Dock Fever and Refrigeration Issues

A Week Aboard S/V Sabado: 10/25/2020 – 11/1/2020

On Sunday we got Sabado ready to leave the dock in Charleston. Let’s talk about dock life for a minute:

After being docked for a week, Ray and I start to feel some type of way… being docked is kind of like living on land- you can step outside of your house and go anywhere you want (the grocery store, the mall, restaurants, etc.), and with that comes a sense of convenience and ease, which for us leads to a few things

  1. Dependency: we stop relying on each other and our boat. When we’re docked, neither of us is responsible to keep our home afloat while the other sleeps, making sure we have enough power, or making sure we don’t starve. We’re safe in a marina slip, plugged into shore power, and have plenty of restaurants steps away from our boat. This takes away a significant amount of our independence, sense of adventure, and the satisfaction that comes with living on a self sufficient vessel. 
  2. Stress: Imagine never having to adhere to any sort of schedule and only having to interact with a few people on a regular basis, but then all of the sudden you have to plan your day around COVID business hours, sit in traffic, deal with unhappy employees/rude people in general, and wait in lines. I know this sounds silly and privileged (don’t worry, we’re aware!), but when you don’t have to do these things on a regular basis your tolerance for dealing with them when you do goes down. I think we’ve all probably experienced some degree of this from quarantine! Anyway, we find ourselves getting irrationally stressed about tiny things like this when we’re docked, and after a few days it starts to bog us down, despite our best efforts to suck it up. 😉
  3. Routine: Waking up every morning to fully charged electronics, AC, and unlimited hot water is nice, but we’d easily trade those luxuries for a day full of adapting to what our boat can handle at a remote anchorage somewhere in a heartbeat. This, and little things like waking up to the same view everyday, going on walks around the same streets every night, etc. all start to seem monotonous when your house can (and was built to) move.

All in all, people live on boats to be able to avoid these sorts of things, so being docked for longer than a few days bums us out sometimes! That being said, we were stoked leave on Monday. We slipped lines around 11am, fueled up, and headed to St. Augustine, Florida! 

Unfortunately we found ourselves in a bit of a time crunch. We needed to get to St. Augustine during the day, because the inlet is very tricky- there are uncharted sandbars and the channel markers leave much to be desired… so we motorsailed to keep our speed up, and arrived Tuesday around 4pm. We picked up a mooring ball, and popped open some bubbly to celebrate!

We took our dinghy to shore that night (sweaty, exhausted from our trip, and a little drunk) for some subs and cheese fries. 

We called it a night shortly after that, but were rudely awakened by our low battery alarms the next morning. 

Our top loading freezer (which we’ve been using as a fridge for the past 6+ months) randomly started drawing 3 times the amount of power it’s supposed to, so it drained our fully charged batteries overnight. 

We let this consume our time for a while that morning, calling repairmen and looking up what to do, before deciding to just shut it off. Ray and I had a nice chat about how sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in trying to make sure everything onboard is working perfectly all the time, when the reality is our boat is a way for us to explore/a tool for the job/a means to an end/etc. so if something is broken and it’s just inconvenient (vs dangerous), we need to remember to shift our perspective and treat it as such. So with that in mind, we called it quits and went to shore! We explored town, checked out Castillo de San Marcos, and grabbed some lunch. 

When we came home later that afternoon, a repairman called us back and we were able to schedule a day and time next week to get the fridge looked at in Cape Canaveral. Until then, we’ll just keep that fridge turned off! We have 2 other fridges onboard and a freezer, so we’ll survive. 😉

On Thursday we got some boat jobs done and ate up some of our veggies that no longer have a home since we turned the fridge off, but we made it to shore for showers in the marina facilities and a few beers at St. George Tavern. 

We were initially under the impression that this was the oldest bar in America, since St. Augustine is the oldest city in America and this is said to be the oldest bar in St. Augustine… but Google says there’s an older bar in a different city in Florida? So I guess we just went to the oldest bar in town, but we had fun nonetheless!

That evening Ray worked his engineering magic and got the fridge working again. We re-loaded it and had a relaxing night in. 

Unfortunately though, the fridge never turned itself off (fridges are supposed to turn themselves off once they reach a certain temperature then back on again when needed to maintain that temperature, not run constantly all the time). So, it ran all night and we woke up Friday morning to dead batteries again. We were able to run the generator for a few hours to recharge, but we were a bit annoyed. Ray thinks we can swap out the fridge’s thermostat and that should solve the problem, but we’re keeping our appointment with the repairman next week to double check everything. 

We decided to leave St. Augustine that day, and made a 22hr trip to Cape Canaveral. We started out motoring, but had a pretty fun downwind sail all through the night! 

We arrived in Cape Canaveral around 7am Saturday, and I decided to check the place out on my own while Ray caught up on sleep. I walked about 4miles and can confirm- there’s not a lot here. I did however stumble upon a strange looking tower with no sign to indicate what it was, so I obviously went inside.

Turns out it’s the Exploration Tower (essentially a big interactive museum), which was pretty cool! It focused a lot on marine life and boat related things since it’s right at the port, so I had fun poking around the exhibits.

The tower was surrounded by a pond that apparently has alligators from time to time (we’re definitely in Florida!), and a public park full of solar panels that generate power for their energy grid!

I turned around and walked back home after that, and spent the rest of the day cleaning the boat and enjoying the sunshine in between naps. 

Saturday night we had a super yacht tie up next to us for a bit. Turns out the guests on board chartered it to stay away from COVID-19. Crazy, right?

That’s all I have for this week, hope you all are doing well! Thanks for reading❤️

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