May 1996 - Florida to Bermuda

1 May 1996   Titusville Marina, Florida
We got up early because we only had the car for one more day.  We went to Wal-Mart’s and did a big shop.  We bought a few bits of hardware, clothes etc, but most of the money went on provisions for our Atlantic crossing.  Tins of everything imaginable.  In the afternoon, I picked up three “fake books”, which are compendiums of sheet music for hundreds of tunes. These were an extravagant £80.  

I then went to Cocoa and picked up the rigging toggle to replace the one I have pinched off the mizzen.  I then went to Innervision Inc. to ask a few more questions about becoming an ISP.  Their training fees seem very high, but I shall defer judgement until I see the cost in the UK.

2 May 1996   Titusville Marina, Florida
I took the car back in the morning (after going to the book shop to buy $100 worth of computer books on Networks, TCP/IP and ISDN).  Glenys spent the day removing and resealing some of her beloved hatches.  I did some more jobs on the boat and found out that our starter batteries were totally flat when I tried to start the engine.  More expensive batteries, I suppose.  In the evening, I started to work on our Business Plan and ended up working until midnight!

3 May 1996   Titusville Marina, Florida
More jobs on the boat.  I replaced a cable to the port navigation light.  I had been putting this off because I was worried about not being able to pull the wire through the hole in the pulpit and thought that I would end up having to remove the pulpit.  In the event, all went smoothly.  

Glenys started to remove the big front hatch to reseal it and found that one of the hinge bolts had corroded and wouldn’t come out.  I ended up drilling the head off the bolt and driving it though the deck with a punch – very worrying!  I couldn’t find any 4” x ¼” bolts locally, so ended up ordering them through the marina.  It’s a Friday so we won’t get them until Monday – it’s a real nuisance  not having a car!  We decided to put the hatch back with 4 bolts instead of 6.  I spent the evening working on our Business Plan until midnight - I’m so single-minded (obsessional?) sometimes. 

4 May 1996   Titusville Marina, Florida
Glenys had a morning “off” and went shopping.  I finished cleaning and servicing the navigation lights.  I found that the starter batteries had boiled dry!  Our domestic batteries are maintenance free and I’ve forgotten to top up our starter batteries.  I put about two pints of water into the batteries and will try to charge them up again.  I put the genoa back on the forestay.  The weather is very hot and muggy and we’re getting cross with each other.  Brett in particular is getting more independent and stroppy.

5 May 1996   Titusville Marina, Florida
Well knock me down with a feather, Brett went to church with Daniel and his friends.  Anything to join in.  Craig is feeling a bit left out because Brett keeps zooming off on his bike with his mates and leaving poor Craig behind.  

Glenys started to rub the topside paint stripe down while I did some more jobs.  It was baking hot and by three o’clock, I was helping Glenys with the stripe – back breaking work!

6 May 1996   Titusville Marina, Florida
I tried to ring some companies in England but got nowhere – I eventually realised that it was May Day Bank Holiday.  Glenys continued rubbing down the top stripe and finished at about half past five in the evening!  I changed the engine oil.  A pretty horrible, hard day’s work for both of us.

7 May 1996   Titusville Marina, Florida
Glenys took the morning off and went shopping.  In the afternoon, she put on the first coat of paint.  I carried on trying to tick jobs off my never ending list.  We stopped at five o’clock, had a shower and walked over to Steamers Restaurant for dinner – splashed out on a $15 bottle of wine – great!

8 May 1996   Titusville Marina, Florida
Glenys applied the second coat of paint.  Brett took some washing to the launderette and came back telling us that he had been watching “Gator Bill” trying to catch the 5ft alligator that has started to live in the marina.  Gator Bill has given Brett a real alligator tooth (he later gave Craig one too).  

Gator Bill stopped by our boat and told us not to worry, but the alligator was probably headed our way.  He was dressed in jeans, boots and lumber jack shirt with a beard, mirror shades and a 12” sheath knife at his side – my hero!  Glenys decided not to dangle her feet in the water while she was painting and I decided not to dive down and scrub the hull!

9 May 1996   Titusville Marina, Florida
It looked like it might rain today, so we didn’t bother with the 3rd coat of paint.  Glenys removed all the masking tape and the stripe looks really good.  We decided to hire a car tomorrow, so we had a big tidy up to make sure that we haven’t forgotten anything.  We cleared the decks and gave the boat a good clean.

10 May 1996   Titusville Marina, Florida
Picked up a car first thing.  I went to the mail place and picked up some faxes.  The best one was from our accountant saying that the Inland Revenue has verbally confirmed that we were non- resident for 95/96.  (Yahoo!).  Hopefully, we will get written confirmation by the time we get to Bermuda and can then start making definite plans to return to the UK in August.  

We drove down to Melbourne, Cocoa and returned to shop in Titusville, buying chandlery, hardware and food.  We went to a Cuban/Mexican Restaurant for dinner which was great!