After a couple days of R&R back at Casa Shira, I jumped back into the rental car, Janet took her car, and we headed for Titusville. We dropped her car at the Titusville Municipal Marina, and headed south toward Ft. Pierce. When we arrived at Ft. Pierce in the boat a few days earlier, the wind was blowing like stink out of the north, and this made it very difficult for me to get Magic Carpet snugged up against the south side of the dock, in between two other boats, neither of which had a paint color that matched mine. In fact, on my first attempt, I had the bow pretty close to the dock, but I could tell that the wind was going to push my stern into the side of the eighty-footer that was laying behind my assigned space, so I had to go to full astern emergency, and get back out into the fairway. I got clear, and took a moment to look the situation over, then made another, this-time-successful, approach to the dock.
As we drove back toward Ft. Pierce, I remember commenting to Janet that the wind was now blowing pretty hard out of the south, which would push us ONTO the dock, making departure a bit interesting. Boats don’t turn like cars do. You can’t just turn the wheel and go. In a car that’s up against a curb, you turn the wheel away from the curb and just drive off. Going forward, a boat pivots around a point that’s about a third of the way back from the bow. So, in a boat that’s sitting tight against the dock on the starboard side, (right side for any landlubbers who might be reading this) when you turn the wheel hard to port (left) and give it some throttle, the bow will start to go where you want it to, but simultaneously, the stern will start to swing AGAINST the dock. This can be exceedingly irritating to both the owner of the dock, and the owner of the boat.
All night, I listened to the wind and planned a variety of maneuvers to use to get us away from the dock in the morning. After we had our morning coffee, I assembled the crew on the dock and explained my intended departure scenario. My plan was to release all the dock lines except the one on the starboard bow, and use that one to “spring” the stern away from the dock, after which I would back out into the fairway, and off we’d go. The planned setup looks sort of like this:
Janet would be in charge of the spring line. It ran from the cleat on the boat, back and around the base of a cleat on the dock, and back to the boat. She held it tight while I powered slightly forward with rudders hard to starboard, and when the stern swung out, she’d release the free end of the line, and pull it all off the dock cleat and back to the boat.
It worked like a champ. Even with the wind pinning us to the dock, we got the stern swung out clear of the eighty footer behind us, and I was able to back into the fairway and turn 180 degrees to head out of the marina.
We were underway by 7:15, and our destination was the Titusville Municipal Marina, about 75 miles to the north. We’d leave the boat there, drive a half hour home, then come back the next day and finish the trip by taking the boat from Titusville back to Halifax Harbor Marina in Daytona Beach.
As with the previous several days, we had good weather, and light traffic. We arrived in Titusville about 3:15, got tied up and tidied up the interior, then climbed in the car for the half hour trip home.
The next day, we drove both cars to Halifax Marina in Daytona, dropped her car there, drove the truck an hour south to Titusville, and climbed back aboard and prepared to leave for Daytona. We left Titusville at 11:30 and arrived at Halifax at 4:30. After getting things squared away, we got into her car and drove an hour to Titusville. I got into my truck, we both drove home, and practically fell into bed. Well, we each had a beer, THEN we fell into bed.
In all, we put a little over 58 hours on the engines, and almost 63 hours on the generator. We haven’t refilled the fuel tank yet, but I’m anticipating about 200 gallons, for a total fuel consumption of about 400 gallons. After allowing for the fuel used by the generator, which is around 2 gallons per hour, our average fuel burn was a little under 2.5 gallons per hour per engine.
We had a great time, and we’re already planning our next trip. I’m going to be looking into a new dinghy, so we can anchor out and explore, and an inverter so we can run light electrical loads (such as the refrigerator, the TV and some fans) at night without having the generator on all the time.
Janet will be providing her perspective on the trip in the next few days, so please stay tuned.