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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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North vs South
01/23/2009, Vero Beach, FL

Friday, January 23, 2009

Warmed up into the 60s today so it was a good day to head into town. We went to Walmarts, and then went through our mail from home. Laura sent me her carry pouch (I remember something like this you had in Africa Laura), which will come in handy. Maybe I can keep that dang phone, etc... safe from falling out now (not that I'm wearing it any more after the last time) LOL

Made salmon burgers and broccoli for dinner then we started talking about our options - The Abacos in the Northern Bahamas verses The Exumas in the Southern Bahamas - and looking at the charts. We were going to come in at the West End but now are looking at Bimini or there abouts...

Kitties on the outside, raining on the inside
01/22/2009, Vero Beach, FL

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Brrrrrrrr.... Got up to make coffee and it's frigging cooooold. There's so many water droplets pouring off the ports (windows) and their metal frames I feel like it's raining in here. After replentishing the alchohol in the stove to make coffee, I turned on the heat, then we turned on the generator for more power (no wind last night).

The neighbors have a little kitty (a black kitty with green eyes like one of my two kitties) named Kiara. I thought she was going to visit us this morning but she was hauled back downstairs before she could jump ship. I wouldn't have minded in the least.

Wayne worked on the plumbing then I began reassembling the stuff back into the head (bathroom). Reorganizing the cupboard/drawer spaces. We definitely brought way more towels/sheets than we've needed to date. The hose clamps are to large for the thru hull fitting so we'll have to get those in town before we even contemplate using the macerator pump. Time for a nice hot shower before making dinner - On the menu tonight - country ribs, hickory fried potatoes with onions and broccoli slaw with tart cherries; Then since its already cold, I think after the news it'll be time to take the books to bed to read.

Smoke rings in the mist is it possible?
01/21/2009, Vero Beach, FL

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wow, it's cold this morning. It was 32 degrees in Vero Beach this morning with a wind-chill of 25. I wonder what the temperature is in Cape Coral - is it snowing yet? Elaine emailed and said that they'd gotten 2 inches in N. Carolina. From what I've heard on the weather and listening to people, the Artic fronts don't get down here very often.

Needless to say, with the cold, it's an oatmeal breakfast this morning and man it was difficult getting up this to make coffee. I stuck my head out of the covers to see if I could make smoke rings with my breath, then told Wayne it was his turn to get up and make coffee. It was to early for him to laugh in my face, so he guffawed under the covers at me. I whined a little (it didn't work), then got up and made coffee hoping the windows would sweat and drip in his ear before remembering that his head was still below the covers. It amazes me how much the windows sweat (metal frames) when we have cold weather. I watched the condensation form into drips in the galley then kept wiping them away while making coffee. I tried flipping on the heat so the cabin would warm up for him, only it didn't want to stay on - the batteries were to low - can I get an awwww poor baby? LOL

Later in the morning (after it warmed up), Wayne worked on putting in the macerator and Y-valve this afternoon and I worked on staying out of his way and staying warm. I saw quite a few boats pulling out this morning but from the weather patterns I've seen, it's not conducive to crossing the Gulf Stream yet. there's still a northern component to the winds which would set up nasty conditions so I can only assume they're getting south to get ready to cross once there's no longer a northerly component to the winds.

Wayne and I were talking about where to cross - at Lake Worth? But they don't sound like a very "cruiser friendly" place to get supplies, etc... so we'll wait until we're about ready to cross before heading there. Listening to other cruisers and reading about the place - it sounds like they'd rather not have cruisers going through there at all. This dumbfounds me because I've seen what we and other cruisers buy for our boats and our ships stores before getting ready to cross and one would think they'd want the money influx. Wayne says that it's a place where the rich live (or those of over-abundance) and they don't need our money. Hence they can be rude, as they like there. He could be right - it seems the further and further south we go, the larger and larger the houses, mansions and compounds become. But I don't know that they're all rude like these folks reputedly are... It does amaze me the amount of wealth that exists in our country.

I got a surprise today! Lonnie sent me a song that was so cool "old blue chair" that talked about Cinnamon Bay. I'd never heard it before but love it (how could I not when it talks about one of my favorite places in the world!). Played it a few times and added it to my favorites playlist - Thank you Lon!

Made a small meatloaf for dinner - I didn't realize how much I'd been missing it until I tasted it mmmmmm... I'm starting to learn how to cook for 2 people finally so I don't have to contend with where to put the leftovers but this is one time I wish I had an abundance. During the last stages of cooking dinner a boat came up to raft with us so we helped them tie up to our boat. Like us, they'd never rafted with another boat before and I sympathized with them on the lack of privacy - but hey - there's not much you can do if anchoring isn't allowed. They're a cute couple (Dana & Christine) with a very tired looking boat (Tosca). They grumbled that the last owner never did a thing on the boat (it shows), but I love their spirit of adventure. I just hope that that's not the boat they're considering going to Hawaii on (they're heading for the Keys but she talked about going to the University of HI for grad school) - it needs a bit of work. I wish I could have offered them some of our dinner. She'd commented when we came up to help them "ohhh something smells good" and my mind mentally started calculating to see if there was enough to feed 4. Not really - I know that kids have hearty appetites and along with the place looking like a cyclone came through it, and our not knowing anything about them; I just commented that I was making dinner.

According to the weather it's going down to 27 here tonight and 32 in Cape Coral (have to email Wendell) tonight. I just hope the windchill doesn't kick it down lower brrrrrrr... Time to throw on another blanket. Watched the news, and read some. Time to jump into the bed and warm my feet on my favorite foot warmer (Wayne).

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