Sunday, December 7, 2014

Two heads are better than four

We are anchored in Hobe Sound (map), near the community of that name in Florida, north of Jupiter Inlet.  We had a nice cruise here today from our last stop, anchored off the Coast Guard station on South Causeway Island, Fort Pierce (map), near Fort Pierce Inlet.

Locking through at dawn.  You can see the water rushing in through the opening lock gate.

We weighed anchor yesterday morning in the pre-dawn hours, and locked through Canaveral Lock before 7am.  I was hoping to hit a bit of outgoing tide but we were just a tad early.  At least it was fairly slack and we did not push against any incoming tide.  When we awoke there were already three cruise ships in port, and we passed the inbound AIDAvita in the channel on our way out.

Carnival (left), RCI, and Disney (behind RCI) in port as we leave them astern.

AIDAvita passing us in the Canaveral harbor channel.

Shortly after clearing the jetties we questioned our judgment.  Seas were five feet on the beam with a nine second period, which made for something of a roller coaster ride.  Things got only a little better as we got closer to Fort Pierce.  Still, it was only a little uncomfortable, and I could not knock out a few projects that I had hoped to while on passage.  Louise was moving slowly, since she had anticipated rough seas and took an anticipatory dose of seasickness meds. She now thinks that Bonine makes her too dopey and is going to try something else.

Conditions in the channel, and the name of this RoRo, both belie what lies ahead.

We arrived at the inlet without incident, and things were actually quite calm by the time we were as far inside as the Coast Guard station.  We dropped the hook around 4:30 and splashed the tender.  I still need to disassemble and rebuild the steering, so every dinghy launch now starts with some WD-40 and massaging the helm to get the motor moving, and even then, the steering is very stiff.

Back when we were still in Deltaville I had posted a "free to good home" listing for the two marine heads that we removed when we installed the new Tecmas.  I got three takers, one of whom was in Pennsylvania with a Grand Banks 42 that was being refurbished here in Port St. Lucie.  We went back and forth several times with him trying to find a way to get them picked up while we were still in Deltaville, but he could not make it happen and I ended up loading the second removed head into the lazarette on top of the first one, which has been down there since we replaced the first head in July.

I knew that, not only was this guy's boat on our route, but also one of the other takers was in Fort Lauderdale, so one way or another I'd get these heads off the boat here in Florida.  As it turns out, the Grand Banks guy was able to persuade one of the craftsmen working on the boat to meet us in Ft. Pierce to pick them up. So after splashing the tender, we loaded both heads in the front and tied them down, and I motored over to the dock at South Causeway Island Park to meet him.

He's probably the guy who will install them, and I spent fifteen minutes giving him the rundown on how they worked, and what parts were needed to complete the install.  He seems to be a jack-of-all-trades and I have every confidence the heads will get installed and put to good use, but not any time soon.  It's an older, wooden Grand Banks, and they appear to be just starting on the interior after already having to replace some planking.  It puts our "this old boat" issues in perspective.

Returning from the dock, thankfully empty-handed.

I'm really glad to have the extra two heads off the boat.  The dock where I dropped them off is actually large and beefy enough, and in enough water, to land Vector there, and that would have been an easier option just to drop off the heads.  But after a long, rough ocean passage, we also wanted to go out for dinner, and we knew we'd need to drop the dinghy anyway -- no overnight docking allowed at the park.  We ran the tender over to On The Edge, a tiki-bar restaurant with a convenient free dock for patrons.  Decent but pricey, which could describe much of this part of Florida.

Moonrise over South Causeway and the inlet (left), as best my phone could capture.  The tiki bar where we ate is in there somewhere.

This morning we again took the tender back to the park to meet up with our good friend, Alyse, from Captain Chris Yacht Services.  Her other half, Chris, was off on a delivery run, but the three of us had a nice brunch at a nearby restaurant. She was also kind enough to run us over to Home Depot for some parts for the never-ending parade of boat projects.

We arrived back at the boat just as the tide was turning, and we quickly weighed anchor and got under way so that we would not be pushing against a very strong ebb there in the inlet channel.  I had figured only to get as far as Jensen Beach today, but we were under way early enough to come all the way here, with mostly fair tide the whole way.

Tomorrow we will be in Lake Worth (the lake, not the town), and we will reconnect with Martin and Stephanie aboard Blossom.


  1. A tender with two Heads!! That should have been quite the site....

    1. They were in boxes, so it was not that odd. One box just barely fit on the floor of the tender, and the other box was stacked atop it. I had to tie the top one down so it would not slide off the bottom box and into the sea..


Share your comments on this post! We currently allow anyone to comment without registering. If you choose to use the "anonymous" option, please add your name or nickname to the bottom of your comment, within the main comment box. Getting feedback signed simply "anonymous" is kind of like having strangers shout things at us on the street: a bit disconcerting. Thanks!