This will be a short post, I am tired.  We’ve done everything we know to do to prepare for Matthew.  The boat is in a canal in Satellite Beach (Brevard County).  It is snuggled up into the mangroves and as far away from other boats and property as we could get her.  We have three large anchors out, are tied to two pilings and have six long lines into the mangroves.  We have back-up snubbers (five actually) and chafe gear on everything, the boat is stripped,  thru hulls closed and all the other items on the checklist-checked. A mandatory evacuation was called this afternoon and we will leave her in the morning and stay with friends. 

Wishing everyone a safe next few days.   

Back in Florida

When we left Fort Pierce I thought it might be years before we might sail back into a Florida inlet again. Yet, here we are! (Thank goodness)

The Gulf Stream crossing was wonderful for the most part-another flat calm motoring trip.  I didn’t even bother grabbing the camera-nothing changed from when we were there just eleven days ago. We did get a little spanking only about 18 miles from the coast.  Just one of the typical nasty Florida summer thunder squalls, it had some punch though and lasted a few hours. A couple waves on the beam sent our freezer flying across the boat (along with everything else not strapped down tight enough).  We found later that it had even knocked the lightbulb out of our light fixture in the aft cabin. Nothing got damaged besides the broken tie-down boards though. Our biggest worry was that it wouldn’t pass before we got to the jetties and we would miss our chance to go in at slack tide, fortunately it settled down about four miles out and returned to a quiet calmness and made for an easy pass through the inlet.

We checked the weather, half expecting to see that we ran back for no reason.  No. At this moment we are SO thankful we decided to run and are happy to be here in Florida again! I think we will plan on staying here till the end of the season 😉 

We both had been in need of the charge that getting over there and getting in the water again gave us, so we don’t regret going either. We had fun. Before we left Keith got a chance to go out deep-sea fishing with one of the locals.  It was kind of a no-notice thing and I sent Keith off without coffee or breakfast (or shoes or sunscreen). I threw two waters, a bag of Cheeze-its and a Cliff bar in a cute flowered lunch bag and sent him on his way with no idea of where he was going or when he’d be back. They boys caught some red snapper which we were planning on enjoying together on Thursday. Instead on Thursday we were happily enjoying a big veggie pizza with our friend in Vero Beach.

My only disappointment with leaving was that I had just found a perfect sea-glass searching beach the day before and had planned to go back on a low tide.  I had found lots of glass, not much of it had been tumbled long enough and was more like broken glass instead of sea glass, but I had high hopes for finding more.  Ah, when we return.  Besides, maybe it will be nice and tumbled by then.




Velcro Beach

We had to make a decision, we could either rush and use the current weather window to cross or wait for the next.  With gale-like winds coming in at the end of the week, we decided we didn’t want to hurry across just to be scrambling to find a good anchorage to hunker down into for our first days in the Bahamas, so we are headed south on island time, waiting for the windy days to pass and catch the next good weather opportunity.  We made it just a wee little bit further south to Vero Beach, frequently called “Velcro Beach” by cruisers because it’s apparently just so easy to stay here.  We picked up a mooring and paid for two nights, not usually our style, but for $15.00 a night we get hot, almost pressure-washer hard, showers, free wifi, and access to the rest of the Marina amenities like laundry, book exchanges, and other cruisers to mingle with.  The most welcome feature for us, though, is the floating dinghy dock! We now have legitimate access to shore.  Woohoo.  But wait, it gets even better, at the end of the dinghy dock is a bus stop-where a FREE bus comes around twice an hour to pick you up and take you all over town or to the beach. 

Our first night in we didn’t have the energy to go exploring, I have no idea what was so exhausting about a windless putter down the nearly deserted ICW but we were in bed by 7:30.  With our extra hours of sleep, we were ready to put our tourist shoes on the next day. In the morning we took the bus to the closest shopping center. It had two grocery stores, a West Marine, two liquor stores, a TJMaxx and a handful of other chain restraints and shops.  We loaded up on another $100.00 of groceries because even though we just bought six months of groceries I decided I needed stuff to make dinner.  Backpacks overloaded, we missed the bus by one minute so we wandered around a dive shop for a half an hour until we caught the next bus.  It wasn’t really the right bus because it took the long route back, but it still eventually went where we were going.  We got on the bus with an older gentleman who was wearing very torn, thin clothes but had wads of money and new lotto tickets falling out of every pocket.  He knew most of the people on the bus and also knew exactly how to push all of their buttons.  And did.  A bunch of smack-talk became loud and turned into “I’m gonna kick your…”.  We really thought there might be a fight between the guy next to me and the one behind me, but there wasn’t.  Just drama.   It was just like being back on a school bus.  We just sat and enjoyed the air conditioning and the free ride.

In the evening we saw a bit more of town had a to-remember dinner with our friend.  She took us to what must be the best spot in Vero, the Kilted Mermaid.  A very good night.

In the morning we got on the bus, this time to the beach.  I have been to the beach only twice since coming back from the Bahamas so it was a treat.  We gazed at the flat ocean and what was the last few hours of calm crossing weather there was. In the afternoon we lounged around and stopped by the office and paid for one more night on the mooring.  We then walked to the very large, and completely free, dog park that shares the waterfront with the mooring field so Kai could have a play date with his friend Congo (and we could meet up with Congo’s Mom).  Kai hasn’t been to a dog park in months and ran and sniffed himself to exhaustion.

The next day we hopped on the bus and spent the morning at the beach and peeking in all the pricy boutiques and found some galleries to enjoy.  The good thing about wandering about in a rich community is that there is absolutely no temptation to buy anything!  We came home for lunch (the gourmet cafes are not in our budget).  We also stopped by the office and paid for three more nights before hopping on the bus again. 

^^ Vero Beach City Marina mooring field

^^ Dinghy dock + free bus = match made in heaven ❤️

^^ Kai cooling his paws at the (free) dog park.   

Dragon Point

Dragon Point is where the Banana and Indian River meet (and where there used to be a big concrete dragon). It’s also where we spent the last week anchored out.  We weren’t planning on spending another week anchored right in front of our old marina but my iPad broke-or probably more accurately, Kai broke-and we hung around while we got it replaced. No iPad = No blog.  I was lucky, it was covered under warranty.  Even luckier, I was able to recover all of my photos off of it.  I thought they were already all backed up somewhere in the “Cloud”.  But it turned out only five of my 6011 photos had made it to this photo-saving heaven.  Oooops!  The Apple store was in walking distance, thank goodness because I walked there six different times, but landing the dinghy to get on shore was the problem.  I talked about it before, Satellite Beach is just down right boater unfriendly.  No dinghy docks anywhere and frequently the best we could do was drop each other off and one of us had to return to the boat with the dinghy.  Even with this tactic we got escorted out of a marina.  Of course “one vehicle” and one phone presented a new set of logistical quandaries.  How exactly does one call the other when they are ready to get picked up?  We actually missed pay phones! Oh well.  The whole week was pretty much a logistics puzzle of where to tie the dinghy, how to get from the dinghy to where we were going and how to contact each other. Not complaining, it’s just simply what our week was about.  But by the end of the week, with much help from friends, we were able to get the provisioning done for the next six months, or least as much of it as our little boat will hold, which led to two days of stowing and stuffing all the groceries into every nook and cranny of our bilge and hull.  But that is a whole different puzzle.

The rest of the week was spent hanging out with friends, putting the sails back on, and being happy about being afloat again.  We even had time to sail to a local river-side restaurant with friends for dinner (they DID have a dinghy dock-for paying guests of course).



^^Kai all set to keep cool on a long dinghy ride.

^^ Provisioning run required taking the dinghy through two drainage tunnels. Not creepy at all. At least it gave us cover from the rain.

^^ unloading the dinghy with Kai’s help.  He is very good at finding the bags that have meat.  You know, so we can refrigerate them quickly I’m sure. 😉

^^ Our anchorage for the week just north of Mather’s Bridge.  Bye bye.


Moving Day

Today was moving day!  Only four days past our anticipated splash date, we got set back in the water.  Which, for yard schedules, was pretty darn good.  Yay!!!!  After spending almost seven weeks stone still in the yard it felt great, and a little weird, to be bobbing along again.  Everything went well, no surprises, and we checked out what our newly pitched prop would do by motoring back down to Dragon Point, Merritt Island and basically anchored right in front of our old Marina again.  A race was going on right in front of where we anchored so we sat back and watched, took a nap, and started on unpacking all the things that had been stowed away while in the yard, like the dinghy.  We also got all the plumbing systems up and going.  No more hikes to the bathroom! Today was such a good day 🙂

So hopefully no more hurricanes pop up, we will finish stocking up, and start heading back over to the Bahamas.  Time to get this show on the road again. Whew! 

It may have been a good day for Keith and I, but it was a GREAT day for Kai. Since we’ve been in the yard he hasn’t been allowed on the deck at all, we were too afraid of him falling.  The poor guy was starting to go stir-crazy.  He was ecstatic with free reign of the deck today.  You could just see it in his face.  Happy dog.  

^^ Kai, just takin’ a walk with my boat 🙂

^^first night back on the hook, feels so good.

^^view of Pineda Causeway from our head (bathroom) port.  You know, because we have a functioning head again!!!


We got to Florida over two weeks ago and apparently I forgot that, A, I owned a camera and, B, was trying to document our journey by blog.  Whoopsie!  

So, for the emails we’ve gotten wondering where we are and what happened-we are good, we are in Florida.  

Here is a mini catch-up:


Our first week back was a wonderful whirlwind of social meet-ups.  And it was apparently exactly what our personal batteries were in need of to get all charged up 🙂  We had friends come out and anchor near us, several friends hosted us for some seriously delicious dinners and fun evenings, we lunched out with family, cooked fish-n-conch on our boat, and simply chilled out and caught up with everyone we had missed.  It was SO good to see everyone!


We had anchored right in front of our old marina and had planned on staying there for two or three weeks before heading to the work yard to be hauled out, but besides having fun with friends we found that our old neighborhood isn’t that easy to navigate while on anchor.  Sadly, I’ll have to report that Satellite Beach isn’t a cruiser-friendly town.  None of the marinas will let you tie up a dinghy and while there is a public park called Paddles and Oars complete with a beautiful floating dock, you can’t tie up your row-boat there either.  Again, friends came to the rescue to solve this dilemma.  

Here is a funny:  Keith found a place for the dinghy and walked to our old 7-11 (the one we used to frequent multiple times a day) to buy beer and Diet Coke, because of course we are now back in the land of affordable beer and soda and we can.  The cashier carded him and he didn’t have his ID. (Keith is in his fourties)  No beer. He walked to the next store, and  while he did buy his beer, they were out of Diet Coke.  He walked back to the same 7-11 (with his getting-hot beer) and bought my soda and then had to walk back to the dinghy lugging two twelve-packs.  Beer and soda, they might be cheaper here but not necessarily more accessible!

In search of wifi (and air conditioning) we sailed across the river to the Melbourne Library a couple times, which has a wonderful public dock that you can tie your dinghy to.  There,  we found that we weren’t the only hoodlums waiting in line for the library to open for reasons other than checking out a book. 😉   Our unemployed, transient-living, back-pack toting selves mingled with our like. One fellow even welcomed us “to the hood” using language that won’t make it to print here.  Keith reassured me that it was a term of endearment. Uh-huh.

It was weird being in the same neighborhood, but seeing it from the perspective of pedestrian.  The laundry mat and Publix Grocery don’t seem quite so close anymore!  That, and brown river water still isn’t our thing-yuck.  So, after only a week we were ready to get going on our boat projects and sailed up to Port Canaveral to get hauled out.  I do like being transient.  Just go when you are ready to go.

^^this was taken from the library, that is our boat anchored by the end of the pier and a squall that blew through 



This isn’t our first rodeo, we’ve been in a boat yard before.  The first 48 hours after being hauled out always looks the same.  Elaborate efforts are made to keep the dirt and sand off and out of the boat (I’ve got quite the mud room going on at the base of our ladder), neighbors are checked out (our neighbor is living under a tarp and drives a BMW-curious), and new plumbing arrangements are secured (toilet doesn’t work without sea water).  The first 48 hours is also when that carefully typed out project list/time line always dissolves (usually, and without exception this time, in a fit of tears).  No worries, it was a short fit and problem has already been resolved by simply deciding not to resolve it.  What was the problem? I washed the paint off the deck.  Not the dirt off the paint, the paint off the deck.  Seems there was a prep issue with a section of our last coat and for a short, short minute stripping and repainting the deck was added to the list.  Hence the fit of tears.  Oh, and the rental of a storage locker to clear everything off the deck in order to proceed.  Then we agreed that the coat underneath is already the same color so we will let the failing paint job do its thing on its own, we will tackle that job at a later date.  Order and sanity restored and focus redirected back to the real issue, the rudder. That will get a post of its own soon.


Maybe we just haven’t been cruisers long enough, but we miss a set of wheels and even though we have had an overwhelming amount of genuine offers for rides and loaner vehicles, we decided to get something of our own again for while we are here.  Enter: Craigslist.   We ruled out a car as that would require getting insurance and we only plan on having it about 6 weeks max and motorcycles didn’t fit the budget leaving us searching for a scooter.  By the end of the day Keith had scored a zippy little Yamaha Zuma scooter. For $450.00 it came with 10,000 miles, a flat front and back tire, busted fender, broken tail light, and a burnt out headlight.  But it ran great! Another $102.00 for parts and repairs and Keith was zooming along at a wind-whipping 35 mph! Beep-Beep. Now, hopefully, we can throw it back up on Craigslist when we are ready to leave and recoupe most of the cash, making it a cheaper than a rental.  That is the plan at least. For now, no more long walks for beer and soda.


That’s our current status in a nut shell.  

So how many of you read that and are making mental bets of how long we will be here? 

(I assure you, we will be in the water and ready to head back to the Bahamas by October first, don’t let the storage unit rental and vehicle purchase fool you!)