Monday, April 21, 2014

Adjusting to home, Trip summary

We have been home for one week. We scooted into Colington Harbour just ahead of a nasty weather front on April 14th. On April 15, the wind switched from a strong southwest flow to a ridiculous north-northeast flow. The switch happened fast. It was so obvious that the weather models had it nailed down to the hour. Indeed, at about 9:30 pm, the southerly wind died for 20 minutes and at 9:51 pm, the nor'easter began.

And stayed. All the way through Easter. The north component winds blew all of the water out of Colington. This is the kind of low water usually reserved for passing hurricanes. SeaClearly is, remarkably, still floating though I suspect it is only because she has wallowed herself a ditch under the keel. Looks like we picked the right day to stretch for home. We have some fellow cruisers who are stuck 50 miles from home and haven't been able to move all week. How frustrating.

We are enjoying being home for a while. Living on a boat gives you some different perspectives. Our house is not all that big but it seems huge by comparison. We have all these cabinets. With stuff just sitting there on the shelves.With space in between the stuff. On SeaClearly, stuff is, literally, stuffed. You can't get to one thing without moving something else. Move all the containers of food from behind the settee to find the soup. Move the screens under the seat to get to the vacuum cleaner. Move the bed to get to the spare engine parts.

I have already had several episodes of waking up in the bed disoriented because my hand felt the edge of the bed. There is no 'edge of the bed' in our berth on SeaClearly. I also still roll over before sitting up to avoid hitting my head.

We have, all too quickly, gotten back into the habit of long, hot baths and showers. Laundry facilities at the end of the hall is sweet. For the last 6 months, laundry has involved, at the least, handcarts, quarters, tokens, dinghy rides, extended walks and hours sitting around. On the other hand, we met some very interesting people doing laundry.

We have, particularly, enjoyed our kitchen. We put a pretty nice kitchen in a small house so we have cool appliances. We don't even have a microwave on SeaClearly. We re-heated leftovers, when they survived, by the old fashioned methods of skillet, steam or not-at-all. Here, we have, among other things, a Trivection oven that has settings for 'Salmon fillets', 'Deli Pizza', and 'Taco Shells' which all pop out perfectly cooked in a few minutes. Wow.

While cruising around, we met new people everywhere we went. Some will be our friends. We will be happy to see any of them again. Some of them we may never see again. But, they are a wonderful, diverse group. Here in Colington, we have friends. They are more like family than friends that we have had over the years. We have had a couple of wonderful evenings and a grand Easter dinner with these friends, catching up on the seasons, families and events. They, too, are a wonderful, diverse group. And, they are stuck with us.

I have finally worked up some statistics from our trip. Of course, as Mark Twain said, "There are lies, damn lies, and statistics", but these are the numbers.

  • SeaClearly left the slip in Colington on October 11, 2013, returned to the slip on April 14, 2014.
  • In total, we covered 2400 nautical miles (about 2760 statute miles). Of those miles, 1600 nm were offshore/coastal miles (down the coast in the ocean, crossing ocean stretches). Technically, we were never more than about 30 miles from land at any given point. I can tell you that 30 miles is a long way from land.
  • The 1600 miles were covered in 16 offshore trips. 8 were single overnight trips. 2 were double overnight trips. The remainder were usually leaving in the dark arriving in daylight hours. The longest trip was 280 nautical miles. Two Gulf Stream crossings.
  • About 475 miles were spent on the ICW.
  • 325 miles was clear-water, short distance cruising between the islands of the Bahamas
  • We had a couple of extended marina stays in Stuart, Florida in the midst of the trip while we took care of family events, surgery, recovery and  a wedding. 
  • While actively cruising, we spent 38 nights in marinas, 29 nights at anchor, 19 nights on mooring balls and, of course, the 12 nights at sea.
  • We spent $1900 on diesel fuel. We paid anywhere from $3.75 to $6.80 a gallon (Chubb Cay, Bahamas) with the average around $5.50 So, approximately, 350 gallons. 
  • Engine hours total 444. Meter read 2414 when we left, 2858 sitting back in the slip at home. We did two oil/filter  changes- one in Fernandina Harbor Marina on the way down, one in Loggerhead Stuart Marina on the way back. Due for another now. Two Racor fuel filter changes. One fuel polisher filter change. 
  • Generator hours total 83. One generator fuel filter change. One generator oil change. 
  • We usually assume something slightly less than 1 gallon per hour when running the engine and about 1 quart per hour running the generator. Looks like we did better than that. By about 25%.
  • Zero breakdowns.
  • We had the bottom cleaned by a diver in Stuart in March. The $84 bill included replacing a shaft zinc that had disappeared at some point.
  • We also had the staysail re-stitched in Stuart. $180
  • Along the way we picked up a new refrigerator circulating pump, a new bilge pump, a new galley foot pump, a new watermaker membrane, some misc filters. Of those, only the foot pump and some filters were used. The rest are spares or just not used yet.
  • Also along the way, we bought more water cans, diesel cans and a gas can. New out-board motor fuel line connectors, a water quality tester, another folding hand cart.
  • We filled the propane tanks twice.
  • We had to replace the bow running-light bulb.
  • We lost one irreplaceable crew member - Roux.
All in all, a wonderful trip, excellent boat, magnificent crew:) We are looking forward to the weather breaking so we can start, in earnest, on our maintenance list. We have already started thinking about the summer and fall and where we might go next. The Turks and Caicos seems nice...

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