It was the beginning of a multi-day cold snap, which, sad to say, forced us back into jeans and sweatshirts until the weekend.
Although we had decided we were headed for the Keys (and therefore didn’t need to provision for several months), Pat and Fred still needed to stock up for their trip to the Bahamas while we still had a car for 2 more days. That meant an early start the next day (despite our post-midnight return), so we could make the most of the shopping.
We started the day heading south to Fort Lauderdale, where we had heard good things about Sailorman, a consignment store with a large inventory, and West Marine’s showcase store. With temperatures slowly climbing out of the 30’s, it was a little disconcerting to see that Sailorman had all of their large doors wide open to the cold breezes. We watched the employees huddle around heaters, while we browsed the shelves full of nautical supplies. Although Pat and Fred found some key components they were looking for, we came away empty-handed. West Marine lived up to its reputation, with aisle after aisle of every boater’s desire. We headed back north and made stops at a number of stores, such as Office Depot, Sam’s, Wal-mart, and even Brandsmart, an appliance/electronics store, where Pat and Fred found a new AM/FM radio/CD player that would replace their ailing unit.
We made it back home late, but were on our way before 9am the next morning, since we still had grocery shopping to do, and needed to find a fast internet connection to download some software and update that pesky website.
We had to return the car the next day, so we rejoined the community of bus-going travelers, leaving our decadent wheels behind.
Open Wide . . .
One thing that cruisers are hoping to avoid while away from their home turf is the need for medical or dental care. Dave wasn’t so lucky, when he discovered he had 2 problems with his teeth that were rapidly needing more attention. After getting a recommendation from another liveaboard on the dock, we checked with our home dentist for additional recommendations as well. Not knowing how many visits would be required to solve the problems, but not wanting to commit to having work done by someone he didn’t know, he made an appointment to simply have the problem looked at, but have no actual work done. Dr. LeConte at the Spa for Cosmetic Dentistry was very accommodating, agreeing to see Dave the same day, and not charging him for the initial diagnostic visit.
The “spa” part of the dentist’s practice was an added bonus. As Dave was running late after making a wrong turn to get the office, he called to get better directions and was immediately encouraged to “take your time” and not to worry about being late. Upon his arrival, Dave was offered tea while Indian sitar music played in the background. When he had the work done on his teeth, he was treated to a hand massage and given noise deadening headphones with a pep-talk speaker to distract him from the procedure.
Overall, Dave was pleased with the work done, which was completed in a single visit and for a reasonable cost.
Watercolors in Lake Worth
Since Fred’s smaller outboard was no longer working, and our dinghy was too small to accommodate all 4 of us for a dinghy trip to the anchorage, we decided to put our motor on Marianna’s dinghy in order to make the trip possible. We enjoyed a wonderful evening with Jed and Page, and were joined by Jerry from Sea Bird, whom we had met back in Cape Canaveral.
Jed and Page were heading out the next morning for Fort Lauderdale and the Keys, so we said goodbye for now, fully expecting that we’ll see them again down the road.
The time finally came for Pat and Fred to pull out of the marina and head to the anchorage as a final staging ground for their departure to the Bahamas. It was hard to believe that they wouldn’t be next door or on the radio when we wanted to talk. We waved goodbye, but promised to see each other in the spring as we both headed north. We will miss them.
Shortly before Pat and Fred left, we heard Bonnie Lass on the radio, navigating one of the many bridges that lead into Lake Worth. We called them to say hello, and found they were planning on crossing the next day to the Bahamas. It was therefore a big surprise when we received a phone call the next day from Graham, asking about recommendations for a local Yanmar engine mechanic. He needed to have his new engine checked out after 50 hours, something he had just discovered the night before their planned departure for the Bahamas. Their disappointment at missing the weather window was mitigated by both of our delight at the prospect of spending some time together at the marina. They pulled into the slip that Marianna had recently vacated in order to await the visit from the Yanmar mechanic.
We now look forward to several more days of catching up and spending time together.
We had to do some boat work since we had put another 100 hours on the engine since our last oil change. So, we did a fuel filter change, an oil change, and had our neighbor (Capt. Fred, the Marine Proctologist) clean Orion’s bottom and change the zinc. Cathy also refinished the teak on the swim ladder steps.
Since another new year has arrived, we once again got a Power Squadron Vessel Safety Check done so that we could receive the 2008 sticker and hopefully avoid any Coast Guard boardings for the year.
On to the Keys?
We’ve spoken to Joy on Slow Dancin’, who along with Interlude and Fortunate are on mooring balls in Marathon, where they’ve been for a week or so. Since they will be there for another couple of months at least, we cemented our decision to head south to the Keys and join them. Once we have spent the week with Bonnie Lass, we’ll move out of the marina and make our way south to Miami and on to the Keys.
It will be strange to be moving again. . .