Monday December’s 11th, twenty seventeen

This morning I am wearing long sleeves and am huddled around the electric heater. The effects of the cold front are significant. Last night the TV talking heads were warning central Floridians that “frost was possible” and that “heaters will smell initially as the dust burns off”. The areas just west of Lake Okeechobee could have frost if the wind diminishes enough. I have no interest in going outside to see if there is frost on the decks.

Today, other than the temperature, will be a nice day. I want to get out and get some pictures as the sun comes up and when it goes down. Likely do a beach walk. Today is pump out day and the restaurant is closed… there is a connection.

I will also dive into the hydraulic steering system. I have a small leak that has to be eliminated. When I installed the new ram autopilot I left the old pump autopilot in place, now it is leaking. Likely, eliminating the pump will be one of those one hour jobs that takes all day and most of tomorrow. It will require a limited boat puke of the cockpit locker, “what could go wrong”?

gws 10, first generation garmin wind transducer

Yesterday the day began with my excursion up the mast. It is only 54 feet off the water and about 48 off the deck. I apologized to neighbors about the profanity they would hear should I fall down. As I go up the mast I’m going through my high school physics. I figure it would take more than 1.5 seconds to hit the deck with somewhere around 13000 joules of energy. It would likely take longer as I hit every protuberance on the way down. I would hope that I could say, nay scream “GARMIN SUCKS” before hitting at nearly 60 km/hr.

Garmin/Nexus Gwind anemometer

Why does “Garmin Suck” you might ask? My first Garmin wind instrument was the GWS 10. The anemometer part lasted less than two seasons and flew apart. If there is any consolation, the self destruction occurred after it stopped working. The following season when we were back in the U.S. I purchased the Garmin/Nexus wind transducer. This unit touted to be more accurate and stout. It didn’t last six months. It likely flew apart during Irma. You might say, “now Greg, what do you expect, it was a hurricane”? Well I might say, “Almost every other anemometer in the yard is still intact and functioning”.

The remains of Fracas’ Gwind wind transducer. Missing propeller blade thingys and both ‘twin-fins’.

Now I admit that I sometimes resort to hyperbole and will often rant about stuff. But look at Fracas’ second (of three) garmin anemometer. Two of the little g’dingers are missing from the blade and both of the winglets or vertical stabilizers (garmin probably has a poofy name for them) are missing. I would have accepted this ‘damage’ and thought myself lucky if not for an incident while visiting the cow marina in the middle of nowhere.

The ‘twin-fin’ from another Gwind unit found in the Glades, Marina and Cow park

There on the ground in this yard was a winglet, vertical stabilizer or ‘twin-fin’ (Garmin’s poofy name) from a Gwind just like mine. Some other poor bastard bought the garmin replacement and it blew apart as well. We were unable to wander this yard to find the boat it came from. But somewhere out there the remains of a Gwind anemometer was flipping and flopping around the top of a mast like a wounded seal. I brought the ‘twin-fin’ back to Fracas and it broken off in exactly the same way and location as mine.

My opinion is, Garmin and Garmin/Nexus wind instruments are crap. Somewhere in their literature it likely says “do not expose your wind instrument to wind” When this one explodes as it undoubtedly will it will be replaced with a reliable wind instrument designed for use on a sailboat.

Whew, its a long climb down from that high-horse… Yesterday after the Mangos and ML helped me get up the mast we had to take them out to the middle of nowhere and drop them off. It’s a couple of hour drive into the hills of Florida (just kidding about the hills). It was a beautiful day for a drive other than the pillars of smoke from the burning sugar cane fields. On the way out we went over the top of Lake Okeechobee and on the way home we went south around the bottom, about the same distance.

We wanted to take a look at Indiantown Marina and scope it out as a possible for next summer’s storage. The issue will be the height of our mast. They have a guy on the river, a witch-doctor of sorts perhaps even a boat whisperer who will tip over your boat enough to sneak under the bridges.

While we were at Indiantown ML took the direct route (speaking with someone) I did the man thing and drove around the yard looking for a Whitby. I found one, ‘My Destiny’ it looked just like FRACAS. If he did it I can do it. I posted on the Whitby Facebook page hoping to connect with My Destiny and or get some info from others who had made the spawning run up the river. As luck would have it the Captain of ‘My Destiny’ responded. “We cut two feet off the mast so we could get up there”.

Cutting two feet off your mast is not as simple as those of you thinking of Lorena Bobbitt might think. All the sails would have to be modified and all the standing rigging replaced… 15 to 20 K, no problem. more later

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