Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sunset Bay Marina in Stuart

We arrived in Stuart FL yesterday - on the east coast again.  Norm promptly went to work with his head down in the bilge working on plumbing.  It turns out that one of the blades in the impeller inside the mascerator had a hole in it, so wasn't able to move the waste out of the boat.  The boat smelled like a sewer while being worked on, but is fine now.  Luckly, or plannily, Norm had a spare mascerator.  The old one will be rebuilt so that once again we will have a spare.  Next up - what is that funny sound near the starboard engine?  The mechanic figured out it was a problem with the alternator  - a new one is on its way and will be installed on Saturday.  So, all problems are at bay on Tide Hiker.  We get to enjoy a few days at the lovely Sunset Bay marina over the Memorial Day weekend.

Had a great cocktail hour and dinner with friends who are also here - Joe Nekola on Sea Pearl, Nelson aboard Isolde, Nancy and Steve whom we just met aboard Salty Turtle.  Ron and Charma were also with us last night, but left today to head back to Apollo Beach.  It 's great to connect with them all again.  Gotta go - time for cocktail hour at Sailor's Return.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Endless Class Reunion

We're in Clewiston on the west coast of Lake Okeechobee, crossing the lake to Stuart tomorrow where we'll meet up with Joe Nekola and Ron and Charma Owens.  No tar balls in sight today!  We did escape a thunderstorm by docking 30 minutes before it arrived.  Several boats arrived in the thick of the wind and we ran out to help them dock. We enjoyed a cocktail with them at the tiki bar and found out they used to be members of the DeFever Cruisers group and know many of the people we do - they spent some time recently with Joe Nekola in the Bahamas.  Too cool to always be running into someone we know while cruising or someone who knows someone we know-- it's like an endless class reunion --- or maybe not.  Anyway, it's good to be on the water again - there's no experience quite like it.

The Dancing with the Stars finale is tonight - all 3 hours of it.  (Norm is thrilled.)  Go Nicole and Derek! 

Monday, May 24, 2010

Back On The Water Again

We're baaaaaaack!!

Yes, we're back on the water again.  This is our second cruise day after leaving Apollo Beach, FL yesterday morning.  We're currently anchored off Useppa Island.  This anchorage is a bit exposed, but the forecast calls for mild weather tonight.  Useppa you ask?  Why are you South you ask?  Wern't you going North to the Tennessee River you ask?  Yes, we were.  But, thanks to BP, our esteemed government, and the rest of the incompentent bandits responsible for that disasterous oil spill, we must ESCAPE.  Our intended route across the Gulf of Mexico to Mobile Bay and up the inland rivers was "scrapped" in favor of safer environs.  While we might have beat the oil to Mobile Bay, we're not sure it won't be there when we try to return to the Gulf later.  So, we'll retrace out steps down to Ft Myers, across the Okeechobee Waterway and up the East coast to the Chesapeake for the summer.  As most of you know, our insurance requires us to be North of Florida's hurricane season before July 1.

The powers of suggestion are alive and well,   Yesterday, as we cruised down the Intracoastal Waterway Norm thought he saw a "tar ball".  Of course it was only a bag in the water.  We got a laugh out of that.

Also, many of you know we were in Apollo Beach much longer than expected.  Our hosts there, Ron and Charma Owens were awesome.  They allowed us to dock Tide Hiker at their place while they docked Waypoint (thier boat) at a neighbor's.  We were only supposed to be there while Ron did some work on Tide Hiker (he's an accomplished carpenter and electrician, among other boat maintenance skills) while we completed some previously arranged travel.  But, when Vicki's mom unexpectantly required assistance, we needed additional time. Even though we were planning to move over to the local marina,   Ron and Charma accomodated our dilemna with smiles, generousity.  We will never forget their kindness and friendship.  And, the work Ron did on Tide Hiker, was supurb!  Thanks Ron and Charma!

Being in Apollo Beach had some additional benefits.  Norm's aunt and uncle live in Sun City Center, just 5 or so miles south.  And a friend he worked with in NYC in the 70's lives just an hour north.  Norm was able to visit his relatives several times and get reacquainted with his friend after 30 years.  Awesome!

That's all for this update.  Thanks for tuning in and come back from time to time, see our progress on Google Maps when we enter them and read about our adventures.