Sunday, December 17, 2017

Second Post 2017-2018

Second Post 2017-2018

Thursday, November 23, 2017.  Thanksgiving.  Once again, we spent Thanksgiving with our friends Stan and Judy (formerly Rhumb Runner).  Former cruisers Dave and Carol were also there.  A very nice day, great food and great friends.  We managed to get back to the boat before the rains came.  It had been stormy all week and it is predicted to continue.
Thanksgiving l to r Lisa, Carol, Judy, then Benny, Dave and Stan
We spent the next week getting ready to depart for St. Augustine, where we are to meet Saber Tooth (John and Nora) and Greenstone (Bob and Judy) in January.  The plan is to leave the boat at Rivers Edge Marina while we drive home for the holidays.  When we return in January (via Southwest Airlines), they should be there.  We will then travel with them to the Bahamas.

During this week, we managed to get to the beach twice.  The first time we found several sea beans (1 hamburger bean, 1 purse bean, 3 sea pearls and 2 nice golf ball beans).  The second trip, we only found 2 sea pearls and one golf ball bean.

Saturday, December 2, 2017.  8:30am We drop the mooring lines to Nightingale and depart Vero Beach headed to St. Augustine. About an hour out, we passed Autumn Borne headed south.  Susan was on deck motioning us to turn around and follow them.  ½ hour later, we call Paul and Rivers Edge, just to make sure he has a slip for us as promised.  He doesn’t!  6 boats were supposed to leave yesterday and none of them did!  They are all staying at least another month!  Since Hurricane Mathew went through, there is a severe shortage of dockage.  Several marinas are still out of commission.  So…………….we turn around and head back to Vero, where we know we can at least get a mooring.  We are back rafted to Nightingale at noon.  Nice shake down for the boat and everything worked as it should.
Dinner at Sake l to r: Benny, Grant and Libby (Nightingale)
Roz (Sarah), Merry (Allora), Lisa and Pete (Scrubbibg Bubbles)
We spent the next week provisioning for the trip to the Bahamas when we return after the holidays.  We are now pretty well ready to go except for perishables and water.

Christmas Parade - Vero Beach
Friday, December 8, 2017.  We have emptied the refrigerator on the boat.  The two solar panels should keep Rhiannon’s new batteries charged while we are gone.  Grant (Nightengale) gave us a ride to shore, as we have lifted Rhiannon’s dinghy out of the water for the time we are gone.  At 9:00am, we are on our way north to McCormick, SC, our first stop on the long drive to New Hampshire. It starts to rain when we hit the Georgia state line and continues for the rest of the day.  The temperature continues to drop and by the time we arrive at Roger and Connie’s (formerly Down Time) new home, it is 30 degrees!  We are still in shorts and t-shirts!

We had a great visit.  Saturday we visited a craft fair in a former grist mill in McCormick and then had lunch at a nice restaurant in Abbeville.  A nice day with friends, but cold with storm clouds on the horizon. 
Decorated Grist Mill, McCormick, SC
Sunday morning, we left McCormick and headed across the state to Calabash, NC (on the coast) to visit Lisa’s cousins.  We had a nice visit with Terry, Jennifer and her son Nick (now 15 and taller than all of us).  Dinner at a Mexican restaurant.  Nice day.  We stayed at a local Days Inn and were on the road to Pasadena, MD at 8:30am on Monday.  It was an uneventful drive, but for the traffic around Washington, DC – always a mess and no way to actually avoid it.  We arrived at 5:30pm at Jim and Judy’s house (Tug-a-Long).  They were one of our buddy boats on the first trip down the ICW in 2012.  They came to visit us in the Bahamas (Abacos) in 2014.  We went to Two Rivers Restaurant for dinner and shared prime rib, one of their specialties.  Very good.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017. We spent the next day relaxing with Jim and Judy and Judy’s sister Rose Mary.  She’s 84 and what a hot ticket – her mind still sharp and she does everything on her own. I worked on getting our two dead cell phones back in business and trying to figure out why the iPad won’t find a Wi-Fi signal.  Got two back up phones working and the iPad online, so a successful all day.  Lisa made dinner (Chicken Tarragon).

At 8:00am on Wednesday, we headed to New Hampshire.  Seems to be getting colder as the day progresses.  We managed to miss the traffic around New York and were home at 6:00pm.  Nice to be back.  Jake (our rescue lab) was over joyed and Lulu (our house sitter Brett’s lab) was just as happy.
Ready for Christmas in NH
We hope everyone has great holidays.  We are headed back to the boat on January 7.  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

First Post 2017-2018 Adventure

While we had planned to make a trip during the summer to do some projects on the boat, that did not happen. On June 5, our son James married Laura.  Beautiful wedding.  Between the hurricanes in Florida – you may remember that there were a couple that affected the Florida east coast – and the projects at the house (new dining room windows, a new front porch added) – and projects at our son James’ house (remodel bathroom, new plumbing, added kitchen cabinets), the summer just flew by.

In addition, because our son Jeff took our dogs with him when he moved to Utah last summer, we have been in canine withdrawal.  So, we began fostering Labrador retriever’s through New England Lab Rescue   Our first foster was Panky, a yellow lab who came to us after having had puppies, parvo virus and heart worm.  She had been treated for all these issues, but was definitely still in recovery.  She was with us a bit over three weeks and had gained weight and had a full dark new coat when she left us for her forever home.  Next we had two puppies (Rip and Riker), 4 month olds.  What a riot!  Into everything and a bundle of fun.  Never an accident in the house, tho’.  They were with us only a couple of weeks.  Then came Jake, our project dog.  He is black lab, between 3 and 4 years old, had been treated for heartworm, had been in one home and then a kennel. We think he was either chained out in a yard, or kept in a kennel prior to his rescue. His main issue was trust and he guarded anything his fiercely.  He was with us until we left on October 28, about 4 months.  Long story made short, he has turned into a lovely companion.  He has been getting extensive training with Tammy Davis (who in our opinion is a dog whisperer) and us.  Jake is now with Brett, who we used as a dog walker/hiker, his son Dexter and Lulu (another Lab).  What a nice ending to that adventure.

The New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival was in Laconia October 13-15.  Lots of food that is bad for you, music and booths. Walking distance from the house.  We found some great apple cider donuts!

October 28, we loaded the car and set off for Vero Beach, where the boat spent the summer .  Lots of boat projects, including adding the support and an additional solar panel.  Nice that we drove down because we spent a lot of time running to get odds and ends for the projects.  Over the summer, Pete (who looked after Rhiannon for us), installed new fixed side windows on the starboard side (last year one got broken in the yard at Brunswick) and replaced/repaired the 6 opening ports in the cabin.  In addition, we had Mike (Hatge Boat Yard), work on our electrical system.  New batteries, an additional starting battery, a smart requlator for the engine alternator, new wiring, breakers, monitors and shutoffs, etc.  Quite an extensive job.  The end result is 50% more battery storage, better charging systems, wiring and monitoring – and 100% more solar!

November 6, we took the boat 12 miles south the Fort Pierce (Cracker Boys’ Marine Center) and hauled the boat.  Pete worked on redoing the bottom paint and a guy named George compounded and waxed the hull.  The repair we had done to the stern at Brunswick now has changed color and the paint is peeling.  It wasn’t supposed to be paint, it was supposed to be gelcoat and the guy who did it was the “best there is at gelcoat repairs”.

While we were out of the water, we stayed with our friends and former cruisers Stan and Judy (aka Rhumb Runner), who now reside in Vero.  We have known these folks for 28 years now. On Friday, we went to Dinner at the American Icon Brewery.  It is a brand new brewhouse/restaurant located in the old power plant here in Vero. They did a nice job restoring the facility, but it is a two-story brick building, all open, and very noisy. The waitress was not familiar with the menu. The service was slow. Stan and Judy’s’ dinner came out, then mine, but somehow they lost Lisa’s order.  My steak was raw so they took it back.  The manager said she was keeping an eye on my order, but then we never saw her again.  By the time it re-appeared, everyone else was done eating.  This time the steak was tough and over cooked.  We will wait 6 months and then try the place again, maybe – if it is still in business.

 We have taken all the canvas off the boat and sent it out to be worked on.  We are having some repairs done and everything re-stitched.  Seems like every time we try to close a zipper, the stitching comes out.  In addition, the dodger stayed on the boat during the hurricane and some of the seams need attention.  At some point, the dodger and bimini will need to be replaced, but that is not in the budget for this year. Carol Brocker is doing the work for us (Pete’s sister).  If you ever need canvas work done while in Vero, give her a call (425-563-9926).

We went back in the water on Saturday, November 10, and returned to Vero Beach City Marina.  The place has filled up since we left with cruisers heading south.  We rafted on a mooring with YOLO (You Only Live Once, Molly and Stevie), who we met last year.  On Monday, we had dinner with Skip and Lydia (Flying Pig) and Ros (Sarah) at the Grill on the Green. The food was good, but the menu is limited. Yolo left on Thursday, November 16, headed for Lake Worth, then across to the Abacos.  They were replaced as mooring mates by Nightingale (Libby and Grant).  We met them last year.

On Tuesday, November 14, we got the new solar panel wired into the controller.  With twice the solar input and 50% more battery storage, we hope to minimize the use of the generator when not plugged into a dock.

Wednesday, November 15, Lisa had a dental appointment to check an implant which she said felt loose.  Turns out, they removed the crown and torques down the screw, so no all is back as it should be. I could have done that - I have a torque wrench on board!

On Sunday, another boat was added to our raft – Jiibay Na Noodin with Ron and Phebe aboard.  The marina and moorings are all full now, with multiple boats (rafts) on most moorings.

On Monday, November 20, we got all the canvas back from Carol.  Just in time for the big storms coming this week. We had dinner on Monday with Roz and Rob (Sarah) at Mr. Manatee’s.  It was $5 hamburger night and the place was crowded. The food was good as always. It stormed overnight and into this morning. 

Today, Tuesday, Lisa had another dental appointment to check her implant and to get fitted with a mouth guard, which will help her not grind her teeth while sleeping.

Click on this link for more pictures

There are several boats here that we have met on previous trips

Carrie Mae
Salty Paws
Compass Rose
Yolo (already Departed)
So Far, So Good
Flying Pig

Nice to see all these folks again!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Summer Update 2017

Summer Update 2017

George and Susan
We hope you are having a great summer!  The weather here in New Hampshire has been cooler and wetter than "normal".  Beautiful weather generally, but not as much beach weather as one normally has here in the Lakes Region.

Rhiannon in her summer berth
Our summer has been very busy. We got home from the boat (left in Vero Beach) on the 15th of May.  We spent the next two weeks working on the house, yard and gardens in preparation from our son James wedding on June 3.  On May 20, we went back to Jubilee Yacht Club in Beverly, MA, to attend our friend George Barlow's 80th birthday party.  Very nice evening and it was great to see a lot of people we had not seen in a while. On June 2, we held the rehearsal dinner at our house.  The whole week prior to the wedding and the week after the wedding we had a house full of company.  June 3 was the big day. The wedding was held out of doors at the gazebo at The Mill in Laconia. The weather held until everyone was inside for the reception. Rain on a wedding day is supposed to be good luck.  It rained for an hour while the reception was underway. Lovely, lovely day!

James and Laura

The siblings l to r:
Jacob, Jeff, James, Sarah, Rachael
On June 9, James and Laura left on a honeymoon cruise from Boston to Bermuda.  While they were away, Lisa and I, Jim (a construction friend) and John (plumber) changed out all the plumbing and the water heater in their small house.  We tore out their bathroom and put in a whole new one and in the process were able to add a nice large closet for them.  We added a couple of cabinets to the kitchen. The bad news is that James and Laura were gone for 10 days and it took three weeks to get everything done, so they came home to a project not done.  The end result was very nice, but like most projects, it took a lot longer than we thought.  How do they rehab a whole house in an hour on DIY TV?


As soon as that project was finished, the folks showed up to give us an estimate to repair and seal our driveway.  While they were here, a friend of theirs drove by who was putting in a new driveway down the street. So, we wound up with a whole new driveway instead - for a very ggod price!.  Then the construction guys showed up at our house to add the new front porch.  That came out really nice.  We have now added new flower beds around the porch and fruit trees to the front yard.  Lisa built a couple of berms, one on the corner of the lot and one at the end of the driveway.  Nice! 

On June 24th, we made a trip back to Salem, MA to attend the North Shore Pride Festival.  Our granddaughter, Taylor had a booth there selling her art and her knitted wares, which we wanted to see.  Our daughter, Rachael (and her mom) also had a booth displaying quilted items they make - beautiful stuff!  We got to see our daughter Sarah and granddaughters Jaimey and Brook. We spent the night with our friend Hazel, who is James' and Jeff's godmother.  We have been friends with her for 30 years now!  Nice week-end!
Granddaughter Taylor

We had an issue over the winter with the door (for people) on the side of the garage - our plow guy called us while we were in Georgetown and said the door was open.  Weird, because it was screwed shut!  We had our son James check it out.  Nothing was missing, the cars (Lisa's convertible and my Corvette) were fine and the rest of the house was secure. So, this summer, that door disappeared replaced by a small glass block window.

You might remember that last summer, our son Jeff moved out to Utah.  We drove him and a bunch of his possessions - and our two dogs (Precious (mini-schnauzer) and Costis (black lab) out there, then Lisa flew out and we visited some of the National Parks on the way home.  Since then, we have been without dogs, which is OK when we are on the boat, but when we are home, the house seems really quiet. We have always had dogs.  We used to raise and show English Springer Spaniels.  More recently, we have had mini-schnauzers and labs.  One of our neighbors fosters rescued labs and we decided that was something we could try.  That way, we could have our dog fix while we are home, and not have to worry that they are taken care of in our absence.  So, we are now fostering for New England Lab Rescue.  You can check them out at  The foster parents help get the dogs "settled" after they have been rescued, treated for whatever they need medically (including spaying or neutering), and in some cases transported from somewhere else.  We are now working with our fourth animal this summer.  The first was a yellow female named Panky that had been picked up as a stray in South Carolina.  She had recently had puppies.  She also had heart worm.  She was spayed, treated for heart worm, given all her shots and transported to New England.  She was skinny, loosing all her coat (stress or anesthesia or both).  She weighed on 36 pounds.  She was with us for three weeks before NELR found her a forever home.  When she left her coat was coming in full and shiny.  She weighed 42 pounds and had turned into a lovely companion.

The second and third labs were puppies 3 1/2 months old.  They were transported here from Texas.  Someone dropped off the mother (a black lab named Layla) and her 5 puppies at a pound.  Many of the southern states will only keep an animal two weeks before they are euthanized, so there is an active group of folks trying to rescue dogs. Many of these organizations try to specialize in one or two breeds.  NELR rescues labs (or anyone who looks like they may be related to a lab). These puppies father was obviously not a lab as they all had a white blaze on their chest.  The puppies had never been separated from their mother or their siblings.  We took two to foster (Rip and Riker). Riker was with us a bit over a week and Rip a little over two weeks before they went to forever homes.  

Rip (left) and Riker (right)
Almost as soon as they left, we got a call about a dog who needed a foster.  He had been adopted and then returned, housed in a kennel and had some issues.  After thinking about the details for a couple of days, we drove over to the kennel in Maine and picked up Jake.  He was very thin, highly stressed, his coat dull and then and had some behavioral issues.  We have been working with him for more than two weeks now.  We are working with a professional trainer on the issues and giving Jake some stability and regular food and a lot of attention.  It is amazing how these dogs respond to a stable environment, love and attention.  Jake has come a long way and will be with us at least a bit longer.  He is very smart and learns quickly.  His trainer thinks he could certainly do "nose work" (drug, cadaver, bomb, tracking sniffing) or a service dog. He has put on a few pounds and his coat is thick and shiny.
Lisa and Jake
Amidst all this, I have been putting together a collage of the pictures of many of the people we have met in our travels.  Makes us miss you guys all the more.

On July, 19th, Lisa and our friend Judy went to Boston to see the Red Sox play Cleveland.

Judy and Lisa at Fenway
On August 9 (our anniversary - 30 this time), we went to a late lunch/early dinner with Kathy and Ken, who are long time friends. and have the same anniversary as we do.

Lisa is currently in the middle of another construction project - a redo of one of the bathrooms.

Somewhere in all this, we are getting the doctor's and dentist's appointments in.  We are trying to schedule Friday nights out with friends for dinner.  So far, we have had three.

So, that is our summer so far.  We are starting to think about the fall, boat projects and the Bahamas.  What are you guys doing?  Considering for the fall?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Hopetown to Vero Beach and Home 2017

Hopetown to Vero Beach and Home to NH

Saturday, April 8, 2017.  It cooled off quite a bit last night as the wind swung into the north.  It was 65 degrees when we woke up this morning, sunny, no clouds, wind N @ 5 -10.  We were up early scouting the anchorage for available moorings as Greenstone and Saber Tooth are on their way here.  Dream Catcher is departing about 9:00am, so that is one, but we were unable to locate a second one.  We offered Dream Catcher’s to Avalon, who sat in a slip at the marina last night, but they had found one already (Blue Jacket’s).  So, we will try again tomorrow morning.  The high tide is early in the morning, so boats get moving to get out of here with the high tide.

Hopetown Light

 Baila is going for a bike ride and picnic with the kids down to Tahiti Beach (at the south end of this island (Elbow Cay).  Lisa declines that opportunity, but instead goes to town to visit with the artists she met yesterday (Hermann and Ann).  While there she also visits the Straw Market, owned by Muchies’ (the ice cream shop) daughter Chaka.  While she is off, I continue to try to finish the blog so it can be published.  It would not be so much work if I would do a bit more often.

At 9:30am John and Nora (Saber Tooth) and Bob and Judy (Greenstone) arrive by dinghy.  They have anchored just outside the harbor.  Lisa goes off to town with them and has lunch at the beach bar at the Hopetown Harbour Lodge, followed by ice cream at Munchies.  Check out the picture of John with blue lips after eating Cookie Monster Ice Cream!

We are planning to meet Jeff and Patti (Avalon) at the Hope Town Inn and Marina at 5:30, so we invite Saber Tooth and Greenstone to join us.

Melissa (Wind Dancer) came by for a visit.  Wind Dancer is a Catalina 445 and we have been crossing paths with her for 3 months now.  Lisa conducted a boat tour of Rhiannon and we invited her to join us also.  Her spouse (Ann) is back in the US this week with a terminally ill ex-husband.  We invited Melissa to join us this evening also.

At 3:00pm, Lisa and I go back over to The Jib to pick up the painting.  It will make a nice addition to our sailing art at home.  Another quick grocery stop and then it is time to head over for cocktails and dinner.  Jeff and Patti have also invited Galileo (Larry and Gerry) so it is quite a crowd at the bar (11 in our group).  We pretty much had the place to ourselves for dinner and the food was very good and the drinks (Gombay Smash) were too.  Nice evening. Back at the boat by 8:00pm.

Oh! And the updates to the blog and a bunch of pictures got published today!

Sunday, April 9, 2017. Palm Sunday. It was cold last night, we had to put blankets on! By 10 am it is sunny, 75 degrees, puffy clouds, breezy, wind Southeast @ 15+.  65 degrees when we got up this morning.  Lisa went to church with John and Nora (Saber Tooth) at the Methodist Church.  Later in the day we walked the beach, almost no shells here and so far this trip we have not found many sea beans.  Peter, who we have met in Vero a couple of times now, sent us a bunch of information on sea beans, so we will pass that along – click to this link for more info

We had dinner on board.  Afterwards, Saber Tooth came for a game of Mexican Train.

Monday, April 10, 2017. Sunny, but very windy today South 15-20.  OK for moving around the Abacos, but not so outside.  We went for a walk on the beach with Avalon.  Fiona (their English Cocker) loves the beach and the water.  We stopped at Munchies for ice lunch, followed by ice cream, visited the Straw Market and then back to the boat.

Later, we went to Lighthouse Marina and purchased some fishing stuff (filet knife, lures, etc.).  Not that we fish that much, or catch anything, but just in case.

We were going to fill the jerry cans, but found that the gasoline one had split.  The plastic ones tend to expand and contract because of the fumes from the gasoline.  This one is five years old, so we can’t complain too much.  Lighthouse Marine has some, so we dinghy back there to get a new one.

Dinner on board.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017.  Cloudy, windy and rain overnight. Cloudy and cool (65 degrees) this morning.  We cleaned the boat (long over due).  Lisa took laundry to the marina and dropped it off (they have a wash and fold service).  We walked the beach and Lisa snorkeled with the folks on Baila.  Ice cream at Munchies.  On the way back to the boat, we stopped at Moon Dance and Melissa gave us a tour.  It is new Catalina 445.  Very nice!

Dinner with Saber Tooth, Greenstone, Moon Dance at Capt. Jack’s.  Jordan (a waiter) remembered us for past years.  Baila, dorenavent and some folks with kids who have a house in Hopetown were also there.  Nice evening.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017. Showers overnight and early this morning, then partly sunny, windy, NE 20+.  We decide to stay one mare day in Hopetown. Baila comes for a visit.  Lisa is going to stay with the kids and do make-up and other “girl things” this evening so Brad and Lynn can have a night out.  Lisa and the girls all seemed to really enjoy the evening.

I went to dinner on Greenstone with Saber Tooth and Moon Dance there also.  Nice evening there too.

Thursday, April 13, 2017. Off the mooring at 10:10am.  Partly cloudy, 75 degrees, wind NE@15.  Greenstone, Saber Tooth and Avalon have already left this morning heading to Man-o-War Cay.  We wait for our turn on the fuel dock to fill with fuel and water.  We purchase 7 gallons of gasoline (for the dinghy outboard), 12 gallons of diesel and 76 gallons of water. Yes, you have to purchase potable water over here – unless you have a reverse osmosis water maker on board (which some boats do).

10:45am we are underway with the foresail out, making 6+ knots.

12:20pm, we spot dorénavant anchored in the cove north of Old Scopleys Rock by the beach.  We tried twice to get the anchor to set with no luck.  We went east/south a bit to Dickies and anchored with Saber Tooth and GreenstoneAvalon was enjoying the sailing so much, they continued on the Great Guana Cay.

We dinghied into town and walked the town with Greenstone and Saber Tooth.  We visited the hardware store (quite a good one), the sail shop (where they make bags and other items out of sail cloth – rumor has it you can still get canvas and sails repaired there), the grocery, and the Painted Fish gift shop, where Lisa purchased a cover-up for the beach and I got a new shirt (not a T-shirt this time). On the way back to the boat, we spotted Odyssea (Paul and Sue) who we met in Brunswick before we departed on this trip.  They have spent the winter here on a friend’s dock.  Sue makes baskets out of pine needles and is the person who got Lisa started do it.

Man-O-War Cay
Dinner on board tonight.

6NM today.  26°36.83’N  077°00.71’W

Friday, April 14, 2017.  Cloudy, wind NE 20-25+.  A bit rolly where we are anchored.  We dinghied over to the “low cut” where dorénavent is anchored.  There is a narrow strip of rock here connects the eastern half of the island with the western half.  There is a “road” just wide enough for a golf cart.  It’s not obvious how they got the materials for the big houses on the western half from the government dock on the eastern half of the island. We walked across to the ocean side and then down the “road” to the beach.  Lots of houses here, but few people.  With this NE wind, the surf is very rough.  We went for a swim on the south side of the beach which is protected from this wind.  Lisa and Nora snorkeled out to Old Scopleys Rock.  When we got
2:00pm Anchor up.  Wind NE 15-20+.

4:00pm Anchor set at Fishers Bay, Great Guana Cay.  We walked the town with Saber Tooth and Greenstone, stopping a Nippers Beach Grill to get new t-shirts. Almost no one at Nippers today.  You might remember this is where we had Lisa’s birthday party a couple of years ago. We stopped at Grabbers (on the other side of the island on the bay where we are anchored).  Avalon joined us (Saber Tooth, Greenstone and us) there and we had drinks (frozen rum punches) and dinner (Lisa had conch salad and I had grouper fingers).  It was well after dark by the time we got back to the boat.  A long, busy nice day.
L to R: Benny, Judy (Greentstone), Lisa, Bob (Greenstone)
Nora and John (Saber Tooth) at Nipper's - Great Guana Cay
8NM today 26°40.12’N 077°07.15'W

Saturday, April 15, 2017. The wind is still very strong out of the NE.  Partly cloudy with rain showers on the horizon.  We walked to the beach with Saber Tooth and Greenstone, then walked the main road around the harbor.  We met the pastor of The Gospel Chappel and he invited us to Sunrise Services tomorrow (Easter), as well as the regular service at 10:30am.  We made a stop at the grocery, Grabbers for a Pink Sands, and then back to the boat.  The Pink Sands is a grapefruit radler (mixture of grapefruit juice and beer) that is yummy and has become one of our favorites – I know, we have so many favorites that it is difficult sometime to choose.

Us at Grabber's
We found a couple of nice conch shells which will make nice horns when cleaned up.  Dinner on board and then Mexican Train with Saber Tooth and Greenstone aboard Rhiannon.

Sunday, April 16, 2017.  Easter. Cloudy at 8:00am, wind NE @ 15-20.  It clears to partly cloudy by 10:00am.

10:30am We attend the Easter Service at The Gospel Chappel with Saber Tooth.  It was a very nice service with lots of music.  More sedate than the Easter Services we attended at Black Point and Staniel Cay the previous two Easters though.  Lunch on board, then  a walk on the beach with Greenstone and Saber Tooth.  Nora found a heart sea bean.  One of the few this trip.  We met Avalon again at Grabbers.  Had a Pink Sands and Lisa got a conch salad to take back to the boat. 

6:00pm We all met at Greenstone (Avalon, Saber Tooth and us) for appetizers and drinks.  I made a gallon of Goombay Smash – another favorite.  Nice evening.

Monday, April 17, 2017.  Tax Day in the US – except New England.  There it is Patriot’s Day and the running of the Boston Marathon.  Sunny, wind NE 10-15, puffy clouds.  Heavy rain clouds to the south over Great Abaco Island.  We listened to the weather on the cruisers’ net at 8:15am, looked at the weather models and decided to cross “The Whale” today.  We are also looking at a possible passage from Great Sale Cay to Fort Pierce Thursday night and Friday.  We will see how the weather shapes up for that. “The Whale” is Whale Cay and to continue toward the USA you have to go through a cut on the east side of the cay, outside in the ocean for a couple of miles, then back into the Sea of Abaco through a very narrow cut on the west side of the cay. In calm weather it is not a big deal.  In stormy weather it is very dangerous and many boats have been wrecked there.  Today, it is rolly, with sea swells following the NE wind, but is not a difficult passage.

10:00am Anchor up.  Motor sailing down wind (sort of) at 7 knots.  Avalon left early and is giving us reports along the way.  Saber Tooth and Greenstone are with us.  The Whale sounds manageable. 

11:00am Negotiating through the Whale.  It is very rolly with big ocean swells, but we are making good time and it is an uneventful passage.  Great!

12 noon Avalon is at anchor in White Sound by Green Turtle Club which is where we stayed for a few days last trip with Jeff and Carly.

12:40pm Anchored in White Sound at Green Turtle Cay, close to Avalon.  Because it is very shallow here, Greenstone (who draws 6 ½ feet) and Saber Tooth (who draws 7 feet) elect to anchor just outside the harbor.

15NM today (seems like a lot more). 26°46.79’N  077°20.19’W

We talked to Paul at Rivers’ Edge Marina in St. Augustine today.  He will have a spot on the dock for us when we arrive and a spot if we decide to leave the boat there for the summer.  We like St. Augustine.

Saber Tooth came by to pick up some movies we loaded onto a memory stick for them.  We are still having issues with the sound on our new computer.  We will have to call HP when we are somewhere that we have internet and phone.

Dinner on board.  Pork tenderloins (very tender), broccoli, baked potato, fresh tomato.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017. Sunny, high thin clouds, wind NE 10-15.  We dinghy over to New Plymouth (the main town on the island).  We walked the town. Lisa bought a very pretty dress at Shamon’s.  We stopped at the two groceries in town and bought a few things including some yummy looking banana bread.  We met Jeff and Patti (Avalon) at Harvey’s Café for lunch.  It’s a local place, new last year, good food and reasonable prices.  After lunch, we dinghy back to the boat, raise the anchor (it is now high tide) and motor the three miles over to Manjack Cay.  Lots lof boats anchored here staging to cross to the USA.  There are about 20 other boats here including Saber Tooth, Greenstone, Avalon, Easy Living, Moonraker.

3NM today.  26°48.92’N  077°21.89’W

Dinner on Saber Tooth with Greenstone.  Stir-fry vegies, wahoo tenderloins, rice, cold slaw and the banana bread for dessert.  More Goombay Smash.  Yummy evening.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017. 7:00am.  Sunny, puffy clouds, 75 degrees, wind East @ 15.  We had a couple of brief showers overnight, but they seem to have dissipated.  The forecast to cross to the USA looks good for tomorrow night and then begins to deteriorate after that.

8:00am  Anchor up, headed to Great Sale Cay.  Greenstone and Saber Tooth ahead of us.  Avalon left an hour ago.  About half the boats in the anchorage and moving this morning.  Wind 15-20, but pretty much right on our stern.  Fore sail out sailing at 6.5 to 7 knots.  Very nice!

Headed for Great Sale Cay
One of the nice conch shells we found to make horns from stinks.  Whew!  I got out a pick and poked around and about half of the conch itself came out along with some maggots and muck.  I rinsed it out in a bucket of seawater, then bleach, then hot fresh water – no more stink,.

12:00 noon More clouds than sun, wind still East 15-20, still a nice downwind sail at 6+ knots.  We can see 6 sails ahead of us and 3 behind.  We are passed by 4 power boats – a couple of sport fish going fast and a couple of trawlers not making much more speed than we are. We see 3 sail boats pounding eastward into the wind and the waves.  When they climb over the waves we can see their whole bottom.

1:30pm Talked to Surprise on the VHF.  He has been traveling along side us for the past 2 hours.  It is a CSY42.  They are headed to the Gulf Stream today and then on to Charleston.  Long trip with no stops.  Wind now East at 20+, seas 4 feet – still downwind.

3:15pm  Little Sale waypoint and we turn south toward the anchorage at Great Sale Cay.  Avalon on the VHF says they are just putting the anchor down.

4:40pm Anchor down in Northwest Harbor, Great Sale Cay. Sunny, high thin clouds, wind East 20-25, 75 degrees.  The wind is supposed to calm down, but so far has shown no indication of that.  It is nice and flat in the anchorage though.

Sunset at Great Sale Cay
57 NM today, 8.7 hours, 6.6 knots average all under sail.  26°58.70'N  078°12.90”W

Dinner on board, sausage and rice.  Early to bed.

Thursday, April 20, 2017. Sunny this morning, still windy E@20, high thin clouds, 80 degrees already.  Several boats left last evening to cross to the USA, even though the weather still called for winds East @ 20 and significant waves in the Gulf Stream.  This morning several more boats left heading to West End (on Great Bahama Island) for a crossing tomorrow.  That will make for a long day today, then a pre-dawn departure tomorrow to make an incoming tide on the Florida East Coast.  Our plan is to leave after dinner this evening and go overnight across the Banks, arriving at the east wall of the Gulf Stream about day break tomorrow.  Arrival planned in Fort Pierce at 2:00pm tomorrow – travel time to Fort Pierce 16-18 hours. If we are “on schedule”, we will head north in the ICW to Vero Beach arriving before dark. Autumn Borne (Dean and Susan), our mentors during the first two years of cruising are at Vero Beach.

We added fuel and water to the tanks from the jerry cans, cleaned the knot meter (you can remove it from inside the boat) and got everything ready for a long passage (put all the “fallables” away).  We cooked the last of the lobster and had a very nice lunch, the remainder will go into a lobster salad.  We did more route planning, looking at other places to exit the banks to the Gulf Stream.  We talked with Greenstone, Saber Tooth, Easy Living, Escape and Avalon about tonight’s departure.

Lisa made a nice dinner of grouper, rice and vegies.  At 7:30pm, we raised the anchor and sailed off into the sunset (literally).  With us are Saber Tooth, Greenstone, Avalon, Escape, Easy Living and All the Way There.  Wind is East at 10-15, seas about 2 feet, motor sailing downwind at 6.5 knots.

Underway from Great Sale Cay
11:00pm Passing Mangrove Cay to the south. We are on a more northerly course now headed toward Little Bahama Bank to get the seas to be following (off our stern) instead of quartering (off our left rear).  Quartering seas make for a very uncomfortable ride. 

Friday, April 21, 2017. 4:30am Wind still pretty much East @ 10-15.  Lots of stars out and the moon finally rose at midnight.

8:00am We are on the edge of the Gulf Stream.  As predicted, the seas are confused. 4-8 foot roller from the NE at 9 second intervals and 2-4 foot waves from the SE, with a 2 foot chop on top of all of that.  The wind has turned SE @ 10-15 and we are trying to stay downwind to keep the ride as comfortable as possible, but we are still being tossed around quite a bit.  Skies are clear, 75 degrees.

1:00pm We are pretty much out of the Gulf Stream and the seas have settled somewhat.  Land is in sight. 

2:00pm Fort Pierce inlet.  Saber Tooth and Greenstone are already inside.  Saber Tooth has to stop at Fort Pierce to check in with Customs and Immigration.

2:30pm We enter the inlet.  It is rolly and rough and there is a significant cross current at the outer edge of the breakwater.  Nothing unusual for this inlet, but we make it inside ok.  Escape and Avalon are through the North Fort Pierce Bridge headed to Vero Beach. 

3:00pm We pass through the North Fort Pierce Bridge and call Customs to check in.  Having a Small Vessel Reporting System (SVRS) number and having previously filed a float plan on-line makes checking in a 3 minute phone call.  Nice.  Easy Living is entering the inlet.

5:00pm We arrive at Vero Beach City Marina.  The moorings are all taken so we raft (tie alongside) Autumn Borne.  We haven’t seen them since last season.  You may remember that we traveled with them quite a bit the first two years we were cruising. Escape here, as is Avalon (in a slip).

6:00pm Greenstone, Easy Living and Saber Tooth arrive.

6:30pm Group dinner at Riverside Café (just south of the marina). Greenstone, Saber Tooth, Avalon, Autumn Borne, Escape, Mike and Bev (did not get their boat name) and us.  Quite a crowd.  Nice evening, good company, good food.  Everyone exhausted and early to be.

Saturday, April 22, 2017. It looks like rain.  75 degrees and very muggy. We have been looking at Craigslist for a vehicle.  We need one to drive home and while Hertz has an $8 a day rate if you drive the car north, we need to replace a vehicle when we get home, so we thought we would look here where they do not use road salt. We found a 2007 Chevy Trail Blazer with only 42,000 miles and the seller was kind enough to bring it by the marina for us to look at.  After driving it (drove very nice) and examining it (looks great) we discover rust under all the doors, and on the frame.  We find out the vehicle actually came from NY, but has been a Florida a while.  If we wanted something with rust we would wait until we get home to buy something. 

Lisa did laundry and I worked on this blog.

Dinner was at Saki, one of our favorite Thai/Japanese restaurants here.  Saber Tooth, Greenstone, Avalon and us.  Probably our last time together this season.  Nice dinner, good food and company.

Sunday, April 23, 2017. Cloudy, murky, rain over night.  Humid, 75 degrees. Saber Tooth and Greenstone leave heading toward St. Augustine, where they will again leave the boats for the summer.  Lazy day, reading and visiting with Avalon and Autumn Borne. We also spent more time online looking for a vehicle.

Monday, April 24, 2017. Cloudy at 8:00am, but clears to partly cloudy by 9:00am. Wind SE@15-20.  We picked up a rental car from Hertz so we could go car shopping, run errands, etc. We spent the morning walking the beach with Jeff and Patti (Avalon). I found a heart sea bean.  Avalon has not ever found one and they do not have one on their boat, so this one was a gift to them.  Superstition says you should have one on the boat and it will keep the boat from sinking.  We are not superstitious, but we do keep some on the boat, just to be on the safe side.

We had lunch at Casey’s (like an outdoor diner).  The food is always good and the prices are very reasonable.  After lunch, Avalon cast off and headed toward Titusville, where the boat will spend the summer.

3:00pm  Majestic Phoenix  (Phil and Joanne) arrives and picks up a mooring.  You may remember we have traveled with them off and on for the past three seasons.  The last time we saw them was in George Town, and Last we heard, they were having transmission issues.  Great to see them.

6:00pm Dean and Susan (Autumn Borne) come to dinner.  Lisa made chicken, rice, carrots and salad.  Nice evening.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017.  We have several vehicles we want to look at today, all SUVs. We originally wanted a small pickup like a Chevy Colorado or a Nissan Frontier, but almost everyone we have found (used) has been two wheel drive.  Not too useful in NH if we happen to be there is the winter.  The first is a private sale of a 2010 Cadillac SRX.  Normally, not on our list, but it only has 36,000 miles and look like new.  We suggest that we have a dealer go over the vehicle to make sure it is as good as it looks.  We also ran a Carfax and a complete service history.

We had lunch at an iHop, both Lisa and I wanting breakfast.  Then we trekked out to the Hyundai dealer to look at 6 different used SUVs they had advertised, 3 Hyundai Santa Fes and 3 Kia Sorrentos.  All of them were priced right (so we thought at the time) and all had low miles and are in beautiful condition.  We settled on one and the dealing began.  First they told us there was no warranty, we would have to buy a warranty.  The original warranty on these vehicle is 10 years or 100,000 miles, but it is not transferable.  The transferable part is 5 years or 60,000 miles if the vehicle is certified (which means you pay money to have that happen). OR, you can buy an extended warranty. There is also a $999 dealer fee for handling the paper work, prepping the vehicle and getting the Florida plates.  The dealer refused to reduce the price of the vehicle from the “advertised price”.  While they kept telling us what a great deal they were giving us, and that they needed to sell more cars because the end of the month was coming – and that they would do anything to make us happy, they kept adding $ to the cost.  It’s nice to know some things don’t change.  In 50 years I have been buying cars, the same stuff is still going on inside the dealership sales office. The Cadillac is looking better all the time.

When we got back to the boat, Last Boat (Nelson and Ondra) and Gertie (Dan and Dawn) arrive.  You may remember that Nelson and Lisa rescued a pelican in Marathon on our first trip.  Both boats are also good friends with Autumn Borne.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017.  Beautiful morning.  75 degrees, wind SE @ 15, big puffy clouds. Majestic Phoenix heads north to Titusville, where they will leave the boat for the summer.  We go the beach with Autumn Borne.  We did not find any sea beans today, or even good shells.  We all had lunch at the Sunshine Grill on the beach and then went to Country Citrus for orange ice cream.  Delicious.  Someone has taken the old line citrus of Indian River and upscaled it, put a store on Ocean Avenue in Vero and a selling the normal citrus products, plus ice cream, key lime pie and other goodies.

Pete comes by and cleans the bottom of the boat and checks our zincs.

Dinner was again at Riverside.  This time with Last Boat, Gertie, Autumn Borne and us. Nice evening.

We get a call from the owner of the Cadillac.  The dealer has completed his check and he is emailing us a report.  Other than needing a brake fluid change, the vehicle is great.  Nice to know we can stop car shopping.

Thursday, April 27, 2017. Sunny, 80 degrees, wind SE@20. Lisa spent the day at the beach with Autumn Borne, Last Boat and Gertie.  Lots of swimming and bocce ball.  Very red when she got back to the boat.  I made a list of maintenance items for the summer for the boat and worked on the blog.

We had dinner at Mulligan’s on the beach with Stan and Judy, who now live here in Vero.  They a former cruisers that we met in Salem, MA, in 1987.  After dinner we walked the ½ block to Country Citrus to introduce them to the orange ice cream. Great friends, nice evening.

Friday, April 28, 2017. Cloudy, wind SE @ 15-20, 80 degrees, showers overnight.  By 10:00am, it has become partly cloudy.  We met James (Cadillac owner) at the bank and did the payoff of the lien on the vehicle and signed a purchase agreement and a bill of sale.  Florida does electronic titles on vehicles and it takes longer for one of those to clear than it does a paper title in NH.  We need the “clear” title to get a temporary tag so we can drive the caddy home.  Once he delivers the car and the title, we will pay him the balance of the purchase price, hopefully next week.

We went to Lowes and got sun shade to cover the boat while we are gone.  When we returned to the boat, we said our good-byes to Last Boat and GertieLast Boat is headed to North Caroline and Gertie to New Jersey.

We had dinner on board (leftovers from all those restaurant outings).  Later we went to Cravings for ice cream.

Saturday, April 29, 2017. Sunny, wind SE 10-15, 80 degrees.  7:40am knocking on the hull.  Autumn Borne is departing, heading toward Catskill, NY, where they will summer.  We get the lines separated, transfer the mooring attachment to our boat and give hugs good-bye once again.

Lisa and I walked two different beaches this morning, one north of the marina and on south almost to Fort Pierce. We did not find any sea beans at the first, although Lisa is now collecting “flat” shells for a mosaic and we found those.  At the second beach, we found one hamburger bean and one bay bean, lots of “golf balls”, mostly broken and lots of almonds (very common sea bean we don’t collect – but usually indicate the presence of others). Lisa also found a “common spirula” which is a spiral air chamber inside a squid that helps them maintain a certain depth. 
Sea Beans: Heart Bean, 2 Golf Ball Beans, 2 Hamburger beans, 1 Bay Bean

We had lunch at Casey’s  (shared a giant BLT) and then drove to Sebastian to drop off the fishing rod we bought in George Town that needs a new guide.  We stopped at a nursery and looked at plants, most would be “annuals” at our house. We stopped at Walmart and bought oil for the engine and the generator (we will change it before we leave the boat).  We also bought some steaks to grill for dinner.

7:00pm by the time we returned to the boat.  Steaks, zucchini, baked potato and Brussel sprouts for dinner.  Nice.

Sunday, April 30, 2017.  Rain overnight, very humid.  Feels like a cold front passing.  Wind now shifted East at 20+.  By 10:00am it has cleared to partly cloudy.

Monday, May 1, 2017.  Mayday. Avalon is at Titusville and sent us pictures of the SpaceX launch. Very cool.  Lisa and I walked the beach and found another hamburger bean.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017.  Ordered the starboard rear fixed portlight from Catalina. We drove up to Melbourne and spent the afternoon with George and Bev Major.  Lisa calls them “aunt and uncle”, but they are really very good friends of her parents since George and Bruce (Lisa’s father) were in the military together.  Bev made pulled pork and potato salad.  We brought desserts from The Fresh Market and wine.  Very nice way to spend the day.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017. Sunny, 80 degrees.  Breezy.   We moved the boat from the mooring to her summer home in a slip at the dock. Lisa spent the day cleaning the deck, topsides and canvas. I changed the oil, oil filter and fuel filter on the main engine and the generator.  Checked over both engines.  We will wait to change the raw water impellers until the fall.  We ordered new opening portlight seals and lenses (the Plexiglas part) from Lewmar.

Thursday, May 4, 2017.  Warm and sunny.  80 degrees.  Wind relatively calm. We spent the afternoon at Stan and Judy’s hanging out by the pool.  Stan grilled a chicken and we had a very nice dinner.  After dinner, the skies darkened and two lines of thunderstorms moved through.  Very windy before the rain.  Lots of lightening.  After it passed, we drove back to the boat.  The night turned out calm and clear.

We heard from Down Time (Roger and Connie).  They have just arrived from Norman’s Pensacola (Abacos) after a 32 hour passage and are at Harbortown Marina in Fort Pierce.  We plan to drive down and see them tomorrow.

Friday, May 5, 2017.  We saw Laurent and Henrick (age 2) (dorénavent).  They came in yesterday after crossing from Great Sale Cay.  Laurent said it was a “pretty rough crossing with confused seas” (sound familiar).

We got a call from the bait shop in Sebastian.  The repair of the rod is complete, so we drive up and get it.  The guy put on 2 new rollers and a new guide, as well as a butt cap and charged us $25.  I have no idea how you do all that work for $25!  We had a late breakfast at the Country Café in Sebastian – a local place serving great food and then back to the boat.

Our son Jeff called, he has a new job in the admissions office of the University of Utah and is excited about it.

We drove down to Fort Pierce and met Roger and Connie for an early dinner at The Cove, the restaurant at Harbortown.  It was great to see them.  The last time we saw them was in George Town.  They are headed outside tomorrow to Jacksonville, where they will leave the boat for the summer.  Maybe we will get to see them again on the way north.

Lisa met Baila (Brad, Lynn, Anna, Izzy, Avery) heading out from the dinghy dock with a load of groceries.  We have not seen them since Hopetown.  They crossed over with dorénavent yesterday. That’s one of the great things about Vero, you see lots of people coming and going and lots of folks you have met before.

A week has passed since we paid off the loan for the car we are buying.  Florida has electronic titles, and the bank “released” the title as soon as they posted the payment.  If the titles are all electronic, why hasn’t the state “released” it on their end?

Saturday, May 6, 2017.  The wind has switched to the NW@20.  It is only 60 degrees this morning.  It is 51 degrees in St. Augustine.  Rain most of the day, but clearing in the afternoon. We went in to do laundry.  Brad (Baila) was there also.

Sunday, May 7, 2017. Clear and windy, 75 degrees. We walked the beach south of town. Lots of people on the beach.  We went to Home Depot and bought sun shade material which we will use to cover the boat for the summer.  We also stopped at Harbor Freight, which is always fun, then a stop a Walmart for some supplies. We had lunch at Nino’s Corner (calzone, aka Stromboli). 

Orient Moon (Terry and Leslie) came by to visit.  They are at Morningstar Marina just to the south and came calling in their dinghy.  Last time we saw them on this trip was George Town.

Dinner on board.  The last of the Wahoo from Lighten’ Up (Spanish Wells)).  Yum.

Monday, May 8, 2017.  Clear and cool, 65 degrees. The title for the car has been cleared by the State of Florida.  We will pick it up tomorrow.  We saw Orient Moon on the gas dock this morning and went over to say “good-bye for now”.  They are headed north to the Chesapeake. They left us a pound of shrimp they had vacuum packed and left in the freezer from McClellanville.  Hopefully, we will see them again next year.

We walked the beach and found another hamburger bean.  Yea!  One of three found on this trip.  We had a late lunch at Casey’s Place. We began going through the boat, getting rid of excess stuff and packing for the trip home.

Lisa spent the afternoon making jewelry with the girls from Baila (Anna, Lizzy and Avery).

NOTE:  The next day Baila went to Walmart and bought all kinds of jewelry making stuff for the girls (Anna mainly).  I was out and about in the car and picked them up there and gave them a ride back to the marina.  Two days later, Anna was in the boaters lounge making jewelry and showing off what she had already made and she sold $57 dollars worth to several women who loved what she is doing!  I told Brad he should encourage that and perhaps that could pay for more extended cruising!
Anna really is talented with the jewelry!

We had dinner at the Polo Grill (Ocean Ave.) in Vero with Stan and Judy.  Great food and company!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017.  Sunny and warm today.  Wind SE @ 15.  80 degrees.  We drove down to Fort Pierce and picked up the paperwork for the car.  Then on to the St. Lucie County Tax Collector to get the temporary plate for the car (so we can drive it back to New Hampshire). You would think that  we were the only people who had ever requested a temporary plate to take a car purchased in Florida out of state. Once we had the plate, we headed back over to Hertz to turn in the rental car and pick up the Cadillac.  The person selling us the car is the manager at Hertz, so he made us a great deal on the rental while we were waiting for the paperwork.
Us and the "new" Caddy
On the way back to Vero Beach we stopped at Lenzi’s Diner (on Route 1 in Fort Pierce) and had a late lunch.  Lisa had fish and chips and I had breakfast. The fish is prepared with corn flakes and is very crunchy and delicious.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017. Lisa’s Birthday. Sunny and warm, 80 degrees in the morning, but no wind. We removed the foresail, folded and stored it for the summer.  We picked up the dinghy with the spinnaker halyard and put it on the foredeck, then Lisa gave it a good cleaning and waxing.  I downloaded a bunch of pictures for the final edition of this year’s blog.

In the afternoon, there was a birthday celebration at the pavilion for Lisa.  Lots of folks stopped by.  Pete managed the grill.  There were many children (dorenavént, Baila and two other boats), which Lisa thoroughly enjoyed. There was even a birthday cake!
Happy Birthday Lisa!
Thursday, May 11, 2017.  Another warm sunny morning.  We took down the mainsail, folded it and stored it below for the summer.  We began to pack the car for the trip home.  I ordered replacement parts for the opening ports.  There are six and they are beginning to leak just a bit around the seals.  Pete will work or repairs over the summer. We had cocktails and hors d’ oeuvres aboard Pemaquid, an Oyster 485 (my dream boat).

Friday, May 12, 2017. Sunny, 80 degrees. The car is fully loaded.  We complete the cover for Rhiannon and get everything stowed away.  We completed a final load of laundry and went over the “to do list” with Pete, who will be looking after the boat and doing some projects over the summer.  We had a nice dinner at Sake with Stan and Judy and Pete (Grace).  A very nice last evening in Vero.
Covering Rhiannon for the summer
 Saturday, May 13, 2017.  After good-byes and making we sure have everything we want to bring home, we depart Vero Beach City Marina at 9:40am.  It is cloudy and it looks stormy on the horizon.  After a long day of driving, we stop in Florence, SC for the night.  It rained hard and often as we passed through Georgia.

Sunday, May 14, 2017. Mothers Day. We had the free breakfast at the hotel and departed at 9:00am.  The weather is clear and cool.  Wind NW@15-20 and cool, 60 degrees.  Lots of traffic on I95, so we divert to Route 301, which is better, but seems to sprout 10 new stop lights each year.  Getting around Washington DC is never easy.  We arrive at Jim and Judy Foster’s (Tug-a-Long) at 4:00pm.  We went out to dinner at a local crab shack, Sea Side.  Because it is Mothers’ Day (and because it has great crabs) the place is jammed.  We all had Crab Imperial, which was delicious!

Monday, May 15, 2017.  It is very cool this morning, 55 degrees, brrrrrr!  Too soon to be this far north!  We all went out to breakfast at a local diner, Johnnie’s .  A great breakfast is always the best way to start the day. 

We are on the road at 9:30am. We make very good time around New York City, but then once on the Merritt Parkway through Connecticut, we hit all the “after school taking the kids to soccer, dance, baseball, etc.” traffic.  By 5pm, we are on Route 9 across New Hampshire.  There is snow piled along the side of the road east of Keene.  Some friends (Kathy and Ken), who live in this area, sent us pictures yesterday.  They got 5 inches of snow! Now we know it was too soon to leave the warm climes of Florida!
We are home at 7:30pm. Another voyage completed.  Time to start planning for the next!

Our yard full of "wild flowers"