Friday, March 30, 2007
Our goals for this visit is to get our condo in a nice live-able condition. This is alot like work. We get up Monday's thru Saturday at 6:30 am and leave the boat by 7:30 am and go to the condo and work until 3pm. Buster and Sara stay on the boat (napping).
On Sunday's we'll take the day off from working on the condo and probably work on the boat.....
We're also cleaning out the boat again, yes this is the way it is with a boat. You keep cleaning it out. We still have way too much stuff on the boat. We're looking for simpler. Less is best.
We also plan to attend the Mirage Seminar (going by car to and from Gainesville). We're also planning a boat warming party on April 15th. I probably won't post again until after the party. Then I can include pictures of the party. Anyone local to Sarasota that knows us is invited - just call me for the details.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Right: Saloon Port Aft
These are the Watch Cabin behind Pilot House - Queen Bed & Drawers
Two pictures of Pilot House Starboard instead of one each Port and Starboard. I can't seem to delete one so just enjoy!
John Henry, Forever 39 and Lazy Dolphin rafted up together at Vero Beach, FL. It was a really fun time and this is a great picture.
As we headed toward our destination, Nobeltec decided to crash again. With the congestion of the bay, the darkness because of the late hour, and a tired crew, we decided to turn back and called Tom to lead us in with his Navigation System. Just after we entered the channel behind Tom, both John Henry and Gale Force were pulled over by 2 US Coast Guard Boats.
The Coast Guard were suspicious of our activities come in so late (11:45 pm) from the Gulf. They wanted to board us and we requested they wait until we anchored as the winds had picked up to near 30 knots. They agreed and led us to Fort Myers Beach area just off Sanibel Island and insisted that we anchor there. Once anchored, they were having so much trouble boarding us due to wind and the GH swing dance, they just questioned us from their boat. They agreed that our actions were not that suspicious since we were having navigation problems, it explained why we turned around and meet another boat from the Gulf.
What an ending to a long day. Wink and I both believe that doing anything illegal would really show our stupidity in a get-a-way boat that does only 10mph. We stayed at that anchorage in a high winds, in the middle of the bay all night. Saturday afternoon we moved to a very protected anchorage just a mile or so away on the NE corner of the Sanibel bridge with depths of 6-8'. Things do work out for the best…. As our builder, Ken Fickett says, “if it doesn’t kill you, it makes yout stronger”. We feel pretty strong today…..
Saturday, March 17, 2007
The morning seas started out nice, however, they became confused and choppy with swells of 4-6’ and winds from 15-20 knots. The good thing is that the seas were following and those are great seas to have in a
Right: A picture of Bush and Long Keys. Bush Key is a santuary for the Sooty Tern who nest there from February to September.
We also fished and caught lots of Bonnet Sharks and Mangrove Snappers. Thursday, we snorkeled in the morning along the moat wall and saw lots of fish and coral. We even saw 3 gaint lobsters (of course they were in the no touch zone - they're not dummies). We also went fishing for grouper and Wink did catch a nice Red Grouper (not legal size) so it went back in to grow up. We had a trip planning meeting and early drinks on Tom and Gale's boat then returned to our boat to prepared to leave on Friday because of a good weather window.
Wink took many beautiful pictures of the sunsets. Here is just one.
The night sky held the most beautiful stars I've ever seen. The milky way was very visible and I (Wilma) was able to see star clusters with my binoculars.
My picture of the sea turtle itself is not great, but the water part of the picture is only a sampling of how clear it becomes. After anchoring, Wink and Wilma and the dogs went ashore to the beach only as the islands are off limits. The dogs enjoyed a good run and a refreshing bath afterwards. Wink and Wilma went out again in the dingy for fishing. Wilma caught and released a 4’ barracuda – sorry, no camera available. Wink caught a 3’ barracuda and we decided to drag it to the boat for a picture, but it got away. We stopped and picked up a camera and the jinx was on, no more fish caught, but in total we caught 9 barracuda.
Friday, March 09, 2007
We stayed 4 nights at Key West Bight Marina which is very nice. Wink and Wilma took their bikes out on each of the three days and really toured the town. We estimate that we biked 50-60 miles overall. That’s a lot considering we just got our bikes for Christmas and this is our first outing since Green Cove Springs.
On Wednesday, we moved from the marina to the City Mooring Balls. This was a bit tricky. The city doesn’t have any pennants on their mooring balls because people have too often taken them. We had to catch the mooring ball from the stern, hook up our line and then managed to get it to the bow. We had a plan in place to do the whole thing ourselves, but luckily and as it so often happens, boaters help boaters. Another boater took the time to come by and assist us with getting set up to the bow. Thank you, our angel.
The winds have been fairly heavy and we have not had much success with fishing. The silver lining is that we are resting well, doing our blog work and the boat is getting a good cleaning on the inside.
The dogs miss going on their walks which they get to do only in marinas, but they are old and lazy and fit right into the style of boat life.
When we returned to Green Cove Springs, FL from the boat show tour, we spent a couple of weeks down sizing the boat. It’s amazing how much stuff you can put into a boat and never use, we decided to clean out.
After a couple of weeks, we (Wink, Wilma, Buster and Sara) went to Yazoo City, Mississippi for a couple of days to visit Wilma’s parents. Wilma had also promised to rebuild the Christmas Tree that she and her dad had built about 10 years ago. On this tree is an ornament for every member of the family from her parents down to the latest great-grandchild. Parents (2) Children (7) Spouses (7) Grandchildren (16) Great-Grandchildren (23) and one on the way. Wilma’s parents also celebrated their 60th anniversary while we were on our boat show trip.
After Yazoo City, we traveled on to Plano, TX where we visited our grandchildren and both sets of their parents. We enjoyed Thanksgiving with both families and then also went to Keller, Texas to spend some time with Wilma’s brother on his horse ranch and stables. Charles Timmy is an expert Horse Whisperer and trainer. The grandchildren (Amber and Emma) love riding horses with him.
We also visited lots of other family members in Texas and saw all of our friends who we miss a lot. As we left Texas, we traveled to Pine Bluff, Arkansas and had lunch with friends and then traveled on down to McGehee, Arkansas to visit with Wilma’s sister and family. Wilma and her sister, Betty made lots of Christmas treats and also had a ladies Christmas Party from Betty’s Church. Wilma won a beautiful Santa Claus from the Chinese Christmas Exchange.
One last stop at Wilma’s parents in Yazoo and we headed back to Green Cove Springs by mid December. We spent Christmas with many other boaters at the Reynolds Park Marina Club House. Everyone brought a dish and had a great time.
Wink and Wilma also hosted a New Years Eve party on “John Henry” which included dancing on the flybridge and watching lots of fireworks.
Sunday, March 04, 2007
This posting is dedicated to Andrew David Allen "Andy" as we all know him. He has not only introduced us to the blogger world, but has come to the rescue and helped us get it going for this season of traveling. We are delighted to offer a link to his website for your viewing enjoyment.
We wish to also thank George and Christina Comrie for having our link on their webpage - so we have returned the favor and included their link on our webpage.
Their boats should be ready within the month, if all goes well. Congrats you guys.