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The First Mate's Journal
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Great Lakes to The Bahamas
Who: Wayne & Pat
Port: Jackson
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Family time
12/24/2008, Cape Coral, FL

Wednesday, December 24th and Thursday, 25th 2008
Cape Coral Fl

Okay - for the holidays I kind of slacked off with my journal - it's been busy and hectic so I'm piecing it together now that it's over and we're on the ICW again (01/02/09). Wayne's at the helm and I am finally, on the computer in the cockpit. The pic here is of my bro Wendell and sis Diana

It was incredibly nice for Christmas. Temperatures in the upper 70s/ lower 80s. I really enjoyed staying at my brother/sis's place for Christmas and feel blessed that I could share the holidays with my siblings this year. It meant a lot to me... I was so glad to see that Penelope made it here - the airports were all backed up at home (with the winter storms) and so many were left stranded at airports. It was great fun to shop for and make dinner with Di and Penny. Every thing came out wonderfully! I couldn't believe how big the Grand kids have gotten. My grand niece Kaylee is a teen now! Wow what changes they've all gone through and Melissa has another beautiful baby girl! Lonnie has turned into an awesome young man with beautiful daughters (very photogenic) and Nikki's little girl (Reilly) is going to be a heartbreaker (like Kaylee) when she gets older. She's 5 years old and can read dang near anything you give her (cereal boxes, directions to put things together, etc...)! I adored having her read her books to me. There were parts where it said the character sang so I did the singing parts for her and each time it came up to "sing" she waited patiently for me to sing to her. It was a blast - she's an amazing young lady! It was great fun listening to her and singing to her and seeing her giggle at me! We talked to Aunt Joyce and everything sounded okay back home. I hope that her and James are okay - I think of her often and wish they could have been here but they were definitely with us in spirit. Laura, Nate, Allie - sorry I missed your calls but hope your Christmas was terrific! Chris (my perpetual senior) - if you're following this - thank you for your call - I hope that you'll be graduating this summer and I hope I can be there to see it! I know you can do it - you have so much writing talent - don't waste it - do something with it! I'm busy chasing life right now. Don't wait until you're in your 50's to chase life - now is your time - chase life while you're young - you'll get so much more out of it!

So anyhow... I got an emotional uplift with family; good eats, hot showers, nice bed, and got to watch Iron Man and The Hulk in high def with surround sound! I hope all our grandkids got their cards (back home) for Christmas and were able to get something they liked and our kids enjoyed their Christmas too - I missed making cookies but wouldn't have missed being with my brother and sister this year for the world. I didn't know how much I needed this. Mom I miss you - you were always my Christmas... I'm so very grateful to have Wendell, Penelope, their families and Wayne with me for Christmas this year - it was a very special 2 days for me Thanks guys I love you!

Family Time
12/24/2008, Cape Coral

Okay - this one is a pic of my sis Penelope :) I'm so happy she was able to make it down to Florida for Christmas. I have a ton of pictures from Christmas that I'll post on my website when I get some more time - but on the blog I can only post one per entry so patience with me :)

Titusville Municipal Marina FL
12/23/2008, (N28o37.270; W80o48.5921)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

We waited until 10:00am then headed into the marina. The currents were still strong but pushed us into the marina, and the guy directing us in kept yelling at me to give it the throttle - which I was because the currents kept pushing me. I had it damn near full throttle reverse and he was yelling at me to give it the gas - yikes! Anyhow we still managed to crab sideways, bending the regulator on the grill, as we scraped the piling to tie up to (the grill is on the side of the boat now that we have davits on the back). It was funny because after we got all tied up he told me that "I done good" and asked if he could hug me (probably for yelling at me). Of course I took the hug LOL as Wayne told him "Yep you got her number - she's a hugger". Checked in, showered, stowed things away then picked up the car from Enterprise (they come out and get you) and headed toward Cape Coral to Joe and Diana's for Christmas.

It was nice to be on land and in a car again. The drive was terrific since we had sunny skies and 78 degrees. Turned on the radio, rolled down the windows and headed south! We weren't expected at Joe and Di's until tomorrow so we stayed at a hotel (Sleep Inn?) that gave us some great cookies. Nice place - fairly modern and flat panel high definition T.V. on the wall (loved watching the news- we feel out of touch at times). I felt guilty soaking up a ton of hot water in the shower - but it was marvelous! There was a Cracker Barrel restaurant next store that we ate dinner at - I'd never been in one before and it was an interesting place like an old time mercantile with a restaurant attached to it.

This is a pic taken at Joe & Di's - I didn't have any from today and someone requested a pic of us.

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