Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Blog on Vacation

Hello Everybody

Well we are on a land vacation. Left Florida on Monday to drive to DC/Baltimore.
visiting Jen's family and Josh and Rachel through the weekend. Then on Monday, Dec 20 we leave for Ohio for a 10 day vacation with my sisters.

Finally back to Florida after the first of the year.

I may pop back a couple of times to let you all know what Joy and I are doing on vacation.

Hope you all have Happy Holidays.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Reunion with family

We spent the past few days with Melody(my stepmother), Hank, Dimples, and Dolly. We arrived in the Vero Beach anchorage on Monday and spent the next two days at Melody's house, enjoying a big bed, bathroom, kitchen, etc as well as a good time catching up with Melody and her family's activities. Melody was married to my Dad for over 20 years until he passed away 5 years ago, and there are many memories which we shared over the past few days, reminiscing, which was good. Melody and Hank are proud parents of Dimples, one of the cutest dogs I've seen, and Dolly, the bird. We were able to get to several stores, so I now have 2 turtlenecks to add to my small wardrobe to help me stay warm on these cold mornings. The cold coming down from the North has broken all records for this date, with frost for two mornings. Of course, when I glance at the Cleveland weather, I really feel cold!

Yesterday, my sister, Sally, joined with Melody, to cruise down the Indian River(ICW) with us to Stuart where we are keeping the boat for a month, while we travel north by car. We had a beautiful day with bright sun and moderating temperatures. Sally proved to have the best eye for manatees, which up until yesterday we had not seen. Manatees are quite large aquatic mammals, 9 to 10 feet long, that are endangered, largely due to injury from propellers on fast boats, as the animals are slow moving. There are signs along the Florida intracoastal, limiting boat speed, and cautioning boaters to watch out for the manatees. We lucked out yesterday with weather, as this morning we woke up to rain.

The Loggerhead marina in Stuart, is quite plush, with beautiful bathrooms, heated swimming pool and hottub, exercise room, and restaurant. The boat will be very safe here while we are gone, and Sally and Manny will check on it every once and awhile.


Sunday, December 5, 2010


Hi everybody,

Over the past two days we have travelled through Tutusville yesterday and to Melbourne today. Both days consisted of motor sailing with the jib sail up and moving along at about 7 knots. Favorable current flow adds about 1 knot to our normal boat speed.

In fact one of todays pictures shows several of the 6 boats that we travelled single file over the past two days. The snowbirds are moving south. Once you get in the grove you start to see the same boats every day.

Late Saturday afternoon in Titusville is pretty dead. Joy did find a bakery/coffee
store that had a second floor for adults to read and eat their food. We spent an hour or more up there just reading. We had walked around town but not much was going on. We had stopped in Titusville last Spring to check it out and some of the road work that they were working on in early 2010 is still not finished.

Today in Melbourne was a lot of the same. We arrived aroud 3 pm, was the fourth boat in a single file row going into the marina. In Titusville we anchored out ( picture of several boats anchored out at night included). However in Melbourne we opted for the marina, good choice, very good restaurant on the premises. We walked into town.
Some stores were open for holiday shopping but a lot were closed. Found a good ice cream store.

We are rapidly approaching ( not literally) Vero Beach. Should arrive there tomorrow to visit Melody and Hank. Then on to Stuart on Wednesday to Sally and Manny's house.


Friday, December 3, 2010

New Smyrna Beach- FL

Well today was the holiday festival at NSB. It was called Lighting Up Flager Avenue.
Flager was a gentleman back in the 1800s who built the railroad that opened up Florida to residential development.

We had a good time walking down the street, going into shops, and just listening to all the musical groups performing. They even had the high school jazz band there. It reminded me of when Josh was in jazz band. Check out the photo of Mr, and Mrs. Claus with Joy and Linda Miko. Also several of the boats in the Marina are getting into the Christmas lighting movement.

I noticed one kind of funny situation today walking around town. The local public utility company is pushing LED lights for Christmas as cheaper to operate, low heat so less fire danger, etc. Except that the lights they have outside on the building for Christmas decoration is all old incandescent lights!.

We had a short sail down from Daytona Beach where we had anchored after a 50 plus mile sail from St. Augustine. Today we only did about 20 miles and decided to go to the Municipal marina as it was super cheap.

We then had a big surprise as our friends the Mikos called us up and said they had rented a car for the weekend and we coming over for dinner and visit. I had totally forgotten what day of the week it was. That is one of the issues on being on a boat. You really forget what day it is, in previous life there were work days and there was the weekend. Now every day is neither work, vacation, or weekend; it is just another day for either sailing someplace, or working on the boat.

Speaking of working on the boat. We have a couple of jobs to do before the Bahamas trip. Some are easy like sanding and painting, other are more complicated like replacing the stuffing box that keep the water out of the engine compartment.

Tomorrow it is off to Titusville, home of the Space Center, but we are just stopping overnight there to anchor.


PS For all you old timers, this place has a senior center that is huge and another senior recreation building that has at least 20 shuffleboard courts. They are just waiting for all the snowbirds to get here in January.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


The highlight of our day was seeing my former lactation partner, Anna, who presently lives and works in the St Augustine area. Anna has recently become a foster mother with the strong possibility of adopting Melody, who spent the first 10 months of her life in the hospital. Anna has had her for 1 month. What a cute little girl, who is doing very well with Anna and John's(Anna's boyfriend) tender loving care. Anna is still able to work four days a week as a nursee practitioner, as the state provides a nurse for Melody, when Anna is at work, due to Melody's medical complications. You will also see their dog, Jane , in the picture. We almost took Jane last March when visiting Anna. She has become a beautiful one year old dog, and it was fun to see her again, but we know it would have been a challenge to have a dog on the boat with us at this time.

The four of us, plus baby Melody, went out for dinner at a small Polish cafe in Old Town, St Augustine, featuring Hunter stew, pierogies, wonderful pastries, and a little Greek food thrown in, as the Polish owners had also lived in Greece.

Earlier in the day, we joined boating friends, Alex and Faune, who are from Halifax, Nova Scotia, at a little Cuban restaurant in the Lincolnville section of St Augustine. At the end of our lunch, the owner and his Dad entertained us with a threesome band. Excellent Cuban food and the cost of the lunch for 4 of us was $15. Lincolnville is an old historic African American neighborhood where Dr Martin Luther King spent some time in the 60's.