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Posted by on Thursday, October 18, 2018 in Florida, ICW Travel, YouTube Videos | 0 comments

Tam’s Fab FL Fam & 4th Of July Fireworks

Watch Episode 70 here!

Pine Island, Tambi’s Family, Fireworks, & Harry Potter. That would be a fitting title for this episode, because that’s essentially what you’ll see in this post.

Lot’s more ICW travel. Yes, the goodship Sandflea has been reduced to a motorboat now that we are traveling the confining waters of the ICW. It’s alright though – it’s all part of the adventure.

We stop at Pine Island for a night. Pretty secluded place, and a nice anchorage as long as you aren’t planning on getting of the boat.

From there, it’s onward to Melbourne, Florida. That’s the land where Tambi’s kin reside. Tambi’s kin are a little crazy, by the way. Also, you’ll get to see the person that Molly inherited her dancing genes from. I’ll keep that bit as a surprise.

There are fireworks and festivities. There are chick wings and hotdogs. Yes , a grand time was enjoyed while we were anchored in the Eau Gallie Yacht Basin in Melbourne, Fl.

After all that stuff, we weigh anchor and continue our trek North towards Green Cove Springs.

Then there’s a bit of lightning. I hate lightning…

-Ben

7.3.17 We are back at Pine Island, where we anchored for the night. N 27*43.220 W 80*23.886

7.4.17 Happy 4th of July! Today we moved to Eau Gallie Yacht basin. Right back in the same spot we were in on the way South. N 28*07.476 W 80*37.611

My Mom picked us up at the marina and took us to Aunt Kim’s house. We ate, and hung out. There was swimming and fireworks. It was a great time! Then they took us back to the boat.

7.5.17  Today my childhood friend Gary came to the park and we spent some time hanging out and talking. I haven’t seen him in 5 years. After that Aunt Kim picked us up and we went to lunch at Chic-Fil-A! It was so good! Then we went shopping at walmart. Aunt Kim dropped us off at the boat and took Molly to her house for a sleepover with Khora, my cousins daughter. Ben and I ordered Chinese food, they delivered it to the park and we watched Harry Potter number 5.

The kids watched a rocket take off today.

They also had a princess dinner. They are just the cutest.

7.6.17 Today we cleaned up on the boat. Then Aunt Kim picked us up. We went to Academy Sports. Then we went back to her house. We had lunch then the girls went swimming. Ben and I took showers and Molly got a shower. Then we went to dinner at Wagon Wheel Pizza. They dropped us off at the boat after dinner. We are heading out tomorrow.

7.7.17 We made it to Titusville today. N 28*38.951 W 80*48.704

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Posted by on Wednesday, October 17, 2018 in Florida, ICW Travel, YouTube Videos | 0 comments

Topless Tambi At Nautical Pickers In Manatee Pocket

Watch Episode 69 here!

While exploring Manatee Pocket in Stuart, FL we discovered a topless sculpture of Tambi on the wall of Nautical Pickers.

Even though it was very tastefully done, it was still surprising to happen upon it.

Let’s see – Manatee Pocket is a place we stayed for 2 nights. Nice little anchorage. I liked it there. Good place to fuel up, grab groceries, and even make a stop at the Nautical Pickers Marine Consignment Shop to replace 3 fenders that we lost in the Bahamas.

I will say that it was a bit alarming to see so many nude sculptures of Tambi scattered around Manatee Pocket. I mean, she’s a good lookin’ lady and all, but what’s with this town’s obsession with my brides curvy bod?

Regardless of that, it was a neat place to stop, and I can definitely see going back there sometime and hanging out a while longer. When we left Manatee Pocket, we started the long run North up the Indian River. We make it as far as Fort Pierce.

Have you been there before? The most recognizable feature of the anchorage is the sailboat that was humiliatingly turned into a floating billboard.

-Ben

6.30.17 Today we left Lake Worth for Manatee Pocket. N 27*09.178 W 80*11.732

7.1.17 Today we went ashore to do some errands. We stopped at Nautical Pickers and picked up 3 new-to-us fenders because we lost ours in the Bahamas. I got a pair of gloves and we got two 12 volt sockets. Then we went to a thrift store and got Molly two new pairs of shorts. Hers are getting a little small. Then we ate lunch at a yummy Mexican restaurant. After that we went shopping at the Green Apple Produce Market. It was a great produce spot.

7.2.17 Today we left at noon for Ft. Pierce. We anchored for the night. N 27*28.220 W 80*19.515

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Posted by on Tuesday, September 25, 2018 in Information | 2 comments

Customs and Immigration Information

When you get back to the states from the Bahamas you will need to report into the US Customs and Immigration office. Go here to see the Pleasure Boat Reporting Requirements.

One thing you should know before you go, that we didn’t know, is that before you leave the US you should purchase a User Fee Decal for your boat. For information and directions on how to apply for your decal go to the U.S. Custom and Border Protection website. This decal is good for one calendar year, meaning January 1-December 31. This decal cost is $28.24. Apparently, if you have this decal, you do not need to appear in person to check in, you just need to call the Small vessel Reporting number and you may check in that way. DO NOT take my word on that. It’s all very confusing sometimes, and things seam to change sometimes without your knowledge.

As of April 2018 there is a new App called ROAM that you can get on your Apple or Android device that you can also check in with. SVRS (Small Vessel Reporting System) is no longer in use. We do not have any experience with either of these programs.

Carolyn at The Boat Galley has a great article about the ROAM app. Check it out here!

When we arrived back in the states, we came in the Palm Beach Inlet by Peanut Island, Florida.  When we had anchored, I called the Small Vessel Reporting phone number, 1800-432-1216, (This is when I found out we should have gotten the decal before we left). The people on the phone were very helpful and quick. The agent I spoke to, took information for everyone onboard.

The information they wanted was:
Name
Date of Birth
Passport Number
Expiration Date

They also asked for information on our boat:
Boat Registration Number
Make
Model
Size
User Fee Decal Number

After they received all our information, the agent gave me an arrival number, which you must bring with you when you check in at the customs office in person. At the immigration office, they also needed to see our passports. Once you call you will have 24 hours to report in person at a customs office if that is required of you.

Sorry about the glare! Photos of the immigration office signs in the window.

Before you decide when to make the trip back to the states, make sure that you know what office you will be going to (if you will be reporting in person) and what their hours of operation are.

We anchored right next to a reporting office. The only issue with that, is we got back to the states on a Saturday, and that office is not open on Sundays…. so we had to find another office to report to in person. The agent on the phone told us there was another office at the airport that we could check in at. The only issue with that, was that we had to get an UBER ride which was about a 20 minute drive, when it could have been a 2 minute walk.

In conclusion, just be sure to do your research on the inlet you will be entering and what customs office you will be reporting to. I hope that everything I’ve said here is helpful to you if you are checking back in after your wonderful trip to the Bahamas. This year, we will be trying out the new ROAM app. I’ve read that it’s a simple and easy process and can’t wait to try it out! We’ll save the money we would spend on an UBER ride to check in and go to a nice restaurant when we return! 🙂

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Posted by on Tuesday, September 25, 2018 in Florida, ICW Travel, YouTube Videos | 0 comments

Checking In With USA Customs & Immigration

Watch Episode 68 Here!

In this post, we check into the United States by visiting the Customs And Immigrations Office in West Palm, FL.

Time to get checked in, grab a load of groceries, and start heading North a bit towards Green Cove Springs.

In this video we adjust back into the ICW life. We also enjoy the first REAL hamburger that we’v had in the last year. It’s. So. GOOD.

Also, we all nearly freeze to death while we’re in the grocery store. The AC is SO COLD! Plus we’re still used to an average temperature of 90 degrees… anything less than that and things start to get… perky.

-Ben

6.25.17 Today we got up and took an UBER to the airport where we “checked in” at the customs and immigration office. Then we took an UBER back to the marina. We got lunch there, it was really great.

When we got back to the boat we left for Lake Worth. The boats around Peanut Island is a crazy mad house! Lake Worth is much calmer. N 26*50.234 W 80*03.171

We took the dinghy to shore and got some groceries at Publix.

**Sadly, at the end of August our phone died, and we lost ALL of our photos from the end of June through most of August. I literally cried.**

6.26.17 Today we went to town again. We went to walk around the shopping center. We went through and amazing store called Tuesday Mornings! I love it! Then we had a yummy lunch at Duffy’s Sports Bar. Then we went back to Publix to get some more things because we couldn’t carry it all yesterday.

6.27.17 We went to town again today. Ben’s Teva’s finally bit the dust, he was so very sad. Ben needed to get some emergency flops at CVS. Then we walked to West Marine, there was a pizza place next door so we stopped and ate lunch. It was really yummy! Then we went into West Marine and found some new Teva’s on clearance. After that, we got an UBER to Walmart. We got some things we needed then we walked to Lowes. We got a switch because Ben’s fan is broken and he’s trying to fix it. We got another UBER back to Publix and from there we walked back to the dinghy.

6.28.17 Today we went to Duffy’s for lunch again. Kids eat free on Wednesday! Then we went back to Publix for one more shopping trip. We watched some Office tonight. It’s so great to have Netflix back!

6.29.17 Today we went to Publix where Aunt Marianna and Uncle Joe picked us up. We went back to West Marine where Ben got a new fan because he couldn’t fix his. After that we picked up pizza (Yumm!) and went back to their place. We ate pizza, did two loads of laundry and took showers. It was wonderful to spend time with them again! We came back to the boat and Ben put up his fan. I made the beds. Then we had left over pizza for dinner. Ben and I watched the Office again. We are headed out tomorrow.

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Posted by on Saturday, September 22, 2018 in Bahamas Anchorages, Florida, Frustrations, YouTube Videos | 0 comments

Sailing Westbound Across The Gulf Stream

In this post, we sail our Endeavour 32 westbound across the Gulf Stream towards West Palm, FL.

In this post, we make a big mistake…

…we go back to the States.

Well, that’s my (Ben’s) opinion anyways.

Yes, it’s sad but true. We cross the Gulf Stream from East to West and we wind up back in the land of brown water.

It’s actually a little more complicated than that because it really takes us 2 attempts to safely cross the Gulf Stream. The first time to try it, the swell was just ridiculous once we got 5 miles away from Bimini, so we turned around and spend 1 extra night in the Bahamas. It wasn’t as great as it sounds though because the anchorage was very rolly. Ah well.

The next day we get up and the seas had calmed down. Unfortunately the wind had also disappeared, so a motorboat ride it was as we made the 75 miles crossing from Bimini to West Palm.

Lastly, I hope you can still enjoy the video even though a massive booger is visible during a good portion of the footage.

That’s all.

-Ben

6.23.17 We got up at 5AM to leave for Florida. Between the wind direction, the waves, and the swell it was so uncomfortable. We just couldn’t continue. We turned around at 7AM.

We didn’t get anchored again until 11:45. We were roaming around Bimini trying to find a place to anchor that wasn’t rolly, or crowded, or right in the channel. It was so super stressful and by the end I was crying. We just had to pick a place to anchor. It wasn’t the best place, but it was all we had, and I was tired of circling.  N 25*43.849 W 79*17.884

I know we’re sitting anchored in this beautiful anchorage and we are so lucky to be here, but I just can’t be here anymore. I am missing my family and friends at home. It’s been such a long 9 months. It’s been such a wonderful 9 months! I can’t believe that this amazing trip is coming to an end, and in a way, I’m perfectly ok with it coming to an end.

We were so tired, and stressed, and wore out we watched two movies today. The first one was Big Hero 6 and the second was Moana.

We’re going to try to make it to Florida again tomorrow.

 

6.24.17 Today, we got up at 5AM again to try and cross to Florida. Last night I didn’t sleep very well between the swell and the party on the beach it was impossible to stay asleep.

We left for Florida at 5:30, it was a pretty uneventful motor sail back. We made it back to Florida at 3:30. It feels so good to be back in the states!

About an hour and a half before we made it to the inlet we were boarded by the coastguard. They wanted to see the engine compartment and the bilge. They wanted to make sure that our flairs and our fire extinguisher were up to date. They checked all of our storage spaces and wanted to make sure we had all of our paperwork. They also took a peek at our passports to be sure that we were legal.

When we came through the cut we anchored South of Peanut Island. N 26*45.887 W 80*02.831

I called the customs office and we were cleared. Tomorrow, we have to go to the airport and check in, in person. We watched Finding Nemo tonight.

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