Sunday, August 27, 2006


Our trip from Vero Beach to Melbourne was uneventful and easy. Motoring the ICW with the autopilot on, hitting +1 or +2 degrees of course change down the straight channel, allowed us to view all the million dollar homes lining the sides of the waterway.
We spent the first night anchored off the SW corner of the Eau Gallie causeway in Melbourne. Joe met me and we went to the airport to get his van out of the hanger. A huge storm prevented me from taking the dinghy back to the boat, so Joe and I had dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant.
When the rain stopped, I took the dinghy back out to the boat. The wake was phosphorescent from the bioluminescence of the tiny plankton. Rachel thought I was shining a flashlight on the wake it was so bright. We splashed on the stern of Stardust and watched the sea light up. Fantastic! But we couldn’t keep the van in that area, so we moved to the NE side of the causeway. The van was parked securely in the Publix parking lot across the street from our vacant lot dinghy “dock”.
Then the generator quit again. With lots of helpful advice I tried everything to get it running. No dice. So we bailed on the boat and drove to Clermont to swap out gear in our storage unit. I worked at the gliderport on Saturday and then flew Gene Gonyaw’s glider, an SZD 59. Spent 4.5 hours flying cross-country, doing loops, and spins. Did 5 consecutive loops at one point. Boy did that help clean the carbon out of my pipes. Much needed therapy from the frustrations of the genset. Kathy did the storage unit chores, and Rachel spent the night with her friend Erin. We had an awesome dinner with the Kreilings.
Then back to the boat and the genset. Through Dennis Disinger’s brother, David, I got the name of a fantastic mechanic, Tim Hunt. Tim was sick with a bug, but came out anyway, and spent hours of frustration on his own hunt for the problem. After 3 days of a couple of hours a day, he found the offending wire connection in the maze of the controller wiring harness. Now I know even more about the generator. We’re very glad to be cruising the coast where parts and mechanics are plentiful. This is the warm-up for the Caribbean where help will not be so easy to come by.
We’ll move the boat to north Cocoa today and anchor for a week there. We want to see the shuttle launch, and visit the space center. Hopefully we can get in a daysail with friends too.


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