Sitting on the dock of the bay

One day wind will be my friend. But sitting at the dock trying to get ready to head south, wind is not my friend. Yesterday  was exceptionally windy. Gusts were 35mph or more. I guess  I should refer to winds as knots, in which case, it would be over 30 knots.

There isn’t much you can do outside when its that windy and cold. So we opted for stocking up on our groceries, propane and odds and ends that  we needed at west marine. We spent much of the day inside the boat doing different things. I made flatbread, and Keith did some braiding on anchor line. Something he’s never done before.
We are trying not to order anything by mail so that we can leave and head south. Our plans were to be leaving any day now, but unfortunately we are waiting on our Honda generator that we decided at the last minute to purchase. It should be here on monday. yay. If all goes well, we will start watching for our weather window. We need about 4 days of fair weather to travel to St Augustine, where we have decided to stay a week or two.
We still haven’t decided on whether we will take the intracoastal waterway (ICW) or go on the outside. I think we are leaning on the outside. For those family members reading this, its okay! we will probably stay 5 miles from shore. We will be able to see shore and if it got bad, we could duck into the ICW. I have mixed feeling about the ICW. Its safe yes, but its slow going, and you motor most of the way. There are still issues with running aground if you aren’t careful. But then I guess you have that pretty much everywhere.
Even going along the coast line, we will have to come into the ICW to anchor at night.
The last of our friends here left today. It will seem awfully lonely now.
Since the weather is supposed to get bad again in a couple of days, we have decided to take one of our cars and leave it in St Augustine. Then, when we decide to go south of there, we will hopscotch our cars further down. That will give us quicker access to our cars in case of an emergency. We won’t really know if this is a good idea until later.
Our trip south is rapidly closing on us. Due to insurance reasons, we have to be back in Brunswick June 1st when hurricane season starts.  Unless we decide to pay the extra insurance and take it to the West coast of Florida. We have talked about wanting to check out that area as well.
The main thing is that we are on our schedule and not anyone else’s. Its easy to get caught up wanting to leave when others leave. But they have been doing this a lot longer than we have and we have to make sure we are ready. We are so close. But until it happens, we just hang out here and enjoy the sunsets.
our boat at sunset

our boat at sunset

 

Oh the joys of paperwork……

There’s a reason many cruisers don’t have cars. It has the tendency to create stress. And a lot of it. We have opted to keep our cars for the time being. Especially since Keith stores his tools in his truck and we use my car to get around since its a hybrid and gets excellent gas milage. Not to mention that a time will come when we both have to go back to work and will need them. So this week we had to get our annual registrations for both vehicles. And we had to do it in Brunswick since we now (technically) live here. Well, they don’t make it easy or pleasant. We had to go get new drivers license that showed we lived in Brunswick.(ok, this upset me the most because we had Ga licenses and we still lived in the state of Ga)  Most places do not accept a marina as a residential address. Fortunately we were able to get away with it. We gave them the address of the marina  and showed them our monthly statement that reflected that address. So with that accomplished, we were now able to get our car tags renewed. That took 2 days also, but it all worked out and now have that behind us for a year. The plan is to have our Florida residence set up before next years car tags are due.

The next bit of stress came from trying to figure out why our solar panel charger hates our VHF radio. Keith has talked to the company and many forums to see if he can get this resolved. He has moved the charger, he has rewired things, installed 3 different noise filters and stood on his head while counting backwards (not really) and still there is no improvement. The charger is causing static in our VHF radio where we can not hear the radio calls. It has to be fixed. We can unplug our solar panels and hear our radio fine, but then that defeats the purpose of having solar panels. Hopefully we can get it figured out.

One good thing that happened this week was I got a nice pot rack added to my galley. It won’t be used as a pot rack, but a much needed shelf that hangs over my sink. I could hang cups on it if i wanted to. But I really needed the extra space. I am often testing the limits of my small galley. And yes, he secured it so it won’t bounce around while under sail.

my new galley shelf

my new galley shelf

 

So thats our week. Doing projects, taking care of paperwork and trying to stay warm. I am ready for spring. And hoping that by the time summer gets here, we will be further south.

One who inspired me

I met someone who had a profound influence on my life in the most unusual way. Being an avid book reader, I often like to read other women’s views  on living on a sailboat. One book I thourougly enjoyed is “ Harts at Sea sailing to windward”.

Harts At Sea

Harts At Sea

I was hooked from beginning to end. And as a matter of fact, I’m going to go back and read it again soon.

 Soon after I finished the book, Keith and I took a Caribbean cruise to St Thomas. I knew that this couple was living in St Thomas, but after seeing hundreds of sailboats there, I knew I would never find them.  Our excursion took us to Honeymoon beach where there were many sailboats on anchor. Since I knew what color their boat was and the name of their boat, I knew what to look for. Imagine my surprise when I saw their boat 100 yards away. I was so excited that I Facebook messaged her. I explained to her that I had just read her book and I was sitting on the beach that she was anchored at. Being the sweet person she is, she wrote back and chatted with me. I shared with her our dream to do what she is doing. She encouraged me to step out of my box and go for it. She allowed me (and still does) to pick her brain and ask her all kinds of questions.  She answered every one of them. She was selling me on the dream. What’s not to love about living in the Caribbean with beautiful blue seas. As the catamaran we were on left, she stuck her head out the hatch and waved to us. Later she wrote three blogs about us. I wonder if she thought we would really take the plunge, or if we were just one of those people that talks a good talk.
I had the pleasure of reminding her this past november that it had been one year since our first conversation. Little did I know that it would happen so quickly for us. I had actually told her it would happen in two years time. Ha, if I’d only known….
If you get the time, check our her blog http://hartsatsea.typepad.com.
As we sit on our boat in what we consider cold, I  often think about her living in Maine on their boat for 8 years before heading south. We have been on our boat for 6 months, and are so ready to head south. With any luck, we should be ready soon.