Saturday, December 31, 2011

Snorkeling under the Bridge

DSCN0226The weather was warming back up and we still had a full day left before we needed to head to Stuart to dock the boat for our upcoming week at Disney World.  We looked up where we could go snorkeling at in the Lake Worth—Palm Beach area and read about a spot under a bridge nearby.  So we headed up there to anchor and dinghy over to the bridge.

DSC_0093On our way we passed by a pirate ship headed to Peanut Island.  It’s a good thing we weren’t headed there or we might have been under attack!

Getting ready to go snorklingWe choose a spot right of the ICW channel to drop our anchor.  It was a good thing we were leaving the boat because it was very rolly from all the wakes of boats passing by.  We took 2 short trips in the Dinghy to get everyone over to the beach and park under the bridge.  The water was a little murky and somewhat chilly but that did not stop the kids from snorkeling.  All the adults ventured in as well.  The littlest kids played on the nearby play park with Aunt Suzie.  Snorkeling around we saw a few little fish and a several starfish. 

The little kids played in a covered playground while the older kids were in the water

Working on the dinghy anchor

There were a lot of scuba divers in the area so we asked them what we were missing and they told us a little ways out near some old run down sailboats there is a manmade “reef” made by shopping carts.  David, Brent, and I decided to swim out and take a look.  The kids had all gotten out by this point and were happily playing in the sand or at the park.  So the three of us set off for a short swim to the shopping cart reef.  It was interesting to see the sea life growing off these shopping carts.  There were lots of fish swimming around them.DSCN0244

The next day we checked the weather and it was sunny and calm, so we decided to take the outside route up to Stuart.  We headed out the Lake Worth Inlet into the big blue ocean.  Once we were a couple miles out from shore we turned to head north. It was a pretty day on the ocean with maybe 1-2 foot waves.  Diane spent the morning proving her great culinary skills by frying up homemade donuts while we motored thru the ocean.  I was a little worried that if it was any bumpier we might have a grease fire on our hands, but Diane managed it all like a pro.  No grease fire, just yummy glazed donuts while passing thru the beautiful water.

  It took a couple hours but we soon arrived at the Stuart inlet.  We docked at the Loggerhead Marina in Stuart and started packing for our trip to Disney World. That night was New Years Eve, I didn’t stay up till midnight, but Diane and Brent did and said they were able to see a dozen different firework shows over the water and city.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

West Palm Beach

Blood's boatThe weather was predicting cooler temps with wind.  So we planned a day on shore at downtown West Palm Beach.  We pulled up our anchor near Peanut Island and headed to the free city docks a couple miles south.  When we arrived we found the current was strong and not running in the direction we needed to tie of to the dock.  We could only tie up on one side of the dock because the other side had large concrete pilings alongside every 15 feet.  As we attempted to dock we were able to get a bow line attached, but just could not swing the stern in against the current.  DSC_0040

As we were struggling a guy came down the dock pushing a stroller offering to help.  He yelled over to us asking if the boat was “RCABIN”  and I yelled back “yes!”  I was trying to figure out how he knew who we were, when he clued me in… Last spring when we traveled through North Carolina we met up with the same power catamaran a couple different times at marinas.  We had chatted with them in the evenings, and sure enough, he had been on that cat with his father.  He was out for a walk with his twin toddlers when he saw us struggling to tie up and thought he’d come say hello and help.

He was a big help.  We were able to toss him a line (3 ropes tied together) and he then tied it to a cleat on the dock to help us swing out stern in.  After a few minutes of trying, the line snapped, and we were back at the beginning.

We had been trying to dock on our port side so we could use the crane to lower the scooter and maybe run a few errands further away.  I told David, it just wasn’t going to work for us to tie up port side.  So we agreed to switch to go bow in and tie up starboard side.  It was still difficult fighting the current, but we were at least able to get the boat parallel to the dock with several lines attached.  We then just had to use all our strength to little by little tighten each line pulling us closer and closer to the dock so we could get onto it.  DSC_0042

The irony is that once we were finally tied up, it was only a couple hours more till the current would switch on us and would be pushing us into the dock.  Once tied up securely we talked to one of the boats anchored nearby, they told us they had been there 2 weeks and had seen many boats try to leave when the current was pushing them in and had damaged their boat.  We had decided we would take a look at slack tide to see how hard it would be, and worse case scenario—wait 6 hours till current switch back to pushing us off the dock.  It would be dark then, but we could leave without hurting the boat.  The free city dock does not allow boats to dock overnight.  Next door is an upscale marina that only docks boats with a minimum length of 55 feet.  While we meet that criteria, the mega yachts they have docked there were neat to look at, but would be intimidating to dock next to. Besides we enjoy anchoring out, even surrounded by city it, being anchored gives a peaceful setting. 

DSC_0043We enjoyed our day ashore.  We walked all over the downtown area and viewed sand sculptures representing 10 different Florida cities. That afternoon the guy who helped us earlier, that we knew from the spring, happened back by to see how our day was going. He said he had talked with his dad and they wanted to take us out to dinner tonight.  So we set up a time to meet up later that evening.

After dinner, the current had switched so it was time for us to leave and find a place to anchor for the night.  With the current helping us now, it was easy to let go of our lines and drift off the dock, turn and leave.  We headed back north no more than a mile and anchored out of the channel in 8 feet of water. 

DSC_0003 - CopyThe next afternoon the kids wanted to go tubing on the hot dog again, so we spent some time doing that.  With the cooler air temp, they didn’t last long in the 73 degree water.  But they had a good time, until the last time they were thrown from the boat, and Mirelle announced “it wasn’t worth it!”  DSC_0024For a few minutes we talked Benjamin into going for a ride on the hot dog and he loved it.  He has been very apprehensive to ride it, but he had fun this time.  We even got him to jump in the water about 6 feet away from the boat to swim to the swim ladder.DSC_0034 - Copy

DSC_0040 - CopySawyer was the last rider, everyone else was too cold, so no one wanted to go with him.  He hunched over and hung on tight.  We went over wakes and waves trying to throw him from the hotdog, but it was hard to do, he just hung on there good.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Peanut Island

Although it was a little windy, the sun was shining and the kids were ready to spend the day at Peanut Island.  We arrived in the morning and were anchored by 10am.  By 11am the kids were dressed in swim suits and ready to head to the beach.  We now faced the tricky task of getting everyone from the boat to the beach.  We decided to put 4 kids on the hotdog to tow behind the dingy, and the rest of us (5 adults, 4 kids) loaded into our 6 person dinghy, plus all our beach gear, buckets towels and such.  We were beyond full, but we made the half mile trip to the island to enjoy the day.  At lunch time Diane and I headed back to the boat to make a quick picnic lunch to bring back to the beach.DSCN0190


DSCN0212The kids had a great day snorkeling off the beach and playing in the sand.  The water temp was around 72-73 degrees.  It was a warm day, but a little windy so none of the adults ventured in the water, but the kids all loved it. It was a nice day for everyone.

Before heading back to the boat, we motored around the island looking for manatees, but we didn’t find any.100_0964




Monday, December 26, 2011

From Vero Beach to Jupiter

Our neighbors from Idaho arrived Christmas evening.  They flew into Orlando, then made the 2 hour drive to Vero Beach where we were currently.  We loaded them onto the boat and gave them the tour.  Everyone settled down for their first night on the boat.  Enjoying the front of the boat

In the morning we took the boat over to the marina fuel dock to load up our bikes and fill up with water in preparation of heading out for a week.  Once we were ready, off we went heading south.Looking for dolphins or manetees  Mirelle enjoying her Kindle on the deck


The Despain family lives 2 doors away from us in Idaho.  The kids are all friends and enjoy playing together.  The hardest of living on the boat for our kids is not having friends around to always play with.  They make new friends along the way, but they still miss their friends back home.  So to have some come and visit was very exciting for them.

We spent the whole first day traveling.  The kids entertained themselves throughout the day.  The kids would watch from the bow for dolphins or manatees or enjoying the big homes along the Inter Coastal Waterway.Sawyer is enjoying helping on the bridgeSawyer is driving the boat



Sawyer was  very interested in learning about the boat.  He spent a lot of time at the helm learning to drive the boat and talk on the radio.  We taught him how to notify the bridges when we needed an opening and how to talk with other boats we were passing.  He did a good job driving the boat as well.One of many drawbridges

Getting excited to go!



We anchored late afternoon near Jupiter.  As Diane and I worked on dinner, David got out the hot dog tube and took the kids for a ride.  They loved being pulled on the Hot Dog and getting tossed into the water.

DSC_0021 - Copy

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas 2011




I am told the kids all woke up around 4:30 am Christmas morning.  I didn’t hear a thing, thankfully.  David heard them and sent them all back to bed till 6am.  At 6am I heard David get back out of bed and he told me the kids would all be up so he was headed to turn the lights on the Christmas tree.  The tree is on the back deck of the boat, but the presents were all inside so the dew wouldn’t get them all wet.  As you can see in the pictures, the sun was not up yet, but we started opening presents anyway.  We didn’t have many to open since we had one BIG present for all of us.  The kids had each gotten each other a gift (mostly dollar store trinkets) and then David and I got 2 or 3 things for each of the kids, mostly books—a very useful gift for the boat.  After they opened all their little presents and played with them a bit, we got out the BIG present.  It was a box we had wrapped.  Inside were  clues to the BIG gift. DSCN0161


I had warned the kids that I was not buying them any toys this year, because we were just doing this one BIG gift for the family.  I am not sure they believed me, but I tried to prep them.  We don’t have room on the boat for a lot of toys, and what more do they need? I didn’t need to bother prepping them, as the dollar store gifts that they had each gotten each other were great toys that they loved playing with. Plus—in a few weeks, if they hadn’t broken yet, they could mysteriously disappear and not really be missed.

When they opened the big box, inside they found a smaller wrapped present for each kid and a shoebox.  They each opened their present at the same time and pulled out a Disney tee shirt.  Then they rushed to the shoe box and found their Disney hats, pins and lanyards.  They immediately knew what their gift was—a trip to Disney World.

Since we had arrived in Florida, the month before, the kids had been talking about “when” could be go to Disney World.  If we were out shopping one would ask for a toy or even a candy bar, and another would say “no, don’t ask foDSCN0172r it—we need to save money so we can go to Disney World”.  We had been talking with the kids about budgeting and saving money for special trips and things we want.  They put in a good effort of remembering that if they wanted to go to Disney World they would need to sacrifice other things they might want to save for the trip.  Needless to say, they were very excited.

Then they wanted to know “when?”  They knew our friends, the Despain family, were arriving that night to spend a week on the boat with us.  So we let them know that a week from today, we would leave the boat and ALL go to Disney World together.  That made them more excited.  They were thrilled to be going with their friends.

After all the excitement, it was time for a special Christmas Breakfast.  A few years ago I came upon the most delicious Baked French Toast recipe by Paula Deen, with a carmelized pecan praline topping.  It is soooo delicious, just writing about it makes me want to make it again.  This has become our holiday tradition for Christmas, Mother’s and Father’s Day Breakfast. DSCN0167 DSCN0160


After Breakfast we finished getting dressed for Church.  We were at the mooring field in Vero Beach so we had to dinghy to shore where our bikes were locked up and then ride them 5 miles to church.  It was a pleasant Christmas morning and we arrived at church just in time.  The ward here had prepared a lovely musical sacrament meeting remembering the birth of our Savior.  Only sacrament meeting was held, no other meetings, so we loaded back on the bikes and headed back to the boat.  We had a busy afternoon.

Each year we make a gingerbread house—usually before Christmas.  We don’t actually like eating the gingerbread houses when we’re done, but we like the fun family activity of building it together.  This year I had decided I would make the gingerbread house from scratch.  We have always just purchased a box kit in the past.  But I hoped that by making it, we would enjoy eating it.  And I was right.  Homemade is much yummier, as it is with most things.  DSCN0182

Because I had been sick for most of December, I didn’t find the energy to make the Gingerbread House until just before Christmas, and then it needs a day or 2 to dry out so it is stiff enough to stand up. I had bought a cookie cutter set for the walls and roof pieces, which made it easy to make sure all the pieces would easily fit together.

On Christmas afternoon, we were busy decorating our house. As I was researched what to use to “glue” the house together, I came across a recommendation of just using melted sugar. So that is what we did and it worked great. I just melted white sugar in a fry pan and painted it onto the seams and stuck the walls and roof on, and within 30 mins it was sturdy and ready for decorating. Grandma Kate had brought us a great supply of candy at Thanksgiving, so we got out the box from her to decorate with. I whipped up a sugar cookie frosting and spread that on the roof and “ground” of the house and the kids had a great time decorating. This year, we really enjoyed eating our finished product.  Both the gingerbread and the frosting were delicious!DSCN0187

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

We spent Christmas in Vero Beach, FL.  We arrived on the 23rd planning to just spend the afternoon and evening there, but decided to stay thru the holiday.  We were expecting friends to arrive on Christmas to spend a week with us and figured Vero Beach would be a good starting point.  We would end the week in Stuart, a 1.5 hour drive south, so close enough to do a car retrieval for them.

DSCN0111We were able to pick up a mooring ball in Vero Beach by claiming our “waterline” length was 55 feet.  our overall length is 65, but 55 is the max size this marina wanted to allow for swing room.  We tied up to the mooring and kept a close eye on our neighbors and found we had plenty of swing room, so it worked out great.  This is a crowded mooring field.  Every mooring had at least one boat on it, sometimes 2 or 3 rafted up and shared a mooring ball.  That afternoon we dinghied to shore and walked the short mile straight across the peninsula for some playtime on the beach.  It was a little chilly as the sun was headed down, but the kids always have fun playing in the sand.  David wished we had brought the stroller.  Next time.

On Christmas Eve we decided to take the bikes and ride out to a few stores that morning.  It was an eventful morning.  To get the bikes unloaded we needed to either move the boat over to the fuel dock to do unload them, or load them into the dingy and ferry them across.  We have 3 motor assisted bikes and 2 bike trailers.  It would have been a few nervous dinghy trips hoping nothing fell in.  We usually only like to put 1 bike in the dinghy as we worry about the pedals poking the inflatable tubes.  So we opted to take the entire boat up to the fuel dock.  Well, david decided the easiest thing to do was to drop our line that we had running thru the mooring and leave it DSCN0120in the water to make it easier for pick up when we came back to our mooring.  Then he proceeded to drive right over the line on his way to the fuel dock.  As we went over the line, it of course disappeared—by wrapping around our stabilizer and prop.  Luckily our newly sharpened props cut right thru it, but it snagged the stabilizer good and made it hard to remove.  I didn’t want to make the situation worse by pointing out that he should have known better and gone around the mooring where we left our line, but… I couldn’t help myself.  We just finished repairs in Jacksonville to the cutlass bearing because we had snagged a few crabbing lines in our props and they tore up the bearing.  So into the water david went to see where the line was and how bad the damage.  He found nothing on the prop-whew.  But he cut out as much as he could from the stabilizer, but just could not get the rest out.  So we tied the line up to a cleat on deck, and decided we would worry about it later.  It wouldn’t cause any damage as it was.  During this time the boat is just sort of hanging out in the entrance channel of this marina/mooring field.  It’s Christmas eve morning, so no boats are going in or out, so we weren’t blocking anything, but people were watching us, I’m sure wondering what is going on.  And when we pulled up at the fuel dock, the dock hand mentioned he was a little worried about us, just sitting there.  We explained what happened, so it made sense, why are boat was just drifting slowly into the mangroves along the side of their channel. 

After unloading the bikes and trailers, and filling up with water—might as well, we were expecting guests, we headed back to our mooring ball to re-tie the boat up.  Then we all loaded into the dinghy and off to shore.  We rode 5 miles to Target and Sam’s club.  Thank goodness for the motor on the bikes.  They are heavy and so are the kids, the motors help a lot—especially when we have to bike over big bridges and hills.  We grabbed the few things we needed at the store and headed back to the boat for an afternoon of fun.  We had bought the kids a “hot dog” tube, but hadn’t had warm weather or water to try it out in yet.  It was a pleasant afternoon and the water temp was 72 degrees.  the kids were excited to try out the hot dog.  DSCN0136So off we went to flip them into the water.  Isabel was the first to fall in, but it took awhile of zigzagging and creative driving on david’s part to get them to fall off that hot dog.  Benjamin did not want to get on the hot dog—he hasn’t had any desire to get in the water at all, unlike the rest of the kids.  He seems to think there are sharks everywhere—but that is another story, but he came along as our flag waver when someone tipped off the tube. He brought his swim suit along (tucked in his life jacket, in case he changed his mind)  They all had a great time, but after a half hour they were ready to head back to the boat.  As we neared the boat, we had benjamin sit on the hot dog, just for a slow try out, to help him know it is a fun toy.  We then drove him slowly back to the boat on the hot dog.DSCN0154

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

St. Augustine

IMG_0007Our second stop in Florida was St. Augustine.  I was planning to pass right by, but since it was Saturday I thought I should look for where we could attend church and according to google maps there was a meetinghouse right near the downtown waterfront that we could reach by walking if we stopped and stayed at the city Marina.  So we decided to stop.  We had read about their mooring field and so when David called the Marina he asked if they had a mooring for us.  In the past he has asked about mooring balls and we have always been told no—that we are too big.  So we were pleasantly surprised when they said yes, they had a mooring ball we could stay on.  So, a mooring field is like anchoring, but it is a permanent anchor with a line attached to a floating buoy, you then grab the line and either attach your own line to it, or their line, if it reaches, to your boat.  It allows for more boats to stay in an area, and makes them organized and keeps them from drifting into each other.  The mooring area used to be an anchorage, a year or so ago the city decided to put in the mooring field and charge money, so all the locals that either leftIMG_0022 their boats anchored and abandoned or lived on them had to move them, or pay for a mooring.  Compared to paying dockage, picking up a mooring is super cheap.  We paid $20 a night on the mooring ball; had we stayed in the marina it would have been around $120 a night.  Big savings.  The difference is you cant just walk from your boat to the street, you have to all pile into the dinghy and motor on over to the dock.  Not too much trouble—unless you are stocking up your boat with a lot of supplies, and then it is a little more work—we did that.  We had always been told our boat was too big for a mooring in the past, and after talking with the marina here I understand the issues a little better to deal with in the future.  There are 2 reasons we may be too big at some mooring fields.  first reason would be swing room—we are too long and could swing into other boats on a nearby mooring.  So we learned we should ask what their max size is.  Second reason, our bow is really high up, maybe 10 feet off the waterline.  So if the line from the mooring ball can’t reach the top of our bow, then we can’t tie up to the mooring.  This reason could maybe be solved with the help of someone in a dinghy, we could lower a line to use for tie up. It was a learning experience for us. 

IMG_0030Back to St. Augustine—we are so glad we stopped, it is a beautiful city.  We arrived mid afternoon, and as soon as we were settled and set dinner in the oven to bake, we all piled in the dinghy and set off for a walk around the historic town.  They claim they are the oldest city in America.  I had never heard this before, or I have forgotten it.  But the Spanish settlled St. Augustine in the early 1500’s and as other colonies that had been settled died out, St. Augustine never did.  It has existed since it was settled.  They have maintained their historic waterfront and as you walk around, you feel as if you are in a European country.  There are narrow streets and alleys, historic buildings with spanish flair, it is just beautiful.  And since it was the holiday season, as the sunset the streets lit up with white Christmas lights everywhere.  While out and exploring the town we passed by the Governors Mansion where the National Park Service performs a re-enactment of the Spanish Changing of the Guard, as it was done during wartime with the nearby French colony.  We had fun watching the guards in their uniforms discharge their weapons and change places, listening to them take their orders in Spanish.IMG_0036  We headed back to the boat, and as we finished preparing dinner we were treated to front row seats to a firework show over the water.  We could see the little boat that was setting off the fireworks, we were that close.  It was a great evening.

IMG_3888That night, I wanted to verify that church was nearby and find out what time it would start—we have found that google maps is not always right when it maps for an LDS meetinghouse.  Well, it was wrong again.  The nearest church was almost 10 miles away by road.  Too far for us to walk or bike, and we did not have a car.  I noticed the church was very close to the river though, so I started looking at google maps to see what was nearby, if we could somehow get ashore to walk to church.  I noticed their was a neighborhood rec center with a pier almost across the street from the church.  I hoped their pier would be low enough that we could tie up to it, it was hard to tell from the Sat photo.  Church started at 10am, so a little after 9am we set out to attempt to go to church.  It was a bit of a chilly, windy morning.  We set out in the dinghy the 7-8 miles down the river to find the pier.  It was low tide at this point and the pier was at least 10 feet up.  There was sort of a ladder that you could climb up, so up I went to check it out.  It wasn’t very easy to climb, and at the end of the pier I found a locked gate.  So back to the dinghy I went to disappoint everyone that we would not be able to attend church.  We checked out every private dock we motored by, hoping someone would be IMG_3892out that would give us permission to tie up and walk thru the neighborhood to attend church, but no one was out.  As we thought about it, with it being low tide, most docks were at least 6 feet up, and if we were able to tie up—the barnacles would have rubbed on the dinghy, possibly damaging it.  Our plan was not a good one and did not work out, but our hearts were in the right place.  Back to the boat!  It was a chilly ride back, we were driving into the wind now, and although we wore jackets, we were all cold and ready for hot chocolate once we arrived back at RCabin.

Just after lunch Matthew was pulling himself over an ottoman and fell into the metal part of a chair, he managed to hit it in a way that sliced his lip open.  Of course, on a Sunday afternoon.  So again, David and I headed off with Matthew to the Marina to take a taxi to a nearby urgent care, where we were told—he’s not 2, so we can’t see him here.  So next stop was the ER across the street.  This was a nice hospital.  The staff was really nice and helpful.  The Dr. put in 3 dissolvable stitches while Matthew screamed and screamed.  Poor little guy.  And while the Dr was getting us a prescription for infection, I looked down at Matthew and saw that all 3 stitches had come out. He had to be tortured again.  I felt so bad for him.  3 more stitches, this kind with stronger thread that would have to be cut out.  The Dr. told us if we took the prescription to Publix, that it would be free for this particular antibiotic.  So I looked up where the nearest one was, and off to Publix we walked.  It was a little less than a mile away.  While we waited, Matthew passed out from all the excitement of his day, we laid him down in a shopping cart to sleep till we were ready to go. Once we had our prescription we called our taxi driver to come pick us up.  David told him we were at the Publix nearby.  When he picked us up he said he couldn’t believe we had walked here from the hospital, it was so far.  I told him it was less than a mile and only took 15 mins.  I have heard this before from people when we mention we walk or ride bikes to get to places, they just think it is a crazy idea.  However, living in Poland and visiting Europe, many people walk to get everywhere they need to go.  I guess here in most of the US we are just so accustomed to driving, we forget we could walk.   IMG_3905

That afternoon, david took the kids, and his mom for a walk down the shoreline to the fort nearby, while Matthew and I took another afternoon nap. On Monday we set out first thing to go tour the fort.  The kids earned another junior ranger badge.  This was by far my favorite fort.  It is perched high right on the river, just a few blocks from the historic area and has a beautiful view from the top.IMG_3896

IMG_3916Once we were done, we loaded back on the boat and head about 15 miles south to Fort Mantanza.  We anchored near the fort and went ashore to earn another junior ranger badge and tour this small fort.  The Spanish built this fort after fighting with the English.  England blockaded their entrance into St. Augustine and they could get supplies in.  After they won this battle, they decided they would not let that happen again, so they found another inlet, south of St. Augustine and built Fort Mantanza.  At one point English ships entered the inlet to sneak up on St. Augustine, and were met by cannons firing on them from the small fort.  They backed out and never came back.  It is a very small fort. The visitors center is across the river from the island the fort is on, so we had to dinghy over there and then ride the ferry over to the fort.  They do not allow private boats to use their docks at the fort.  Inside the fort is one open room that housed the few soldiers that were on guard there.  In that room is a steep 10 ft. ladder to climb to the roof.  I was surprised they let us climb up and enjoy the view from the top.  It was a pleasant night spent there, with only one other boat anchored nearby.  The sunset over the fort was pretty to watch.IMG_3927IMG_3922

On our way down to St. Augustine David was anxious to try our new upsized stabilizers, well when he turned them on, they wouldn’t come on, the system wasn’t getting the pressure it needed to run.  Because of the cutlass bearing issue we had stopped using the port engine—the one that runs the stabilizers, so we didn’t know there was an issue until we tried to use our new fins.  David assured me that the new fins we had waited an extra week in Jacksonville, docked next to a constant train for, was not the problem, but it was a problem with the system itself, which hadn’t been touched by the new fins coming off and back on.  So we called the stabilizer company and consulted with them while making our way down to Fort Mantanza on Monday.  They recommend we have an authorized tech look at the system.  So we called the nearest one, a company right next door to Huckins Yacht.  They were too busy to have a tech meet us to check out our issue, so David called Huckins and they agreed to send a tech down to St. Augstine on tuesday to take a look.  So Tuesday morning we headed back to St. Augustine, to the same mooring ball we were on before.  While we waited for the tech to arrive we took the dinghy out to see more of the area by water.  We headed over to the lighthouse and park nearby, then back to the boat for lunch. IMG_3912 The tech arrived shortly after lunch and he and David dove into the stabilizer system.  He is a smart tech, but does not work on these systems, but with the help of a company tech on the phone they decided to switch out a part, hoping it would fix it.  We had the part sent to us overnight, to arrive the next day.  The tech showed David how to install it himself. This was David’s moms’ last night on the boat with us, so he took his mom and sister out for the evening to a nearby cuban restaurant.  Wednesday morning I went for a run to pick up a rental car for us to drive David’s mom, later that day to the airport in Orlando, 2 hours away.  I got about a quarter of a mile down the road before I realized that I did not have my drivers license or credit card with me.  So back to the dock where david was anxiously waiting for his part to be delivered.  He motored me in the dinghy back to the boat to retrieve my necessary items, then off for my run.  I was just getting over my morning sickness and hadn’t been running in several weeks.  It felt nice to be out and active again.  When I returned with the car, David had his part and was installing it.  However, it didn’t fix our problem.  Time for a new plan.  We would head south tomorrow. In a few days we would make it to Stuart Florida.  We would arrive on Christmas Eve.  On Christmas we were expecting our friends from Idaho to join us for a week on the boat.  After that we would return to Stuart and have a boat yard there look at the issue and fix it.