Wednesday, March 14, 2007

On The Move Again

Peck Lake, N 27.114450 W -80.14316

First thing this morning, I opened up the cockpit floor and checked the shaft coupling with the feeler gauge. To my surprise, everything checked out OK. The four bolts holding it together were matched to less than 0.2 mm difference. The tolerance was 0.01 inches (0.25 mm). So I started the engine, put it in gear and advanced the throttle to 1000 RPM. I didn't go more because we were still at anchor. I put my hand directly on the shaft. It rotated smooth as silk.

We raised anchor and pulled out into the waterway. After steadying out at cruising speed at 2000 RPM, I opened the hatch in the floor. Then I took the boat hook and pushed it down until it rested directly on the rotating shaft. There was no vibration that I could feel.

Oh well, I was just paranoid. After so many months of worry it is hard to let one's guard down and admit that things seem OK.

With that behind us there was nothing left to do but enjoy a splendid day out on the water. Boy does it feel good for both of us just to be on the move once again.

There is not much scenery but the weather was perfect. We crossed the Saint Lucie River at the inlet and we could see numerous working boats in the inlet working on a major dredging project. We had heard that the inlet had shoaled to less than two feet depth in some places. Dredging was long overdue.

Our destination for the day was Peck Lake. This is a place were we anchored before and extolled the natural beauty of the spot. One can go ashore and walk through a path less than 100 meters long and come out on a splendid beach. The beach is inaccessible to land-bound local residents.

I noticed that the boat anchored behind us was a Hallberg Rassey 42 from Bassel, Switzerland. I remember Bassel. It is near Leibstadt where I worked at the nuclear plant a few times. That part of Switzerland is very beautiful indeed. I also remember going to the Stockholm Boat Show years ago with my friend Ken. Ken and I were both enamored with the Hallberg Rassey boats. Before seeing Tarwathie, I was of the opinion that they are about the most beautiful and practical sailing vessels ever made. Of course they cost far to much for me to own but neither could I afford Anna Nichole Smith as a squeeze.

Libby and I went to the beach. Surprise. Instead of unspoiled nature, we found a steam shovel and huge pipes. It turns out that the sand they are dredging from the inlet, 5 miles north, is being pumped to the beach down here. In the long run it will improve the beach.

Anyhow, we walked down past the dredging project to an unspoiled part and I went in for a nice swim.

Tomorrow morning we'll decide whether to continue south to Lake Worth or to backtrack a few miles to Stuart. We've never been to Stuart.

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