Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Gypsy Souls

The Gulf Stream...the water is almost purple. ..
  Ahhh!!!! We made it!! Yay!! What a journey. Today was the 1st time that we (including Jib) have stepped off the boat in 8 days.  I think Jib thinks he was "born again".

   Wow. After a week like this past one, I really feel like Scott & I are "travelers". Not just tourists. At some point there is a line you cross that is the difference.  This has been a journey. Our crossing day just kind of snuck up on us. Once we decided to go on Sunday night...there was no turning back. I think we just wanted to get it over with. The crossing is hard. It's stressful because of the unknown. It's tiring because it's just such a long way...It's challenging for us new sailors. This is our 2nd time now, & it was still just such a relief to have it done.

Scott out on deck tucking in the main sail...not enough wind once we hit the banks(the banks of the Bahamas..all of a sudden the water goes from unmeasurable by the depth gauge to 18 feet..)...notice how he's got on his life jacket that is clipped on to the boat. Just in matter how calm the seas, when we are making a crossing & are off shore...we are always clipped in. Even in the cockpit.
The one fish we caught during a 30 hour crossing. Yum. Fish tacos for lunch.

Our friends Matt & Lindsey from s/v Kindred Spirit crossed with us & caught up with us in Green Turtle Cay today. Matt was in the water for about 20 minutes before he got his 1st lobster of the season. Way to go!
   I've been trying to post this blog for 2 hours. I have so many pictures to share...I just can't down-load them today. We're definetly back in the Islands....Internet is a luxury. It's not that I don't have the patience for the slow internet...I don't have the battery power. My computer is going to die & I can't recharge it until tomorrow when the sun comes out & I have some solar power. i promise to blog whenever possible! Please stay tuned!!!

Michelle, Scott & Jib

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Island Time!!!

So...the time has come. A little earlier than expected. We were planning on crossing the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas on Tuesday morning but, when weather rules every move you make...sometimes plans change.
This is a fairly small weather window & after much consideration, we think the best time for us to go is tonight at 1am EST.

Our 1st of over a dozen bridges today...this one was at sunrise.

We already traveled 8 hours today (including 7 restricted bridges that open at specific times... Pain In The Arse!!!) but we are going to sleep early & getting up at midnight.

Getting a little laundry done on the ICW today...check out my cool clothes pins.

We're traveling with several boats including our good friends Matt & Lindsey from s/v Kindred Spirit . We're buddies from St. Augustine. Our 1st stop is Great Sale Island. We should be there by Monday 7pm. Then, up early Tuesday for an 8 hour sail to Green Turtle Cay. Woo Hoo! One of our favorites!!! I won't have any Internet until Tuesday evening at the SOONEST....more likely, Wednesday or Thursday.
We're ready. We have all our off-shore gear ready to go...
Can't wait to have sand between my toes.

Here we come Bahamas!!!

Love & Miss everyone. Pray for our safe crossing.
P.S. We'll be waiting for you Matt & M.E. from !! Safe travels guys!!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Look Mom! No Hands!!

Look! No hands! The auto pilot works!!! Woo Hoo!!! glorious!!! 2 months of hard work by Scott & a bunch of hard earned cash from both of us & thank the Lord....IT WORKS!!! Our worst nightmare was that we would turn it on & it wouldn't work. Yay!!! We did our sea trial calibration tests & passed with flying colors! How unusual that EVERY step went exactly as the manual said it should go! Malaika's auto pilot is officially commissioned & we LOVE her!!!! However, I refuse to give her a sexy name as Scott requested. I wanted to name it Simon, so I compromised & will call it "her".
Thanksgiving was a bit rough weather wise, but the past 2 days cruising down the ICW have been really nice.

Finally!!! Some sunshine!!! It's been cold & grey in Florida for a week!

Tomorrow we will reach Lake Worth, Fl. Our launch point for the Bahamas. Right now, it looks like we'll make the big crossing on Tuesday. Yay!!!! Getting very excited!!!!

This morning was Malaika's 1st sail of the season

I will do as many blogs as possible before we cross on Tuesday. After that, no Internet probably until Thursday...
Meanwhile, enjoy some pics from the past few days.

Jib..the sailor dog

Our anchorage last night...Dragon Point. We've stayed there it.

Tomorrow will be a challenging day as there are like 7+ restricted bridges...

That means we have to time our travel just right....ugh. I can't wait to get to our beloved Green Turtle, Cay in the Bahamas....which if all goes according to plan...should be Wednesday afternoon.

Malaika motoring down the ICW

So, we keep sailing south! Stay tuned!!!!

Michelle, Scott & Jib

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!
It's hard to believe this is our 2nd Thanksgiving on Malaika.

We spent the 1st part of our day traveling. It was a pretty nice ride until we turned into the Indian River. The waves that were previously behind us all morning pushing us smoothly along at 6.7-7.1 knots (that's fast for a sailboat in the ICW) were now broadsiding us like a little punch in the arm every 20 seconds. A bit of a rough ride & made snagging a mooring ball extra fun.

A mooring ball is a bouy that is secured by cement or screws to the bottom of the river/ocean.

While Scott maneuvers the boat ever so perfect in 20mph wind, current & 4-5 foot waves, I stand on the bow & snag the mooring with a big hook. It's not easy when the boat is bouncing up & down.I did in fact snag the mooring on the 1st pass, but I tied it up all wrong & Scott had to run up & redo it.
Good Times. we're as comfy as a bug in a rug bouncing like a cork in the Indian River in Titusville, Florida.

Jib trying to balance on deck

We are sooo thankful for our families & friends & for all the many blessings in our life. So, as soon as we were settled, I made dinner. We had a great Thanksgiving feast with all the fixings... (minus turkey, ham oven doesn't work)
Scott took some great pics of our feast, with our other camera. We don't have wifi right now (I'm doing the blog from the iPhone) so we couldn't include those pics. Now, it's beer & football time. (We still have some tv reception)
Hope everyone is having a wonderful day. We love & miss you all so much. Thank you for all that you bring to our lives.

Jib is very thankful for his bone. He looks a little doe eyed because he's in what we call, his Bone Coma. I'm surprised he looked up for the picture.

Michelle, Scott & Jib

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Bon Voyage!

Scott's 1st radio request for a bridge opening this season!

And....we're off!!

I wish I could tell you our departure went off without a hitch, but, did not. So typical. We had been anchored in the San Sebastian River (just behind hidden harbor marina) for about 2 weeks. The current in that river is unbelievable. 2 anchors are a must. Well....we really buried the hooks because it took a grueling hour & a half to pull them up. It SUCKED! Thank You Dan & Aaron for your help!!!
We opted for a short day & only went about 12 miles to Ft. Matanzas.

Fort Matanzas just off our bow

Baby steps my friends. We haven't moved our boat more than a 1/2 mile in 6 months....we need to get our sea legs. Tomorrow we'll go to Daytona & eventually, as the week progresses we will get to Lake Worth, Florida where we will wait for a weather window to cross the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas.
The past couple of days/weeks have been great visiting with friends we've made along the way. As you know, we reunited with Dan & Cheri recently & then this weekend with Patrick & Marilyn. So awesome to see old friends!!

Dan & Cheri

Patrick & Marilyn
It feels great to be on the move again. Islands! Here we come!!!

Michelle, Scott & Jib

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

ARRRRGH!!! The Pirates Are In Town!

One of Scott's favorite pirates
   This weekend was St. Augustine's annual Pirate Festival. OF COARSE, Scott & I had to check that out! It reminded me of a Renaissance Fair only with pirates. Great costumes, great vendors with cool stuff to look at..we had a blast!
Some of the crazy characters we encountered
Pirates seem to be really into boobs

I think Scott & I have finally hit the wall with the boat projects. We still have things to do....there are ALWAYS things to do...but we've been working so much on the boat I think we're just a little over it & ready to go have some fun. We took the past few days off. Our plan is to leave St. Augustine on Friday or Saturday to head south to Lake Worth, Florida where we will wait for a weather window to cross to the Bahamas. EXCITING!!! We saw so many boats heading south yesterday while hanging out at the beach....the migration is ON !!
Sunset with Jib & the dolphins

This weekend we also went on a long dinghy ride around the San Sebastian River (our current backyard) We stumbled across a family of dolphins feeding...they traveled a couple of miles from the ocean up the river to have a hearty Sunday dinner.  Jib was most intrigued.

  Yesterday we celebrated my 42nd birthday! I have been sick the past few days but we rallied & had so much fun. Scott made me some seashell hairclips...that I LOVE !!! We hung out at the beach with our friends Dan & Cheri most of the day & then spent the evening walking around Old Town St. Augustine. Good Times. Thank You to everyone for your birthday wishes. I had an awesome birthday.
My new air plant that Scott planted in an old sea urchin shell
My beautiful new hair clip...made by my hubby

Looking forward to the next year...P.S. Christina...I love my new ring. :)
Dan & Cheri made me this beautiful "traveling bean" necklace. A seed they found in the's called a Hamburger Bean
See the hamburger?'s time. Time to head south. So excited for this cruising season's adventures. Stay tuned!!
Now that we've completed all these projects we have to go out & test them...always adventure when testing out new boat projects...ya just never know what will happen.
  Meanwhile, here's some more pirate stuff

Scott bought some cool pirate pants (which I will be sure to highlight in another blog) from this guy
I've been saying this about motorcycles for years...Danger!
Michelle, Scott & Jib

Friday, November 9, 2012

Dropped The Hook !!

Our "hooks"
   Yay!!! We are out of the boatyard & have dropped the hook for the 1st time since last June. "Drop the hook" is a sailor term that means we are away from the dock & boatyard & dropped our anchor in the water. It's a great feeling! The easy rock of the boat at night....ahhhh...we have been sleeping like babies. We are anchored just behind Hidden Harbor Marina & actually rafted up with our friends Dan & Cheri.
Heading home from Hidden Harbor Marina to Malaika & Curieuse...rafted up together again!
   It's great because for a small fee we are still allowed to use the amenities at Hidden Harbor Marina  Thank You Greer & Aaron from Spybo Marine! (They are also the dock masters at the marina) We appreciate the Hidden Harbor hospitality so much!
  I am SOOO happy to be out of the boatyard. We accomplished a lot there but as I said in the last blog, it just sucks to be there. AND, it's really expensive. We had planned for a week but thanks to our friends help we got out of there sooner. One major project we started there was putting a macerator in. I know all of our friends & family are asking what the hell is a macerator? There is no polite way of explaining this. I'll caution you by starting with.... it has to do with the poo tank.
So, our toilets obviously don't flush down a drain into the ocean.  They empty into a 13 gallon tank.  As you can imagine, 13 gallons between two people fills up often. When the poo tank is full, we have to find a marina/fuel dock that provide a "pump out".  They have a machine that literally sucks out the poo. A macerator is a device that (here's the really gross part)...chops the poo up & pumps it out of the boat, which is legal to do once you're 3 miles out to sea.  We never have to worry about finding a pump out station now...we can dump when we need to.  What a stinky, dirty , gross me out project. I got my share of poo splashes when I hosed off all the pipes but Scott did all of the real dirty work with help from Dan & Aaron. It took 3 days total. The boat smelled awful.
Scott & Aaron about to be elbow deep in poo..they had to dismantle the exsisting plumbing to add the macerator
Dan helping with dismantling the old poo tank plumbing from the outside

No turning back now!

Scott running all the wire through the boat to our electical panel so the switch on the macertor will have power

Poo tank finished!!! Woo Hoo!!!

Thank You Scott!! I know nobody is more happy about finishing that project than you.
So glad that's over. .
Michelle, Scott & Jib