The "Windwalker"

The Daily Log at Key West
Dec 16, 2003 - Jan 24, 2004

Date -
Made Good
Daily Log Comments
Tue, Dec 16
W by SW
5:30, 60s, NE 5, 30.1 and falling. Up and gone at first light for Key West. After a good day mostly outside the keys I anchored at Key West 60 days after leaving Rouse's Point, NY at the US border - as far up and as far down as you can get in the contiguous US - Anchored at end of point south of bight at Fleming Island. During the day I ran the starboard tank empty about 1pm switching to the port tank. I am anchored in about 12 feet of water with about 100 feet of scope, 120 feet from shore and 150 from another boat, sitting quiet. Took water taxi in to shore - $5 -Located fuel and water dock, library and internet access - located meeting club, and 5:30 meeting, had a hamburger and fries. A young couple living aboard gave me a ride back in their dinghy at 8:15. Walked about 30 blocks in town.
Wed, Dec17 Now begins the task of getting things in order.
First, get logs since Sandy Hook Oct 28 into new computer, then get old computer re-activated and data transferred. FTP domain updated.
2nd - when calm (which will not be this week as northers are forecast through Saturday) stand mast, remove genoa and repair damage.
3rd - Design Dodger, winch location and line handling, eliminate excess gear, restore order inside and thorough cleaning.
4th - Arrange for haulout.
9am - Wind has shifted to NW with no protection and picking up - howling - chop building.
Noon - Really rocking and rolling, 2 feet of chop.
3pm - really hammering, dragged hook maybe 40 feet, let out another 25 feet of scope. It rocked and howled and banged all the rest of the day without letup and more is forecast. Spent all day anchor checking and entering the log into the new computer.
Thur, Dec18 Awake at first light after sleeping well, except for a couple anchor checks during the night. All OK. Ran the engine 2 hours to recharge battery which was almost run out from mast anchor light and computer charger all yesterday and last night. Finished entering logs to here about 11am. Water right now is fairly calm, winds NE about 10-5... Anchor roller worked the bolts loose, tightened them. Put up a tarp aft to see if it would lessen the sailing at the hook. Maybe a little??? Called the water taxi and went to town about 1pm, internet at library, emailed that I had arrived in Key West.. steak dinner at Denny's.. Joined the Anchors Aweigh Club and made the 5:30 Southernmost Group my homegroup. Back to the boat at 7:30. Filled and set the anchor light. Wind light now, water mostly quiet, hope it stays that way through the night. Installed camera card reader and moved images from camera onto hard disk into Images folder.
Fri, Dec 19 Wind picking up at first light woke me at 6:15. NW 10-15kts, 60s, 30.18. Wind slacked some after sunrise about 7:15. Missed a ride to town at 7:30. Going in to find a cheap bicycle and get the lay of the key, check out the city marina at Garrison Bight for a better anchorage, and locate a slipway. Went to town at 8:10 after the taxi returned, walked to club, got last half of meeting, Malcolm disappeared, he was to sell me a used bike. Another fellow had one for 45$ for bike, chain and lock and I bought it after waiting 2+ hours for Malcolm to return. Rode to City Marina to see if they had mooring, none, but check regularly as they come open regularly. It would be nice as where I am rocks and rolls. Returned to the boat at 5pm. In town I bought a barn lantern for anchor light, it seems to stay lit in gusts, we will see. Also bought some mini 1/2 w - 12v bulbs and soldered one to a cable that will plug into the cigarette lighter. They are the backup.... I started the engine to charge batteries, #2 was low, at 5:20. Light is fading fast. I also bought a juice saving econolight for interior light while I am reading or running the computer, draws 15 watts and gives 60W light. At 5:30 the wind was from the north at 10 and the chop was one foot. 7pm - re-rigged the tarp to make somewhat of an aft sail, seems to help a little to slow down the sailing at the hook.
Sat, Dec 20 Cold low 50s, calm, 30.2. Laid in bed until 7:30. Work day cleaning up and straightening out, putting away. Light breeze about 8:15 from the NE. Slow start trying to figure out what to do first. Cleaned the galley area first. Wind backed to NNW about 9:15 and picked up to 10kts. Galley in order and cleaned, fixing potatoes and onions. Cleaned and restored order on table and Nav Station by noon. The wind picked up to 15 and the sky is clear. Hook is holding well. Tried to start old computer, inverter just will not handle it if battery is low. Started engine at noon. I have to find the high resistance connection from the battery to control panel through the starting switch to the solenoid. Maybe I can shorten the cabling. Took out about 10 feet of cable and 2 sets of connectors in the line. Started engine, with no hesitancy of the solenoid or switch. Spent rest of afternoon re-activating the old computer.. problem seems to be that the second hard drive has crapped out, boot record is faulty, Norton is attempting to correct it. If that doesn't work, I will just disconnect it.. had all my old Word files .. and old miscellaneous, most of which I haven't looked at in years. And a lot of AA history files I hadn't htmled yet. Maybe I can recover some with Norton after the boot record is fixed, or maybe not at all??? Cad Work and Barefoot's World are intact. Have to run the engine all the time the old box is being worked on as the inverter can't keep up with its power draw. At sundown the wind is picking up to 15+, beginning to rock and roll. Norton has been at work for 1.5 hrs, will let it run one more, then disconnect the drive and get the box running without it, then salvage what I can from the other partitions. Norton didn't make the repair. Will remove the drive in the morning and then do what I can. It is 7:30, the wind is beginning to howl and the chop is building.
Sun, Dec 21 Cold 50s, N wind 10-15, 30.22. Up at 7:30 with sun streaming in. Made coffee and promptly ran one propane bottle empty. Switched tanks and heated water to fill thermos, and bathe. Will have to locate fuel dock that has water, diesel and propane. Warmed cabin, bathed and then proceeded to work on old computer. Diconnected the dead drive and the old box came alive - Damn Howdy - can salvage what is needed for the new computer. Will need RW disks and the engine running. Did that. Transferred Barefoot's World and ALL the VCAD files. Started editing this log file. At 3:30 called for water taxi to go to meeting but he never showed, so continued editing. Shut down about 7:30. Beef soup and crackers and peanut butter, read a little while listening to Eddie Arnold album, and went to bed with 5-10kt winds rocking the boat.
Mon, Dec 22 Laid in bed after first light until 7:30. Warming a little, high 50s, small gusts NE to 10kts, 30.22. Promptly made coffee and began the finishing of the log edit, working on it all morning. Have not been able to raise the water taxi on the radio. May have to take the dinghy in, but the water is choppy. Need to get a "senior" ID card from the bus office and a month's bus pass. Finally got athe taxi, the bus ID and a month pass, then to my meeting. Called Casey in London. Bought a few necessities at the grocery on the way back to the boat at 9pm. Wind light N 5kts. Hot chocolate and oatmeal cookies before bed.
Tue, Dec 23 First light, 6:45, calm NE, 60s, 30.15. Early morning prepared mast and rigging to be raised. I let it down with the sheet which, but it isn't coming up so easy, lot more strain than I calculated. Need to reinforce the winch mount. Will rig a pair of blocks to reduce tension on winch by half. How to get up the crutch to attach a snatch block is the problem?? Ah haa!! C clamp steps! Mast stood up by 1pm and rigged and all the lines neatened by 3pm. Winching it up is a bear of a job single handed. Loose genoa sail hook hooked the jib stay. Will unhook it in the next day or so. Right now wakes are rocking things a bit. When I get into a boat yard and on the hard, I have a number of cable and sail modifications to make. Mast will have to come down again. With the mast up the boat faces the wind better and sails at the hook less. Spent the last two hours daylight and a hour after dark sponging out the bilges trying to spot the leak area in the main hull. It has to be around the keel bolts. Beef stew and tea for dinner. Checked out a few of the icons on the computer. Most I will scrub. Boat sitting quiet and with mast up is behaving well. To bed.
Wed, Dec 24 4:30, calm-light 1-2kts WSW, 60s, 29.9 rising, raining, lightning. Woke with boat bumping bottom gently at low tide. Pulled in some scope, will have to re-anchor at first light. Laid down all standing for about 45 minutes, then back up at 6, started engine in preparation for move and to re-charge the batteries. Until tide turns about 6:30 the stern will be close to shore. 7am - re-anchored further back in channel, not too happy with it, Boat wakes keep the boat rocking. I will probably move again. With mast up keel bolt leaking more. 8:30 - took a tour up along Fleming Island, and anchored just north of the bight in 10 feet, a couple of hundred yards off shore, a half mile from where I was. Will see how this holds until after Christmas, then make a decision to get up on the hard to make repairs and changes. Went to town about 2:30, Club, Subway, Internet café to send Xmas greetings, and back to the club for the 5:30 meeting. Acquired a new sponsee to help work his way through the steps. Atalked with him for about 2 hours, Returned to boat at 9:15. Wind picking up from the N - 10kts. Leak took on about 3 gallons during the afternoon and evening. Will bail it in the morning. Filled and cleaned the anchor light, lit and hung it out. Tea, cookies and a bananna and to bed.
Thur, Dec 25 6:30, 5-10kts NNE, 60s, 30.07, some overcast. Bathed, gathered dirties, zipped old gdrive, and transferred to laptop. Waited on water taxi to go to town 9:00. As usual 1/2 hour late. Caught them bus to the club - free during the holidays - and caught two meetings. Had a marvelous dinner, the works, and between meetings I got my laundry done. Spent most of the day talking with and getting to know the new sponsee, Jim L. We left the club together to walk to the bus stop, and caught different buses at 7:00. Caught the water taxi aat 7:15, and now it is just 7:30. A marvelous day of love and understanding and joy in each other in the fellowship. NE wind light, but cool.
Fri, Dec 26 7:00, Wind light ENE, 65, 30.13, some overcast. Worked all morning on getting files from old computer, zipping and copying to CD, then copying to laptop. Opened all the hatches to air out hulls. A lot of condensate in the amas. I will have get up on the hard soon. Starboard ama has 3" and port 2" of water, main is leaking about 10 gallons a day. Hung the sleeping bag out to air. Tried to start the portable generator, noluck, will need fresh gas and starting fluid. Spent most of the afternoon computering and trying to recover my cardfiles. Bailed about 25 gallons from various spots in the hulls. Probably another ten trapped where I couldn't get to it without a shopvac. I am finding it a real pain in the ass working with this Windows XP and Netscape 7 compared to old Win98 and Netscape 4.79. Dinner of topraman and crackers and peanut butter, and to bed at 10. All quiet tonight.
Sat, Dec 27 7:00, Wind light 5-10NE, 67, 30.12, clear. Started computer while waiting for coffee. Real Player has lost a file, PNCRT.DLL. Tried finding it on other disks. Found and fixed. Spit bathed and breakfasted. Opened all the hatches. I need to inventory all the things I can do without expense before I get up on the hard. Not much. Started a list. Went to town at 1:30, bus to shopping center, and back twice. Club at 4:25 and meeting at 5:30. Walked back down to water taxi dock and waited from 7pm to 10:15. Had dinner while waiting, and caught an hour snooze laying on the dock out of the wind, E at 10-20kts. Too old to be doing that. On boat at 10:25. Bailed the bilge and to bed.
Sun, Dec 28 7:10, Wind light 5-7E, 68, 30.15, clear. Slow start this morning. Got genset running about 8:45 with starting fluid. Shopvaced the hulls, port ama seems to be not taking any more water. Did the trimming on the head door, and started the rework of the hatch cover hinging. About quarter way through today's projects I fixed myself a big lunch and took a nap. Finished head door about 2:45. Boat has been rocking all afternoon, making it hard to work. Wind about E 15kts. Checking power panel found that inverter to fuse post not soldered. Fixed. 4:15 - getting ready to rain. Storm clouds coming from the east. Hatches closed. 5:00 -- couple of biplanes doing acrobatics and dogfighting over bay. Good pilots, one exceptional, did lumsevak free fall. One plane a Stearman, the other has a modern engine and design and can fly straight up hanging on the prop, I estimate climb rate over 2500ft/min. Both leaving smoke trails on occasion. 5:30 -- Wind picking up NNE 10-15kts. Worked from then to 8 on getting Barefoot's World updated so it can be uploaded to the web.
Mon, Dec 29 7:00, Wind light 5-7E gusting to 20 during the night, 68, 30.08, overcast. Woke with low back aching. Worked all morning on Windwalker pages until 2:30. Prepared to go on shore. Caught a ride with a passing boat that was intrigued with the aft mast rig layout. Walked to library for internet and email. Went to club and 5:30 meeting. Jim (sponsee) showed up about 6:45 and we talked over sandwich at Subway until I had to catch the bus. On way out on water taxi a fellow told me about solar cell garden path lights at Kmart or Home Depot - 2 for $20 - that he is using for anchor lights. Back on boat at 8:45. Bailed the bilge. 70F and near calm, very gentle E breeze when I got on board. Picking up a little now about 9:15 from the NE. Hot chocolate and to bed.
Tue, Dec 30 7:10, calm, 68, 30.13, sullen overcast. Tide ebbing. Slow start, lethargic, haven't figured out the next indicated thing to do. Bathe. Brush teeth. Breakfast. Clean up the place. Restore order. Bail the bilges. Charge batteries. Worked on the computer until 2:40 getting pages up to date and a set of CDs for Bro Mike and Casey with Windwalker pages and Mom's 90th birthday photos, and a CD Backup of Barefoot's World with a copy of FTP so I can upload pages to the net. Continued until working on pages and computer until 7:30, then bed.
Wed, Dec 31  7:15, light SE 3-5kts, 70, 30.2, overcast. Last day of the year. Low back still giving me fits, woke me a number of times and had to get up for a minute or two to stretch it out. To town and iternet to upload pages, post office to send CDs to Bro Mike and Casey. Got a PO box for 6 months. Address --
Bob Hardison
PO Box 625
Key West, FL
Then to Kmart to buy solar light to use as anchor light and RW CDs, and on to the club for the day. Tried to help a wet one through the night at the Alkathon, laid down covered with an old sheet with newspaper under me in the pea-gravel in the garden after midnight and the New Year. Got about 4 hrs rest. He split after the meeting at 2am.
Thur, Jan 1, 2004 -- New Years Day  Woke in the gravel about 7. Light SE breeze, 68, overcast and light misting. I waited for Jim to show at 8 for the early meeting, and came to the boat about 10:45. Rigged the new anchor light, entered this bit in the computer and went to bed to catch up. Woke at 3:45 and worked on the computer until 9pm.
Fri, Jan 2, 2004  7:15, 72, 30.2, ENE at 3kts, part cloudy. Pictures I took yesterday of the boat in Key West harbor did not turn out well, will do them over. Went intotown about 11:30, cheched the email, uploaded some changes, and went to the club. Bill, the man I worked with New Years night showed up about 3:30 sober and we had a good meeting. Jim showed in time for meeting also and I left them talking with each other at 7 to ride the bicycle down to the harbor. Waited for the water taxi with 6 others. On board at 8 in the drizzling rain. The solar anchor light was on and working well. I have had the sneezes-by-jeezes all day. Took a Sudafed, seems to have helped. Fixed dinner. Ran the engine for a half hour, worked a bit on the computer and went to bed at 9.
Sat, Jan 3  7:20, 70, 30.22, ENE 3-5kts, clear. Seemed like a long night, was up a couple of times after 4am. I think this cold I have will be a lulu unless it gets treated. Somewhere on this boat is some indian carrot (lomatium dissectum) to treat it with. Found it and started treatment. Worked all afternoon and to midnight eliminating the old PF phone number from the pages.
Sun, Jan 4  7:00, 72, 30.2, ENE 3-5kts, clear. Cold is better and I don't feel stove in. Stayed on the boat all day, working at "final" cleanup of pages, and nursing a snotty nose. Fixed pancakes and spam for brunch and twice too much potatoes and onions and spam for dinner. Will have the rest for breakfast. I must get groceries tomorrow. Worked on psges until 11.
Mon, Jan 5  7:30, 70, 30.21, SE light breeze, Mostly clear. About 9 I floated the anchor rode, tied the dinghy to it and cast off for the fuel dock. A big freighter was being turned in the turning basin, and the tugs made a bunch of swirling currents. Waited a few minutes until they were clear and made my way on in. Took 23.6 gal of diesel and about 80 gal of water on. $39.66, not bad. Last place I fueled was North Palm Beach. 260 miles or more plus all the running time to charge batteries. I think the last time I filled the water tanks was at Great Bridge, VA, nearly 2 months ago. I returned about 10:15, picked up the rode with the boat hook, got it all tangled in the dinghy painter, but got the rode secured and the dingy tied off astern. Then I modified the boat hook so it can't get tangled again by sawing off a end hook that is damn sure not needed. Later I discovered that one of the keys for the engine is lost. Will get a couple more made. Ate the rest of the potatoes and unions for brunch. Went to town at noon, uploaded all the changed pages, then rode bus out to Albertsons and back to club after buying groceries. Bill was there, sober 5 days and smiling. Jim showed after work about 7:15, we talked as I walked down to catch the bus. Waited at bus stop 40 minutes, rode down to waterfront, caught the water taxi within 10 minutes and was on the boat with groceries put away by 9:15. Good day all the way around.
Tue, Jan 6  7:30, 71, 30.2, SE, clear. Slow start, worked at editing, had breakfast, bailed and vacuumed the bilges. In the process of bailing the bilges I found I can not lift the kingpost the way I had thought. Have to get a new idea. Apparently what has happened is the lumber used in making the kingpost has dried some more and shrunk 3/8". Keel bolt behind king post still leaking a couple of gallons a day, with no access to tighten. The only solution I see at present is to dismount the mast, remove the king post, tighten the bolt, re-install the post with a shim under it, wedged tight against the keelson. This I can do after I get up on the hard. Made a small bit of progress today cleaning up the mess I have created inside the boat. Worked from 8 to 11 thinking out design of dodger and rethinking the list of things to do and buy. 11:30 - NE wind up to 15kts, aft mast weather vaning bost nicely.
Wed, Jan 7  6:45, 66, 30.13 rising, N 15-22, Overcast. Rocked all night. Winds will shift today to NE near 25kts during day. SCA in effect. Back to bed for an hour, no energy. Prepared to go to town. Laundry, check on documentation, upload changes, check mail box, mail computer rebate forms, club and meeting. Took 2 hours to raise water taxi on vhf. Wet ride in, soaked. Did laundry, mail, internet for 1/2 price at Gardi's, printed out some 4th step guidelines for Jim and Bill. Lunch at Subway, to club and meeting. Neither Jim or Bill showed by time I had to leave for bus at 7:15. Got down to taxi dock in time to watch a drunk wake up from sleeping on the bench, stagger around about 10 steps and fall off the dock into the water. It was all I could do to pull him in, dead weight, lifting him about 5 ft from the water. Others arrived about 5 min after. And he damn near froze riding out on the taxi to his boat, but even so it didn't sober him much. Another wet ride, and I am soaked again from the waist down. Wind at 9:30 now out of the NE about 20, but some protection from Fleming Island. Seems to be slacking some.
Thur, Jan 8  7:30, 65, 30.2, ENE 10, clear. Weighed myself this morning. I have lost a lot of weight, down from normal 195 to 170. I need to eat better, three meals a day, instead of two. Ate a good breakfast, bathed and prepared to go to town. Had the battery switch set wrong, damn near ran both batteries down, but got engine started using both. Had spare engine key made in town $8. Went to club, Jim and Bill both showed, gave them guidelines, went to Gardi's and showed them web pages. Had Subway for lunch. Made 5:30, back to dock, was telling about last night's drunk falling in, didn't know he was sitting there in the dark. He was sober with his head hanging in shame. Maybe it will give him something to think about???? Out to boat at 8:10. Started engine to charge batteries, ran for an hour. Wind from ENE 10kts, boat steady. Chili, crackers, fruit cocktail, and hot chocolate for dinner.
Fri, Jan 9  7:45, 67, 30.18, ENE 2, clear. Boat rocking like made from power boat wakes. Gut cramps during night, too many jalapenos on the Subway. To town about 10:30, spent a couple of hours on the net looking up prices on winches etc. Club, meetings, back to boat at 8. Calm before the storm, heavy NW winds expected tomorrow.
Sat, Jan 10  7:00, 69, 30.05, NW 4, part cloudy, front coming in from north. Gusts to 25 hit at 7:35. Boat wheeled around and faced right to the wind as front crossed. Chop quickly built to 2 feet. Rock and roll time. Good day to stay aboard and inside. Back to bed to read, mostly dozed until 11. Hook may be slipping some, a few feet??? Seas occasionally to 3 feet making things bounce a bit. Weather reports N 20 gusting to 26, veering to NE tomorrow. At 12:15 a big one rolled under the boat, and the hook is holding. Wind is down "some" but still whistling. 4:45, sun going down and the wind coming up, 25 gusting to 30. Mostly whiled the day away, didn't accomplish anything. Going to nap now as I am sure to have to anchor watch through the night. NOAA says the worst is yet to come. Nap was not very long, rocking and rolling, so programmed my notes on the 1995 San Diego Convention that I found in my archives after being lost since 1995. 8:30, really bouncing around, but wind doesn't seem that strong, must be wakes or the tide current has turned us part sideways to the waves.
Sun, Jan 11  6:30, 60, 30.15, N 15 gusting to 22, overcast, cold. Rough chop. Had coffee and went back to bed. 8:15, crawled out again. Wind slacked a little. Was up 3 times during the night checking position and anchor - holding fine. 11:00 - Wind has veered to NE, and slowed, riding easier. Sun is coming out. Spent a couple of hours learning how to copy CDs, loaded Minolta digital camera software, and unloaded it. Cleaned up and organized the computer better. Did some cabin cleanup and organizing too. Sundown at 6, fixing dinner. Wind and waves much quieter.
Mon, Jan 12  7:30, 62, 30.2, NE 5-10, clear. Sloshing in the water tanks woke me at 6, but went back to sleep. Didn't bail bilge yesterday, but even so only took on 2 gal in one section between frames 11 and 12. Went to town about 9, internet, hardware store for hatch hinges $65, club for meetings, got a shower for the first time in a month, spitbaths just wouldn't anymore. Jim grought me a sandwich from his work for dinner about 7:20, then walked with me down to Caroline and Duval before heading back to the club for the 8:30 meeting. Caught the water taxi back to the boat by 9:15. The fellow I fished out of the water the other night, sober tonight, rode out with us. Had a good talk with him while waiting for the taxi. Finished the rest of the sandwich with some hot chocolate and went to bed.
Tue, Jan 13  7:30, 66, 30.25, the wind has veered directly E at 2-5kts, clear, a beautiful, delightful day. Prepared to go to town at noon. Wind has veered to SE about 3kts, nice. Rode into town with Arno and Nadia about 12:30. The usual all day. Wet cold ride back out at 8pm. Sure be glad when Arno gets the bigger water taxi back in operation, rather than riding around in the skiffs.
Wed, Jan 14  7:45, 65, 30.22, Wind NW 5kts, clear. Pay day, will go to town early, transfer money to savings, send Janice a check for $200 to pay on air ticket, see what the Canadian registry has responded on documentation, do whatever is necessary, bend hinges for hatches. To town at noon. Got meeting and went to internet. Canadian registrar faxed document to NVDC. Now we wait for documentation again. Pigeons doing fine, both doing 4th. Back to boat about 8:15. Soup for dinner.
Thur, Jan 15  6:45, 66, 30.15, calm, clear. Have decided to move the boat to a mooring offered at Stock Island if I can catch up with the fellow that offered it yesterday, $140/mo, but will save more than that on water taxi. Into town at noon, did not make contact with Jay for mooring, but spent most of a very pleasant day chatting, and homegroup. Back to boat by 7:45pm. Spent an hour or so editing.
Fri, Jan 16  7:15, 62, 30.12, calm, clear. One month in Key West. To town about 9am, Office Max at Key Plaza and bought a printer-copier-scanner unit, paper and USB cable for a total of $160. Spent afternoon at club setting up printer and meetings. Made arrangements for mooring at Boca Chica. Feeling punk, so I left club early and am back aboard at 7:45.
Sat, Jan 17  7:45, 64, 30.1, calm, clear. To town about 11:30 to check on location of Penisular Marina and mooring. Went out there, 2 hrs out and back, too isolated, decided not to take it. Jim and Bill at club, doing fine. Jim brought me dinner, helping me to eat better, treating the old man real good. Gonna fatten me up. Back on boat at 8pm
Sun, Jan 18  6:45, 66, 30.02, SE 10-15 all night, clear. Spent morning and afternoon editing and napping, feeling weak. It was a good thing I didn't go to town today. I had the engine running to charge the batteries when the hook dragged in a sudden westerly squall and downpour at 4pm, bumping in the shallow shore water off Fleming. I was able instantly to claw my way back out, just barely, dragging the hook until it re-set. I am clear of other boats at present but don't know by how much when the wind veers. Damn near lost the boat. Leaving the engine running until this clears up. Total soaked. More squalls coming in from west. NOAA issued a special report at 4:30. W to NW winds in excess of 35kts for the next hour or so. At 4:45 tried to raise and re-set the anchor, but whatever it is hooked in now is set hard. Will have to ride with it for now, until the wind and rain let up. 7:00pm - riding quiet now, dark dark, but I can see I am clear of other boats. Drizzling off and on. Broke my good glasses in the mad scramble. All this makes me think I had better move from Key West to Ft. Myers and a protected harbor, and somewhere where I can finish the work on the boat. 10:30 dead calm, water slick. 1:30 same
Mon, Jan 19  8:00, 68, 29.05, NW 3-5, overcast, light drizzle. Gal from next boat over brought me a note that Madeline on the boat behind me on mooring was worried that the hook micht drag again and I would drift down into her. So at 10am I moved the boat off-shore and up to the north end of the mooring field and added another 75 ft of scope. I have 22 under keel now, dropped the hook in about 16 and about 8:1 scope. I backed down on it hard. Seems to be holding. Another nasty cloud bank passing south of Key West, a mile south of me. 2:00 to town, did laundry, got Subway, internet and meeting. Caught 7:15 bus to dock and on board at 8 after wet ride around Christmas Tree Island delivering a couple of other folks. Sausage, spam, and sauerkraut. Wind picking up from the NW about 15-20kts and gusty, a little rock and roll tonight.
Tue, Jan 20  7:45, 65, 30.03, NW 10-15, Clear. Slept well, rocked all night, light chop. Potatoes, onions and spam for breakfast. Went out and around Christmas Tree, no anchorage that I liked, back to Fleming and anchored closer to town just north of the channel in about 12 ft. Have about 10:1 scope out. Backed down hard on the hook and it held. To town at 2:30, took hinges to Southernmost to be bent, to Albertsons for groceries, $96, and to club for meeting. Back to boat at 9pm. Put food away, made hot chocolate and fixed a bowl of soup. It is chill tonight, wind N about 15, choppy 2ft, and 60.
Wed, Jan 21  6:45, 60, 30.1, N-NE 5, mostly clear. Woke cold with stiff neck and headache, about half sick, and dinghy banging on boat. I have to get busy repairing and finishing all the work to be done. No yards here can haul the boat. Funds limited. Do what I can. Cabin and bedding damp, needs airing from humidity of last couple of days. Spent morning doing dishes and a little cleaning and bathing. Clean clothes and ready to go to town at 2. Beautiful day, 70s, gentle N breeze, and sunny. Made it to town aboout 2:45, club and internet. In meeting at 5:30 I felt like I was going to fall off my perch, weak. Walked down to pier and rode out to boat with Justin from the meeting. On boat at 7:15. Soup and bed. Up 30 minutes later, brought dinghy on board, was banging. Boat hanging stern to the anchor in the making tide, "sailing" back and forth, with wind 5-10 kts astern from the north, crazy, but swinging clear of a powerboat by 100 feet. Maintained watch until 9:30.
Thur, Jan 22  7:15 sunrise, 60, 30.15, N-NE 5-10, mostly clear. At 8:30 the wind up, 10-15kts, and choppy 1-2 ft. Sawed old busted shackle off the 45# Danforth. I opened hatches on amas, leaks have everything rusting and corroding. I must get on the hard soonerest and get the leaks fixed. To town at 1:39. Sent Casey email requesting funds to get up on the hard to fix. Bought chain and shackles $45, and picked up hinges for hatches, cost $65 to have 8 hinges bent to fit, 1 hr min. shop time.. Back on boat at 5:30. Rigged Danforth with new shackles and 20 ft of 5/16 in. chain. Wind 15-20 from NW but not too choppy. 8:30, getting rough when boat gets beam to the chop. 10:15, high tide, boat hanging normal to hook, riding smoother facing into wind. I have just about made the decision to move out of Key West for Ft. Myers Saturday or Sunday for a better harbor and a yard to haul out.
Fri, Jan 23  6:45, 61, 30.17, N 15, clear. Wind up woke me. Should veer NE later in the day for a little less chop. 8:15, current has shifted and it is rock and roll time. Too cool to work out in the wind, and too much rocking to do much inside but sit it out. Bailed the main bilge, 3 gallons in 3 days and the stbd ama, 40 gallons in a week. With the water out the boat is sitting better to the wind. Went to town at 1:30. Both Jim and Bill doing fine at meeting. Missed the 7:04 bus and walked the 15 blocks back to docks, picked up mail on the way. Back to boat at 8:15, and the water taxi wound my anchor rode around the prop, Arno had to dive to free it, took about 15 minutes. Arno said no damage or fraying of rode and I checked about 20 feet of it that I think was the section, but will inspect it again in the morning. Boiled my chicken noodle and rice soup over writing this. If it isn't one damn thing it is two others.
Sat, Jan 23  7:45, 59, 30.2, NE 5, clear. After I check the rode, I will go to town early, get charts of FL Gulf coast, so I can leave out Sunday morning for Ft. Myers. Went to town about 9:30, rode bike up to internet café after buying charts $60, answered email and pooped off the rest of the day at the club, 12n and 5:30, said my goodbyes for a while. Back on boat at 8:15. Water like a mirror, quiet. Fixed a good dinner and went to bed.
Sun, Jan 24
6:30, 62, 30.15, calm, clear. Power boat wakes got me up, was trying to stay in bed a little longer. Breakfast of corned beef hash. Up hook at 7:45. Set course for Ft. Myers. Shoaled out at low tide slack in channel north of Fleming, didn't reverse soon or hard enough. Set kedge anchor and waited for high tide in 3 hours. Broke off dinghy oarlock setting kedge, wood rotted. Definitely need new dinghy. Glued lock back in place, may not hold, too rotted. Came off the shoal at 9:45. Was out of the shoals at 10:30 into deep water. Changed coarse at 1:00 to 30° to quarter the chop as the wind backed from S to SE then East by 12:30 and it was rough on the beam. New course would also put me closer to shore and water I could anchor in for the night. Ran on after dark splitting a pair of stars on the forestay until I ran into 20 ft water and dropped the hook at 8:45. Position is 25:28:14N, 81:29:44W about 10 miles off shore. Definitely need new through the bulkhead ILLUMINATED compass with black characters on white card. This compass is not lit and white on black, impossible to read at night. I tried rigging a light but the domed lens just reflected the light without lighting the card much. Used flashlight to check course according to the pair of stars.

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