Saturday, May 19, 2012

Cruisers Helping Cruisers

Scott & I wanted to do a blog dedicated to all of the cruiser friends we've met this past year who helped us fufill the first leg of our life dream. As newbies in this world of cruising...we had MUCH to learn. Still do. The help we recieved from other cruisers can not be measured on any type of scale. The fact is...we would not be where we are without the help & kindness of others. We are forever grateful to those who helped us along the way.
Dan & Cheri on s/v Curieuse
 I can't find the words to say what Dan & Cheri did for us for the 1st 5 months we lived on Malaika. They taught us so much. They spent hours/days/weeks/months guiding us into this new world of being live aboards. They helped us get down the ICW with our minimal knowledge & helped us learn how to live & sail safely on Malaika. They were there when we went aground the 1st time, the 1st time we put sails up, the first time we anchored, the 1st time our engine died. They taught us how to LIVE on a sailboat. They were there when Jesse died. They held our hands from Connecticut to Florida & we will never forget it. Nor can we ever express in words how much it meant to us.
Richard & Carole on s/v Kilissa
We had the great fortune of meeting Richard & Carole (along with the entire Solomon's crew) when we were in Lake Worth, Florida waiting for a weather window to cross the gulf stream to the Bahamas. Scott & I were VERY nervous about making that huge passage. What a relief to meet such experienced sailors who were so gracious & let us tag along. Richard & Carole stuck right by our side the entire 18hrs of that crossing. It was such a comfort.
Patrick & Marilyn from p/v Jawbone
What great times we had with Patrick & Marilyn!! They both are Captains & know so much about boating. They have also both traveled the world & had such wonderful stories & advice about how to live in new & different cultures. Not to mention, they host the BEST parties in any anchorage. Marilyn is a fabulous cook & Patrick is a world class Irish bartender. :)
Bob & Chel from s/v Bella Sera
Awe..Bob & Chel !! Another awesome couple who quickly befriended us &  invited us in their circle of friends. You two gave us the confidence to leave Abaco & travel to the Exumas. We would have never done it if you hadn't been there. Having you sail beside us through North Providence Channel with 10 foot waves was more comfort than you'll ever know. We learned so much about sailing from you.
Andy. Aka Horatio Hornblower
Andy. Our travel buddy. What adventures we shared together!!  We pushed our limits together & it was very comforting to have you with us to help make decisions about what route to go, where to anchor, how to interpret different weather reports. You also taught us much about sailing. We would never have bought our most awesome Manson anchor if we hadn't met you! Your knowledge of sailing & everything that it entails is priceless, as is your friendship. Next year...the Caribbean!!
Matt & Mary Elizabeth from s/v KoKoi
Thanks so much guys for your hospitality since we returned to Hidden Harbor!! We LOVE our new air conditioner so much. AND our new car...which we would not have if you hadn't handed over the keys to your truck & let us drive all over Jacksonville. Not to mention the roll of webbing, the discount at West Marine last time we were here, etc. We are so happy for you that your sailing dream is starting in just a couple of weeks!! Hope to see you guys in the islands this winter!!
  There are sooo many people we have to thank...our families, our friends back home,  other cruisers. I could go on & on with this list. Dave & Haila for the loan of your truck & West Marine discount the 1st time we were at Hidden Harbor Marina. We wouldn't have our sweet Jib if you hadn't let us use your truck to go get him a couple hours north of St. Augustine.  To Heinz & Roberta...thank you for selling our Hummer & dealing with that hassel while we were sailing off to the Bahamas. So nice of you!! To Melissa & Aaron, thank you for letting us forward all our mail to your house & for storing so much of our junk in your home! We are so blessed to have such great friends.
  Also, a SPECIAL THANKS to our loyal blog followers. Your messages over the past year literally MAKE OUR DAY. We LOVE hearing from you. The fact that you care enough about us to follow our blog means more to us than you'll ever know. I hope you stay tuned for all the adventures that are in our future. we come!

We love & appreciate you ALL so much. Thank You for supporting us in our dream to live our most full life. It would not be possible without you.
Michelle, Scott & Jib

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Home Is Where The Heart Is


 We've been in St. Augustine for a few days now. We moved the boat to a slip at our favorite Hidden Harbor Marina yesterday morning. It's great to be back in St. Augustine. I love this town. It's beautiful, has tons of history (it's the oldest city in America), & just an overall good vibe.

Plus, it's a very boat friendly town. It's been wonderful to see our friends here at the marina. Jib has been getting most of the attention....everyone was shocked to see how big he is now. So, this will be Malaika's home until October or November. Works for me! Of coarse, we can't wait to get to our other home in Phoenix. I am sooooo excited to see everybody. Im even excited to go back to work....never thought I'd say that. Im sure when Im punching the time clock again & in a busy 12 hour shift at the hospital with no time to eat or go to the bathroom, I will curse myself for saying that.
  Our friend Andy also arrived in St. Augustine yesterday so we all went out for the best pizza in the country as far as we're concerned at Carmelos. Yummy!
Andy's Goodbye party way back in November...we've sailed a lot of miles together since then! And Jib is twice as big now!

   It's raining today so we are sort of stuck on the boat....which is ok because we have been searching for a car on line for most of the day. We're hoping to find something for around $1500 that is capable of getting us to Phoenix & back. We have a couple of prospects...but they are in Jacksonville,  a little more than a hour away. Turns out it's hard to find a car when you don't have a car. Hopefully we'll find something that's not too much of a jalopy.
Scott & I on our last day of work last June.  He tie-dyed his old lab coat from residency & wore it the entire day!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day!! We love you Jane & Pam !
We continue our trek up the ICW & should be in St. Augustine tomorrow.

One of the MANY bridges we went through today. They open just for us!

Yay!! Our stopping point for hurricane season. There has been a huge fire in Florida & all through the night & this morning we were engulfed in smoke. The boat smelled like a campfire...we keep sailing on. We have been blessed with great weather & today hit 7.8 knots. Amazing. Yes, we are motorsailing because it's the ICW but still...that's crazy!
Hope our Mom's had a wonderful day today. We love & miss you so much!!! Was great to hear your voices today. See you soon!!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, May 11, 2012

Cruisen' up the ICW

Sunset in the Gulf Stream

We have finally rested up from the voyage to the US from the Bahamas. Today we left Ft Pierce, Fl & sailed approx. 50 miles to Eau Gallie, Fl. It was an awesome day on the ICW. Of coarse we were blasted by numerous power boats but we also had great weather conditions & hit 7.2 knots at one point! That is FAST for a sailboat in the ICW. I was a little overwhelmed today realizing how far we've come as sailors.

Last sunset in the Bahamas

What a journey we've so many ways.

Bye Bye Bahamas

We are headed back to St. Augustine for hurricane season. We will spend half the season in Phoenix visiting family & I will hopefully be working with my best girlfriends at Phx Baptist Hospital...that's in the works so we'll see. Scott will also work a little too so we can restore our cruising kitty & afford to do the many boat projects needed before we set sail for the Caribbean in the winter. Of coarse, those are the plans today. As always, they are etched in jello.
It's so great to be home but as we tune into the radio stations & hear all the political B.S. that is spewed out all day, I can honestly say, can't wait to leave. It's been wonderful to just LIVE without all this rhetoric in the background. Its amazing how intrusive it feels now.
Anyways, Jib is loving the ICW.

He seems very curious as we sail past all the houses...probably because he's never been in one! Isn't that crazy?! Can't wait for our road trip cross country as we
head to Phoenix. Jib has so many new adventures ahead of him!!
Love & miss everyone! Almost all the way home!!! XXXOOO

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Back In The USA !!

After 22 hrs at sea, we sailed into FT Pierce, Florida this morning @ 0930. We are TIRED!!
I will do a blog later today or tomorrow. Promise to call our families as soon as we can. We are having trouble with our phone.... :(

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Heading Home

  As usual our plans change daily due to weather. Looks like tomorrow is the day we start heading west. Our 1st stop will be at Great Sale Cay. A small island about 8 hours away. We'll rest up there for the night & then the big crossing to Florida. We have a couple LONG sailing days ahead of us but should be in Florida by Wednesday or Thursday! :) We are still very undecided about where to park Malaika for hurricane season but are leaning more & more towards Florida.
Love & Miss everyone! Can't wait to see everybody!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Now What????

Jib & Scott striking a pose at the Jib Room.
   OMG!!! Finally some internet!!! I have been struggling with internet since we arrived in Marsh Harbour last Sunday. I purchased the same service we used last time because it worked so well before...not this time. It sucks & has been a total waste of money. I now have internet because we are at a restuarant that provides wifi. Yesterday I typed out a blog 3 times & then lost my internet connection each time right before I was ready to post. I was in tears....TOTAL frustration.
  Anyway, tonight is our last night in Marsh Harbour. Tomorrow morning we are sailing to our beloved Green Turtle Cay....where we spent our 1st month in Bahamas...We will stay there & wait for our weather window to cross the gulf stream back to Florida. As of today, it looks like that window will be Wednesday. Scott & I have mixed feelings right now. We are VERY anxious to see our family & friends in Phoenix but feel sad about leaving the Bahamas too.  It would be so easy to stay....or keep going. However, the reality is that we have a few boat projects that MUST be done before we go to the Caribbean. Priority #1--auto pilot. #2--we have decided we are redoing our rigging as well. The rigging is like the skeleton of a sailboat. It holds the mast in place & all the wires required to keep us upright with the sails. It's a big deal. If it fails, it is total disaster. Our rigging is pretty old, so we've decided this hurricane season it'll be our big project. Big project in many's very expensive. Sooo...our big question is "where do we go now?". We had planned on going to North Carolina because we thought it would be cooler there this summer & we liked it there. Now, we are reconsidering because all of our friends from the east coast say it's not that much of a temperature change from Florida to North Carolina. So why travel that far? Maybe we should stay in Florida. Or maybe Charleston, SC. ????
We plan on going to Phoenix in June for an extended stay...I'm hoping to maybe even work there at Phoenix Baptist with all my girlfriends...we'll see. As usual, our plans are etched in jello. 
  I promise to do a blog before we cross. I really can't believe we're going to be in the States within a week. :)
Scott & I way back in New London, CT.  This picture was taken 2 weeks after moving aboard Malaika.

Love & Miss you

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

City Slickers

  Just a quick note to let everybody know we arrived safely to the thriving metropolis Marsh Harbour on Sunday. We have been struggling with internet since then so I hope this goes through! I will try & do a full blog later if the internet improves. As of today, we are planning to cross the Gulf Stream back to Florida on Sunday. We'll see....