Monday, May 4, 2009

St Augustine

Monday is here, and I feel that I should update everyone on the weekend's activities.

No runs, no hits and no errors, our journey was fairly uneventful. Friday was pretty busy, I got home late from work which put a wrench into my plans and the time to accomplish each little task that needed doing before departure.

Hyacinth was carried to the Barco, we dropped her off and made way to the Publix (forget going to the Commissary on a Payday/Retiree Payday) for all the food we would be needing. Afterwards, we went back to the house and had Publix hotwings for dinner.

Taps came pretty early for a Friday, we were a snoozin' by 2100. 0500 came real early, we loaded the truck and shifted over to the Barco Sin Vela. We were underway just after 0700 and in fairly short order we were zooming through downtown Jacksonville (Don't make a wake!) and we slid along just under ten knots, heading for the Dames Point Bridge. This is where I remembered I needed to prove I was out and about with evidence.

So in order to have full disclosure, here is a shot of the GPS

The Hyacinth Kitteh was acting as the fantail watch, ensuring that no one fell into the water with out her knowing about it!

Everything was going to plan, with the exception of the weather. It was looking like the winds were going to be out of the Southeast, and at least 15 knots, which added to our forward progress of about 10 knots, would mean we would be heading into 25 knots of apparent wind.

No thanks. Down the Intra Coastal Waterway we went.

Meanwhile, back in the engine compartment, the squirrels who run in the circular contraption that we call a "Generator" decided that they would continue to run no more. That meant the airconditioning, the fridge and the icemaker would also show solidaity with the down trodden squirrels and also cease function.

I opened up the floor access panels and entered the noisy domain of mechanical magic. My mind's narrator was an imaginary Marlon Perkins from that old "Wild Kingdom" show, {Picture Jim going in to wrestle the crocodile}

Marlon Perkins: "Watch out, Jim! Those teeth are razor sharp!!!" Remember that Marlon was never getting into the scene himself?.

My admiration for Jim remains, even if Marlon and Jim may not be here to talk over my entrance to the domain of fan belts and fast spinning things.

The once over of hoses, connections and security were performed and I warily looked behind the generator. I noticed water pouring into the boat via the propeller shaft at the stern gland.

A hasty explanation was offered to She Who Will be Obeyed, and we shut down the starboard engine, so I could reach in with a 9/16's wrench and tighten the two nuts which hold the flax packing in the shaft/ocean interface. A tightening we will go!

Moments later, I reported the completion of the task. But we still didn't have a generator. Due to my lack of mechanical talent, I decided to leave the generator to those Mystic's who work magic on such devices.

No point in breaking something worse. This has happened to me before, where I started fiddling with something til it breaks properly.

I switched our fridge to DC power on the DC panel and called it a morning.

These two were fishing in da' ditch in their Ocean Kayaks. This must be a sign of the poor economy, cuz normally a couple a characters like this would be in a small motor boat. We have a couple of these kayaks, you will get wet and they aren't very stable, see the photos from the trip to Hontoon. Gators are in all Florida waters!

All this fun and we have barely entered the ICW with the Wonderwood Bridge was upon us.

The "Wonderwood Expressway" was planned and built to accomodate the residents of Arlington driving to Naval Station Mayport, back when the Forrestal and Saratoga made their home their. I remember sitting in the Mayport Road parking lot at 0630 and 1700, with all six thousand cars heading like lemmings to the base and home.

We all dreamed of a time when they would actually put in a straight highway to the base. We "wonder would" they build this road with all of the environmentalists fighting it each inch of the way.

The Ol' Sara and the FID went away, but the dream of a road with a bridge remained. They finished the bridge sometime in 2005, I think. I hope they bring a Carrier back to Mayport. I don't have a dog in the fight, I live across town.

Back to the ICW:

Our first non-fishing boat traveler!

A nice Canadian going home. Lucky feller.

Soon we found ourselves in Ponte Vedra, a small beach community know for the Pro Golfers Tour, and little else. A really straight cut begins, no more winding about until you get past Palm Valley.

You can tell you are in Palm Valley because the ICW starts to wind, again. There is a nice anchorage at the end of Cabbage Swamp. You can see the straight cut on the chart:

This portion of the Intracoastal waterway was straightened out to accommodate barge traffic, especially during World War 2, when freighters were being sunk within sight of Jacksonville Beach. Even though there is plenty of wildness, the depth is a uniform seven or eight feet (mostly).

I will be back and finish this in an hour, or so. Thanks for reading and commenting!


Liz said...

Dames Point Bridge - beautiful photo!

Hoping we read in the next that the gen automagically fixed itself as I know they occasionally do...

Alison said...

I was looking at the Cabbage Swamp area map.... have you seen any whales in the area that's marked whale avaoidance?

Barco Sin Vela II said...

Hey Ann; No, the genny is down. I have worked it out that there is no fuel going in. I think I will be changing the fuel filter. Then I will hire a pro.

Fox; There are no whales (other than than the largish people) in the Cabbage Swamp, this note is for the offshore portion of the chart. The ocean is literally three miles away, and the area out to thirty miles offshore is whale country.

Bob said...

Enjoying the story so far! Be sure to take pics at the Castillo De San Marcos if you go there.

Buck said...

Once again: great pics and narrative! Those kayakers were either brave or stupid... or both... considering what you've told us about gators. You'd never see ME in that sort of situation.