Saturday, February 21, 2004:
N 27o08.998′, W 080o11.630′
Lillian sits in her slip at the Hinckley Yard in the Manatee Pocket in Stuart Florida. At low tide she settles into the silt. The engine has been serviced, including the replacement of a disintegrated cooling water impeller and equally disintegrated sacrificial zincs in the heat exchanger. Tonight is a clear, calm evening surrounded by the lights of the boats and marinas along the banks of the pocket. The rental car has been turned in. My nephew Peter is off with friends for the evening. Crew member and good friend Dick Hiatt is forward reading a book. Today we flushed the water tanks and bought last minute items: a third jerry can for spare fuel, a regulator for the scuba gear, miscellaneous hardware, and food for the refrigerator. And, Dick was able to send our first e-mail via a modem and SSB radio. Tomorrow we will do additional last minute preparation, such as cleaning the carburetor on the outboard and testing the watermaker. Monday, Hinckley is scheduled to complete the addition of a halyard for the storm tri-sail and connection of the solar panel (and speakers for the stereo!). Tuesday, weather permitting, we back out at high tide and head down the intercoastal waterway and then over to the Bahamas.