Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Arctic Weather Continues...

We've received messages from many of you wishing you were in sunny Florida with us. Well in case you've missed the latest national weather forecast, Florida has been sunny - yes - but not balmy beach weather. Sure we've had highs in the mid-50's during the day, but it has been getting darn chilly at night. Additionally, winds have been fierce - 40 mph yesterday making the trek from the mooring field to the dinghy dock a bit damp and challenging.
We are hoping the brisk weather will break soon!
The Admiral
12/10 - 12/14/10

Friday, December 10, 2010

Man Overboard!!!

I'd like to preface this entry by stating that what you are about to read is true. There has been no (or very little) embellishment to the tale.

Our story begins with a dinner invitation from Alain and Judy on Rhama. The Captain, Eric, Ellen and I were all invited and we dinghied out to Alain and Judy's boat Rhama for our evening of fun. A lovely dinner was followed by great conversation. As the evening continued I excused myself to step into the restroom. At about the same time Eric stepped out on deck for some "fresh air". Moments later I saw a shadow pass by the bathroom window followed by a splash and a short cry for help. I confess, it didn't register with me until seconds later when a much more definitive plea for help in Eric's voice reached my ears.

Meanwhile, the others were continuing conversations in the salon, unaware of Eric's fate. There was only one thing I could do - I shouted to the others from my perch that Eric had fallen overboard. A scurry from the salon to the stern followed by shouts confirmed that Eric was indeed overboard clinging to Rhama's starboard door which had come off its track in Eric's fall.

After assessing that Eric was not in an immediate state of drowning the group did what every friend would do in a similar situation. We pulled out the cameras and immediately started taking photos of the event. You never know when a few incriminating photos may come in handy!!!

Next we saved the door. Its an excellent piece of hardwood that Alain made himself so we had to make sure it was not lost. Meanwhile, Dave took off to save a piece of trim that had also come off in all the commotion.

Finally, we pulled Eric to safety. (We wish we had photos of him doing his doggie paddle, but in all the excitement that shot was missed.) Yet as you can see we have plenty of other great shots. Eric dripping wet after being pulled from the river. Eric being stripped of his wet clothes - not by his wife - but the two other ladies on board. (I think Eric secretly relished this bit of fun.) And finally, Eric dressed in the red bathrobe already retelling his tale of terror.

The amazing thing is I was just wondering the other day what in the world I would have to share with all of you.....who knew Eric would give me a juicy tidbit to post!!

The Admiral

PS. Yes, Eric is just fine. A bit embarrassed, but just fine!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Central Florida aka the Arctic...

A quick check of the weather had us quickly revising our plans to depart St. Augustine. Our offshore weather window would be closing in 48 hours and while this was ample time for our passage to Ft. Pierce, we always like to have a bit of cushion just in case Mr. NOAA's timeline was off. So instead of a leisurely Saturday in St. Augustine, we opted for a pre-dawn departure.

Now, fellow boaters please take note, when departing St. Augustine in the dark beware of unlit red markers - these are also undocumented on our chartplotters. Fortunately, it was an uneventful departure and we navigated our way past them, but a surprise nonetheless. Offshore proved to be our best run yet. Speeding along at an easy 7+ knots. We dropped the hook in Ft. Pierce about 27 hours later.

After a few hours sleep the question became - what next. We were 2 weeks ahead of schedule for our slip in Stuart and a mere 25 miles away. A quick call to the marina in Stuart and we were on our way again. Not to a slip but a mooring ball. That would do us fine for the time being.

On arrival we quickly started to fall into our routines from last season. Friends Eric and Ellen greeted us and Ellen and the Admiral began making plans for morning walks. The Captain and Eric had other pursuits - rib specials from PA's - as our arrival coincided with their anniversary and ribs were $9.99 and drafts $0.99.

Our arrival was also in time for the Stuart Holiday parade which included the local law enforcement, fire department, classic cars, school marhing bands and plenty of floats. The parade must have been a sign for Father Christmas to add a chill to the air as we've experienced near freezing temperatures each of the last two nights and highs only in the low 50's during the day.


The Admiral
11/24 - 12/9/2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

St. Augustine...

We arrived in St. Augustine and were greeted by the new site of mooring balls in the north and south anchorages. How wonderful! Gone are the days of worrying about your neighbor dragging anchor.

Ashore, we enjoyed the downtown district taking in the pedestrian street, the fort and enjoying happy hour at Pizzalley. On the advice of friends Kevin and Marlene, we also took in the San Sebastian Winery. We'd walked past it on many occasions previously while enroute to the marine supply store but had never stopped in. It was great and will now be on the list of regular activities for future visits.

We also made it out to the lighthouse and old jail before heading off to the airport to drop off Matt. Speaking of Matt, 15 minutes after dropping him at the airport our week of wonderful weather came to an end. The sky opened up and it downpoured. Kudos to Matt's vacation timing.

More to come.

The Admiral
11/24 - 11/26/10