After Jeanne and Marcia left for the airport we untied the lines and left the dock in Coral Bay, New Providence. Had a good motor/sail (6 hrs.) to Chubb Cay where we anchored for the night.
The next day we got underway at 7:00 A.M. and had a long day of “hand steering” but calm seas. Anchored at Gun Cay at 7:00 P.M.
The weather was still cooperating and predictions were for the winds to pick up and blow out of the north in another day so we got underway at 7:00 A.M. and anchored off of the Miami Yacht Club at 3:00 P.M. Not a bad crossing across the Gulf Stream.
We spent the next 5 days anchored in Miami touching base with the buyer of our boat every day to determine where he wanted us to deliver the boat for the bottom survey. Don’t think he realized how difficult it is to find a yard that can haul a boat with a 24’ beam. He’s also realizing how expensive it is to own a “big” boat. Benny kept reassuring us that he was going through with the deal.
Since it was the week before Easter the boat traffic was very busy so we kept moving the boat around to the different anchorages to get away from it. We were able to connect with our friends, Don & Olga, and met them at the park to pick up the new auto pilot motor that we had shipped to their condo. Joe got it installed and it works great. Spent several hours walking around Miami Beach and even found a church that we could walk to from the dinghy dock so I could go to Palm Sunday Mass.
Don & Olga picked us up and we all enjoyed a delicious cuban lunch. Always good to see them.
Benny finally found a place in Riviera Beach that could haul the boat so we got underway on March 23rd. Had a quick sail from Miami to the Lake Worth Inlet - 7 hrs. and at times we were doing 9 knots. One of those perfect sails that made Joe wonder why he was selling the boat.
We anchored off of a park there and arranged for Benny and his friend Lew to come on Thurs. to take the boat out for a sea trial. Since we weren’t going to have much time to show them all of the working systems on the boat we made a video of Joe explaining everything so they could look at it and refresh their memories.
On Thurs afternoon, Joe went to the launch ramp and picked up Lew, Benny, his wife, Anna and their cute 8 month old daughter, Mia Grace. Got everyone onboard and headed for the inlet. They were pleased with the boat’s performance in the seas heading out the inlet and then Joe raised the sails and we tacked back and forth for a couple of hours.
On Fri. morning Joe picked Lew up and we took the boat to the Cracker Boy Marina for the haul-out. Benny and the surveyor met us there and they spent the next 3 hours checking out the boat hull. I spent most of that time pacing back and forth in the yard praying that everything would check out. After the survey was completed Benny decided to just have the boat moved into the yard since we wouldn’t be completing the sale until Mon. or Tues.
Benny drove us to the airport to pick up a rental car and then we proceeded to unload all of our stuff. Now keep in mind that we have 15 yrs. of gear on the boat so we filled the car and realized we would have to come back on Mon. to pick up the rest.
Since it was late afternoon by then we only drove as far as Melbourne, got a motel and then went on the next day to Jacksonville to pick up our van that was in storage there. Thankfully the van started right up so we off we went to the airport to drop off the car and then head south to Englewood to spend Easter weekend with good friends, Barbara & Mike. We really needed that glass of wine they had waiting for us, a beautiful dinner and a good night’s sleep. Went to Easter Sunday Mass with Barbara and spent the rest of the day enjoying their company, playing pickleball and another delicious dinner and of course, more wine.
Barbara & Mike
On Monday morning we drove back to West Palm to pick up the rest of our gear and filled the van to the top. This is it, we’re leaving the boat for the last time.
We then drove back across the State to Dunedin to visit with Alison. So glad to see her. We had lots of paperwork to do to complete the boat sale and we met Benny at the bank to finish the deal. She gave us the moral support we needed to let go of the boat and reassured us that we could still have a good time doing land travel.
Spent the rest of the day with Alison and then drove north to Brunswick, Georgia to visit with niece, Kelly and Tommy. They always welcome us and it was fun celebrating Tommy’s birthday with them at the Golf Club.
Kelly, Tommy & Mia
After a couple days of decompressing we moved on to Warrenton, Virginia to visit with niece Christa, John, Alexa and John, Jr. After a long drive it was so nice to arrive and have a delicious steak dinner with them and of course, some good wine. Christa had some goodies for us to take home along with a TV and other things for our house. Somehow Joe managed to fit them into our already overloaded van.
and John, Jr.
Spent a couple of days with the Williams family and then headed for home. It’s a 9 hr drive and when we got to the Canadian Customs and Immigration they asked how long we had been away and welcomed us home. We were at the house by 2:30 and started unloading the van. Good thing we have a big basement to store all of this stuff.
Everything was good at the house thanks to our neighbour, Les, and our nieces who stopped by to check on things.
It did seem strange to be here and I kept thinking I was in someone else’s house. We quickly got back into the swing of things and started playing pickleball with the “Life After Fifty” group and visiting with everyone we missed so much over the winter. Our friend Theresa delivered a beautiful painting that she did of “DejaVu” - it’s on the wall in our office with some other Bahamian prints.
We made a trip across the border to visit with Joyce (Mandalay). She’s doing well and is really hoping and praying that the boat will sell soon.
Our other good friends, Al & Jill, are also selling their 64’ Catamaran. Unfortunately, Al & crew were sailing the boat from Fiji to Hawaii and then on to California. They were 400 miles from Hawaii when they dismasted. Luckily no one was hurt, however, they lost the entire rig and did quite a bit of damage to the boat. They have made it safely to Hawaii and are assessing their options. Not a good way to finalize their cruising experience.
Not too enthused about the weather-it was still cold and we even had some snow flurries. Guess we came back too soon. Looking forward to planting some flowers and veggies but it's too soon - frost predicted for this weekend.
Our summer will be spent continuing with the house renovations, Joe has some big jobs to do for his customers and we’re looking forward to many family and friends get-togethers. We're looking for a new work vehicle that can later be converted into a camper so we can head south when the snow flies.
Please keep in touch with us, we don’t want to loose contact with our cruising friends so if you’re in the Windsor area, we’d love to see you and we have a guest room. We can be reached via email - firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 519-945-7848.