Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday Night on Calabash Creek

Well, the anchor went down at 5:20 this afternoon. We are just off the ICW in a creek called Calabash. There's a nice breeze blowing. Mike is cooking our fresh shrimp from yesterday. The rest of the crew? They're enjoying tonight's drink - frozen piña coladas. Another lovely day.

Oh, not all members of the crew are relaxing. Terry is taking apart one of the forward hatches. Yes, everyone is fully entertained.

Newest crew

So, we have a new crew member.

You can barely see it, bit it's a blue, black, and gold dragonfly. We have the screens up, but the dragonflies just seem to be too smart. They manage to get in anyway. We're letting this one stay to catch any wandering Mosquitos. The, we'll help it 'escape' in an hour or so.

Friday- heading toward Myrtle Beach

We were up and off the dock by 7:30 this morning. We're headed up the ICW toward Myrtle Beach.

Yesterday was a great day in Georgetown. Peggy and Terry visited antique shops. The rest of the crew  went on the history tour on the trolley. Georgetown is the third oldest town in South Carolina. And, it was one of the ones not burned by Sherman during his march to the sea. As a result, there are some beautiful homes from the 1700s. The incredible thing is that one of those houses is still being lived in by descendants of the original family! Talk about deep roots!

After wandering about Georgetown, we ended up at the Independent Seafood warehouse, where we bought fresh shrimp. And, it really is fresh! The shrimp boats bring it up to the dock. They unload it at the open doors, sort it, and put the shrimp in big tubs. Then, they pull it out and weigh it to sell it to you! 

Finally, we ended up at WildFish Grill. It was a new restaurant in Georgetown, and they were working on a soft opening. The official opening is not until next week. So, we got to try some of their proposed menu items. Carol had fish tacos made with Mahi Mahi prepared with a blueberry BBQ sauce! And, this place had the best cornbread. A total yum, as Linda would say.

So, we're off to a great start. Terry and Peggy had also visited the Kudzu bakery, so we had strawberry muffins and Danish on the menu this morning. We celebrated the end of National Salad Month and National Hamburger Month with some trivia questions. We carried on enough that Rich said we appeared to be loopy even without drugs. Hmmmm...... We may be looking for new crew soon.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Dinner at WildFish Grill in Georgetown

We decided to try the newest restaurant in town- WildFish Grill.

Advice from Georgetown

Good advice for anyone.

The wonders of a shower curtain or two on a boat

Quite often, boaters look for something to block the sun while you're in the cockpit enjoying breakfast... Or that evening cocktail. We've seen towels, sheets, canvas, and old sails. We have our own solution. Sower curtains! No, not those plastic ones. The nice polyester/microfiber cloth ones are just great. They are lightweight, and they are mold and mildew resistant. Here you can see them shading the cockpit for breakfast this morning.

As you can see, the grommets at the top come in handy! We use Velcro ties to attach our shower curtains when we have lines or other grommets. At other times, clothes pins work well. 

You might have also noticed that our shower curtain has grommets on the bottom as well. That was due to our industrious Carol! She realized that it would be convenient to have tie downs on both sides, so she just took care of that pesky detail.

Now, our shower curtains can be seen all about the boat. Sometimes they are draped across the front windows in the salon. Sometimes they are hanging on the back. But, no matter where you see them, they are doing a great job.

Morning in Georgetown

It's another beautiful morning on the boat. And, even better, Rich is making omelets!

We've already had a great morning discussing serious philosophical issues-- Red Rose tea versus generic black pekoe tea, Dunkin' Donuts versus Starbucks coffee, how much alcohol hairdressers and construction workers imbibe of a weekend..... Yes, these are the issues of the day.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Dinner at Georgetown

Here we are, moored out at Georgetown. It's a beautiful night so far. Although the sun is shining, it is not overly hot.

I'm sure you noticed the black line on the left side of the photo. It's the bug screen. The flies were pretty awful. All day long. We actually decided to put up the screen around lunch time. As you probably noticed, we don't have the standard boat screens. Not having the time or money initially to make the boat enclosure, we came up with an out-of-the-box idea. We took two of the screens that you can buy to go over a patio market umbrella, and (with Carol's sewing skills) turned them into one big bug screen that we can throw over the cockpit area. Since it doesn't snap in, you can't deploy it when it's really windy. But, the flies and mosquitoes aren't bad then either! One of our earlier blogs describes this project- Debugging the Cabin (

When the hook went down, we started off with strawberry daiquiris, crab dip, and hummus. We toasted to another great day on the water.

Dinner tonight was shrimp and grits. I made cheesy grits using chicken broth seasoned with onion and garlic. Then, I sautéed asparagus in butter with a little crushed red pepper and black pepper. After about four minutes, I added the shrimp and some Worcestershire sauce. I then sautéed it all until the shrimp finished cooking. Peggy made a salad to go with it. And, it was all a big yum! (Yes, Linda, we thought of you when we used the YUM word!)

For dessert, we have several offerings. One would be banana pudding with vanilla wafers. We also have leftover chocolate cake and bread pudding from last night.

Tomorrow, we plan to dock so we can go into town. This is the home of the famous Kudzu Bakery, where they make the best sticky buns. Yes, we will be getting those!

Preparing for the day

We're getting ready to take off. Rich is hard at work already. The guys are cleaning and polishing. Carol is making oatmeal. We'll need to leave early today if we want to make the first bridge. We're headed to Georgetown, SC- one of our favorite stops. It's the home of Tomlinson's- a wonderful store with really nice folks. It is also the home of a really great bakery. More yummy moments to come!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

It's Been A Day

So, it's evening in the marina. We're settling down after our great dinner. We're getting organized to up to the showers. Since there is only one key, you better be ready to go or ready to wait for the key. The three women are waiting for the key master to return to the boat.

Meanwhile, some facts about today's adventures. 

This morning, Peggy relearned that no good deed goes unpunished. Young man with backpack approached the showers and asked if we had a key. Peggy, ever anxious to help, says yes and gets the key. Gee is hesitant. After all, the stranger has broken into a rant about how the people at the shelter just don't understand him. He goes into the shower. A man in a white shirt arrives and asks the worker there if he let a man with a backpack into the shower. He said no. Peggy said, "I did." The white shirt guy knocks on the door and said, "POLICE." Hmmmm... Aiding and abetting.

In the afternoon, Terry and Peggy went to the antiques district in downtown Charleston. They got stuck waiting for the courtesy car to pick them up in town. He was running late taking other people to Harris Teeter. Yes, that would be Carol and Gee. But, it wasn't our fault the driver was running late. That would be the French Canadian couple who wanted us all to wait while their propane tank was refilled!

At Harris Teeter, Carol and Gee picked up the few things they decided they had missed the day before. When they got to the cash register, Carol reaches into the bag she brought, pulls out a pair of black underwear and says (in a loud voice), "Whose underwear are these?" It made the bag boy's day. He's probably still laughing. He also shared that if we needed any help tomorrow, he would not be there. Seems two days of waiting on us was more than enough for him.

Rich had gone to Harris Teeter as well. He took off trying to find a stove top toaster. After lots of walking, he finally found the store - in the opposite direction of the route given to him at the hardware store. After all that, no toaster. Oh well. Tomorrow's another day. And, hopefully it  will be just as exciting.

Dinner with Rich at Marina Restaurant

We had a lovely first dinner with Rich at the Marina Variety Store and Restaurant. Unfortunately, the meals were so large that we had to bring home the leftovers. This wouldn't usually be a problem. But, we just finished reprovisioning yesterday. The refrigerator is packed! Peggy, the refrigerator goddess, had to go in and reorganize everything again in order to get those leftovers in. We are at the point in refrigerator maintenance that you had better not try to move anything unless you ask Peggy. She is the only one who knows where everything is in the refrigerator and the freezer. Her nickname? Refrigerator Goddess!

New crew member arrives today!

Tis afternoon, Rich arrives to join our motley crew. We've had a few days off here in Charleston, but it's time to get back on the water. Tomorrow, we head off to Georgetown, SC. But, today, we're still enjoying Charleston. Peggy and Terry have taken off to check out Antiques Row. Gee and Carol are planning a trip up to the Sea Store- the marina's ship's store. Mike is busy trying to catch up on paperwork.

This morning, we all did some laundry since the laundromat was available. Yes, it's clean sheet night! We also had another visit from Ed and Marybeth- our fellow Leopard catamaran owners. They came for another look at the work we've done with LUX. They left with pages of notes. And, we profited from the exchange as well. Lots of really great ideas were shared. We hope to run into them again in the future.

Rich just came aboard. He was greeted by his bunkmate.

It promises to be a fun adventure!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Linda! It is a chicken!

Yes, there are a tubal chicken running around on the streets of Charleston! This shot was snapped after our carriage ride around the historic district.

On the carriage ride

Lunch in Charleston

We took the courtesy van into town for lunch. We are eating at the Wild Wing Cafe.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Ending the day in Charleston, SC

We had a great trip from Beaufort to Charleston today. Most of the way, it was smooth sailing. The biggest excitement was approaching Charleston. Everyone and his brother was out on this beautiful Sunday afternoon. At times, it felt there just was not a place to move out on the water. But, Carol aced her driving practicum today! Se did a great job of not only piloting but avoiding yelling at the idiots (her words, not mine). 

When we finally got here, we had the opportunity to meet up with Marybeth and Ed - owners of a Leopard 40 and participants in the Leopard online group. We had dinner together on LUX. It was a great opportunity to share boating stories as well as improvement ideas for our boats. It was a lovely night.

Leaving Beaufort, South Carolina

We pulled away from the dock at 7:45 today.we're headed up to Charleston. It will be another long day. It's a ten hour trip in LUX. The marina was great. And, we must say that the riverfront park was rocking last night. The live band was really lively into the night. Here's some views as we leave.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

What a Moon!

You cannot believe the incredible moon that was out this night. It was so big and bright. It campe up as a big red ball. Then it gradually turned into this enormous white hazy moon. It stayed big and bright all night. It would shine in the portals, and it would seem like some boat was using its spotlight on us! It was just beautiful.

Beaufort SC is a lovely place

We got here about 10 this morning. It was a beautiful day, so we played tourist. We took the carriage ride around town. It's a nice, small town with some really great old houses. We saw the childhood home of Conroy- the one who wrote the Prince of Tides. We also saw early churches and very old trees. Tonight, it's more fresh tuna for dinner.

We learned some interesting facts on today's tour. One is that people in the Low Country paint their porch ceilings 'haint' blue to keep away the evil spirits! It supposedly also keeps away wasps, bees, and spiders. We're going to try that one when we get home. We also had the opportunity to see the home of the man who led the movement for the succession of the South! He held meetings in his home to discuss how to separate from the Union and what would happen afterwards. We bet he never predicted the final results! Speaking of the Civil War, another interesting fact is that practically all the generals in the Civil War knew each other because they all went to West Point! One of the Beaufort stories is that the Union general approaching Beaufort came into town to meet with the Confederate general because they had been good friends at West Point.

Also, for those keeping up with our gourmet adventures-- we did get pimento cheese today! Yes, we are in South Carolina! Can't pass through without the pimento cheese.

Oh, oh...What a Night!

Well, the weather certainly turned around last night - as did the wind and the boat! We woke up this morning with choppy waves, real wind, and a very rocky boat. Only Carol seemed to have slept well, which means the rest of us are a little sleep deprived silly. Oh, the strange tales of boat life.

Peggy and Terry bolted upright when something went thunk in the night. No, no idea what that was.

Terry said they had to find an extra blanket... After they shut the hatch.

Gee complained about the searchlight...turns out the moon was so bright that when it came in the side  porthole, it really did feel like a searchlight... Especially if you happened to have your eyes open at the wrong moment.

So, we are all sitting patiently while the only really awake one- Carol- is busily making us French Toast. Best thought of the day- Good thing we crossed the channel last night!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Evening time ... And everyone looks so tired

It is Friday night. We had the anchor down by 5:30, and dinner on the table by 6. Now, everyone is just sitting around reading or staring into space. I think, dear readers, that everyone is very tired from another ten hour day on the water.

Tomorrow, after breakfast, we will pull into Beaufort, SC for a day off. We'll hit the stores and the sights.

May 24th Afternoon Traffic Report

Once again, we meet the big container ship in the ICW. And, once again we use our highly developed boating skills to slow down and let him go by!

A personal note to my photo taking friends. I am using SnapSeed to correct my photos now. Linda, please admire my really perfect horizon!

May 24th on the ICW

We anchored out last night in Lincoln Creek right off Killkenny Creek- we're just 20 miles below Savannah. Last night, we had a lovely dinner of grilled tuna. Yes, it was the tuna that we caught. And it was very yummy. We also broke out the blender for some frozen rum mango drinks. It was a beautiful night--not too hot and beautiful skies.

This morning appears to be another lovely day. 

Yes, that is virtuous Peggy doing Tai Chi in the early morning light.

The only problem with the entire area are the FLIES! Horse flies. Green bottle flies. Noseeums. They come in hoards, and they stick around. And they bite. The sad thing yesterday was that there was an incredible breeze. We all thought they would be blown away. Oh no, they still managed to hang around and to try to bite everyone whenever they could. Oh well, it was still beautiful, and a great night to be anchored out. It was nice and cool. Everyone had a good night's rest.

On the ICW

It's 9:30 AM, and we are making good time up the ICW. But, it seems we are not moving fast enough to outrace the horse flies.

Although the screen is up protecting the salon, those outside are finding the day's entertainment in fly swatting. And, boy, are there enough targets for swatting! As fast as one is killed, four more show up. Peggy is perfecting her swish and squish technique. Terry is going for the quick hand slap method. Mike just ignores them. 

When about 25 are dead and lying about on the rug at the opening to the salon, Peggy gives them a burial at sea. Here you see her shaking out the rug to rid us of the latest collection of kills. Bet the fish really love her today. Never a dull day on a boat!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Enjoying the Inverter

We've really enjoyed the convenience of the big inverter on board. We've not had to worry about charging our various devices and the battery charger function has worked flawlessly. I think that it has actually helped improve the batteries (AGMs).

Tonight, just after anchoring, Gee broke out the blender, which consumes about 400 watts. Being able to fix frozen drinks after a long, hot day on the water is quite refreshing.


Anchor Bridle Rattle

Have you ever anchored in a nice little inlet only to be awakened in the middle of the night by the anchor bridle rattling? The current running past the bridle causes it to vibrate at a 2-3 hertz frequency. The thimbles and shackles on the bow rattle in their fittings as a result. I don't know about you, but I find that incredibly annoying. I'm very sensitive to noise on board and I like to minimize it as much as possible, so that anything out of the ordinary will alert me to something that's amiss.

Tonight, we're anchored in Lincoln Creek, near St. Catherine's Sound in Georgia and there's a 3 Kn current running. I could tell that the noise was going to keep me from sleeping soundly. So I set out to find a way to stop it. My task was complicated by the wind vs current. The wind was blowing towards the mouth of the creek while the current was incoming. LUX was facing the current, but the bridle was facing aft because the wind blew us back towards the mouth of the creek.

Tying a line to the bridle back and belaying it to the bow strut isn't a good solution because the angles will change when the current and wind changes the angle of the bridle with respect to the bow strut. I found that if I tied a piece of line between the two bridle legs, it performed two things. First, it changed the resonant frequency slightly, reducing the tendency to vibrate. Second, it stopped the shackles from rocking and the noise stopped. Here's a photo of the resulting arrangement. Now I can sleep and yet be awakened by any errant noise. The ends of the line are brought aboard so that if the knots loosen, we won't lose the line. I used clove hitches for this experiment. We'll see if they hold all night long. A rolling hitch would also be useful if the clove hitches don't work.


Leaving Jekyll Island

We are busily preparing to leave Jekyll Island - continuing to head northward. There is no special destination for today. There isn't anywhere within range to stop, so we'll be anchoring out. Again, it looks to be a beautiful day. The worst news I can share is that we haven't had the blender out lately! Today might just be the perfect day for that

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Jekyll Island

Well, no tuna for dinner. We ended up eating at SeaJay's Restaurant. We had the SeaJay's Original Low Country Boil Buffet. It offered shrimp, smoked sausage, corn on the cob, and potatoes prepared in one pot and served buffet style with cole slaw, rolls, and banana pudding!

Wednesday on the water

We left the St. Augustine Municipal Marina at 7:30 AM- the first opening of the Bridge of Lions. During our departure, we had one more really great look at El Galeon.
This replica of a Spanish galleon is visiting several Florida seaports in honor of the 500th anniversary of the naming of Florida by Ponce de Leon. We would have loved to have taken the tour, but those did not start until Thursday. And, we needed to get moving up the coast.

Today is going to be a long day. Terry has planned ten hours on the water. So far, it's been another beautiful day. Right after lunch, the real fun started. First, we had a tremendous dolphin show. They were all around us.

Then, the fish line sounded. We caught a tuna. That would be really fresh fish for dinner tonight!

Now, we are headed in to Jeckyll Island. Terry called TowBoat to ask about the missing marks. The answer was- yeah, they move around some. We don't recommend coming in from the ocean. But, it's high tide so you should be alright.

Terry thanked him, and he said he would be waiting to hear from us. Hmmm...... But, we have a chart plotter, maps, and three good navigators. Hopefully, the TowBoat guy will not hear from us today.

Tuesday in St. Augustine

We took the opportunity today to just play tourist in St. Augustine. Terry and Mike took the rental car back first thing in the morning while the rest of the crew went to the Bunnery Cafe for breakfast. They have great cinnamon and sticky buns- which we also brought back to the boat for future breakfasts.

Then, the five of us set out together. We bought tickets for the Old Town Trolley. We rode most of the route to get the history talk. We got off at the Old City Jail for a fascinating look at how crime just did not pay in the early 1900s in Florida. Our tour guide, recreating a prison trustee of the time, was so good that one of the women in our group had a slight panic attack when we were 'herded' into the women's cell and he slammed the cell door shut.

We took the trolley around a few stops to the White Lion Inn for lunch. Food was very tasty, and we enjoyed our break from all the walking around.

After lunch, we headed to the trolley stop which would allow us to pick up the shuttle to the beach. Our goal was to spend some time at the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum. The lighthouse, 165 feet tall, is still in use. And, you get to climb up for a spectacular view of St. Augustine and the surrounding waters. It's a simply lovely place.

The real fun started on the shuttle trip back. First, we could see El Galeon, the tall ship visiting St. Augustine as we crossed over the Bridge of Lions. Then we got stuck in the traffic from all the people trying to see El Galeon. A this point, our shuttle driver begins to entertain us with stories of the weird side of St. Augustine. The best (or worst, depending on your point of view) was the one of the beloved bishop of St. Augustine who died in June around the turn of the century. With no air conditioning or refrigeration and no advances in embalming, the bishop was really not going to last long enough for everyone who wanted to attend the funeral mass to get into town. First they tried putting him on a block of ice and covering him with Spanish moss. When the ice melted, they tried to keep him in a coffin with a glass lid so everyone could still pay their last respects. He made it to the funeral. But, he exploded. Yes, the gases in the body built up inside the coffin and exploded during the mass. Ah, Gentle Readers, we are sharing this with you because we don't like to suffer alone. But just wait. It gets worse.

Actually, that story did get worse. But, we will save you from that. Instead, we will tell you that we got off the bus and headed back to our marina- where El Galeon was also tied up. But, Terry noticed that the Spanish Military Hospital was still open. So, we all went in for the guided tour. Believe me, you do not want graphic details about hospital practices from the 1800s. We were 'fortunate' enough to get the eighth grade tour. Our guide went into great detail about each instrument in the collection. BTW, amputations were big back then - and required a variety of tools. And, yes Sam, we saw the tools for drilling into heads. Some of the crew want to know why we weren't told about the need for chisels-but don't ask why would need those. By this point, some of the crew started gagging. We do think the tour is a hot spot for eighth graders, though. We're sure they love the blood and gore.

Finally, we were headed back to the marina for the end of our day. The El Galeon was, indeed, at the end of our pier. We took a look. Then, we had drinks and dinner- a lovely way to end a great day.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Monday, May 20, 2013

Dinner tonight

It's our first microwave dinner.

Monday, May 20 - in St. Augustine

It's 4 PM, and we've accomplished most of our goals for the day. Carol manned the laundry while Gee and Peggy provisioned by shopping at Big Lots and Walmart. Mike and Terry dropped Howard off at the airport. They're off shopping for boat parts. Renting the car for one day has proven to be very efficient.

BTW-- It's always interesting in a marina laundry room. We went early, thereby starting a marina stampede. We got the first two washers, but others managed to snag the other two. So, as we surmised, it took all morning to get all our dirty laundry clean, folded, and put away. Of course, that includes the time needed to maneuver around the other laundry room users. Today we had the woman who cleans the laundry filter by banging it on the dryer and letting the lint fall to the floor. Then we had the guy who had to iron- right in the middle of the drying area. And don't forget the woman and the two men who had a great conversation going - one that took place right in front of all the dryers. After all, why just talk when you can also block progress!

And then on to Walmart. Why just shop when you can also turn your cart sideways and block progress in the entire aisle? Yes, all those people were in Walmart. 

The most interesting part of this tale is that these sorts of things usually happen when you are really in a hurry. We were not particularly rushed today. Yes, we did have a schedule of sorts - one that was driven by the need to get Howard to the airport on time for his flight. But, other than that, we were actually doing well with time. But, all these people just seemed to want to slow us down. Perhaps the true moral of the story is that they were just trying to make sure we were late so that Howard would miss his plane and stay with us! But, alas, it did not work. Howard did get to the airport on time. And all the other tasks were accomplished. We have food. We have clean clothes. Carol and Peggy cleaned the insides of the boat. Mike and Terry fixed the leak in the water heater. Terry fixed the blower fan for the engine. And, tomorrow we will spend the day sightseeing here in St. Augustine. It's a good day on the water.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

A1A - the special dessert!

In St. Augustine

We are eating at A1A here in St. Augustine to celebrate Howard's last night on the boat.
You can just barely see LUX from the outdoor seating.

Approaching St. Augustine

We actually started the day with a thunderstorm. Even the heavens were crying because Sam had to leave. But the day turned nice. And, at 5:15, we are approaching St. Augustine - even earlier than we thought we would. The big excitement for today was trying to get through the Crescent Bridge. They were working on the bridge, so they needed to have us wait until they could raise the bridge. Once they did raise the bridge, we were ordered to take cover as we passed underneath! From conversations overheard on the radio, it seems that welding debris fell on the boat before us! We made it without any incident. But, once on the other side we did have the opportunity to do a man overboard drill. Seems the drying bath mat preferred to be wet, so it took a flying leap overboard! We went into MOB mode! We circled. We got out the boat hook. We rescued the once again soaking wet bath mat.

Afterwards, Terry led the group in a discussion of lessons learned and what we could do better next time. My offering- just let the bath mat drown- was not appreciated. Especially not since this is the beginning of National Recreational Water Illness and Injury Prevention Week! 

Sam's Leaving!

When we depart from New Smyrna this morning, we will leave Sam behind. This is his departure day, so he will fly home.  We were sad to see him go, but so happy that he could spend this time with us.

Arriving at the New Smyrna Yacht Club

Sam has procured a slip for us at the New Smyrna Yacht Club for this evening. At present, we are making the approach to the dock.

This evening, we are supposed to have dinner at the yacht club - if we all can find collared shirts and long pants. This will be the first time we have had to 'dress' since we left home! It's too easy to get used to the shorts and tee shirt life, that's for sure.

It will be a bittersweet dinner because it's our last night with Sam. He flies out tomorrow.

Saturday in the ICW

We are cruising down the ICW toward New Smyrna Beach. We just hit a hot spot. We are surrounded by little fishing boats, kayakers, people out wading and fishing, and a manatee. It's a beautiful day on the water.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Rigged for Night Running

We have to make overnight runs on LUX from time to time, especially when we are going between Marsh Harbor and Annapolis. The older Raymarine chart plotter doesn't have a night setting that we find acceptable. The brightness and contrast can be modified but there is no setting for changing to a much darker screen or to a red screen for night use.

Our solution was to purchase a sheet of red theater lighting plastic (known as gel in the theater business) from an art supply store. We cut it to fit over the Raymarine chart plotter display and hold it in place with blue painter's tape. This simple modification makes a big difference in our eyes' ability to adjust to low light conditions.

We also have a black mouse pad that we cut in half to keep the compass light from reflecting up onto the wind screen. Half of it is below the compass and the other half is above the compass, on the plexiglass sun shield.

If you've done the ICW a number of times, you'll also note the red triangle and green square, which Gee cut from colored foam. The backs have velcro, so that we can change the indicators that help us know on which side we should see each color marker.


Are the Deck Lockers Latched?

The Perko deck locker latches (Flush Latches, Fig 1032)  are easy to use and easy to replace when they eventually fail, but have one major flaw: There is no indication on the outside that indicates whether they are latched. The latching arm on the bottom of the latch can be oriented in any direction, relative to the handle on the other side of the locker door, as shown in the two pictures below. We decided to do something about it and make it so that we could know whether the latch was engaged in the daytime as well as at night with no light available.

The first step is to adjust the latching arm with the latch in place. When the height adjustment is set correctly, the latch arm will have about 1/16-inch clearance to the catch or the rim of the compartment. Align the latch arm so that when it latches the compartment, the exterior handle is in a fixed orientation that makes sense. In our case, we oriented the latch arm with the outside handle, as shown in the picture on the right.

Using our trusty rotary tool (Dremel tool) with a cutoff wheel, we carefully cut a small groove in the plastic handle to indicate where the latch arm was located. (See arrow in the picture to the right.) We can see the groove in the daylight and feel for it at night. So there is no question about whether the latch is engaged. Adding some white paint to the groove will make it stand out more.

Update 5/30/13:
We added paint to the deck latch grooves, using a "DecoColor" marker so that they are easy to see in dim light.


Saturday Morning in Titusville- a USPS Moment!

You can't imagine our surprise and delight last night when we found out that the marina was hosting a nautical flea market today - put on by the Titusville Sail and Power Squadron! So, yes indeed, we supported the local Power Squadron. We even had the pancake and sausage breakfast prepared by Chef Elmer of TSPS. Mike had a chance to chat with their SEO. We all chatted with the commander. Then, we checked out the flea market. The guys, BTW, are still there. We retreated to the air conditioned comfort of LUX to let them have all the time they want to touch the big nautical fleas. And, they are even doing vessel safety checks! No, ASPS, we did not do our SVC here. We are waiting for our own SVC folks.

Oh, Mike's back. He gave up on the fleas so he could wash the boat. Got to love a guy who cleans up!

Update-the District Commander is here to celebrate the 100 years of USPS with Titusville SPS at 10. We're on our way to be a part of it.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Wednesday in Great Sale Cay

We left Green Turtle behind this morning to move further north. Tonight we are anchored in Great Sale Cay. It's just a small group of boats here tonight. But, we had a great dinner salad followed by a scrumptious dessert. Yes, it was time to get out the blender! We used the last of the ice cream to blend up some yummy rum drinks. They were served with chocolate chip cookies. And, everything went great with the beautiful sunset. Yes, yet another beautiful day in Paradise!

So, we keep going back to 0 days without injuries

No boat trip is complete without some injuries to the crew. The best injuries on a boat trip are minor. So far, ours are minor. Here's a full disclosure-- 

When we rented the car in Marsh Harbour, it was a nice van. However the second row seat people all developed a bad habit of wrapping their hand around the door jamb as they got in. Unfortunately, the time that Terry did it, Mike closed the front door before Terry moved his hand. Ouch. Luckily, it was really just caught in the rubber seal, so Terry escaped with minor damage.

Today, it was Carol's turn. It started when Howard developed a crush - on Carol's toe. Yes, the anchor locker hatch escaped and landed on Carol's toe. Ouch!

Then, it was Gee's turn. She managed to burn her thumb by forgetting to lift the silicon pot lid with a mitt. Ouch.

But, as we pointed out-- no boat trip happens without some minor mishaps. We plan to try to keep ours minor the whole way.

Oh well, it's waiting time again.

We got through the lock with no problem. Things were looking up. We thought we would actually make New Smyrna Beach today. Instead, we are in a lovely marina in Titusville. Why, you might ask? Well, the bridge behind the lock did not open until appears that 6 is a magic number here in Florida. No matter what you try to do, you'll be caught by something and you'll be waiting for 6. 

But, if we have to be caught, the Titusville Marina is a great spot. Tomorrow, Saturday morning, the Titusville Sail and Power Squadron is having a nautical flea market on the dock! And pancake breakfast for $2.50- if you also want sausage - $2 otherwise. So, we will support our local SPS! Sounds like fun for everyone!

In the lock early!

We were informed that the lock only opens at 6 PM. And it was going to be a long day for us. However, the repair crew finished early! So we are in the lock at 2:40! It's a good day all around for the crew of LUX!