Saturday, May 30, 2009

7-9 Ft Seas, Blinding Rain and Strong Winds

On Thursday, we made another 12 hour, 85 mile trek across the Gulf Stream to Florida. All was beautiful until about 10 miles off shore from West Palm Beach when we were hit with a severe storm. Strong winds, 7-9 ft seas and blinding rain. We altered course to put the bow into the storm and rode it out for about a half hour. When the weather settled, we headed for the inlet, anchored in Lake Worth and began consuming alcohol delivery devices aplenty.

We are now in Melbourne, FL having traveled to Ft Pierce, yesterday--again in late storms; then here. No storms today. Keeping our fingers crossed.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Comings and Goings

Rickshaw and Tidehiker pulled into Bimini Sands Marina (on South Bimini) after a long 12-hour 87-mile run from Chub Cay in what I would characterize as IDEAL cruising conditions. (Seas less than 2 Ft; 10-15 mph winds from the southeast and only a chance of a summer-thunderstorms) But as boating goes, even in those ideal conditions, something must happen to tense us up. Rick discovered a fuel delivery problem on Rickshaw. The RPM's on his Port engine would vacilate from time to time and the engine would almost die. The starboard engine was working fine. He changed filters while underway, but that did not fix the problem. He nursed the engine the rest of the way and was able to get safely to Bimini Sands Marina without losing power. We on the other hand only discovered a watermaker problem.

As we turned the corner into the marina who did we see? Steve and Di aboard Aurora, Mike and Allison aboard Pokey and Dennis and Nell aboard Dennel. As the association's saying goes--where 2 or more DeFever's gather--it is a rendezvous. Those guys are coming to the Bahamas from the States, making the run from Miami that afternoon. Rickshaw and TideHiker are going back to the States.

As luck would have it Steve is known throughout the boating community. He and Di are both USCG 100-ton captains. They deliver yachts all over Florida and up and down the Atlantic Coast and Gulf of Mexico. In fact, they just recently delivered a DeFever to our marina in Delaware. Additionally, Steve is an engine mechanic and all around expert boat technician. He and Di helped Vicki and me deliver Tide Hiker to the Chesapeake from Florida in 2006. Steve additionally has done a ton of work on our boat from time to time, the latest being the installation of our watermaker last January in Stuart FL. Steve and Di also own a sister boat to ours with hull numbers just a few months apart. So, he knows this boat like the back of his own, well, boat. Also, as luck would have it, Rickshaw also has the same engines. So, Steve very generously repaired Rickshaw's fuel lift pump and our watermaker. Fortunately, Rick had a spare lift pump. (You may remember we had to change the lift pump on one of our engines last March. When I ordered a new spare, Rick asked us to order one for him too.)
After the repairs and a nice warm swim in the Marina's pool we headed to the restaurant for dinner. (What did you expect?) It was a night of live island music, cranked conch, conch ceviche and adult beverages. The dancing started righ after din din and we all discoverd that Di Koch has more moves than United Van Lines. We all left at 9PM and Di and Steve stayed behind for the Karaoke--which we discovered the next day did not happen.

So, the comings and goings of DeFever cruisers are always a surprise. In this case a wonderful surprise! Thanks Steve for the repairs and thanks to everyone else for a wonderful time!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

On our Way Home

We finally had a break in the weather and departed Nassau on Monday May 25 after 12 days. The day before though, Vicki told Norm he needed a haircut. So she did the deed.

We cruised up the Tounge of the Ocean to Chub Cay Anchorage. What a mistake. We were Rolly Polly so much we could not stand it. So, we went into Chub Cay Club Marina and paid the exorbinant prices there for a good night's sleep. My guess is that we were spoiled in Nassau and not quite ready for a rolly polly night on the hook. Anyway, we did get a good night's sleep and was ready at 7AM on Tuesday for the long 87 mile trek across the Great Bahama Bank to Bimini. We arrived Bimini Sands Marina late afternoon.