Tuesday, October 3, 2017

October 2017: Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season


Nuts.  It’s October and we are still at Old Port Cove Marina. And it is still hurricane season.  Just as we were thinking we had the boat nearly ready to cruise and would also see a break in the weather, neither has turned out to be true.

No Sense in Heading North Given This Model Plot
As for the “boat stuff”, we still appear to have a too-warm stuffing box that requires more attention and sea trialing, and we have not yet figured out the LinkPro (battery monitor) accuracy issue.  The water seepage at the front of the engine room is also still under investigation – although that does not appear to be originating with the main engine’s raw water cooling loop as previously thought.  That’s good, but more sleuthing is required.

As for the weather, Invest 99 set up over Florida this past weekend, with the east coast forecast going downhill for the coming week. And the NWS began expressing concerns about tropical development closer to home (Caribbean) after all that passes.  So with the rain, wind and wave forecasts looking bleak, and a few priority punch list items being annoyingly persistent, we are staying close to the dock for at least another week or so.

We did manage to take on a load of fuel last week (816 gallons of diesel) as part of our latest sea trial sortie, and Chelle also got some stick time at Ghost Rider’s fly bridge helm for a healthy dose of close quarters maneuvering practice.  (She hasn’t lost her touch.)  We also took care of several late-breaking “discoveries” – replacing the sea strainer baskets for the main engine raw water intakes (big holes), same for the air conditioner strainer (its basket literally had to be chiseled out of its housing), and also changed the generator’s secondary fuel filter (perhaps the cause for recent surges / dropouts….apparently it had not been changed in recent memory.)
Ghost Rider in Her New Berth in the OPC North Basin

With the decision made to hang out in North Palm Beach a while longer, this past weekend we drove back over to Fort Myers and picked up our own vehicle, returning the rental car back to Enterprise; when we do cruise out of here we’ll leave our car with friends on this coast and figure out a retrieval plan later.  We also moved Ghost Rider over to Old Port Cove’s north basin – James offered us an unused and a nicely-priced maintenance slip there; definitely helps with cost control.

Winds & Whitecaps Kicking Up...Added Lines & Strapped Down the E-bike
Today (03-Oct) The wind is currently cranking at 25-30 out of the east, we have whitecaps inside the marina basin, it’s raining sideways, and the boat’s Bimini top is acting like it wants to be a parasail.  We’ve doubled up on a few lines and strapped Chelle’s new e-bike to the dock.  It looks like a good evening to hang out in the salon and watch the MLB playoffs.

In one of Jimmy Buffett’s best songs, “Trying to Reason With Hurricane Season”, he wrote:

Squalls out on the gulf stream,
Big storms coming soon.
I passed out in my hammock,
God, I slept way past noon.
Stood up and tried to focus,
I hoped I wouldn't have to look far.
I knew I could use a Bloody Mary,
So I stumbled next door to the bar.

And that is sounding more and more like an excellent plan for tomorrow.

Chelle Serving Up Port Wine Cheese & Crackers for the Big Game

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