Friday, March 26, 2010

Stir Crazy in St Augustine

As I mentioned the other day, I was stuck in St Augustine for the past few days, and in ways, it was fortunate I was.

I was changing my fuel filters early Wednesday morning when I noticed water dripping from my exhaust, not something that should be happening , at all. I checked things out, and my exhaust, which is a water jacketed pipe, was leaking internally, and could have potentially ruined my engine. As luck would have it, and perhaps thanks to a bit of oversight from above, I caught the problem in time., and, thanks to the bridge being closed, I was still in St Augustine, and had access to a welding shop that could and did turn the job right around. I had to walk about a mile and a half carrying this 70lb pipe to them, but it wasn't bad, and, I am sure I needed the exersize. What was bad though, when I got the new pipe installed and was running the engine, I noticed that the pipe had a few pin hole leaks in the welds, so I had to remove it, hike back out and back again, carrying this pipe the whole time. Quite a good bit of walking, and my shoulders are still sore from carrying the pipe. The good news is that the exhaust is now fixed, the old pipe was not only leaking, but over 50% obstructed with rust and scale. Now the engine is not on the verge of being flooded with water, and, it is running cooler as well.

Last night out on anchor we had one heck of a storm, and let me tell you, the anchorage south of St Augustine marina is a mess, I drug anchor last night, and when I was raising the anchor to relocate, I found that my anchor was fouled on some old abandoned anchor and chain. From the looks of it, when I dropped anchor it bit into the old chain and never dug in, and during the blow last night that old chain and anchor broke free. Once again I was extremely lucky, but I did not sleep all that well after that.

This morning I motored in, got a shower in the marina, and then Larry and Roberta treated me to breakfast. We went to a Greek restaurant that was close, but we had an all American breakfast, Larry and I had pancakes and Roberta had an omelet, nothing too Greek about any of that, but it was good and not too God awful expensive. On the way back from browsing around downtown I heard that the bridge was opening at 10 (over with), 1030 (over with) and 1130. I wanted to refuel, but there were 3 other boats in the queue, so I went through the bridge, anchored where I had anchored on the way south, and then ferried in my jerry cans to refuel. I am now topped off, and regardless of which way I go, outside or inside on the ICW, I should be able to make it to South Carolina on the fule I have. With the weather as it is, it looks like I will be inside tomorrow to Fernandina Beach, and maybe, hopefully, outside from Fernandina to Beaufort. From there it is about 4 or 5 days to North Carolina, if I go on the inside. Again, weather and wind permitting, I will do as much as I can outside, that should cut down the total miles and the number of hours and days travelling. I am thinking I am 12 days out from Elizabeth City, but maybe, just maybe I can cut that back down to 9 or 10 days. 60 miles a day, 690 miles on the ICW.....

I have gotten the boat squared away, all the parts and supplies are stowed, and I am thinking about trying to make pizza tonight for dinner. Who knows, maybe I will, I'll let you know how it turned out.

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