February 20, 2010
Back in Miami Beach the next day, the weather was getting bad. Forecast called for 45 kt winds and heavy rain and lightening. We anchored between two fingers of the Venetian Islands for protection, which worked like a charm. The next day we moved back to our spot near South Beach’s Lincoln road and jumped on our bikes and hit the Miami Boat Show looking for deals and checking out the new sailboats. It was at this boat show a year ago that Galit and I decided to get serious about buying a sailboat and it is when we fell for the Benneteau 40. What a difference a year makes!
Galit went back to work, I began hanging out with Robert Thomassen. He owned a 1978 Jeanneau anchored near me and had just returned from Cuba. We sipped Cuban rum and smoked cigars and swapped sailing stories. He’s been sailing his whole life, including some transatlantic so his stories were better. He’s from the Faroe Islands and we hit it off. Then it was my turn to go to work. Galit and I crossed on different buses coming from/going to the airport. It was her turn to solo on the boat. Just in case, I asked Robert to keep an eye on her and another sailor named David from Belgium to also help if necessary. Turns our Lil’ Vill’s engine had troubles and Galit had to rely on Robert to ferry her back and forth. They ended up swapping stories and rum as well (eg, almost sailing into a whale sleeping).
When I got back, we took Robert to breakfast to thank him and say farewell. He was pulling his boat out of the water while he went back to the Faroe Islands. Casually, he asked if I wanted to sail with him up to Fort Pierce, help him get the boat on the hard, and then drive back with him – all in about 2.5 days. I thought about it. Galit would be leaving later that day and the weather was to be pretty stable so I said sure. Adventure! It was that, especially getting in and out of the ocean inlets without an engine. But it was also a lot of work, especially when we got there and had to decommission the boat.
Also, I finished several upgrades and maintenance projects on Villainy including installing two solar panels to help keep the batteries charged. Refrigeration is our biggest power hog and the panels should keep up with their use. Besides a bunch of little things Galit and I did that I won’t bore you with (LED lights, rewiring battery banks, installing alternator to battery smart charger, adding toggle switches on every light, mounting a spice rack, etc, etc), we did spend 4 days of back breaking work cleaning and treating the teak. Now it looks gorgeous and was worth the work. Remember I foreshadowed earlier that we’d come up with a nice answer to the dragging problem. One of our upgrades was a small LCD monitor that is typically used in headrests of SUVs. I hooked it up to our chart plotter and Galit and I painstakingly ran the cable all the way back to our bedroom. Now we can watch to see our position with regard to the location we dropped the anchor and monitor the wind speed and direction – all without having to leave the bed! Plus, we can watch movies on it in bed. Lazy, I know. Finally, we stocked up on all the food and drink we will need for the Bahamas as the prices over there are quite high because of import taxes. Now we are ready.