We have been in Miami for three weeks, since November 29. We knew we would have to wait at least two weeks to get the part for our jib furler. That came and we had it installed on Wednesday, December 12. Our rigger, Kyle, had estimated six hours to remove the forestay, install the new furler, and put it back on the boat. Like everything on a boat, this did not go quite according to plan. Below are two photos of the parts of the furler that we had installed.
First, since we are on a mooring ball at Dinner Key Marina and Mooring Field, we had to go to a dock in the marina for the installation. This marina was partially destroyed during Hurricane Irma in 2017 and there have been few, if any, repairs made so some of the slips and docks are still in pieces. We went to a sea wall in the marina and were told we would pay $23 for every three hours we stayed there. There was no power available so our riggers had to use our Honda generator to power their tools.
We moved to the sea wall at 8 am and the riggers arrived at 8:30 am. They began by taking down the forestay, which included the furler that no longer worked, with a swivel at the top and a drum at the bottom. Mark had already removed the jib sail which saved some time. Before they took down the forestay, which supports the mast, they had to add several lines from the mast to the deck. In order to do this, Kyle, the rigger, needed to climb the mast, attach the lines, and then release the forestay.
Once the mast was secure, Kyle lowered the forestay while his helper guided it to the dock.
Once the forestay was on the ground, they discovered a big problem. A cable that runs through the forestay was twisted and needed to be replaced. They hopped in their truck, drove back to Ft. Lauderdale where their office is located, had a cable cut to the exact length needed, down to a fraction of an inch, and returned with it. By then it was early afternoon. The addition of the cable replacement added time to the repair and by 6 pm they were still working. We contacted the marina office which closes at 7 pm and told them that we were not going to get off the sea wall and needed to spend the night. Normally this is not allowed. Apparently at that point we became transients, i.e. we were staying overnight and needed to pay $3 a foot. With taxes it came to $132.00. By 8 pm the riggers had raised the new forestay, attached our jib sail, tested the furler, and were finished. We don’t have a picture of them putting the forestay back up since it gets dark here in December by 6 pm.
While this repair delayed our ability to cross over to the Bahamas, and the cost was about the same amount we budget for our entire six months in the Bahamas, it was well worth it and thankfully we discovered the problem while still in Florida so it could be repaired.
We didn’t have to wait too long for the next weather window. Sunday, December 16, looks fairly good for crossing to Bimini. The wind is WNW. We usually avoid any wind direction with “north” in it because when the Gulf Stream, which runs north, meets wind blowing from the north, the seas in the Stream are higher. However, the forecast is for 2-4 or 3-5 ft seas and 8-15 kt wind. We suspect it will be rougher than we like, but the relatively mild conditions will continue for several days, hopefully allowing us to continue on to Great Harbour Cay in the Berries, Nassau, and possibly even over to the northern Exumas. However, it is very rare for us to be able to continue on to our next destinations so quickly, and we fully expect we’ll need to stay in one of those stops more than a day.
Finally, our seventh cruise to the Bahamas can begin.