Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Daytona Beach, FL Wednesday November 13, 2013

It's been awhile since my last entry. We are in Daytona Beach and I will attempt to cover this past week in small doses as we continue to our goal of reaching Vero Beach.  Lots of good things have happened to Fiu and us.  I'll start back on Tuesday, November 5 when Fiu was fixed.  Ray installed the vent loop valve which breaks the siphon of sea water entering the engine.  We started the engine and decided to leave the dock and travel as far south on the ICW as possible the rest of the day.   Believe me when I say we motored as far as we had originally traveled on October 30th when the engine failed to start. The anchorage in the  South Edisto River near Watts Cut became a familiar place. The engine ran like new with good oil pressure, temp gauge in green and no idling or power issues!  We were able to travel so far due to catching the tidal currents just right.  We were running with the current most of the way and when 5.5 to 7 kts is normal for Fiu, this day we ran between 6.2 and 8.9 kts!  The 28 miles were fun and our adventure was finally underway with abundant sunshine and a warm breeze.

Entering Watts Cut was a concern at low tide  since 7.2' is alot less than desirable with as ship that requires deeper water and carries a 5' draft with the centerboard up.  Needless to say much of the 3/4 mile dredged cut saw plenty of engine idling and lateral moves to find the deepest water.  The magenta line on the GPS is not always as accurate as we would like due to shoaling.  A light misty rain developed as we began our anchoring sequence.

We lack a firm schedule when sailing since I believe it creates a climate of "poor decision making."  We were a week behind our original broad plan to head to warmer climates.  We decided to travel a long day and get as far south as possible with the good weather which included many clouds but warm temps.  Even the Coosaw River was fairly flat (a first time ever) and a tidal current in our favor.  Beaufort, SC was our next stop with a generous bridge tender at the Ladys Island Bridge who held it open extra long for Fiu to slide through comfortably with only a slight increase in throttle speed. The Downtown City Marina was our noon time stop for diesel and pump out. We spend much less on diesel fuel for Fiu all winter than gas for our hybrid car in just a short summer of driving.

Skull Creek and the Hilton Head Marina  were early afternoon passages with a New River anchorage at 4:30pm.  Emails and texts were sent while dinner was being prepared.

Capt Sid

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