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Retirement to Bahamas
Mike and Judy have been sailing for some 25 years. We have dreamed for years about retiring and sailing to the Bahamas and Caribbean. We are living our dream!
Busy but Well
Mike and Judy
11/26/2009, Stuart Florida

I owe you readers a long update on our continuing adventures but have been alerted to the fact that some may be worried about us because we've been in cognito for some time. Well let me backtrack a bit.

We left Fredericton on Friday November 6; Judy and I and Chopin went to Cinnaminson, New Jersey where Judy's family lives. Judy's brother Bob and his wife Heather flew down from Newfoundland to spend a week with us and Judy's Mom and Dad and brothers and sisters and children.

I left the next Friday by car to drive down to Florida where we kept Sea Sharp stored during the summer; Judy and Chopin stayed in New Jersey. On Saturday afternoon , as I reported, I arrived at Riverside Marina and boarded Sea Sharp. She was relatively clean and showed little degradation from the hot Florida sun. I was very pleased.

However, imagine our boat stuffed below with much of the gear that we took off the decks including the sails, the bimini, dodger, life raft and most of the clothes and other effects in large "zip lock" type bags. I got enough of this gear from below on to the deck so that I could stay on her. Remember now that the boat is not in the water but on the land which means that you cannot use many of the facilities on board including plumbing. A more fulsome discussion of marine plumbing would be necessary to better explain this but suffice it to say that Judy and Chopin may not be that happy to be on board.

Life on board, "on the hard" is somewhat difficult. It was very hot and dusty in the marina and I worked very hard at getting the boat ready to "splash".

On Sunday I did all the canvas work which included remounting and installing the dodger, bimini, sails, and associated gear. This may not sound like much of a day but take my word I was tired when it was over.

On Monday, I washed the hull and polished her. She gleams! I discovered that the stove would not work so knew I was in for a day's worth of puttering. A quick lesson on marine stoves; most operate on propane which is heavier than air so if there is any leak, even a minute one, the gas gathers in the bilge (the lowest part of the boat) and when there's the slightest spark, kaboom!!!! So the tanks are in a sealed locker in the lazerette (yeah I know, you're saying, here comes all of these fancy nautical terms again). A quick aside, you know that so many words we use every day have nautical derivations. I think lazarette, which is a locker or bin at the rear of the boat comes from the word Lazeratto which was a place where people with afflictions like leprosy were housed. I recall that there was a Lazeratto which operated I think in Caraquet not far from home until probably the sixties.

But, I digress. So the tanks are in a sealed locker with a device called a solenoid switch connected to a "sniffer" which essentially is a switch which can detect minute quanties of propane in the boat and will not allow the solenoid to open in such a case. Well to make a long story short, the solenoid was stuck so I had to first of all determine the problem, which meant hanging upside down in the aforesaid lazarette for hours in the hot sun with various tools, taking the stuff apart. Fortunately, I had installed this system so I know all the wiring and schematics so it wasn't too long before I figured out the problem; a stuck solenoid.

A bit of frigging and I located a replacement and after a boat buck ($100 US) I had the part and repaired the issue. This took the whole day.

I'll post this one now to allay any concerns from readers that we're drifting somewhere out in the Atlantic and catch up with the remainder of our commissioning and now floating stories.

Thanks for your readership.

11/27/2009 | Boat Buck
A boat buck is one thousand regular dollars, not one hundred regular dollars. But I prefer your boat buck to the normally accepted boat buck.
Sea Sharp's Fine

Another quick note to say that I arrived at Riverside Marina in Fort Pierce, FL today around 2:30. I was very pleased with the condition of Sea Sharp. She's a bit dusty and cluttered (we left all of our "stuff" in big plastic bags inside) but in great shape. I sorted stuff out today and am gearing down then up for a big few days getting all my chores done to get ready to launch.

Even though we're "on the hard" meaning not in the water, it's great being back on my boat......

Stay tuned.


11/15/2009 | George & Penny Miller
Judy and Mike,
Just saw your entry on Sailblogs. We too are getting ready to return to our boat in Florida. We just joined the blog site so we should be up and running in a few days. Glad Sea Sharp is in good condition and you will be on the Rum Run again this year. Hope to catch up with you along the way. Oh yeah, we met on the dock in Nassau last year and last saw you in Georgetown.
Safe sailing,
George and Penny
s/v Star Shot
11/23/2009 | Mary B, Bill and the boys
Happy birthday Uncle Michael, safe journey!
11/24/2009 | Janet Trenholm
Good morning and "Happy Birthday"! Hope you have a great day! Looking forward to reading about your, Judy & Chopin's adventures! Sail safely!
11/26/2009 | jerry b
there once was a couple that were "on the hard"
And nothing for lunch so they ate some lard,
it tasted bad, which made them sad,
till they felt a bump that with the boat it jarred,
it was a great big fish, that ended up being their dish
and Mike's new paint on the keel not marred.
ok ok bad poetry but welcome back to the blog, good sailing, ahoy there matey.

Fleeing the Snow
11/06/2009, Fredericton

Hi Readers, it's November 6 and Judy and I are just about finished packing to return to Florida to resume our cruising. I will be resuming the blog so if you happen to read this stay tuned.......

We leave today, hopefully for New Jersey where we'll stay a bit a judy's parents'. Then to Sea Sharp in Fort Pierce Florida for launch, recommission and cruising,

11/06/2009 | Harold
HI! from Dipper Harbour,N.B.

Hope your voyaging is full of goo d weather and fair winds. Hope King Neptune smiles on you
11/09/2009 | David and Margot Russell
no sign of snow here.... hit 17 today.... you've left too early! NOT! Looking forward to reading about your adventures. Have a safe journey.... M&D
11/10/2009 | Charlie McK
Good Luck. By the way, I understand that we have some mutual friends- Ryan Green and Andrea Canty - They have their home quite near out cottage
11/14/2009 | Frank & Audrey
Hope all goes well on this second leg. Stay in touch, Frank and Audrey.
We're Home

Quick note to let readers know that we're back at our home. More to follow later.....

04/21/2009 | Josée & Peter
Welcome back! Will miss your blog.
04/21/2009 | Peter & Sandi
Angus sends his best to Chopin!!! See you soon back in Freddy Beach.
04/22/2009 | The Nicholsons
Welcome Home! We've thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog but we look forward to more stories in person - perhaps during a sail around Passamaquoddy Bay sometime this summer aboard Mysterious Ways?
04/22/2009 | jerry b
There once was a couple whose cruise did end,
But now there counting how much they did spend.
"Way too much!!" Mike did say,
Judy said, "Well not in Chub Cay",
And Chopan said "the bill to me don't send"
04/22/2009 | David and Margot Russell
Welcome home..... expect there was probably some snow still in your yard but the heat wave coming on the weekend should take care of that!
07/28/2009 | Kolibrie
Hi you two :)
glad to see you made it back home. We did too for hurricane season and are looking forward to returning to the Bahamas for the fall/winter season. We really Enjoyed meeting you this last year & hope to run into you again this year. Fair winds :)
Headin' North

After our wonderful reunion with Ray and Patti from Whisper and a great meal with the fellow cruisers from Riverside Marina, we retreat to our hotel intending to start our long car drive home - but we'll be travelling at 70 mph, not the 7 knots we make on the boat. Our plan is to take two days to get to New Jersey, spend a few days with Judy's family, then return to NB. We hope the snow will be gone when we get home.

I find it hard to leave the boat; Judy and Chopin have turned the corner and are now looking ahead to our return. On our way home we stop at Daytona Beach to have lunch with Ray and Helen who you may remember from previous blogs as the wonderful couple who helped us immeasurably when we found out about John's death and prepared to return home. It was great seeing them again and we'll surely cross paths with them again in our travels.

The van is loaded to the gills and there's only a bit of space for Chopin, his cage and his kitty litter. But, he doesn't complain and is happy so long as he's close to Judy. The new vehicle works like a champ and we make good time to our interim destination of Florence, South Carolina.

Next day, we travel the rest of the way to Cinnaminson NJ where Judy's Mom and Dad and two of her sisters, a brother, and their families live. We run into bumper to bumper traffic around Washington and heavy rain. But, it's not too bad and we arrive here at about 6:30. The welcome as usual is warm and loving!

Caught Up

I finally had a chance to catch up on our posts. Note that the new ones go back as far as Nassau Redux. And for regular readers, I expect to do at least one more post as a post mortem so stay tuned

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Preparing for Retirement Trip
Who: Mike, Judy and Chopin (the boat cat)
Port: Douglas Harbour, NB, Canada
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