November 22, 2012 by Last Star blog
Ok, so we get to Daytona Beach and the conditions are REMARKABLY like St Augustine. We are on the anchor, and the wind is still howling down the ICW. We elect to forego Daytona Beach and press to Titusville in hopes that we’ll see Alek here for Thanksgiving as it is close to Orlando. We got a late start but got to the Titusville Muni Marina about to 3:30 to take some fuel and settle up for our Mooring Ball for the next two nights until Alek arrives on Thursday. We get the fuel from Bob the attendant there and now it is time to get off the dock. Well he is at a loss and so are we on how to get off with the 20+ knots blowing right in the Marina entrance and pressing us against the dock. We chat about it and decide to wait an hour to see if the wind dies down–not a chance. Bob and the crew there are nice enough to let us spend the night on the fuel dock (with a bunch of fat fenders to keep us from rubbing) at no additional charge. This morning we got off the dock with a lot less wind and it was cake. THanks to the guys at the Marina.
Now we get to the mooring ball and decide we want to go into town. So Patricia and I lower the dinghy and wrestle the motor off the back of the rail-mount and down onto the swim platform. Now the wind is picking up and the back of the boat is jumping around like a spastic chihuahua and this is quite the challenge. We get the motor onto the dinghy and now it is time for a test drive. We’ve had work on the motor to clear up 2 years of neglect and idleness–an ongoing issue in many parts of the boat. I take the boat to the marina while Patricia watches safely from the Last Star with cell phone in hand in case the motor fails me. With these winds there will be no rowing…oh it may look like rowing but I will make no progress except down wind.
After my successful “trial run”, mostly successful, died only once and after the “flooding” it restarted. It is time for our inaugural trip to shore in the dinghy. Now this is NOT like getting in the car, unless your car hops around while you try and get in. You store big orange floaty things in your car that you may never need but the USCG (or local Hi-way Patrol) insists you have “just in case”. You have to keep the fuel tank between your feet, you have no seat belt; just a wet line from the front to hold onto and every 30-40 seconds some water gets splashed in your face. Well Patricia releases the line and we are off. Not fast mind you as we are trying to make way and keep the waves and splashing to a minimum. We make it to shore and are only slightly damp and Patricia has her jeans in her backpack to change into once we are at the Marina–smart girl. Now fast forward 3 hours (after some shopping and Coffee in a little shop with chocolate) and it is time to return. Well the wind has increased, the waves are just as energetic. In all this Patricia kept her sense of humor. In fact in all these dreadful gray days she’s been awesome. This has been hard, much harder than it should be. We keep running into folks who tells us “this weather is so unusual”. That’s little consolation to us as we continue to wear the same warm clothes over and over and the moisture forms on the windows every morning. My hat’s off to Patricia and her strength during these days when there has been no “umbrella drink”, no sunshine, no heat, and too much time spent motoring in the ditch. She’s a trooper and I am lucky to have her. Soon there will be sunshine and better days I promise (I hope).