Captains log 201611.29


We reached warm weather.

I convinced the mil to come out to the cockpit instead of staying couped up in her room like she has been. The Sun and the warmth made a difference. It's also a lot more stable in the cockpit. The wife joined us and we had what for a day was meant to be for most of the trip but which never eventuated.


Things improved greatly after we anchored in St Augustine. We decided to take a few days off just to relax for a bit. The mil didn't cry in the morning. This was a break from the regular ritual. I get up, make coffee, start the engine, pull up the anchor and motor in cold miserable conditions while she cried in her room. I had no idea this was going on until her meltdown the other day.


We're contemplating staying in St Augustine instead of going further and the idea of not traveling more made everyone more at peace. The following day we found a marina so we could get water, showers and laundry done.


On our way in there was a large current. The channel to the marina was well protected from the current but a few feet out the current flowed fast. The boat was crab walking at an angle of about 70 degrees from the marina channel so we basically were going in more sideways than straight. We'd radio'ed them to let them know we were on our way so they could meet us as they had requested us to do.


We had just about crossed into the no current area of the marina in a very tight channel and as I was straightening the boat the steering failed. The boat continued to crab walk till it was fully in protected water (about 6 feet) and then shot straight for the sand bank and got us grounded before I could do anything.


I threw out an anchor just in case as there were large luxury boats around closer in. After inspecting the steering I found that the cable had just failed in the wetbox area at the stern. There was nothing we could do so we radioed the marina to let them know. I pulled out the tiller and popped that into the port rudder. At least we had steering again but not with the wheel. At that point a guy from the marina came up with a small tender and between us and him we pulled out the boat and we went into our dock using the tiller.


After showers I initiated a search for the SSB antenna. I made the thing out of stainless multi strand cable so I could have spares in case the steering failed. I took the antenna down so I could use it's halyard for the spinnaker. Problem was, I forgot where I put it. We stripped the whole boat down but failed to find it. I'm pretty sure it's in the car back at Colonial Beach. Oh well. Now we have to get another cable.


Right now we're anchored in a very well protected spot near a public ramp that has access to trash collection and a short walk to basic convenience stores. The wife used some fat trimmed off the beef steak we have in the fridge and used it to catch a saltwater catfish. That became breakfast. It was tasty and everyone enjoyed it. We haven't had a nibble on the lines since though and it's been all day.


The mil was happy again this morning. Maybe the catfish was just that good so she didn't cry. For the record, her crying could very well be the hormone medication she is on for the breast cancer. Still, the fact that she isn't crying and is in a far better mood goes to show that things here have improved. Still a few things to sort out but things are far better than being cold, miserable and tossed around like we were in a washing machine.


While anchored here we have seen a lot o wild life. From birds to marine animals. Dolphins, sharks, fish, pelicans, cranes and other birds I can't even name. Tomorrow I might get the camera out and see if I can't get a few snaps of them.