June /July/Aug 2005
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June 2005

Just after we returned from our babysitting trip to Atlanta we received a call from friends that we had seen in a couple of years asking if we would help them sail their boat from Boca Chica, the Navy air field at Key West, to Ft. Pierce.  Mike was moving his family to the Jacksonville area to pursue his masters degree and wanted to moor his boat at the Navy base up there. We were were more than happy to help out. The plan was a 2 day sail leaving on Friday morning and arriving in Ft. Pierce on Sunday.  Nice plan.  We did wake to a great day and got underway early. However there was not any wind, the water was flat and the weather changed quickly with thunderstorms building in from the west.  By noon we were just off Marathon and the Keys from Marathon south were covered with thunderstorms. We even saw a water spout drop down out of one cloud bank about 15 miles south of us.  The temperature rose to about 95/96 degrees and without wind the heat index was in the 100's.   Very uncomfortable.  As night fall approached it seemed that we were surrounded by storms but we never got any rain.  Around 1 am Saturday we were off Key Largo and a large thunderstorm moved off shore just to the north of us so we did a loop and sailed back south for about a hour then resumed the trip north.  We were in the Hawk Channel with the Keys to port and the reef to starboard but the night was  dark with no stars or moon we were have trouble picking up some of the channel markers so we finally decided to drop an anchor and get a couple of hours rest.  We moved about a half mile west of the channel and dropped anchor about 2 miles off the keys.  No sooner had we dropped anchor and we were attacked by mosquitoes, wonderful time.  As the horizon started getting lighter we raised anchor and headed north still with the intention of sailing to Ft. Pierce.  Wrong again.  About noon we were approaching Miami area and the weather forecast was not good and the sky was reflecting the forecast as we could see storms building to the west so we opted to turn into the Miami cut and took dockage at Miamarina downtown Miami.  In our earlier logs you read that Ugne and I spent a lot of time at this marina in the spring. 

We enjoyed our afternoon and evening in Miami even though it was hot and humid and hit the sack early as we planned a 2 AM departure to sail onto Ft. Pierce.  Not to be, we are all up and ready but the engine would not start.  Mike and I tried and tried but no success.  Finally we decide to go back to bed and wait until daylight to figure it out.   The problem turned out to be the neutral position switch was stuck and once we moved the shift lever several times it made contact and the engine started.  By this time it was to late to head north so we decided to stay in Miami for the day.  Another good Idea as the storms moved in early and we were having thunderstorms before noon.  

Monday we were on our way by 2 am heading out the channel for our sail to Ft. Pierce.  Again there was no wind so we motored north.  As we approach Ft. Lauderdale we listened to the weather report and they were predicting more of the same with storms building early in the day.  We did not want to get caught in storms offshore so we opted to turn into the Port Everglades channel and picked up the Intracoastal Waterway for the trip to West Palm. 

In our earlier logs I mentioned that there are 21 bridges between Port Everglades and Lake Worth at West Palm.  We were lucky and only had to wait at a couple of the bridges to open and arrived at the Palm Beach Marina about 4 pm.  No sooner had we tied up and the heavens opened up with another thunderstorm.  We ordered up pizza from a local pizza place, the best pizza I have ever had, and enjoyed a relaxing evening.

Tuesday morning we were up and on our way making the 6 am opening of the Royal Park bridge and the 0630 opening of the Flagler Memorial bridge.  The weather was a bit more settled for the day with a welcomed cloud cover all day.  The day progressed well until we were approaching the Stuart/Port St. Lucie area.  A small thunderstorm was moving in on us just before we reached the inlet area.  We were well within the channel, 20 to 30 feet from the green channel maker and we ran hard aground.  We tried and tried to get off the sand bar but the wind from the storm kept us hard aground.  Just after the storm passed a small power boat came along and helped us get off the bar. 

The rest of the day was uneventful with our arrival at Harbortown around 1500.  We were happy to be back aboard Vilkas.

Ugne, Mike and I were exhausted.  We had planned on a nice 2 day trip and ended up with a long, hot, wet 5 day trip and we were all glad that it was over. 

On Our Way North

Mooring Field Boca Chica

Dock Office Boca Chica


July / August 2005

Not much happening in July.  It was a very hot month with temps in the mid 90's each day.  I think that by the time we left Fort Pierce in Mid August we had 45 days of temps above 93 degrees with a high heat index.  I started removing the Treadmaster from the deck and would start early and would stop at lunchtime because of the heat.  On several occasions Ugne would say, "I see you hosed yourself off at the dock.", because I was so wet.  In each case I would tell her, no just sweating. 

Back in April before we had left Miami I had a diver come clean the bottom of Vilkas and discovered that the work that we had done on the keel in Baltimore was not done correctly and the keel was all rust again.  So we decided to get it fixed and while we were out of the water have the bottom peeled to solve the blistering problem that we were having.  Vilkas was hauled on August 15 and the bottom was peeled the next day. 

Being that we were now homeless, we headed to Alpharetta, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta to stay at our daughters while Vilkas dried out.

Vilkas Hauled out

Vilkas Bottom Peeled

Vilkas Tented

Old Treadmaster falling apart

  How the new nonskid will look.

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