Friday, July 29, 2011

Is it me...

...or am I sensing a trend.

Guessing it will be hot and rainy the next couple of weeks. :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Hot, Rain and a St. Augustine Cruise

The weather in Jacksonville for the last week and a half has been horrible. Very hot during the days, usually upwards of 95+, and then violent storms blowing through around 4:00 or so. We had 50 knot winds rampage the marina last Thursday and a new Beneteau 34 got hit by lightning, about 4 slips down from Skylark. Fortunately no one was hurt and the only damage known so far was a lost antennae where the lightning hit. Actually, we are having some what of a rough night tonight. A lot of rain and wind again. Also seems as if the river is picking up a bit. That's the life on board at a marina, you never know what you are a going to get on a day to day basis.
We did however great a break in the weather last weekend and took advantage by taking a cruise down to St. Augustine. My buddy Trevor offered up his Hunter 30 for the adventure and we left Friday morning with the tide. With the winds directly out of the south, we decided to motor down the ICW, about 65 nm miles total. We had a good weather all the way and got in around 8:30pm, about 11 hours after we left. Needless to say, we were exhausted and basically crashed early. We had our choice of mooring balls on the north side of the bridge and were right off the fort. A very nice view to say the least.
We stayed Saturday and took in some sights. St. Augustine is a really nice town and I would recommend it to anyone cruising the area. I will say though you must be very vigilant following the channel markers. Even a few feet off and you will run aground, so keep one eye on your position and one on the GPS.
Sunday morning, we dropped the mooring and headed for the inlet, only about a mile or so from the anchorage. Another great reason to make St. Augustine a stop over, easy access and great facilities.
We stayed in the channel to the third marker before turning north and the run up to Mayport. The winds were light, only about 5-10 from the east. We had the sails up right away and were making about 4.5 to 5 knots. Seas were about 2 feet, so all in all a nice sail. Unfortunately, we lost the wind about half way up and had to motorsail the rest of the way. Around 2:30 pm, we reached the Mayport inlet and rode the flood all the way back to the marina, never falling under 7 knots.
We had a great trip and I was happy to be out on the water.
Next time, it will be on Skylark.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Back at Skylark

So after a long time away, I am back on Skylark. Got in around 10:00 pm tonight and have everything nice and tidy as I type away while sipping on a beer. As usual, Skylark was sitting as she should be and all was well. Thought for sure I would have some mildew to contend with below, but there wasn't a speck anywhere to be seen. Really surprising as the weather from what I have been told was very hot and super humid for weeks. Skylark is a very dry boat, but I was pleasantly surprised regardless.

So I have a lot of things planned for this trip, including hopefully the installation of the engine. Don't exactly know how long I will be here this time, but it will be at least a few weeks or possibly more. I will keep good updates as a go along, but besides the engine, fuel tank and wiring, I am also thinking I will paint the deck, finish the teak, put up the jib and get the bottom scraped. If all goes well, I hope to get out for the first time since Skylark got here just over a year ago. Looking forward to that.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

New (old) Atomic 4 Replacement Found!

Just a quick update on the engine situation. Scott (gotta love Scott :) alerted me to a good condition Atomic 4 for sale and the arrangements have been made. The engine will be picked up next Saturday the 16th and hopefully installed in the following weeks. Very happy how this came together, lets hope it all goes to plan for a change.
More to come...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

July 5th, 2011

It's been a while now since my last post, sorry about that. I knew going into the summer that June was going to be a very busy month and I would not be able to spend much time at the boat. I mentioned in an earlier post that my son was going to spend June in North Carolina for a month long visit. We had a fantastic time here as well as a wonderful trip to New York to visit the family. I can't believe how fast that month went, but like life when you hit 40, everything seems to go fast now a days. :)

So it is now July 5th and time to get back to a bit of normalcy. I will probably be going back down to the boat sometime around the 3rd week of July. Have a lot to do to say the least. As a matter of fact, I woke up in the middle of the night and found myself writing out my to-do list for the rest of the summer before I forgot what I had been dreaming about. It's been on my mind a lot lately and I feel bad that I have waited this long to get it all done. But with the recent move, my sons visit and work, it's amazing I have even had time to THINK about it all much less do it.

Talking about July 5th, you might have noticed that 2 days ago, July 3rd, was the 1 year anniversary of moving Skylark to Florida. Talk about time flying. I look back at the year and I am pleased with at least some of the progress I have made, but cringe at the thought of the engine situation. To that affect, I have once again changed my mind about the re-power direction. I am not going to go into the months of thought behind this decision, but lets just say, I have decided to go with a A4 replacement...short and sweet, it just makes the most sense for me at this time. That's that. :) So Scott and I are back on track to finish this all up. I think we finally both have the time now to do it.

As you Floridians know first hand, the weather has been unbearably hot the last month or so, so to be honest, I am not that upset I have been up in the NC mountains. I am ready to get back though and hope the weather evens out a bit. But of course it's summer in Florida, and as I know first hand, it's hot regardless. I am very much looking forward to Fall this year as I know everything will be ready to go by then to enjoy perfect sailing conditions. In the meantime, I am lucky enough to keep up my sailing skills on my buddy Matt's Erickson 34 on Lake Norman, NC. We went out on the 3rd and had a wonderful sail. He has done an amazing job on the refurb and as soon as I get some pics, I will post them here.

That's it for now, thanks for checking in from time to time. I promise to have something worthy for you all soon. Fair winds to you sailors out there...and if you are in FL, stay under the bimini. :)