We had another short 30 mile journey to Jacksonville Beach, Florida this morning. It was an easy, fast ride and we arrived early enough to enjoy the day there! We settled into Palm Cove Marina and then went to lunch along the beach. We had a great meal at an open air cafe, Ocean Grille and Bar, and watched the waves crash while we ate. It was obvious we had made it further south as the color of the water was getting bluer and bluer.
After lunch, we spent a while relaxing on the beach and then went back to the marina. Palm Cove has very nice facilities, including a really nice pool that their transient guests have access to. If you stumbled upon this blog looking for ICW tips and recommendations then I highly encourage you to look for marinas with pools if you are boating with kids!! Its really a deal breaker with our child. On such hot days, it was so nice to relax, play and cool off in the pool. While we are underway, we don’t have AC power to run the Air Conditioner and don’t use the generator, therefore it gets really hot on the boat everyday. Many afternoons it would take several hours for the boat to cool down once plugging back into shore power. Finding ways to cool off is a must.
Our Marine Air Conditioner is a Mermaid Marine 5200 BTU AC Unit with Reverse Cycle Heat. This particular unit is roughly 20 years old and isn’t cooling as well as it used to. I’m guessing it needs a recharge, but it uses the older Freon that is difficult to come by nowadays. I would love to hear from someone knowledgeable about Marine AC units on whether we can recharge this unit or if it needs to be replaced. The coils and filter are clean, but we’re not getting super cold air out of the ducts. It can’t keep up during the heat of the day. Complicating things, this is not a factory installation, so the two ducts were routed with limited access and probably aren’t in ideal locations for cooling the boat. I also believe this 5200 BTU unit is slightly undersized for our 27 ft. cruiser.
After a few hours at the pool, we showered and then went to dinner. There is a restaurant onsite at the marina called Marker 32. This restaurant was a bit fancier than we would typically take our rambunctious child to but the atmosphere was loud so we went for it. I’m so glad we were able to eat there as the food was phenomenal! Everything seemed fresh and well prepared. After our meal we went back to our boat to relax and unwind from a great day.