Tuesday, November 27, 2012

St. Augustine Fun

St. Augustine
October 19 - 21

Pretty sunsets at the fort
We had left north from Marineland at 8:30 AM taking some friendships along with us.  Can't get over how generous and friendly folks were there.  Motoring was our destiny as the wind was against us BUT the current was heading our way! Even with pondering and planning, going with the current on both sides of an inlet on the Intercoastal can be an elusive task. Gleefully, Sunny Ray arrived in St. Augustine 3-4 hours later and tied up to a city mooring ball, just south of the intriguing Bridge of Lions.
Lions on both ends of the bridge
Kathy & Frank showed up at Marineland & passed us on the way to St. Augustine in their Ranger Tug.  Glad we got the chance to spend two evenings with you! Hope our paths cross again!
Lighthouse at St. Augustine
Saturday, the day after we arrived, was tour the lighthouse day.  
We dingied around a peninsula that holds the lighthouse.

Lots of steps!

My cute guy!

Bridge of Lions

Dale feeding fish at the Santa Maria
 Ray in front of walls made of coquina
The architecture was amazing.  Some very old buildings still exist in St. Augustine.
 Dale near the fort

Fort from the water
Sunday morning came along and it was time to head back to Stuart, Florida to replace our shredding sails.  Just hoped that they sailed us back!  Dan had fixed the jib with rivets, washers and sail tape.  Dan had also put his foot through the nearly 20 year old trampolines 2 weeks before but fortunately didn't lose any teeth!
It was obvious that we couldn't go much further north with questionable sails and dangerous tramps, so sadly we missed those we planned to see in that direction. Plus, it's starting to get cold!! (for Arizonans anyway).
Soon after arriving offshore, Dan tossed in his hook and landed what we think is King Mackerel!  Wonderful meals ensued.  Thank you mackerel.
What we thought might be a 2 or even 3 night trip to Stuart ended up as a wild and crazy, lurchy but fun (if you were outside) 33 hour ride to Ft. Pierce!  Everyone but Dan (since he is a helm hog!!) felt a little queasy now and then.  We had a downwind run that turned into more of a beam reach with big waves on the beam.  First time we've seen our speed at 10 knots and the whole time we traveled over 8. The main was even reefed!
Ft. Pierce inlet looked to be the best place to tuck inside the barrier islands as we didn't want to get caught in the dark at Stuart.  There are some shallows that are easier to avoid in the light. It was a relief to get out of the waves but the wind was still conducive to pushing us towards our destination in the Intercoastal.
Nettles Island
October 22 - 23
The Marina at Nettles Island was very inviting after the exhilarating but tiring run from St. Augustine.  But, wow, what a strange island it is...... a person-made island of boats and RVs, dogs and cats and manufactured homes!  Not sure what it is made of and not sure that I want to know!  Everyone was sweet to us, however, the winds from Sandy were starting to build (Frank - you called it!) and the slip was not very protected so we sailed on to Stuart, only another 9-10 miles to the Loggerhead Marina.  We felt being tied up here like a spider would be more stable than anchored in the ever-changing current of the St. Lucie River.  We've drug anchor before here!
Stuart, Florida
October 24th - present
We felt winds with gusts to 40mph that Friday the 26th but by Saturday afternoon, it was calm again.  My heart goes out to those less fortunate, whose lives Sandy is still affecting now, a month later.
Hope you are all well.  I'll tell you more about our new, fast sails later!  Marty

Friday, November 9, 2012

Sunny Ray, Pictures of the Boat

Many thanks to friends and family who have contributed to the project of restoring our boat.
Sunny Ray, is a 1994 38ft Manta Catamaran, hull number 3.
Sunny Ray in the city where she was built.  St. Petersburg Florida.  Picture was taken soon after our Gulf crossing from Port Aransas TX, to Tarpon Springs Florida.
All 4 points of the boat are visible from the helm, a very important safety feature.  Aluminum hardtop bimini, which is a great place to mount solar panels and collect rain.
Simple, reliable, shaft drive propulsion.  No transmission required because the electric motors can easily reverse direction.
Clean quiet motor from Electric Yacht.  No diesel smell, no oil changes, no fuel filters, etc,  Annual maintenance consists of greasing 2 bearings.
 Easy water access, with the solid stainless boarding ladder and transom steps.
Emergency escape hatch... Will hopefully only be used for fun and ventilation.
Flower power supplying house 12V.
Bow pulpit seats.  Excellent spot for watching dolphins.
Galley up, 3 burner propane stove and oven, double stainless sink.
Salon table.
Starboard aft cabin, similar to port side.
All sail control lines are led aft for easy single handed sailing.
The forward 8 feet of the bows are foam filled in case of collision.  The forward 4 feet of the keels also have foam filled crash compartments.
Forward cross beam of honeycomb nidacore construction.  This crossbeam arches upward in the center to avoid wave collision. It's very strong and stiff compared to most aluminum spar cross beams usually found on cats and it provides a nice platform to stand on while anchoring.
The more I get to know this boat the more I love it.