Southern Progress

Jan. 22, 2020

Everywhere in the U.S. seems to be experiencing notable weather these days. It is somewhat to be expected, it being January. Red Pearl and her crew are hunkered down in Fort Pierce, FL due to the rip tide, gale warning, and wind, high surf, and small craft advisories. 

We are contentedly waiting out the wind, but also chaffing as we wait for a fourth generator repairman—at a third port—because our generator still does not work. Having already shelled out an extorted “boat unit,” we hope this guy is in fact as punctilious and tenacious as the reputation which precedes him. We commented this morning how wonderfully cozy we are with the wind howling around us, our furnace cranking out the heat; and then we stopped and looked at each other, having learned the painful lesson to not take for granted that ANY system will work on a boat. 

As we cruise coastline that we previously explored in the spring, coastline that we anticipate cruising again on our journey north next spring, we are spending long days on the water in order to meet and maximize our reservation in Key West for the month of February. We enjoyed a long-overdue connection in Melbourne with Steve’s cousin, Song Koh and his wife Judy and their daughter Michaela. We enjoyed seeing where Song works, creating the meticulous calculations for the fabrication of gorgeous and iconic bridges; and our time over dinner at Meg O’Malley’s Pub flew by as we caught up on one another’s families and easily discussed a broad array of topics.

Here are a few random experiences of the last week: 

A couple of nights in St. Augustine were relaxed, having done the touristy stuff last spring.


Our neighbors in the beautiful and tiny anchorage, Rockhouse, were Swedish. We departed the following morning before the fog entirely dissipated, relying on our radar for details further than .25 mile. The fog quickly burned off. 



Above, this shows a picture of our chart plotter with radar. The icon of our boat is at center, with our track, as we are exiting our anchorage. In this case, we are keeping the green markers to starboard and the red markers to port. The rust color represents things to avoid hitting. In this case, it was scrubby stuff along the side, but anything that blocks the satellite will show up rust, such as a power line suspended above, and, of course, another vessel. It takes time and experience to learn to read radar, and we are still just babes at it.

The Jan. 19 SpaceX launch. 


Derelict boats are a pervasive and intriguing problem, with Florida being one of the boating capitals of the world. At least every few miles, one sees these sorry sacks, sometimes washed up on shore, but often at anchor and deliberately left to degrade. The legal rights and responsibilities of the owner are theoretically sound, but the reality of the situation is confounding. Imagine owning and living on beautiful waterfront property, and a small unloved vessel suddenly appearing central to your view. A landowner has no legal claim to his view, the waterway being public property, and yet, that is precisely why he bought that parcel! The one who deserted the boat is in violation, but just TRY to find him! The landowner has no right to touch a vessel which is not his, and to jump through the proper legal hoops to do so takes copious amounts of time and resources. It’s a huge problem. I keep thinking that there are jobs here, and Steve keeps reminding me that it all takes money—and good legislation.  Here are a few pics of derelicts that we passed. 

As I finish this post, the unwelcome mention of a new generator has just been floated through the capable woman in the office. Evidently, there will be a meeting of the minds in the morning. Stay tuned.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: