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Back in Ottawa!
Cool and sunny!
04/12/2009, Echo Drive

So we're back in our home in Ottawa...............
What a wonderful vacation!

The trip north was more relaxing than our mad rush south in December, with a number of excellent hotels and restaurants.

We traveled north from Stuart, across Florida and Georgia, and hoped to stay in Hilton Head, South Carolina. We arrived at 4pm and discovered that the place is completely artificial without any architectural sense, and looks like it was made in Disneyland. We drove on to Beaufort, SC which is a spectacular 18th century seaport where we loved it.

Another day on the road brought us to Hopewell, Virginia, the site of General Grant's headquarters during the Civil War. Wonderful soft-shell crabs ( they're only in season one month a year).

Another day north brought us out of Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and on to Ithaca, NY, the home of the Moosewood Restaurant, the source of the famous Moosewood Cookbooks, and an important venue for Louise. We dined at the holy spot, and had a wonderful room in a nearby B&B. We'll return in the fall for the famous Cayuga Lake Wine Festival.

Another 4 hours brought us to Ottawa with our 500lbs of shells, sea-glass, coral, seeds, wine, cheese, etc.

The trip was a migratory experience with thousands of snowbirds (often in huge RV buses) streaming north towards the spring!

Back home we've had a day to do some shopping at our favorite shops and are delighted with the vast selection and quality!

It's great to be home, and Louise is looking forward to the attack on her garden!

This is probably my last posting................


Back in the USA
Sunny and hot....93F
04/07/2009, Stuart, Florida

It's been a rather busy past five days, with the need to sail south to Black Sound, haul the boat out of the water, clean all of the exterior and interior, and prepare everything onboard for our long absence.

The danger of hurricanes results in the need to really strip the boat of everything one can, so Louise and I spent four days removing things and emptying food and all other perishables from the boat.

We then took a water taxi across to Grand Abacos Island and from there a plane to FT. Lauderdale where we've rented a car to travel north to Stuart where we have left our Mini Cooper (which has refused to start).

Imagine a car which does not let you open the electric trunk lid when the battery is dead. The battery is located in the trunk.

A lovely meal in the harbour, things to sort out tomorrow, and then the slow drive north.

It's quite a culture shock arriving in busy Florida after such a long time on the quiet beaches of the Abacos!


04/07/2009 | Judy and Jim
Looking forward to seeing you soon! Safe trip home to Echo!
04/08/2009 | Keith
We look forward to seeing you back in Ottawa and hearing of your saga first hand. Will be at a pre-easter lunch at Maxwells tomorrow with DB and DC. .... Keith
A couple of windy days
wind soft from the north!
03/30/2009, manjack

Never a dull moment!

With the wind swinging to the south, we decided to relocate to the other side of the bay in order to avoid the 3' swells that made the boat rock and roll.

We spent a couple of days hiding behind Crab Cay, and enjoyed a wet dinghy ride into shore!

Crab Cay is uninhabited (in terms of humans) but has a resident wild boar population which we can see scavenging on the beach. Given my inability to catch a lobster, I have decided to forgo the pleasure of hunting wild boar with my sling spear!

The wind and rain arrived from the north this morning so we decided to return to Manjack Cay (c/w internet) and relax for the last 4-5 days of our winter holiday.

It was when we started to lift the anchor that the machine used to raise the 50lbs anchor and 200lbs of chain (the windlass) decided to stop working.

Heavy chain and an anchor encased in mud is hard work lifting while Louise had her first chance at the helm.

Things got sorted out (finally) and we're relaxed in the sunshine!

I read in the Ottawa Citizen that spring has arrived in Ottawa with most of the snow now gone.

Enjoy the maple syrup.... it's supposed to be a good year!


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