Jan 24, 2019
Adamant 1 is floating again
After an autumn in Canada, we arrived back in northern Florida at Adamant 1 on January 3rd and with fingers crossed, we opened the hatch to find no mould, mildew, bugs or critters! That was a relief. We also found the one solar panel we had left connected had kept the batteries charged. There would be no repeat of last year’s problems!
The boat was filthy with dust from the two pulp and paper mills in the city, but a couple days of intense scrubbing fixed that problem. Unfortunately, Pat had a bad flu bug and he was only able to work short spans before he needed to rest. That meant getting the boat ready took longer than we had hoped. I found some antibiotics in my medicine chest and after a few days on those, he started to rally. Meanwhile, I scrubbed, unpacked, organized, and shopped for provisions. On Tuesday he felt well enough to get the antifouling (CSC Micron) put on the bottom and we arranged for launch on Wednesday.
Pat repairing a spot on the bowsprit
We had one incident on Wednesday morning that left us shaken. Tiger Point Marina is a few miles out of Jacksonville and has never had an issue with theft or loiterers. We were the only live-aboards at the marina that week, so it was very quiet. At 3:15 am, we heard someone climbing the ladder at the back of the boat. Pat ran to the companionway and through the glass door he could see a tall scruffy man standing beside the wheel. He opened the hatch and told the man to get off the boat….maybe not that politely! The man said he was at the marina to buy a boat, was early and decided to look around. He had never been aboard a sailboat, so climbed the ladder to have a look. Pat advised him that he didn’t care who he was and you don’t do that at 3:15 in the morning, and get off the boat. Meanwhile I had my phone dialed to 911 and was waiting to press the button. The man grumbled but left. I stayed up until 5:30 playing games on my phone…no way was I going back to sleep!
Happy captain now that the sails are up
In the morning we went to Bill, the owner, to report the incident but he already knew about it. Apparently, the man’s story was true. He was there to buy a boat and he said he didn’t know why he boarded our boat, he was just curious. Bill made him come over and apologize to us. The man may have had tons of money to spend, but he was certainly shortchanged in the brain cell department. What if we had a gun in hand? This guy was a Texan, he should have known better. In the five years of travelling south, this is the first experience we have had like this.
Daytona Beach is getting a new bridge
Adamant 1 was launched at 4:30 pm Wednesday and we spent the next day putting on the sails, filling the tanks and getting the dinghy on the davits. All this was done with coats, mitts and toques on as it was so cold. Another sailboat launched on Thursday and the captain asked if he could buddy boat with us when we left. We are always happy to buddy boat so early Friday morning, in 4C temperature, we bundled up and cast off, with Rick on Hoosier in line behind us. This was Rick’s first time sailing and he had never dropped an anchor before. He learned a lot in the first four days! Our first night was spent near St. Augustine in windy conditions, but the holding was good. The next day was Daytona Beach where it was somewhat warmer, and as it was Saturday night, the Mexican restaurant across the river had a great band to entertain us in the evening. Then it was on to Titusville where it was finally warm enough to ditch a couple layers of clothes. This is Florida, it’s supposed to be warm!
buddy boat following close behind in choppy waters
Looks scary but we still have 15′ clearance
Monday was bright, clear, not so cold but very windy. We set off at 7 am and opened up the headsail. We had the wind and waves behind us so it was a great run down the Indian River, past Cape Canaveral and on down to the spot where the river turns into a dredged canal. Though there appears to be a lot of open water on either side, the navigation channel is quite narrow. This is where we ran into problems. The oncoming boats that Monday afternoon were small and meeting them in the narrow spots was not an issue. Then we encountered two high speed cruisers who approached us a full throttle right in the center of the channel. They were big boats and had big wakes and did not move over. We moved over as much as we dared so we could take their wake at a better angle and we ran into the sand. We hit so hard the bow dipped down, but we were able to throttle our way out by turning into the path of the second boat. He slowed down quickly when he saw us in front of him, but he made an even bigger wake. Rick was following close behind us, so Pat grabbed the radio mike and told Rick to go to port fast and now! He didn’t react fast enough and plowed into the sand bar. The big cruisers never stopped, just kept going. Rick has a wing keel, so he was firmly planted there. After 45 minutes of trying to get off with help from another smaller sailboat behind us, we finally called Tow Boat US for him and for $1000, they came out and pulled him off the sandbar. I am sure he will look into getting the tow insurance soon! The three sailboats then finished the day’s run by getting onto a mooring ball in Vero Beach. It had been an interesting four-day trip.
Do not stray out of the dredged channel as depths range from 1 – 7′ there.
The next day, Mike and Debbie from Resolve, our buddy boat from last winter, were waiting for us at the dinghy dock. It was a great reunion and after a couple of beers at a nearby pub, they took us to finish the last of our stocking up. We have a week of activities planned with friends that live here and we are enjoying the rest before the next part of the trip. Rick has left already as he was anxious to get to the Bahamas. We just hope he gets there before the big winds arrive on Sunday. We will stay put on our mooring ball for that blow. Been there, done that!
Until next time……
Longtime CY staffer Lynn Lortie and her husband Pat left Midland the summer of 2016 to make their way into the Great Loop and head out on a three year sailing odyssey. Follow their progress right here in CYOB.