Saturday, December 22, 2012

It's Christmas Time....




 
The holiday season has been a bit peculiar.  Heat and humidity has kept the holiday spirit at bay.  That was until yesterday when a cold northerly wind blew in forcing us into jeans and jackets.  Getting off the boat and into the dinghy was an experience - we were surfing the waves from the mooring field.

To celebrate we decided to go downtown and enjoy some of the holiday lights.  Drinks and a hot brownie sundae (key word hot as we searched for hot totties and found none) also added to the festive mood.  Additionally, it was Riverfest weekend where the city brings in various bands throughout the year to play.  This weekend was a rock band with a Van Halen tribute.  Not very holiday festive, but fun to rock and boogie all the same.

Back at the marina we concluded our evening in the Captain's Lounge where we and many others sung Christmas carols and all learned exactly who doesn't have vocal talent.  It was great fun and exactly what we needed to kick up the holiday spirit!

Happy Holidays!!

The Captain and Admiral

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sightings on the Waterway...



 
As we traveled south on the Intracoastal Waterway we saw our share of birdlife and dolphins.  We even saw a few snouts of manatee as they surfaced for a breath.  We were surprised to see manatee as the weather was unseasonably cool and we had anticipated that the manatee would have headed deeper south into warmer waters. 

One morning we found that the Goodyear blimp had just taken off somewhere nearby and was still low in the sky as it went overhead. 

And still another day we found jet skiers tooling down the waterway.  Now jet skiers would not be an unusual sighting but what was interesting was the jet ski itself.  If you look closely at the photo the jet ski is actually a four wheel ATV where the wheels tip up and the unit transforms into a jet ski.  I guess you'd call it a transformer.  Look for at a retail store near you soon..... or perhaps already?!

The Admiral

Monday, December 10, 2012

Titusville....



 



There is nothing quite as fun as stopping in a town and then just haphazardly stumbling across some really cool festival.  That isn't exactly what happened during our stay in Titusville....but it was close.  We stopped to visit friends John, Mary and four legged Goliath when John said, "hey you need to stay a day longer because Food Truck Wars is coming to town."  Food trucks.....over 40 food trucks.... yeah we're there!  And what a great time.  There were food trucks of all kinds - BBQ, seafood, middle eastern, Mexican, Thai, bakery goods, fast food, Jamacian, ice cream and more more more!  They even had a special dogs only food truck where we could pick up some new grub for Goliath to try.  Thanks Chef Michael!

The only trouble with sooooo many foods to sample is you just don't have enough appetite for all the yummy stuff you want to try.  So we settled with award winning fish tacos, Charleston shrimp and grits and county award winning lobster bisque.  Mmmmmmm. 

The diets started two days later.

 
The Admiral

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Happy Hour...


 

 
Our first official happy hour of the season took place at Hurricane's Bar and Grill in St. Augustine.  It was our first visit to Hurricane's but will not be the last.  Great ribs.  The company was splendid too - Jim, Kathy, Ed and Lynn.  Four legged wonderdog Murphy was there also.

The amazing thing about St. Augustine and a lot of Florida is that despite the absence of snow they really get festive for the holiday.  Immediately after Thanksgiving town is decorated.  The Christams parade is in full swing and the trollies are all playing Christmas music. 

It just is a bit odd to be walking around in shorts and t-shirts while there are wreaths and holly strung everywhere.

The Admiral

Monday, December 3, 2012

Work?!


 
There are always surprises whenever we set out to work on the boat.  This year's surprise would be the need for all new plumbing on the master stateroom head.  The old plumbing was just getting brittle and needed replacing.  The other surprise was to find that we had a neighbor.  A raccoon appeared to have taken to lounging aboard the catamaran behind us and would come around wondering who was disturbing its peace.

After checking everything off the to do list - wash, buff, wax, new plumbing, props installed, jib hoisted, anchor secured, batteries charged, etc, etc, etc. - we finally found water.  It is always a great feeling when we launch and an even better one when we find the bilges are dry after being afloat for a while.

The Admiral

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Let the Adventure Begin...




Our adventure began a bit differently this year, but was an adventure nonetheless.  Historically, we would leave Virginia aboard Tropical Breeze and begin the southerly trek to Florida.  However when we started the season Tropical Breeze was already hauled out in Florida awaiting our return.

So the adventure this year actually began in the Midwest where we packed up the car and headed south.  Fog surrounded us and within an hour we found snow.  In fact, we found so much snow that a local radio station started playing Christmas music in celebration of the first snowfall of the season. When we'd eventually traveled far enough south the snow turned to more rain and fog.  A rather unexpected start, but we can't complain especially since our having left the boat in Florida meant we did not have to worry about skirting Hurricane Sandy in the northern states. 

We would find surprises of a different kind once we got to South Carolina.  This surprise, the price of fuel.  It has been a long time since we've seen it priced at less than $3 a gallon so finding it for sale at $2.91 a gallon was quite the treat.   

Now in Florida, boat work commences.

The Admiral

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Haulout

Oh my..... how we have let the blog slip!  Given our absence we wish we had some awesome things to report but unfortunately the most exciting thing e to speak of is the Breezer's seasonal haulout.  It is something we always hate to do, but we've put her into hibernation for the summer season and plan on returning once again in the winter.

In the meantime, have a wonderful summer and we will see you for more adventures soon!

The Captain and Admiral

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Afternoon in Titusville...



Well, many of you warned us that it might happen and after four years of cruising it did.  We were attacked by pirates!!  Fortunately for us it was the Good Pirate Max (aka our nephew) and his crew of misfits (aka our family  =)).

'Tropical Breeze' was rechristened 'Chips and Salsa' for the afternoon as the group of us motored - due to no wind - about the waterway taking in the dolphins, seabirds and manatee.  Captain Max took the wheel, but had a bit of a problem steering us clear of markers and other vessels as he hasn't quite reached the height to see over the windshield.  No matter with his sword and hook he took command.

At the end of our journey we got a real treat.  NASA launched an Atlas rocket and we were all able to enjoy the spectacle.

Quite the day.

The Admiral

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Morning in Titusville...




The - still rather - elusive manatee is elusive no more!!!  The Captain and I were anchor down in Titusville one morning when suddenly Dave yelled that there was a manatee at the stern of the boat.  Well he/she was there all right just hanging out in hopes that we would throw something his way.  Sorry buddy.  He eventually swam away; probably disappointed that his appearance didn't garner him a treat but you know the rules - Don't feed the wildlife.

Now this would be the first of many manatee sightings we've had on the northbound journey.  So yes folks, I've finally found the manatee.

The Admiral

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Miami Beach...






No trip to Miami Beach would be complete without an actual visit to the beach!!!  So off we went and we weren't alone.  There were people everywhere.  On the beach.  On foot.   On rollerblades.  On bicycles.  On motorcycles.  In cars.  And more. 

We bummed around checking out the art deco architecture before stopping at Big Pink.  The restaurant is a bit off the beaten path but came highly recommended by our friend Rick.  And boy was he right.  Pictured with Dave is the garlic brie appetizer.  It was so filling the Captain and I didn't have room for an entree - not even dessert!! 

The Admiral

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Rick's Place....










Welcome to Rick's Place!!  We arrived in Miami Beach and tied up to Rick's dock.  There we were able to spend time with Rick, enjoy his pool and take in some of the interesting sights from the waterway outside his home. 

But don't let the title of this post fool you into thinking that Rick is the Admiral of his domain.  No way....the REAL in charge of the homestead is Herman - the four legged cutie who is as powerful as he is lovable.

So a day in the life of Herman is trying to get to go for a ride in the car - and moving up to the front seat when nobody is looking.  After a ride around town he likes to get in some play time.  Herman favors wrestling as pictured with Dave as his latest contender.  After a tough workout it is out to the pool where he enjoys the water - both wading and drinking.  Finally, when in need of TLC he climbs into somebody's lap and gives lots of kisses. 

Hmmmm..... could a dog's life be even better than a boater's life?  Perhaps the perfect answer is to be a boat dog.

The Admiral

Monday, April 2, 2012

Leaving Lauderdale...


After a great time in Ft. Lauderdale we continued south through the bridges and towards the cruise ships. It was here that we spotted our first ever life boat drill where a Royal Caribbean ship had launched most of their lifeboats and were testing the engines. So strange to be cruising down the waterway and suddenly see all the yellow pods in front of us.
We travelled a whopping 15 miles before easing into Maule Lake in North Miami Beach. Here we spent several quiet days aboard enjoying the splendid weather - mid 80's each day and hot hot hot in the sun.
After several days of lazy - like that is anything new - we were off again this time stopping at Duffy's Sports Bar (still in North Miami Beach). We tied up to their dock and decided to take in a late lunch.
The Admiral
4/2/2012 3:16pm
Currently enjoying lunch at Duffy's and relishing in the fact that the blog is COMPLETELY current.

Sunday, April 1, 2012




In Fort Lauderdale we dropped the hook in Lake Sylvia which was surrounded by residential homes. As you can see from the photo we definitely weren't roughing it as every home was big and the one immediately behind us could only be called a sprawling mansion.
We launched the dinghy and decided to do some gunkholing. Up the New River we found the downtown area with expansive residences on the water and tall condo buildings inland.
Wherever we went there were surprises. Up and down canals it was either houses, landscape or boats which would peak our interest.
Back aboard the 'Breezer' the Captain decided to check out our new floaties. Pictured here is him sitting in a float with his fins on (he'd been in for a snorkel) while enjoying a beer. Tough day.
The Admiral

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Supersizeville (aka Ft. Lauderdale)...

Welcome to the land of big, bigger and biggest. There is no doubt that on our arrival to Ft. Lauderdale there was a bit of a competition going on as to who had the biggest yacht. It was no surprise that when we arrived, there were cruise ships in port. Ft. Lauderdale is home of the Port Everglades inlet and boasts a sizable - nix that - supersize cruise ship port. What I always find amazing though is just how big the cruise ships are. Photo 1 shows the stern of a cruise ship next to a freighter. The freighter looks pretty minimal next to the people carrying ship.
Around the bend we headed for the bridge and off to starboard we found a special surprise. CAKEWALK was in port. She is the largest US built pleasure vessel ever - at 281 feet - and holds 97,000 gallons of diesel. Ugh....glad I don't have that fuel bill to contend with. Of course, the only reason I known this is that Captain Dave who is a marine trivia whiz - but can't remember his phone number - took one look at her and said "do you know what that is???" So photos 2 and 3 feature CAKEWALK. I found her toyhauler capabilities quite interesting.
Once through the bridge we continued to be overwhelmed by big boat after big boat. Which makes me wonder....is everyone in Ft. Lauderdale really this rich or are they just over-leveraged?? Hmmm.
The Admiral

Friday, March 30, 2012

Away from the Dock.....


On a beautiful morning, with friends to see us off, we finally left the dock at Stuart. We slipped out the inlet and turned the boat south towards Lake Worth. It was such a pleasant day that the Captain had the opportunity to take a bit of a snooze on the front deck while the spinnaker flew above him. A pod of dolphins celebrated our new found freedom with us and swum in front of us for a while doing backflips as we egged on their performance. Even a Loggerhead turtle surfaced to let us know that he too was taking notice that we were underway.
Once in Lake Worth, we celebrated with a great dinner onboard and took in the sights and sounds of the working port.
Next stop Ft. Lauderdale
The Admiral

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