The Next Season
November 4th, 2020
Summer months were spent with upgrading and fixing things on Counting Stars. The list includes changing the oil and antifreeze in both engines and generator. Replacing the exhaust elbows on the engines. Servicing and painting the dinghy engine. Cleaning up the rust on the generator cover and repriming and painting. Epoxy filling of cockpit floor to install new flexiteek floor. Refinishing the teak cockpit table. Covering the nav station. Sewing on a new wheel cover. Installing line and fishing pole racks in front locker along with installing fishing racks in cockpit. Lubricating all window seals. Dealing with an indirect lightning strike replacing the fuel sender, engine tachometer, and stern light. Replacing the main halyard, topping lift, dinghy line and anchor light. Replacing the genoa with a sail from Mack Sails. Whew…. I am sure I could go on.
The work kept us busy during these weird times of Covid. Although there wasn’t much socializing going on, we had a little comradery on B Dock at Port City Marina. Gary and Betty, Ryan and Caroline, Linda and Allen, Jim and Tiffany, and Ross all stopped by to say hello, help with various boat projects and we all wished for better times ahead.
Before heading off, we provisioned and provisioned. Loads of frozen meats, many trips for booze and many many many boxes of wine. No joke! Wine is really hard to come by in the Bahamas. Don’t judge! We even bought an additional Engel Cooler freezer so we could store more food. Every nook and cranny on the boat is full and we are now lower in the water.
The morning of November 4th we set off and about two hours down the Cape Fear River, our tachometer starting going in and out. Thought maybe it was the MDI box but realized after it going in and out with various choppy waves, it had to be a loose connection and we were on our way.
The first night was spent motoring in calm conditions. The second night was much more rough. Kevin caught a King and large Spanish Mackerel. We sailed some, but we had waves producing that sideways sloshing motion and slamming between the hulls so it was a bit uncomfortable. We arrived in St. Augustine two days after we set off around 11 and were assigned a ball in the south mooring field.
Spent the next 8 days in St. Augustine. During that time, we worked on our watermaker. It was making water but throwing it overboard instead of in the water holding tanks. Also, the water smelled a little funky. Weird chemical smell. The valve that sends the produced water to the water tanks must be manually overridden but now we have to remove the port front berth mattress to access the water maker each time we run it. Guessing some electrical connection to the valve is faulty. We pickled the watermaker using sodium metabisulfite while in St. Augustine, changed the filters again and it seemed to help the odor. We pickled it yet again until we get to the Bahamas. Keeping fingers crossed it continues to work.
We met up with another cruising couple from Wilmington we met in the Bahamas the prior season and walked across the Lyons Bridge to Anastasia Island to tour the lighthouse. It was a long walk but the lighthouse was beautiful and Menno and Valerie are always good company.