Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas Day Mini Cruise with Spruce Goose

One of our best recent Christmas' thanks to Mike & Joyce aboard Spruce Goose!

We didn't rush down to the boat, took out time. Once all the gear (mostly food & drink) was aboard, I opened all of the sea cocks and checked the engine oil. All was ok, so Peggy got the engine running - We've finally decided on a name for the engine, I wanted something distinctive, but also with a wry humorous twang. So we have named the engine 'Geeves', seems appropriate as we depend upon Geeves quite a bit, and he has not let us down.

Weather didn't support getting to actually sail, but we arranged with Spruce Goose to meet them at Sunrise Bay on Christmas Day.

Mike & Joyce arrived before us as we were delayed having to wait for the opening of the Los Olas Blvd Bridge, it opens on the 15 & 45 minutes if requested. The Bridge Tender was helpful and offered to open for us, but I explained we would be at least 10 minutes to the bridge and requested the next opening.

Once through the Los Olas brige, we steamed up the Intracoastal to the Sunrise Bridge which is just south of Sunrise Bay, home of the Coral Ridge Yacht Club. The current was pretty hard outbound at Sunrise Bridge. Geeves accepted the request for more power so we had no difficulty getting past the bridge despie the current.

Mike & Joyce had already anchored Spruce Goose, and they took these pics as we arrived.

Heading up the Intracoastal from Sunrise Blvd Bridge


Navigating to the North of the shallow area of Sunrise Bay

Good shot of our new Doyle Cradle Cover for the Mainsail


Fender out, ready lined up for the raft up.


Getting close, lines in hand, coming along side.


Once we were securely rafted up and lines tied with Chafe Protectors (we learnt not to forget them on out last trip out), we relaxed, it's so good to get out on the water, even when it's just a local trip.

We shared dinner that night, between us, we did a great job of making dinner healthy and hearty! Some wine, Capt Morgan Black Rum and don't forget those awesome, wish I were allowed to eat more) brownies from Joyce's neighbor.

After sunset and watching the Christmas moon rise up from over the eastern edge of the Intracoastal canal, we shared stories, as sailors do! 

Bunks were calling so we all finally gave up and turned in.

Overnight, the wind picked up for a short bit, but our boats held well on the Gooses Anchor. Not unusally, both Mike & I stuck our heads out of the cabin to check things several times overnight, but all was well. Eximius' ports were all open, so the cabin and v-berth were cool. 

Breakfast in the morning, I made too many oats, but Joyce took care of the left overs. That early morning coffee when on the boat is always something special. 

Mike was gracious to come aboard and provide support as I finished the installation of the new Garmin AIS, we just had to connect it to the 12v system. Other than being awkward to get our mits inside the electrical space to make the connections, it was pretty straight forward. Once connected I turned on the Nav Instruments, GPS and the new AIS. by the time I got up to the helm, the system was up and running and already chirping about an AIS target nearby. WooooHoooo! Thanks Mike (I did my little happy dance too.)

Mike & Joyce had plans, so they headed back to the north while we dropped our anchor in their wake.

During the day I fixed the Jib sail furler by re-routing the furling line and moving one block. Easy. I also, finally, finished up the wiring on the pedestal guard. I had secured the wires to the new Nav Platform at the helm station using temporary wire ties. I had not wanted to put the final ties in place until the pedestal guard had been cleaned up. It had plenty of residue from the electrical tape that had held the original wires in place when we purchased Eximius. I was able to scrub the residue off with a plastic scrubber, then secure the wires in place with evenly spaced black wire ties. Looks much neater.

In the 'get things done mode' I also put the new 1st Mainsail reefing lines in place, for now they can only be set by going up on the cabin top, but I plan to eventually lead the controls aft to the cockpit so that there is no need to go forwards in order to reef to let out a reef.

As dusk fell, several boats stopped to anchor for a while before heading south past the Sunrise  Blvd Bridge, one, from Canada, stayed overnight.

Around 3am it started to rain, so I was up closing the ports and  taking the cockpit cushions out of the rain.

O'Seven thirty and we were up making breakfast. Coffee, Oats with Walnuts, and cream cheese on whole grain bread. Mmmmmmm!

Tides dictated that we leave around 10am, so we weighed anchor around 09:45 and got inline to go under the bridge. This was our first real use of the new AIS, and I'm impressed! Both the huge boat in front of us and the smaller fishing boat behind us had AIS transmitters on board. Oddly enough, the smaller boat had taken the trouble to fill in all of the blanks in the AIS data setup, but the huge boat in front of us (it was towing a boat almost our size as a dink) had not setup the AIS properly. I wonder if they know?

We easily made it down to Los Olas Blvd bridge, the current was in our favor and we easily motored at nearly 7knots GPS between the bridges.

On the way back to the slip from the Intracoastal, we stopped at Sailboat Bend (that's where Huzinga spends his money on real estate) for a pump out. The city guys were quick to respond to our request and within 30 mins we were pumped out and casting off just as 7th Avenue Bridge was opening. Perfect!

Peggy did a great job of bringing us alongside our slip and we, now routinely, set too getting our gear ready for the trip home.

Boat Secure, Truck loaded, heading home from a GREAT Weekend!

Thanks Joyce & Mike! 


See you on the Water.