Our Boat

Caloosa Spirit

Catalina 42 mkII

Log #46 Patience is a Virtue—Especially While Cruising

We’re still in Lake Worth and not much has changed since we last wrote anything here. The wind is still blowing and we’re still waiting—for mail and for weather. At least we’re not still waiting for our laptop. Last week we sent it to IBM to get the speakers replaced (we were tired of watching DVD’s with our headphones)—with great fear and trepidation, I might add. The last time we had to send it to IBM to get the screen replaced they screwed up the original pick-up, and then didn’t fix it, so we had to send it a second time! So this time we weren’t sure of what to expect. But, fortunately, the pick-up, repair, and return all worked as they’re supposed to, and in a matter of days we’re back to watching DVD’s from across the salon. We also got a timely delivery of the engine access support struts (shock absorbers that hold the companionway stairs up) that Jim had to return because the first ones they sent were not properly pressurized. Getting things is rarely easy. What we’re presently waiting for are some connectors for an additional filter for the watermaker. This new filter should mean less cleaning and changing of the existing filters, especially in some of the less-than-pristine waters we’ll find along the ICW. The delivery was supposed to come in today, but UPS reports that it won’t arrive until Wednesday. The delay probably doesn’t matter much, though, because the weather is being decidedly uncooperative. This is the third straight day of 15-20 knot winds and/or clouds and showers. That doesn’t count the day that we went ashore to pick up the struts and the computer and got trapped by some serious thunderstorms—not a fun shore excursion. The forecast says that by the time we’re ready to leave here on Thursday, the weather should again be glorious, maybe even starting tomorrow. We hope to see no more of the gusts of 50+ knots that heeled us over on our anchor, tore off our flag, and sheared a zipper off of our bimini this morning. We definitely got an adrenaline rush from the 20 or so seconds that all took. After that blow the 15-20 felt like a zephyr! Two weeks in this (mostly windy) anchorage where there isn’t much to see or do (although the convenience of the Publix, West Marine, and some other stores is a definite plus) is about a week more than we bargained for. But the boat is floating, the engine runs, and both heads flush, so—all things considered—we’re still in Paradise.

Yesterday was Easter. On Palm Sunday, with no UCC church in the immediate vicinity, we rode our bikes 2½ miles to First Presbyterian Church, only to be disappointed in the pietistic, shallow, conservative service in which God didn’t seem to be speaking—not to us, anyway. We couldn’t find any other church nearby to consider for such an important service (and the weather was prohibitive, anyway), so we held our own early morning worship in the cockpit with liturgy, hymns, and prayer. As difficult as it is to be separated from our church and birth families on this highest holy day of the Christian year, we felt joined to them in spirit and had a peaceful and enjoyable day. He is risen, indeed.

Speaking of prayer, please join us in prayers for Terry Schiavo and her family. Living in Florida we have been inundated with this sad story for far longer than it has dominated the national news. We pray that somehow the peace and acceptance of the loss of Terry Schiavo that has so far eluded her parents will soon enter their hearts and minds, and that the rift between them and Mike Schiavo will be bridged by God’s healing touch. Mostly we pray that Terry Schiavo will be allowed to live or to die in peace and quiet dignity, sheltered from those who have spotlighted her to further their right-wing conservative political agenda. Perhaps if such a faction had pursued a similar course in refusing to lay Jesus in the tomb 2000 years ago, we would have no Resurrection to celebrate today. This reminds us to make sure our Medical Directives are with our physicians and relatives. We have not done that for awhile, so we will reaffirm our end-of-life wishes with those who are important to us. We hope you will do the same.

The connectors we were waiting for arrived yesterday (a day early), but once again the wrong ones got sent. Maybe we just have bad karma where shipments are concerned. Anyway, we decided to get the correct ones sent to our next destination of Stuart. So today we left Lake Worth behind and motored on up the ICW to Peck Lake. Although the weather was perfect, the trip was somewhat boring until we got to Jupiter. One mega-house after another quickly pales in our view. But I got some great pictures of the Jupiter lighthouse, Hobe Sound was quite lovely with a variety of interesting and appealing homes, and here at Peck Lake the surroundings are mostly mangroves and other flora. Peck Lake is really just a small, well-protected bay on the east side of the ICW. After arriving we dropped the dinghy with the intention of going ashore and walking across Jupiter Island to the beach. Unfortunately, our usually reliable Yamaha outboard got obstinate and died on us twice. So we decided that returning to the boat was more prudent than a shore excursion at the present time, and a kind cruiser gave us a tow. Jim cleaned one of the fuel filters, and the outboard seems to be much happier now. So, hopefully, tomorrow we’ll see the beach. This is a very pleasant place to be this evening, and we’re glad we’re here.

Jupiter Lighthouse
Jupiter Lighthouse

We made it to the beach this morning and thoroughly enjoyed listening to the surf and lying in the sun for a couple of hours. After we tested the water temperature, however, cavorting in the water didn’t appeal. While the sands on the Gulf Coast generally resemble white granulated sugar, the sands on the Atlantic Coast pass more for light brown sugar, in both appearance and texture. The water generally seems to be a clearer aqua color on this coast, though. I can’t help making comparisons, since I keep looking for the perfect beach. So far, none has surpassed the exquisite beach in Georgetown, Bahamas, so that’s my standard. It has both white sand and aqua water.

Atlantic beach at Peck Lake
Atlantic Beach at Peck Lake

We’ve decided to stay here at Peck Lake for another night. Another cruiser has told us that the moorings that we were expecting to find in Stuart are presently closed. So we’ll head up there tomorrow morning to find an anchorage and wait again for mail.

Terry Shiavo, may your soul finally find rest in blissful peace.

The April Fool left us alone as we motored up to Stuart on the St. Lucie River, and we found a perfectly acceptable anchorage across the river from the vacant mooring field. We even found within walking distance a canvas shop where the folks will replace the broken zipper on our bimini within a few days. The watermaker filter connectors were waiting for us at the post office, so, hopefully, we can be on our way from here in a few days. In the meantime, we’d like to see some more of the town. On our way to the post office this afternoon, we spied a McDonald’s that looks seriously like one of the originals that I remember from my teen years, golden arches and all. So a milkshake snack was in order.

Old style McDonalds in Stuart
Old-style McDonalds in Stuart

Upon returning to the anchorage we stopped by a neighboring boat to introduce ourselves. We remembered that the cruisers on board s/v Gypsy Common are mutually acquainted with our friends Paul & Gail on Puffin. We had a delightful conversation, learning that Robert & Carolyn were also acquainted with some of our friends from the charter business, and we made tentative plans to meet up with them again as we all continue to travel north. The cruising community weaves an enveloping web that spins in many directions. The April Fool did take one swipe at us after we got back to Caloosa Spirit. Jim discovered that the alternator belt, after being in use for only 100 engine hours, was due to separate sometime soon, doing who-knows-what kind of damage in the engine room, so he had to change it before running our refrigeration compressor. Preventive maintenance is a wonderful thing. We thought we had solved the alternator belt problem, only to find it still hanging on. Our high output American alternator does not seem well-matched to our Japanese Yanmar engine.

Having missed church last week, we were pleased to find that there is a UCC church (even a Congregational UCC church!) within biking distance here in Stuart. So this morning we off-loaded our bikes into the dinghy and took the 4-mile bike-hike to get there. We actually got a very warm reception from several people, a number of whom were boaters and ex-live-aboards. That definitely made the trip worthwhile. We’re grateful for the worship experience among people who seemed to care that we were there. After church we biked to the historic downtown district, which isn’t really very big. The crafts festival going on somewhat hampered our exploration of the variety of shops.

We hope to be on our way once again within a couple of days. Our next stop will be Vero Beach, fondly called “Velcro Beach” among cruisers. The nickname refers to the tendency to get stuck there, because of its cruiser amenities. We’re looking forward to experiencing it for ourselves.

Fair winds and a faithful wake until next time,
Alice & Jim Rutherford
s/v Caloosa Spirit

P. S. Don’t forget to look up Alice’s book, Reaching a Far Horizon, at www.lulu.com!

Posted Monday April 4, 2005

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  1. Hello,

    I stumbled on your very nice site and thought I’d ask your opinion/advice. I work for the State of Florida and have a short term (6-12 months) job opportunity in Martin County (Stuart area). A former part-time cruiser, I have a sailboat near Shell Pt. (the panhandle) and I’m thinking about bringing the boat around and living on it with the family (wife and two little ones) while working there. The boat is reasonably comfortable for us and my wife said she’d be up for it if I can find a suitable marina. If you’re still with me here’s my question, are you aware of a live-a-board marinas that would be suitable in that area? I’m kinda picky, in an unusual way. I like small (10-20 slipes), out of the way marinas, with some vegatation/land scaping and nice folks. If your aware of such a place or if you have any thoughts you would like to share I’d be very interested. Thanks so much and I hope you have a great day.
    Beau Jackson
    (Tallahassee, FL)
    Beau Jackson    04/08/2005 05:43 AM    #
  2. We chartered your boat in 1999. It was our first of many charters in the eastern Carribean from BVI to St. Lucia. The Caloosa Spirit holds fond memories for us and fueled our passion for the cruising lifestyle. We had a marvelous time on your boat and appreciate the opportunity. Our home is in Punta Gorda so your stories are close to home and quite enjoyable to read. We really enjoy your site!
    — John and Janice Reuther    04/08/2005 02:41 PM    #
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