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Madcap Sailing
Happy New Year
Beth / 9 C (about 40 F)
01/01/2012/7:03 am, Halifax NS (crew) boat in Ft. Pierce, FL

Happy New Year everyone!

We've had a busy time of it in Nova Scotia this Christmas - with family celebrations, the passing of my 96 year old aunt and subsequent cleaning out of her apartment, and here and there, a few more gatherings with friends. It is all part of life - the good, the sad, the disappointing, and the joyful - and we were glad to be home, but boy, are we tired out!

We've felt chilled to our very bones on some days, and have happily gone walking with just vests and sweaters on others (typically Halifax). We fit in visits to the Seaport Farmer's Market and yummy dinners, nightcaps with neighbours, church on Christmas Eve where the minister talked of the mysteries of string theory and Higgs boson particles (yikes - along with listening to the familiar and comforting story, I had to think!)

Because of our responsibilities connected with my aunt's passing, we had to change our plans to be back onboard Madcap today and will return on Jan 4th - well, we'll actually get to her on the 5th. And then - I expect it will be hurry, hurry again to get provisioned and ready to finally set off on this year's grand adventure to the Keys, Isla Mujeres and onward to new southern shores.

So - today - we sit with feet up, coffee (and later other potent drinks) in hand, with a plan to watch our local Rainmen trounce Oshawa in a basketball game at the Metro Centre this afternoon. (They did!)

We hope this will be a harbinger of 2012; some times of relaxation and cosying into familiar patterns, some times of wild excitement with a just a tinge of fear at the unknown, experiencing the joy of family and friends and the pleasures of learning new skills and charting new paths ... and the opportunity to say at this time next year, "Ahhhh - What a Year!!"

May your year ahead be fascinating!

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01/01/2012/1:14 pm | Jim & Jeannie
Greetings from Whistler and Happy New Year.
Sorry to hear about your aunt. As you say, the good and the sad are all part of life.
I expect you are as anxious as we are to get back aboard. We head out to Panama City jan 6th and to the boat the next day... hopefully. In Panama plans are never too certain as we've learned. We'll be in the San Blas for at least 4-6 weeks, then turn our minds to travelling north. I'm sure our wakes will cross. Good sailing and enjoy Isla Mujeres... a really fun place, but not great holding. They call the outer harbor "The Drag Strip"
03/01/2012/4:53 pm | Mary Lou
So sorry about your Aunt. WE are still at home with my mother she has 32 more treatments. We might leave then. Happy New Year.
03/01/2012/7:26 pm | David MacDonald
As always we've enjoyed reading all your adventures... our condolences to you for your loss. It's funny - The Seaport Farmer's Market was on our list of things to do during the holidays and somehow we never got around to it - too bad, we might've crossed paths again !!
Home for Christmas
Beth / still above freezing in Hfx
15/12/2011/12:57 pm, Halifax NS (crew) boat in Ft. Pierce, FL

We're really glad we made the decision to leave Madcap at Harbortown Marina in Ft Pierce. She is safe and secure there and in good company - Nancy and Don on Maja (Bayfield 40) were on our dock when we left and we saw another Bayfield 36 in the yard. Ed and Karin (Passages) are also there, and Ed even drove us to the airport for our trip home. What a good guy!

We're loving our time with family and friends at home in Halifax and fortunately, Jim is feeling almost back to normal now so he can enjoy it all too.

We look forward to heading back to the boat and points south at the end of December, and until then, we send greetings and best wishes for a wonderful Christmas season to all our readers. See you in 2012!

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15/12/2011/4:05 pm | Rob Wells
So wonderful to actually see you between the time I say your post on FB and got back here to read it.

Not sure I sent our seasonal regareds to Jim and the rest of the familly but we surely do.
Drop in if you end up in our area.
Not sure but you may have looks more uncomfortable in the winter coat than in the locker.
18/12/2011/10:10 am | Glen Gray
Have a lovely Christmas with friends and family. Paul and Cathy (Lucia) say hi! from Marsh Harbour and are happy that Jim is felling better.
Done and Done
Beth / 70's breezy - lovely
05/12/2011/8:36 pm, Ft Pierce, FL

We installed the new vent hose for the holding tank, and this is me in the pic - inside the stern locker. It didn't end up to be too terrible a job feeding it through from there under the engine and up from the bilge to the tank. It has a new route from the old one and perhaps a straighter one. We'll see, now, if the blasted thing works the way it should!

Our weather has been beautiful the last few days - breezy but warm and friendly. I had another fantastic beach walk while Jim rested on a sunny bench. The waves were thundering in, reaching up the sand with foamy fingers and then sucking back out to sea to regroup and do it all over again. I was stunned to look down mid stride and find a hamburger bean just sitting there all by itself on the wet sand. I've never found one in Florida before but those powerful waves carried it from Central America and flipped it up there at just the right time for me to find.

We peppered Julie and Mark (Rachel) with questions about the Western Caribbean as we sat in our cockpit yesterday, and they gave us an absolute wealth of information, from waypoints to charts to favourite anchorages to clearing-in procedures in several countries.

I visited the Art in the Park show at the beach, browsing among the various booths of paintings, jewellery, and pottery and then, on my way home, discovered another Art and Craft show at Riverside Park where I was lucky enough to be under a tent during a short but heavy rain shower. Here again, it was great fun to see the products of the artists' creativity. I bought a little dish from an elderly gentleman (older than me at least) who proudly exclaimed, "I made everything myself." It was an ordinary little dish, but I liked his enthusiasm so he made the sale.

Jim was feeling energetic enough to walk to the beach last evening and we joined a crowd of folks at Waldo's - the funky bar at the Driftwood Resort. We discovered this place a couple of years ago and make it a point to revisit it each time we come through. There is often some rousing music, the happy hour prices are good - and so is the coconut shrimp - and on a good day we can hear the waves crashing in. This time we thoroughly enjoyed all of the above along with the great company of Rachel, Lady Hawk, Celilo, Rising Tide, and ... hmmm ... can't remember the other boat. It was an altogether fine evening, and Jim was so tired by the end of the walk home that he had a good night's sleep.

We called Stuart again this morning and got the same answer, "No available moorings. Call again later." Later is fast catching up to us since our departure day is Friday, and we are becoming increasingly anxious about the uncertainty of where to leave Madcap. After another cup of coffee, we decided to bite the bullet, empty the wallet, and book a slip at Harbortown Marina in Fort Pierce. We'll head on down there later today.

A bit of Vero Beach Marina info for cruisers who are interested:

Daily rate is $13.90. Mobile pumpout boat makes the rounds on Tuesday and Thursday - and sometimes other days depending on available staff. Laundry room has 6 washers ($2.00 per load) and 7 dryers ($1.50 per load) takes quarters and the change machine sometimes works. The lounge has several shelves of take one/leave one books, internet and plugs, TV, pop machine, and a bulletin board where cruisers post wanted and for sale notices. The local free bus is a great way to get to grocery stores and the malls. Happy hour at the picnic table on Thursdays at 4 always attracts a large crowd so it is a great place to meet people.

P.S. We got to Ft Pierce, loaded up with fuel and pumped out the holding tank, and then made it successfully into a slip. Ahhhhh.....

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07/12/2011/5:47 pm | Chris & Sheila
Very Nice meeting you! We will watch for you on the water. Have a wonderful Holiday season at home. Cheers for now.
12/12/2011/7:33 pm | Nancy and Allan
Hi Beth and Jim, We are also owner of a Bayfield 36 (Karma IV) and are currently living in Dartmouth, NS. We are planning to start our journey in 2.5 years. We would like to share Bayfield stories with you if possible and we are very interested in hearing your sailing stories. And if you come to Halifax in the future, we would love to meet you.

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