Wrapping up in Stuart Florda

…Walks around town every day…

With our New Year’s goals set for our plan of sailing into the Eastern Caribbean, we are now wrapping up our refit time here in Stuart, FL. Our days are filled with looking very closely at every system on our boat, every line and every spare part, and then replacing or rebuilding what we think needs to be replaced. Since January 1, we have replaced all running rigging, halyards, sheets, furling lines, reefing lines, traveler lines and the anchor bridle. We rebuilt the shower bilge pump and wired it to be controlled by the switch rather than the float switch. We also installed a new house battery bank of five GPL31t Lifeline AGMs. We changed the oil and the fuel filters and we bought many spares of these along with spare alternator belts. The entire bow is nearly full of  spare parts. We think we have enough spares on this boat to almost build another boat!

Full moon rises over our bow

The boat is down to her waterline from the weight of provisions and spares, but when we get out of this nearly fresh water of St. Lucie River and the Okeechobee waterway to real saltwater, we think we will float a bit higher. We hope!

We sold our car to  good friend, Terri of IP38 Sailbatical, for her son to use at college. “Goldie,” our 2003 Ford Taurus had 4,000 miles on her when we bought her. She is a great car and we know she will enjoy going back to college again. Drexel then, UCF now!

We will enjoy one more very fun event before leaving the Treasure Coast. Our dear friend Carey, formerly SP Cruiser Catspaw, is getting married on the beach in Vero this weekend. After this big event, we plan to sail out to Biscayne Bay where we will break in the watermaker and shake down all this new gear while sailing as much as we can. Our weather expert, Chris Parker, sees no opportunity to go east into the Bahamas for a week or two or more. The easterly trade winds are just non-stop. That is OK, we can happily sail Biscayne Bay for weeks. Just fine with us.

Here are some photos of the past weeks:

Look who stopped by, Dr. J. B., our dear friend and scuba mentor

Rebuilding the shower sump pump under the aft berth

Typical evening at Sunset Bay Marina, Stuart FL

Cold front arriving from a big snow storm up north

Mack Sails had the solution to rebuild our broken traveler, a new 2″ sheave

Walks around Stuart Waterfront Park

Nighttime bridge photos

“Goldie” pressed into yacht service, picking up 450 lbs of batteries

5 new batteries loaded onto the boat

New cruising guides for the Eastern Caribbean by Don Street and Bruce Van Sant

Northern and Southern Leeward Islands and the Virgin Islands

 Sunset Bay Marina porch, beautiful

Taking out the battery wires and all sensors

The new bank installed, notice my years of notes

Sunrise creative photo of our shadows on the bow

Old instrument holes needed to be covered

1/4″ black plastic covers the old instrument holes

Review of the helm with the Samsung tablet on a RAM mount

One last run to Mack Sails for our new main halyard

Beautiful splice, thank you Mack Sails!

Radeen sells her car to a good friend. Now “Goldie” goes to college in Orlando.

I know we have not been blogging much, but we will soon pick up the pace as we set sail. I would rather post about sailing than working on the boat. That makes for better photos and better stories. I will say, this has been a long 2 months of work that we really thought we would do in 3 weeks. Well, we did expand on our original tasks of a replacement radar and adding a watermaker….afterall, this IS a boat!

Happy New Year 2017 Goals

Setting our goals for 2017.
GOAL #1
Sail beyond the Bahamas to the Caribbean Sea
Goal #2
Base the boat in the Caribbean for the next 4 years
Here is our outline!
Reflecting back on the past 5 years
This is where we have sailed
Five Year Summary

2011 Summer, Rock Hall, MD, to Acadia, Maine, to Rock Hall
2011 Fall, Rock Hall, MD, to Marathon, FL
2012 Winter, Marathon to Tampa to Miami
2012 Spring, Miami to Abacos, Bahamas, to Rock Hall
2012 Fall, Rock Hall to Marathon
2013 Winter, Marathon to Miami to Exumas, Bahamas 
2013 Spring, Abacos to Ft. Pierce, FL, to Okeechobee Waterway to Fort Myers, FL
2013 Spring, Fort Myers to Snead Island Boatyard, Palmetto, FL, 
2013 May, Boat trucked to IP Factory, Largo FL
2013 Fall, Boat trucked to Palmetto, FL
2014 Winter, Palmetto to The Keys to Miami
2014 Winter, Miami to Exumas
2014 Spring, Exumas to Abacos to Rock Hall
2014 Fall, Rock Hall to Marathon
2015 Winter, Marathon to Miami to Abacos
2015 Spring, Abacos to Vero Beach, FL, to Rock Hall
2015 Fall, Rock Hall to Marathon
2016 Winter, Marathon to Miami to Exumas
2016 Spring, Exumas to Abacos
2016 May. Abacos to Hinckley Yard, Stuart, FL
Thank you all for sharing in our sailing and cruising goals. It is great to share this with everyone.