Captains Log: 12/21/05 – West End, Grand Bahama
We made it across! Under the light of a full moon we pulled up the anchor at 4 a.m. on Sunday, December 18th and headed out the Lake Worth inlet into the open water. We had been forewarned that it might be a rough crossing but we all (in the group of 6 boats crossing together) decided it was a good enough window to give it a try. If it was too rough we could turn back. The reports we were getting from boats that left a couple hours before us had the wind blowing from the south at 15+ knots and 4-6 foot waves from the southeast. directly ahead of us. Note that West End is roughly barely south of due east (103°M) and the Gulf Stream current runs north at about 2-3 knots. In order to avoid being swept north by that current during the crossing we calculated that we would need to point the boat toward an imaginary point about 20 miles south of West End (about 120°M). We raised a double reefed mainsail as we approached the harbor entrance and soon found ourselves outside the jetty and close reaching into 4-6 foot waves into 20 knots of apparent wind and making a paltry 3-4 knots motorsailing into them. We shortly decided to put out about two thirds of our headsail (Jenny) to better balance the boat and attempt to increase our speed. We noticed that the remainder of the group, which left about 15 minutes ahead of us, was keeping a more northerly direction than ours as they were having difficulty pointing into the large waves. Two boats turned back as they felt the conditions were too rough for their boat or crew and we heard a motor vessel call for the Coast Guard as they were taking on water directly ahead of us.We quickly caught up with the group by falling off a little more north as we were the only boat in the group with canvas up at that time. As we approched the west wall of the Gulf Stream about 7 miles offshore, we found that to maintain our course of 103° we were pointing the boat 140°+. This put us in a close hauled position pointing directly into the waves. We were extremely happy with the boat’s performance as its hefty weight seemed to plow ever onward. By now we were settling in and realizing that we were actually quite comfortable, all things considered. Neither of us had any signs of seasickness and we began a routine of taking turns napping and keeping Otto (our autopilot) company.
As the day progressed, wind moderated and moved southwest as forecasted and we were able to gradually get ourselves back on the rhumb line (or “RUM” line as I prefer) toward the Bahamas. About lunchtime we shook out the reefs in the main and “Jenny” and were continuing to make 6.5-7 knots motorsailing.
At about 2:00 we heard the first boats on the VHF radio declare “Land Ho!” and we had our first sighting of land soon after that. Our first International passage with Lucky Peek looked like it was going to end very successfully. After studying the harbor chart two or three more times and seeing the entrance, we dropped our sails and motored the last half mile in.
The water had gone from the deep blue grey of deep ocean to to a bright turquiose of the shallow, sandy Bahama bank. The water in the marina looked like a swimming pool. Adding to our exhileration, the resort was having a Christmas party that was in full swing…Christmas carols and lights aglow were overwhelming our senses. We received our slip assignment and entered our slip ever so ungracefully with the wind on our stern, tied up quickly and headed to customs and immigration to get cleared in. We received an invitation to the complimentary Christmas Buffet and after checking in, stopped by for turkey and stuffing with all the fixins followed by a nice slice of coconut pumpkin pie. What a treat! Visit www.oldbahamabay.com to see some pics of the area. Of course, keep in mind that we aren’t staying in the Old Bahama Bay hotel, but we do get to enjoy the amenities while we’re on our boat in the marina.
We have spent the last couple of days cleaning up and lazing around the boat and resort waiting for the weather to clear up for the rest of our trip to the Abacos. The resort is actually still closed after Hurricane Wilma but there is a flurry of activity as they are opening on Friday. We are one of only about ten boats in the Marina and have full run of the resort. The weather is a little blustery and overcast but it is warm…about 73 degrees as I write this. We have enjoyed visiting with our new friends Robert and Carolyn on “Gypsy Common”, Peggy and Terry on “Attitude”, and Les and Candy on “Anejo”.
Yesterday we borrowed bikes from the Marina and rode into the village. The people are all helpful and friendly with bright smiles, but life here looks hard given the proximity to the summer hurricane track. It appears that there is not enough time between seasons to ever get ahead of the accumulating damage. A hike through the resort over to the western shore showed us what incredible destruction can be wrought upon homes from tidal surge and wind as we saw the ground floors of luxury homes completely gutted and their foundations undercut and washed out. We couldn’t help but extrapolate to the damage inflicted upon the Gulf Coast by Katrina. Be thankful for the things you have and try to remember how many in the world have lost so much and have so little.
We are planning to leave West End tomorrow for Green Turtle Cay with an overnight stop along the way at Great Sale Cay, an uninhabited Cay (pronounced “key”) about forty some miles east of here. If everything goes as planned we should be spending Christmas in Green Turtle and we will celebrate the day after with “Junkanoo”, an Island party which is much like a one day Mardi Gras with festivities, costumes, and parades ( I suspect there may also be Rum Punch involved). We are looking forward to a visit from the Nelsons at the end of the month. We are keeping our fingers crossed that they will be able to make it so we can ring in the New Year with them.
We wish everyone a safe and peaceful holiday season. We are thinking of our family and friends—missing them and hoping the best for all. If we don’t have a chance for another posting in the next week or so…
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Captains Log: 12/16/05 – Palm Beach, Florida
We are enjoying the warm temperatures here in Palm Beach (sorry to rub that in for those of you in more northern latitudes) and trying to be patient in waiting for a favorable weather window to cross over to the Bahamas. We left Titusville on Sunday, December 11th with our anxiousness to be heading south again tempered by leaving our friends Chris and Susan. Their hospitality during our 2 weeks in their neck of the woods was most appreciated. We stayed with them a couple more times after our long Thanksgiving visit and enjoyed our time at the Conrad B&B and Laundry Facility.
We left Titusville on Sunday, December 11th under partly cloudy skies and cool temperatures. We had a good day motor sailing on the Intracoastal Waterway to our anchorage for the night near the Eau Gallie Bridge. We continued on the ICW the following day to Fort Pierce where we anchored for the evening and I enjoyed a quiet birthday dinner on the boat.
On Tuesday, December 13 we decided the northern winds would give us a good boost south so we left the ICW via the Fort Pierce inlet for the open ocean. Wow! What a day! We had 15-20 knots of wind and a following sea of 4-6 feet with occasional waves of 7-8 feet. We were flying! We were steadily doing 7 knots and would see 8-9 knots when surfing down the larger waves and we even saw 10.9 knots on the speed indicator! We made it to the Lake Worth inlet at Palm Beach in record time and were a bit exhausted after such an exhilarating day. We dropped the hook just inside the inlet for the night and then moved about 4 miles north the following day to wait with the larger group of boats with the same destination. Robert and Carolyn of “Gypsy Common”, whom we met in Brunswick, were there waiting for us and gave us a warm welcome.
So now we wait. Southern winds are forecasted for Sunday and we hope that holds true so we can cruise to the Bahamas! If that is the case then it may be a week or more before our next update. Stay tuned…
Captains Log: 11/30/05 – Titusville, Florida
We’re on our way again! We left Brunswick, Georgia on the chilly morning of Sunday, November 20th on the heels of a passing cold front. Since the front had kicked up the seas and brought colder temperatures, we decided to travel on the ICW. We made great time with the help of 15-20 knot northerly winds. Highlights of our first day out included, but were not limited to, the following: waves breaking over the bow as we crossed Jekyll Sound; Lisa wearing purple and teal socks on her hands in lieu of gloves; and running aground on the south side of Nassau Island as we sought out an anchorage for the night. Regarding that last point – while the local fisherman watched curiously, Rod revved the throttle and I jumped up and down on the bow sprit. Miraculously, we got off the shoal and moved quickly back into the ICW to seek out a deeper spot to drop the hook. Just a few miles further we spent the night in a beautiful and peaceful anchorage in front of the Kingsley Plantation/Park.
We got an early start the next morning, after Rod pulled up the anchor using the ABI windlass that he installed in Brunswick. Yay!!! It worked like a charm, and Rod returned to the cockpit with a smile on his face rather than the usual anchor-raising-back-pain-grimace. We made great time to St. Augustine due to the winds picking up and after much discussion we decided to anchor for the night in a popular spot just off the city wall and north of the Bridge of Lions. The city and bridge were so beautiful with the holiday lights aglow and the sunset was amazing with what we later learned to be a “sucker hole” on the horizon. Rod thought the approaching cold front had sidestepped us as we looked at the clearing sky as the sun went down. Just an hour later we actually heard the weatherman refer to what we saw as a sucker hole – a term used by sailors to describe conditions that make it appear the front has passed when it is really yet to arrive. And boy howdy, did it arrive. We had a restless night as 30+ knot winds would hit the boat and heel it over. We would both get up to confirm the anchor was holding and that we were in the same place. On the bright side, this night was a good test of our heavier ground tackle we added in Brunswick (45 lb. CQR anchor and 150 ft. of 3/8” high tensile chain). The boat didn’t move an inch beyond it’s swinging radius in the wind and current.
Another early start on Tuesday morning and we made the 7:30a.m. opening of the Bridge of Lions that allowed us to continue south. On the other side of the bridge, where other boats were anchored, we passed one wayward sailboat that apparently had drug it’s anchor in the night and had landed across the channel hugging an ICW channel marker. There appeared to be nobody on the boat, so we continued on our way and later heard the Coast Guard on channel 16 trying to get information on the vessel. On this day our biggest challenge was the extremely low tide that never seemed to flow back in on it’s schedule due to the strong westerly winds of the front. We bumped the bottom along the way, we heard other accounts of the same on channel 16, and then just north of Daytona we passed a sailboat just 5 feet outside the channel that was hard aground. Daytona was our destination for the night and with no good anchorage options in the area, we decided to stay in the Daytona Marina. Conveniently located on the same property, even sharing the same building with the marina office, was a Chart House! We thought we should reward ourselves with a night out and enjoy the famous Chart House salad bar. It was great and they didn’t even notice all the filled Ziploc baggies I left with. J We had a nice visit with the crew of s/v Nobadeer, a stunning green hulled Mariner 47 ketch. Alec and Lori, and their kids Laura and Andrew, were taking their boat to the Bahamas to leave it there until they could fly back to it for Christmas with the rest of their family. We look forward to the possibility of seeing them again in the Islands over the holidays!
On Wednesday, November 23 we left Daytona under clear skies, bright sunshine, and the promise of warmer temperatures. Rod had to expertly maneuver Lucky Peek out of the slip we had stayed in the night before, and that proved to be the biggest challenge of a somewhat uneventful day. We traveled through Mosquito Lagoon, where we were entertained by dolphins and manatees and a large variety of birds. So, I guess for being “uneventful” it was very pleasant! We arrived in Titusville around 4pm and again Rod impressed onlookers with his ability to calmly put the boat in the slip without incident. We washed down Lucky Peek and celebrated our arrival with an SVT (Sundowner Vodka Tonic). We made it in time to have Thanksgiving dinner the following day with the Conrads! Amazing how the lure of turkey and dressing over say, Spam, can motivate one to travel great distance.
Thanksgiving day with the Conrads turned into a four-day stay at their house. That’s probably the last time they invite us over for a holiday! We had a great turkey day dinner and over the next few days we enjoyed their company, we enjoyed their guest bedroom, and we even enjoyed the marathon game of Trivial Pursuit.
We will be here in Titusville until early next week (first week of December) when we will continue south to West Palm, which should take no more than three days. We plan to anchor in Lake Worth, the body of water off of West Palm Beach, where we will wait for a favorable weather window to make the crossing to the Bahamas. Hopefully, that will be a relatively short stay. We will post another update when we are on the move again.
Captains Log: 11/02/05 – Brunswick, Georgia
Slow down, you move too fast…. You got make the morning last…
After sailing over 1000 miles in the initial 6 weeks of our adventure, we’ve certainly slowed our traveling pace since arriving in Brunswick, Georgia at the end of August. And that’s not just because we’re fitting in with the southern style, even though that happens to be our roots. My (Lisa’s) great grandmother was from the neighboring state of Tennessee. Her name was Sidney Lier Bolton, being named after a famous poet of the 19th century, Sydney Lanier, who was from Macon, Georgia. One of his most famous pieces of work, “The Marshes of Glynn”, was written here in Brunswick (Glynn County). We sailed under the massive Sidney Lanier bridge on our way in to Brunswick! I had no idea I was arriving in a place that had such a connection to one of my ancestors!
When we first arrived in Brunswick, we intended on sitting tight for a week or so while Hurricane Ophelia determined her path. As that initial week passed and we used that time for some exploration of the area and for making extensive lists of what we wanted to do to get the boat ready for the winter in the Bahamas, we made the decision to not continue north any further and to wait out the remainder of the very active hurricane season in this relatively safe harbor. This non-travel period would allow us the necessary time to check off the items from our growing list of projects.
Since this lengthy log entry captures a variety of activities and projects since arriving in Brunswick, it is divided into sections for easier perusal.
Four days after arriving in Brunswick, we took a road trip via a rental car to celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary on August 31 in Savannah, Georgia. What an incredible city! Rich with history, amazing architecture, and tasty southern cuisine – we sampled it all. We stayed in the oldest hotel in the city, The Marshall House , which has been a hotel since 1851. Fortunately, they have updated it with modern day conveniences, but it still maintains its 19th century charm – squeaky wood floors, fireplaces in every room, ghosts, etc. We toured the historical district and learned interesting facts and lore from our trolley tour guide about the beautiful homes and squares around which the city was designed. We then explored the riverfront and downtown shopping district on our own, over-eating at “The Lady and Sons” restaurant which showcases typical southern cuisine from chef Paula Deen of the Food Network. From Savannah we took a short side trip to neighboring Tybee Island and a tour of Fort Pulaski for our requisite military history lesson of the area.
Greyhound bus to Orlando
After returning from Savannah we did something that Rod had never experienced before. We rode a Greyhound bus. Hey, we’re all about having new experiences on this adventure! We had ordered solar panels for the boat and had arranged for them to be sent to Chris and Susan’s house, since we weren’t sure where we were going to be. We needed to pick them up and retrieve the Trooper from their house so we could have transportation while being temporary residents of Brunswick, Georgia. Which, by the way, when we rented the car for the Savannah trip we discovered Brunswick to be considerably larger than the struggling historic downtown district that we had access to on foot! The Greyhound bus trip was uneventful but there are very interesting folks that seem to hang out at bus stations. Thanks to Chris, we didn’t have to linger with the crack dealers at the Orlando station very long before he was there to pick us up. We spent a couple of days visiting with them and then drove the Trooper back to Brunswick.
Let the Projects Begin
Once we were mentally settled in to Brunswick after returning from Orlando, we started adding things to our project list, prioritizing, and determining where to begin. Here is a sampling from the list (yes, this is just a sampling):
Install Racor 500 fuel filter
Install solar panels
Order new sails
Install chain stopper
Install new bow deck cleat
Install manual galley pump
Move raw water strainer on engine
Determine email/weatherfax solution for Bahamas
Connect GPS to network and radio
Install deck pipe for stern anchor
Buy 4-person off-shore life-raft
Fix auto-pilot mount
Add cheek blocks and cleats to boom for reefing
Repair Mack Pack zipper
Check water in batteries
Install Monitor wind steering system
Replace mast boot
Various sewing projects – bumper covers, TV cover, sunshade, windlass cover
Get ship’s clock fixed
Polish stainless and aluminum
Polish fuel and tank
St. Augustine, Florida 9/28/05
What began as what we refer to as a Bargain Safari, ended up including a side of tourism in St. Augustine. We were motivated to visit St. Augustine again, this time by car, after we learned of a store called the Sailors Exchange, where one could find good deals on used and new equipment. It’s basically like a salvage yard. A boater’s dream! At Sailors Exchange we bought Sunbrella cloth for a deck shade and other projects at approximately 60% of the normal retail price per yard. We also bought enough Triple B chain to replace and increase the length of our current primary anchor chain. This too was at a very good price. During our 4 hour scavenge at Sailors Exchange Rod found a welding shop next door where he scored a piece of stainless steel pipe needed for the windlass installation and we also learned of some local wood workers where we might get some small pieces of teak also needed for the windlass. By this time it was after 5:00 so we had to make a decision – drive the approx. 100 miles back to Brunswick and then return the next day to track down the teak, or spend a spontaneous night in St. Augustine. With the price of gas around $3.00 per gallon and our general inclination toward the spontaneous, we decided to spend the night. That decision allowed us to be tourists for the remainder of the evening and wander the quaint streets of this historic city, where Rod claimed to sense the presence of ghostly pirates. We even found the restaurant/bar in the tree, The MillTop, that Chris had told us about from their visit to St. Augustine.
Tropical Storm Tammy
The first week of October was thunderous and very wet due to Tropical Storm Tammy passing just south of us. We received somewhere around 16 inches of rain in 6 days and we had a couple of restless nights on the leading edge of the storm with the thunder shaking the boat and the lightening getting a little too close for comfort. There were many areas of Brunswick that experienced flooding that week, and we were not immune to the wet living conditions either. After discovering a soggy rug and a soaked settee cushion, we deduced that some areas of the boat were not water tight. We have added “rebed chain plates” to our list of projects. Fortunately that’s not a complex project and it’s one that needs to be done as a normal part of boat maintenance. Guess it was time for ours to be maintained.
The Golden Isles of Georgia – St. Simon Island and Jeckyll Island
While Brunswick is not what I would describe as a destination city, it is situated next to the Golden Isles that include St. Simon and Jeckyll which attract their share of tourists seeking beautiful beaches and expansive golf courses. St. Simon is the bigger of the two islands but Jeckyll has a more interesting past and, in our opinion, was more beautiful with the old oak trees that canopy the roadways and drip Spanish moss from their expansive limbs. While that is a common sight around Georgia, it was especially cool on the small two-lane roads that circle the island. Jeckyll was once privately owned by a group of America’s wealthiest. Families such as the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, Pulitzers, and a few others that had a few bucks to spare bought the island and formed their prestigious private Jeckyll Island club in 1886, limiting access on the island to only their elite members. Story has it that they didn’t even allow the President of the United States to visit because he wasn’t a member. Jeckyll is now owned by the state of Georgia (purchased in 1947) and further development is restricted to preserve it’s natural state.
Brunswick has an active waterfront that is home to one of the largest shrimp boat fleets on the east coast and is frequented by ginormous (sic) container ships. The city is similar to Lewiston, Idaho in size and smell. Koch Cellulose operates a large pulp mill in the area that provides an aroma that is only rivaled by the daily low tide. While Brunswick is not a large city, is does offer convenient shopping for most of the items we need for our projects. We tend to frequent Home Depot, Wal-Mart, West Marine, and Boaters World along with the various specialty metal shops to locate items for our projects. The Colonial Mall offers some other typical Mall shops as well as a movie theater that we’ve gone to a couple of times. There are no Albertson’s in Brunswick, so we do our grocery shopping at Publix or Winn-Dixie. They even carry “Idaho Potatoes”!
Bryan Mann visits Brunswick – Brunswick Stewbalie and the B-52’s
On October 14th we got our first visitor from Boise! Bryan was in Orlando and he drove up to spent the weekend with us on Lucky Peek. We had a great time and enjoyed showing Bryan the local sites in downtown Brunswick. That particular weekend happened to be the annual Brunswick Rockin’ Stewbalie at the Mary Ross Park next to our marina, so the town was abuzz with Brunswick Stew anticipation! While we didn’t take the opportunity to taste any stew at the cook-off on Saturday, we did get a chance, as we stumbled through the park in the wee hours of Saturday, to stir an 85 gallon pot of stew that was being prepared for the competition. After stirring the stew we surveyed the view that the B-52’s were going to have from the stage in just 16 hours. On Saturday night we were very close to the front of that stage as the B-52’s entertained the crowd. In fact, the second song they sang was “Private Idaho”!!!
On Sunday we unhooked Lucky Peek from the dock for the first time since arriving in Brunwick and took her and Bryan out for a sail on the Atlantic. It was a beautiful day with a nice 10 knot breeze. Although we didn’t catch any fish we did see a few dolphins leaping out of the water around us. So cool.
Missing Family and Friends and Adjusting to the New Life
So far one of the most difficult aspects of this journey has been homesickness. We miss the regular interactions with family/friends/co-workers and are learning how to spend our time together without a daily work routine that takes us away from each other – providing varied topics for conversation over dinner. Our new routine was drastically different and we had to adjust to it. Slowing down in Brunswick aggravated this because we weren’t experiencing something new every day as we had been in the first three months of being constantly on the move. Both of us slid into a slump but through discussion realized the common cause. We embarked on this adventure for many reasons, one of which was to experience personal growth. We were feeling the growing pains and luckily we felt the relief of overcoming this particular bump through acknowledgment and understanding. (Rod just did an editorial review and said this sounded too much like Dr. Phil. Not being a fan of Dr. Phil…. Well, actually, I really can’t stand Dr. Phil…. this made me gag and want to change the entry. I’ve modified it some, but it still does sound a bit Dr. Phil-ish. Sorry.)
One of the best parts of slowing down in Brunswick has been making new friends. We have met a variety of interesting people that have been a wealth of knowledge as well as just plain enjoyable to be around. Some folks are fellow cruisers waiting out the hurricane season in preparation of heading South or to the Bahamas for the winter. Some live on their boats as residents and working citizens of the Brunswick area. Some live/work elsewhere and visit their boats on the weekends. All have been a pleasure to get to know and their eagerness to help us with whatever we need has been most appreciated.
Are we ever going to leave Brunswick?
Yes! We are now in final preparation mode to start heading south. Today is November 2, 2005 and we are planning to leave Brunswick within the next two weeks. Our plan is to head to Palm Beach, Florida, where we will wait, anchored at an area called Lake Worth, for a favorable weather window to make the crossing over to the Bahamas. It is 54 miles from Palm Beach to West End, Grand Bahama. Not far, but crossing the 25 mile wide Gulf Stream is a major milestone for most sailors. It will take us between 10 and 15 hours to make this short distance. We will stop at Grand Bahama and then spend the next three days traveling on to the Abacos, which are on the east side of the Bahama Bank. At this point, we are planning to spend the winter cruising the Abacos. Once we are there, we may decide to continue further south to explore Eleuthera and the Exumas (all part of the Bahamas). We will see once we get there where the wind takes us.
Captains Log: 9/8/05 – Tropical Storm Ophelia
We just want to let everyone know that we are still safe and hunkered down in a marina in Brunswick, Georgia, where we plan to remain until the weather begins to moderate. Tropical storm Ophelia is stalled off the East coast of Central Florida and predicted to move slowly North or Northwest before turning back out to sea. We are keeping a close watch. Other active hurricanes in the Atlantic, Nate and Maria, pose no threat to us.
Captains Log: 8/27/05 – Georgia, Sweet Georgia!
Whew! We’re out of the path of Katrina! Thanks for the phone calls and e-mails encouraging us to get our website updated on our whereabouts!
After spending two full weeks in Ft. Lauderdale, we left on Tuesday, August 16th. While there we enjoyed the sites – taking advantage of “Free Summer Admission” at the Art Museum, scouting out all the Happy Hour half price appetizer deals, and discovering Max’s Grill on the riverfront in downtown where everything on the menu is $6.99! The menu included filet mignon (which was delicious all 4 times we ordered it), and fresh grilled seafood! We traveled around the area by Water Bus and city bus (very interesting depending on the time of day) and by the end of our stay we knew our way around pretty well. Chris and Susan and Park came for a weekend visit and we set a personal record on the number of marine stores we went to over a 24 hour period of time!
While in Lauderdale Rod replaced the Air Conditioning water pump and a refrigerator guy replaced a broken part on the fridge. We also got the fuel system problem fixed – it did turn out to be a simple problem with the fuel filter. So everything is in good working order now. In a previous update I referred to our genoa sail as Jenny, and I have to give credit to Sonya Kern for coming up with the clever name we now use to refer to our engine… Forest. “Run, Forest, Run!”, we called out frequently as we left the Port Everglades channel departing Ft. Lauderdale to head further north.
We arrived at Harbortown Marina in Cape Canaveral on Friday, August 19th. This is the marina where Chris and Susan keep their sailboat and we were looking forward to the planned day of fishing on their boat that Saturday. We didn’t catch much, but they did reel in a small barracuda! We kept it since our fish book indicated that the small ones were good to eat, but then a gentleman at the marina gave a different review. So rather than being our dinner it was to be fish bait.
After leaving Canaveral on Sunday, August 21st we continued north on the ICW. We anchored in a really cool area, aptly named Mosquito Lagoon. We then enjoyed one night in St. Augustine – we definitely want to go back there! It is the oldest continuously occupied city in the continental United States, so it has a rich history. The following night we spent in Old Town of Fenandina Beach, which as first glance looked, and smelled, very industrial. But it was an interesting place! Very similar history to St. Augustine and we enjoyed strolling it’s quaint historic streets.
We arrived here in Brunswick, Georgia last night (Thursday, August 25th). We felt the effects of the storm bands from Katrina yesterday afternoon as we sailed in very wet and windy conditions. We decided with the storms in the area that we would tie up at a safe marina, which is where we are now – the Brunswick Landing Marina. We think that we will be here at least a week, as the weather forecast is for continued storms for the next 5 days. The marina is right in the heart of their revitalized downtown historic district, so we look forward to doing some exploring here.
In the next day or so we’ll work on getting some pictures on the website, but right now my minutes are ticking down on this connection at the public library. Stay tuned…
Captains Log: 8/4/05 – “Venice of America” – Ft. Lauderdale
Just like the Americas Cup racers. That’s how we arrived here in Ft. Lauderdale…
We waved goodbye to the beautiful Keys last week, but not until enjoying a couple more anchorages after Boot Key. At Shell Key we tried our luck with the two-day Keys lobster mini season, but lobster was not to be on our menu. Rod did find a lobster laden trap that had lost it’s float. But since it’s clearly stated in the fishing regulations that it is a felony to take from a trap, we decided we could resist the temptation. We then spent two additional nights anchored at Elliott Key, swimming and snorkeling in the amazing water. We also thanked Zeus, Poseidon, and Neptune for protecting “Palachar” as we pulled that name off, and then asked for continued protection as we put the new letters of “Lucky Peek – Boise, ID” on the stern. It looks great!
We had thought we would stay at Elliott Key through that last weekend of July and arrive in Miami on Monday to avoid the additional weekend boat traffic. But the winds were in our favor to leave on Saturday. We sailed to Key Biscayne and anchored under sail in an anchorage in front of a house once owned by President Nixon that had a beautiful view of Miami across the bay. It was not by choice that we anchored under sail power – we do prefer to use the engine for maneuvering around other boats and then setting our anchor, but since our engine died and wouldn’t start we didn’t really have a choice. This was actually a repeat of how we had to anchor at Elliott Key. Houston, we have a problem. Rod had changed the primary fuel filter at Elliott Key, which seemed to fix the problem. Now he would change the secondary filter. Success! The engine started and ran just fine. We left Key Biscayne the following morning to sail “outside” (on the Atlantic, not the Intracoastal Waterway) to Ft. Lauderdale. We were relieved when the engine started easily that morning to help us out of the anchorage and then out the channel to the Atlantic. The winds were 10-15 knots and from the east, so we were in for a great sail north. We made good time during the first 4 hours, getting the boat sailing over 6 knots! Woo-hoo!!! The winds did drop off and shifted to the southeast which slowed our progress, but we still made it to the Port Everglades entrance channel to Ft. Lauderdale by 3:30pm. The seas were rocky from the wind and the boat traffic in the channel, but the engine started right up and we dropped the sails with confidence. That confidence lasted about 15 minutes. Then right as we are in between the break walls of the channel, our engine died. Hmmm… Not good. As in true sailor form, we shouted some choice expletives. I then used the momentum we still had to turn us into the wind so Rod could raise the main sail and unfurl the 150% genoa sail (whom we fondly refer to as “Jenny”). With the rocking waves and by now our slowed momentum, we were having difficulty getting the boat moving in the desired direction – back out to safer water. Of course, we had an audience of fisherman on the shore and onlookers from the charter fishing boats coming in around us. Then we got a personalized visit from the boys of the Coast Guard who must have been monitoring the channel from their small run-about boat. They came up alongside us and asked if everything was all right. Hmmmm… is everything all right? The answer to that was “No. Everything is not all right.” They were very, very nice and stayed at our side while we hailed the Boat US tow guys on VHF. Within just minutes the tow guys were at our side. We got the sails down, and the tow lines hooked up. Thus, our arrival in Ft. Lauderdale was just like the America’s Cup racers! They always get towed in! The only thing missing from our arrival were the cheering crowds welcoming us with sprays of champagne. Oh well. We were towed into the Bahia Mar marina, which is where we are now making arrangements for a mechanic to find the pesky air leak in our fuel system that’s causing the problem.
I should mention that the channels of Ft. Lauderdale are lined with multi-million dollar homes with mega-yachts parked out front. Their dinghies would surely cost more than our boat. We’re feeling a bit out of place here, but hey, our egos can take it. For a few days anyway. In the mean time, we are going to enjoy the local sites and rub elbows with the rich and corrupt.
Captains Log: 7/24/05 – Life on a Boat
So far, life on a boat has been busy. We have been “live-aboards” for a little more than a month now and we continue to learn how the boat systems work and how to troubleshoot and fix the variety of things that have needed repaired. This shake-down period has been more difficult and time-consuming than I expected. We have experienced frustration and anxiety and then sheer joy and satisfaction from determining the solution to a problem. They say that the cruising lifestyle is just a way to work on your boat in exotic locations. So now we are looking forward to getting to more exotic locations to continue our work.
What have we needed to repair or just simply maintain thus far?
Outboard motor for dinghy needed throttle cable/handle repaired.
Dinghy wasn’t holding air and it needed a new oar lock.
Head was smelly – and not from us. Bought a rebuild kit.
Oil needed changed, but we needed a drain tool constructed to make it easier to get the old oil out. Mechanic in St. Pete helped us with that.
Boat was taking on a tremendous amount of water – where was that pesky leak? Thought it was condensation from the air conditioning unit. It was putting some water in the bilge, but not at the pace the automatic bilge was coming on to pump it out (bilge was coming on every 2.5 minutes!). Thought it was the water heater leaking. Nope. Thought it was the water pressure pump which was leaking a lot, but were very disappointed when replacing that pump didn’t fix the problem. Finally, traced a mystery hose and found the source. Then with a simple turn of a Y valve we were no longer sinking. Whew.
Water pressure pump went out – replaced.
Automatic bilge pump was working erratically, which is concerning when you’re taking on water. But just so you know, for our safety, we have three back-up bilge systems, including a manual one. No, not a bucket. So we weren’t really going to sink, at least not quickly.
Refrigeration went out twice. Simple problems that we fixed.
Air conditioning went out twice, then worked, and is now out again. Nothing that we’re wasting any time with right now because we can only use the a/c when were are plugged in at a marina, which will be infrequently.
Fuel filters needed replaced.
For the first 3 weeks of living aboard in Ruskin and St. Petersburg, our typical day was to get up, have a bowl of cereal, work on items that needed fixed, get really hot and sweaty, discover something else that needs fixed, make some phone calls to get replacement parts, get even more hot and sweaty, contribute to the economy by shopping at the local West Marine, listen to the weather forecast to see where the next hurricane is forming, have a cold beer and some dinner and watch the sunset from our cockpit.
For the last 2 weeks of living aboard since leaving St. Pete, our typical day starts with a bowl of cereal, listen to the weather report, determine if our charted course for the day is still on given the weather, fix sandwiches to be eaten in route, set sail, marvel at the beauty of the water, have fun sailing, take turns napping while under way if we feel like it, study the charts of our course, occasionally get visited by dolphins, arrive at destination if all goes well, get the boat ship-shape, go for a swim in the turquoise waters, have a cold beer and some dinner (we try to use the Magma BBQ on the stern of our boat as much as possible so we don’t heat up the cabin of our boat by using our stove) and watch the sunset from out cockpit. Sprinkled in some of those days has been the need to fix things while under way.
I am currently reading “A Salty Piece of Land” by Jimmy Buffett, which is such a perfect book to be reading on a boat, especially as we sailed through the Keys. Rod is currently reading the Perkins Diesel Engine Mechanics Guide. Two days ago on approach to Elliott Key our engine konked out after showing some signs that the fuel filter was in need of changing. We anchored in the bay under sail – impressing ourselves – and then Rod proceeded to change the filter. What a relief and giant sense of satisfaction when the engine started – yay! But short-lived relief, when yet again today we had to sail into our anchorage because the engine pooped out. Signs are that the secondary fuel filter needed changed as well. Rod is working on that as I write this, which is challenging to do while my fingers are crossed.
I naively romanticized that I would just get on the boat and sail off with my pareau and hair blowing perfectly in the island breeze. It hasn’t been quite that simple as it’s been intermixed with some boat maintenance and troubleshooting. I guess there has to be some price for this lifestyle.
Captains Log: 7/25/05 – Thanks for the email!!!
Thank you so much for sending us email and your words of encouragement! It’s been great hearing from you and getting local update. Keep ’em coming! You have no idea how fun it is to hear from you! Sorry we can’t always respond quickly! We miss everyone!
Captains Log: 7/25/05 – Marathon, FL
We have been in the middle Keys on Boot Key since Saturday, July 23. We left Key West on Thursday, July 21 with the winds on our nose. We opted to motor into the wind rather than tack back and forth making little headway, but about 5 hours out of Key West, our engine over heated. Turn engine off, put sails up. Rod determined that the problem was an air bubble had been sucked into the raw water cooling system for the engine, causing not enough water to get to the engine to cool it. Hmmmm… what to do…. It was a bit too rough for him to crawl into the engine compartment and try to fix this while we were underway, so we opted to turn back to Key West. It was a very pleasant downwind sail back and we were able to make it back in about 3.5 hours in the ~15 knot winds on our back. I guess Key West just wasn’t ready for us to leave. We were going to attempt to anchor near the boneyard (see update below), which was a bit unnerving, but after we dropped our hook we were quickly visited by an anchored neighbor. A very nice Frenchman named Chris (Chreese) warned us that the holding in that area was not good at all. I replied that based on the boats on the beach that’s what we suspected. He graciously offered us one of his moorings for the night. He assured us that it would hold because he had put it there himself – about 275 pounds of anchor attached to about 600 pounds of steel from the nearby wreck on the bottom. With a wave and a French accented “You will rest well tonight”, he zoomed away in his dinghy back to his 60+ foot ketch moored behind us. We did rest very well that night and were able to get an early start the next morning when we determined that the engine running just a bit more was able to suck the air bubble through the system, so we didn’t need to burp it out after all.
Friday, July 20 we anchored at Bahia Honda State park, which was great because it was really our first short day on the water. We arrived there around 2pm and just hung out for the afternoon. Ahhhh… Saturday we arrived here in Marathon with a list of things to check on and fix. As I write this, Rod is doing the happy dance because he just discovered what has been causing us to be taking on water (which he has now fixed), and he fixed the refrigeration! Yay!!!! I helped him by holding a flashlight and confirming which hoses moved when he wiggled the other ends. Oh, I also pointed fans at him so he wouldn’t suffer heat exhaustion in the engine compartment. I play a very important role in maintaining these systems.
Weather report indicates westerly winds which are odd for this time of year here, but great for us. We plan to leave here tomorrow.
Captains Log: 7/20/05 – Key West, FL
Since our last update we have sailed over 180 nautical miles to arrive in the southern most point of the US. We are currently enjoying the turquoise waters of Key West and the other colorful sights – the people.
We did leave St. Petersburg on Thursday, July 14. Since we got such an early start on departure, leaving at 3pm, we anchored for the night just outside Tampa Bay at a little island called Egmont Key (state park). It was so great to finally be on our way! The anchorage ended up being a miserable night because the winds clocked around and we rocked and rolled on the swells all night. We then traveled to Venice, FL, spending a night there, then on to Boca Grande, at the entrance to Charlotte Harbor, where we had a beautiful night anchoring. We left early the next morning knowing that we had a long day to our next stop which was Marco Island. The winds were on our nose most of the way which slowed us down causing us to arrive after dark. Lesson learned – never arrive at your anchorage after dark. It’s very hard to see. What was on the charts as a great place to anchor had recently become a shoal (very shallow) due to storms. We continued to follow the channel marker signs – me on the bow with a flashlight calling back marker numbers to Rod. The large dredge barges that were anchored nearby should have given us some indication that something was amiss, but we trusted our chart so we continued. Until we ran aground. Oops. Luckily it was a sandy bottom and the tide was ripping in, so we were able to back off with the help of the tidal current. We did find a spot to drop anchor but weren’t comfortable with the conditions. So we turned Lucky Peek back to sea at 10:00pm and set our course for Key West – 80 miles south. Our first big crossing and we were going to experience the first part of it by the light of an almost full moon. After the previous two days of having the wind on our nose we were looking forward to the winds shifting around and blowing from the East allowing us to sail south quickly on a beam reach. We made a few phone calls to friends and family to file a “sail plan” so they would know when to expect to hear from us, then we established our watch schedule. I had a lot of adrenaline going so I took the first watch while Rod rested in the cockpit. Around 1:30am he got up for his watch and we agreed that we needed to reduce sail and slow the boat down from the 7+ knots that it had been averaging in the 15-20 knot winds. The winds on our beam were nice, but the seas on the beam made for a rockin’ sail – not the most comfortable to say the least. At 4am, seeing thunderstorms ahead of us, we decided to really slow the boat down by “heaving to”, which means we configured the sails to practically stop the boat. That resulted in a much more comfortable motion and allowed us a break from the previous 24 hours of sailing. Rod and I continued to take turns at the helm through the night and were relieved to see the light of day around 6am when we put the boat back on a full-speed course. A pod of about 40 dolphins welcomed us that morning by racing around the boat and playing in our bow wake as we approached our destination. So magical and cool and one of the sights that made the overnight passage worth it. . We reached the entrance channel to Key West at 3pm, but it took another two hours of motoring straight into the wind to travel the remaining 7 miles to the island. As the depth shallowed the water turned to an amazing, post-card shade of turquoise, providing the perfect backround for the tan shelled turtle that surfaced to greet us. We arrived safe and exhilarated, but sea-weary and exhausted.
Key West has been a fun place to spend a couple of days. The nightly sunset celebration on the waterfront is full of cruise ship tourists and local kooks doing their sidewalk shows for a living. Seeing the cash that gets deposited in their buckets it seems that they’re making a pretty good income by being crazy. Rod and I are brainstorming ideas for our sidewalk show so we can add to our cruising kitty. Too bad we didn’t bring our karaoke machine and Sonny and Cher outfits.
While in Key West we visited some of the typical tourist locations including the Earnest Hemmingway house, which is where he lived many years with his high-maintenance wife number 2 (or 3?) Pauline, and did much of his writing. There are still about 50 famous six-toed cats living on the property that are direct descendants of his cats. We also had an obligatory photo-opp at the Southernmost point of the US, which indicated that we were only 90 miles from Cuba! Our rental bicycles made it much easier to get around and we blended in with the other 2,000 cycling tourists.
On the weather front, we have had clear skies and hot temps. We are listening to reports of Tropical Storm Franklin which is forming off the coast of the Bahamas. From our boat we have a clear view of a beach littered with boats from the last hurricane. Very creepy. Go North, Franklin. Please go North.
Captains Log: 7/11/05 – Goodbye Dennis, Hello Emily
We survived Dennis without damage! Unfortunately, boats in a marina about a mile north of us weren’t so lucky. The Vinoy Marina, which didn’t have a break wall, was destroyed and a 61’ boat sank from the broken-up docks punching holes in it’s hull. Yikes. We took the advice of the locals and tied up our boat very securely and went inland. We stayed at Chris and Susan’s (in Orlando) for a couple of days and Moon was in heaven at what we now refer to as the Conrad Doggie Spa. Park (Chris and Susan’s 9 year old daughter) coaxed Moon into their pool for a swim with her, and it didn’t take any further encouragement for the many subsequent dips. After a tearful goodbye, we put Moon on an airplane Monday morning and she made it safely to Boise by 1pm. Alan reported that she was so happy to see him when he picked her up that she gave him her big Moonie smile. Although we are very sad to send her to foster care, we are relieved to know that she will be much more comfortable at the Nelson’s and will be treated in the royal manner in which she is accustomed.
We are now closely watching Tropical Storm Emily while planning our departure from St. Petersburg. At this point we are thinking that we will leave on Thursday and make some distance south before possibly having to duck into somewhere if Emily picks up steam and heads this way. She is currently on a southerly track so our fingers are crossed for that path to continue. As I write this Rod is sitting at the nav desk studying charts, anchorages, and listening to the weather guy who just provided the update that current offshore wind conditions are light at 2 knots and seas are low at only 2 feet swells. Hopefully those conditions hold for us on the nights that we’ll be on the hook.
We plan to go to the space coast tomorrow to watch the shuttle launch from Chris and Susan’s boat on Merritt Island near Cape Canaveral. Looking forward to being there to experience it in person, if it actually happens as scheduled. We will rent a car, drive it and the Trooper to their house, leave the Trooper there, then bring the rental car back to St. Pete. We will then be car-free, with one less key to manage, and ready to head out.
Stay tuned… Lisa
Captains Log: 7/7/05 – St. Petersburg, FL
We’ve been in St. Petersburg since last Friday, July 1 and it’s been great to experience a new place! St. Petersburg has been fun to explore and we are right next to the Salvador Dali Museum, which features the largest collection of Dali’s work outside of Spain. We visited the museum on the 4th. He was an amazing artist with work extending outside of his well-known surreal pieces.
Our arrival in St. Petersburg wasn’t as pleasant, however, due to a recent red tide. It was very sad, creepy, and stinky to be surrounded by dead fish as we were coming into the Harborage marina and we didn’t understand why all the casualties – the saddest and most abundent victims were the rays. We learned from the marina manager, and then regularly by the local news, that we were seeing the affects of one of the worst red tides in Tampa Bay history, where an algae bloom releases toxins that are deadly to sealife, All part of nature, but still quite sad (and did I mention stinky?).
One of the best parts of leaving Ruskin was leaving the no-see-ums behind. I was told by a local pharmacist that I must have sweet blood , which was causing them to be so attracted to me. At one point I had 184 bites. The red, swollen, very itchy welts were not the least bit comfortable and I made sure to share that discomfort with Rod and anyone else who cared, or didn’t care for that matter, to listen to me complain. And they were oh so attractive. Those large red bumps combined with the blue and green bruises that adorned my shins and thighs from finding all-things-sticking-out on the boat were almost enough to make me wear long pants. But that would have been just crazy in these temperatures and I’m not that crazy. Comfort won over vanity.
The wildlife here in Florida has been quite different from Idaho. Our first night here at the Harborage Marina in St. Petersburg we were visited by a six foot bull shark. (Sorry, Mom, that I didn’t tell you about this.) We had been warned that the dead fish were attracting sharks into the marina, and sure enough the one we saw swam right up to the back of our boat and circled around the immediate area for about an hour. Check out the pictures! The marina was on the local news for all of the reported shark sightings. And then just last night we saw “Walter” – an eight foot resident alligator that we’d heard about. We’re keeping Moon on a very short leash.
Speaking of Moon, she has requested to return home. She is just not adapting well to life on a boat. The heat is taking a toll on her, especially since she is not allowed to swim in the shark and alligator waters, and her aged hind legs are too weak to allow her to maneuver herself on/off and around the boat very well. Sadly, we have come the realization that this experience is not adding to her life, and is quite possibly taking away from it. Our good friends, Alan and Laura, have offered to be her foster parents while we continue on our journey. We are currently making arrangements to send her home via Delta airlines this weekend or early next week, depending on the heat since the airline will not allow her to fly if the temperatures are over 85 degrees during one of her flight transfers. This has been a very hard decision for us but we know that it’s the best one for her.
Rod and I, on the other hand, are adjusting quite well to living on the boat. We’ve had to do more minor maintenance on the boat than we expected upon arrival, and we (okay, not “we” – Rod is doing the work, but I am learning a few things – like the difference between vice grips and other clampy things that at first glance could be mistaken for vice grips) are getting more comfortable with the boat mechanics through the process. If there’s anything that I miss thus far it’s an ice maker. J
The last few items that we are repairing or having repaired are the outboard motor handle for the dinghy, the raw water pump for the diesel, and an oil changing pump out thing. See how much I’m learning! We met a great mechanic here in St. Pete that gave us a one-on-one overview on being kind to our diesel engine. If it weren’t for Dennis (latest hurricane brewing near Jamaica) we would be looking forward to heading out soon, but we’re going to sit tight until more favorable weather conditions prevail.
Tired of writing for now, and I’m sure you’re tired of reading. Until next time… Lisa
Captains Log: 06/28/2005 – Moving Aboard!
We made it to Little Harbor Marina, where our boat is currently docked, on Monday, June 20. We’ve spent the last week moving aboard in freakishly hot and humid temperatures, but we are getting acclimated. Rod has spent most of his time crawling around the bilge and engine compartment getting to know the “nuts and bolts” of our new home, while I’ve been trying to find all the nooks and crannies within which to stow our stuff. We took the boat sailing on Tampa Bay on Sunday for Rod’s birthday. Our first voyage went well and we were successful in getting the boat back into the slip on only the third try and without any damage. Whew. We plan on moving over to St. Petersburg in the next few days to finish the provisioning and maintenance before heading out. We will have better access to internet at that time and can provide a more detailed update then. ~ Fair Winds, Lisa.
Captains Log: 6/17/05 – Hayes Kansas Update
Yeah!!! We’ll be back on the road to Florida tomorrow (Saturday). Our truck is back in working order thanks the Great guys at Hays Ford.
We spent our week in Hays visiting the local sites and contributing to the local economy. The Hays area is rich in history based on the lore of Buffalo Bill Cody, Wild Bill Hickok, and General Alexander Hays. The westward migration provided the previously mentioned men plenty to shoot at, whether buffalo, outlaws, or Indians. The original townsite of Rome, about a mile West of the current site of Hays was founded by Buffalo Bill Cody and Wild Bill Hickok actually shot a man in a saloon in downtown Hays. We actually had lunch at that site. Charges against Hickok were dropped on the basis that the shooting occurred as part of his duties as a lawman.
Hays was the center of the largest population of Buffalo on the High Plains. There were once over 60 million buffalo roaming the Plains, providing an economic base for the Plains Indians and food for the westward migration. That population was ultimately decimated to the point of near extinction when only 300 remained. I am happy to report that we visited the local “herd” and viewed several young and healthy calves.
The site of Fort Hays provided a fun afternoon viewing military artifacts and remaining old structures including officers homes, the garrison, and an old sandstone defensive structure. The fort was a major post built to provide protection to immigrants from the local Indian population. I think close to two hundred soldiers were stationed at the Fort and many lost their lives protecting many of our ancestors. Highlights of the tour included a detailed display of artillery used during the mid 1800’s including a variety of cannonballs. I was surprised by the range and accuracy that could be achieved.
More modern sites we visited in Hays included Fort Hays State University, population 6,000, and the Sternburg Museum of Natural History. I was surprised to learn that, some 100+ million years ago, Kansas was part of a great sea and was populated not by buffalo but SHARKS! The museum has the bones to prove it! The Sternburg Museum is famous for its collection of marine and dinasour fossils collected within Kansas, including the FAMOUS Sternburg Fish-Within-A-Fish. Apparantly the big 15 foot dinafish had just completed a meal of a whole 5 foot fish before meeting a sudden demise and settling into the sandy bottom for later discovery. The fossil is a complete fish skeleton inside a much larger fish skeleton. I believe the large fish may have died of gluttony or choking. There were many other exhibits at the museum and any kid, young or old, will enjoy the dinasour exhibit including and animatronic life-size T-Rex.
Our unplanned stay in Hays has provided a great opportunity to relax and refresh ourselves between the hectic departure from Boise and the sure to be busy arrival at our new home. It is an interesting town full of history and a young and friendly population stereotypical of small-town mid-America. However, we are looking forward to moving on now. We expect to arrive in Florida by Monday evening so please keep your fingers crossed. ~Rod
Captains Log: 06/11/2005 – Temporary residents of Hays, Kanses
Car troubles have us awaiting repairs in Hays, Kansas while hurricane Arlene passes by “Lucky Peek” in Tampa. We got to experience a pretty wild thunderstorm last night but escaped the 7 tornados that had visited this area the night before. Chris and Susan checked on Lucky Peek this morning (thank you!!!) and reported that all is well and that Arlene has passed leaving sunny skies in Tampa. Whew! We expect to be here at the Hays Best Western through the weekend and into next week… ??? There is a university here so maybe we can take some classes.
Captains Log: 06/09/2005 – Departure from Boise
After 6 weeks of selling personal property, sorting, packing, storing, re-sorting, re-packing, etc., etc., we are on the road! We left Boise a couple days after our planned departure because at the 11th hour we sold our Hunter 26 along with our Ford Expedition (so the new owner could pull the boat!). We set off in our newly acquired Isuzu Trooper at 5pm on Wednesday, June 8 and I waved a final goodbye at Micron as we passed by on I84. By the 9th we had passed through 3 states and spent the night in Watkins, CO. The most important part of this log entry is to thank all of our friends and family who have helped us over the past few weeks. We absolutely could not have done this without all of you. From the frantic yard sale weekend to the exhausting days (and days) of moving out of our house, then to consuming the Nelson’s garage (and guest room) with an overwhelming amount of “stuff” for the final sort. We actually got most of it into our 4×8 U-haul trailer and only had to hide a few things in Alan and Laura’s house. Again, thanks everyone!
Captains Log: 06/03/2005 – A New Chapter
Today is a very strange day for me because it ends my 13+ year career at Micron. It is impossible to tell everyone goodbye in person, especially since some of you are sprinkled across the globe, so this message will have to take the place of a personal farewell. I’m not good at goodbyes anyway, so I will keep this brief…
Even though I am embarking on an adventure of a lifetime, it is bittersweet in that I’m leaving a rewarding job and a great number of friends that have not only been a wonderful support network over the years, but have provided me with many laughs and good times. Just like family, you can’t always pick your co-workers, but I’ve been fortunate in having worked with all of you. So, thank you for your professional support and personal friendship. When it comes time for the cruising chapter of our lives to end then I look forward to coming back to Boise and picking up again. ~Lisa