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A family travels from Florida to New Zealand aboard their St Francis 50 catamaran
A known harbor in a new Light!
01/24/2008, Georgetown (Bahamas)

We dropped our anchor in Georgetown, the main town in the south Exumas. We have been here many times over the years when we cruise in summer but what a change; there might be about a hundred sailboats or more! We usually see about 12 to 15 boats! So it was a nice surprise to see people from all over the world, Lots of Canadians, Netherlanders, and Americans. David and Emilie stayed in GT over the week-end while Alec and I flew back to Miami to attend the AYSO soccer tournament in Palm Beach. We promised Alec as a Christmas present that, if at all possible, we would do our best to fly him back so he could play with his team the "Blue Devils" and indeed it was a success, they went all the way to the semi-finals!!! It was so exciting and we had a great time, it was the first time his team got so far in this tournament. We are back and after a good night of sleep (we slept right through a wavy night, 28 knots of wind with this cold front just coming through) we are getting back in the cruising mode and homeschooling. The kids just took off with two Canadians kids who are speaking both English and French; hopefully they will practice their French a little. I hope that will get them excited about making new friends, they have not been making contact very much yet, I guess it is only 2 weeks, but time will come when they will be looking out for those kid's boats.
Un port connu sous une nouvelle lumiere! (Exumas- Bahamas) Nous venons juste de poser notre ancre dans le port de Georgetown. Nous venons la chaque ete depuis presque 5 ans mais d'habitude il n'y a que 12 a 15 bateaux. Quelle surprise de trouver plus de 100 bateaux a voile du Canada, des USA, du Netherland, etc...Emilie et David sont restes la ce week-end et Alec et moi avons pris l'avion afin de participer au tournoi tant attendu!!! Le tournoi de foot AYSO, nous avions promi a Alec de retourner de facon a ce qu'il puisse jouer avec son equipe "les demons bleus" et... nous avons bien fait puisque nous sommes arrives quatrieme, jusqu'en demi-finale, quelle joie!
Nous sommes maintenant de retour et reprenons notre routine, homeschooling, etc... Les enfants viennent de partir avec deux petits canadiens du meme age, pour l'instant ils n'ont pas encore trop recherché de contact avec les autres enfants, mais nous venons juste de partir, bientot ils rechercheront ces "kid's boats" des qu'ils arriveront dans un nouveau mouillage!

02/02/2008 | matthieu
chers tous c'est avec un grand plaisir et une grande émotion que je surf sur votre blog. je connais toutes vos photos par coeur. voir ces photos me donne envie d'etre avec vous mais hélas c'est tout simplement impossible(sauf si nous nous donnons rendez vous quelque part).je vous fais de gros bisoux et espere vraiment vous voir bientot!! a lot of kisses !!!!!! matthieu.
Beginning the cruising Life!
01/14/2008, Staniel Cay, Bahamas

We arrived to one of the kid's favorite spot, Staniel Cay in the Exumas.
Nothing yet can beat the beauty of Thunderball cave and the thrill of jumping from the top of the ceiling hole, they never get tired if it! So around 10: 30am at slack tide, we went to the cave and although the water was cooler than this summer (those spoiled Florida kids!), they did not hesitate long before going in it, the temptation was too strong! After the initial shock, the water felt pretty comfortable and we did not get cold even after quite a while. We tried the waterproof case of our digital camera and the results was much clearer and much more colorful than the throw away underwater camera we always get.
And... David and Alec went spear fishing for an hour on the Oceanside and came back with dinner: A beautiful five pounder Nassau Grouper! The wind is very light right now, actually dead calm, but a weak cold front is supposed to arrive in the next two days, so maybe we will be able to catch the north wind and sail to Georgetown, we have been motoring all the way until now (either wind in front of us or no wind!).
La Grotte Staniel Cay (Exumas- Bahamas) Nous sommes arrives a l'un des coins favoris des enfants, Staniel Cay, dans les iles Exumas. Rien encore n'est plus beau et extraordinaire a leurs yeux que la grotte de Thunderball (Un des film de L'agent 007 a ete filme dans cette grotte) . Nous sommes donc partis a 10h30 ce matin fin prets, au changement de mare pour avoir le moins de courant possible. Nous etions a maree haute et nous devions aller sous l'eau pour entrer. Cette grotte a un plafond ouvert, la lumiere entre donc et les couleurs des poissons ressortent bien sur le fond de corail, c'est superbe!
Emilie et Alec n'ont hesites que quelques secondes , l'eau etait un peu froide pour eux mais la tentation etait trop forte! En fait, après le premier choc, l'eau devient tres agreable. Apres avoir sauté du haut de la grotte, etre passé dans toutes les entrees sous marines mainte fois, nous etions prêts pour un bon hamburger que nous avons deguste au yacht club de Staniel Cay.
Pour couronner le tout, David et Alec ont attrape un beau merou de presque deux kilos a la fleche Hawaienne (le fusil sous-marin n'est pas autorise aux Bahamas). Un bon dinner en perspective!
Quel bon Dimanche pour commencer ce beau voyage!

01/20/2008 | Michele & Marissa
Hello Houston Family! It is so much fun to read your blog and track your positon. What a great adventure! We can't wait to hear all about the Panama Canal. We miss you. Bon Voyage! Love, Michele & Marissa
01/29/2008 | Pam & Sara
Great to talk to you the other day and congratulations Alec for doing so well! You all looked great sailing away - wishing you fair winds and grand adventures. Sounds like your off to a good start! XOPS
01/11/2008, Nassau, Bahamas

That is it! We departed this morning at 6:30 am from Tavernier, our hometown, to the Bahamas, Nassau then Georgetown in the Exumas. This is a well known route to us since we went there almost every summer the last five years.
The kids of the street came, as they promised, at 5:30am! They said their goodbyes to Emilie and Alec, it was so nice, they really like each other a lot and it was very emotional. We crossed Snake Creek Bridge at 7:00 am and there were Pam and Sara waving "bon Voyage", we will miss them so much!
Too many tears so early in the morning...
It is now 3pm and we are almost across the Gulf Stream heading for South Riding Rock. We will continue on the bank overnight and then to Nassau. We had light winds (Luckily since we are motoring right into it, what is new, I can't wait to go in the direction of the Trade Winds, One day...) and a beautiful blue sky with almost no clouds!!
It is TRUE, I cannot believe it, we are on the first day of our Adventure and I am so Happy!!!!
Ca y est, nous sommes partis a 6h30 ce matin de notre maison a Tavernier pour la premiere etape, Georgetown ,dans les iles Exumas des Bahamas. Nos petits voisins (5) sont tous venus nous dire au revoir a 5h30 du matin, je n'en croyais pas mes yeux, cela a beaucoup compte pour Emilie et Alec a qui ils vont bien manquer. Puis en passant sous le pont de Snake Creek Bridge, Pam et Sara etaient la aussi pour nous souhaiter "Bon Voyage".
Ces derniers jours de preparatifs ont ete epuisants et j'ai passé la premiere partie du voyage a dormir! Je serai donc fraiche pour prendre mon tour de veille ce soir et laisser David se reposer.
Difficile a croire, notre reve se realize enfin et nous voila au premier jour de ce nouveau depart, quel Bonheur!
Pour cette premiere traverse, nous avons un beau ciel bleu sans nuages et un vent leger (tant mieux puisque l'on ne peut pas naviguer, nous allons bien sur a l'Est d'ou le vent souffe!, nous utilisons donc les moteurs a environ 7-8 noeuds). Nous continuerons toute la nuit et demain jusqu'a Nassau pour ensuite descendre le long des iles Exumas jusqu'a Gorgetown.

01/12/2008 | vincent dye
Yes ; now i can see you on the Map !
i can feel the excitement in your hearts while reading your blog after your departure ! what A GREAT EXPERIENCE ! I m so happy for you all that my tears are coming into my eyes !
Enjoy dear Friends ! we just live once !
01/12/2008 | Amy Bright
Congratulations, O'Vive! There you go - the lines are cut! How wonderful to see your new postition and know you are on your way on your great Adventure! We look to see where you are every day!

amour beaucoup et bisous, Amy & the Boys
01/12/2008 | Morgan Beaton (who else??:)
HELLO!!! You've only have been gone for a few days and we all(including Reece) miss you soooo much! What are we going to do for another 361 days(yes i am counting down!)?!?!?!?! After you couldnt see us any more we sat on the boat house roof until we couldnt see your light on your mast any more. then we had crepes in your honor. Im sure you are all having an awesome time and w will be looking forward to your e-mails every day! Im watching you position dot, you are pretty far! Well i hope that you will all enjoy this amazing adventure while i sit at home,go to school, and do other non-exciting things, LUCKY!!
01/13/2008 | Philippe ALFONSI
Hi to all the famlily,
We wish you a great and happy new year and of course to enjoy your adventure.
We are all well and we are forecasting our next hollidays in Corsica for 4 weeks in july.
Big kisses to you all,
Philippe, Laure, Ludo & Martin
PS: send us on which email we can give you some news appart from your blog.
01/19/2008 | Sarah Brown
Hey Emilie! Sorry i havent talked to u in a while. midterms came up and it was intense!! anyway, how r u? whats going on?
01/25/2008 | Paola
what a pleasure to read about your past 2 weeks. We think about you a lot ... what an adventure! Wish I could convince my husband to take a year off and travel around the world!! May be you can convince Phil when you come back Nat. How is homeschooling doing? Hi to Emilie from Nic. Love to you guys and good sailing. Talk to you later
O'Vive back Home!
11/29/2007, Tavernier, Florida

Finally O'Vive is back home, in the Florida Keys.
She is kind of ready but we still need every minute of the 4 weeks we have left before our EDD.

12/24/2007 | vincent dye
Merry Christmas to you all and a very warm and lovely Journey ! We ll follow you daily on your map and we ll miss you a lot .
Lots of Love . Vincent Ivana Matthieu & Alexandre
01/07/2008 | paola
are you gone yet?! WE wish you the best for 2008, especially a smooth sailing.

Paola, Phil, Nic & Sasha
01/09/2008 | Nancy & Joe
Bon Voyage O'Vive! Your on your way to Great & Exciting adventures. Have a Wonderful time & take Lots of photos. Love & Smooth Sailing, N & J
01/19/2008 | sarah brown
btw, i miss u a lot! i wish u were back here again :) -_- *hearts*
O'Vive needs a lot of work
10/02/2007, Bradenton, Florida

O'vive needed a lot of equipment and or adjustement on board: from a water maker to the Single Side Band Radio, and a few little surprises to fix or improve, this kept David busy full time on the west coast of Florida for 2 months! He got the professional help and great advices from Pat Reishmann (Pat has been involved with Manta Enterprises for a long time and knows quiet a lot about catamarans).Bradenton was a neat little place, I went with the kids to visit David for a long week-end and we visited the Salvator Dali museum, the library, the shore area and park. The marina was very clean, quiet and safe, also very accomodating regarding the extensive work we had to do. One very interesting phenomenom of this area is the shrimps and the capharnaum they make, I was wondering what was this crunching noise around the hull , it was millions of shrimps who love this mixture of salty-fresh water!

01/12/2008 | Mimi
Super! Bon voyage! Une Bonne Anne et sutout une Bonne Sante! Allons suivre la progression de ce magnifique voyage. Mille bisous de nous tous! Pensons bien a vous!
Mimi & Family

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Who: David, Alec, Emilie, Nathalie
Port: Tavernier, Florida USA
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