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Published: February 27th 2011
Jimmy and his new friend in front of the post office.
I can't believe that four months have passed since we left Guatemala. We left in early November as planned and made our way up the Central American coast to Isla Mujeres, Mexico which was our last port before sailing to Florida. Hurricane season was not techically over at that point, but if you wait until the season is over it becomes very difficult making your way north when the "Christmas winds" set in and the northers start rolling though. Luckily no hurricanes threatened and we made it to the Dry Tortugas of Florida by mid November where we stayed a couple of days before sailing to Key West.
Being in the U.S. with the boat was definitely a new experience for us. The U.S. is the land of plenty and believe me I couldn't wait to get to the grocery stores and buy all the things I hadn't been able to find in Central America for the last year and a half. Jimmy on the other hand couldn't stay out of West Marine and the other marine chandleries. You learn to make do with what you have when away from the U.S. whether it is baking ingredients or parts to
Beach at Warderick Wells
Jimmy at eye level with the iguana (on top of the rocks).
fix a boat. Jimmy can fix just about anything if he has the correct parts, and since we've lived on the boat he has learned to fix things even when he doesn't have the proper parts. He has acquired this habit of keeping old broken items because he never knows when he will need the spare parts to fix something. He has on more than one occasion taken 2 broken items and made them into a well functioning piece of equipment. You see Jimmy still gets to be an engineer. He just doesn't get paid for it anymore!
Another big difference in cruising in the U.S. is the abundance of information found on our electronic marine charts. The marine charts of the coastal areas of the U.S. are very detailed and they are actually correct! If the chart says there is a buoy in a particular location then by George there is a buoy there! Not so when you are cruising in some countries. Our charts were quite accurate when we were cruising in the eastern Caribbean but by the time we got to Venezuela things started going downhill. We quickly learned not to trust our charts and to
Iguanas are a proctected species at the Exuma Land and Sea Park (Warderick Wells).
constantly question the validity of them. Most of the time the charts were correct but sometimes they were just wrong. Luckily we always caught the discrepancy in time.
Anyway, we spent about a week in Key West before sailing to Marathon, Florida where we left the boat for the holidays. We got a taste of cold weather there when the temperature went down as low as 45 one night which is not a big deal unless you don't have an insulated boat or one with a heater (we don't). We started scrounging around the boat looking for sweatshirts, blue jeans, and heavy socks to keep warm and managed to make it through the few days of cold weather. After Christmas we spent a few days on the intracoastal waterway of the Keys and then a couple of nights in the John Pennekamp State Park in Key Largo before heading to the Bahamas.
In the Bahamas the weather has been much more pleasant and once again I am astounded by the beautiful shades of blue of this water. The Bahamas has the most gorgeous, "gin clear" water (as my husband says) of any place we've visited. We enjoyed our
Great Guana Cay
Enjoying an afternoon caving with other boaters.
time here so much in 2009 that we decided to spend the entire winter cruising season here this year. The Bahamas cruising area is so large you could spend several cruising seasons here and never see it all. When you think about being in the islands with beautiful beaches, sunny days and cool breezes, the Bahamas fits the profile.
The boat is in Georgetown, Grand Exuma now in the Exuma chain of islands. I am actually in Texas for a short visit at the moment while Jimmy is staying with the boat. He is with about 265 boats in the harbor in Georgetown so I have not left him all alone!
The big change is our life this year is that we are becoming grandparents. Lily Grace is expected to arrive in April. Lily has been planned and prayed over for many years and we are so blessed to finally have this wonderful little girl to make our lives even more full and overflowing with joy. Needless to say, Grams (that's me) will be spending alot of time going back and forth between the boat and flying to Dallas to see this precious little girl.
Love to all,
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