09 August 2013 | Islamorada, Florida Keys
19 May 2013 | Sara Bay Marina
12 May 2013 | Jew Fish Key, Bradenton Beach FL

Settling in the Keys!!!

09 August 2013 | Islamorada, Florida Keys
The Krew's Mommy
Well, it's been officially four weeks since our boat landed here on the dock in the beautiful Florida Keys! We have settled into quite a routine... relaxation, lack of stress, and lots of much needed restoration!  We are so excited to see what each day brings here, and really looking forward to each opportunity that arises!
Paul is working for a local plumbing company here in order for us to fund the refit of our new Morgan 33 Classic... and I am in preparation for the upcoming school year! This will be my first year homeschooling the "Krew", but they're both excited to start school... and so is Mommy!!!  This next year will hold some of our greatest memories...this is the start of our life of cruising! One year in the Keys, refitting our boat, and watching our dreams become a reality!
I've contacted a local Girl Scout troop in the area and will be enrolling Autumn into the troop in September! This will give her an opportunity to meet other children her age and begin building some friendships here! It's also a good way for mommy to make some new friends as well!  As for Ayden, I'm still up in air... I can't decide between T-ball, and soccer! I have some time before season starts...so I'll be fine!
Paul is applying for his Captains license while we're here as well! He has most of his sea time, but he has a few classroom hours he still needs to take. We are quite sure that a USCG captains license with a sailing endorsement will be of value during our life of cruising!  He has made it clear that he doesn't want to continue his plumbing trade! We will be dependent on our professional scuba diving career statuses, and his captain's license for work as we cruise!
Well, that is what's happening for now... I will continue to post as we dive into our new life here in the Florida Keys!!! 

Making it Fit!!!

19 May 2013 | Sara Bay Marina
The Krew's Mommy
If you would have told me a year ago that my family of FOUR was going to move aboard a Morgan 27 (yes I said 27) I would have laughed in your face!!! We were faced with one of the hardest decisions we've made yet... buy a fun fixer upper outright, (and fixer up while we save for the boat we really want) or go into debt and get the boat we want to settle into, with payments and interest for the next decade!!!! After months of looking around we decided to go with the fixer upper...

So, in Oct. 2012 we purchased our Morgan "Pardon You"...not in the best of shape... but she did have a solid haul and brand new race sails!!! :) With inches of water in her bilge we decided the first step would definitely be to fit her with a bilge pump and secure leaks before rainy season! Over those next few months we put A LOT of time and elbow grease into the boat to get her ready to move aboard! The "Krew" were SOOOOO excited and anticipated each new step we made forward!!! :)

Shortly after we moved aboard we rented a slip at Long Boat Key Club Moorings and started preparing for the first Christmas in our new home! It was so much fun running lights up the mast and putting our blow up frosty on the bow!!!Such a priceless holiday experience! We chose to stay at the "high class" marina and resort for those first four months to help the little ones adapt to this new reality! I would have to say...it was one of the smoothest transitions we've ever made!!!! Once we sold everything, stored our keepsakes, and moved aboard, I FELT FREE!!! (The white picket fence is so overrated) By Easter we were ready to find a more affordable dock so that we could continue to fit the boat to meet the needs of our family! We relocated across the bay and are now at Sara Bay Marina! We've been here now for 3 1/2 months and couldn't be happier! It's affordable with perks! We have a pool and tiki bar, but are still able to put substantial amount of money into our saving for "Autumn's Wind"! (our 35ft + cruiser that we are saving for)

To date we have... tore out the galley and totally refit and remolded a new one (with stove, fridge, oven, pantry, storage, etc.)...ran all new electrical and plumbing... laid a new floor... painted her inside and out... replaced any and all rotted wood... turned the aft quarter berth into a double berth for me and Paul... tore out the sink next to the head and made an adequate storage closet for all of our clothes... made a dog crate for Bella under Autumn's "V" berth... built an anchor locker...installed a transom shower and 38 gallon fresh water tank to use when we're not docked...we added a new life line and safety netted the entire upper deck (for mommy's piece of mind) ...and soooooo many other things that I do not have time to mention in this blog!!!!  Needless to say, we have taken a weekend racing boat and turned her into a cruising live-aboard!!! However, by doing all the work ourselves, we've created a lifelong memory for our family, (the fixer upper) and been able to save a lot of money over the year to buy our real cruiser!
In the meantime we are just "Making it Fit" :)

Keeping a watchful eye!!!

12 May 2013 | Jew Fish Key, Bradenton Beach FL
Sunny and HOT :)
This past weekend we learned the important (valuable) lesson of keeping a watchful eye!!! It was our mother's day weekend, planned to be a relaxing getaway to spend some much needed time with the little ones (aka The Krew), yet, it turned out to be a hard lesson from the old school of fort knocks!!!

We sailed out Friday and headed for Jew Fish Key, a place where we've anchored before at night as we passed through on our way to St. Pete...but never a destination to anchor and explore! Our plan was to anchor and hang out for a couple days...explore the beaches around the island and just have some fun with the "Krew"!!! :) We arrived as the sun was setting Friday evening and to our enjoyment the sand bar was fully exposed! We threw anchor, secured the boat, and hopped in the dingy (aka "Ayden's Speed)!!! It was a BEAUTIFUL sunset on the sandbar...the kids chasing our pup (aka Bella) through the puddles, the sun setting on the horizon, the sound of laughter and love!!!! In fact, aside from the sand flies eating us alive, it was a picture perfect evening! :) Back Aboard we grilled some hamburgers and had a simple dinner before calling it a night. The night was calm and peaceful and we got a great nights sleep as the boat gently swayed and rocked us!

Saturday morning the Krew woke us up BRIGHT and early, eager to explore this new destination! The sun was shining and the water was warm...such a great day to play at the beach! So, we loaded up "Ayden's Speed" with all of our favorite beach toys, a cooler full of drinks, a nice umbrella for mommy, and headed for the shore! We spent most of our morning collecting sea shells and exploring the beautiful island! :) The Krew enjoyed chasing the shiny schools of fish in the shallow water and splashing around with Bella!!!

Around lunch time we noticed a change in the current as the tide came in, and we became a little more cautious with the little ones swimming...however it wasn't the little ones we needed to be worried about!!! We figured the boat would be fine, noting it didn't budge the entire night...not even one anchor alarm!!! Unfortunately that was not the case! We saw as it turned with the current change... and then IT WAS OFF!!! Paul didn't think twice as he jumped in the dingy and took off...then I saw him grab the motor chord and start pulling like crazy!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!! Our dingy motor stopped working at the most convenient time ever!!!

As I watched our boat, home, and every bit of lively hood, drag anchor down the channel... I also see my husband struggling to catch it as he rows "Ayden's Speed" (what an ironic name given the circumstances) to catch it!!! :) lol (however this was totally not a laughing matter at the time!) The good thing is that it was able to become a laughing matter, because he did catch our boat before she hit anyone or anything! However, it could have been a huge disaster had we not noticed the change in tide and current, and had we not seen our boat shift and drag!

We sailed away from this weekend with a larger anchor on our shopping list...and one notch in our belt for dragging anchor! :) I'm sure it will probably not be the last time... but it would TOTALLY be ok with me if it was!!!
Vessel Name: Autumn's Wind
Vessel Make/Model: Bruce Rober
Hailing Port: Islamorada, Florida Keys
About: Autumn age 7 is Miss Drama... Ayden age 4 is Mr. Adventure!!!! Together they make for an interesting pair! We call them the "Krew"!!! We couldn't imagine setting out for a voyage without them...they seriously make this life what it is!!!! :)

S/V Autumn's Wind

Port: Islamorada, Florida Keys