R/V SLOTH & M/V NOMADIC SPIRIT

One for the sea, One for the land...... Living the Nomadic Life is our plan

Who: Janice & Steve

Click: Where are we now?

'OMG It's Almost Time' in 'Getting the Boat Ready' attempts to describe my excitement of our impending departure.
____________________
Check out our Favorite Anchorages and best snorkeling spots in Blog Catagory 'Our Favorite Things'
___________________
And our thoughts on the completion of our first year in 'Our Cruising Advenures'!

Our Shakedown Cruise: the Florida Mini Loop

04 March 2017
Part 2
Part 2 of our Florida Mini Loop starts as we pull anchor and head away from Boot Key Harbor. We said goodbye to the old and new friend we left behind in Marathon, knowing we would see many of them again.



Traveling up the inside of the keys takes routes through many shallow areas we could not have attempted in our sailboat. The advantage is small secluded anchorages and sandy beaches for DeeO'gee. Small towns add to the draw, Islamorada has a dog park near the anchorage and Key Largo had much needed shopping. A few nights spent at John Pennekamp yielded lobster dinners on the grill. Biscay National Park introduced us to Gold Loopers, meaning they has already completed the Great Loop and were flying the gold colored flag.



We enjoyed the views the stilt houses off Key Biscayne, Cape Florida Lighthouse and the bright lights of Miami at night.

In Ft Lauderdale we tied to a dock and took a flight to Cuba. That is a separate blog entry I hope to start soon. Just let me say it was an experience I wanted to complete before changes make travel there more difficult again.

Before we left Ft Lauderdale we had lunch with the previous owner to show off our hard work, receiving gracious compliments from him. It was a great chance to see this very nice man again and thank him for selling us his boat.

The lovely town of West Palm Beach might be one of my favorite city stops. A town dingy dock, free trolly and great casual dining along the waterfront. Reminds me a bit of St Petersburg, my home for a few years and another favorite city stop.

Just as we were arriving back in Stuart a text message revealed that Milwaukee friends were in the area and out boating for the day with relatives. We had anchored off a wide spot on the intracoastal and a party ensued! An unexpected treat with Fritz and Elsa. They visited us again once we reached St Lucie Lock docks.

Not only do we not travel fast but we also do not travel far! Setting our sights on a maximum 2 to 4 hour day, we managed to stretch the 590 miles into a three month journey. A few stats for the trip: 139 engine hours, 267 gallons of fuel, shortest day 1.2 miles and longest day 90 miles (Crossing the Gulf of Mexico from Marco Island to Key West).

Since we have been at the docks at St Lucie Lock we have had several visitors. Childhood friend Phyllis and her husband Kim spent 2 nights with us, Christine and Bruce stopped by for visits and Brenda and Andy got a chance to see our boat while still in the water.

It has been just over 5 months since we splashed and we have a scheduled haul out on the 17th. The time flew by. We expect to be back to splash again in fall and will most likely be on the boat for 10 months or so, or when weather turns cold wherever we are at that time.

People have asked if I enjoyed the sail boat more or the motorhome and now they add the trawler into the equation. I say they are all wonderful, that I wouldn't have missed sailing the Caribbean and anchoring off lovely remote sandy beaches. But I add that the national parks we have visited are no less dramatic and awe inspiring. Lastly or adventures on the Great American Loop will be another unforgettable adventure.

We are so very fortunate!

Our Shakedown Cruise: the Florida Mini Loop

16 January 2017
Part 1
We enjoyed traversing the Okeechobee this time at a leisurely pace, no hurricane breathing down our neck. There was little problem with big wakes this time either, as we encountered few boats. A very nice week was spent at the west end of the Waterway at The W.P. Franklin Lock meeting several other folks on both sailing vessels and trawlers.



Fort Meyers is a lovely town and we enjoyed ourselves immensely. We met several other trawlers and spent Thanksgiving with dear friends from our sailing days. DeeO'gee loved all the walks through town and checking out the metal artwork.



As soon as we reached the bridge by Ft Meyers Beach the dolphins appeared and have escorted us on and off the remainder of the trip. No matter how often we see them they still brighten our day!

!!! insert pictures here from lost phone !!! ;)

The day we were heading to the Everglades we checked weather and made a quick chance of plans. After getting the dog to shore for a walk we hoisted the dingy and set off for Key West. This time of year wind can pick up and hang around for days, they call them the Christmas Winds. We arrived after dark so we just stopped at a fuel dock so I could walk the dog then searched for a mooring ball using our flood light. We had been here before in our sailboat so we were familiar with the harbor.



Key West was a special treat this time. We were there a month but spent one week at a dock when Char visited. Only a short walk to Duval St and an even shorter walk to the best happy hours that we turned into dinner. Our location at the dock afforded us a great view of the lighted boat parade.



Key West has two dog parks with one only blocks from our dock. This is the most dog friendly town we have been to so far. Again we made friends and exchanged 'Boat Cards'. This is why we bought another boat so quickly after selling Sailacious, cruisers are so friendly! I had missed the camaraderie so much. Both Christmas Eve and Day were spent at happy hours with new boating friends.



Bahia Honda started out as a short stop but turned into three nights when wind picked up to the 30 knot range and we found our anchor dragging. This is a lovely state park with dockage in a protected basin. We spent the other two nights at the dock and enjoyed New Years Eve with another boating couple we met there and DeeO'gee met his first manatee.



Boot Key Harbor in Marathon has a large live aboard community. We checked into the daily VHF radio 'Net' and discovered old friends that left and returned as well those that just stayed put. There were pot lucks, dingy drifts and a production at the community theater. There is even a garden with herbs and vegetables for all to enjoy. The anchorage/mooring field was walking distance to Home Depot and Publix so we reprovisioned before moving north. Oh yes, we meet several loopers, many more boat cards exchanged.



The reason for a shakedown is to make sure all systems are working correctly. In Ft Meyers we had to have the new inverter and refrigerator both swapped out as the newly installed ones were not behaving. In Key West a new battery charger was installed. In Marathon a new alternator and wash down pump were ordered and put into service. Steve is problem solving a battery charging issue, is been cloudy so the solar panels need help and we need to run the engine a bit each day. Something about the alternator...blue stuff. We do need to replace the house bank batteries but want to wait until next fall when we return to the boat to start the Loop.

Poor Steve, as captain and chief operating engineer, most of the work on the boat falls into the blue stuff category. Route planning, brightwork, cooking, cleaning, provisioning falls in the pink category. Don't forget social activity planning, that is definitely pink work!

Vessel Name: Nomadic Spirit
Vessel Make/Model: 32' Island Gypsy & 36' Monaco
Crew: Janice & Steve
About:
This adventure began in October of 2007 when Steve came to look at a boat that Janice had for sale on Craig's List. Steve wanted to learn how to sail and Janice needed a new kitchen. [...]
Extra:
FAVORITE QUOTES: 'Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do then by the ones you did. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.' Mark Twain 'We went cruising not to [...]
Nomadic Spirit's Photos - St Croix
Photo 7 of 19 | Back To Album
Prev   Next
Added 18 March 2011

One for the sea, One for the land...... Living the Nomadic Life is our plan

Who: Janice & Steve

Click: Where are we now?

'OMG It's Almost Time' in 'Getting the Boat Ready' attempts to describe my excitement of our impending departure.
____________________
Check out our Favorite Anchorages and best snorkeling spots in Blog Catagory 'Our Favorite Things'
___________________
And our thoughts on the completion of our first year in 'Our Cruising Advenures'!
'You're lucky if YOUR LOVE loves what you love the best' Eileen Quinn