Thursday and Friday were maintenance and cleaning days aboard Beatitude. We changed the oil and filter in both auxiliary engines. We replaced both the Racor fuel filters and the engine fuel filters. We also adjusted the alternator belts on both engines. As I mentioned in a previous post, we were running on fumes as we entered Charleston Harbor last week. This was obvious as I changed the port fuel filter which was thick and black with debris and grime which was sucked from the bottom of the port fuel tank. No wonder the engine stalled a couple of times on the way in! Cindy and I also constructed portable screens for the two forward salon windows and the rear sliding window. They turned out pretty well and will hopefully allow some ventilation in the salon in the evenings without letting in all the insects and pests. Additionally, we did some general cleaning inside the vessel. I added to the cleaning list when I put my knee on the edge of the settee in the salon, somehow activating the fire extinguisher beneath and spraying this fine, sticky powder over half the salon. Oh my!
On Friday, we “Uber-ed” to the laundromat where we dropped off our laundry for their wash and fold service. The laundry at the marina was out-of-order. Five minutes after being dropped off, I realized Cindy had left both of our iPads in the back seat of the car. Of course, by the time I called, he was already on his way to downtown Charleston to pick up another customer. So, we walked over to West Marine for spare filters and had lunch at Steel City Pizza. Our driver agreed to come back over to pick us up to take us back to the marina, thereby reuniting us with our electronics. Thank God!
On Saturday morning, Cindy joined Shera (Argarbright) to help select materials for their kitchen remodel. Meanwhile, Justin brought over our new 6-person Winslow Super Light Offshore Plus Life-Raft. After securing the life-raft in its appropriate stern compartment, the ladies joined us for an afternoon sail on Charleston Harbor. There is a very strong current flowing through the marina and throughout the harbor. Initially, I was frustrated that I was only able to make about 5 knots or so in 15 knots of wind. My frustrations were relieved as I reversed direction and sailed with the current instead of against it, reaching over 9 knots! Charleston Harbor can be a pretty busy place to go for a sail, especially on a Saturday afternoon. Adding to the excitement of sailing along at 9 knots, was the challenge of dodging the other sailboats, tugs, and cargo ships that were coming and going. After a couple of hours on the water, we re-docked Beatitude (not without some difficulty given the strong current and wind blowing me off the dock) and enjoyed a nice Lasagna dinner.
Today, we awoke early and climbed into the car just before 5 a.m. to make our way to the Charleston International Airport for a 6-day trip to Daytona Beach. I’ll be working this week in the emergency department at Daytona’s Halifax Medical Center. This means I now have two locations at which I can do locums work. We arrived early, giving us the rest of the day to relax before a very busy week. For lunch today, we dined at the always fun Bubba Gump’s. We are staying on the beach, and from our oceanview room we watch the waves rolling in off the ocean. In a little over a week, we’ll be passing by in Beatitude just a few miles offshore.
This week will include lots of time in the emergency department for me. Cindy plans to take advantage of the proximity to Lakeland to visit with some old friends. We will also meet up with our good friends, Tim and Annie, while we are here. They are live-aboards here in Daytona who were previously in Titusville, where we had the opportunity to spend quite a bit of time with them when we returned from the Bahamas in April of this year.