10/01/2012/10:47 am, Cooley's Landing, Fort Lauderdale, FL
We had an excellent last day in Ft Pierce - doing the stowing and planning needed for an offshore passage. As a special last evening treat, Jim and Nancy (Solitaire) drove down from Vero Beach to pick us up and take us to a sweet little Mexican Restaurant, Pueblo Viejo, where we filled ourselves with enchiladas and all the fixin's. It was a great way to end our stay here.
We made reasonable time to Lake Worth, unfortunately mostly by motor, and tucked into the little anchorage just inside the inlet for the evening. It was far less crowded than when we were here 2 years ago - probably due to the fact that the last couple of days have been great ones for crossing the Gulf Stream and boats looking for a window to the Bahamas had gone.
Another day of motor sailing brought us to Port Everglades inlet (Fort Lauderdale) and we edged our way into Lake Sylvia for the night. We hadn't been in here before and would only do the entry and exit at mid tide or higher. There are high spots in the bottom, and even by hugging the wall on the way in, we saw 0.1 a couple of times. Once in, there was plenty of room and it was a pretty place to be for a night. Our neighbours were Dave and Paula (Misty Seas) from Nova Scotia so we felt especially at home.
We headed out in time to catch high slack tide at Cooley's Landing and made the beautiful cruise up the New River. It's worth coming here just for that!
After 2 nights anchoring and a couple days motor-sailing down from Ft Pierce, we are now tied to a dock again at Cooley's Landing - up the New River in Fort Lauderdale. Sandra and Steve (Yonder) are just down the dock, and we are about to catch a bus to go shopping at the consignment store here - Sailor man. Let the good times roll!
07/01/2012/8:25 am, Harbortown Marina, Ft Pierce, FL
It was great to be home in Nova Scotia and now it's great to be home on Madcap.
We had a smooth trip south and arrived at Fort Lauderdale about 0015 hrs Thursday morning - just in time to pick up our rental car before the office closed. Jim managed to stay awake as we drove north but we were both very happy to tumble into our berth when we reached the marina at 0300 hrs. It was a cold one too - the temperature was in the 30's F and we piled on the blankets and plugged in our little heater.
We put our socks and shoes, long pants and sweaters back on when we got up at 8 but managed to lose most of them over the course of the day (replacing them with sandals and t-shirts of course!!)
Rather than get straight into boat work, we decided to take advantage of the car, and make a run down to Stuart to visit Steve and Sandi (Yonder) and what a good decision it was. Along with their friends, Gail and Al, from Fort Pierce, Pete from Port St Lucie and Joe (Gemini) on his way to the Bahamas, we gathered on the lovely patio of Sunset Bay Marina as the sun went down in a gloriously vibrant show of colour. Gail wanted us to experience Planet Ozone (planetozone.net) so we piled into cars and drove down Highway 1 a couple of miles to this fascinating gas station/deli/café. It is a "green" building with a marvelous variety of tasty products on the grocery shelves and delicious, affordable items on the menu. Do pay it a visit if you are in the Stuart area - we dined on lamb, chicken, grilled shrimp with veggies, rice and lentil pilaf, wonderful fresh tasting baba ganouj and tabbouleh. It is easy to eat healthily with examples like this.
Friday brought a trip to Publix for reprovisioning, and because we are in healthy, simple food mode, it didn't even cost us as much as I had expected. I was comparing prices between this Publix and the one in Fernandina Beach though, and things are more expensive here. At this point in other years, we were packing the boat with every snack, specialty food and paper product we would need for 3 months in the Bahamas, but this year is different. We'll be in the US for several weeks yet, and have many more opportunities to top up the larder. I do believe we're done for now - the lockers are full and I have all sorts of possibilities for a varied menu.
Jim got to choose the protein for tonight's dinner and arrived back at the cart with salmon - so roasted potatoes, green beans and poached salmon followed by a couple (maybe more like a small handful) of Mireille's chocolate covered blueberries made our first onboard dinner of 2012. We're off to a good start!
The last of the boat jobs (for now) will get done on Saturday and we'll head out the inlet and down to Lake Worth on Sunday. Jim is fashioning a rail mount for our outboard motor and I am sprucing up the hand rails on the cabin roof. The weather warms every day, the winds are light, and we are set to get moving.
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!