Now the logistics for getting four bodies from Atlanta to Fort Pierce and back via Brunswick were fun. I had planned to drive everyone to Brunswick where I'd rent a car and drop it off in Fort Pierce. Guess what? The only car hire companies that have a presence in both places don't do one-way rentals. In fact the only rental car agency in Fort Pierce that does one-ways is Budget.
So on to plan B. I'll fly to Jacksonville, rent a car, drive to Brunswick, pick up the troops and flee south. One of them can drive to Brunswick and I'll ride back to Atlanta with them. Simple. But wait a minute. It's about 300 miles from Fort Pierce to Brunswick. It could take all of 6 days to make the trip if we don't do any overnights. The yard doesn't work on Saturdays so if I want to be there when the boat goes in, I'll have to show up on Friday or wait until Monday. Too late! Now I'm flying into Orlando on Thursday night, driving to Fort Pierce and trying to get the boat in the water and ready to roll on Friday. I'll drive up to Brunswick Friday evening, meet the rest of the troops Saturday morning and bring them back. Of course, the Budget office closes at 5:30 so we'll have to be back, pick up any provisions/equipment we may need and get the car back. Talk about a tough schedule!
Murphy is bound to show up somewhere along the line. Since a couple of us are hams, we'll have to have an HF radio on board. There are no insulators in the rigging and all of the stays are bonded to the keel, so I don't think we'll be very successful in loading the rigging. I guess I'll string up a long wire to the spare halyard. Of course, we'll have to have email, so I've got to get the PK-232 working with the IC-706 that I'm yanking out of the RV. Now my old Dentron tuner will load up a long wire just fine, but it's somewhat bigger than a bread box. I looked around for a smaller tuner and decided I just had to have an automatic one. Looks like I'll have either a RT-11 or AT-11MP. The RT-11 is the one I want but it is backordered. No sense in having a big, old 706 hanging around, so I'll separate the face plate and mount it somewhere convenient. More $$. While I'm at it, I guess I'll get some marine coax and wire to hook up the HF station. Hey, psk-31 is fun, so lets put that on board too. My homebrew adapter for psk-31 may not take the rigors of the sea so let's pick up another one that's put together better. KaCHING! More $$.
The fire extinguishers are out of date, so lets just replace them. We're going to get hungry on this trip, so a nice grill seems to be called for, hanging off the stern. Might as well hook it to the existing LP tanks too. Does $200 sound about right? Oh well, it's just money.
May 4, 2001
Getting closer. I complete assembling the psk-31 interface the other day. I also built a switch box to switch between the pk-232 and the psk-31 interface. It all worked fine until I put the cover over the mini-din plug I added to the accessory wire from the 706. It shorted out the mike input. I tried to bend the pins a bit, but I found out that the pins on a mini-din plug don't bend. They break. So I had to start over last night. I think it is all working, but I'll be sure to have a small soldering iron with me. We'll be operating on pretty much any band. I plan on checking into the waterways net in the mornings and we'll be on 3975 at 2030 EDT each evening so if anyone wants to call us, we'll be there. You might find us on 3775 in the mornings too. I hope to design a special qsl card to use for this trip. The tuner arrived, but the high stability oscillator wasn't in the box. I called and it had disappeared. I'm not real happy with Universal Radio at this point. They've been nice, but they appear to be a bit flaky. The cable between the tuner and the IC-706 didn't make it in the shipment either, but they are sending it separately. My chart kits are backordered. As are some spare Racor fuel filters.
The Racor filters never made it. I got chart kits but not from the first source.