that there is shade to find up on the veranda until shortly after noon. We survive, but it’s tough to get our project we wont to have done while we have AC and water on the dock.
Today it was time to start to repair the connection between the boom and the mast where we have quite a play. In certain sea state and wind directions the boom moves back and forth some millimeters, creating a nerve-racking sound down in the boat.
We cleaned it from aluminum debris and put chemical aluminum in the holes with the pin in place wrapped in plastic. Not an easy job to hold the heavy boom in position, not to create bending forces in the pin. We used the halyard to lift the boom at the mast, the topping lift at the end and then the vang to adjust fore and aft.
Some other more or less urgent jobs have been attended while our hosts are taking care of their two sons families.
Annika have done some laundry and now Moon looks like a tent camp!
Had dinner in Moon while the families had dinner on the veranda.
3 April Tuesday Harbor Island
After breakfast, while Moon still was in the shade, we dismantled the boom and filled some voids in the fillings around the pin, visible when the pin was out. Looks ok and now it must rest until the chemical aluminum has cured.
Cleaned the hull using fresh water and detergent as lots of salt had accumulated during our passage from Panama. Our ordered three packages are on route. Zincs for the MAX prop came today from Walmart, less than half the normal price!
Had our salad lunch and then continued with the three computers we inherit from our hosts.
Filled the drinking water tank through a carbon filter from the port tank where we store water from the watermaker and then rinsed the membrane for the watermaker with the same water. Staying at a dock gives you some other procedures to follow when you don’t want to use the water the boat is sitting in.
In the evening the second son and his family had arrived and we were invited to a grand barbecue. Eight adults and three children were served nice ribs on the veranda.
A very pleasant evening.
Before bedtime we took a walk in the neighborhood.
4 April Wednesday Harbor Island
We took a walk after breakfast to the nearest grocery shop and bought the most necessary items for our salad lunch. Coming back to Moon we reassembled our boom connection to the mast. It looks quite ok, hopefully it will last until our winter rest in Sweden where we plan to do a permanent repair.
At lunchtime we got our new back stay adjuster. After reading the manual we rapidly got it in place. Now when we can measure the pressure on the adjuster we can adjust our lower aft with 15% pretension of the breaking load in the aft stay to get a good shape of the mast. Later we will adjust the baby stay similar.
Changed oil and filter in the engine, a job that is relatively frequent in spite we have an engine with many hours between oil change. But compared with others, sailing in the trade winds, we motor a lot. Annika went up the mast and turned the VHF antenna upside down to gain almost two feet, important as we are to pass bridges only 64 feet high.
After a shower we walked with the whole family to a Taco restaurant.
Good food but incredible loud music!
5 April Thursday Harbor Island
Wind from north for the first time since arriving in Miami. Had to adjust our mooring lines to the north wind, not to press onto the dock.
Retuned the baby stay to make sure we don’t have too much pretension when we have 15% in the aft stay.
Then we took the furnace apart to clean it, including the chimney. Very nice to have the heating system checked and cleaned before the cold season begins. We don´t know when we will need the furnace but it’s supposed to be cold and foggy in south Canada so the need might be “around the corner”.
Our third package, the rubber spare part for the PSS shaft seal came in the afternoon, giving us the opportunity to start north as soon as the weather is cooperative.
6 April Friday Harbor Island.
The wind was back to south when we woke up.
We did a final wash down of Moon after breakfast before we took the dinghy up on deck and secured it. But before that we tried to retrieve our Spade anchor that we had put to windward. But from the dinghy it is impossible to pull up the anchor. We have to wait until we can use the big boat.
Before lunch we had cleaned the boat inside and put everything away that we had used during the week. Another two laundry machines was done. Very convenient to have all this service for free! It will probably take some time before we can have the same privilege again.
Lunch was served in cockpit and after that we took another walk to the grocery store to fill up for a week on water. Afternoon and evening was spend with our hosts and their families. Paella was served on the veranda. A very pleasant last evening with lots of talking, food and wine.
7 April Saturday Harbor Island – Sunrise Bay, Fort Lauderdale 21 nm 10 bridges
Everything has to come to an end, and today it was time for departure to the north.
After breakfast we were ready to leave.
Our hosts have a power boat and the whole family was ready to go to a shallow swimming area a mile north along the ICW. But first they stood on the wharf looking at our struggle to get a long wooden pile off our chain. With a rope around the pile to release the chain we managed with the main engine to free the chain and then it was normal anchor retrieving.
Then we followed the powerboat towards the main fairway. Halfway Moon rose a bit and stopped. OK we are stuck in the mud. We tried to reverse but not a chance, we have to wait for raising water. But we have dry land 50 meter to leeward and the current and the wind were setting us the same way. We were afraid that we would drift sideways onto the shallows as the tide rises. Bosse came back and we throw him a rope. Rising tide, Moons propeller and the powerboat succeeded to pull Moon backwards to deeper water. This was an odd start! What will the third incident be? Not the right question when you are about to pass ten bridges!
At the first one we were to late due to our grounding, but after fifteen minutes we came through.
Then we drove slowly by the spot where our friends were swimming or wading in the shallow water. Took lots of photos and waved goodbye. The place was almost like a disco with lots of small boats with heavy loudspeakers.
Then it was more or less full speed to keep up with the openings of the bridges. In the middle we came late and had to wait fifteen minutes, but the rest we managed to be just in time. Using GPS and waypoints is really the way to go. We put a waypoint at the bridge and then you can look at the ETA and adjust the speed. No more guessing in this boat!
Shortly after our tenth bridge we anchored in north Fort Lauderdale. Sunrise Bay is a fairly big bay full of party boats, being Saturday. We managed to come inside of all the anchored boats and hoped they would leave before dark.
Annika got in contact with the customs already after fifteen minutes! We have to report all movements and suddenly this time we didn’t get a new control number, something that had been extremely important at our previous four calls!
In the morning, leaving Miami we called (waiting half an hour in the phone) to tell them that we were leaving. No we didn’t have to do that! And that was very important when we were told how to behave during our trip north. We don’t really understand how they implement the roles? But we are sure who is to blame if something doesn’t add up!
After dinner we were suddenly alone in the bay and got a quite night without wake from the fairway.
BUT the trains in US honk the horn all the time, in spite they have lights and booms at all crossings. Almost embarrassing that a modern country allow such a pollution of an otherwise nice surrounding.
We had 30 degrees C in the boat when it was time to go to bed. Impossible to sleep in that temperature. Moved our bed to the bow cabin and soon we had very much better conditions.
8 April Sunday Fort Lauderdale – West Palm Beach 34 nm 16 bridges.
Breakfast in cockpit after a good night sleep. Good because we slept in the bow cabin, being able to ventilate through the big bow hatch right down into our bed.
Pulled the anchor shortly after eight to get to the first bridge in time. We managed to get all bridges right thanks to the GPS. To one we had to go little slow, and another we had to speed up when the ETA told us that we were running late.
Nice weather most of the day and we had more or less always the current with us.
We are astonished looking at all these unnecessary big houses and big yachts along the canals. We did not see a soul around any of these numerous “castles” in spite it was weekend. It’s not surprising that all this create some tension in the society!
Late afternoon the rain came, but we managed to find a spot to anchor before the sky opened up.
Just before we anchored we passed a bascule bridge. But looking at that from a distance the bridge engineer in Moon saw two bridges, one lifting bridge and one bascule. Consulting internet we discovered that the bridge was going to be repaired and to be able to do that they had to build a temporary one. This is the bridge to Trumps Mar del Lago, so of course that has to work perfect!
Calling the bridge to get the clearance for the temporary bridge, that wasn’t on the chart, we were told 65 feet above low water. This was not good. All fixed bridges are supposed to be 65 feet above MHW. The bridge attendant called the project manager for the temporary bridge and he told her that we “should be fine”!
Ok we passed the bascule bridge and very very slowly approaching the lifting bridge with the queue on the bridge getting longer and longer. We had more than five feet clearance! It turned out that the beam above was only securing the towers, the bridge was not jet in place. Lucky us.
But we have to have at least one adventure every day!
When the rain stopped we thought of continue into Palm Beach behind the next bridge, but decided to stay and prepare dinner, have a shower and only relax.
Annika & Björn