December 5, 2012 by Last Star blog


OK,  it’s almost the big day.  Big to us anyway.  Patricia and I took it easy this morning as we felt we had some free time as Thursday, tomorrow, is our last bit of “US stateside” work day.  We got the cats sorted out (immigration/health wise) yesterday and looking at the weather knew that we couldn’t leave until Friday or Saturday.  So we had time to kill.

When we arrived at Palm Beach we go to one of the favorite launching points for the Bahamas for cruisers; Lake Worth.  Well I’ll call it Lake Worth(less).  The north end that everyone favors is 8 miles from the inlet to the ocean, that’s an hour of motoring on your departure day!  In addition, the city is re-working the bridge where folks used to park dinghies, with the construction there is NO place for your dinghy and you have to tie them to a cable along a fence and walk through knee to waist deep water to get up a steep grade at the construction site.  After we experienced this ONCE to get the cats to the vet we said we should explore away from Lake Worth and find something better.  We motored an additional hour south near the inlet and are much happier here.  It is a bit “grittier” and there is NOT a Starbucks on every corner like up at Lake Worth but this place had what we needed to include wifi.  Maybe all the old grey-hairs are more comfortable with the ancients at the north end of town?

This morning we motored over to Peanut Lake, a nice city park, and on Peanut Lake is a bunker that was built for JFK to go to in case of a nuclear attack when he vacationed here in Palm Beach.  I think 45 years ago the President was allowed to vacation then.  The island is pretty cool, lots of clear water, wildlife, some odd bunker etc.  Well managed by the city.

After Peanut Island it was back to work, we had to remove the windlass motor and see about getting it fixed properly, it was too intermittent.  I found a nice guy online who would take a look.  Chances of repairs are slim as the motor is from the UK and of an unknown age, there is no time for parts to be ordered, hope he works a miracle.  Patricia had to get into the anchor locker again and of course one of the bolts could NOT be accessed with the adjustable crescent wrench–too thick.  So back in the dinghy, off to shore and hunt for a 5/16th open ended wrench preferably thin.  We finally got one at an auto zone, it was next to a Walgreens where we bought a small 24″ ready decorated tree (got it to the boat only to discover that all the decorations that came with it were missing–damn Chinese), stopped at Walgreens Liquors as they have killer prices in Florida and got some handles for when the boys visit soon.  Good to Go!!

So we call Enterprise Rental to come get us as we need a car tomorrow for all the last minute errands like laundry, massive Grocery Store run, some paperwork and copies etc.  Well we need enterprise this afternoon as I want to put the windlass motor in the motor guys hands ASAP and Patricia wants to pick up a vinyl graphic of “Last Star” to put on the back of the boat INSIDE of the swim platform.  The platform is down whenever we launch the dinghy or are swimming.  It looks stupid when there is no name back there.  Well with the Enterprise guy unable to find East 22nd St when the city has so cleverly put it between 21st and 23rd and then a neat little green sign at every corner of it I am dumbfounded how dumba$$ cannot find it.  After multiple calls to Enterprise and Papa Doc from Haiti (our driver) he finally shows up.  The ride back to Enterprise is interminable as we must pass through what is arguably the longest 20 mph school zone in Florida.  After all the paperwork and repeated NOs to all the junk they want to sell us it is now a mad dash Grand Prix style to the electric motor place and then the Fastsigns before they close.  We are on the phone with Fastsigns at 4:58 ensuring her that we are literally 2 blocks away.  We make it by five.  Getting the sign was key as it was out of our way for tomorrow.  Not sure why EVERYTHING has to be so hard.  We called Enterprise at 3:15!?

We get back to the dinghy by sunset, back to the boat and happy hour.  I don’t know where the time goes every day.  Maybe the 1.5 hours to get a 5/16th wrench has something to do with it.  It has been a tough 2 months.  After about 7 days of good weather here we are realizing how cold we were and the load of staying warm and clothes we ran through in the process.  Tomorrow’s laundry is a bit smaller than the fleece and sweats from 3 weeks ago.  After we provision tomorrow we will just buy what we find, eat what is available.  There’s been too much thinking and preparation.  I suspect when the boys show up they will think “this is easy”….. little do they know.  I suspect we are making this harder than it needs to be.  Maybe we need more of a laissez faire attitude?  George and Joan from Vero Beach had no refrigeration, using ice and a cooler.  They don’t move though.  They can just get ice when needed and go to the grocery every other day–they also had wheels.  We have to plan for the worst and hope for the best.

Well the weather promises to be good Friday and Saturday, too much “East-ish” but no northern element to stir up the Gulf Stream.  We’ll motor sail towards West End.  I have a reservation for Saturday buy maybe I can move that up.

We don’t know what wifi capability will be there, I’m sure it will be fine but we’ll post when we can.  I hope I have some better photos and less snaps of the ICW.


5 thoughts on “Countdown….

  1. BK says:

    I’m still trying to figure out how you didn’t kill the cat ….

    • windsurfer74 says:

      Truth be told now…what you saw in the photo was not Cooper in a block of ice but a wierd perspective taken from below. We hauled the dinghy up on deck to glue a tab at the transom. Naturally the dinghy was “new” on deck and needed investigating by the cats immediately. Cooper got under the dinghy and is sitting on the front hatch peering out from under the dinghy. I took the photo from the V-berth up through the lexan hatch. You can see the handle to the hatch and the lines we used to get the dinghy on board. It looked like he was frozen upside down in a very clear cube of ice to me. And that is the genesis of the paragraph. What made you think there was any truth in the blog? We’re currently living at my uncle’s house in Antibes and I just steal a few photos from the internet each day, make up some BS and have a blog!! Best wishes, stay dry on the west coast.

    • windsurfer74 says:

      One more thing, thanks for the mask and flippers. Went into the water today to clean water line, wipe bottom and try and free up wheel for knot-meter. Very useful and very thankful for the gift. Also saw a manatee, who knew.

  2. BK says:

    Well if you can pull all this off while lounging in the French Rivera than good on you. Do you even have a cat named Cooper!?!

    Great news on the mask and flippers. I was curious, but based on all your weather problems I figured that the last place you were going to be is in the water by choice. Of course that all changed with the recent Florida pictures. I’m sure a clean water line will vault you to the Bahamas in no time. And sure you saw a manatee .. just like Cooper in the freezer.

  3. Bk, we made it! kalik beer, yum! And it was the water line that vaulted us! but the no-see ums are eating us alive!

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