Fort Lauderdale to Miami

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Author: Miranda

Our first passage took two attempts, but we are safe and sound in Miami at the moment, so life is good.

At about 10:00 am, when the current was at it’s least pain-in-the-arse stage for the day, we backed out of our berth at the marina, which was stressful, but Pete did a great job, and it was beautifully unexciting.  With the boat show happening in Fort Lauderdale in just a few weeks, we were flanked on both sides by multi-million dollar power boats. Adds just a tiny bit of excitement to the entire ordeal.

As we headed out of the canals of Fort Lauderdale, we had several opportunities to call bridges on the VHF for openings.  I barely noticed, but Pete was beaming from ear to ear when the bridge operator called him “captain” for the first time.

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We were all smiles and excitement until we got out on the open water and realized that our roller furling was jammed.  If you can’t open your sails, it makes it quite difficult to actually go sailing.  Headed back into protected waters to play around with it, but quickly realized it wouldn’t be an easy job.

Decided to go back to our marina, get a mooring ball, and work at it while tied up.  It took a few hours, but my wonderful husband managed to unjam the system, and we set out to complete some other tasks for the afternoon.

See how beautifully the red & white rope sits in those little grooves.  Well, it didn’t look like that at the beginning of the day.

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So, we didn’t make it to Miami on our first attempt, but on the plus side all our cleats are labeled.  How did I function properly in life before I owned a label maker?!  I do not know.  To say that I’m in love with the thing would be an understatement.  Life changing, seriously.  But, I digress.

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day 1

 

 

So, we tried again the following day, and we were much more successful.  Sails opened up, and for the first few hours of our trip, the wind blew on a perfect board reach of 9-12 knots.

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day 2

 

Then, the wind died.  Completely.  Check out that sorry, flaccid flag without wind in the picture above.  So, the motors went on, and we continued on our way.

The port of Miami was packed with jet skiers out to enjoy their Saturday, barges headed out to god-knows-where, and cruise ships full of excited vacationers ready to enjoy their trip around the Caribbean.

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It was a beautiful day, and a great first sail.  I’m deeming it successful for two reasons: (1) We started the day in Fort Lauderdale and ended it in Miami, and (2) I’m still willing to go out and sail another day.  Having a scary experience now, and being too nervous/fearful to get back out there again is something that we both are very cognizant of.  Here’s a overall look of our route:

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oh.. ps… then we saw dolphins.   Not only did we see them, but they swam over right next to the boat.  Then, they starting jumping out of the air as if to say “hello.”  Life is good ladies and gentlemen.  Life is good.

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Moving Aboard

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Author: Miranda 

 

After many struggles, long days of research, tough decision making, and money spent during the process of purchasing our catamaran, the actual closing date was unexpectedly quite anticlimactic.  An email from our brokers around midday to say, “All paperwork has been processed.  You may now proceed to hand off the keys.”  and the deed was done.

Kenan and Julie (the boat’s previous owners) were kind enough to take us through the boat again, this time piece-by-piece and part-by-part to explain all the nuances of the boat.  Something like this is certainly not the norm, and it will save us many headaches in the months to come.  We were very lucky to be working with us gracious people in Kenan and Julie.

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Then we took a picture, shook hands, and they walked away… and we walked into our boat.

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Although I swear I heard Kenan shout to us as he walked away, “just never push that big, red button.”  Cheeky brits.

 

Since closing, we’ve been digging through each and every storage compartment on the boat.  We’ve cataloged, inventoried, reorganized, and repacked everything that we inherited aboard when we bought the boat.  Let me tell you- it was no small amount of stuff.  Some items were labeled were in Spanish, some in English, but lots in German, and since the first owner of the boat in 2000 was a German couple, this tells you how old some of this stuff was.  Some treasures we found included old german beer glasses, a sausage grinder, and binoculars that I swear saw action in both world wars.

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We couldn’t get the port engine started right away, so Pete even had a chance to get up and friendly with this little buddy.

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Made our first meal aboard, which really isn’t all that difficult when you’re tied up in a marina.  We’ll see how well it goes when things get moving and shaking.

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Pete and I also decided to make a little “virtual tour” of the boat, for those who might want a more up and close view of our new house.  It’s quite unedited and the sound while we are outside is horrible.  Sorry.  But, if you’re interested, here’s a walk-though of Tayrona:

 

 

On Hold in Naples

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Author: Pete

Location: Naples, Florida

 

We found the boat, the cogs are in motion.  We just need time and energy to make all of the machinery work.  It’s a arduous, thankless task, but on the bright side, we are staying in a beautiful house in Naples.  My childhood neighbors serendipitously have a house here that they graciously offered to us while we’re boat hunting.  Such nonchalant generosity is rare and humbling.  We’ve been enjoying the gems of an easy, if bureaucratic life in Naples.

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Waiting around on the paper chase of buying a boat requires patience.  Documents are slow to be exchanged and fruitless insurance leads wind up dragging you down the rabbit hole before terminating.  Between daily trips to the ‘office’ (library, see below) we enjoy our time in Naples.  Citrus grows freely in the trees, fat and juicy from the daily thunderstorms that pummel down rain at some point every day.  We plan, prep, fix, build, research, call, read.  We make lunch, and do it again.  And sometimes we even swim in the pool.  Hard times kiddy.

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RIVERSPLIT

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We are getting our first taste of living off the connection grid.  The Naples house doesn’t have internet, so when we need to be connected, which is daily with all this paper chase, we load up in Big Red and bounce on down to the Naples Public Library, conveniently located a few miles from us.  It’s like going to the office, icy-cold air conditioning and strange ‘regulars’.  We sure do get a lot of research done though.

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Back at the ranch we generally make the phone calls that we couldn’t in the ‘Shhhhh!  Keep your voices down, aside from all the crazy old people who feel free to talk really friggin’ loud because their hearing is going’.  Sorry.  Library.  Then we get a little dinner going.

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We usually unwind with some light reading, research, conjecture, notes, page flipping, text referencing, and highlighting.  Have to get used to being off the grid.  Our newest, fanciest equipment is an iPad mini with Navionics on it.  The 4G iPad version that we got also has a GPS chip in it, so you don’t actually need cell signal, only clear skies.  That’s what everyone says anyway!  The Navionics is quite frankly magic.  It loads maps of the entire Caribbean, Central and South America, and parts of the US.  You can zoom down to see minute detail.  We’ll check it out on the real water.

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Let’s face it.  We’ve been blessed with easy sailing so far and it should be expected that eventually (now) we’re getting some chop. It’s so beautiful in this little house with the canal right in the back yard, but we’re itching to get on our boat and make headway.  It may be slow and frustrating at times.  But one things for sure… even if it feels like w’ere on hold, we’re on our way in Naples.

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