Starting Season 4!!! Bahamas here we come! Eventually!
02 February 2012 | Marathon, Florida
On January 5th, Jim and I arrived back in Florida, tired of the cold weather in Canada and eager to start sailing aboard Emerald Seas. On our first morning, we donned our warm weather clothes. Jim looked quite pale and touristy in his shorts and t-shirt and I looked just as bad. Putting on our shoes and sunglasses in preparation for heading out for breakfast, I realized I had made a major mistake when packing my sandals. At home, I had two pairs, both of them black and with similar straps. After that, the resemblance changes, one shoe is taller than the other by about ¼ inch. When I told Jim about my screw-up, he told me that I wouldnt even notice the difference if I wore them. I gave it a try and hobbled to the dining room. By the time we returned to our room, my left hip was in agony. I put on my beach flip flops and contacted our neighbours, Janet and Neil, in Nanoose Bay. They took pity on me and mailed me my sandals. Life was good again. We drove to Sneads Island Boat works in Palmetto. Emerald Seas looked lonely when we saw her and brightened considerably once we were aboard and hosing the dust off. Inside all was in good shape. No mold and only two dead cockroaches could be found. Our dinghy was home to a few hundred ants and a happy, well fed, gecko. All the boxes that we had mailed down from Canada were aboard. By evening, we had unpacked and stored everything. We ventured out to a Thai restaurant close by and enjoyed a very romantic dinner, accompanied by live music consisting of Chinese, Thai and Japanese songs. Later that night, we cuddled together for warmth. The daytime temperatures had dropped from the low 70s to freezing, just like what you hear happens in the desert. Warm in bed, we made plans for our first big purchase- a HEATER. Next day we rushed to Walmart, the Walmart greeters recognized me and my Visa card and were helpful in directing us to the heater section. Returning to Emerald Seas, we plugged the heater in and got back to work. The first thing that we discovered was that our fridge was not working. This meant buying ice to keep food and beer cold during the day- we could always place everything out at night when the temperature plummeted. Sailors next to us recommended a repairman and he came down right away and got our fridge working. With the fridge working, there was nothing to stop us from loading up on necessities. The next day we visited Costco and filled up two buggies! Two big jars of jelly beans were in there plus lots of cookies, candies and other tasty treats. Jim nearly fainted when the cashier asked for $1100.00. Instead, he conveniently forgot his PIN number and I had to buy the stuff!!! After spending the last few months working out at our gym at Fairwinds Centre, we felt that all the goodies had been earned. Besides, our fellow aerobic and fitness buddies who we left behind will never find out .. Jim installed a new stereo which we can use with our iPod and replaced one of our cockpit speakers. The entire system sounds great. Try to imagine Jim and I, sailing the warm, sunny Bahamas, music blasting, not a care in the world except choosing which beautiful, sandy beach to anchor at! What a great life! Our rental car days were coming to an end so another trip was made to Walmart to stock up on about $750 worth of wine, beer , coke and soda water. All our sails and canvas are back where they should be. Greg Knight and his gang of rogues had checked all the sails and canvas, renewed the UV covers on the sails and changed the reefing lines and batten thingies so that we could reef faster when we needed to. We are just about ready to pull away from Sneads and head over to an anchorage by the White Cross. Tonight we will celebrate with steaks on the barbecue. ******* Today is Friday, February 3rd. We are on a mooring ball in Marathon, Florida. Our trip from Tampa Bay to here was excellent. All systems worked as they should. We spent one evening in Venice and then continued on to visit our friends, Norm and Linda Stark at Pine Island. Leaving their hospitality behind, we did an overnight trip to Marathon. There was no moon out but the bright stars made up for it. Dolphins accompanied us all night and we could hear them blowing and see their spray because of the bioluminescence in the water. Magical. The last few days have revolved around more shopping for spare parts and supplies and meeting with fellow cruisers. We are already part of a group that will be heading to the Bahamas together- we are hoping to leave on Sunday! The window is not as long as we had hoped but conditions look acceptable- not too windy or rough. Fingers crossed, knock on wood etc. etc. Thats all the news for now. Loving the life! Renate & Jim .. Check out our blog: www.sailblogs.com/member/emeraldseas