Our Kadey Krogen Trawler

Our Kadey Krogen Trawler

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Happy 2015

Out with the old and in with the new
A belated Happy New Year.  Finally a cooler day in Marathon provides motivation and allows time to catch up on holiday happenings for Erben Renewal. It took a few days to recover from our mad dash into Boot Key Harbor and then the usual crunch of holiday preparations consumed our days as we prepared for a visit by Paul and Amanda.  We truly enjoy all our visitors, but family is special. The kids are in the planning stages for a move to the west coast where opportunities for visits will be less frequent and more complicated, so we are grateful that they could come and spend a few days with us.  Steve organized a little diving.  Although the weather was not ideal, fish were caught and consumed. Happy holidays for all!

Now, thanks to the kids diving our car down here and returning in a rental, we have motorized land transportation for the duration.  Needless to say, the temptation to explore beyond the limited, comfortable-to-bike, range has distracted us from boat chores.  Of course, Steve is also easily distracted by offers to go fishing which he has magically cultivated among the friendly boats in the harbor.  Sometimes they even return with fish…. Otherwise our daily lives are pretty normal - laundry, dusting, polishing, varnishing, dusting, plus projects..... no lawn to mow but there is always something on the maintenance log.  The journey continues come spring.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Splash, Crack, Hop & Skip

Splash, Crack, Hop & Skip
Eight days on the hard ended with a return to the Indian River, but not without some excitement.  The boys worked flat out – literally flat on their backs much of the time - as they re-installed and tested the new parts on our formerly cracked stabilizer.  

The yard crew arrived with the mega ton lift to carry us back to the creek. As they eased the lift around Erben Renewal they “brushed” the water spigot – even a brush with a heavy lift was enough to crack the pipe.  For a while it looked like we might not need the lift to re-float the boat as the pipe fountain began to fill the yard.

Our confidence in the expertise of the yard crew was not shaken since they assured us that this only happens once in a great while.  They also seemed to enjoy the fun of digging out the pipe for the repair since all hands quickly rallied around to pitch in. We were, however, glad to finally see the boat safely back in the creek in spite of the extra water in the yard.

Although eight days seemed forever – we realize without the constant and superhuman effort of Scotty and Steve plus the crew in the yard, the Washburn ramrod, David,  who repeatedly ordered and expedited the offending parts, we could have been out of the water much, much longer.  To all we send a big thank you for the prompt and superior service. 

We are pretty sure things are in good order since after a brief sea trial, we headed south out the Fort Piece inlet. Seeing flat seas with light winds, we just continued for more than 24 hours to drop the hook behind Rodriguez Key just below Key Largo. Now this record-breaking run (for us) was not as crazy at it may seem.  By lucking into a nearly perfect weather window we managed to bypass the million bridges – ok 30+ - of South Florida.  Waiting for scheduled and unscheduled bridges and admiring their varied construction was interesting once, bearable twice, but to be avoided if possible on the third trip. A long night and day were a small price to pay for such an easy 180+ mile hop and skip. (P.S. Mr. Steve did take a nap before we headed out J)

Only a few days later than planned, we are now tucked up in our Marathon slip for the winter. The crystal clear water was too hard to resist on our way into Marathon, so we made a brief stop for lunch!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Hanging around Fort Pierce

Hanging around Fort Pierce
Well – maybe not “hanging” but perched. 

We were hauled out on schedule just after 8 AM on Monday – seven days ago and in the meantime we have been sitting in the yard alternately waiting for parts and uninstalling/installing the offending parts. A few mysteries have been sorted out over the course of the week as well and the galley slave managed to get a little holiday baking accomplished.  Over the course of the summer Steve has been chasing a slow incursion of water – and has been systematically troubleshooting the possible options.  Arch helped him remove the washer/dryer to check the port side stabilizer – the one that forcefully encountered the submerged log in the Erie Canal.  Seeing no evidence of water there, he moved on to other options – we may have mentioned our weeks of colorfully tinted water to determine if the water tanks were leaking? After disassembling the stabilizers to install the new seals which were scheduled for routine maintenance, the boys clearly saw that the log did indeed do serious damage to our port stabilizer innards. On first blush it was only the shaft and a few minor connectors, but on a second and closer look there were cracks in the housing – a hefty piece glued into the hull with nearly permanent 5200. Needless to say, the uninstall was a lengthy, sweaty and noisy process – Frank was left undisturbed, but sweet Annie (who has yet to hiss at the ace KK fix-it man) could not help mentioning she was not happy. The good news, it does appear that those cracks were the source of our extra water…..

Life on the hard in this working boatyard has been a change from our floating normal. Both cats wander outside and stare out the open transom door – we are not sure if they realize that there is no water out there. (But then we have never been sure they realize the boat is mostly on the water!)  It is a tall ladder climb to reach the gravel, our bikes and the local facilities. Fortunately the cats have not shown any interest in trying the ladder although they both do their daily circuit of the outside decks per normal.

This busy yard is constantly full of contractors and owners working on their boats.  Most start after 8 AM and finish about 5ish or when it is completely dark. Boats are lifted out of the water and returned with the 75ton lift that the operator runs remotely. Sanders and buffers, country music on several radios and the more than occasional train, add to the atmosphere.  Steve has soldiered on sanding, priming and painting a couple coats on our hull when he has not been bashing away at the cracked stabilizer.

We have been eating well since there is a handy Publix a short bike ride away and by extending our stay we were able to shop the award winning Farmer’s Market on the weekend. The very unpretentious Buoy 12A restaurant proved to offer meals that exceeded their glowing reviews.   And, in case all the smells from the galley cookie factory did not get us in the holiday mood, the local boat parade party added some seasonal festivities. The Cracker Boy Boatyard is located on Taylor Creek which offers a premier vantage point for the parade of boats with their festive lights and special effects. So the residents and staff host a party on their wharf and kindly included us.

When all the stars align and the new parts arrive and are firmly “fixed” in their respective spots, we will be re-floated and finally – if belatedly – head on south. When is the big question – but until then we remain at home on Erben Renewal.