03/01/2010/5:35 pm, Fernandina Beach, FL
You probably won't be surprised to hear that we changed our minds again. We decided during the night to stay here for another day or two. We can plug in an electric heater (you folks back home remember that although it is marginally warmer here than there, we are in an uninsulated boat!!) and Jim does not have to face the prospect of hauling up a dragging anchor in the middle of a frosty night.
We're going with the better safe than sorry approach.
I'll write more later!
02/01/2010/4:29 pm, Fernandina Beach, FL
I see that on Dec 16, I was running around here in shorts and T-shirt. This is just a quick note to say that today we are all bundled up in layer upon layer of clothing. It was 44F in the cockpit this morning and has only marginally warmed up on the dock. The wind is blowing 15-20 knots. The marina staff are scurrying around to ready the water lines for the cold snap expected over the next few days. The forecast calls for lows of 23 to 27F over the next few days.
I talked with my dad this morning and heard that it was just above 0C in Amherst, NS with blowing snow. At the time it was 48F here - windy but sunny. I'll look up the comparisons but you can figure that since 0C is about 32F, it's pretty much the same temp here.
Ken (Oz) joined us for dinner last night and we dined in Lowcountry style. Shrimp and scallops sauteed with onions, peppers, lemon and a dash of hot sauce, served over cheesy grits. The green veg was snow peas (with carrots, peppers and dip earlier) and we finished off with pecan pie and constant comfort tea. Aaaaah.... it was a comfort!
A small cruise ship was tied up on the wharf opposite us overnight - the American Glory - fun to see it come in so carefully. Multiply it by 5 and it would match the ships we used to watch in Halifax harbour!
We've pumped out the dinghy and are about to get it up on the davits. Fuel is topped up and we'll get water tanks filled shortly too. We'll be off in the morning for St Augustine! Gotta beat that freeze!
01/01/2010/2:30 pm, Fernandina Beach, FL
A new year; a new decade! How is it possible that 10 years have passed since Jim and I stood on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario to ring in the new millennium?
Little did we know at the time that, before the decade was over, we'd buy a sailboat ... and then a bigger one ... and sail from Gananoque all the way down the St. Lawrence Seaway and River to the Atlantic Ocean ... and then sail all the way to the Bahamas. Little did we know we'd have so much fun that we would move back to Halifax after almost 20 years away and then sail off to the Bahamas again to start the next decade.
Well - that last part was supposed to happen. According to our plan, we were supposed to be in Green Turtle Cay enjoying the Junkanoo today. But then - it is those "supposed to's" that can get a person looking at things all backwards. Perhaps we are "supposed to" be right where we are, having exactly the experiences we are having. One decision causes an effect and another decision causes another effect and Presto! Here we are!
After a delightful 2 weeks in Nova Scotia visiting family (Mary Beth, Liam and Alex pictured above with Jim and me) and enjoying a wintery Christmas, we arrived back in Fernandina Beach late on Wednesday evening. Jim had arranged with Sheila from Relax and Ride Cab Company to pick us up at the Jacksonville Airport and drive us back here to the marina. They have a good system there - the prearranged drive parking lot is right outside the baggage area, and Sheila was waiting for us. ($60.00 flat fee for the 45 minute drive - not bad considering that it is $55.00 from downtown Halifax to the airport - a 35 minute drive)
We slept in late, had a good big breakfast of eggs with peppers, onions and cheese along with raisin scones whipped up in our own little galley, washed down with a couple of pots of coffee. Just as we were about to head up to the lounge and check e-mail, who should come striding purposefully down the dock but Steve! We had thought they'd be gone, but in good cruiser fashion, one day rolled into another and into another with the last minute jobs and they were still here. (They DID leave this morning, Jan 1st)
The great result was that we could spend New Year's Eve together. After an afternoon of provisioning for us, and packing for them, we met to explore some of the party venues in Fernandina Beach - starting with a glass of champagne their home. We moved on to Florida House on 3rd Street where business was steady and our bar tender was harried, and where we perched at the bar to observe the fashionable folks enjoying their dinners. Some of the ladies had lovely, skimpy little dresses and a couple of the men wore kilts! - not a common sight here in the south I wouldn't think.
Moving on, we checked out Wicked Davey's where just a few early folk were starting the evening (9ish). Our cab driver had told us it would be a good place to party, but the party must have been happening later. The musicians were just setting up as we left, but I'd go there again sometime since it has good old-time-bar atmosphere and Sandi said there is frequently live music. We had worked up a hunger by then so we checked out Arte's for pizza but, to our surprise, they were just closing down. The obvious place for us to wander next was Pablo's - the Mexican restaurant favoured by all of us. I can see why that place does an excellent business. Steve and Sandi - regulars from when the place first opened were greeted with big hugs; the food - as always - was excellent; our waiter hailed from Hungary where Steve had often worked and where he and Sandi lived for several months and which made for animated conversation.
By the time we delivered our dear friends to their boat we were all pretty tired and bed felt good. I tried to stay awake until the magic hour but sleep came too quickly and for the first time in a good number of years, I missed the ringing in of the New Year. It was a wonderful way to spend the evening though, and we were so happy to be able to spend one more evening together before Princess and Madcap head off on their journeys south. Although our timetables are different for the moment, we know we'll see each other again in the Bahamas.
We woke up to cold wind and rain for New Year's Day, and Jim and I spent the morning packing away some of the bags of food and supplies I picked up yesterday. By 3pm the sun was out and it had warmed up - a bit! We'll probably pay one more visit to Harris Teeter this afternoon, (open today along with many of the other larger stores) and we'll dine on scallops, shrimp and cheesy grits tonight. We plan to take the outside route to St Augustine on Sunday morning after we've taken care of laundry and "finishing up" chores.
With full hearts, we send our best wishes to all of you for a creative, successful, hopeful and happy New Year!