19-Feb-14: Loaded 2 pallets of medical supplies bound for Haiti at Conch Harbor Marina, we got a free night there but had to move off the dock at 0700. Now in another free dock at Stock Island Marine, arranged by our friend Kevin who would like to sail with Tandemeer to Cuba in late May. Now ready to sail to Miami tomorrow morning, whoo-hoo! Looking at our satellite weather charts (and passageweather.com), it looks like we'll have to beat as far as we can on a port tack to gain easting and enter the Gulf Stream, which will give us a lift towards Miami of up to three knots, then tack onto starboard and ride the escalator all the way. That's the theory anyway...
3-Feb-14: Our crew Brian, Daniel and Patrick worked hard on caulking the deck hatches today and I did a little service on the diesel engine including coolant and alternator belts. Looks like we need to buy 4 more belts to have a safe supply of spares aboard, I'm concerned that our large alternator is chewing through double belts too quickly. Two of our house bank batteries are at the end of their life and the huge charging demand isn't helping... I need to get on my little folding bike and solicit for cast-off batteries from a generator supplier, they usually have a stack of pretty good batteries ready for recycling.
Work is coming along well and apart from replacing some internal woodwork represents the biggest item on our job list to ready Tandemeer for sea bound for Haiti to take 1,000 cubic feet of recycled sails to subsistence fishermen, 1,000 pounds of donated tools, a barrel full of goods to an orphanage and of course medical supplies donated by at least two hospitals.
We've been busy! Departing 11th February, we are still adding volunteer crew and hope to have a total of 5 or 6 aboard by the time we clear Miami.
We are planning a wine-and-cheese fundraiser event as a bon voyage party and need to get invitations out to yacht clubs. We've called the newspapers in the area and passed the word but haven't done enough to ensure a successful "ad-hoc" event yet!