Palm Beach, Florida Part 1

December 7th – 12th

Shore access is limited here in Lake Worth, so we’ve joined the Palm Beach Sailing Club for a month.  It is very friendly and amazingly low key for the area.  We are pleased with our arrangements  – the mooring ball is just across Lake Worth from the club, and there is a nice wide bike path into town.  We can also dinghy into the West Palm beach town dock at Clematis Street, which is really nice, and free, but if the wind and tide are against you, it can be a wet 15 minute run, so we think carefully when we go to shore – bike or boat?

Guess who is also in Palm Beach!  We had dinner last night with our friends on Hello Catty, and enjoyed the City Place area and a great meal at the Galley.

Carl and LaShon newly minted Renegades!

Today was the farmers market, so we just dinghied over to the town dock.  We scored lots of great stuff beyond the beautiful produce – cheese, baguette, beignets, lobster bisque.  I think we are going to get fat(ter).

We’re also busy on projects.  I’m installing very nice leather rail covers on the hand rails on the transom.  They look great if I do say so myself.  I hope they will protect Fluffy, our dinghy, because when we pull her up into the davits she can bump on the rails.  We hope this will put a nice soft barrier between the two hard surfaces and prevent damage.  The leather is 5 oz heavy duty stuff, and I sewed it on with special waxed thick thread and a thick needle and very fancy herringbone stitch.  It took me about 8 hours to sew 6 ft of rail cover.  Yikes!  It is helping with my guitar callous formation on one of my index fingers, strangely enough, so there’s that.

Jeff completed the project to install a new fan in one of the battery chargers.  When he unbolted them, pulled them out and opened them up, none of the series of 3 fan sizes fit.  Small was too small, big was too big, but in a move to exceed Goldilocks, Renegade insisted that medium wouldn’t work either because the holes for the mounting bolts were in the wrong place.  Not to be out done, Jeff took out his drill, and the 137 different types of bits he has and was just barely able to have room to drill in new mounting holes on the fan in the right places.  Phew – that was close.  We are now able to charge the new lithium batteries at higher voltage without the chargers getting too hot in their compartment under the port settee. 

The water in the inlet to Lake Worth is interesting.  When the tide is rising, it is that beautiful aquamarine color of the Gulf stream, and clear enough to see the bottom.  When the tide goes out, it brings all the ick up from the marinas etc. further south, and it looks siltier, and I won’t swim in it.  It’s like two different rivers.  Actually, even when the tide is going out, it can’t really be too bad, because there are manatees here.  One day we took Fluffy over to the power plant where the manatees where hanging out in the warm water.  There is a (closed due to Covid) viewing area on land, and some white buoys on the water marking off a safe perimeter for them, as they don’t move fast enough to avoid the motor boats and need protection.  The buoys all say no motor boat passed this point, so we turned off the out board, shipped the oars and rowed in.  We saw lots of manatee noses and one tail, but before we got too close, a guy came out on to the viewing  platform and screamed at us “no boats, get out”, so we said “sorry, we thought the sign said no MOTOR boats” and left.  Oh well.  I think I may take time to stalk the manatees later.  They can’t stay in that one little area all the time.  I’ll catch them while they are commuting home from work at the power plant maybe!

Anyway, we are having a very nice time here in Palm Beach, and are looking forward to Wednesday, when Claire, Kate, Jim and Denise are all flying down from New York.  They are supposed to get 5-7 inches of snow that day, so we are hoping their flight gets off before it really gets going.

One final confession – I’m excited to get to the Bahamas.  I know I’m supposed to live in the moment and just love where I am, but I’ve already pulled out the Explorer Charts, and started thinking about our route in January.  It isn’t called “the Thorny Path to Windward” for nothing, but, I am perfectly happy to violate the maxim “gentlemen never sail to weather” in order to enjoy that insanely electric blue Bahamian water!!  Let’s think of that as a preview, not a confession.  The next post will be back to Palm Beach.

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