Saturday, April 21, 2007

What a Day, What a Day

Daytona Beach
N 29 09 27 W 080 58 49

Yesterday the wind turned against us in the late afternoon. Suddenly we had 25 knot head winds and our progress was reduced to 3.5 knots. Instead of making it up past Titusville, we had to stop for the night at Cocoa. It wasn't bad. We anchored in the lee of the bridge causeway.

Last night we found out that Pete hadn't seen our favorite movie, "O Brother Where Art Thou," so we insisted on showing it to him. We all enjoyed it thoroughly.

This morning we weighed anchor at first light. The winds were still NE but reduced to about 15 knots. After motoring for a short while, we decided that we could put up the sails, and still motor. It worked. Our speed jumped from 5 to 6 knots.

Uh oh. Mid morning we had a serious malfunction. The head broke. That is, the toilet wouldn't flush. Uh Oh. That's not something that one can ignore and fix some other day. So as we sailed on, heeling 15 degrees, I dismounted the toilet, and carried it up on to the forward deck. Then I hosed it good inside and out to flush out any black water, and disassembled it.

Our head is a Wilcox and Crittenden model, the Cadillac of marine heads. It lists for about $1,000 in the West Marine catalog. It is build like a brick -house. Built to last a lifetime. However, when I took it apart I found a very substantial bronze casting called "The Piston Arm" that had fractured and broken in half. I guess lifetime meant 30 years in this case. I can order a new part on Monday, but what to do in the meantime? The head is pretty vital.

Once again, J B Weld to the rescue. I glued the two pieces back together with J B Weld. Now it is curing, and after dinner I'll reassemble the toilet. Then tomorrow, after the J B Weld had 24 hours to cure, we'll see if it holds.

All that took us till about noon. After that, we just enjoyed the day. The sun came out, it was warm and pleasant, and we sailed through the Mosquito Lagoon. In the north half of the Lagoon, where the ICW channel is narrow, there were lots of people out enjoying the water. I could see in their faces that they were a little awed by this big sailboat charging through against this brisk breeze. There were also numerous dolphins and manatees to entertain us. It made for a very nice sail.

For tonight, since we don't have a working head, we put in to a marina and rented a slip for the night. This marina is just north of the Port Orange Bridge in Daytona. While Libby made supper, Pete and I walked over to the world famous beach, only 1/3 mile away. We took off our shoes and waded in the surf. It felt great.

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