Palm Beach, Florida Part 3

January 6-12

Waiting with Bated Breath

It is time to GO!  This is the longest we’ve stayed in one port, and we are excited to get to the Bahamas.  When Claire and Kate left at the end of last week, it really felt like the party was over, and the bar was closing.

This past week, we’ve been prepping to “cross the stream”.  I did feel like a “prepper” when we left the grocery store with two heaping shopping carts full of groceries.  (Thanks Denise – this wouldn’t have been possible without your car.)  We were checking all the jobs off the list, and we even got the call to pick up the alternator at the last possible second on Friday.  The next thing was finding someone to give us COVID PCR tests to convince the Bahamas to let us in.  The Bahamas require a negative test within 5 days of arrival.  Tests are becoming harder to find as the labs in the area are switching over from testing to vaccinating, but I was able to find a concierge service that sent a nurse to our sailing club yesterday.  PS – while we were waiting for the nurse to show, we saw Brian and toddler Sierra from YouTube channel Sailing Delos.  They are probably the most famous cruising boat out there, so while we were please to have a brush with fame, we decided not to bother them, as I’m sure they get plenty of that.

Now I sit here on the boat waiting to get our test results.  We are supposed to get an email by 4PM today.  If we pass, we upload the results to the Bahamas Health Visa website, and they are supposed to respond in 24-48 hours.  Then we pray the weather is good for sailing to the Bahamas.  We must arrive by Saturday, or do it all over again.  I REALLY don’t want to do that.

While I’m writing, I should let you know we had some drama with Fluffy’s outboard.  This is the engine that had belonged to Lilly’s dad – a wonderful light weight two-stroke that always started on the first pull for Jeff, second pull for me.  This is SO IMPORTANT.  After Claire’s good-bye dinner with the usual gang of 6, the motor sounded a bit funny on the way back to the boat.  At 7:30 the next morning taking Claire in to the airport, it died 50 yards from the dock.  We drifted in, and Claire made her plane.  We had just gotten new gas from the marina, so we were sure it was bad gas.  Long story short, it was the timing.  Apparently, we lightly touched bottom so the prop had to hesitate enough to damage the Woodruff key that makes the timing with the fly wheel and the spark plugs and the gas all stay in sync.  (Or something like that, Jeff explained in like a 20 min monologue).  So after a lot of carting around getting rid of perfectly good gas a transfer station, going to the hardware store to get a 50 cent woodruff key, going back to get the correct SIZE woodruff key, getting tows from no less then 3 separate cruisers who couldn’t stand to see us row, we are finally back in business.  Advice to future cruisers – one of you needs to be a real mechanic.  This episode highlighted for me that the saying – the dinghy is your car – is wrong.  It is much more important than a car.  Your car won’t drift out to sea and you can leave your house without knowing how to swim.

It’s been great weather til now, and we’ve been biking everywhere in perfect conditions (70s, partly cloudy).  We’ve thoroughly enjoyed the Palm Beach restaurant scene, where Dad and Denise know all the maître d’s and a lot of the wait staff.  We’ve loved the farmers market, and the charming sailing club.  The sea turtle rescue center was disappointing with the construction, but I’m still committed to sea turtles as my spirit animal and it will be awesome next year.

One thought on “Palm Beach, Florida Part 3

  1. Mom and Jim says:

    Wow! I did know it was important to have a mechanic as part of your team. But I was only
    thinking about the big boat! I never considered problems with the little boat… I guess the bottom line is always expect problems somewhere, since there is really no such thing as “smooth sailing.” Meanwhile, we love your detailed descriptions of your sailing life, and all it includes.

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