Sunday, December 6, 2015

November: Eau Gallie, Melbourne, Vero Beach, Melbourne

Saturday, October 31

Friends from our sailing club back in New Bern arrived and anchored nearby. That afternoon Brian, George, Doug, and Tom walked to town. That evening the adults met at a restaurant on the water called Squid Lips for dinner.

The next morning our friends left to head on down to Vero Beach, FL where we would meet up with them closer to Thanksgiving.

The first week of November was filled with school work, time at the library, jobs on the boat and at my parents house.  The main boat project was the replacement of the opening windows in the boat.

Brian also replaced the bathroom sink at my parents.

We trekked over the Eau Gallie causeway bridge several times to go to the beach.

Saturday, November 7

The boys and I were at my parents having lunch, when my sister-in-law called and invited up up to Titusville to see their new house. We loaded up in two cars and drove the 30some minutes to see them.  They were finishing up a garage sale. We toured the house, then all headed over to Woody's BBQ Restaurant.

Week of November 8-14

Monday and Tuesday I spent at my parents helping declutter and take donations to Salvation Army.

The coming up weekend was a boating convention called a GAM put on by the Seven Seas Cruising Association.  Our friend Ben, who we had met back in Annapolis over the summer, arrived for the Gam and and stopped by for a visit.  Wednesday morning he invited Brian and I to his boat to go over charts.

Thursday afternoon, the boys left to spend the weekend with my parents. That evening we attended the first informal seminar of the Gam.  It was on going to the Bahamas. Everyone who has been, keep encouraging us to go. After listening to more indepth talk, we made a final decision not to try and go this year. 

About 30 boats came in for the Gam

Several dinghy's tied up to the dock
The Gam was held at the Civic Center

Friday and Saturday was spent sitting in seminars covering a multitude of sailing topics. Engine maintenance, Emergency situations, Rigging, Sailing to Cuba, and much more.

Sunday morning there was a Flea Market, and in the afternoon a picnic for the HAM Radio folks.  We are not in that group right now, but have many friends who are.

Week of November 15-21

The boys continue to do school each weekday morning. Mom picked me up to grocery shop Monday.

Tuesday morning we pulled anchor and moved about 5 miles down the Indian River to anchor near the Melbourne Causeway bridge.  We dinghied to shore and got pizza for dinner.

Wednesday afternoon the boys walked to my parents and ended up staying overnight.

Friday morning we moved the boat to the other side of the bridge for better wind protection.  We were greeted by a water jet show.

Saturday Nathan and I went to Mom and Dad's to make bierocks and do laundry. A big rain shower started soon after we got the clothes hung on the line.  Usually in FL rain showers are short lived, not this one.  We ended up taking everything to the laundry mat located in the park and used the dryers. Then loaded everything up and went back to the boat.

Week of November 22-28

Sunday afternoon Brian and I walk to my parents for a visit and a short goodbye, as we were leaving the next day to go to Vero Beach for Thanksgiving.

Monday we had the anchor up by 7am and arrived in Vero at noon.
Our club friend, Doug, heard us calling the marina and met us in his dinghy and led us to our mooring ball.

As a surprise gift to us, Doug, Ben, Tom and Ollie each paid one night for a total of three nights we could be on a mooring ball and have use of the marina facilities.

After getting settled, we went to shore and walked to the beach. It was too chilly to get in, but always nice to see the waves crashing from the boardwalk.

Tuesday evening we had all our friends over for dinner as a thank you.

Vero Beach offers a free bus system that we took advantage of for checking out the town and picking up supplies.

Wednesday I made a couple pumpkin pies and a pan of scalloped potatoes for the Sailors Thanksgiving potluck the following day.  We try not to have too much glass on the boat to prevent breakage, so I only had one traditional pie plate. So I improvised and used my 8x8 aluminum pan.

That evening our friend Tom drove us to Little Caesars for pizza for dinner.

Thanksgiving Day
Early that morning we moved off the mooring and anchored on the other side of the bridge.

At 10am we met to help set up the River House community center where the dinner was to be held at 2pm.  There were so many helpers it was set up before we arrived.  We staked out our table and visited with those around us.

Dinner was delicious and there was plenty of food for the 200 sailors.
After the meal, there was a Jam session/sing along out on the patio.

That evening back on the boat, the phone rang. One of the many people we had been introduced to called to invite our family to their boat the next morning.

Friday morning we dinghied over to Tamure and were treated to a slide show of Scott and Kitty Kuhner and their two sons on a four year circumnavigation back in 1987-1991.

Back on our boat, we decided to move again and anchor back behind the mooring field in a protected channel.

Saturday morning I got word from my mom that she had taken Dad to the ER.  After much testing, he was admitted to the hospital with congestive heart failure.  Not being able to be there was hard. We made plans to move the boat back to Melbourne at the first weather window.  If it had been truly life or death imminently, I could of had a friend drive me up.

That afternoon, we went to the Vero Beach Art Museum, where it was free admission that day.  There was a special gallery of Lego sculptures.

This one reminds me of Nathan.

Friday afternoon, we had taken the bus to town and bought a turkey and a few other groceries. As much as we loved the Sailors Potluck, we missed having turkey leftovers. So we bought the smallest one we could find, which was still a 13 lb bird.

I managed to squeeze it into my pressure cooker and once up to pressure, it only took 40 minutes of cooking!

So Saturday night we had a second thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings, except pumpkin pie.

Week of November 29-December 5

Sunday was just spent mainly on the boat. A true day of rest.  Brian and the boys took turns going out in the kayak.  Mom let us know that Dad's heart was beating at 30%.  As alarming as it sounds, my friend later explained to me that the heart only beats at 50% anyway. So the 30% is based out of 50 and not 100%. This is because the heart is divided into two sections, half pumping blood in and half pumping blood out.

Monday was back to school work for the boys.  Brian and I went to town for last minute provisions. We were planning to leave the next morning to head back to Melbourne.

Mom let me know that she had signed the consent forms for Dad to have a procedure to have a heart catheter put in to see what exactly is going on with Dad's heart.

Tuesday morning we left a little after 6:30am. It took an extra hour because we were going against the current, but we still made it back by noon.  Mom let me know part way there that the surgery had been cancelled, due to Dad not cooperating.  To me, it was a huge relief.

Once anchored, mom picked me up and I went to visit Dad.  He looked good. Sitting up in bed, eating a sandwich.

Wednesday morning mom picked up Brian and I at 7:30am.  We wanted to be there for when the Dr. came by on his rounds. I talked with Dad and asked him if he would ever want surgery to check on his heart and then additional surgeries to fix whatever they might find.  He said no.  At 86 he has lived a long, full life. We want to honor his wishes and not force anything he does not want. My mom, brother, Shaun and sisters' all agreed. With no consent to ANY surgeries, there was no need to stay in the hospital.  We requested they begin discharge proceedings.

The Dr. came in and understood and by 11am they were wheeling Dad out the door.  He was very happy.

Back home, Dad resettled back in his chair, we started a load of laundry, then headed back to the boat to the boys.

Thursday mom picked up Jacob and I. Jacob stayed at the house with Dad, while she and I went grocery shopping.

Back at the boat we moved across the river to be more protected from the strong winds predicted over the weekend.

It rained all afternoon, all night, and part of Friday morning.  We had left the dinghy in the water. (We had begun lifting it out of the water on the side of the boat on halyards.) The dinghy was so full of fresh rain water we decided to do laundry.  We figure there was at least 50 gallons, since we filled our 5 gallon bucket about 10 times.

That afternoon, Brian, Nathan, and I walked 5 miles to the Red Robin Restaurant for Nathan to get his free birthday burger. We then met Mom and Dad across the street at Steak and Shake where they got milkshakes. From there it was back to their house to put together a birthday dessert, then abck to the boat.

Saturday was Nathan's 10th and my 41st birthday. We spent the morning at the beach, back tot he boat for lunch, then we all walked to Mom and Dad's for haircuts and birthday dinner.

That's what we have been up to for the past month. 
Thank you for your patience with me in taking so long for a blog update!

Friday, October 30, 2015

10 Days To Florida

Sunday, October 18

We woke up and went to the clubhouse for breakfast. Michael Kirkman made his famous pancakes. A little before 9 we headed back to the boat and got ready to head out.  We had  a nice crew to come down and see us off.

We passed the camera and had a family picture taken.

You can see from the sweats, jeans and jackets, it was a chilly send off.

The lines were cast off at 9:10 and away we went with our buddy boat, Last Boat, with Captain Nelson and crewman, Charlie.  We were so fortunate to be able to travel with these two great sailors, who are not only friends, but had traveled these waters several times before.

The first day we sailed down the Neuse, turned into Adam's Creek and had the anchor down by 2:45 pm near Morehead City and Beaufort.

Monday, October 19

Anchor up by 6:45 am. Our first time to really ocean sail. Great day of calm waters and good wind blowing in the right direction. We made it to the Masonboro Inlet near Wrightsville Beach, NC.  Anchor down at 5:55pm.  The boys put the dinghy in the water and went to pick up Nelson and Charlie to join us for dinner.

Tuesday/Wednesday, October 20-21

We had the anchor up by 7:20am. Last Boat had gone around the corner for fuel. We met them and followed them out to sea.
 Going along the inlet, we got a call from Charlie on the VHF radio to see if we could pick up a life jacket they had seen floating in the water. The boys quickly grabbed the boat hooks and rescued it.

 This was a lighthouse as we were headed out to sea.

  We were going along so well, we all decided to go for our first overnight motor/sail.

Sunset in the Atlantic

 Our family started about 8pm with each person taking a two hour watch, except Nathan. Brian slept in the cockpit to be available if any trouble arose and to wake the next person for their watch.

I had 8-10, Caleb took the 10-12, Luke took 1-2, got queasy and traded an hour with Brian so he could rest. Jacob had the 4-6am watch, then I came back on from 6-8, then made breakfast. 

We came into Charleston, SC at 7:20am. Our friends on two other boats, Tom and Ollie on Our Freedom, and Doug and George on Windfall, that had left three days prior to us, were just ahead of us, so they waited and we traveled with them that day.  We traveled down the ICW and anchored in the Coosaw River at 4:45pm.

Thursday, October 22

Anchor up at 7:30am. Short jont down the river to Lady's Island, SC. Anchor down at 9:30am. Time for a partial lay day. Once settled, Brian went with the other men to scope out the town. After the boys were done with school and we had lunch, we went to town with Brian. We walked to the hardware store and got one of our propane tanks refilled and bought two new water jugs to store on the rail of the boat.  Brian and the boys especially liked this store because they had free popcorn.  Another stop at Dollar Tree for a few things and then headed back to the marina.

Our family was invited to happy hour on Last Boat at 5pm.
From back to front: Tom, Doug, Brian, Ollie, Kerri, Charlie, Nelson, and George.

Afterward, the boys went back to our boat while Brian and I joined the others in town for dinner.

ALL of the locals raved about this place.  It is actually a small bar, but you walk through to the deck out back and you are sitting and enjoying your meal while looking over the water. 

Each weeknight, they have a special one plate dinner. No choices or substitutions, but for $5 that night, we got a huge plate of two giant pork chops, scalloped potatoes, corn, and green beans.Brian and I each just ate one pork chop and planned to take the extra two for the boys. Nelson and Charlie generously gave us their extra pork chops as well, so each boy could have their own.

Friday, October 23

Caleb's 12th Birthday!!!

We had biscuit sandwiches and pop tarts for breakfast. Calzones for lunch, and enchilada's for dinner. 

Our Freedom and Windfall decided to stay longer in Lady's Island, so we left with Last Boat at 8:25am.  I didn't think we would be going back into the ocean that day, but the weather was such, the captains decided to go for it. The decision was made just as I was too far in lunch making to go with something simpler.  The motion of the ocean even on a calm day is more pronounced down below more than up in the cock pit. By the time we were ready to eat I was a little green, but fresh air and saltines helped immensely.

Jacob and Caleb put the anchor down at 7:15pm. We were in St. Catherine's Sound in Georgia. Nelson and Charlie came over to join us for dinner again and celebrate Caleb's birthday.

Saturday, October 24

Anchor up 6:55am. Back out to the ocean. Anchor down 5:40pm in Fernandina Beach, FL.

Sunday, October 25

Anchor up 6:55am. Back to the ocean. Anchor down 4:15pm in St. Augustine, FL.  That evening Last Boat treated us to dinner in town at Pizza Time. Then we went for a short walk and saw some of the sights and the old Fort.

Monday, October 26

Our friends on the other two boats, were about two days behind us. We thought about hanging out in St. Augustine and waiting to travel with them, but in the end we all wanted to continue and get to our final destination of Melbourne.

So anchor was up at 7:30am. We stayed in the ICW and reached New Smyrna, FL about 5:15pm.  Along the way, Charlie radioed to point out a bald eagle perched on a tree.

At times like this, I wish I had a fancy camera with the ability to zoom way in. It was still neat to see.

We went through several bridges. some fixed and some we called ahead for an opening.

Tuesday, October 27

Anchor up at 7:05am ICW down to the Eau Gallie Bridge in Melbourne, FL. Anchor down 5:10pm.

That evening, Charlie and Nelson had Brian and I over to Last boat for a farewell dinner. They would be moving on the next morning. 

I can't say enough how thankful we are to Nelson and Charlie for being such great friends and leading us safely down south through the ICW and ocean voyages.

Wednesday, October 28

My parents live in Melbourne, so we have been looking forward to seeing them and having an extended visit.  They came to meet us for lunch at the park near where we are anchored.

We had had Caleb's birthday gift shipped to their house.  Caleb was thrilled to finally get his present.

I went home with them that afternoon to do laundry, visit and stay over night.  Brian and the boys stayed at the boat and managed to survive without me. :)

Thursday, October 29

Mom and Dad took me to breakfast at Eddie's Sunrise Diner, then back at their house, I worked on weeding the flower beds. After lunch, Mom took me to the  grocery store. That evening we took dinner back to the park for Brian and the boys.

 They not only survived without me, they seemed to have thrived. Brian got out my cookbook and made pancakes for them for breakfast!

Brian and Luke had been checking the local Craigslist for a new to us phone. Our old one has been such a pain, we just wanted to chuck it overbaord many, many times.  They found a Galaxy S5. The guy showed up to the park and it was a done deal.

Nathan and Jacob went home with mom and dad for a couple days with them.  Luke and Caleb will have a turn next.

We are in this location for a couple weeks. Mid-November there will be a Seven Seas Sailing Association Gam at Eau Gallie. After that, we will move down to the next bridge in Melbourne, closer to my parents house, and stay through Christmas.

Eau Gallie Bridge

                                       Eau Gallie Library and Park

                                  Public dock and pier at base of the bridge.