We are now back in Florida and have the boat hauled and strapped down for hurricane season. We decided not to head North for the Summer and had the boat hauled at Westland Marina in Titusville as I have a lot of work I want to do in the boat, such as replace all the seacocks, repair the exhaust mixing elbow, change hanging lockers into shelf storage, replace the remaining rug that was on inner hull inside storage areas, and install a new marine radio. We are also recovering the cushions in the salon area. We do have a place to stay in Lake Wales Fl about 1 1/2 hrs away and I can stay on the boat while working on it if need be. The dry storage areas here all have water and electric right at the stern of the boat so it is convenient for working, cleaning, and rigging the boat.
We left Marsh Harbour Marina with Michael on Casey Dee Thursday May 3 at 9AM and Sailed all the way to Great Sale Cay. We were going to stop at Spanish Cay, but Chris Parker our Weather adviser said that Sunday afternoon might have squalls so we pressed on. After a quiet night at Great Sale we left at 8 AM and got to White Sand Ridge on the Little Bahama Banks and started looking for the charted 10 to 15 ft water but could find only 24 ft at the shallowest. On the way to White Sand Ridge I did catch and release a small Barracuda.
We anchored around 9 PM and planned to sleep there until 4 in the morning and then leave for fort Pierce. Chris was having trouble getting to sleep as it was a little roll and it was a good thing as around 11pm Chris heard water running and when she looked in the floor grate forward of the engine water was running in the boat. When she woke me I opened the engine hatch and saw that the intake hose from the thru hull had come off of the raw water pump. After closing the thru hull valve and cutting off an inch of the hose and reattaching it to the pump we went back to bed. As a side note if you have a 2GMF Yanmar engine the hose fitting on the intake side of the raw water pump does not have any barbs on it, it is smooth and not very long. That will be fixed!! At around 4am we raised anchor and started on our way for Fort Pierce. We were able to Sail for about 20 miles and then the wind began to drop and the waves dropped from about 1 ft to dead calm.
That lasted until about 15 miles out where the wind picked back up and we were able to raise the sails again. We got to Harbortown Marina around 4:30, tied up had drinks and a meal at the marina restaurant
After a Winter in the Abacos and flying home a couple of times we sadly say good bye to all of our friends at the Jib Room and Marsh Harbour Marina. One of the boats, Blue Caribbean with Sean and Norman left a day earlier than we did. They left for Ireland via Bermuda and the Azores, a trip of over 3400 miles on a Cape Dory 30. We had a wonderful time there and plan to stop there again next year.