March 23rd – March 25th 2018 Queen’s Harbour to Fort Pierce
With heavy hearts, missing our four legged crew member– See Tribute to Grace , the Worlds Best boat Dog – we left the dock. We miss her and as of yet, things just feel “off”
We had to wait until about 11am to be sure we had enough water to clear the channel at Queens Harbour.
We then ran south through Palm Valley, St Augustine to Palm Coast. On previous trips we had booked a slip at Hammock Beach, but this time we did not want to be bothered with taking the shuttle up to the hotel for dinner. So we tied up at Palm Coast Marina on the West side of the ICW, arriving at 5:30.
We made things ship shape and then walked over to the European Village for dinner. We chose the Lisbon Nights Portuguese restaurant which specializes in seafood – since it was a Friday in Lent. We washed down our seafood with a bottle of Malbec and then headed back to Sonas. Our plans this week were for early nights and early mornings until we got to the Bahamas.
On day two we got a long day under our belts to get to Fort Pierce in plenty of time the third day for fuel and water prior to crossing to the Bahamas. So we untied and were off the dock by 7:15am. We headed south through Daytona, New Smyrna, and Mosquito Lagoon, through Haulover Canal, past Cape Canaveral, Titusville and Cocoa. We dropped anchor offshore a residential area called The Point about six miles south of Cocoa around 6:30 for a total run of just over eleven hours.
We were off again at7:15am on the third day, March 25th. We ran down the Indian River through Melbourne and Sebastian to arrive in Vero Beach around noon. We went into the Vero Beach City Marina to filled up with diesel and water. Finally arriving at our anchorage just inside the inlet at Fort Pierce around 2:30pm. We made everything secure and then went below for a well deserved nap!
As we lay there we heard the forward bilge pump cycling. Not something you really want to hear when you are about to cross the Gulf Stream! We started the search for the source of the water. We checked all of the through hulls, and all of the fresh water lines, finding absolutely nothing. Paul watched the rate of water entering the bilge and decided that it was nothing to be overly concerned about, though a puzzle.
Later that evening Burntside, a Kady Krogen 39 entered the anchorage and dropped the hook right behind us. Then Paul’s cell phone rang and a gentleman by the name of Steve Park introduced himself and told us that he was on the Kady Krogen right behind us. We are both members of the Marine Trawler Owners Association (MTOA) and he recognized Sonas. He also had been following our blog. We had a chat about our immediate cruising plans. Steve was returning from the Exumas, leaving his boat at Brunswick GA before returning home to Minnesota for the summer.
We rose at 5:30 on Monday the 26th. The bilge pump had been cycling regularly throughout the night so we were determined to find the issue or delay our crossing until we did. Paul checked the fresh water gauge and it was lower. He then put the mop into the forward bilge and drew out some water, then gave it a good sniff to confirm that it was fresh water. We had already checked all the fresh water lines the day before which left he water heater or the tank itself as the chief suspects. The water heater checked out fine. Since the 350 gallon water tank is beneath the master berth we had to fold our mattress forward and then remove all of the totes with the cans of beer and soda that we store there! We then lifted the hatch and immediately found the issue.
Originally there been an ozone maker sitting on top of the tank feeing into the water via a plastic tube. Paul had removed this and plugged the tubing. Somehow the plug ad come out and the hose had fallen off the tank into the bilge causing a syphon effect, and the fresh water was running out through that. We secured the hose, planning to remove it altogether later, and were now clear to cross!