Saturday, January 5, 2013

New Year--New Blog Page

I have been told that this page has become rather cumbersome--pictures will do that and I do like to photo more than I like to write.  So I have created a new blog for our second year of cruising.  There is a link right above this post (Sailing off into the Sunrise 2013).  I have copied the post below and have posted some new pictures of our passage to Miami.   Of course, you can revisit the old blog any time.  It will remain.

Friday, January 4, 2013

A New Year--A New Cruise

ONE MORE THING!!  It seems that however many lists we make there is always something we have missed.  Having learned a lesson from last year, we stocked up heavily on staples.  Everything is at least twice as expensive (a bag of tortilla chips is $6) in the Bahamas.  The back bunk is stuffed and the pantry is full—still we have forgotten paper towels and holding tank treatment.  How does that happen???  Finally, we are determined to leave Wednesday and the final task is to find someone to help us drop off the car.  Harvey to the rescue!!  But, one more thing—can we stop by the gas station and fill our jerry cans up with diesel?  OK, we are going NOW!  We cast off the lines a little after noon and headed down the Indian River—Finally!! 

Of course there is no wind but we are glad to be on our way and enjoy watching osprey, herons, egrets and both brown and white pelicans as we drift down the Indian River.  We are a little slow since we were too lazy to clean the bottom before leaving (that was one more thing too much).  Cleaning the bottom in the Keys or Bimini will be much more pleasant anyway.  As the sun is setting we decide to take it easy and pull over to spend the night along the intracoastal waterway. 

On Thursday morning we set out for Ft. Pierce and caught 2 mackerel right away.  I cleaned them and put them in the fridge then we ate breakfast.  Since we had fish I made some of our friend John’s hot fruit salsa.  Now his recipe says to put 3-12 habenero peppers in it-- “be bold” it says.  I made ½ recipe and I had 2 nice habs and some ghost peppers my brother gave me in the freezer.  The 2 habs and one small ghost gave it what I would call “some zing”.  Unfortunately, after Bill cut something on the cutting board he touched his face with his hand and felt a burn.  This was after I had washed the cutting board.  This was not a good sign for him.  I also found that we were running low on onions, vanilla, green peppers and limes—all had been forgotten in the buying frenzy. 

We bought fuel in Ft. Pierce and headed out the inlet.  A little too hopeful for some wind, we set the sails and got a slight boost for a while.  The wind soon turned on the nose but it was calm and the seas were small so we decided to go for it and overnight it to Miami.  We saw dolphins, a turtle, and a large fish (probably a marlin) jumped out of the water.  Around 4pm, the wind picked up a bit right on the nose and the sails were doing more harm than good so we took them down.  The boat does well in 10 foot seas but 1-2 foot chop is highly uncomfortable.  At a short wave period one hull is up and the other down over and over again-rocking and rolling.  We were plowing into it and often slammed.  So we hoped for it to calm down during the night and carried on. 

The much anticipated fish dinner was difficult to prepare, to say the least, in these conditions.  I already knew that Bill was not going to like the fruit salsa so I made a cool batch and just put a small amount of the “good stuff” in for flavor hoping that would dilute it (he’s not a complete pepper wimp—just has a bit more sensitive palate than I do).  I baked it in foil with the salsa but it turned out hard to eat in the dark with the boat rocking and the cool salsa I made for Bill was still too hot—He is NOT happy.  Oh well, there will be other fish and the salsa usually cools down with age.  I’ll eat it!

As is the routine with overnighters, I went right to bed but the slamming made it impossible to sleep in the forward bunk.  I tried the back bunk but by 12:30am I told Bill I was done trying to sleep—he was ready to give it a try and the waves calmed down a little.  We were hugging the shore in order to avoid the Gulf Stream which comes in very close in some places.  Usually we watch the radar to help us look out for boats and markers but it was no use this close to shore and I had to eyeball it.  Soon after I took watch I saw a large marker ball pass very close to the boat.  These were probably mooring balls for fishermen and divers and I had some close calls with more during the night.  Thank goodness for the moon and the city lights.  I waited for a large freighter to pass out of Ft. Lauderdale about 3am, dodged some small fishing boats and was very glad to see the sun rise. 

We were both really tired and were glad to see Governors Cut in Miami.  But—one more thing—we had to get those onions and several other things that we had forgotten.  There is a Publix in Miami Beach that is near a ramp where we can dock the dingy.  I was not prepared for this grocery store—Miami Beach is “swanky” I know but this was really too much.  I took a picture with my phone and will try to get it posted.   Now whatever we have forgotten we can do without or pay through the nose for and we finally got a nap this afternoon at our anchorage in Biscayne Bay.  The boat partiers are leaving so I hope this means the boat wakes will stop at some point—the Miami skyline is lighting up.

It is truly warm here-in the 80s, Beautiful!!!
OH Darn—we forgot green peppers.