This week has been the perfect gambit of highs & lows.
Coming off our crazy sailing battle to find a stopping place last week, we took the easy trip down the ICW to Peanut Island, just inside the Lake Worth Inlet. It was the perfect place to re-coop. We happened upon a free mooring ball just off the island and got comfy.
We spent a day exploring the island. There is a protected cove where we were pleasantly surprised by 6 manatees. There were paddle boards and snorkelers all around but they didn't seem to mind the company. Andrew was the first willing to brave the chilly water and was rewarded with a face to face greeting.
We enjoyed a picnic lunch and the girls collected shells and hermit crabs to take back to Abby. We moved to a different little inlet and all four of us got in to snorkel the rocks and see some beautiful schools of fish. Andrew surprised the girls by swimming into their field of view holding a huge conch shell that housed the biggest hermit crab we've ever seen.
We even found a Bahimian or Cushion Starfish about 15" in diameter - the first time I've ever seen one in their natural habitat.
We topped off the day doing what any good sailor would do and took advantage of the free fresh water shower, never mind that it was open air :)
We continued enjoying the beautiful weather by chillin' in the cockpit as the sun set. We had no idea of the show we were in for! A trawler (RV on the water) moored just 100' in front of us seemed to be drifting so I nonchalantly mentioned it to Andrew who immediately jumped to attention. The 3 crew on board were all inside the cabin so we yelled and yelled to alert them. One casually strolled out to see what the commotion was about. We told him he had broken free and was drifting. He went inside to get the others. They were not moving very fast or showing much concern. Andrew had enough time to unlock our dinghy and motor towards them before they reappeared and said they were just "swinging with the current". What? Are you crazy! Now, you know I can get someone's attention if I need to so, in my loud and demonstrative voice I yelled, "You are not attached, you are drifting!" With that, Andrew racing toward them and the boat floating past them that had previously been behind them, they got the picture! Andrew made sure they had no lines still hanging overboard and they got the engines revved just as their dinghy grazed the dock, 500' from where they started! Andrew double checked our lines before climbing aboard and having a beer to unwind from the excitement.
The next 2 days were rainy & rolly but we took full advantage of all the fresh water. All 4 of us suited up and scrubbed down the decks to get all the salt off of our hard working girl. Andrew even dove to check the bottom job and scrub the scum at the water line.
Not very glamorous but we all actually had a lot of fun, what else are you gonna do on a rainy day aboard?
The girls researched info on all the creatures we found at the island and decorated their "crab-itats".
Day 2 of rain made us a little more productive on finding homes for loose items and adding some tie-downs in the galley in prep for more heeling. All those days aboard with little other interaction made momma a little stir crazy so we ventured into town to grab a bite and got caught in another rain storm on the way home - what are you gonna do?! Since we were soaked through already, were decided to load the dinghy on deck in prep for our early morning departure. Surprisingly, no one complained about the rain, wind or cold and everyone rallied together to get it done. I think the more the girls see Andrew & I just doing what needs to be done, no matter the conditions, the more it rubs off on them and they are happy to help and be an intrigal part of the team.
We are now enjoying a beautiful sail to Ft Lauderdale. Andrew & I pulled the lines this morning around 5:30am planning on letting the girls sleep and wouldn't you know, both their smiling faces popped out the hatch just as the sun was rising! It's a pretty sweet life :)
Things learned this week:
As parents, we are the examples to our kids. Want your kids to be complainers? Complain around them (you may not even realize you're doing it). Want them to be lazy? Then do everything for them. As moms, we want them to need us; but, as growing little people, they need to learn how much they can do themselves. They may even surprised you!
Living aboard is like life. Whether rain or shine, warm or cold, hard or fun, you can't get off the boat. So you might as well get some work done and have fun while you do it!
Not sure what to expect from our week in Ft Laud but we hear the entry to our next dock is pretty tricky. Hopefully that won't be next week's story :)