I knew the end was coming, but you just never know. The first indication was the "departure list" and then an estimated departure date (weather permitting, of course)of March 9th.
The weather plays a huge factor in the "estimated departure date", but things are looking pretty good for our Friday/Saturday two day run via the Okeechobee Waterway to the East Coast of Florida.
If we wake up in the morning and the flags are blowing like this - this would be a no go day.
The second hoist arrived on schedule and was installed that same day. Guess that will not delay our departure (damn).
Arrival and installation of the second hoist put pressure on Deb to get the covers made - well actually the Captain put pressure on Deb to get the covers done, but let us not go there.
However, a team effort was needed to modify the dinghy cover - so now back on speaking terms we decided on a a couple of nips and tucks, a support pole to keep the rain off, a couple of more tie downs - looks a little better, eh?
So it looks like we are ready to shove off, the weather looks favorable and we have no more excuses for delaying. You need to understand what a great place this is - there is a reason we come back season after season, sometimes only for a day to get a quick fix or one year we came for three days and stayed 3 months. The marina is top notch, the staff is incredible and the boaters are; well just let me introduce you to a few permanent fixtures.
This is Rick of the M/V Tourist - he put us all to shame - winning the cleanest boat in the marina award. And when he's not busy swabbing the deck on Tourist -
he's busy keeping Pamsters little red TT spotless. Oh, Oh - looks like some morning dew - we won't let Pam know your slacking while she's home in Illinois waiting on grandbaby #2. Hope to see you guys on the east coast this year.
And this would be Donnie, the Mayor of Who-ville (aka Legacy Harbour Marina). Donnie and his wife Marilyn on M/V Kasey's Choice have been here since the beginning of - well let's keep it nice and say we first met them here in 2001. If you need anything or need to know where to get something or need to know anything about anybody - this guy is your man! (Love yah Donnie).
Well looks like we are preparing to get out - the weather has cooperated, it's a beautiful blue sky, light wind kind of day - should be perfect. Hopefully the tentacles that seem to keep us here are not too secure.
The town council arrived to assist in pulling our plug - you know the joke "how many boaters does it take to unplug the plug?" The answer is 4. First to share similar experiences of unplugging the plug, and then discussions on how the plug could have been unplugged differently. Thanks, Donnie, Rick & Marty for helping the Captain on this one.
And we are underway - "Things go away to return brightened for the passage". Hope to see you next year!
Izzy in position at her place on the watch berth. She seems happy - I think we are going to be OK. It did take her until around 2:30 in the afternoon to figure out she needs to use that darn potty tray in the cockpit to do her business. We all got excited and did the Izzy pottied in her tray dance and then celebrated with Izzy's favorite treat - doughnut holes!
The day was pretty uneventful. Both the Franklin and Ortona Locks were ready and waiting for us so we were tied up at the Moorehaven town wall by 5:30.
Sneaking out early in the morning - just coming out of the Moorehaven lock - again no wait at this lock.
Sunrise as we are approaching Lake Okeechobee.
So as you can see, it's a pretty good day on the lake - and this is our welcoming committee as we head out onto the lake.
Deb's favorite kind of lock - lucky day it's wide open to motor right thru it - Port Mayaca Lock on the other side of the lake.
Welcoming committee at Port Mayaca Lock.
We are now at Sandpiper Marina - it's not
Who-ville, but it has it's own charm. Our friends Wayne & Carol are here aboard M/V Take Time and we are looking forward to spending time with them and several other boat friends on this coast.
The lovely thing about cruising is that planning usually turns out to be of little use. If nothing else has been learned in the last 11 years of doing this - it is to be flexible - nothing is written in stone. Our plans are again changing. It looks like we are scraping the Abaco trip for a later time and concentrate our time, money and energy on our trip to Maine this summer. We will hang here until Big Run arrives, re provision and then start heading north up the east coast for our next big adventure.
More when we have more.