Hello virtual crew members and fellow adventurers! We welcome two new virtual crew members aboard this week: Realray and deanmitch92. Welcome aboard and thanks for following the adventure.
The crew only travelled two days in the past week. Mostly due to the howling winds and rough seas. But also because the marinas south of Ft Pierce to Ft Lauderdale do not have any slips available.
The 2017 hurricane season did a number on the marinas and backyard docks in south Florida. The boats that survived have moved further north causing real shortages for transient boaters.
The crew made the following moves during the week:
1 – cruised a short distance to Ft Pierce Municipal Marina.
2 – crossed the Indian River to dock at the brand new Causeway Cove Marina to wait out the weather.
Click on the link to read the day-to-day travel log. This includes weather report, sea conditions, captain’s log, and a summary of the day’s experience.
Explorations during the week did answer the following questions:
This week’s video shows Still Waters II make the move from Vero Beach to Ft Pierce where the crew visited the Navy SEALs Museum. Enjoy!
To see past videos, click on the link to the Still Waters II Vimeo site. The library now contains 48 videos of Still Waters II cruising America’s Great Loop.
The crew walked from the marina over to the Atlantic Ocean to see the other side of the barrier Island.
The crew then headed back to the river side of the island to find a place to eat. On the way, they came across this guy cleaning Sheep Head and feeding Pelicans.
After watching the Pelicans feed, it was time to find the restaurant.
When the crew got back to the marina the dolphins were putting on a show.
The crew headed towards Ft. Pierce for a short 15 mile run. The winds are forecasted to kick up and stay above 20 mph for the next week. When the skipper contacted the City Marina he was quoted a price for one week of dockage. After getting settled, the skipper went up to the office to check in. The clerk only charged for a one night stay. The skipper questioned the one day verse one week. The clerk said the marina was full and they did not have any room for Still Waters II.
This sent the skipper scrambling to find another place to stay. He called nearly ever marina all the way to Ft Lauderdale and not a single marina had an opening for the next week.
While the skipper was working the phone, the Admiral went back to the office. She learned that there was a brand new marina just across the river. The skipper called Causeway Cove Marina and they had a place for the crew for the next week. The Dock Manager did make a comment about not arriving till after 1100 in the morning though.
The crew prepared to leave the City Marina and cross the Indian River to the Causeway Cove Marina. Because the marina requested the crew not show up till 1100, the crew walked around the marina neighborhood to kill some time.
The crew did not find any manatees at the Manatee Center. A local guy rode up on a bike and explained that when the upstream power plant closed down, the warm water stopped flowing, and the manatees found other places to hang out.
The crew did find this one manatee.
Since the Manatee Center was a bust, the crew headed back to the marina and shoved off from the dock. The crew crossed the river and hailed the Causeway Cove Marina to no avail. The skipper called the marina on the phone and talked with the Dock Manager. He commented that they were in the process of doing the ribbon cutting for the Grand Opening. He said he would send a dockhand down to the dock.
Did I mention that this was a brand new marina. Still Waters II was the fifth boat to land at the marina. The first boat was allowed in the marina on Saturday.
Because high winds hampered many outside activities, the crew decided to spend a few days working in the boat. With the crew making plans to go to the Bahamas, the skipper decided to see if he could remove the starboard 50 gallon water tank and repair the leak. The tank has been isolated from the potable water system since the crew bought the boat.
The skipper wrestled the tank most of the day on Tuesday, but did finally succeed in removing the tank in one piece. He moved the tank to the dock and performed a leak check. He found a small six inch crack in a seam of the tank.
He used an epoxy putty to repair the aluminum tank. He allowed the putty to cure overnight, and performed a leak check on Thursday. With the repair holding and the tank not leaking. The skipper drained the tank and set about putting it back in the boat.
After the installation, he filled the tank and the repair seemed to be holding. Unfortunately, later in the day, the skipper was checking the tank and noticed it had started leaking again. It was a much smaller leak than before, but leaking non the less.
The skipper pulled the tank again on Friday, found the leak, and applied another round of epoxy putty. He also went to a auto parts store and bought some JB Weld. He painted the epoxy repairs with the JB Weld to give two layers of defense to the repairs.
After satisfied that the tank was fixed, the skipper re-installed the tank late Friday night.
The crew did take off for a few hours and visited an Aquarium and local History Museum, while they waited for the epoxy to repair. Both visits were interesting and educational.
The History Museum concluded with an area dedicated to the prominent families of the area. One colorful family that all should recognize is the Binney Family. Well, maybe you do not recognize the name of the family, but I am sure you will recognize the world famous product that Edwin invented in 1903.
The museum told the story of how the wife, Alice, actually came up with the idea of making multiple colored crayon sticks for her students. Ed, with the help of another man named Smith, had developed a black marker from carbon and oil. Alice basically requested that they make additional colors because she believed her students would enjoy the multiple colors to draw with at school. So Ed went back to the drawing board, so to speak, and developed seven additional colored markers.
Alice also came up with the idea for the name for the colored markers. She suggested combining the French word craie for ‘chalk,’ and ola from the Latin root for ‘oil.’ The new company marketed the package containing eight colorful oil sticks for five cents a box.
All work and no play makes for a boring day, so the crew headed off to learn more about the local area of Ft Pierce. The first stop was the McLarty Treasure Museum. Each coastal area of Florida has a unique name. The two hundred miles from the Ft Pierce inlet to the Sebastian inlet is nicknamed the Treasure Coast. This museum answers the question of how it got its name.
Turns out, that the King of Spain, Phillip V, assumed the kingship of Spain when King Charles II of Spain died childless in 1700. The 18 year old King Phillip V took a 13 year old bride to be the Queen. In 1714, she died from tuberculosis without reproducing a son.
On December 24, 1714, the King took a second wife in hopes of producing a male heir. However, after the marriage, the new Queen would not consummate the marriage until she received a proper dowry. The King set about obtaining said dowry.
An eleven ship fleet left Havana in July of 1715 loaded with gold, silver, and the Queen’s jewels. They sailed north to catch the Gulf Stream off the coast of Florida. On July 31, 1715, the fleet was overcome by a hurricane. All but one of the ships were smashed on the reefs off the coast of Florida between Ft Pierce and Sebastian. Gold coins, pieces of 8, and jewelry still wash ashore in these areas, giving rise to the term Treasure Coast.
The second stop was at the Navy Seal Museum. Ft Pierce was the home of the Underwater Demolition Team (UDT) training leading up to WWII. The museum traces the history of the UDT teams accomplishments leading up to the transition to SEAL Teams during the Vietnam War. The museum then chronicles the evolvement of the SEALs to the modern fighting force we know today.
The crew spent four hours taking in the museum, and easily could have spent double that time. However, the museum closed at 1600 and the crew had to leave. If you ever find yourself close to Ft Pierce, make a stop at the SEAL Museum, it is definitely worth a visit. This is definitely a do not miss museum with all the films, interactive displays, and equipment displayed outside.
Because of very little travel and movement of boats, the crew did knot find a worthy winner this week.
Looking at the seven day forecast, the winds will continue to howl at over 20 mph with gusts near 30 mph. This causes the waves to be much bigger (predicted 5-10 feet) than our crew wants to tackle crossing the Gulf Stream. The other issue is marina availability. With the high winds most boaters are hunkered down and not moving. Therefore there is not any place to move south to without anchoring. But anchoring in 20 mph winds is not much fun.
There is a small glimmer of hope showing up on Friday and Saturday. A window may open then as the winds start to taper off. If the winds fall near 10 mph and out of the south as predicted, a window may open to cross over to the Bahamas on Saturday.
Loop On – Where the road ends, the water begins. The water goes on forever, and the adventure never ends.