Friday, January 29, 2016

Marathon, Florida


So...I can hardly believe it's been a month since we left our home at Port Canaveral Yacht Club. We are now in Marathon, Florida. It's in the Florida Keys. There are approx. 437 boats here. So many boats....we had to anchor in a creek adjacent to the mooring field which actually worked out great. Our buddies on s/v Last Waltz helped us get in here. I love this little's much quieter & more protected than the actual anchorage of Marathon. I've heard the down fall of this little creek is bugs...Mosquitos, no-seeums, etc....but for us there has always been a little breeze so no bug problems. Except one evening, the wind completely died & yes, the No-Seeums came to visit/bite. I can see how this spot, with certain weather conditions would be "buggy".

Small pic of Marathon

So... Tomorrow we are sailing to Key West, then Sunday heading south west......we should be in Isla Mujeras, Mexico (just north of Cancun) in about 4-6 weeks. We're just gonna take our time & island hop along the way. I will not have internet for about a month so.....look for pics on Facebook cuz if I get a little wifi along the way, that's the easiest, fastest way to share. Love & miss everybody!! Enjoy some pics.....

Our buddies...Monique & Bob from s/v Last Waltz...good times



Navigator Jib....


See you soon

, LOVE, Scott, michelle, & Jib










Sunday, January 10, 2016


So we're finally on the move! We've been traveling for almost 2 weeks now. We had a lot of delays this year so it's great to be finally heading to a destination. We left Our beloved Port Canaveral Yacht Club.

We miss you PCYC!!

on December 29th & have been leisurely making our way from the east coast of Florida to the west coast. We crossed Lake Okechobee ( the 4th largest lake in the U.S.) instead of going on the "outside" (via the Atlantic down & around Miami). In order to get to Lake Okechobee however, we had to get under a bridge first. It's an old railroad bridge that is fixed at 49 feet. Our mast is 52 feet so we needed some help. For a fee of course (well worth it) we hired a guy named Billy to help us. He meets you in the river in front of the bridge & loads your boat with 55 gallon barrels & then fills them with water to provide the weight needed to heel the boat over enough to get under the bridge. Sounds easy enough right?

The Bridge....a little smaller than I had pictured in my mind...

You can't tell from the picture but the wind was howling down the river that day at 20 knots. Billy was an hour late so we had to anchor & wait for him. And then a train. Billy arrived with a buddy & they got to work. Malaika's keel weighs 10,000pounds so we needed a lot of weight to get her over.


Cousin Eddie's on our boat!!

Here we go......

That's about 6,000 pounds on Malaika's port side
And by the hair on our chinny chin chin.....
We made it!


Glad that's over!

In the end, it took 12 barrels (a record for Billy), 8 of our jerry jugs & 2 grown men hanging off the side to get the few inches of clearance we needed. If you ever need Billy's services while cruising the Okechobee water way, message me & I'll give you his contact info. While rough around the edges, Billy got the job done without hurting Malaika & we were on our way. I was a little concerned when he was duct taping all the holes in the barrels but it's true! Duct tape is good for just about everything.

Our good friends Patrick & Marilyn, Dan & Cheri came for moral support & to watch this event. They took all the great pics.

So....tomorrow we're off to Cape Coral/Bimini Basin then to Marathon, Florida. Marathon is a boating Mecca with about 300 boats that hang out there. We will wait there for a weather window to head south west eventually ending up in the Rio Dulce, Guatemala. Taking the scenic route of course. Can't wait for all the new adventures & hope to get this blog going again! ;)

Jib discovered squirrels along the way

Happy New Year everybody! Better late than never!

Goodbye to 2015....which wasn't a great year quite honestly. Hello 2016! Looking forward to new beginnings, new adventures, & new places! Stay tuned!!


Michelle, Scott & Jib



Saturday, October 31, 2015

What's In Your Ditch Bag?

Tick Tock....the final countdown...we're hoping to be on the move in a month so time to check the safety gear which includes A LOT of stuff & one that will really matter most in an emergency is "The Ditch Bag". All boaters who travel any distance have one. It's something you never really give much thought about will if you need it! So basically, a "Ditch Bag" includes survival stuff in case the boat sinks. Every year I check our PLB (Personal Location Beacon), make sure it still works.

We don't have an EPIRP so it's pretty important . The rest of the stuff I just kinda peek at. This year, since it's been 4 years since I originally packed that bag...I decided to really look at it....perhaps, my ideas for the ditch bag may have changed after actually living on the boat/Sea.

Ditch Bag Must Haves..includes fishing tackle

So, it turns out I changed almost nothing about the ditch bag contents. The good news about sailing in much traveled waters that aren't more than 100 miles away from the USA...(I.e. Bahamas, Caribbean), we don't need much . I think "crossing an ocean" ditch bag would include a different list of a real life raft...we only have our dinghy, a water disterally system, an EPIRP...etc. The only thing I added was 2 hats with wide brims, we decided to get 2 more PLB's, I changed all the batteries, & the last items I added were a pencil & pad of paper.

It seems like in all the shipwreck movies, the survivors have a journal.

So our boat projects continue. I can't wait to show you the woodwork Scott has done, new anchoring set up, new lights! And lots of new bronze.....

Stay tuned..

Michelle, Scott & Jib

Thursday, October 8, 2015

We're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat !

After 5 long months Malaika's crew is finally returns home! Scott & Jib returned to the boat about 7 weeks ago & I came home last week. My boxes started arriving this week.....I was waiting for Scott to say something as they started arriving ( remember we live on 38 ft), but he didn't. I was armed & ready for my defense.. " hey, I gave up a house!" But, I never had to bring out the ammo. I guess after the past few years, he knows....there are certain things I just have to have with me. It's not much....5 boxes. That's all I need now. My must haves....could you pack your must haves into 5 boxes? It's not as easy as it sounds. However, it's amazing how once you do it, you realize how little you need to make you happy & moving back onto Malaika is a great reminder of that. Anyway, it's great to be home although it is Soooo hot & humid in Florida right now. The humidity is stifling. I can't wait for it to cool down!!!

Jib & Momma


Me & Jib tied up in the lock waiting for it to open...
The lock opening up for us...

In an effort to escape the heat, on the weekends we can take a dinghy ride to a little island near our Marina. We have to go through a lock system to do it & it's only available to the public on the weekends so....we jumped at the chance. We live near a beach but Florida is not a dog friendly place. Dogs are pretty much not allowed anywhere.. especially the beach. Even at the dog beach, dogs have to be on leash. It's ridiculous. So, we found our own little place....& it was great!

Jib got a little beach time..


Happy Jib


So, while its been an adjustment moving back on the always is...I'm glad to be home. We have, as usual, a ton of boat projects to do before we head out so we'll probably be in this Marina (Cape Canaveral) for another month.

And so it begins...boat projects. Scott up the mast fixing the radar

I must say Scott has done MANY boat projects since he got home...I will highlight all those in the next blog. I just wanted to do a quick blog to get this party started again! It's been a long time since I've done a blog...I doubt I have any readers left! But here we go!

It was a pretty rough summer, full of ups & downs, but here we are....starting our our 5th season on Malaika. I can hardly believe it. So stay tuned!!! The adventures begin!


Beautiful Arizona

Love & miss you!

Michelle, Scott & Jib


Monday, April 6, 2015

Malaika Has A New Home....

So...I've written many times about how all things in cruising life are "etched in jello"... One of those examples has come to life again. We literally stumbled upon this super awesome Marina/yacht club in the 26th hour of our crossing from the Bahamas. If your just passing thru the fee is $1.35/ft. BY FAR...the cheapest place around here. The big bonus is that it's such a nice place! Everyone is soooo nice. We had a wonderful Easter brunch at the clubhouse. This is a private yacht club & for a yearly fee (that is extremely affordable) we can be part of a great boating community. They are super dog friendly & it seems that everyone knows everyone. We've already had people offer to look after Malaika when we are away in Phoenix. While we LOVE St. Augustine, making our home base in Cape Canaveral saves us tons of traveling time.

The yacht club....



Me & Jib heading home....notice the Disney Cruise Ship in our back yard...


We picked up our rental car today...yay!! Once again we are participating in the "drive out of Florida" program. We get the car for 21 days, unlimited mileage, for $9.99/day. Awesome. All we have to do is drive it out of Florida. No we come!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter. We'll be home soon!

Love, Michelle, Scott & Jib