Saturday, May 25, 2013

Back in the States.

Waiting for the big one
Well we are back in the states and moving north. The crossing to the States was done on April 25th. The prediction was to have the right tide to get out of the channel which we can only do at ½ tide or more, north east winds of 10-15 knts, waves 3-5 ft with 8 seconds between peaks, and the west edge of the Gulf Stream to be only 2 or 3 miles off the shore of Florida at Lake Worth. We had Kasidah all packed for the worst, as always, the dinghy put away and tied tight, fuel polished, we were up before dawn to walk Blue and check all systems. We waited till the dark had just started to lift and cast off.

  A little shut eye before the big seas come
Enjoying some music and quiet seas
Kasidah backed out at about 6:20 am to the port and turned around and headed for the channel. As we cleared the shallow spot in the channel we had about 1 foot of clearance under the keel so we started our turn west to Florida. We had two other boats with the same float plan and destination, a Hunter 44 center cockpit and a big Kadye Krygen trawler. It started as a nice flat ride, good wind right on our beam, lots of sun and warm. It was only 70 something miles so we hoped we could do it all in day light. We were getting a good push from the tide leaving the Bahamas, our SOG was near 7 knts, then about 10 am it switched and by noon our SOG was down to about 5 knts, making the inlet by dusk was looking like it wasn’t going to happen. About 3 pm we got into the Gulf Stream giving us a little push. A wind with any north in it makes the waves build as it pushes across the north flowing Gulf Stream. This is what all boaters try to avoid, but with 8 seconds between them we had nice 8 foot rollers on our aft quarter. Luckily the wind picked up a bit too and you all know what Kasidah does when the wind is on her beam. Like a line backer she puts her shoulder into it and RUNS LIKE HELL. Our speed picked up and now we would make the inlet one hour before sunset, amazing what a difference 2 knots makes. The swells and wind held up to just outside of the inlet but getting into the inlet was not as easy as we’ve done before. Usually we do an over night trip from further away and arrive at Lake Worth in the morning with the sun behind us. This time it was dead in front of us and burning holes in our eyes, luckily there was a large ship that had just passed us and I knew from my instruments and his heading he was going for the same inlet. So all I really had to do was keep him in front of us. Once in the inlet we had about one hour to get to the anchorage for the evening. Lake Worth does have some big boats that come and go and we heard an announcement over the radio warning of a large ship that would be leaving it's berth and turning in the basin where we needed to get through. Now we see the big cargo ship leaving and we need to get out of the way. The current was coming into the inlet so we moved over at a point where it was too shallow for the big ship but out of his way. With Kasidah’s nose pointed into the current and a little RPM we were able to stay motionless while the big ship turned and passed.
routine maintenance before closing her up 
Now in the anchorage we dropped and set just at sunset for a great day.

The move to Stuart the next day was uneventful and not too busy for a Saturday. We arrived at Sunset Bay mid afternoon to find it quite empty. Stuart is really a great town, Lots of places to walk to for meals and shopping. This is also Blue’s favorite shop for chasing squirrels at the park.
Blue and Sarah won a Sunset Bay "Doggy Dinghy"contest while we were away
into the lock
more holes in Kasidah
Jessee and Alex at Indiantown
We only stayed in Stuart for a few weeks and then moved to Indiantown to take the Kasidah out of the water. We had thought of many different things and ways to get to the next step of our lives. We’ve had many offers and conversations with people about too many things. We know that it will include being on Kasidah for parts of the year as it has, for the past 4 years, been a great part of our lives. Even for the size of Kasidah we love being on her. Just sitting and living in the cabin is enjoyable, sitting in the cockpit for the evening or during a storm is satisfying, using her and the systems is rewarding because we rebuilt her our way for us and it works to most people envy, sailing and moving her is exhilarating.  We may not get line honors at a race or be in the running on any leg,…but when it comes to cruising, yeah we got the right boat and crew.

Time for lunch in Washington DC
Our visit with Amy and Jeremy at their new home in Maryland has been fun. It’s great to see how well they are doing in life. Jeremy’s work on paper design, manufacturing, and sales has brought them far. Amy has a new plane and has been flying a lot to get her up to Aircraft Commander in this new plane. She took us to base and gave us a tour of the airplane. Wow it’s a small one, but still a jet and it will most always have its missions here in the States, with short flights so it’s has almost become an 8 to 4 job for her.

They are very close to Washington DC, on Friday we went to a Metro station and then went to DC. Saw the Air and Space museum, the Capital has a new visitor’s center and went to the White house (wanted to sit with Obama but when he found out we were tax payers he declined) so we ate lunch out of a van on the street and an early dinner at Union Station. With a lot of walking around it was a Great day and worth it. Visiting DC always makes me proud to be an American!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Good-bye to another winter in the Bahamas

The last days in the Bahamas for us this year were spectacular, we look back at all we've done and how much fun we had. We had to pinch ourselves and say how lucky we are, to have what we do, to have each other, and to have the courage to do this, (although from time to time we think it's not courage but stupidity).

We met lots of new cruisers this year and ran into so many from years before. We explored familiar favorite islands and beaches, while also reaching new fishing grounds, islands and beaches.

This is a beach on the east side of the Lucayan Waterway that we drove to by car the last day the kids were there.

Once we saw the window of weather for crossing back to the states we started to look at things a little differntly; not know when or if we would ever get back. The beauty of the island started to come more apparent to us. The large flowering plants became bigger, the beaches cleaner, and warmer, the breeze warmer and beer colder. I started counting beers backward so that I would have just one left for opening once we got back to Florida.
This place with the loins guarding the gate is really something, talk about more,.. It is on a road that we would bike on our way to the Lucayan Market. Very well kept but MAN, Arline always wanted Lions on a post at the drive way, well she's over that now. There is something like 38 just on each wall and the interior looked like Lions and other stoned creatures rained from the sky for a month, Lion heads or faces on the wall too, really over the limit.

Blue is chasing a crab here and became pretty good at finding them, but She doesn't have the quickness for the kill like Sarah did.

The rented car had been returned after the kids left and the weather looked like it will be right in about 3 or 4 days for a crossing back to the states. So after everything is tied down, fuel polished, filters check, there is nothing to do except talk to other cruisers about watching and waiting for the weather, except go to a beach. So we biked to our favorite close beach, took the cooler and all the other things we needed, music, drawing tools, Blue's water and Arline's Chocolate.

We tried to eat at this restaurant a couple of weeks ago at Port Lucaya's market, it was a very busy day as several buses from cruise ships were there shopping and eating. They have a great lunch special, good food and we could really use some french fries. It was very busy, all seats were taken so we waited till near the end of the lunch special and went in. Tables were starting to empty out, not cleaned of course but we had Blue and wanted carry out to sit at the dock overlooking the marina. I went in and after 10 minutes of watching the confusion behind the counter of a line of frustrated customers trying to pay their bills I was up. I looked up and placed my to go order with her, . She rolled her eyes took a big breath, puffed out her cheeks and blew it out through her teeth and said (this is great). "It's going to be 45 minutes before I can even put your order in,...if you want to wait,...But I would suggest you go some where else,.."

And here's another story of backwards thinking,..and trust me I've heard my share of backwards thinking in the recent past and it always blows me away when it happens.

Another cruiser tells me he went to the store to get his favorite rum as he'd seen it and bought it there before. Upon not finding it he ask the clerk for it and got this answer,.."Yeah I don't order dat no more,..I can't keep it on the shelve,...everybody keeps buy'n it up, it's just not worth fo me mon,.." REALLY