Day 11 – Pictures

Space Shuttle Launch

Ade and Jim at Ocean Club Florida

Electrical Panel

Cockpit

Love Bugs on the Outer Deck

Love Bugs on the Cockpit Seating

More Love Bugs on the Seating

Love Bugs on the Outside AFTER Washing!

Love Bugs on Refrigerator and Freezer

Christening the Boat

Christening the Boat II

ICW in GA Low Country

Jim Driving

Ade Driving

Vaughan, Our Captain

Ade and Jim at Hilton Head

Sunset at Hilton Head

Sea BLyS at Hilton Head

Days 9 and 10

I’m writing this on Monday morning, 5/23. We are in charleston and we arrived yesterday afternoon. Saturday we traveled from Jekyll Island, GA to Hilton Head. We made excellent time, arriving at about 2:30. We washed Sea BlyS again and found a few more love bugs. Thankfully these were all dead. A dead love bug is a good love bug.

We stayed at Harbor Townes Marina, which was very nice. The dock hands tied the lines, helped us fuel, guided us to our slip and handed us a bottle of white wine. The marina is part of a resort development, which means that the boat basin is ringed with shops and restaurants. It was a lovely evening, so after dinner we got some ice cream and strolled around the marina. We turned on our blue underwater deck lights and got a lot of “oohs” and “ahs” a from people checking her out.

We had an uneventful run on Sunday up to Charleston and got in around 2. Charleston has a long pier for broadside tieups, which is where the city marina put us. This is known as the mega dock. We got in without trouble. But as soon as we got in we noticed that we were teeny weeny compared to the other boats on the mega dock. We are surrounded by 100 ft. plus sailboats and power boats. One of the sailboats has a mast that’s at least a hundred feet tall with a hydraulic arm to control it. A couple of the power boats are at least two stories tall and are carrying several mopeds, bikes, dinghies and other small transportation vehicles for when the boat gets into port. We learned after we got in that there was going to be a charity event Sunday night at the city dock. Part of the activities involved going aboard some of the boats to see their interiors. We think that’s why there are so many huge boats here. We definitely are the poor folk on the mega dock. I’ll take some pics so you can see.

Today we are off to explore Charleston. Had an excellent meal at Hall’s Chophouse last night.

I’m going to send another post later today with just pics. I’d be sending more but we can’t get the iPad to upload pics directly into the blog, so we have to use Jim’s laptop and even then the process is slow. And every day we’ve just been so busy with other stuff we haven’t taken the time to futz with the pics. But, as I said, I’ll do that later today.

We will leave tomorrow for Myrtle Beach, SC.

Day 7 Continued

It’s 10:20pm and time for bed, so this will be a short entry.

We left Port Canaveral at noon today heading to St. Augustine. Since we had Vaughn with us we decided to take Sea BLyS out into the ocean for the run. That would ensure that we would make St. Augustine sometime today. The ICW between Port Canaveral and St. Augustine is very windy, shallow and loaded with bridges. All of which we wanted to avoid.

Our trip in the ocean was uneventful and in some was kind of boring. We had sunny skies and 3 foot seas with occasional 5 foot seas. Sea BLyS handled the conditions very well. We had her on autopilot and that worked very well too. We were running about 24 mph and got into St. Augustine public marina about 6:30pm.

We then spent about 2 hours scrubbing Sea BLyS inside and out to get rid of all the mashed in love bug guts. We still have work to do on that front but we’ll do more tomorrow. No love bugs in St. Augustine that I can detect. Hallelujah!!!!!

We’re off to Jekyll Island, GA tomorrow. We will try to get an early start at 7:30 so that we can get in by 3 or 4 pm. We might actually have dinner at a normal hour, instead of 9pm like tonight. And yes, Jim was ready to eat the table at the restaurant by the time we got there.
So off to bed now. Will try to write more tomorrow and post some pics.

Day 7

Quick post because today is Thursday, we’ve got our new captain, Vaughn, on board and we’ll be looking at our charts to figure out our first run up to St. Augustine. We’ll be going out in the ocean.

Yesterday was a massive love bug day. I have pics. Will post when I get a chance. It was so disgusting!!!!! Gotta go.

Day 6

Tuesday was the day of punch list repairs. The A/C guys showed up around 10 and were supposed to be done by 11 so that we could take the boat out and get some more training. I thought that was an optimistic timeline because they were replacing, not fixing, the defective unit. Well let’s just say that they didn’t leave until about 6 pm. They had to take a whole wall of cabinets out to get to the unit and then lift it out. No easy task to lift it out since it weighed a ton. Long story short. They got it done, or at least we thought they had gotten it done. More on that in a bit.

With only two guys, our water leak and cockpit door issues did not get addressed. We were not happy with that because it might mean that we would lose another day of training. The plan yesterday, Tuesday, was to pick up our captain, Vaughn, on Thursday morning and head for St. Augustine by noon on Thursday. Our dealer arrived at around 11am on Tuesday and started managing the punch list, or more precisely the Regal people to make sure that everything got done. We had to adjust our training (again) to make that happen. Rather than going out first thing with Tommy on Wednesday, today, for training, we would give all the Regal people until 10 to finish the repairs. I’m writing this blog at about 8:50am and a whole slew of people are here working on the boat. But I still don’t think they’re going to be done by 10, mainly because I think the cockpit door is going to take considerably more time to fix than an hour. Time will tell. But if we lose more training time today and the repairs take longer, then we’ll just postpone our departure date. We allowed a lot of time to make this trip, and while we really would like to get underway on Thursday we’re not going to leave unless we feel comfortable handling the boat and are confident that all major repairs have been completed and done correctly.

But Thursday was not a total waste in terms of training. After the A/C guys finally left we took the boat out for some more docking practice. We decided that because we’ve lost so much training time, we will concentrate on Jim becoming proficient in docking the boat since he’s already done it a few times successfully. I’ll handle tying and untying the lines. So we spent about 2 hours last evening doing that.

While we were out we discovered that the new A/C unit either was not wired properly or needed to have its voltage setting reprogrammed. It was running fine before we left the dock. But when we were at the dock we were getting our electricity from the dock. When we leave the dock we get our electricity from the generator. Within about 2 minutes after we left the dock, the generator cut out. We reset it and it cut out again. It worked fine as long as the new A/C unit wasn’t on line. But as soon as it was, the generator cut out. We talked to the guys about it this morning and fortunately this seems to be an easy fix.

So that’s where we are right now. It’s 9:15 and the door and leak are still not fixed. But hey, we still have 45 minutes. I’ll try to post an update later and try to take and post some more pics of the boat later today.

Day 5

Monday was a day of problems and no training. Tommy, the Regal dealer who sold us the boat called us Sunday night to tell us that he was sick and would not be coming on Monday to continue our training. We learned later on Monday that he went to the emergency room on Sunday night but they found nothing wrong. He contacted us and told us he was still in pain but that he would come on Tuesday.

Great. That meant we had a day where we could do other stuff but we wouldn’t have more practice running and docking the boat. As it turned out we had no trouble filling the day with other things but we both wish we had had the additional training time.

So we did other things like laundry at the marina laundry room, grocery shopping (again), shopping at the boat store (again), shopping at Home Depot and Ace Hardware (both new), and shopping at an automotive store. We grabbed lunch around 2:30 or 3. We were both starving. Then we had the glass tint guy come by because there were scratches in the tint. The A/C guy came by because the cockpit A/C unit was not working properly. Bent fan shaft, which needs to be replaced. That guy is supposed to be here this morning (Tuesday) to do that. The seal on the cockpit door is coming loose so that needs to be looked at and we’re getting some water in the drawer that holds the plates. We hope to get that looked at today too.

Then of course we had to deal with the love bugs again yesterday. Jim and I vacuumed the cockpit and washed down the decks about three or four times. I got down on my hands and knees and scrubbed the cockpit floor because they were getting ground into the flooring. All of that took up a fair amount of time. And Jim did his engine room checks, which are a daily occurrence.

So it’s Tuesday morning and no A/C guy yet. Tommy emailed us that he will be getting into Orlando at 8:30 this morning so we should get some running time on the boat today.

Will post more later.

Davy 4

Sunday. We started again this morning at 9 with Frank. First, we sat with Frank about safety, navigational rules and we went over a lot of the features fo the electronic navigation -and GPS system. Jim loved that. We wnt over our undocking procedure and then Jim took her out of the slip while Frank and I untied the lines.

Our first training exercise was to go through a small lock that sits just west of our marina. To go through a lock, you need to approach to a waiting area and then call the lock master on the radio and let them know that you want to go through. There is a red flashing light that tells you you must wait until the lock master determines that you can go through. So we have to wait. That doesn’t sound like a big deal, and it wouldn’t be in flat water with no wind or current. We had the flat water and minimal current but we had a very stiff wind (15-20mph) out of the west because of the storm that went through last night. When Jim approached the lock he was on the right side of the channel a little close to some pilings and shallow water. He was doing a good job of holding Sea BlyS in position, but the wind kept pushing him over to the pilings. frank suggested that Jim move the boat sideways to the center of the channel. We can do that with this boat because it has a joystick that will allow this type of maneuver. Jim attempted the sideways move and in the second or two it took the boat to respond Sea BlyS moved dangerously close to the pilings. Jim took her out of joystick mode and tried to turn her but that just moved us closer to the danger zone. frank jumped in and backed us out of there. It all happened very quickly and I think it’s fair to say that it got jim’s blood pumping! Actually I thin Jim lost about 10 years off his life as he envisioned Sea BlyS crashing into pilings and beaching on the shoals. But we were good and we had no further problems waiting for the lock to open. We entered the lock tied up and left it with out incident.

From there we headed through a canal and out into the Indian River and then into the ICW. We practiced anchoring and then headed back to the dock. I took over the helm as we got close to the canal and then took us through the lock again. I didn’t think I was ready to put her into the slip given the wind conditions so jim took over and backed her into the slip while Frank and I handled the lines. We made it back in one piece, which is always a good thing.

After that we went over more boat maintenance and navigation stuff and Frank gave us his recommendations for places to stop on our way north. It was about 6pm and just the right time for us to go out and run some errands. So more shopping for boat stuff and supplies. We got back to the boat around 8 and started to make dinner. We were starving, needless to say. Ate dinner and then did some more boat stuff until about 10. Time for bed!!!

Jim and Frank
Jim Vacuuming Up Love Bugs



Sea BLyS

 The other major item for today was the love bugs. We knew it was going to be a bad, bad day for these guys because when we got up in the morning, the aft areas of the boat which are open to the air were covered with them and I mean covered with them. They were everywhere. You could not walk out of the cockpit without killing hundreds just by walking. When we we’re leaving the dock I lifted my heel off of one of my flip flops and immediately the heel area was covered with love bugs. When we were returning to the dock and were tied up in the canal they were swarming all over, landing on my nose, on my eyes, going down my shirt. It was disgusting. When we got to the dock, the boat was once again covered with them as soon as we finished tying her up. Now the cockpit is enclosed but it is not air tight, so even though we closed the doors they still got in. We must have vacuumed the cockpit three or four times to get rid of them. Finally i stuffed paper towels all along the edge where the cockpit roof hits the sides. That helped, but they were still coming in. I have to say this inundation of love bugs is really putting a damper on our stay down here. Last night was a beautiful night and it would have been wonderful to sit pushed on the aft deck, but we couldn’t unless we wanted to be covered in love bugs. We hope there are fewer of them tomorrow!

Day 3

Our second day with Frank – our captain from Regal.  First thing in the morning. I am up checking the engines – oil, coolant, and water strainers on both engines and on the generator – and then checking the transmission fluids.

Frank spends time teaching A all about knots – cleating. clove hitch and bowline.  We all discuss the proper way tie up a boat. Then it’s off to practice docking. We go to the end of a pier (actually the fuel dock) and begin practicing on the T.  I bring the boat in to dock as if we were picking up fuel.   This turns out to be really easy.  After my second time docking, It’s A’s turn.  She too does great.  After her second turn, it’s my turn for something a little more difficult.  This time, I am to back in toward the dock, as if it were a slip.  I need to keep the dock steady, using two fenders on the dock as a guide.  Wouldn’t be too difficult if there was a strong wind blowing off the starboard stern. Nonetheless, I keep it pretty steady. 
after a second attempt. it’s A’s turn again.

A does fine on her first attempt but on the second, she has a lot more trouble holding the boat steady.  The wind has picked up and it is definitely difficult to hold her steady.  Frank tells us he wants to try it to see whether it is the wind or A.  After docking effortlessly, he says nothing.  Oh well.

Meanwhile, the cockpit air conditioning has a problem.  Definitely not working properly and Frank is not happy.  He is on the phone with the technician. 

Meanwhile, I am taking the boat up the canal.  Then it’s time for the real thing.   Frank points at an open slip and tells me to dock the Sea BLyS.  And so I do.  Amazingly, all that training pays off.  Once we pull back out, I begin to breathe again.  Then we head back down the channel – A at the wheel.  Then we turn and head back to the dock.  Frank says we are going to practice some more docking.  Just then a big streak of lightning flashes in front of us.  Time to head in.

I take the controls and start heading toward the slip.  As we turn into the pier, the weather is still holding.  I cruise down the pier to our slip which is against the sea wall.  And then the wind hits with 40 mph gusts.  i have the helm and it’s time to dock.  As I turn to it back into the slip, the wind is really gusting off the sea wall.  Slowly, very slowly, we back in.  I have the boat close to the leeward post, so A can grab the line on the post to secure to our bow.  She gets the line and begins to cleat it but she has it over the railing.  She has to untie it and do it again.  the wind is pushing us heavily into the pole but I am able to keep it off barely.  A finally get the line right (and I have not yelled out loud) and a gust hits.  I push us away just as the boat kisses the pole.  we continue to back in and Frank takes care of the other line.  Unknown to me at the time since I am facing the stern, a micro burst hits and a small waterspout forms off the bow.  But we are in.  We are safe.  The boat is fine.  I am completely exhausted.

A here.  Jim did a great job docking the boat for the first time in really difficult conditions. It was pretty hairy.  The raindrops started falling just as we were tying up the boat. But even though we were in the dock and all was secure, our day wasn’t over.  We probably spent another hour with Frank going over how to tie up the boat and other things.  He didn’t leave until about 6.  We then showered and went out to eat at around 7:30 and then had to go shopping for more boat stuff and food at Target and the local grocery store.  We didn’t get back to the boat until around 10.  We were both exhausted by that time but still sort of keyed up over the docking adventure.  So we probably turned in around 11, which as you know is way past Jim’s bedtime.  It was another long day just like the other long days we’ve had since we got here.  Will post about our adventures on Sunday later tonight.  Also have some pics!!!!

Day 2

Today the training began. Frank, the Regal captain, showed up around 9AM. We spent nearly two to three hours in the engine room – reviewing every component, switch and filter. I was down in the room with Frank; A was above taking copious notes. We checked oils, coolants, filters, batteries, and switches.

Then it was off to sea. We untied and Frank took us out of our narrow slip. A and I were not to be trusted yet. We went out to the ship channel and played with the IPS drives – turning the Sea BLyS in tight circles, moving sideways, getting a feel for the joystick. A and I took turns driving with the joystick. Then we headed out to the ocean. We cruised by the submarine base at minimum wake speed – about 5 knots.

Then we hit the ocean. The sky was blue, the water was blue, A was white. The seas were about 3-5 feet. Not huge but our first adventure with ocean waves. I took her up to about 10 knots, caught a wave off the starboard bow, and the boat took a big hit. it got the adrenaline flowing. Frank quickly suggested a litle more speed and with an adjustment of the trim tabs, the ride was smoother, still a little bumpy. I did feel that I got the hang of it. Then A took over. She did great – but her jaw was firmly clenched. She and Sea BLys settled down and A took it back into the harbor.

As we neared the marina, there was a lot of congestion – boats waiting for the fuel dock. as we cruised by the marina, Frank asked A where it was. She pointed ahead, as it passed off out stern.. Guess we need to know not just where we are going but where we have come from – the sea is very philosophical.

frank docked the boat for us. Tomorrow we dock!!!

The adventure continues.

PS Yesterday A spoke of the bugs. They are called love bugs down here. They are born, they “love”, they die – just not soon enough.