After my shift in the emergency department last night, I reached the halfway point in my twelve-shift work marathon. Six down, six to go, as I prepare to go into work this evening. I am, once again, extremely grateful for the scheduling flexibility of my present position allowing me to come back to Lakeland to work a string of shifts consecutively which gives me time to be away for several weeks at a time cruising.
Our boat remains moored in Dinner Key Harbor in Miami (at least I think it does), while we are here in Lakeland. The thirty-six hours spent aboard before we left her were among the dreariest, windiest hours of our short cruising career. It rained for >24 hours straight and blew pretty steadily at 20 knots or so. The morning we left, however, was a bright and sunny, beautiful south Florida day. While we are away, Matthew, from AMPS, is doing a little installation work on Beatitude. He is installing our more energy efficient freezer, our new hot water heater, and our wifi booster this week. I’m excited to have those things taken care of before we return.
As mentioned previously, our cruising plans for the winter are to take off to the Bahamas for two or three months upon returning to Miami. The only delay we anticipated was waiting on a proper weather window to cross the gulf stream. Unfortunately, it looks like there will be an unanticipated delay as well. I noticed, a couple of weeks ago, that there was a separation between the hull and the deck along our transom. There is a strip of rubber that covers this joint ordinarily. This rubber has been slipping off revealing the separation. At first, I was unsure if I could just bond these two layers back together or whether a more significant repair would be necessary. Is this a serious problem, or a minor detail?
Well… I contacted my friend Brent Hermann, through whom we purchased Beatitude two years ago, about the problem. To do so may not have crossed my mind if not for a serendipitous meeting across the mooring field a few days prior. He was on a Lagoon 380 on one of the mooring balls next to our boat talking with a couple. I forwarded a few photos of the problem to Brent who then discussed it with Thierry Menetrier who works (like Brent) for The Catamaran Company, the worlds largest Lagoon Catamaran dealer in Ft. Lauderdale. Thierry is a Lagoon service expert. It now looks like, we will need to take Beatitude from Miami to Ft. Lauderdale upon returning to South Florida on November 5. I have no clue yet how long this will take, nor the extent of the problem, but I feel more comfortable having the expert take a look at the problem and recommend a solution. At this time, it doesn’t look like the boat will need to be hauled out, which I’m also thankful for.
Speaking of reasons to give thanks, the hurricane season, though not officially over until the end of November is winding down and our first season of cruising in the hurricane belt was uneventful. It is hard to believe that it has been nine years since a hurricane has made landfall in the state of Florida. Tropical Cyclones were the main worry when we were contemplating heading south to start our cruising adventures in August. We have been graciously granted great cruising weather over the last 3 months.