New Batteries + Old Friends

A Week Aboard S/V Sabado: 12/13/2020 – 12/20/2020

Last Sunday was uneventful, we went to a hardware store and a West Marine (we always need something!), then got some sushi and called it a night. 

Monday was new battery day! We drove to pick up the new batteries that morning, and Andres from Multitech Marine Services was waiting at our boat when we got back. Together, Andres and Ray pulled out our old batteries, and put in our new ones! We went with Firefly carbon foam batteries this time- hopefully they hold up better than our old ones. 

Out with the old:

In with the new:

Thanks Andres!

And thank you Henry Saludes for prioritizing our problem and sending Andres out to us ASAP! Andres went above and beyond to make sure our installation went smoothly, he even saw some wiring he wasn’t comfortable with from previous work we had done, and took the time to fix it all while he was down there. Things couldn’t have gone smoother!!

As Andres was leaving the boat, he pointed out a connector under our solar panels that looked a little bit off and recommended we look into it. Sure enough, when Ray went to touch it, it completely crumbled in his hand. This happened at about 5pm, so we called the shop we picked the batteries up from that morning to ask if they had a replacement connector we could buy off them. The shop is called e Marine Systems and they specialize in marine energy solutions. Luckily, they were still open and told us to take a photo of the connector and come on in. When we arrived, we discovered that they didn’t have a like for like replacement of the connector, but Alex (who we had gotten our new batteries from that morning) took the time to run through a few other options with us. Neither I nor Ray are electricians, so most of our options involved him patiently drawing us diagrams and teaching us about parallel vs series wiring.

Despite all of Alex’s help, we just weren’t comfortable doing the job by ourselves. So, he and Wilmer offered to come out to the boat and walk us through the whole thing! They followed us to the dock right then and there and took a look at our set up. 

They checked everything out and identified two faulty connectors in our system. So, they went back to their shop and made us custom length extensions to go with the connectors they had that night!! We were shocked at the level of service they provided. They even came by the next day and took our old batteries to dispose of them for us! If you ever need a marine electrician (or any marine energy products) in Ft. Lauderdale, we could not recommend these guys enough!! What a great experience! 

That night we were in the mood to celebrate! We met up with our friends Jamie and Vivian for dinner. 

If you’re new here- Jamie lives on a catamaran too! We buddy boated with him for a while in Massachusetts while he had Vivian on board back in September. Turns out he was in town getting some work done on his boat, too! It was fun to hang out and catch up.

After dinner we had them over for a few drinks, and Jamie thumbed through our charts and gave us some Bahamas recommendations. 

That night we got a full night’s sleep, uninterrupted by low battery alarms.

The next morning we got straight to work- we had a bunch of jobs we wanted to do in preparation for our Bahamas crossing. Ray sprayed and wiped down the forepeak (where we store our lines and fenders) with a mold remover spray and reorganized most of our storage space in the bow. I polished a bunch of our stainless steel, ran a few errands, and figured out what we need to do to get our health visa for the Bahamas. 

By the end of the day we were both exhausted. We watched the sunset, ordered some pizza and watched the end of Lost!

Wednesday was our last day with the rental car and our last full day at the marina. So, we ran our last few errands, washed the boat, did our laundry, returned the car, etc.- another busy day of chores. 

That afternoon, a yacht broker came by the boat and asked if we’d mind having his clients aboard for a tour. He said they were debating between a Lagoon 46 vs the 42! We said yes and had them over that evening. Turns out they were going through the process of moving their stuff into storage so they could sell their house and live aboard their first boat- how exciting! We gave them a tour of Sabado and chatted in the cockpit for a bit. Once they left, Ray and I ordered BBQ and watched a movie.

We left Ft. Lauderdale the next morning around 9am and headed south towards Miaimi. 

We had shifty wind, coming from the exact direction we were trying to go. So, we ran one engine, raised the main, and used our jib when we could. 

During our trip, we came across what looked like a military drill of some sort- a helicopter was hovering over the water and bringing a person up and down from the helicopter to the waterline over and over again. It was crazy to see just how much water the helicopter displaced! 

We dropped anchor just outside of No Name Harbor (a bit south of Miami) around 3pm. We anchored by these buildings on stilts out in the water:

The group of buildings is actually called Stiltsville! It was built during the Prohibition Era, because once you were one mile offshore, you could drink and gamble. Later they became fancy fishing and boating clubs with invite only memberships, and eventually turned into a party town for bankers, politicians, lawyers, celebrities and other rich Miami residents to partake in “forbidden activities”.

A lot of the buildings were destroyed by hurricanes, but the seven remaining ones are now empty and belong to the Biscayne National Park. Pretty cool!

The next day we went to shore to explore. We walked around the park, checked out the lighthouse, and grabbed some lunch at a nearby Cuban restaurant (and I had my first ever slice of Key Lime pie!).

Then we decided to take the dinghy around the inlets! It was very similar to Ft. Lauderdale- the big waterfront houses with their boats tied up and iguanas running around everywhere.

That evening we found out Jamie was close by visiting a friend… we didn’t realize that friend was also our friend- Mike from the week we spent sailing OV! Soooo we threw a little party.

The next morning we were moving noticeably slower. 😉 Jamie had crashed in our guest cabin, so we dropped him back on shore then made brunch at home. We spent the rest of the day relaxing and enjoying the sunshine. ☀️ 

We have no plans for today, but I’ll fill you in next week if we do anything exciting. In the meantime, keep your fingers crossed for a weather window so we can get to the Bahamas!

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