The adventure has begun! We departed Jacksonville, FL in route to Lake Worth Inlet (about 240 NM) and had to duck into Fort Pierce, FL to make some pesky repairs.
The trip started perfectly. We negotiated (successfully) some heavily shoaled water through Pablo Creek to get out of the Jacksonville (St John’s River) inlet and put sails up in 12 knots of SSW winds and set the auto pilot. As we prepared for night sailing (at dusk) we found that our Starboard bow navy light was out; the stern light was out and the steaming light was out! We later found that all were just moisture and corrosion issues and only a cleaning was required. We improvised, at the time of fault discovery, by using the new pilot house side navigation lights (for red & green); the anchor light for steaming; and an LED flashlight for the stern light. All are now repaired.
We discovered that the ice maker was not performing well due to low water pressure from the fresh water lines. We also were experiencing weird pressure differences between the main galley sink and the aft bath sink while all other faucets and devices had good pressure? We are still troubleshooting this one but we think it is an air bubble in the system from the pitching/rolling in 5-8 ft seas as the wind piped up to around 20 knots for nearly 12 hours.
We broke a main mast lower shroud turnbuckle during (ironically) our last tack due to hidden corrosion that had weakened the lower arm of the turnbuckle assembly. Seas were lumpy so we dropped the sails and motored to the next available harbor (Fort Pierce) to keep pressure off of the standing rigging until repaired and re-tensioned.
As the title says – things on a boat break. You fix them and move on. Hard to believe that the rigger didn’t discover this on our recent inspection before starting our trip down the East coast.
We had spares for every problem issue aboard. Well…until I (Steve) snapped the sink trap elbow off of the bottom of the left sink in the galley while troubleshooting the water pressure issue. A quick trip to the local hardware store for the sink drain assembly and a jaunt over to West Marine for a Loos Rig Tension Gage ($279-ouch!…but cheaper than a rigger) so I could re-tension the main mast standing rigging before we sail again to Lake Worth. We are all fixed and are tight again!
We are snugly anchored in Fort Pierce Inlet (making “pesky” repairs and replacing our spares) but happy to have the flexibility and the aforethought to plan this impromptu stop.
The sailing was fantastic even though 20 knots of unforecasted wind surprised us. The sunsets were amazing and the crew is doing great! Gus continues his role as sailing supervisor (at right).
Look for the new video on our YouTube channel!