03 April 2017

Changing Our Plans Again | The Shortest Bahamas Cruise Ever

Anchored at Lake Worth. It was gusty at times.
"Well, that doesn't look good," I said to Scott as we were taking our dinghy over to West Palm Beach in search of the public docks.

"You're such a worry wart. There's no way we're going to hit that boat," he replied as he glanced back at me.

"Uh, yeah, that's not what I meant," I said pointing back at Tickety Boo anchored behind us. "Besides, I'm not a worry wart."

Scott gave me a dubious look.

"Okay, maybe I am a bit of a worry wart. But about important things, like running out of chocolate or water. Or dying from scurvy because we don't eat enough citrus fruit."

Scott gave me another dubious look. I changed the subject.

"No, look at the bottom paint on our boat. That doesn't look good."

Scott looked back at Tickety Boo and then he gave me another look. I wish it had been a dubious look that meant something like, The bottom paint is fine, now stop your worrying. Instead, it was a look that said, Crap. 


If you're not into boats, you're probably scratching your head and wondering what bottom paint is all about. It's basically paint you put on your bottom. No, not that bottom. The bottom of your boat beneath the water line. It keeps evil wee beasties from attaching themselves to your boat.

You've probably seen pictures of boats covered in barnacles. It's not a good look. Bottom paint helps keep that sort of thing at bay for a while.

We redid our bottom paint a little less than two years ago. The paint we used is a super expensive long-lasting kind which is great for boats that remain stationary in their slips for a long time, as ours had at Indiantown Marina. (Interlux Micron 66, if you're interested. It was what the previous owners had used.)

We knew it wouldn't be in great condition, but we had hoped that it would be in okay enough condition to allow us to head to the Bahamas, spend a few months there and then we would deal with it (along with other boat projects) when we got back to Indiantown Marina and hauled out for hurricane season.

It seemed like a great plan. An awesome plan. An outstanding plan. Except for one tiny issue that we didn't think through:

Indiantown Marina is in freshwater. Our paint isn't suitable for freshwater. When it's exposed to freshwater it flakes off. 
I don't know about you, but I love a nice, flaky pie crust. But what I don't love is flaky bottom paint. Not only does it look weird, it also means it's not effective. {We discovered the bottom paint issue on Pi Day, so naturally my mind went to pie. Sorry about that. Now you probably want some pie. I know I do.}

We both sighed, took another look at Tickety Boo and headed off across the channel to find the public docks. Rumor had it that you could tie up there for free and walk to the nearby Publix grocery store. I was hoping to pick up some apple pie.

Turns out the public docks don't exist anymore due to the expansion of a nearby marina. Another disappointment for the day. Not to mention a decided lack of pie.

We headed back to Tickety Boo, circled around her in our dinghy and had another look at what we could see of her bottom paint. Which was a lot more than we could see back at Indiantown. That brings me to some fun facts:

1 - Boats are much more buoyant in salt water than fresh water. 

2 - Tickety Boo sat lower in the fresh water at Indiantown Marina.

3 - The water in Indiantown is a delightful murky brown color. Scott says that's due to tannic acid, vegetation and other marina what-not. There was a lot of what-not in our corner of the marina.

4 - Once Tickety Boo was in salt water at the coast, she floated higher in the water, giving us better visibility of her keel. The water is much clearer here, so we could see what that bottom paint looked like.  

Yeah, fun might have been an overstatement. That was Scott's description, not mine.

Over drinks and dinner, we talked about options. Should we carry on to the Bahamas and ignore our flaky bottom paint? Should we postpone the Bahamas and head back Indiantown Marina to haul out and redo the bottom paint? Should we try to figure out how to make pie with the provisions we have on board?

In the end, we decided to skip the pie and make our way back to Indiantown in a few days.

It's disappointing on so many levels - not getting to the Bahamas (yet), having to spend a bunch of money we weren't quite ready to spend at this point, not knowing how long we'll be hauled out for (the old paint may be a real nightmare to get off), not really being ready to do other major boat projects (like a composting toilet) and feeling like we're not maximizing our time on the hard etc.

But on the bright side, we'll get to see our friends again and there's always Taco Tuesday at JR's Saloon.

Of course, by the the time you read this our plans could have changed again. Stay tuned to find out what happens. It's almost better than a soap opera.

Flagler Memorial Bridge. There's construction going on. Only one boat can pass through at a time.

Boats you wouldn't want to drag into and damage unless you had amazing insurance.

Sunset at Coconut Grove anchorage in West Palm Beach.

Cruising Log | Monday, 13 March 2017 - Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Anchored at Lake Worth (south of Peanut Island). Lazed about. Checked out temp and oil sensors. One of the water jerry cans is leaking. Bummer. Gusty day. 101 amp hours from our new solar panel. A new world record. Nautical Miles = Nil. Engine =  Nil hrs. Spending = Nil.

Very gusty in the early hours (near gale). Anchor up at 9:15 AM. Anchor down at 10:30 AM at Coconut Grove in West Palm Beach across from the Trump Plaza building. Took dinghy out - discovered public docks no longer exist, discovered condition of our bottom paint. Sad. Nautical Miles = 3.3. Engine = 1 hr 15 min. Spending = Nil

Very gusty in the early hours. Lazed about. Made plans. Lazed about some more. Made more plans. Stuff broke. Nautical Miles = Nil. Engine =  Nil hrs. Spending = Nil.

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  1. This is way better than a soap opera - I just wish it wasn't happening to you for real. I hope in the couple of weeks since your last log entry that things have improved.

    1. It is kind of like a soap opera :-) But without all of the glamorous clothes and great hairstyles.

  2. That's sad news about your paint. Or lack of paint now. I hope you at least get your pie.

  3. Bummer! There are forces working against you.

    1. Something sure does want us to stay in Florida :-)

  4. We need to do our bottom paint in 2019. We are mostly fresh water, but we do go to the bay almost every year.

    It's always something isn't it. Yes it is.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

    1. Yep, bottom paint is always one of those things that needs to be redone regularly.

  5. Wow, so disappointing. Our sales contract included a new bottom paint job, which started flaking off 1 week later. It took us 3 or 4 months to get them to re-do it, and they did such a good job on the 2nd job that it lasted nearly 8 months :-).

  6. Another un-fun discovery, for sure. But, maybe you can sail to the Bahamas for a few months before you haul out again and do more work? That would be more fun, Although, I do understand it would be in the back of your heads the whole time. Not sure whether anything bad/worse would happen than more paint flakes or barnacles, though. Whatever you decide, I hope you are happy with it!

    1. FYI, we hauled out about once a year to paint the bottom of Irie. And, expensive pain does not necessarily equal good paint. More research is needed... And, checking the dates on the paint cans. And different brands and "consistenc We changed brands over the years and ended with a hard-ablative.

    2. When we lifted the boat, it wasn't as bad as we thought it might be and it was pretty clean. Nothing really growing on it. Definitely agree that expensive doesn't equal good. When we did the paint last time, we were kind of stuck using what the previous owner had used for various reasons. But when we do it again after this season, we'll be sanding pretty much everything off and starting fresh so we can go with a better paint to meet our needs.

  7. I remember when we had a large boat. My husband took me to lunch and told me he got a raise. Then he told me the engine needed an overhaul. So much for a raise.

  8. Well that sucks. But look at it this way: you'll probably miss that boat-eating sea monster passing through the area where you were supposed to be had you crossed to the Bahamas. You both deserve two cookies. Maybe more.

    1. See, everything does work out for a reason, including avoiding boat-eating sea monsters.

  9. Arrrggg! So disappointing! I don't think you'll regret taking care of the problem right away, though. Peace of mind is priceless.

    1. Very disappointing. In the end, we decided not to do it right away as we'll only be out for a few months.

  10. But pie...Pie makes everything better. Ugh, how disappointing. I'm wishing you some luck, the good kind.

    1. Pie does make everything better. So do cake and cookies too :-)

  11. Sorry about the delay, but sounds like a good decision. Best wishes for a quick haul-out .. we sure know about delays. LOL!


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