Windfall Deployed to Daytona Beach
- As time went by at our vacation home during March, we fell into the routine of having our sailboat there in her slip ready to sail. I averaged day sailing her about every other day (some days twice) either single handed or with my wife or brother. Only minor problems came up such as a burn out nav. light and the shallow water bracket control lever on the out board broke. I can still move it up and down by hand.
The new ac power ventilation system and battery charger work as designed. The fan runs at night when the water is warmer than the air and on deck, a small neon indicates that the fan is powered. My boat takes a little seawater in through the centerboard cable tube when she is hard pressed. The new wet vac hoses that I ran from mid cabin back to just aft of the bilge pumps work great to get the last gallon or so of water that the pumps can't get out. I keep a 110 volt wet vac aboard for this. Hopefully she will stay bone dry inside.
Operationally, the biggest factor, which was completely new to me, was THE TIDE. The tide rules all. It rushes back and forth twice a day with a range of 2 to 3 feet. At low tide, I have gotten stuck in the mud right in front of the slip. During flood tide, if the Merc quit she could be quickly swept under the nearby bridge (see my pictures). I keep the anchor ready at those times. I am so attuned to sailing on lakes that I can tell exactly where the boat is going including lee way by just looking at the water. The ICW channel has a generous supply of daymarkers (think telephone poles) sticking up out of the water. It was very disconcerting to think that I was going to sail by them just fine only to look again and find them plowing across the water diagonally on collision course forcing a crash tack to miss it. Daymarkers have right of way over sailboats. The water here can be moving more than 2 mph! Worse, is when they sneak up on you behind the jib. I had several OMG heart stopping near misses day and night. Even with lit markers. I am learning though, planning the timing of trips to take advantage of the flow and not coming back to the slip at low tide. Capt. Randy