Captains log 201612.14

It's been a while since I made an entry, mainly because there's little to enter. We left the Cocoa Beach area without seeing Jeanie or Mjr Nelson. We sailed quite a long way in semi rough conditions. The wind was about 10-20 knots from the NE gusting occasionally to 25 or so and we were headed South so we were taking it on the rear port quarter. The waves were choppy but because we were were surrounded by shallow water they were not large, two foot max. We had full sail up and were moving along pretty quickly. Much of the time the wind was in the lower speeds but every now and then it piped up and accelerated the boat to over 6 knots. We averaged about 5.5 knots most of the time. As we got in between the little islands that the Indian river had sprinkled through it the wind would drop down to near nothing.

When we first started the sail in the morning another Catamaran pulled out in front of us with full sail. For about 3 hours we got closer then he pulled away then we got closer then he pulled away over and over. He had a lighter sail plan and and was pulling away most of the time as it was only about 10 knots, but when the heavier winds kicked in we made a up lot of ground/water. At one point it looked like we would pass him but the wind dropped down to near nothing as we left the more open waters and reached the areas where were were ducking in and out of islands most of the time.

Shortly before we reached the islands however, our reel started screeching. The wife took the helm and I grabbed the rod (we call it Ross's rod as he sent it to us). It took a while and I thought I caught a small fish but it turned out to be a nice sized Spanish Mackerel. We we so excited to get it in and get the line out again we completely forgot to take a picture! It was a good 25 inches or so long but I'm not sure how much it weighed. It was more than enough to feed the three of us. We also caught a lizzard fish later and cooked that up too. That was not so good because of the bones but the Mackerel was great.

While out here we were working out where we could set up base so I could fly back to Colonial Beach and bring back the car. Many marina's here can't take a 14 foot wide boat. At least that's what they claim. So finding a place has been a pain. Currently we think we've found one but they require us to go there and get to know us in case we are "undesirables". This should be interesting. The place is in Titusville which means heading back North but it is close to Orlando according to the girls. So who know's, I might just bump into him when I go shopping or something. If I do, I'll take a selfie on my non existent phone. lol

While we've been here in Sebastian, we've been eaten alive by the bugs from hell called noseeum's. They are really sandflies and are just the nastiest little things around. The wife looks like she has the measles. We have found that iodine on the bite takes away a lot of the itch making it bearable. It's no real solution (pardon the pun) but it makes it more manageable. We got some other sprays to coat our bedding, clothes and carpet which repel and kill the things but we'll see how that works out. Yesterday we dropped anchor on a little island and I swung the stern around so we could get onto the island by only going through about a foot and a half of water. While we were walking around we got attacked by the damned bugs so bad we were all running around scratching. Not impressed.

Speaking of not impressed, we wanted to get a recreational vessel fishing license for Florida. We had one in Virginia and it was about $50. I looked up the cost of the Florida license. Not much more, it's ONLY $2001.50 annually. That's not a typo. It's over two thousand dollars per year for a recreational vessel salt water fishing license. An annual license per person is about $17 for resident. Now far be it for me to point out stupidity, but wtf Florida! Two thousand dollars per year for a salt water fishing license? While I'm at it, which moron added the $1.50 processing fee to a $2000 license? Are you people completely bat shit crazy? Wow. That's all I have to say. I'm sure that one boat that has the annual licence did so because it's cheaper than taking over 100 people annually on that particular boat who don't have a $17 fishing license each. Just wow.

So needless to say, we'll be getting the $17 license once we become residents here. Since the mil doesn't like fishing at all, that's a grand total of $34 per year. Had they had a vessel license for about $50 I would rather get that so on the possible occasion that someone does go fishing with us and hasn't got a fishing license they would be covered. If the price was about $50 per year I'd imagine a lot of people would do that. But no. Lets make it $2000 per year, and lets not forget the $1.50 processing fee because they are a bunch of retarded government pencil pushers who have their heads so far up their asses they no longer need oxygen because they have evolved to be methane breathers instead. Maybe that's why they don't accept global warming. They are terra forming the Earth to be friendlier to retarded methane based life forms.

 

 

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Captains Log 201612.9

Two nights ago we were anchored in the Indian River near the JFK Space Center. Nearly 11 years ago when the wife and I got married we went for our honeymoon around the East Coast of the USA visiting people and sight seeing. One of the things we did was go to the JFK Space Center and did the ATX program. You get a guided tour of the facilities, the training center and the launch pads. There was meant to be a launch the day we went but it was postponed so we missed it. One of the things we were shown was yachts anchored in the Banana Lagoon right near the launch facilities. They go there to watch the rocket launches by the water. We both thought that was just something really cool do do at the time. We had no idea that just over a decade later we'd be on the water waiting for a launch.

It took us a while to find the best spot on the Indian river. We decided to skip the Banana Lagoon as it involved going through a Bascule bridge (draw bridge), the distance to it was about 10 miles and in the end we'd be no closer to the actual rocket itself. As it was we were about 10 miles from the launch site. After finding out which launch pad it was at and moving the boat to the nearest place, which is easy with a catamaran that draws about 2 feet of water, I started cooking our dinner. Aussie burgers with the lot. For the record, it's pronounced Auzzie. There is no "s" sound when saying it.

We opened a bottle of wine, I got the camera and we moved to the front of the boat as we were pointing right at the launch site. We couldn't actually see the rocket on the launch pad. It was about 7pm and this time of year the Sun sets about 5:20pm so we were looking at night. There were some trees blocking the view but there was the glow of some lights around so we were discussing where exactly we should be looking when the ground lit up a bright yellow. The launch was happening. I started taking pictures. It kept going p and got brighter for a while before dimming down to darkness. Then it lit up again as the second stage fired up. Not as bright as the first stage but still very bright. The noise came to us when the rocket was about a 30 degree angle from the horizon. So it took quite a while before we hear anything. I was expecting to hear the rockets fire up before we saw the launch as they fire up and hold the rocket down to confirm thrust for a few seconds. That just wasn't the case. It wasn't a loud roar either. We were 10 miles from the site so it was more like a hiss from a distant plane. The second stage burned for a while then it too stopped. A short pause later we saw a dim light again. Since there is no third stage (I checked) we're not sure what it was.

The rocket left a smoke trail in the sky that was visible for hours as the wind was very calm. We sat around chatting for a while and called it a night. The wind however wasn't happy being calm so it whipped up again giving us a very bouncy night. The next morning we found a public boat ramp close to a supermarket and we docked there. The girls went to do shopping while I kept the boat away from the dock. Getting into the spot was slow going. The water depth was about 2 feet in some spots and we have a 2 foot draft. At the dock the wind waves bounced us on the bottom and I kept pushing the boat out into deeper water as much as I could. The mil came back with the shopping in our little trolley but the wife stayed back as there was too much to carry. Due to a miscommunication I was told to look for her in the wrong part of the shopping center and couldn't find her. So I walked back to the boat and she wasn't there. So off I went again to look for her but she saw me walking away too late and was too far to call me. So she started walking back carrying the heavy loads of water with her.

After all that we realised we hadn't got everything so we went back again. Things are so much easier in a car. We've done a lot of walking since getting on the boat. We're all getting fitter and losing weight. Once that trip was done we had to find an anchorage and I plotted the course to it but we'd be getting there just after Sunset. We still got here in daylight but not much of it. The wind picked up to over 20 knots last night and even though we were in a small fetch area we still got bounced around a bit more than we wanted. Had we been at the spot where we were last night I'm sure we would have had a midnight sail to better areas.

 

Dinner before the launch.

 

 

Pretty sure everyone knows what this is.

 

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Captains log 201612.06

 

We had a rough night at the mosquito lagoon. The wind picked up and we were tossed about like we were in a washing machine. Every now and then the chain would yank hard. I ran only chain as we were expecting thunderstorms. Chain only will give good shielding from lightning as the chain plate is also directly connected tot he main stay and mast so effectively earthing the boat from the top of the mast down. Unfortunately I didn't have enough chain so the waves would occasionally pull it straight-ish and we'd get a loud jarring as the anchor held us back.

 

I won't get into the physics of anchoring but to fix the problem I needed to let out more line which in our case was 5/8 double braided nylon, so that when the waves picked the boat p there would be enough angle and weight on the chain to hold it back without actually relying on the anchor that much. It worked. I let out about 30 more feet for a total of 60 half of which was chain. The jarring stopped but the washing machine motion didn't. We were tossed around till morning till we all felt like we were a salad.

 

I made breakfast as fast as I could. Ham, eggs, tortilla and cheese. I didn't want to do bacon with the bouncing and the extra time it would have taken. After that we were out of there and into about 20-25 knots of head wind. It wasn't too bad in the lagoon but when we passed the bridge and into the Indian river, things took a turn for the worse. Now there was miles of fetch for the waves to build. Luckily as I said to the girls, the water was very shallow (2-6 feet) around the channel so the waves couldn't get big. What they did do was get steep and short. So it wasn't so much the p and down motion but the spray that was really hitting us. I got pretty wet and salt covered. I cleaned my sunglasses about 10 times to get rid of the salt spray.

 

Eventually we were getting close to the marina we wanted to stay at. There were thunderstorms all around but we hadn't been hit by anything other than light drizzle so far. That changed as we came in to dock. Literally as we came into the dock the weather went from warm and dry to torrential down pour. The wife was at the front handling the lines and got soaked in seconds. The guy on the dock was soaked. I tried to handle the stern lines and got soaked. The guy on the dock yells out, "it's good for now, lets sort it out after this passes". Fine by me. He went and I sorted everything out in the rain. Free shower. cant complain. It was warm water too.

 

We all sat around wondering what to do next. We were getting hungry but I was soaked and didn't want to do into the boat and make it wet too. So we decided to order pizza. I was going to call Eric from Colonial Beach to order me a pizza but the wife told me to leave him alone and stop being stupid or something like that.

 

There's a story behind that. A few months ago I was at Stepps Marina with Kim and I wanted a pizza. So I asked Kim if he had Eric's phone number. Eric is another guy at the marina we know and he'd gone home several hours earlier. He said yes, dialed Eric and passed me the phone. I convinced Eric to order the two of us a pizza to be delivered to the marina. I'm pretty sure he had no idea what this crazy Aussie was up to but to his credit he did it anyway. I still have no idea what he ordered but it was great. Before anyone asks, no, Eric didn't pay for it. He just ordered it and I did it for a laugh, but damn that pizza was good.

 

This pizza was ok. Not like the "Eric special" though. Still, it beats cooking after being in total crap for hours and then getting soaked in the rain. We're all relaxing now as we are all sleep deprived from last night. Tomorrow we head out to Cocoa Beach to visit Major Nelson. ok, sure he might not be there and Jeanie probably isn't either but we will get to see a real rocket launch while sipping wine on out yacht tomorrow night. Sounds so cool and romantic doesn't it? While it will be cool, I do believe there is a cold front on its way, the reality of boating life and what people think it's like are often two completely different things. Still, we're all looking forward to watching a rocket launch from the JFK Space Center while just sitting on our yacht (sounds better than boat) and drinking wine.

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Captains log 201612.05

 

We pulled up at Adventure Harbor Marina yesterday. We needed water and to do laundry. On the water that means a Marina. When we got here I asked the guy how far the shopping areas were. 5.4 miles return. Well, it was 2:47 pm when we left to go there. We got back about 5 pm. We walked all the way there and I managed to get the runs. Don't make me explain that. Not much fun. We found a 7-11 about a mile up and I managed to make it in time. We kept walking the rest of the distance (1.4 miles) to the Publix shopping center. Got our stuff and on the way back saw a bus stop. Just sms the location and it tells you when the next bus is coming. Within 7 minutes we were on the buss but it only went about a mile on Sundays. So we cut the return part down almost a half.

 

It doesn't sound like much but walking over 4 miles carrying shopping isn't an easy task. I walk around barefoot most of the time but took sandals with me this time as public stores have "dress" codes and the like. Those straps left me with nasty blisters across the tops of my feet. I should have just carried the damned sandals to the store.

 

This morning we left Adventure marina just South of Daytona after doing laundry and a few house (boat) keeping tasks. I made breakfast for the girls while they did laundry. We bough some ham for sandwiches as we might not be near shops for about four days and lunch is easy with sandwiches. I decided to make a surprise breakfast. Green eggs and ham with some fried mushrooms. We have most of our house kitchen stock on the boat so I can make pretty much anything I could back at the house. Some things are easier on the boat, some things are harder. A little food dye in the eggs turned them bright green and was a good laugh for the morning. After breakfast it was time to get to work.

 

I found that the battery terminals were getting corroded and had to fix that up temporarily at least. I noticed it because our batteries were no running long enough through the night. I over-sized everything so that the battery capacity should have ran the fridge/freezer for about 3 days non stop. Lately it was tripping the low voltage alarm half way through the night. A quick voltage check confirmed that the loss was at the terminals. Out with the files and it is all back to normal again. The connectors really need to be replaced but for now they will work fine.

 

We were against the current most of the way to Mosquito Lagoon. We've been here before and to be honest, we never had many mosquitoes while here. Along the way I saw a small shop selling beer and bait by the waters edge. Since we couldn't get beer at the marina we popped in to get some and some bait.

 

We caught four cat fish most on the fishing rod our friend Ross in Australia sent us as a random gift. He claimed it was for shipping him a T-Shirt. The shipping was far less than the rod so I figured he just wanted to do something for us which was a complete surprise. Ross was one of my students back when I was teaching Electronics Engineering. We just hit it off and have been friends since with a common love of hunting, fishing and the great out doors. That's close to 25 years now. Stupid me however forgot to take photo's of the fish we caught with the rod! I guess we'll just have to get some more. Hey Ross, I took your advice and put bait on the hook. It works much better that way!

 

We made fish paprikash and later I threw in a blue crab we caught too. The mil doesn't like crabs so I served her meal first then added the crab. It turned out quite delicious. A pretty boring day really which is quite nice for a change. I'm getting really over the non stop excitement and anticipation of what will go wrong next.

 

The place we're on the hook at is shallow (6 feet) and has a long fetch with possible thunderstorms expected though I can't see any on the weather radar yet. So it might be a bouncy night. Yay. Nothing like riding a bronco dreams in a yacht!  If you've never been in a yacht on anchor in a choppy area, it's a bit like trying to sleep in a bouncing castle while kids are randomly jumping around. You get used to it after a while when fatigue takes enough of a hold that you'd fall asleep on a roller coaster, but up till then it's not that much fun.

 

Tomorrow morning we'll be in the Titusville area. We'll see how that turns out. There are possible thunder storms  forecast there too but it's a low probability...so you can all be 100% guaranteed we'll have one around us while we run around changing the mosquito screens back to windows before the boat gets soaked inside.

 

 

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