Sunday, April 11, 2021

Linderman Key, Card Sound FL

Yesterday we moved the boat about 12 miles southwest from where we were anchored off Sands Key in Biscayne Bay to anchor off Linderman Key in Card Sound, passing through the narrow channel across Cutter Bank.

We spent five days on the hook at Sands Key, getting boat chores done and exploring nearby waters and small keys.

Cell reception there was not good, either weak or no signal even though the Miami skyline was in view, less than 20 miles away! Sometimes I would get a signal inside the boat, other times we had to walk around the decks holding our phones out like Mr. Spock held his tricorder out in Star Trek, trying to pick up service. The limited connectivity had the benefit of being less distracted from the beauty around us.

Our steaming light, halfway up the mast, didn't work during our night passage from Lake Worth, so I rigged up my ATN Mastclimber bosun's chair and inch-wormed my way up the mast. The bulb was blown and shattered as I tried to remove it, leaving small shards of glass on the deck, a small one making its way into Robin's foot. Sorry. I managed to extract the root of the bulb from its fixture, installed a new bulb and had Robin switch it on so that I could make sure it worked before I descended. It did, so I made my way down the mast and packed up all the gear, satisfied with another job completed. 

Until I switched on the light myself to admire my work and the bulb didn't light. Ugh!! It was up the mast again the next morning to clean the fixture to get the new bulb seated properly. Now it's fixed.

I also did some research and troubleshooting on the Wakespeed WS500 charge regulators (see my final boat project update), which did not seem to be playing nicely with each other. It turns out that when you connect the two regulators together, the master regulator LED flashes green status codes and the slave regulator LED repeats these codes in orange. I had mistook the orange flashes for red error flashes and thought something was amiss when in fact everything was working fine. It would have been nice if the documentation for the regulators mentioned this, in my humble opinion.

The irony of completing the engine charging upgrade now is that, with winter behind us, the days are now long enough and the weather has been clear enough for the solar panels to keep the batteries fully charged! I have to purposely run down the batteries to test the engine charging system!

After completing boat work in the morning and eating lunch, we've been enjoying our afternoon excursions.

We kayaked up a narrow channel into a circular pond among the mangroves in the interior of Sands Key, encountering a large manatee along the way which swam under Robin's kayak and lingered there for a bit. The gentle, slow-moving creature was over five feet long and I'd estimate weighed over two hundred pounds. Robin was glad it was gentle and slow-moving.

We snorkeled along the mangrove roots at Sands Cut, which leads out of Biscayne Bay into the ocean. We lots of fish enjoying the shade and protection of the mangroves, but what was most amazing were the number of lobsters hanging out there. Dozens and dozens of them, peeking out of holes in the sandy coral or from between roots. The bottom was literally crawling with them. I've never seen so many lobsters in one place. I checked and discovered that lobster season in the Florida Keys closed on March 31 and doesn't open again until August, so I was out of luck, dinner-wise.

We took the dinghy to a beach on nearby Elliott Key and discovered a trail that led to the "Spite Highway", a narrow unimproved road that runs the length of the key. The "highway" is about eight feet wide, covered with leaves and goes through what I would describe as dense tropical hardwood forest, though that is probably not the proper ecological term. In any case, it was nice walking along the trail, shaded by the trees, no sounds except for birds and our leaf-muffled footsteps, smelling the organic, musty smell of the forest, a cool breeze filtering through the foilage. And, believe it or not, not a single mosquito! Everything I had read about hiking on these keys mentions them, often in tales of hikes abandoned due to dense clouds of the beasties. We have been very fortunate, none on our hikes, none while kayaking among the mangroves, none in or around the boat. I think there hasn't been much rainfall here.

Our new anchorage is off the shores of a large key, Palo Alto Key, that is chopped up into pieces by narrow channels than run through its mangroves. It is great for kayaking as most of the small channels are within the Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge and are off limits to watercraft with internal combustion engines. Robin was a bit worried about exploring a place called Crocodile Lake in an inflatable kayak, but we didn't see any crocodiles or alligators. (It reminds me of an Australian joke: What to salt water crocodiles call inflatable dinghies? Answer: Teething rings.)

Today the weather forecast threatened thunderstorms with high winds and lightning, so we decided to stay put on the boat. The haven't materialized yet, although it has been pretty windy. It looks like they won't arrive until tonight and might miss us completely.

Only a few more days before we need to turn around and head to Fort Lauderdale and begin getting the boat ready for loading onto the ship. That is, if the August 19 loading date still holds.

Mostly-lazy days in the Keys

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Sands Key, Biscayne Bay

Intermezzo is anchored off Sands Key in Biscayne Bay National Park in an expanse of shallow water, the skyline of Miami off in the distance to the north. It's very peaceful, a great place to relax after working on the boat for a month straight.

We arrived here yesterday after an overnight sail from Lake Worth. It was an interesting passage, the wind blowing at 10-15 knots from the northeast most of the night, a nice beam reach for sailing. What made the trip interesting was the Gulf Stream.

Information provided in the NOAA text weather forecast reported the west wall of the Gulf Stream about 10 miles offshore. Not accurate. I had plotted a route one mile offshore, the closest I like to get to an unfamiliar coast at night. Shortly after turning southward a mile offshore, we encountered a patch of confused seas and then started bashing into head seas. The boat was also going really slowly, only 3.5 knots on a beam reach with 10 knots true wind speed.

The waves weren't supposed to be coming from that direction and we should have been going faster. I was as confused as the water surface for a little while. Then it occurred to me that I'd only ever experienced head seas while sailing downwind when there as an opposing current. The light bulb turned on and I figured out that the head seas were from the Gulf Stream flowing north was getting stacked up by the wind blowing from that direction and our slow speed was because we were fighting a two knot current.

The urban Florida coastline is well lit and easy to navigate, so I decided it was safe to sail closer to shore. I plotted a new route only a half mile off the coast and turned the boat towards land. As we drew close to our new rhumbline, the seas calmed and started coming from where they should, off our port stern quarter, and boat speed increased to what it should be, almost six knots.

Even though we were only a half mile off shore, we occasionally encountered patches of foul current that caused confused seas and the boat to slow down. I understand that if I had sailed even closer to shore I would eventually encounter a southerly counter current that would boost our speed, but I was not comfortable sailing any closer to the shoreline at night. Once we got to Fort Lauderdale, the Gulf Stream effects disappeared completely and it was smooth sailing the rest of the way. The wind dropped just before sunrise, so we ended up motor sailing the last few hours before Biscayne Bay channel entrance, about seven miles south of Miami ship channel.

Intermezzo had passed through the Biscayne Bay inlet on our passage from Key West to Miami in June 2019. As we passed through this time, I remembered "Stiltsville" a small group of houses built on stilts along the inlet channel. This time, instead of turning north towards Miami, we turned south to follow a route on the inside of the Florida Keys.

We motored a couple hours south until we reached what is considered the first island of the Florida Keys, Boca Chita. We continue along a bit further, threading the boat between shoals to drop anchor off of Sands Key, about a quarter mile south of Boca Chita.

Yesterday we mostly rested from our overnight passage, enjoying a swim in the cool shallow water, reading, cocktails and a nice dinner of blackened mahi-mahi and sauteed vegetables.

This morning we set about doing some easy boat chores, Robin cleaning the stainless steel, me troubleshooting the charging system and tweaking the solar charge controllers. After lunch, we took the dinghy to take a look at Boca Chita. It is a pretty little island, originally owned by Mark Honeywell (founder of the heating control company) in the 1930's, now part of the national park. The island has a small stone wall-lined boat basin, a few elegant stone buildings and lighthouse,  a short nature trail through the mangroves and a small beach. A nice place to spend a couple of hours.

We returned to the boat for cold beers, swimming, more reading and another nice dinner. Nice.

Sands Key


Shallows off Sands Key with Miami skyline in distance


Boca Chita



Sands Key from Boca Chita, Intermezzo anchored just right of center of photo

Boca Chita lighthouse

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Back to Sea Tomorrow Evening!

With the major boat projects (almost) done, my month's slip lease ending at the marina, crew back on board and 16 days until Intermezzo is loaded onto a ship, Robin and I are leaving Lake Worth tomorrow evening and sailing down to the Florida Keys for a couple of weeks.

We'll sail overnight hugging the coast to stay out of the opposing Gulf Stream current and then enter Biscayne Bay to spend some time exploring the waters and keys of Biscayne Bay National Park.

It's been blowing hard and nasty out of the northeast for the past few days, but the weather is supposed to change tomorrow and we should enjoy a nice reach in 15 knot winds with gentle following seas.

It will be good to get out to sea again. I've grown too comfortable being stationery in the marina and Intermezzo needs some exercise.

Elliott Key, Biscayne Bay National Park (image from National Park Service webpage)

Boat Projects, Completed (Almost)

Well, my three major boat projects are completed, save for tying up a few loose ends. Robin has returned to the boat on Tuesday afternoon and I've appreciated her help in wrapping up the work.

Project 1, Engine Charging Upgrade

The new charging systems are installed and tested on both engines. They seem to be working more-or-less correctly when running individually. However, the both systems seem to go into an idle condition, delivering no amps, rather than float charging stage (like a trickle charge) after satisfying the exit criteria for the acceptance charge stage. Also, when I connect the two WS500 charge regulator so that they can talk to each other, an error code is displayed on the regulator for the engine started last. I have a call into Wakespeed to find out what to do about these issues.

Project 2, Standing Rigging Replacement/New Jib Furler

All the work is complete, but the riggers made a mess of the decks. At first, I was just annoyed at all the black marks, but figured I'd just clean them up. When I tried to do that, I found that the marks wouldn't come clean by just scrubbing with soapy water. All of them have to be spot cleaned by hand scrubbing with SoftScrub (with bleach).

But much worse than the black marks are the stains from the WD40 oil used to free up the turnbuckles up on the mast. There are hundreds of orange spots all over the decks. I tried all sorts of cleaning products including detergent, ammonia, backing soda, bleach, toilet bowl cleaner, acetone, degreaser, mineral spirits, rubbing compound. Nothing would remove the spots. I called the owner of the rigging company to complain and he has offered to pay to have the spots professionally removed when I get the boat to Fort Lauderdale. We are working on the logistics for that.

Project 3, Replace Starboard Diesel Tank

Jeff Kingree dropped off the new tank on Tuesday morning and Robin and I installed the tank on Wednesday. Everything went smoothly, except for Robin dropping a wrench which ended up under the tank. We had to yank it out to recover the tool and put it back in, again, for a total of three roundtrips! Fortunately, we were just getting started bolting down the tank and the fumble only took us an hour to recover. The tank is holding fuel, no hoses are leaking, no fuel in the bilge, no odor of diesel. Problem solved! Jeff fabricated the tank out of 1/8-inch thick aluminum, 25 percent thicker than the 2.5 mm thick original tank. The new one should last longer as it will take longer for corrosion to make it through the thicker tank. 

I'm cleaning up and putting everything away now. It feels good to be (almost) done after nearly a month's  effort on these projects. 

The riggers' so far indelible WD40 oil stains on the deck


Friday, March 26, 2021

Boat Projects, Progress Report 2

Well, work on the boat projects is progressing pretty well, although with challenges.

Project 1, Engine Charging Upgrade

The new port engine charging system is installed and tested. It went smoothly, looks good and is working well. I started on the starboard system today, several days behind schedule due to my fuel tank struggles, read onI think I'll be able to knock out the starboard work quite a bit quicker; it's nearly a duplicate of the port side and have a few less wires to pull.

Project 2, Standing Rigging Replacement/New Jib Furler

The riggers from Nance & Underwood arrived yesterday, installed the new Harken ESP jib furler and started loosening turnbuckles for the cap shrouds and diamond stays. The new furler is a major improvement over the poorly-designed and failing Z-Spar unit they removed. It turns so easily, I'm sure I will be able to furl the jib easily even in high winds. The old unit was so stiff, I had to use the electric winch to bring the sail in.

Today they replaced the cap shrouds, removed the diamond stays and spreader tips.  The mast looks naked, held up by just the cap shrouds and halyards. Hopefully, they will finish the job tomorrow. They are doing very good work.

Project 3,  Replace Starboard Diesel Tank

Oh boy. What a struggle this has been.

Last Wednesday, I removed the tank from its compartment below my berth. I pumped out all the fuel, about 28 gallons worth, removed all the hoses connected to the top of tank, disconnected the hot water heater hoses that interfere with removal and unbolted the tank. I straddled across the compartment and tried lifting the tank out, only to discover that the battery switch also interferes. So, I had to disconnect and remove it. Finally I was able to lift the tank out of its compartment and carefully carry it up and out of the cabin into the cockpit. Not an easy job for one person.

The sump below the tank was a mess- diesel fuel, crud and debris from the original build of the boat. I cleaned out the sump, a smelly, oily job.

I inspected the tank to see if I could figure out if it was leaking. I wiped down the tank and it was dry, no fuel residue. I saw a few white spots on the bottom of the tank, but nothing that looked like a hole. The tank looked good to me. Perhaps the fuel in the sump had just accumulated over the years when the tank leaked from the top when overfilled?

I had Jeff Kingree from Master Marine Welding come out last Friday to take a look at the tank. He poked around a bit with a sharp screwdriver and agreed that the tank looked good and probably wasn't leaking. I was happy to hear that, as time is tight for fabricating a new tank, not to mention the avoiding spending more money.

On Monday, I dropped the tank back into its compartment, bolted it down, connected all its hoses, re-connected the water heater hoses, re-installed the battery switch and filled it back up with diesel. It was a full day's work. I took a shower. As I was getting dressed, I thought I caught a whiff of diesel. Oh no!

I pulled mattress off my berth, opened up the compartment and, to my utter dismay, smelled diesel. Before replacing the tank, I  installed a hose into the sump below the tank so I could check for leakage. Sure enough, diesel was leaking into the sump. And not that slowly. If I listened carefully, I could hear it leaking. It never leaked that fast before. I couldn't let the tank leak at that rate all night, so I pumped the diesel back into the jugs again. It had been a long, discouraging day.

The next morning, I called Jeff to ask that he come by to pick up the tank the next day and start fabricating a new one. Then I set about removing all the hoses, disconnecting the hot water hoses, unbolting the tank, removing the battery switch, lifting the tank out of the compartment and carrying it out of the cabin...again.

There was quite a bit of fuel in the sump, over a quart had leaked in just four hours. I cleaned it out...again.

I looked at the bottom of the tank very closely this time. I didn't see any holes, but noticed a wet area around one of the white spots. I took an awl and pushed it into the white spot. Sure enough, the awl poked through, revealing a pinhole about 1.5 mm in diameter. I checked the other white spots with the awl. None had holes, but a few were kind of soft...leaks waiting to happen. The tank corrodes from the inside out, the white spots on the outside indicators of the corrosion's progress.

I felt disappointed and discouraged from the extra work of pulling and replacing the tank twice, but glad that I discovered the problem when I did. I figure the leak got worse from draining the tank, moving it and refilling it. It would have been a really big problem if it had waited until Intermezzo was in transit on a ship and leaked for two weeks; it would have put over 20 gallons of diesel into the bilge!

Jeff picked up the tank on Wednesday morning and promises to have a new one delivered to me by March 31, a rush order. I'm very grateful to him for giving my new tank priority in his shop, as he is very busy with customers whose livelihoods depend on his work.

When I get the tank back, I'll drop the tank back into its compartment, bolt it down re-connect all the hoses...I've got it down to a three hour job now.

The tank in its compartment...a tight fit.




The smelly, messy, oily sump below the leaking tank.

The removed tank. Looks pretty good, eh?

The source of the leak, a tiny hole in a spot of corrosion

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Boat Projects, Progress Report 1

Here's how my three big boat projects are coming along so far:

Project 1, Engine Charging Upgrade

I removed the existing alternator from the starboard engine. I carefully mapped all the existing wiring so that I can put everything back the way it was, if needed. One of the objectives of this project is to keep the old alternators as spares if a problem ever comes up with the new system.

I took the opportunity to remove the heat exchanger cap to extract the pieces of the raw water pump impeller that broke off on our way back from The Bahamas. Four blades broke. I found two in the pump. There were four blades in the heat exchanger inlet. That means two blades must have come from an earlier impeller failure. Hmmmm.....The broken blades really clog up the works. It's amazing to me that the engine doesn't overheat with all that crap at the head of the heat exchanger.

I installed the new alternator for the starboard engine and verified it is aligned with the engine crankshaft pulley. (Compass Marine (aka MarineHowTo) provides complete and helpful guidance for installing alternators.) Everything fit really well. All that was needed was a washer to shim the upper saddle forward a bit and to tweak the adjuster arm slightly.

The wire size for the positive and negative terminals on the new alternators is limited to 6 AWG. A service disconnect from the main battery bank is also highly recommended for the positive cable.  I shortened the existing 2 AWG positive cable, crimped a new lug terminal on the end and wired it to a new battery switch. (MarineHowTo also has a great article on making your own battery cables. I bought the recommended FTZ 94284 crimping tool and it makes amazingly good crimps, really easily.) I started making up the new 6 AWG cable to run from the switch to the new alternator. I wish I could have done more, but the new cables and appurtenances didn't arrive until after noon.

Next up will be finishing the main alternator cables and then mounting the WS500 regulator and connecting its three wiring harnesses. However, I have to switch over to Project 3 tomorrow; see below.

Project 2, Standing Rigging Replacement/New Jib Furler

I paid a 50 percent deposit for the work which is scheduled to begin on March 24. Siting tight '

Project 3, Replace Starboard Diesel Tank

I had hoped to get a new plastic fuel tank fabricated to replace the failed aluminum one. Unfortunately the plastic tank fabricator is six to eight weeks out for delivering a tank.  That's too late for me.

So, I'm going to get a new aluminum tank fabricated locally. I found a welder that specializes in boat tanks that comes highly recommended and says he can get the new tank done in two weeks. That's tight, but workable. I'm bummed to replace a tank that failed with the same material. However, the existing tank lasted almost 9 years; hopefully I'll get the same out of the new one. Then I can replace with a plastic tank that will theoretically last forever.

I have to get the old tank out of the boat ASAP and to the welder so he can copy it. Tomorrow morning, I'm up early to pump the fuel out of the tank and then wrestle it out of the boat.


The new and the old alternators. Not much difference on the outside. Big difference inside.


Broken raw water pump impeller blades in the heat exchanger inlet

Lots of impeller pieces


Sunday, March 14, 2021

Day Off at Peanut Island, Lots of Work Ahead

Today was my day off from working on the boat. I try to work a solid 9 to 5, six days a week, but enjoy taking Sunday's off to rest and do whatever I want.

This morning, I got up a little later than usual and spent a leisurely morning drinking coffee and reading The Economist, the weekly newspaper that I am always two to three weeks behind on reading. After over a week of strong, gusty northerly winds, today was calm, sunny and warm. I decided I would take the dinghy to Peanut Island, just across from the marina, less than a quarter mile away. There is a snorkeling lagoon on the east side of the island, so I pulled out all the dive gear to give it a rinse and put just my own stuff into the dive bag for carrying around the island.

Well, so much for a day off. The dive gear is stored in the life raft locker, which has never been cleaned out. I emptied it, culled its contents, and washed the interior and the life raft case. A fire extinguisher bracket had completed corroded away, leaving a big pile of rust. I mounted a new plastic bracket in its place. It didn't take long, I worked at a relaxed pace and I can check another item off my boat work list. So worth the little interruption to my day of leisure.

Lake Worth was swarming with boats, a Florida scene of powerboats, loud music, alcohol and tanned people of all shapes and sizes in bathing suits. I puttered over the short distance to the Peanut Island to tie up at the day use docks in the tiny Mangrove Lagoon.

Peanut Island was created from the spoils from dredging the Lake Worth Inlet that connects the port of Palm Beach to the ocean and which used to get to and from The Bahamas. The sandy dredge spoils are fenced off in the center of the island, the circumferential ring around the spoils is a park with beaches, lagoons, picnic areas and a campground. There is an old coast guard station (now closed) and, strangely, a bunker from the Kennedy era, a relic from the Cold War and Cuban Missile Crisis days. There weren't many people on the paved trail that circles the island through palm trees and other tropical vegetation. It was a nice peaceful walk to the snorkeling lagoon, diametrically across from where I left the dinghy.

The beaches were busy with mostly families enjoying the beautiful day and the water. The trail and all the facilities are really well maintained. It's a really nice park. There were lots of small tropical fish in the snorkeling lagoon, some large parrot fish and a couple of stingrays. I was hoping to see a manatee, but no luck. I swam out the inlet to the lagoon and came across a school of many dozen large snooks, ranging from 18 inches to three feet long. They were just lounging near the bottom, seemed to be enjoying the cool water "breeze" of the incoming tide. I've seen them swimming around the marina. They are good to eat, plentiful and not colorful, so maybe I'll try to catch one. The only trick is that you can only keep fish between 24 and 32 inches long. Smaller are considered juveniles and, interestingly, male snooks turn into female snooks when the get large, so big ones are left to reproduce.

I lay out on in the sun on the white sand beach to dry off and then finished my circumnavigation of the island, returning to the dinghy and making my way back to Intermezzo and a rum cocktail. It was a nice day off. I'm thinking of returning to Peanut Island during the week to go running there in the evening. The ring trail is 1.5 miles long, so a few laps would be a perfect distance and much more pleasant than running on roads with traffic on the mainland. 

I have a lot of work ahead of me in the coming weeks. In addition to getting Intermezzo ready for transport, I was planning to tackle two big projects. As it turns out, I now have three big projects to complete.

Project #1 is to upgrade the engine charging system. On sunny days, from the spring until fall equinox, the solar panels provide all the electrical power that Intermezzo needs with two people living aboard. If the weather is cloudy, when the winter sun is low in the sky, or if more than two are on board, they often don't keep up. When we are motoring, the diesels are capable of making up the shortfall, but their charging systems are limited in capacity and don't treat the batteries very well. The current system is just an internally regulated alternator like the one on a car that puts out a constant voltage to the batteries.

The upgrade is to install a new externally regulated alternator connected to a sophisticated charging regulator for each engine. The new alternators are high quality AMP-IT 80-ER 80 amp units built by Compass Marine. They are externally regulated and fit the existing saddle mountings on my Yanmar engines without modification. External regulation allows the alternators to be closely monitored and controlled to maximize output and efficiency.

The new regulators are Wakespeed WS500, probably the most sophisticated voltage and current regulator available.  Instead of just putting out a constant voltage, like the current system, these regulators deliver the three phase charging regimen (bulk, acceptance and float) that is much better for the batteries. What makes the WS500 special is that, unlike other voltage-only regulators, it can monitor the charging current. Batteries are fully charged when they can only accept a low current, for the Lifeline AGM batteries on Intermezzo, 0.5% of the battery bank capacity. The WS500 will continue charging at the 14.3 volt absorption voltage until this limit is reached before switching to the 13.3 volt float stage. Other regulators will just apply the absorption voltage for a set amount of time, often not long enough to fully charge the batteries. The other great feature of the WS500 is that they can be connected via a CANbus communications network so that they can "talk" to each other.  What this means is that the regulators can synchronize the charging when both engines are running, achieving the full capacity of both alternators, 160 amps total, for faster charging. The existing "dumb" charging system lets the alternators fight it out so that only one is actually charging the batteries at any instant. 

I think this charging upgrade will be a great improvement towards keeping the batteries in a healthy state of charge and reducing how often and how long we run the portable gas generator to supplement the solar panels. It's a big job, though.

Project #2 is replacement of the standing rigging, the wires that hold up the mast. The service life of stainless steel wire rigging in salt water environment is about 10 years, based on generally accepted practice, coast guard guidance and insurance company requirements. Intermezzo's standing rigging will be nine years old at the end of October and it has a lot of hard sailing miles on it. There aren't many skilled, experienced riggers in Mexico and there are some very good ones in Florida, so I'm getting the work done a bit early. I've selected Nance & Underwood out of Fort Lauderdale to do the work, based on their experience with rigging Leopard catamarans and recommendations. In addition to replacing the rigging, they will be installing a new Harken jib furler to replace the Z-Spar furler and its crappy bearings which is getting stiff to turn again. This is a job that I will watch get done, versus do myself. And pay handsomely for the privilege.

The unexpected Project #3 is to repair or replace the starboard diesel fuel tank. The tank has been leaking a tiny amount of fuel into the bilge. I had hoped the leak was from overfilling the tank. Unfortunately, that's not the case; it's leaking from the bottom. And, alas, the rate of leakage is increasing. Still just a nuisance leak, but it's not going to get any better.

The aluminum fuel tanks on Leopards are prone to pinhole leaks from corrosion of the tank. I had hoped to dodge this bullet, but not so lucky. My first choice is to replace the aluminum tank with a plastic one, like most Leopard owners have done. However, if I can't get a plastic one shipped to me in time, I'll get a new bottom welded onto the tank, which should give a few more years of service. Either way, I have the unpleasant job of pumping all the fuel out of the existing tank and pulling it out from under my berth in the starboard hull. I'm hoping that I can some help from the Rybovich superyacht boatyard next door. Intermezzo is a puny toy compared to the megayachts they work on, but I figure I might play the "how 'bout the little guy" card and get some sympathetic assistance. For a price, of course.

Well, writing about all the work ahead of me has put my lovely day at Peanut Island squarely into the past and I better get to bed soon so  that I can get cracking tomorrow morning.

A Florida Sunday afternoon on Lake Worth

The circumferential trail around Peanut Island

The old Coast Guard building on Peanut Island (Kennedy bunker nearby)

The AMP-IT alternator and Wakespeed WS500 regulator charging upgrade