Monthly Archives: December 2013

Merry Christmas from Key West

We wanted to wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas from the harbor here in Key West, FL. We are sitting here on Christmas eve enjoying all the many blessings we have in our lives.

We miss Jordan & Kody and we really miss Lyra. Wishing they could come down here.

In case any one was wondering what a family living on a boat at anchor does for Christmas, I will share with you what we’re doing.

Today we had to do our Christmas dinner shopping. For us that involved a two-mile dinghy ride to get to a dock that was close enough to the grocery store that we could walk the rest of the way. This is usually not so bad, but today when we got to the dock we realized we had forgotten to  close the hatches on Stray Catz and this large band of dark clouds were approaching. Kylan and I left Anna to continue on the store while we headed back as the winds and waves were building. By the time we got back to Stray Catz, we were soaked, and not a drop from the sky.  The spray over the side of the dinghy from the strong winds and splashing was torrential.  With the hatches secure we hurried back to the store to meet up with Anna. Good news was that by the time we made it back to the dinghy with the groceries, the wind had died down so it wasn’t near as wet the second time back to the boat.

Anna started making goodies while I headed back to town (closer dock) to pick up parts for Stray Catz and wrapping paper.  A couple of hours later, I’ m back on board and can enjoy some of the view from Stray Catz including, the cruise ships coming and going, and para-sailors experiencing a thrill.

We’ve decorated up the boat so it looks just like home. We have the tree (courtesy of Anna’s mom), and we have the stockings hung by the companionway with care.After we had our traditional Christmas eve  fondue dinner, Kylan got to open one present.

Later we watched Grown Ups 2 (very funny). Soon there after, it’s off to bed so Santa can still show up.

Tomorrow afternoon after all the rest of the presents are opened, we have a big dinner planned, including ham, sweet potatoes, nut

meg muffins and pumpkin pie.

As you can see, except for the whole logistics thing,  it’s a pretty traditional.

And with that, from my family to all of you,

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

The plan at this point is if Kylan’s books get in, we will be on our way this week and hope to be in Belize for New Years.

We’ll let you know.

Test Entry via SSB

If this works it means I should be able to make blog updates on the high seas. How cool would that be?

Wedding and a road trip?

With Stray Catz secure in Ft Lauderdale, we jumped in our car and headed for TN. We made it just in time. So many preparations still to be done and so little time. Jordan and Kody had been working hard to make a beautiful wedding for themselves, but there was still a lot of hard work to be done. As with any wedding there were challenges right up to the last minute, including the maid of honor in a car accident on the way to the wedding. Yet some how come November 13 a wedding was performed. And it was a beautiful wedding too. Some may say I’m biased and it’s true, but it was still a beautiful service. Many thanks to all the family and friends who came in from all around the country including FL, AZ and even CA.

While we were in TN, it became clear that are beloved friends and colleagues Diva and Panda were not going to be able to continue on with us to foreign ports. With the laws in various countries being what they are, a very difficult decision was made, and that was to send our dogs off to CA to live with Anna’s mother and father. And of course what better way to get them there than to take them ourselves.

A few days after the wedding (after all as grandparents, we needed to baby sit while the newlyweds were on their honeymoon) we set off on our journey which turned out to be a short 6500 miles to CA and back to FL. Many blessings along the way. Including being able to see relatives in CO, CA, AZ, TX and still making it back to FL in time for Thanksgiving. The weather was very cooperative.

Back in FL it was time to get down to business and put the final touches on Stray Catz to ready her for an around the world journey. While staying at my sisters, we made daily trips to marine stores, other stores and many hours on the boat. And oops, we forgot to renew Kylan’s passport, so a couple of trips to Miami to the passport office. What was supposed to only be a couple of days turned in to two weeks. We were getting very comfortable at my sisters.

Mom kicking back and enjoying an afternoon boat ride.

With only a few days to go before our planned departure, we took my Mom, sister, and nephews out for a sail only to be challenged by another engine malfunction. Low and behold it turned out to be just a fuel filter, but ended up cutting our trip short anyway.

So on Thursday December 12 with the help of Drew and Victoria we untied the dock lines and headed for the Atlantic ocean. The timing wasn’t right, so getting through the draw bridges took about two hours.

Drew and Victoria were escorted from Stay Catz courtesy of my brother-in-law and we waved good-bye for the last time. Because of the weather, after fueling we turned around and anchored for the night in the ICW.  This way we could deal with the forcasted brisk winds in the morning.

Bright and early we were up and on our way. Making the scheduled openings on the last two bridges we were under sail in less than an hour and that is the way we stayed for the next 29 hours till we came upon the inlet into Key West. We fired up the engines drove into the harbor and dropped anchor. An inspiring trip for me, being able to sail the whole way. For Anna and Kylan, the rough seas took their toll, which meant I spent the majority of the trip on watch.

Now we sit in Key West waiting for Kylan to finish this semester before we head out. We have some books on order for his next semester, so it looks like we will be here for Christmas, and leave shortly there after for Belize. Anyone want to join us? It’s about a 5 day sail down there, or you can meet us there. Anyone?