Meeting our twin

They say everyone has a twin. Last week we had an opportunity to meet our twin……….. to our boat. Since being at the marina in Stuart Florida, we have seen many Island Packet boats, but one day last week, we had a couple dinghy up to our boat and introduce themselves and said they had an Island Packet 31, just like us. I should mention that Island Packet owners tend to band together just as Harley Davidson owners would. We have similar interests and can help each other with certain tasks. All boats have a hull number. These numbers have significance in that they have the year they are made, the number in which they were made and other things. As it turns out, our new friends boat was made two boats before ours.

Bob and Carol Abel

Bob and Carol Abel

As cruisers, it’s not uncommon to meet people and have them for dinner the same night. This was the case with us. We had our new friends, Bob and Carol over for dinner the very day we met them, which by now was a week ago. We showed them around our boat and they keep saying how much our boat looked like theirs. A few nights later we had the opportunity to have dinner on their boat. It was like being on our own boat. Everything was the same. It was so cool. We were able to get ideas from each other on certain things we had done to the boat to improve daily functions. I came away with some new ideas on how to sew some side awnings that will shield the sun, yet still allow you to see through.

Unfortunately I injured my knee about the same time and ended up coming back up to north Ga so I could see my dr. Our new friends have since moved north and when we return to Stuart Florida, we hope to move south. Fortunately they have a blog and I can keep tabs on their travels. I love meeting new people and meeting people that have the same tastes as we do was even more fun. Life is good

looking inside their boat

looking inside their boat

On the road again

We came, we saw, we stayed. That was not in the plans. The plan was to stay in Cocoa Florida 2, maybe 3 weeks at most. 6 weeks later, there we sat. We will be the first to tell you, that anything that needs ‘doing’ to the boat, you can always expect to double the time it should take. But we are always the ever optimistic.  This is Florida. I am not complaining. okay, maybe I am complaining a bit. This was not our destination. Our destination is the Bahamas. Still Florida is nice. Whats not to love about Florida. I was born and raised  here and eventually moved to Georgia in my teens. Cocoa was a nice town. We did get to see a rocket launch at Cape Canaveral (which was awesome), enjoy a visit from our son and daughter in law, and explore nice beaches. And we got away from the cold weather everyone up north was experiencing.

As for the upgrade on the boat, she got a new sail, to include a stack pack. That will make raising and lowering easier and safer. We also got a jib pole. That is basically a pole that attaches to the front sail to help catch the wind. It sounds like a small job, but the jib pole is actually 14 feet tall and had to be  attached to the mast.  We also had to have a small fuel leak and exhaust system fixed. MarinePro in Cocoa, who works on Yanmar engines, did an excellent job.

installing the new sails

installing the new sails

But  We still had some traveling down the coast of Florida before we could cross over to the Bahamas. This is our Maiden voyage. Since leaving Cocoa, we had 2 great days sailing down the ICW, stopping to anchor on the first night after 10 hours. The next day, after another 10 hours and a short grounding,  we finally made it to Stuart Florida. We have a friend here that we wanted to see and thought it would be a good place to hang out for a while. We actually thought about trying to make our way to the Bahamas now, but decided it would be easier to drive back to north Ga, than to have keith fly out of the Bahamas. This is a nice spot. We docked here one night until a mooring opened up. Now we are on a mooring for the first time ever. For you landlubbers, A mooring is similar to anchoring, but you actually tie up to a ball that is attached at the bottom of the ocean with some type of concrete. You don’t have to worry about dragging an anchor. our electricity is limited. We conserve water like crazy. I have become a water nazi. No running water frivolously  All our water now comes in 5 gallon jugs that we carry back in the dinghy when we go shore. There is no more jumping in the car to buy something for dinner that we just have to have. But its nice. We have sunsets again as  our sunsets were blocked in Cocoa.

We are going to make this happen. Keith has committed himself to work some the end of march and the first of april, so once we get back to the boat on April 6th, we will continue to head south to Fort Lauderdale where we will make our crossover to the Bahamas. At one point, we thought we were not going to be able to go, but its back on! Life is good!