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Trenton, Ontario, Canada
In June 2012 we started the Great Loop in our Bayliner Explorer. This blog is for family and friends who would like to follow our comings and goings and , for now, our getting ready for the trip. If you read this blog we would love to hear your comment& suggestions.

Monday, 30 December 2013

The East Coast Blues

After we left Marty and Bernie’s dock in Port St Lucie, we realised our port engine was still spewing anti-freeze into the overflow.  We were both very disheartened. We had just spent a tremendous amount of money on parts and poor Gary had worked his fingers to the bone installing them. All for nothing!

Pelicans make me smile!!

I just sat and cried and Gary just went very quiet.

What could we do but dust ourselves off and start over again by doing some  trouble shooting. I asked everyone for help and got help from many sources. Some gave engine advice and some offered a shoulder to cry on.

Long story short-we finally got it fixed. (Ralph, I know you have been asking over and over what we did but…. ) We can’t say for sure what the exact problem was because we did two things, either of which could have solved one or two of both problems. Sounds confusing?? Well imagine how we felt.

……..Then we noticed our batteries we not charging…..Now what???!! After checking every battery Gary figured out our engine start battery was toast and while we would run the generator to charge the batteries, this engine one would draw the house batteries down. Well, we had to get a new one. I nearly died. These batteries cost between $400-500!! But smart Gary asked around, found a place who sold us a second hand one for much less. They even delivered it to the dingy dock for us.
The old battery getting exchanged for a new one  (Weight 100lb)

We sat at our anchorage in Manatee pocket while the weather remained poor and got more and more depressed. Well, I did. Gary doesn't get depressedJ

Then the lovely Elaine and Steve showed up on the SV October and we got to spend some time together and I laughed so much I cried. It was good to be in company of friends again. They had some troubles of their own with their water-maker onboard so it turns out it isn’t just us who get the blues.

In the mean while I was still checking the weather for a crossing to the Bahamas. There was NOTHING!!! for a long time!

So when we heard that our friends Bob and Monique were on a mooring ball in Vero Beach waiting for (guess what??) parts, we decided to take a side trip north and go and visit them.
Vero Beach is a boating mekka. I was so excited to see Jill and Parker SV Tootsie on a mooring ball and it was great to be with friends again.

We spent a carefree weekend while Gary and Bob worked on SV Last Waltz’s water-maker to get it going, I did some Santa shopping.
Merry Christmas

Sunday December 22, 2013 Time& Tide and SV Last Waltz left Vero. The possibility of a weather window lured us south to Lake Worth to stage for a possible crossing.
Unfortunately about 40 mins into the trip Bob called us on the VHF and said that his starboard engine was over-heating. So we decided to anchor in Fort Piece at Faber Cove, a nice protected spot off the ICW. Bob was sure their engine was over heating due to a prop foul. Gary put on his dive gear and dove to find the prop completely tangled with fishing net. What a relief!! As soon as Gary cleaned the netting off, the engine ran again without any problems. SV Last Waltz was ready to go!! Unfortunately the weather window was a bust. So we anchored in Lake Worth for the night.

Boca, and a view of the nasty stuff over the Gulf

Boca, with palm trees let up for Christmas

We decided to make the best of the situation and moved to Boca Rotan where we got to spend Christmas with the lovely crew from the SV Last Waltz

The day after Boxing Day we headed to Fort Lauderdale, still the good weather was nowhere to be found and I got more and more negative about the whole boating thing. 

How would you like your own private yacht with its own helicopter??

Now, this happens from time to time but Gary told me if I am ever seriously not enjoying myself anymore that we could sell the boat and be land cruisers….I am not ready for that YET!  But…

I will admit that I sometimes get fed up with living on a boat: #1. The weather (which no one can help) Yes, no one can change the weather but it has such a huge impact on us and it really controls all we do!!!
 # 2. Boat breakdowns (which is bound to happen – we have heard of so many people who have problems ranging from broken props to water-makers to broken windows, leaky shafts and bad engines…. I mean, you name it, it can and will break)
And people will say, “Look where you are, you are in paradise, on a boat”. Well that might be true but it doesn’t change the fact that sh1t happens and even if I am sitting in balmy Florida it still gets me down!!  Now, I have to say, I can ( most of the time) deal with bad weather and breakdowns but the Damocles sword that is hanging over our heads,(the fact that we have to be out of the country by the end of December) is the worst!! You have no idea how very stressful that is. Next year things will be much different with the boat already being in Florida when we come down here in the Fall.
Anyhow, sorry about that little pity party….allow me to continue with the stories.

Many bridges make for a long day when you are in a sailboat with a big mast

Miami skyline

After Fort Lauderdale we headed to Miami. We figured we might as well try crossing to Bimini from Miami rather than sitting in Fort Lauderdale waiting for the weather to change.
We arrived in Miami on an over cast day. We found an anchorage and dropped the hook just before the heavens opened up and rained on us. It is always nice when it rains, the salt gets washed off the boat and she sparkles anew.

In Miami there are many great anchorages and things to see and do but all we wanted was to get off the boat and sit on land a little. Gary had, for the past few days, had head spins and dizzy spells and on Saturday morning I woke up with the same. All I wanted was to stand on the ground and not have anything move under me. I felt much better after a day on land but poor Gary still is having problems with the dizziness. (which is much worse when you are on a boat that is constantly swinging!!)
So we used our time to do laundry and just chill. We also met up with Al and Brenda from SV Haven another couple from Trenton. In fact the Canadian boats outnumber the American boats 10-2-1 in the anchorages as we all sit and wait for the weather to cross over to the Bahamas.

Cruise boats lined up in Miami

Stilt house in Biscayne Bay

Finally it looks like it could happen. Monday 30th of December is looking like a good day to make it to Bimini, and if you are reading this we were successful and are now in the Bahamas. I plan to post this as soon as I can so everyone will know we are ok and safe.
Without sounding like an Oscar recipient I would like to thank our good friends Terry and Kathy (MV Green Door) for their constant weather updates and advice, Jim ( MV Wild Goose) for the same, Steven and Elaine ( SV October) for SSB updates and laughs and Jim and Monique ( SV Last Waltz ) who kept us smiling through Christmas when we were missing everyone at home very much.
So this trip in the Bahamas will be much different than last year. We hope to see the  Berrys. Exumas and Eluthuras Islands before heading north the Abacos….If all stays well we will spend about 5 months in the Bahamas.

…………………….to be continued


  1. So glad you are finally there!!! We know how stressful the wait has been. Have a Kalik for us. Kathy and Terry aboard "Green Door"

  2. Congratulations. You are safely there! You are, aren’t you? It is snowing in Ohio. I’ll drive back to Mobile tomorrow and continue the loop. After having repaired the alternator, installed the new windlass motor, replaced one of the bilge pumps…

  3. We were in Athens, GA over Xmas but you guys went right past our condo in Fort Pierce when you anchored in Faber Cove. Hope to catch you later in the Bahamas!

  4. Have a wonderful winter island hopping and catching up with old friends!! Love you both! xo

  5. Jealous! Temps in the single digits here now, and wind chills below zero. More snow on the way! I'm SO glad that you finally had the good weather to cross into the Bahamas! Let us know if you have an address where you can be reached during the winter! Barb

  6. Glad you are safe. Enjoy!! We are at Deerhurst Resort for New Years. Minus 26!! I would feel even colder if I knew the windchill!

  7. Glad to hear you made it to the Bahamas. Hope you have a wonderful New Year. We are in Marathon now and hope to go to the Bahamas in Feb. Miss seeing you guys hope to catch up somewhere along the way.
    Randy & Sherri

    1. Sherri we will be in the Exumas till at least March, we WILL see each other again.