Sunday, April 30, 2017

     We were on our way, but mostly retracing our route from the fall and dodging "go fast boats" and their wakes.  The stretch of water from Miami to Cocoa is a real playground for Floridians.  From taco stands on the sand bars in the water, dock and tie bars lining the ICW, to mega yachts in the marinas, they love the water.  DelRay Beach Friday night was much quieter and a lovely little town with a great sports bar, Granger's, with wonderful fried oysters, Lightly battered and almost raw inside.
       Off on Saturday morning we headed to Stuart, the jumping off point for going across Florida on the Okeechobee waterway and the Caloosahatchee River to Ft Myers.  We stayed at a different marina in Manatee Pocket not far from the main ICW.   The marina had a great swimming pool and after working up my nerve to get a dip in a non heated pool I was pleasantly surprised to find it heated.  The exercise was wonderful since we do a lot of sitting on the boat..  Saturday night found us at the Sebastian Inlet marina.  A very tight and scary place to dock without hitting other boats of pilings. Out boat acts like a kite in the wind and our little engines make it really hard to handle in tight quarters.  John is getting really good at handling all that, but it pretty hard on his stomach.
When we woke up to pouring rain and stiff wind, we were worried about getting out, but in a lull in the wind but still raining John said "We're going" and I said "Aye aye Captain."  A beautiful exit from the harbor and a rainy day which discouraged most of the fast boaters made for a lovely quiet day on the Indian River.
      The sun came out in the afternoon and we got to Cocoa, where we were meeting friends, early enough to practice anchoring in a bay just short of the harbor.  Actually it was the first time we had tried it on this boat.  More about two days in Cocoa, a lovely little town  in the next segment.
   Waking up this morning anchored off of Little St Simons Island we are finally in territory we haven't visited before.  (Though the water, and swamp grass islands look a lot like what we've been traveling in)  We have been traveling as fast as we can (8 mph with the current or wind behind us)  to make up for all the time we spent in boat yards, Also we covered most of this territory when we brought the boat to Ft Myers from St Simons Island, GA in the fall.  So I'll just highlight some of our stops.
      After getting back from Hong Kong I got the news that John had found some people to do the work we needed to get done and we would be staying there a little longer.  We were docked in downtown Ft Lauderdale at spring break so it should be fun!  The first week I made the best of it. We saw a  great production of the musical "Big River".   We'll be making that trip down the Mississippi  later on. The restaurant and theater were both a short walk from our marina.   An amazing concert by "The Ten Tenors" and Australian group took care of my cultural needs. Of course there's always golf and we played some great courses all over the Ft Lauderdale area. Bicycling was tough with all the traffic, but I found some good parks.
       In the next week it became apparent that we would be in Ft. L for longer than we thought since parts were hard to get.  I found the beach, not impressed.  But did try an afternoon at the horse races in Hollywood.

The name of the racecourse was Pegasus and this enormous statue was at the entrance.
      When it became obvious that the parts were coming from Japan and would take a while John decided to leap frog the work and get to the boatyard where we could take the boat out of the water and get some other work done to complete the electronics upgrade.  But we couldn't drive the boat!  It turns out our Boat US Towing insurance will tow from dock to boatyard as part of the service.  Hopefully that was our first and last tow job.

      More golf, a few bike rides a wonderful Easter morning golf game on a beautiful course with no other people and a magnificent Easter brunch on the patio and we were finally on our way on April 20.  We only had enough daylight for about 20 miles to DelRay but I wasn't for staying another night in the boat yard.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

I had a great time in Hong Kong for Louis' wedding. A small group but a very nice ceremony.  Hong Kong is a great city.  Busy but very manageable and I'm a sucker for cities built on water.
   Back in Fort Lauderdale John was in a good mood, having found people he thought could really get some things done on the boat that he wanted.  Unfortunately nothing moves quickly in the boat world, so we're still in the Marina on April 1.  And its not April Fool's.
    Since I havent much to relate as to our travels, I thought I'd give a tour of the boat.  It is turning out to be a perfect boat for us, and we've been on it together without traveling, for 2 weeks!
     To get on the boat there are two options.

The back door is perfect, if the dock is long enough and floating.  Then its just an easy step out and onto the dock.  With a floating dock, the boat and the dock go up and down together with the tide.

At Cooley's Marina in Fort Lauderdale the tide  doesn't change too much so we are on a short, fixed dock which doesn't move, so we have to use the ladder

Once on the boat, if we come in the back door we are in our screened patio.  A lovely place for morning coffee.
Stepping from sun deck into the main salon through our French doors we have a comfortable recliner and our dining room
The table opens out for the two of us for dinner, but not much more, though we used it to serve drinks and Hors d'oevres when my sister Laurie and and her friend John visited last week.  There is a very convient pass through to the galley and a kitchen that is bigger than the one Louis and Rachel have in Hong Kong.

We have a full size refrigerator that is wonderful as long as we have power.  We will usually be hooked up to power at a marina and have a back up generator if not, but John did turn the power off for a while when we were in Flamingo without shore power.  Turning the power back on   without emptying ice maker makes for a big solid mass of ice in the freezer.
Across from the kitchen is the office.  Usually John's lair, but I get to use the computer once in a while

Behind the galley and the office is our stateroom.  My Colorado quilt was here for a few days till I took it to Hong Kong for the newlyweds to remind them of Colorado.  The bed is really high off the floor because we have batteries and tanks and storage underneath.  I need a foot stool to get in.

Above the stateroom and up the stairs from the salon is the pilot house where we spend all of our time when the boat is underway. 

I spend most of the time we are traveling sitting on the bench where I can get up to look at the charts and make sure John isn't going off course!!  John of course gets the captain"s chair.  This is another good place for morning coffee since we have windows all around and can see the sun come up where ever it chooses.  The table goes down and extra cushions makes this area into a pretty private second bedroom with a queen size bed.  And out that door is the ladder for getting on and off the boat when we're at a fixed dock. 
That,s the tour of our home for the next year.  So far it is turning out to be just perfect. Of course if we don't get the screens back on the port lites that we set out to be fixed it could get either really buggy or really hot inside.  Oh, but did I mention the air conditioning!