The time has come!! We are setting sail on Saturday! Yay!! We'll make our way down the ICW (intra coastal waterway) to Lake Worth, Florida which is our launching point to the Bahamas. It will take us over a week to get there cuz' we're not in a rush, & then we'll have to wait for the perfect weather window to cross to the Bahamas. So...we'll still be in Florida for a few weeks BUT we'll be on the move. We are so excited!! We've been getting Malaika ready for months & now it's time to go. So many projects & now we get to go have some fun. Here's a few pics of what we've been up to this past week....
We pulled off the anchor and ALL the chain to inspect it & remark it. All 275 feet of it. We have to mark it so when we drop our anchor we know how much chain we have out. The depth of the water determines how much chain we put out, sooo...every 25ft, we have a marker on the chain. (All our cruiser friends know this stuff of coarse but our friends & family don't....gotta explain this anchoring stuff.. ;)
|You can see here which part of the chain spent more time in the water....|
We hired a diver to clean the bottom of the boat....lots of marine grossness starts to grow on the bottom of the boat after a few months in this river. The boat does not run efficiently if there is a lot of "growth" on the bottom so it needs to be cleaned. In the Bahamas, this is a project Scott does. We just can't bring ourselves to voluntarily jump into this river....so we hired somebody.
On Tuesday I spent 3 hours & $600 at Walmart provisioning the boat. Grocery shopping is my least favorite household chore. I hate it. After THREE hours in Walmart I was pretty much fried. However, we now have enough food & supplies to last us for months. Then...the real chore...putting all of it away in an organized manner in lockers behind the couch cushions....it took hours.
We also had the upholestery for our settees (couches) dry cleaned. It sure was a lot easier removing the foam than putting back in. Ugh. Don't want to do that again for awhile.
|43....that's me! Here's to another good year! Thank you God!|
Yesterday we celebrated my 43rd birthday. Despite 30mph winds & COLD temps my hubby made sure I had a really fun day. Together we finished putting away all the provisions & then bundled up to go hang out in St Augustine. We don't have much cold weather clothes. We had to dig deep in our lockers to find jackets, hats, etc. They've been stowed away for 2 years & smelled very musty....thank goodness for Febreeze!!
|1st stop....San Sebastian Winery|
We stopped into the winery to catch the FREE wine tasting. Turns out, they were having a sale. By one case of wine, get one free. Happy Birthday to me.
|Next stop....the water's edge.|
We walked around our beloved St Augustine for awhile & settled on a place for lunch. "Scarlett O'Hara's". It's a pretty popular place in St Augustine...especially with the college kids, but it was afternoon & we'd never been there & we were really cold so we thought we'd check it out. Total SCORE!! We were pretty much the only people in there & got a table for two in front of a fireplace directly below a huge painting of Miss Scarlett herself. Yay!!
When we got home from our lovely afternoon, our friends were hanging out at the Marina. They heard it was my "day" & wanted to say Happy Birthday! So nice!! Thanks Dan & Kathy! Our friends Dale & Karen from s/v Jessie Marie opened a bottle of champagne & everybody toasted my birthday & good friendships. My friends Greer & Aaron gave me a wine picnic basket/bag which will come in so handy in the islands. Thanks guys!! I loved it! Later in the evening we went to another wine tasting that was packed with about 100 people. It felt like my big birthday party! Fabulous day to say the least.
|Thanks honey for an awesome birthday!|
Tomorrow we have a million little things to do and then......it's time to go!!! Woo Hoo!! It's officially the start of the trek south. Can't wait.
Love & miss everybody!!! XXXOO
--Michelle, Scott & Jib