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Posted by on Friday, August 11, 2017 in Bahamas Anchorages, YouTube Videos | 2 comments

Miami To Bimini To Mackie Shoal To Great Harbour

Watch Video 33 here!

The time has arrived. Now, instead of making progress South down the protected waters of the Atlantic ICW, we must turn our little ship East, and head out into the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

In this video, we leave the USA, we check in at Bimini, we spend the night anchored on Mackie Shoal, then we finish up at Great Harbour in the Berry Islands… just in time for a monster cold front to hit us.

Fun stuff.

Oh, and get this… there’s sailing in this video.
GASP!!!

Sailing you say?? You heard right! We raise those white triangle-shaped pieces of cloth of begin making miles, not with the power of a diesel engine, but by that incredible, invisible force that has propelled ships over the horizon for thousands of years… wind.

1.19.17 Today we got up at 4 Am. I hardly slept last night because I was so nervous and excited about today, 4 AM came way too fast. We pulled up the anchor at 4:30 and were on our way. The sunrise over the ocean was beautiful. It was really weird to totally lose sight of land in our own little boat. The crossing was pretty good. We had some wind, but it was pretty much from in front of us the whole time, so we were motoring the entire way. I was afraid of getting sick, so I took some motion sickness meds that then made me really tired. Molly played down in the cabin for most of the trip. We let her sleep and she didn’t wake up until around 7. She played with her Legos and on the Kindle. She did come out into the cockpit for a bit to see what was going on. At one point, Sarah came over the VHF and said that there were whales to the North of us. We could see when they blew water out of their spouts and I (Tambi) saw one of their tales come out of the water. It was pretty cool. They were too far away for any photos or video though. It was pretty uneventful, except for the whales and when one of our Luci Solar Lights fell overboard and we turned around and had to scoop it out of the ocean with the net.

We made it to Bimini at 1:30. Ben and Andrew went ashore and got us all checked in. It is so beautiful here! We made it! It’s so exciting! Ben got in the water and cleaned about half of the bottom of the boat. Molly jumped in for a few seconds and then decided that it was too cold so she got out. There was also a pretty ripping current going through there. We were just hanging out and a police boat came by and asked all the anchored boats to move because larger boats needed to be able to get in. We really weren’t in an “anchor” spot, so we had to go. We moved to another anchorage right outside of the Bimini inlet. We will stay here tonight and will be moving to Mackie Shoal tomorrow. Moved from N 25*43.648 W 79*17.608 to N 25*43.309 W 79*18.301

Sunrise over the Atlantic

We just CAN’T believe how blue this water is!

Molly is ready to swim!

Our first sunset in the Bahamas!

1.20.17 Moved to Mackie Shoal today on the Grand Bahama Banks. We sailed a lot today. It was kinda choppy and we were heeled over a lot and I (Tambi) did not do very well, I felt super seasick. Also, it’s really weird to be anchored out with no land in sight.

N 25*40.061 W 78*38.822

1.21.17 We left Mackie Shoal today to get to Great Harbour. On our way we passed an island (Little Stirrup Cay), it looked REALLY familiar and there was a cruise ship anchored out next to it. As we got closer, we realized that it’s CoCo Cay, Royal Caribbean’s private island and we have actually been there on a cruise! It’s so weird to be seeing this on our own boat! On our way to Great Harbour, I got pretty sick today. It’s really been difficult to enjoy myself when I feel like this. Hopefully after time, I will get my “sea legs”. Ben was amazing! He did most of the sailing today by himself. We sailed 100% today, for 9 hours. It was such a relief to get anchored.

N 24*44.812 W 77*50.589

How weird is it to wake up in the middle of nowhere?

Sunrise over Mackie Shoal

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Posted by on Wednesday, August 9, 2017 in Florida, ICW Travel, YouTube Videos | 0 comments

Preparing For The Bahamas Crossing

Watch Video 32 here!

The time is nearly upon us to depart to the Bahamas!

Only a few last minute things to do now before we make the jump across the Gulf Stream towards Bimini.

Scary stuff. Yikes!

1.16.17 Moved to Dinner Key today and that means we finished the Atlantic ICW. 1089 Miles from Mile 0 in Norfolk. (See this at the end of  Video 31) Sarah and Andrew went to another anchorage until tomorrow, they’re going to meet us at Dinner Key.

We used the showers and laundry facility at the Dinner Key Marina, then we went to dinner with our new friends from Patron! They are such a great couple and we’ve really enjoyed getting to know them tonight! We got part of our Amazon shipment in today also, but my cable still hasn’t come in! URG! N 25*43.762 W 80*13.857

1.17.17 Today we went into town. We got the propane bottle filled, bought Ben a filet knife, and we went grocery shopping for the LAST time to provision for the Bahamas. We had quite a few UBER drivers today. One didn’t speak any english, one was such a crazy driver, she scared the crap out of us, and the third one was a very nice Cuban guy.

1.18.19 We just hung out on the boat for a little this morning and got things ready for the crossing. We spent the morning cleaning and organizing and got some last minute stuff done. Sarah and Andrew got here this morning and went into town for some last minute provisioning and will be moving over to No Name Harbor with us this afternoon.

We got moved over to No Name Harbor today. It was pretty packed in the harbor so we just anchored right outside of it. There were about 15-20 other boats hanging out there. Sarah and Andrew got here about an hour after us and we went over for a little bit to plan for the crossing tomorrow. I can’t believe it! We are leaving tomorrow for the Bahamas! Ben, Molly and I had a nice dinner at the restaurant in No Name, and we met with our new friends from Patron tonight to get the last of our packages from Amazon that finally came. I can’t believe that this is our LAST anchorage before we go to the Bahamas. It’s finally happening! N 25*40.538 W 80*09.917

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Posted by on Wednesday, August 9, 2017 in Florida, ICW Travel, Living Aboard, YouTube Videos | 0 comments

The Final Stretch Of The Atlantic ICW

Watch Video 31 here!

We’re stuck! Stuck in Miami.

Turns out that these winter “Northers” are no joke. Persistent, strong winds for days and days on end keeps us pinned down for over a week.

So, what do we do?

Well, we edit video, we homeschool, and we prepare for the upcoming Gulf Stream crossing… even though we’re not entirely sure when that will be.

Still, hope looms on the horizon in knowing that our next big move will be not South… but EAST!

1.5.17 Moved to a different part of the bay today. There is a lot of wind coming in and we don’t want to be out in the open. We found a little corner of the bay that will be really protected from the winds coming in. Also, I did a complete food inventory today of everything we have on the boat! N 25*48.554 W80*08.390

1.6.17 We walked to the Bank and the Grocery store today. The walk was about 1.5 miles one way. We had to get more cash for the Bahamas and wanted to get some more provisioning done. I got another blog post up today. It was my intention to be totally caught up with blog posts before we left for the Bahamas because I knew we would be here for a while with this wind coming in, but my computer had different thoughts. The battery died right after I got that last post up and when I tried to charge it, it would not charge! AHH! NO!! We think that the charging cable is bad, and that maybe the cheap inverter that we have has something to do with it. But that means that we needed to find a new cable before leaving, so we made an amazon order and had it sent to one of our lovely Patrons here in Miami that we had already planned on meeting up with.

1.7.17 Today we caught up on some homeschool and Ben filled up our water jugs. Ben and Molly did some sewing on our sail cover where the wenches are rubbing holes in them. There is a lot of strong wind is coming in tonight.

1.8.17 to 1.11.17 These days were just lazy days with nothing to do while being stuck on the boat in lots of wind. We did homeschool, played a lot of Kingdom Rush on the Kindle, Molly and Ben flew her kite from her cousin Khora, and Molly enjoyed a cup of hot chocolate. 

1.12.17 Today we got off the boat! We went for a walk in Miami and had a fantastic lunch! I mean it was just so good! Probably the best coleslaw that I’ve ever had. I also had one of their homemade pickles, and I don’t even like pickles! We each had a hamburger. It felt so good to get off the boat after being stuck for 6 days. After our walk, we hung out on the little beach that shows up at low tide before going back to the boat.

1.13.17 Andrew and Sarah on the boat Honeymooner got here last night. We originally met them in Jacksonville at Sarah’s Creek free dock. They are a really nice couple. Today they came over for a bit, then we all went into town. We took an UBER and went over to South Miami Beach. There we went to the beach and a scuba shop (where Andrew got a polespear). We also found Miami Ink!! I had to get photos of the place! We went inside and looked around. It was pretty cool. We went across the street and had yummy burgers for dinner and then we got an UBER back to the boat.

1.14.17 Ben and Molly went to get some more water in our water jugs today. They got lost and almost ran out of gas. I watched a few episodes of a show on Netflix while they were gone. We had a pretty lazy day just hanging out on the boat.

1.15.17 We hung out with Andrew and Sarah on their boat today, and we had dinner together on their boat. Ben and Andrew talked about the crossing over to Bimini. We hope to cross together. We’ve become fast friends with them. We really like them a lot. Molly has really taken to Sarah too. Tomorrow we are moving closer to Dinner Key.

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Posted by on Tuesday, August 8, 2017 in Florida, ICW Travel, Living Aboard, Visiting Family, YouTube Videos | 0 comments

The ICW Bridge Gauntlet Of Southern Florida

Watch Video 30 here!

South, South, and more South!

Things change the further South that you get along the ICW. The water gets clearer, the people get crazier, and the bridges become MUCH more numerous.

These changes occur quickly and dramatically right about the time you hit Jupiter, FL on a South-bound course. Try it, you’ll see.

In this post, we conquer dozens of opening bridges, we endure dozens of monster powerboat wakes, we get yelled at by emotional “panties-in-a-wad” bridge tenders, and we get THAT much closer to our “jumping off” point of Key Biscayne, FL.

C’mon crew… hang in there! Not far to go now.

So. Very. Close.

I can almost taste the conch salad.  🙂

12.26 Moving South down the ICW today. We went past my (Tambi’s) grandmothers old house on the Indian River. We anchored at Pine Island for the night. N27*43.229 W80*23.873

12.27 Anchored in Ft. Pierce today. I finally finished the closet shelves!! We made new friends on the boat Moxie. Travis and Jen, and their two Hudson and Vivian. Vivian is Molly’s age. They invited us over to their boat for drinks after dinner. The kids enjoyed spending time together, they played together and watched a movie while the adults chatted. N 27*28.195 W 80*19.535

12.28 Today we took an Uber ride to West Marine and we got lunch at Popeye’s Chicken. Yum! There was a beautiful sunset over Ft. Pierce. 

12.29 Moved to Jensen Beach today to hide from the strong North winds coming tonight and tomorrow. N27*14.955 W80*13.326

12.30 Stayed in Jensen beach today. Had a lazy day on the boat. What a beautiful sunset tonight!

12.31 New Years Eve! We moved to Lake Worth today. We found Claudie and Laurent on Dorenavent. We were invited to their friends boat Katmando (Phil and Gi-Gi) for the evening. We had a great time and enjoyed getting to know new friends! We got back to the boat before midnight and Ben went to bed, I stayed up and read my book. N 26*50.263 W 80*03.141

1.1.17 Happy New Year! We walked to West Marine and Ben got new free diving fins, and we all got new life jackets (thanks to one of our fantastic viewers!) Aunt Maryanna and Uncle Joe (Ben’s great Aunt and Uncle who live in Jupiter, Florida) picked us up from West Marine! They took us to Dunken Donuts, and Publix then we went back to their condo. We had pizza for lunch and we were able to take showers and use their washer and dryer. We really enjoyed meeting them and had a great time with them. They brought us back to our diggy and we said goodbye. We are leaving tomorrow for Lake Boca

1.2.17 We made it to Lake Boca today! It was such a long travel day! We went through 12 opening bridges and it took us 8 hours to get here! Baila’s here! Yay! Molly is so excited! We had left over pizza from Aunt Maryanna and Uncle Joe’s house for dinner tonight. After that we went over to another boat that Baila knows. Their boat name is Mariposa. They have two little girls who are around Molly’s age, give or take a year or two. The adults chatted in the cockpit and the kids played down below. They have a beautiful catamaran. We are leaving Lake Boca tomorrow. N 26*20.706 W 80*04.391

1.3.17 MIAMI!!! We made it! Yay!

Woah! Today was another long long day, 9 hours! We went through 16 opening bridges today! We saw a lot of iguana’s sitting on the fenders of all the bridges.

There is nowhere to get off the boat, so we just hung out tonight. N 25*47.612 W 80*10.594

1.4.17 Stayed on the boat and were lazy today. Did some boat projects and caught up on some homeschool. Pretty nice to be lazy and have a refresher day every once in awhile. There are some beautiful sunsets over the Miami skyline. Tomorrow we will move to another part of they bay. There is some pretty strong wind and rain coming in soon. 

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Posted by on Monday, August 7, 2017 in Boat Projects, Florida, ICW Travel, Visiting Family, YouTube Videos | 0 comments

VHF Woes, Christmas & Family in Titusville and Melbourne, Florida

Watch Video 29 here!

I thought we were done with boat work! Don’t you remember all the hot, sweaty work we did before departure? What gives?

Well, in this post Ben installs a new portlight, a new VHF antenna, wire, and transceiver unit. Sounds easy. It’s supposed to be easy, but why does boat work take 10 times as long as it should?

Probably not the most exciting stuff, but HEY, this is what it’s like when you live on a boat – particularly an old boat.

We spend time in Titusville with Baila and we visit some family in Melbourne.

In addition to that, we’re getting closer to a jump-off point for the Bahamas. Won’t be long until we’re staging for our first official crossing. Holy cow, that’s hard to believe…

Getting butterflies in my tummy just typing this up.

(watch the video and Ben will show you how to make a jong.)

12.15 Made it to Titusville today. We anchored by the Train bridge because there was a heavy north wind that was making it really choppy near the main anchorage. Baila is here! We finally caught up! N28*38.941 W80*49.007

12.16-19 Moved closer to the marina into the main anchorage today (12.16). We got fuel and water before we anchored. As we were getting fuel, Baila came to the dock on their way to take showers. We saw a lot of manatees too! There was one drinking the fresh water from a hose while there were divers down in the water.

We took showers and did laundry on the second day here.

We also walked to the grocery store twice while we were here. The save-a-lot is a great place to stock up on cans! They are anywhere from $.50-$.60 a piece! We stocked up on like 125 cans, lots of dry goods, and some other things that we needed. I reorganized some of our food storage places and found places for all that extra food we bought.

We hung out with the Baila crew a lot and met a new boat family. Drew, Jessica, and Marleigh (4) on the boat Wild Child. We also went to the marina’s Christmas party. The same day as the party there was a rocket launch. It was pretty cool.

On our last day here (12.19), we walked to get the propane tank refilled and went to a pizza place, Pistilli’s Bistro & Pizzeria, they made the best pizza we’ve ever had! We also took one more shower before we leave tomorrow. We got a lot of boat projects done/started also. Titusville turned out to be a lot better than we were originally thinking.

12.20 We wanted to leave Titusville today but the North wind was just crazy and the water was way too choppy. So we moved over back by the train bridge for the night. Hopefully we can leave here tomorrow.

Getting closer to Melbourne. We have some packages to pick up at Walmart from a wonderful person, and some packages of other things we needed that we had sent to my Aunt and Uncle’s house. We had a really lazy day today. I worked on the closet shelves some more. Fingers hurt! N28*38.949 W80*48.027

12.21 Went to Cocoa today and we stayed on the boat. Ben and I had an Ernest Saves Christmas movie date night. N28*10.480 W80*38.422

12.22 We are on our way to Melbourne today. We passed the rubble that used to be the great dragon of Dragon Point built in 1971. When I was a kid it was always fun to drive past the dragon. It fell apart and into the water a few years ago.

When we got to Melbourne we anchored near Ballard Park and the Eau Gallie Yacht Basin. Great place, but very shallow. We got stuck while trying to find somewhere to anchor, and Ben had me going from one side of the boat to the trying to rock us enough to get us unstuck.

We walked to the Ace Hardware and to the Boathouse Marine Discount store. Aunt Kim, Uncle Phil, and Khora came to eat dinner with us at the park. They brought fried chicken, salad, and Christmas cookies! It was really great to see them. Molly and Khora played on the playground. N28*07.478 W80*37.592

The Dragon Rubble

12.23 This morning we got up and had breakfast, then we went over to the Marina and got our bimini/dodger connecter worked on at the canvas shop. Then Aunt Kim picked us up and took us to Walmart for some groceries and to West Marine for a new VHF cable and antenna. Molly went to Aunt Kims house with her, and Ben and I put all the groceries away. I completely reorganized all of our settee cubbies and put all the food into the starboard side. Ben and I went to shore and took showers and washed a load of laundry. We went to Squid Lips for dinner with some of my family tonight. They gave us a ride back to the Yacht Basin Marina.

 

12.24 Christmas Eve! Today we just hung out on the boat and worked on some boat projects. I’m still working on the stinking closet shelves. Ben is working on the VHF antenna. We tried to attach the new cable to the old one and pull it through the mast, but that did not work. We spent hours trying to figure out how to get the cable through the mast. At the Marina, a nice guy named Jim that lives there, gave me some fresh herbs that he has been growing. We had a yummy dinner of chicken pot pie (I used some basil and lemon thyme from Jim!), then we watched family Christmas movie with Christmas treats. We had Christmas Tree cakes and hot chocolate.

12.25 Christmas Day! Happy Birthday Jesus! This morning we got up, put on some Christmas music, had some cinnamon bagels (instead of the traditional cinnamon rolls that we usually have, no refrigeration=no cinnamon rolls), and opened presents. Molly got me and Ben some sweet presents when she was with my mom and Ben’s mom during their visits. We got Molly some things when we went to the store in St. Simons.

After fun Christmas stuff it was time to get back to work. Ben got the VHF antenna put up on our radar pole. That’s the best place we can put it, since we can’t get it on the top of the mast. It’s better than nothing I guess. Uncle Phil came by to see the boat. We also went over to the Marina and washed another load of laundry. We talked to Jim while we were waiting on our clothes to dry. We took another shower tonight as well. We had yummy tacos tonight (used some of Jim’s cilantro) for dinner. We had a pretty good day. We are leaving tomorrow!

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Posted by on Monday, August 7, 2017 in Florida, ICW Travel, YouTube Videos | 0 comments

Pirates and Wenches of St. Augustine

Watch Video 28 here!

Aside from an absolutely ripping current running through the anchorage, our St. Augustine stop was just great!

What a wonderful city. It’s so well managed, so clean, so organized. The people are great, and it just seems like a city that really has it’s act together in all the right ways.

While there, the highlight of our stop was visiting the Pirate Museum. Molly was really excited about this place, so we just had to go. I’ve got to admit, it was lot’s of fun! Very informative, and the collection of pirate relics is beyond impressive.

We had loads of fun!

12.9 Today was a really cold day, coffee and hot chicken noodle soup made our day of travel so much easier. We made it to Sarah’s Creek and to our surprise, the anchorage is no longer there, however, there is a now a really great free dock you can tie up to. There is room for about 6 boats. There is really nothing close enough to walk to except for a public restroom (no showers) and a playground. There is a retired couple that we met who lives close by will take you to the store or anywhere you need to go for free. They are a very nice couple. They come by the dock at least once a day to check on the boaters and see if they need anything. We took Molly over to the playground and we played around. Molly played with a little boy named Aymeric and Ben and I talked with his dad. They invited us over to their boat later. We first met them very briefly when they anchored near us in St. Simons for a night. They are a French/Canadian couple with a 3 year old son, Claudie, Laurent, and their son’s name is Aymeric. Their boat name is Dorenavent. That night we went over to their boat and we had tea and got to know each other. We like them a lot and I hope that we can hang out some more! N30*23.888 W81*27.459

12.10 Today there was so much wind and such a strong current at the Sisters Dock we couldn’t get off the dock until slack tide. Because we didn’t get off the dock until early afternoon we couldn’t make it all the way to St. Augustine today like we wanted to. So we anchored in Shell Bluff Landing for tonight. Anchored next to us was the boat named Honeymooner, we also met them at the Sarah’s Creek free dock. We are going to St. Augustine tomorrow! N30*00.101 W81*20.182

12.11 We made it to St. Augustine today! When we got here, we got our things together and we went ashore to take showers and do laundry. After that, we took our stuff back to the boat and then went back to shore to walk around town. The town is so beautifully decorated. There are white Christmas lights everywhere. While walking around town, we ate dinner out, it was very good. We went back to the boat and Ben and I watched the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie tonight. It’s only fitting since we’re going to the Pirate Museum tomorrow!

12.12 Today we went back to town. We went to the post office to mail Molly’s post cards. Then we went to the Sailors Exchange store. After we went to the Sailors Exchange, we walked towards town and had lunch at Subway. After lunch we stopped at the Ponce De Leon Hotel (now Flagler College) to look around. It is a beautiful historic site and if you have the chance to stop by, you should. They have beautiful ceilings, windows and stained glass all throughout the facility, along with some beautiful architecture. After walking through the college, we walked to the Pirate Museum. On the way to the museum, we stopped at the cigar shop to get my Uncle Phil a present.

The Pirate Museum is such an awesome place! We loved it! We saw the world’s only surviving pirate treasure chest, the world’s oldest Jolly Roger flag, one of the prop swords used by Johnny Depp in the Pirates movies, and we “fired” a cannon. We had a really great time! After the museum, we went back to the boat to clean up and get ready to leave tomorrow.

12.13 It was a beautiful foggy morning today and we are on the move! While we were going down the river a US Customs boat came by dragging another boat behind it with two DNR boats following them with their lights flashing. The boat the customs boat was dragging had fake dummies in it. So they must have been doing some type of training. We heard fake gunshots and could also smell pepper spray in the air. It was pretty cool to see. We stopped at Fort Matanzas for the night. We tried to dinghy over to the fort to have a look around, but there were signs that said not to enter without a government employee present. Bummer. It was still cool to look at though. N29*43.019 W81*14.486

12.14 What a beautiful sunrise here in Fort Matanzas! We got up early to make the 38 miles to Daytona. We were ahead of schedule, so we skipped Daytona and stopped in Rockhouse Creek for the night. N29*03.691 W80*55.870

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