Thursday, April 28, 2016

Beloved Peg

...Our beloved Peg...married to Cliff for 11 happy years....
We sailed back from the Bahamas as fast as we could so we could drive home to PA to attend my Step Mother's Celebration of Life service with my Dad and family. We arrived back in Vero Beach last weekend, secured a Hertz rental car and drove to PA Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday we were at home and Thursday, we attended the beautiful Celebration of Life service at the Lititz United Methodist Church. The music, sharing, message and stories were all so heartwarming. Peg was a special person, kind and caring, and she was a great wife to my Dad. We are glad we were able to attend the service and be there with our family. After the service, my Dad hosted a wonderful luncheon for 75 people.

1. Sail to USA. 2. Drive to PA. 3. Drive to BWI
4. Fly to Orlando. 5 Drive to Vero
After another day at home, we drove to Baltimore, turned in our rental car and flew back to Florida on Jet Blue. The rental car companies have a deal that is called Drive Our of Florida. If you take a car north from Florida, you can rent it for up to 14 days for $8.99 per day with unlimited miles and no drop off fees. So, we drove a car north and we flew back. Our flight back cost $59 each. This was the most cost effective way for us to get from Florida to home, to the service and back to FL.

This process will be repeated next week. We will be storing our boat for the summer in Stuart Florida and will be renting a Drive out of Florida car and driving to PA. For now, we are in Vero, working on packing up the boat, off loading food and clothing, removing the sails and canvas. Once hauled out on May 9th, we will install a full sun shade (more on that later). After the boat is stored, we will happily visit some more friends in Florida and then drive home to PA.

The passive Solar Home we built
We plan a summer at home working on our house and we have a few trips planned as well. It is always sad to be out of the Bahamas, because our time there is always relaxing and peaceful and the water and beaches are so beautiful. We look forward to our return to the boat this fall and then onward to the Caribbean for exciting new adventures.  For now, it is time to close up the boat and store her here in the hot Florida sun from May 9 until Nov 1. It will be a big adjustment not having a boat for the summer on the Chesapeake Bay.....

Here are a few photos...

Our $8.99/day car. Hyundai Sonata, NICE

A visit with Craig at his friend Gary's place, very fun night!

This year, for the first time, we brought no luggage!  Garbage bags and a book bag worked!

South of the Border, so crazy, we did not stop


Welcome to PA, I-95 madness during two days of driving

OMG, this is paradise after 8 months on a boat!
We love our home
Returning to Orlando, this plane was next to ours.
Peg LOVED cardinals, It was a sign of peace.
Back on the boat, we started the varnish service coat, much more to do
Varnish looks so good when it is new, so clear, so bright
Sunshade fabric research,
This is the wrong stuff, which we we returned.
The right stuff is called COOLAROO, see

Dear friends Carey and Julie met us for a lively dinner
Walking the beach in Vero with Carey and Julie
Tropical Vero landscaping
Vero Beach beauty
After moving to Stuart on Thursday, we will finish off-loading the boat into the rental car. Haul out is scheduled for Monday. Tuesday and Wednesday will be spent making and installing the sun shade cover. We will blog about that next. Thank you for riding along, we appreciate you reading our blog.

Our Bahamas 2016 Adventures
Full interactive Trip Map Here

Friday, April 22, 2016

Sailing Green Turtle To Fort Pierce FL

...Wing on Wing home..
We had a fantastic sail all the way from Green Turtle to Fort Pierce, Florida with about 3 hours of total engine time! Wing on Wing from GT to Great Sale and then all the way across the Little Bahama banks at night under wing on wing in 20-25 knots. Daybreak we crossed into the ocean turned 30 degrees to port and jibed the jib dropping the pole and adding in the staysail.

Beam Reaching Gulf Stream

Now sailing nearly a beam reach in 20-25 we sailed hull speed across the gulf stream dealing with confused seas and then into the Ft. Pierce inlet. Of course we hit the inlet 3 hours early at the max ebb current, but we ran into the ragging inlet with a full main and staysail and added 2500 rpms of engine. Of course the winds picked up to a solid 30-35 knots on the beam and a full main was really WAY too much sail. Surfing down the quarter waves she would round up to port and with a full hard over helm, LUCKILY, she would dive down wind and down wave and keep pointing into the out flowing 3.5 knot current.

Fort Pierce Inlet 35 kntos!
Running between the rock wall jetties on either side with the waves crashing OVER the jetty really kicked up our adrenaline on our sleep deprived bodies! It was a bit on the edge, but Island Spirit is a ROCK, and she blasted into that inlet like a champ! THIS BOAT IS A BEAST. Afterwards, we both pounded down several RUM SHOTS to calm our nerves, then we dropped the main sail and headed up to Vero Beach. This winter we have had the best sailing, traveling 2,325 nm!

We have a total of 11 hours motoring time (with charging) from Hope Town Lighthouse to Vero Beach FL!

Our Bahamas Trip #5 is a wrap. I have 9,152 photos and I blogged 1,450 of them. I really enjoy photography.

Thank you all for sailing along with us, we really appreciate that.

Departure Point, Green Turtle Club
Out for Breakfast to reflect on year #5 of the Bahamas

Set Sail and sail Wing on Wing for Great Sale Cay

48 NM sailing Wing on Wing

Heading West, leaving the Bahamas

Too Beautiful to not take more photos

Selfie GoPro from the Bow, Wing on Wing

OK, this is getting carried away

Just one more, sailing is sooooo much fiun

Radeen at the helm, she love to travel and loves to sail

Night time we continue sailing Wing on Wing in 20-25 knots

We hit the Gulf Stream and turn to port

Look Full sails and beam reaching for Fort Pierce, A Dream

Check the bow wave, if you know sailing, you know this is great

Two Sleep deprives sailors just holding on and hooked on,

Blue water off our stern

OMG, The Fort Pierce inlet in a Rage outflowing 3.5 knots

We power sail into the rage and into the inlet

The inlet waves are 6 to 8 feet and we have a full main and stay sail up

Of course the winds pick up solid 30-35 gusting to 38 knots TRUE

The ebb is meeting the ocean swells and the waves are large
This one is over WELL over the jetty, 8 feet

Island Spirit Powered in and got us amazing yacht
Our 5th trip into the Bahamas is a wrap, and we have so many fond memories of the beautiful Country. The people of the Bahamas are so nice, the waters are so clear, and the islands and beaches are a dream. We really cannot imagine a more beautiful place then the Exumas Land and Sea Park. Next year we will return, God Willing, and we will explore the area again. Then our plan to is to go on to the Caribbean, we need to expand our territory.  Thank you so much for sailing along with us, it is wonderful to share this dream.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Jib Room Abaco Times

...Radeen, Hayden and Linda...

We spent our time in Abaco with one week at Hope Town, a week anchored out and about a week in Marsh Harbour based around the Marsh Harbor Marina and the WORLD Famous JIB ROOM. One of the main reasons we sail back though Abaco is because of the Jib Room. We simply love it here. This is one of the places were we feel at home along our many thousands of miles of travel. Linda and Tom and son Stephen along with Jason and Desmond and Master Chief Marvin run what I call "The Best Place in the Bahamas with the Best food, Best People, Best Party!" hands down!

The BEST meal in the Bahamas
Steak Night at the Jib Room

If you every plan to sail into the Bahamas, then make sure you make this a stop. Plan to spend a week here so you can take in RIB NIGHT on Wednesdays and STEAK NIGHT on Saturdays. That is exactly what we did this year again. In between, we went snorkeling at Fowl Cay and diving where we clean and serviced the bottom of the boat. Time in Abaco is always measured because you are waiting here for a weather window to make the 3 day jump back to Florida or longer to the Carolinas. So while you watch the weather, you enjoy the Jib Room, you shop at Maxwell's massive grocery store, you service the boat, change oil, fuel filters and defrost the freezer. You get your boat ready and you watch and study the weather. Once the weather window opens, every one makes a run for the Whale Cay Cut, then Green Turtle, then Great Sale Cay and across the Gulf Stream to Florida or north for several days to Carolina. Our weather is looking good for a Whale Cay Cut passage Wednesday or Thursday and then off to Fort Pierce, Florida where we will go to Vero for a few days to decommission the boat.

Island Spirit with the Island Packet Yachts flag
Notice our "office" flag Whiteaker Yacht Sales
We will then be moving to the Stuart Hinckley Service Yard where we will haul out the boat on May 9th. This will be a first time event for us. to we leave our boat in a yard in Florida and rent a car and drive home to PA. We hope to be home around May 14th or 15th. A first. Our boat will stay in Stuart, Florida May until Nov 2 when we relaunch and begin year #6. We are excited about year six as we are planning a Caribbean run, it may be western or eastern, but we do plan to go beyond the Bahamas next year.

The Goal is set, Caribbean 2017, East or West?
Yes, we will repeat our normal schedule of winter in Florida, Spring to the Exuams, but then from there, in April 2017, it will be onward to the Caribbean. It is time to expand the bubble. Exciting times ahead, for now, we are enjoying our time here in Abaco....

Jib Room fun for Jean, Radeen and Linda

 So glad to meet Huck, the newest Jib Room Family Member

Marvin, the Master Chef and Grill Master

These steaks are very large and perfectly grilled

Hayden with IP 485 Buddy Sheryl Lynn

Michael and Sheryl Lynn of IP485 Sanctuary

Boat Buddies IP 420 Amekaya
Hayden, Linda, Radeen and Maris

Team IP 485 Sanctuary
Sheryl Lynn, Michael, Audi and Andrew

Jib Room Party time

While in Abaco, I created the Facebook Group Crusiseheimers
This is for the fleet that checks in on 8.152 USB on the single side band radio

Hope Town is a dream

Walks around Elbow Cay

My favorite curly tail lizard photo, he posed on a fence

Seeing this will make you cry after being in the Exumas for a month+

Look at this Bahamas grocery store, UNREAL

OUCH, prices are high, this is a PINT

Did I mention the JIB ROOM ribs are the best?....YES THEY ARE

Snorkeling / Diving GrL Radeen

All alone anchored out, calm enough to dive and clean the bottom of the boat

A most beautiful handmade gift from Tanya
s/v MINX

Abaco Sunset

Busting out the Dive gear to service the yacht

Diver Radeen

First one in is Radeen

We are working out floating the gear off the dinghy

Climbing back in with the gear left tied to the dinghy worked

Abaco cruising life is really fun, it is really easy compared to the Exumas, the services abound, the grocery store is large, and the protected anchorages are every where. Abacos are FUN FUN FUN. We really enjoy returning back here year after year. Thank you for sailing along.....