October 8 – 10, 2012
The temperature had drastically plummeted. In the early morning, I was bundled up, sitting at the salon table, writing my blog post, and drinking my coffee. I suddenly noticed that I could see my breath inside the boat. It was 44 degrees F outside. It was Wil’s last day of work, and it was time to think about heading south to warmer waters.
We had one last visit with Anything Goes and Patronus before everyone went their separate ways for a little while. It was another chilly night, so we took the gathering aboard Patronus since they had heat. Eight kids were spread throughout the 47-foot Beneteau, while the adults chit chatted in the main salon.
Wil also dealt with choosing and ordering a new autopilot, as ours has totally given up. At first, we were going to purchase from B&G / Simrad. However, while the representatives at the boat show had specified a Type I drive, they weren’t able to supply technical specifications for the drive. They directed us to the B&G / Simrad website for specs. The website was difficult to use, and we couldn’t find specs on their autopilot units. Wil phoned B&G / Simrad and spoke to a 30-year experienced technician, who also suggested an autopilot that was too small for our boat. In the end, we switched and purchased a Garmin GHP 12 with a Class B drive. We are very excited about the possibility of having a working autopilot sometime in the near future. Every passage has been made without an autopilot, so we are long overdue.
The owner of Coastal Climate Control came out to the boat and finally repaired our problematic refrigerator himself. We had a serviceman aboard in Portland, and then again in Annapolis. Both guys had determined there was nothing wrong with our fridge. However, our refrigerator would only run for about 24 hours before the temperature would increase, but the compressor continued to run. The owner installed a filter dryer in the line. The filter dryer takes out specks of dirt that might be clogging the system, as well as removes any moisture. We held our breath and waited for 24 hours to see if the fridge would perform properly, and it continued to run without failing! We almost felt like celebrating, but we were too afraid of jinxing anything.
We were extremely fortunate to have run into a fellow cruiser who we’d met at Jarrett Bay in Beaufort about a year ago. Vince on Flight Plan had purchased the boat which had been sitting next to us in the yard. Therefore, he became our neighbor while he prepped his boat for its return to the water. Now, he was moored nearby and we were all very happy to see each other. Vince keeps a truck in town, so he offered to take us grocery shopping. We piled in as many groceries that would fit in the dinghy, taking advantage of the fact that we didn’t have to haul our groceries a mile on foot. We are so grateful to Vince!
Since we knew it would be past dinner by the time we returned to the boat from our grocery trip, we treated ourselves to a rotisserie chicken from the store. You would have thought that we were all poor and starving the way we demolished the entire bird! It was absolutely delicious as we also treated ourselves to an episode of NCIS on the television. Another moment of some special family time.
The next day consisted of all the final departure preparations. Laundry, taking trash to shore, checking the weather, checking the engines, stowing items, etc. In between boat preps, I also got Vince operable on his ham radio.
Later that day, Patronus moved down the creek, anchoring closer to us, so they could be a shorter distance to town. After we returned from Flight Plan and had our dinner, we were going to give Patronus a shout. However, when we looked out, they were gone! We were completely puzzled by their disappearance. The wind had picked up a bit, so we were wondering if they had suddenly decided to take off for a night time sail. Since we left the next morning, it was a few days later before we discovered they had dragged anchor and had to relocate further up the creek.
We went to bed early that night, anticipating a dawn passage through the narrow Spa Creek bridge. Stronger northerly winds had arrived, and we were going to let them carry us south!