Saturday, May 29, 2021

Finally Ready - Off we Go

Time and Hard Work

It has taken a lot of time and hard work to get Midnight Sun III (MS3) ready to cruise this year.  Most of the work has been restoring her after the hurricane damage, but then there is always the routine maintenance on top of that and a variety of upgrades.

Upgrades have included:
  • hard top for helm station
  • New canvas - pretty much everywhere, including a new enclosure
  • the enclosure required a little innovation to fabricate a new grill stand
  • New Beta test Boat Monitoring system from Tocaro Blue (yes, we are a Beta test Boat)
  • fresh-water flush for master head (still in progress)
  • Added LED lights to the helm area – I added red (for night sailing); white (for general use at anchor), and blue – because I like blue!
  • Added LED lights to the mast – for no purpose other than “sex appeal” 😊.  I actually added these before the new mast was installed – so it made the project easy!
  • Added rub strip to the rear of each pontoon – to prevent scratching from the dinghy
  • Adding flushing ports to all air conditioners to facilitate cleaning the coil
  • Built an additional cabinet for the galley to add more storage for pans etc. and to provide better location for the microwave (we did not get factory option).
  • Added a new TV
  • Building an extra hanging locker for the Owner side (but this will not be finished before our trip)
  • Janet has compled the sewing for new dinghy “chaps” – they look really good and will extend the life of the dinghy
  • Added a new portable refrigerator which also works as an extra seat for the cockpit area (Janet is working on cushions)
  • Made larger seat bases for the bow/pulpit seats., and Janet is making removable cushions.
Wow - that's a lot of stuff and a lot of work!

So we are officially under way.....and then spent 2 days at Cape San Blas troubleshooting and fixing!   I tell you - the worst thing to do with a boat t use it!  

First, the new Weems and Plath LED masthead light looks to have water in it so  they are shipping us a replacement to St. Petes.   Then the watermaker....but that turned out to be the impeller on the lift pump and I carry a couple of spares. water tank gauge    I have no idea why that quit, but I will figure it out in some other exotic destination. 

So we have now made it to Apalachicola - one of our favorite spots.  Our route here took us to Panama City, And Cape San Blas first. We are Not rushing but are aware that we are at the start of hurricane season.  We plan to cross the Big Bend on Sunday/Monday to get us to the west coast of Florida.  We hope to get the masthead light replaced In St. Pete Next week - until then we are  sailing with some “jerry rigger” temporary measures and our steaming lights. 

Anchored at Cape San Blas

Now how many times can you say you have sailed by the Staton Island Ferry? Port St. Joe?😁
As it turns out, new ferries are being built in Panama City and fitted out in Port St. Joe!  What a sight!

So after Cape San Blas we travelled up the ICW ( Gulf canal and Apalachicola River) to Apalachicola. It’s a great trip that I never get tired of - even if we have to motor!

So, as I said, we plan to jump across Florida’s Big Bend tomorrow afternoon/ night.  Weather is looking calm and a light wind, so I’m sure there will be some motor-sailing ......but hopefully an uneventful passage.  

More to follow!