Yes, We Are Still Cruising! Back in the U.S.
I know, I know. It has been WEEKS since our last post. It was a winter interruptus, but now we are back on the boat and cruising along nicely. Let me try to efficiently get you caught up.
Last post I had shared that we’d lost my brother-in-law, Frank. The residents of Eleanor Q packed up and flew back to NJ for the services and to be with family. It was Ems’ second trip off the boat flying from Marsh Harbor airport in the Abacos. Frank took some time while we were in the area to hang out with his son, Frank, for a while – always a good thing! We returned to the boat and the following week was a blur. We were still recovering from an emotional trip and then had to start planning for our passage back to the U.S. Months ago I had booked a little bit of work back in Pennsylvania/NJ area for early April. For that and a number of other reasons, it was time for us to get back to the states. Eleanor Q enjoyed her month long parking spot in Hope Town, and we enjoyed the area and the people there very much. We hope to get back to the Abacos in the future and see some of the other cays that we missed this time around. You can’t do it all!
So on March 20th, we were underway again! We left Hope Town for Spanish Cay for the night and then went straight from Spanish Cay across the Gulf Stream, into Ft. Pierce inlet in Florida and straight up to Vero Beach. It required an overnight passage. The trip took about 30 hours. It was sporting but exhilarating and we were so happy to be back underway. I think we needed to blow some of the cob webs out of our heads at that point and get focused back on cruising. With each overnight, we both get more confident with my ability to be in the cockpit for 3 hour shifts at night alone. And I wasn’t very alone . . . we were crossing with Magnolia and two other boats that we met in the previous days. We established the hourly check in system on the radio and called each other if someone spotted a tanker on their radar or AIS system first. For the first time, Frank and I both truly slept on our 3 hour breaks which made us both a lot better off upon arrival!
We found a busy Vero Beach and ended up rafted three deep on a mooring ball, but one of our neighbors were our new friends from Cutting Class. We had met them in Hope Town and spent some time with them there. Magnolia, Cutting Class and Eleanor Q had a fun four days in Vero, and then we once again hopped on a plane and headed to New Jersey. Frank came with me for the first part of the trip since he was STILL dealing with ongoing dental issues that really needed some attention for real. Plus any chance for him to hang out with Frank and Nicole is excellent! It was very strange, at first, to be back in “work mode” and facilitate training classes, but there was a part of it that felt very good, too. I put on my adult clothes and make-up, broke out the blow dryer and curling iron and acted like a professional for a few days. I did have to laugh . . . the one client I worked for is Frank’s former employer, and they have been a client of mine for close to eight years. There are people at the company that follow the blog who didn’t have any reason to know that I’d be around teaching. I ran into two of those people in the hallways. They both blinked, looked confused and said, “Wait. Why aren’t you on the boat? And why haven’t I gotten a blog in a while?” It made me smile. Thanks for reading, John and Tom!! As much as I enjoyed the work, I was extremely homesick for the boat and for Frank who had flown back several days ahead of me. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so happy to get back on the boat than I did that Wednesday when I returned to Vero via the West Palm Beach airport.
Now we’re back on the boat heading north. We’ve stopped in Titusville, Daytona Beach and are currently in St. Augustine, FL for a brief visit. We project a landing in Annapolis area around the third week of May and look forward to seeing a lot of cool stuff along the way. So stay tuned . . . the blogging has resumed. Here are the pictorial headlines of what we’ve been up to . . .