Thursday, 28 December 2017

We're Getting There ...

Well, it may not be -30 celsius here – but 16 feels cold for Florida! We’ve got the heater going in the boat, and we’re wearing jackets outside – a big difference from two days ago in our bathing suits! But I’m not complaining … the weather will be gorgeous again soon, and thanks to the skill of my captain, the boat is taking shape, slowly but surely.

We’re having new covers made for the cockpit cushions that are now thirteen years old, and that should give Sea Change a face-lift. I rented a bike and have been exploring the area. The little “historic village” of Titusville has a wonderful bakery with fresh (and sometimes gluten-free) bread every day, and terrific lattes. It’s also full of art galleries and surrounded by lovely lakes with “no shrimping” signs posted on them J.

Yesterday, while Jeff rested from his labours, I took an hour bike ride to the Chain of Lakes park – with Snowy Egrets, alligators sunning by the river’s edge, and a 4-story lookout that I climbed for a spectacular view of the area – pics below.

We’re planning a pot luck dinner for the boaters on New Year’s eve – again around a campfire provided by our neighbor. And he said he’d look into fireworks as well – should be fun. Meanwhile, it’s cleaning, laundry, boat repairs, etc. for another few days at least, so I won’t post again until things get more exciting.

Happy New Year, everyone … we miss you all a lot!

Monday, 25 December 2017

Christmas Eve Gremlins

Christmas eve, as we celebrated our anniversary, came with lovely surprises and a few gremlins!

The surprises included a “sundowner” we were invited to join by our fellow boaters in the marina. We contributed our anniversary bottle of champagne and some appetizers to the collection already there in the cozy dock gathering space. Then while we were there, we were all invited to a campfire near a large powerboat at the end of our dock, which entertained us with continuous seasonal music and a huge display of coloured lights! The host gave us guests strings of lights as we left – so now we’re all sporting our colours – very festive.

In between those two events, we ate our anniversary dinner of lobster tails and shrimp, braised asparagus and corn on the cob – with fresh figs for dessert. All lovely.

Not so lovely were the gremlins that attacked both our galley (read kitchen) sink with a huge leak in a hard-to-reach place, and our head (read bathroom) sink faucet – which is now running continuously – bad news on a boat with limited water storage L.

We jury-rigged the head fixture with a wrench, turned off the water and ignored it all by spending today at the Kennedy Space Centre. It’s an amazingly well-done walk through the history of space travel – complete with the remains of the actual space shuttle Atlantis, many other unused real rockets, and a 3-D Imax film of outer space that blew us away!

Looks like we’ll be here for a while yet – so tomorrow I’m planning to rent a bike and go exploring in the slightly cooler weather (65 ish). Jeff intends to work on the plumbing problems … wish him well!

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Back On the Boat Again

Yeah! After three grueling days of preparing Sea Change to sail, we launched yesterday and moved onto the boat today. We managed to cook a yummy stir-fry with local huge shrimp, but then both of us crashed with no energy to do the dishes – where’s our dishwasher when we need it?

The destroyed rudder and solar panels have been replaced, the slightly damaged new dinghy has been scrubbed clean, and hurricane Irma has not got the best of us – we’re ready to give the Intracoastal Waterway another go! About 5 days of motoring should get us to Lake Worth, where we’ll wait for a weather window to cross the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas.

Meanwhile, we celebrate our 34th anniversary tomorrow, with lobster tails and champagne, and we’re planning to spend Christmas day exploring the Kennedy Space Centre here on Cape Canaveral. It’s starting to feel like a vacation J.

Here are a few pics of our launch and lovely Westland Marina …

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Good-bye to Sanibel – Homeward Bound

Well, today we said a tearful “good-bye” to Sanibel Island, Candace, and her lovely dog Darla – we already miss them all!

The last few days have consisted of a last look at this paradise – more beach time, another visit to the conservation area and a drive through Captiva with Jeff, who is finally feeling better, a tour around the impressive shell museum, and several wonderful home-made meals with Candace – who turns out to be an amazing cook.

Now we’re in a little motel on Lake Ochichobee, near the marina where we plan to leave the boat for next Summer and Fall, when it is finally repaired. We’ll visit the marina tomorrow, then head for the boat for a last “good-bye” before we board the plane in Orlando on Friday, March 31st to head for home.

We’re both ready – though it’s actually turned out to be an interesting discovery trip on Florida’s Gulf coast. We’ll certainly be back to Sanibel/Captiva some time in the future! This will be my last post … thanks for following, to those of you who have – more next year (hopefully about sailing J).