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Two If By Sea
Day ? At Stuart
04/20/2012, Stuart, Florida

I believe that last night we got a taste of what to expect for weather over the weekend. Watching the weather radar on our iphone, we could see a line of thunder storms moving across Lake O and heading in our general direction. Fortunately, the more significant ones passed to the north, but we got our share between 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Some lightning, no wind, and good rain. That rain has really been the first we've had in well over 2 weeks. At least it did wash off the topsides of Two If By Sea. The real weather is expected Saturday/Sunday. Afterwards, the wind starts in from the north. Not good for a crossing.

We have now been here in Stuart for almost 2 weeks and all 3 boats are looking at the options available to us. Tom and Maureen may head to Ft. Lauderdale next week and hopefully a window will appear and they would cross. Bob and Mary may head north to Charleston. We, on the other hand, may go back across the lake and visit all of our favorite haunts along the southwest coast of Florida. Crossing over to the Bahamas is not inexpensive. To have only 3 weeks or so to stay makes it more so. Except for Biscayne Bay, we do not enjoy cruising the east coast or the trip from the Keys north. Perhaps, tomorrow we may think otherwise.

On a brighter note, Patty got her permanent crown put in yesterday afternoon. We celebrated with ice cream, of course. Oh, happy hour had not yet started at Duffys.

Earlier, we scrubbed the waterline of the boat. It always takes a beating when sitting on a mooring ball here. We will have to do it again next week before we move on to where ever we are going. We also got some cards in during the afternoon. All in all, another good day in paradise.

04/20/2012 | Duane Ising
Scrubbing the waterline is good. did you note from our blog that I had a great opportunity to do ours?

Hope your cruise goes well, whatever your actual path!
Our New Ride
04/18/2012, Stuart, Florida

We're still here and still waiting for that elusive weather window. Yesterday, Tom and Maureen listened to Chris Parker and there is a significant weather issue out in the Gulf which will reach us this weekend. Chris is recommending that there could be strong gale force winds over the weekend and into the first of the week. Obviously, we are staying here safely tied up to a mooring ball. Patty and I listened to Chris this morning and there have been no changes to his prediction.

To pass the time yesterday afternoon, we all met up in the boater's lounge for some cards. Tom and Maureen taught us a game called Golf which is a game just 2 can play, as well. Then, Bob and Mary came in for Hand and Foot. Of course, the men prevailed.

This morning, even before breakfast, we took the boat over to the fuel dock to top off our fuel tank and to pump out. It's just one of those tasks that must be done on a regular basis, particularly if we may be confined to the boat this weekend. We then headed into town on the marina's shuttle bus for some supplies. What a great service. However, Patty and I did get a bit confused as we were walking to our intended destination. Fortunately, our iphone pointed out my error and got us back on track. So much for my navigational skills.

We then returned to the card table this afternoon. This time, Bob and Mary brought a card game called Phase 10, for players 7 and older. Some of us found it to very challenging. Makes you wonder.

04/20/2012 | Joanne
Wish we were with you guys!!! Hope the weather lifts soon and you get across to enjoy the beautiful Bahamas. We are enjoying your posts
04/20/2012 | Carol & Gil
At least Stuart sounds great! I guess you will be there for awhile....has anybody crossed? You are smart to wait..good thing you have the time!! When we tried we ran out of time! We knew of a guy in a Freedom like ours who went anyway because of running out of time...and he was never seen again! So, good waiting!! Love you guys, Carol & Gil
Maureen on Cantagree
04/17/2012, Stuart, Florida

The wind continues. We had some hope early in the morning but as the day continued, the wind built back up to around 20 mph. We listened to Chris Parker's forecast and there is hope for improvement later this week, even for a possible crossing. The only problem is that it takes a few days for the sea state to calm down to the preferred level, at least for us, of 1 to 2 feet. We are in no hurry and have time to kill. It's when you push the weather is that you can get into trouble.

The highlight for Monday was the arrival of Tom and Maureen on Cantagree. They left Clewiston early in the morning to cross Lake O. They even had the opportunity to pull out the headsail for awhile. They checked in as they cleared the infamous bridge and we told them that if they hurried and made the 3:00 p.m. lock opening, they could join us for dinner at Duffys. After all, it was Monday night and ribs. They made it in time. Mat and Sue from Punta Gorda had arrived earlier on their boat and also joined on.

I know cards, Hand and Foot, is on the schedule today with Tom and Maureen. Hopefully, Bob and Mary will take part as well. A great game to pass the time in the afternoon.

04/17/2012 | Duane Ising
Having a good day in St. Augustine, but it is NOT a bike friendly town. the roads and sidewalks are way too narrow. Anyway, we are doing great.

Say hi to Tom and Maureen, Matt and Sue. Stay well!
The Lucky Dogs Band
04/16/2012, Stuart, Florida

Sunday started off as another windy day. When is it ever going to stop? However, we had a plan. First we would go and attend the nautical flea market, but there were no vendors. Must be because it's the end of the season and the number of cruising boats is on the decline. So, we headed into town for the farmer's market. We had gone the last 2 times we have been here and knew the produce would be excellent. It was. We also picked up a couple of pastries for this morning's breakfast. We headed back to the boat for lunch and returned for the rock concert on the river, featuring The Lucky Dogs Band, playing their own classic rock. It is always well attended by people of all ages. Stuart is a happening place along the river on Sundays. We also saw Spaz walking around and watching the band. Spaz is a local performer that played when we have been here previously. In 2009 it was mostly Led Zeplin and 2011 was more classic rock, including The Rolling Stones and The Doors. We're beginning to feel like locals now. Afterwards, it was back to the ice cream store.

We just heard from Tom and Maureen on Cantagree. They had an easy crossing of Lake O, got under the bridge, and are trying to get the 3:00 p.m. lock opening. That would get them here in time for ribs, once again, at Duffys. After all, it is Monday.

04/16/2012 | Duane Ising
Glad to keep up with your adventures. I agree that Stuart is a good place to be stuck.

We are making miles north (St. Augustine tomorrow) and are having fun.
Passing The Time
04/15/2012, Stuart, Florida

You might wonder what we do during the day when we're not moving and the weather is not the best. Yesterday is an excellent example as the winds were blowing 20+ mph and it looked as if it would rain any time soon. Under those circumstances, we catch up on email, read, and play Words With Friends, a scrabble game you play on the internet with various family members or even strangers. It's a great way to pass the time. Patty and I will even play between ourselves, whether sitting inside or in the cockpit on a long passage and the boat is on auto helm. The smart phone concept has been perfect for us as it always gives us access to the internet, weather, and communication options.

After lunch the weather improved so we headed to shore to get some exercise and walked about a mile to the Publix store. We weighed in and have both lost about 5 pounds, using that scale. We generally lose weight when cruising in the spring, because we are more active. We certainly don't hold back on the diet. Maybe it's the almost daily intake of ice cream. Yesterday we had to taste the Frosty at the Wendys we walked by.

We did get a short note from Tom and Maureen on Cantagree. They anticipate arriving here on Monday. Hopefully the conditions on Lake O will improve enough for them. The bridge clearance is back up to 52 ft, so that won't be a problem.

It will be an active day today. We are heading into shore for a nautical flea market at the marina, a farmer's market in town, and then a rock concert on the river this afternoon. Oh, our busy lives.

04/15/2012 | Eagle's Wings
Joanne is addicted to Smart Phone Scrabble. Her phone plays annoying music whenever she playing which seems to be most the time.

Say hello to Tom & Maureen for us.
04/15/2012 | Carol & Gil
Well, sounds like you have waiting down to a fun thing!! We are waiting for your crossing .. again I say we are envious!! We spend our time working in the yard, sitting in the hot tub, going to the health club! We miss that stuff! Safe travels..C & G
04/16/2012 | Jan & David, sv Winterlude
Hi David & Patty! Sorry to hear you're still "stuck" in Stuart. Winterlude is "stuck" at Highbourne Cay in the Exumas - our first stop and then it started blowing 30, so we've been here for 4 days and the forecast is looking like we'll be here a couple more. Our time is running out but we have high hopes of getting to spend a few weeks exploring the Exumas Land & Sea Park even if we don't get all the way to Georgetown. Enjoy & we'll hope for better weather for all of us! :) Cheers! Jan & David
Sunset Bay Marina Day?
04/14/2012, Clewiston, Florida

It finally happened Thursday morning. I managed to get up in time to tune into Chris Parker's website at 6:30 a.m. for his daily weather discussion. I noticed that Diva Di who had traveled with us for a few days was signed in, as well as Jim and Barb on Tam Dam, who are currently at Green Turtle Cay in the Abacos. Jim and Barb traveled with us for about a week last year before they headed to the Bahamas and we headed north for the last shuttle launch. Chris Parker was not too optimistic about the weather for the next few weeks and he was correct. Quite windy here, with showers predicted, and to continue into next week. Ideally, we are looking for the wind to clock to the south for a couple of days to allow the Atlantic to calm down and then to cross. Right now the Gulf Stream is reported to have 5 to 8 foot seas. That is only the average. So we will continue to wait at Stuart.

Actually, we were going to have to wait until Friday anyway. Yesterday morning, Patty noticed that part of a back molar had broken off. In stead of ignoring it or using a temporary fix like Tempdent, we were off to see a dentist Thursday afternoon. His office was in walking distance and treats many cruisers staying here. He stayed late to do a temporary cap and is expediting the permanent cap by personally driving the mold to the lab Friday morning. He told us that relying on a Bahamian dentist could be risky. Oh, the aging process.
On the way back to the boat we had to walk by Duffys so we took advantage of Happy Hour, by self-medicating both of us with margaritas, and splitting a cheeseburger.

One of the great innovations to cruising in a sailboat, without solar panels or a wind generator, is the Honda generator. The size of a small suitcase and running very conservatively on gasoline, it keeps our battery bank adequately charged, runs our water heater, and even allows us to watch a little television such as American Idol. We do like to watch the news and weather in the evening.

We heard from Tom and Maureen on Cantagree. They were going to head south along the coast, go through the Keys, and up the east coast to position themselves to cross to the Abacos. Because of the weather predictions, they have decided to cross Florida, across Lake O, and meet us here on Monday. Then we would all cross together, including Bob and Mary on DoraLee.

One thing is certain in cruising - nothing is certain. You always have to just go with the flow.

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Who: Patty and David Power
Port: Punta Gorda, Florida
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