May 2019

St. Augustine, FL to Georgetown, SC

Submitted by aaron.axvig on Wed, 05/22/2019 - 03:00

May 20th we left St. Augustine motoring north on the ICW. A few minutes in Aaron spotted a watermelon floating past. We made it to Jacksonville without event where we stayed at the same free dock we visited on the way south. Anna helped a smaller cruising speedboat (with a small cabin) dock later that evening. They were new to the experience and might have never docked the boat before as they had one line only partially ready. Anna tried to give some tips but there was quite a language barrier (they were all Asian).

The next day we left via the Jacksonville ocean inlet to have a day out in the ocean. Our destination of the south end of Cumberland Island was only 20 miles north and exiting and entering the inlets added about 5 miles on each end so all we gained by doing that was some ocean experience. We turned south after coming in the inlet to our planned anchorage and observed a familiar smell. A few miles upwind was a paper plant which we determined because it smelled exactly like the one we experienced often during our time in Charleston. So we went about 5 miles north and anchored just north of the Sea Dock of Cumberland Island.


Fort Lauderdale, FL to St. Augustine, FL

Submitted by aaron.axvig on Mon, 05/20/2019 - 03:00

In our last update 2.5 weeks ago we were in Sunrise Bay near Fort Lauderdale. From there we motored north in the ICW to Lake Worth. About 10 miles from where we planned to anchor Aaron went below to check on the propeller shaft seal which is supposed to slowly drip. It was dripping aggressively (not a significant problem) but there was also a lot of other water in the engine compartment (a problem). After a little looking it seemed to all be running from above the engine but we couldn’t find anywhere that it was spraying upwards to get there. So it was probably coming from the anti-siphon valve that is located up there. This prevents the seawater that cools the engine from siphoning through the exhaust mixing elbow and filling the engine cylinders with water while it is not running. Enough water was still coming out of the exhaust pipe so it seemed to be OK to keep motoring. We went a couple miles further to a good place to anchor within reasonable distance of a boat ramp and West Marine.

With the engine off we confirmed that the anti-siphon valve had indeed broken off and that the nearby store had one in stock. So we took the dinghy and Louise to the boat ramp and then walked about a mile to West Marine. It was very hot so we took a hailed ride (brand agnostic way to refer to Uber/Lyft, right?) back. The part worked and we were back on our merry way the next day.


Heading north

Submitted by aaron.axvig on Mon, 05/13/2019 - 03:00

We started our trip to Boston today (same day Eliot and Caroline left Fargo for Boston). We left Miami and made it to Fort Lauderdale. We experienced our first rain squall while traveling--fortunately we reduced sail early enough even though afterwards we realized that we did it the hard way. As the front hit we saw 40 mph gusts!

We didn't do well with lift bridges today. For the first one the bridge attendant did not respond on the radio until after we missed one opening (every 30 minutes). So we waited about 45 minutes total to get through that one. We are guessing that he couldn't understand us on the radio due to water in our radio handset's microphone.

Then we tried twice to anchor in Lake Sylvia. Twice our anchor did not hold firm. It was 15' deep so we would need to put out much more chain than normal but it was kind of crowded so I was a bit miserly about it, hence the dragging. Also it was not very windy so all of the boats had their chain hanging straight down. Therefore we didn't have a very good idea which way their chain ran along the bottom (depends on which way it was most recently strongly blowing) so if the wind did come up we would possibly end up too close to someone. Anyways, we weren't feeling great about it so decided to move on.


Changing engine oil

Submitted by aaron.axvig on Fri, 05/10/2019 - 03:00

Changing oil today. The dinghy is done already (except need to do the gear oil soon, too wavy today) and now the main engine and transmission. The oil gets sucked out via the dipstick tube since there is not room underneath to access a drain plug. It is a 150 hour maintenance item. We have no hour meter so I keep a paper log.