You just never know what the wind will bring. The night we anchored out back in February, turned out to be basically the end of my boating season 2015/2016. Within a week I was back in Queen Valley, AZ (my parents winter home) for health and welfare purposes. Not going into details, but basically spent the entire month of March, once again, in the desert.
Knowing that I would be gone from Florida for quite sometime (leaving Rick and Izzy to fend for themselves in Marco Island) we decided to have one last hurrah with friends, Dean, Jane and Robbie. Selfie at "Stans" - Jane, Robbie and Deb.
Dean & Rick enjoying a cold one at Stans
Followed up with a great dinner at Old Marco Lodge. Deb, Rick, Jane, Dean & Robbie. Doug is back in Minnesota "taking care of things".
So back to AZ and the outfitted goose. This was one of my favorites. I saw 12 outfits (she wears each one for two days in a row) plus one day for her special St. Patricks day out fit - you do the math.
Also the cactus I walked by everyday asking me for a hug, pleaaaze!
Again on one of my morning walks, it was pointed out to me that this beautiful flowering yucca is very unusual.
"The queen of the night" night blooming cactus - flowers, sadly, only last till mid morning.
The desert, I have to admit, is beautiful this time of year, however, I had major issues with dusty, dry conditions.
My sister Gail came out to relieve me for a couple of weeks and I was able to return to Broulee to get her into storage.
Happy to be back to some humidity.
In my absence - Rick was busy working on and completing projects. Also managed to get a few coats of varnish on the cap rails. He made a new sunbrella cover for the windlass and the helm project is complete (well, a few punch list items remain) but have to
admit it's looking good. Picture below is at night with the downlights reflecting the helm in the windows.
The section on the left was added to house the Furuno radar, switches for engine room intake and exhaust fans; switches for engine make-up air and NAIAD cooling pump and indicator lights for the genset and domestic water pump. Also installed led recessed lights (dimmable as well as operating in white or red mode) in the panels above the helm.
A quick project recap: 25 instruments, gauges and switches relocated; 24 circuit breakers involved; 700+ feet of wiring; countless wire crimps; 4 custom engraved anodized aluminum instrument panels; 2 sheets of laminate; plywood, teak and teak veneer, varnish and glue. We kept all the original instruments (except the new multi-touch screen monitor) because they worked. The panels are removable so replacement equipment can be installed. It was a fun, sometimes challenging, project. Glad its completed and happy with the results. Seated at the helm she feels like a new boat, or at least a few years younger in layout.
(Thanks Tom and Phyllis for the inspiration from what you had done to Cocoon's helm.)
Izzy had her last romp in the water at Marco and then next day we were underway.
Passing thru the Marco River heading out to the gulf. Exciting using the new helm. And it all works!
Next stop Glover Bight anchorage and then on to River Forest for haulout.
Unfortunately as we were entering the Glover Bight anchorage trying to get the anchor down, we were hit by a wind storm packing 62 hour per mile winds. Not fun. Not pretty. One strong gust literally laid Broulee on her side. Hang on anchor, oh wait, did we have time to get you fully set? May have moved a little, but who could tell what and where the original anchor drop was during the blow. The rain and wind stopped and the sun came out in time for a lovely sunset. The rest of the evening, quite uneventful. All part of boating!
Hauling out April 4th for a quick 2 and a half day trip home. Great weather was a huge help. See you in the fall Broulee.
Unpack, repack for a trip to AZ to drive my parents back to Minnesota. Unfortunately this is my flight out on April 11th. It started out as a 12:30 departure - boarded at 12:00 only to be deboarded by 12:30. Turns out nail in landing gear. No spare here at this little airport - hoping to fly one in from Minneapolis. NOT. Next announcement bringing one from Iowa. Finally at 4:30 they scrapped the flight. Out the next day at 9:30. Happy to say we are now all back in Minnesota and looking forward to a good spring/summer/fall.