Sweet hitch hikerHoward warm/unsettled
12/08/2012, Peck Lake
Finally, after working on the boat for four weeks we are finally in the water and on our way South to wait at Lake Worth for a good weather window before crossing over to the Bahamas. It took some time to get the boat ready this year but it's probably only slightly longer than average, most boat owners take around three weeks, some a little longer and some not so long, it all depends on the number of projects needing to be done and this year we had lots of them. Working with the custom and immigration people this year has been a real hassle, last spring when we came back from the Bahamas they took our cruising permit away and also our boat ownership papers saying that this was a new rule when storing the boat at a marina for the summer. Now we go to get a new cruising permit and they won't give us one, the rules have changed again; the old permit has expired and before issuing us a new one the boat must leave the country for 15 days and when we return they will then issue us a new one, it wasn't like that for us before. I can hardly wait for next year to see what other crazy rules they can come up with, they don't make it easy for boaters, it's almost like they are trying to discourage us. On a lighter note, if you look closely at the above photo you will see a small gecko that is hitching a ride with us, maybe to the Bahamas, I hope his passport and papers are in order or there will be hell to pay for him and for us
still on the hardHoward clear/cool
11/23/2012, Fort Pierce
We are now living on the boat fulltime, we haven't launched yet so there's lots of ladder climbing to get on and off. The weather has changed, it's got much colder, night time it gets down in the 50's and up in the 70's in the day time, and warm blankets are definitely needed for sleeping. The work continues on the boat, we have installed a new SSB radio, replaced the engine raw water pump, installed a new battery monitor which involved rewiring to the batteries, we will install a new house bank and starting battery before we launch, also replaced a bunch of plumbing hoses and such and are now redoing the outside wood work. This year we had the hull painted with awl grip paint, it was done with the roll and tip method, a very nice job, you would think that it was sprayed on-it looks that good, we have received lots of favorable comments about it, the boat almost looks brand new- at least for a little while
Hard at workHoward, cool,overcast
11/19/2012, Fort Pierce
Even with a bum ankle the work must go on, I would help but then there would be nobody to take pictures
Fort PierceHoward warm sunny/showers
11/16/2012, Fort Pierce
After a two plus day road trip we are back to the boat at Fort Pierce, Florida. The boat seems to have survived the summer without to many problems, we have some mildew in spots but nothing serious. It was a very wet summer here in Florida and lots of boats suffered some damage, a neighbor boat had his engine seize up from water entering the cabin, another boat was full of water damaging the interior, unsure of the condition of his motor, he hasn't tried it yet. Much earlier on we had installed a garboard plug drain low in our bilge so any water finding its way in quickly ran back outside again, lucky for us because without it we may have had problems also. This year we are staying in a Days Inn motel while working on the boat, at 35 dollars a night including taxes it's hard to pass up, it's nothing fancy but is clean, plus the air conditioner works well. The humidity down here is unbelievable; you can't move without perspiring something fierce. We have a bunch of parts ordered, once they arrive and we get them installed we will get launched, it always feels cooler out on the water, at least a breeze should be blowing, there's not much at the marina.
Two more sleepsHoward / light snow, cold
Only two more sleeps and we'll be heading back to the boat to continue our seasonal cruising life style. It can't come soon enough for me, today there was snow on the deck when we woke up and there were snow flurries off and on all day. Our seven year old grand daughter says that her nana and poppy are allergic to snow and can't stay home for the winter. She is probably right, it makes us shiver and shake and want to spend all day curled up in front of a fire reading a good book or reading other peoples sailing blogs (wishing we were there with them). We have a bunch of work to do to the boat when we get down South so it will probably be a few weeks before we launch. Hopefully the boat made it through the summer o.k., there weren't any major storms that we know of and the marina hasn't called so that's good. Tomorrow is pack the car day, hopefully everything will fit in and there won't be any issues with the trip down
Dinghy and beach.