As we move on into our third week on the hook in St. Augustine, each day of our extended stay feels like penance for some poor decisions we made while outfitting our boat for cruising. Admitting that those carefully researched, perfect-on-paper choices haven’t panned out in real life hurts the soul and the wallet. So here we sit, eating crow and waiting for parts to ship.
Our dinghy setup has been one of our biggest headaches so far. We loved using the Portland Pudgy in calm, protected anchorages like Weems Creek, but we found her to be no match for the ripping current and waves we’ve seen everywhere else we’ve anchored, and poorly designed for daily chores that require hauling lots of stuff and more than one person (for specifics, here is the email that I sent to the company and their response). She’ll be a fine vessel for someone with different needs and expectations, so we put her up for sale and found a buyer almost instantly.
In addition to dinghy woes, we’ve continued to struggle with our energy setup aboard. After weeks of frustration and tinkering, Brian finally figured out why the new alternator was producing a third of the amperage it should, but not before he’d purchased an additional alternator and a new regulator. The batteries and flexible solar panels we’d installed in Deltaville also proved insufficient for our needs, so we’ve doubled down on batteries and solar.
With this round of projects behind us, we’ll be in St. Augustine for a few more days, awaiting the arrival a package of spare parts for our engine and Justin’s girlfriend Sherri, before we make an overnight run down to West Palm Beach. We’re over the ripping current and non-stop wind in this anchorage, and looking forward to sailing on to more protected waters.