Letter from Anna Maria
30 May 2018 | Anna Maria
I am so sorry about the long time between posts. We have been caught up in a whirlwind of doctor visits, and maintenance on the house. Our original plan to take the boat to Titusville came to an end when we found there was no space available there and so we wound up on a mooring in Stuart. We spent a few weeks doing boat projects, the largest of which was replacing the hydraulic ram on the autopilot. The old one had developed a leak at the front seal and when I took it in to get the seal replaced I learned that there were some nicks in the shaft and enough wear on the shaft that the new seals wouldn't last very long. Unfortunately the Simrad pilot drive was out of production and the replacement was a B&G drive unit which was a lot beefier, but also very expensive. Also, the hope that the new unit would drop into the old mounts was dashed and the install required me to rework the mounting. It was successful, however, and seems to work fine. Other projects included engine maintenance, polishing the stainless and the topsides. We also took a road trip to North Carolina to check on some property we own there and we helped Denny deliver his boat to Key West and then returned down there the next weekend for some maintenance on the boat.
We came over here to Anna Maria at the first part of May and since then it's been a never ending run of doctor appointments, procedures and house maintenance. We found the house in pretty good shape, but since we have been gone so long there were some items on the list to attend to. The management company stays ahead of most things, but with the wear and tear of constant renters we always find things to do. We are ready to head back to the boat now, after subtropical storm Alberto has passed by. We have a little more boat work to do and then provision and fuel up and find a weather window to head north. Our goal this summer is to get back up to the Canadian Maritimes.
Since we've been back in the states, people seem amazed that we want to continue sailing and haven't gotten tired of it yet. I guess it's hard to understand the sense of freedom we feel being on the boat. Also, it is a wonderful way to see this world we live in, being propelled by the forces of nature across the water. The longer I live, the more amazed I am about the miracle the world is and all the wonderful stories that go along with it. Nature has been a great teacher and she has much more to give to us. It's amazing that in the short time we've been back here, how quickly we've fallen into the rut of watching TV news and getting caught up in the negative aspects of life in this country. I find myself eating too much and getting depressed and missing the boat greatly. So we'll carry on, trying to learn the lessons nature has to teach and trying to be good stewards of the world.