Sunday, January 24, 2016

4. Back On Board

    Leaving Riverside Marina - Ft Pierce, FL
We spent almost a week at our home in Jax.  We cleaned and closed down our house.  We spent multiple days at our commercial building working on clearing the space for a new tenant.
    AppleBox warehouse looking pretty empty.  The new sail we are stitching is laid out on the floor.

The girls had fun with lots of their friends.  And we were blessed to celebrate our friends’ adoption of a family of four.  
    It's official - the Wolff family just doubled in size!
Super productive week but we were all excited to get back to Abby and back on the water.  

She welcomed us back with a bit of warmer weather and we shed our layers for tanks tops and shorts, even if only for one day.  
We spent time with our new friends, the Lawsons, another liveaboard family finishing up loose ends in Ft Pierce before heading to the Bahamas.  Sky and Savannah became fast friends and she even got to sleep over at their boat.  
            We hosted the second night.
We are keeping our fingers crossed that all works out for us to cross to the Bahamas together.  
We spent the last day in the marina prepping to head to the open ocean for the first time (and taking advantage of some great food in the area).
    Archie's - Andrew schooling Paige.

We thought we were stowing everything as best we could but we would soon find out it was all in vain.  The next morning the wind had kicked up as promised and we took the small craft advisory as an indication of great sailing to come.  
    Our first glimpse of the ocean.
Leaving the inlet at Ft Pierce was so exciting.  Everyone was in high spirits as we saw the open ocean in front of us.  We only had a flake of a foresail out and the 20-30 knot winds were moving us along at a steady 6-7 knots.  
    The moms will be happy to notice everyone wearing their life vests.
The wave surfing was super fun but we soon realized that “items tend to shift during shipping”.  
I was making repeated trips below deck to see what new item had wiggled free from it’s holding, each time thinking I had secured the last possible mess.  
    A small bit of the mess in the galley.
At one point Andrew heard a thud and sent me running to check.  An entire cabinet top we had forgotten to re-screw down during refit had shifted in our cabin and all the three ringed binders with owner's manuals and various schematics had flown onto the floor.  
    The shelf was full, only one book only slid to the bed, the rest are on the floor.
Luckily, the ice maker on that same shelf still sat firmly in it’s place.  That’s one of our luxury items onboard that we would sorely miss if it took a dive :)
After having their giggly fill of bouncing on waves and getting cold spray in the face, the girls headed below deck to be a little more comfy but not before Paige tripped on all the stuff that had fallen on the cabin floor, landing flat on her back.  
She was fine but Sky & I laughed at her uncaringly as she laid there to determine if it was a laugh or cry moment - she laughed too :)
Because the conditions turned out to be much more than we bargained for, we took our first bail out option at St Lucie.  You would think being surprised by wind and sea and having to turn in sooner than planned or turning into the inlet and fighting wind and current at a whopping 1 knot would be the most frustrating point of the day but NO.  Trying to lay the anchor out 7 times without a windlass (for our non-boaters, a motor that reels in the anchor for you) and not catching a holding anywhere, that was the moment that made me want to cuss and cry all at the same time.  I enjoy handling the anchor most days, it is great exercise but today just wasn't our day.  
    Even through frustration you can't deny the beautiful surroundings - Jupiter Lighthouse.

By this time, we were so exhausted and ready to find our stopping point for the night.  Jupiter offered no such luck.  We even had our first running aground.  Not a first you look forward to but Andrew and Abby worked it out.  We pressed on while the moon rose beautifully, passing many drawbridges along the way.  We finally happened upon a restaurant with a fixed dock near North Palm Beach and decided to treat ourselves to dinner and then took advantage of their hospitality and stayed the night, planning to ask forgiveness if they had asked us to move :)
    Our safe haven for the night.
We all slept like rocks!

So this week brought us lots of firsts:
-first boat family friends we’ve met on our trip and spent time with aboard
-Sky’s first boat sleepover with a friend
-first meal Andrew prepared for us onboard :)
I'm one lucky lady :)
-first ocean passage
-first gale force winds
-first full on waves over the bow
-first failed anchoring
-first grounding
-and the furthest south we’ve ever been in Abby.
What a week!

Things learned this week:
Our cabin is not ready for ocean passage.  Moments into the adventure items began flying across cabinets and onto the floor.  We have new items added to the list of “to do”s -adding hooks and bungees to secure all stowed items.  Luckily I have a handy Andy aboard ;)
Abby can handle a lot!  
And we’re pretty tough too.

Now we bob at a beautiful mooring in Lake Worth, licking our wounds and planning the next leg of the adventure.  We will be checking out another marine supply store hoping for deals and doing the final prep for the crossing to the Bahamas (which will have to include one more trip back to Jax - but this is really it!). Thinking we will be ready to leave, officially, in the next 2-3 weeks - my fingers are crossed for two ;)

1 comment:

  1. As always, wonderful to read your updates! And yes, this Mom is happy to see those life vests. 😄 I know you're having the time of a lifetime and so happy for you. Much love and prayers go with you!