Friday, 28 November 2014

Splash, here we go agian.

Well surprise, surprise, here we are back again.

Hello to everyone. We hope you are are well and staying warm. We have started our journey south again.  We currently are docked at Las Olas Municipal Marina having our engine checked out as we had issues coming down the ICW yesterday. Also still working on small projects on board, including our our new water maker that isn't working 100%.
We will be celebrating American Thanksgiving with Tim and Susan (Alpenglow), drinks on board Haven then off to a restaurant for turkey.

We had a fantastic summer, no complaints! Lots of time spent with our families and friends, splitting our time between Ontario and BC.

After putting the boat to bed we flew home to Ontario where we retrieved our car kept in storage at my dad's and began to get into a routine while staying at my sisters.  Jen, Adrian, Ella and Russell were fabulous hosts. Alan managed to do some work around their place  to earn our keep while I helped out with meals and kids and hanging with my big sis. Thank you guys for putting up with us for so long! It was great being so close to everyone again. Hanging at my Dad's, visiting both my brothers and all my amazing nieces and nephews. My sister-in-law Sonja whooped my but in tennis, and spending some good quality time with my BFF Lori Anne and her family.

 Lots and lots of fun.

Having on  "Cha Cha Cha" my brother Paul and his wife Jo's new 36' Jeneau in the Toronto harbour.

Al's sister Angela and Andrew's fiance Sierra at Geoff's 40th Birthday party in Sudbury.
Al with his nephew Geoff
My mom and her cousins, Jane and Joan at their Aunt Gladys's 90th Birthday and Iddison family reunion.
Al and I were very happy to have made it back for the celebration,
Here I am Tree Top Trekking at the Ganaraska forest.
Then we were off to BC. Anxious to see Skye and Paige and spend some time in our Comox home.  On our way we visited Al's family in Sudbury and Edmonton, always so much fun. Thanks everyone for all the great hospitality.  We were lucky to have been there when Al's nephew got engaged to his beautiful partner Sierra, congratulations guys!
Leaving Edmonton we were met by massive wild fires that were plaguing  the forests of BC. It was sad to witness all the devastation while driving through.

After visiting with Skye in Vancouver then Paige in Victoria we headed up to the Valley. My mom is now living in our house so we had a place to stay and had some great quality time with mom.
Al once again started doing lots of work around the house. He took down a tree from our front yard, planted a new one and reseeded the lawn, looks wonderful.  In between we managed lots of time with the girls. We were thrilled to have Skye spend her 1 week holiday with us at the house.  Paige and Blake also were up for a visit  and we all spent time together in Victoria. So nice when we are able to get the girls together-made Dad a very happy man!

My last surviving 4 legged baby, Jazz. She is almost 19 and going strong thanks to my amazing mom and my favorite people at Puntledge Veterinary Clinic. A big thank you to all of you.
Our hometown of Comox at low tide.
A regular appearance on our front lawn.
 Al, Skye and Paige at The Victoria Dragon Boat festival in front of the wall of lanterns with messages of hope or remembrance for those affected by cancer. Between girls is a lantern placed in memory of their uncle Larry.
 BC forests.
Ethan's first big catch! A couple of tasty salmon.
Paige and Blake at the top of a hike we did just north of Campbell River, overlooking Surge Narrows. 

Although I would have liked more work, I did manage to get called for a few days  at couple of local Vet Clinics. Good to keep my head in the game.

OK, so we couldn't stay away from sailing...the Georgia Strait was calling us!  We were able to rent a little 29 foot Cal," Wild Thing" and took her out for 9 perfect days. Along with our wonderful friends, The McLeans aboard their 42 foot CT "Striker" we headed up Princess Louisa inlet to Chatterbox falls. Spending time at different anchorages along the way. We  couldn't have asked for better weather, scenery or company.

We stayed in BC a little longer than we thought but then once again drove back across the country to Ontario in time for Thanksgiving. Dad and I cooked up a storm, it was DELICIOUS!!
Our plan was to leave right after to drive back down to start getting the boat ready for another season!  The new watermaker needs to be installed as well as the long list of other projects Al has planned.

More of our summer...
I managed to get back on my beloved Dragon Boat team, the Comox Valley Dragon Flies. Practises twice a week and both Al and I participated (Al steers) in the Victoria Dragon Boat Festival. We had such a blast. It was great connecting with all those wonderful people.
Dragon Flies practise. Al took the picture from a bridge.

Victoria Dragon Boat Festival, we are the boat second closest to you. Al's standing up in the back. We actually came second in this race.
Our sailing adventure in BC
Heading into Princess Louisa Inlet
Going into our first anchorage at Harmony Island
Striker anchored at Jedediah Island
Amy and I sailing on Wild Thing.
Happy hour.
The McLean's
At the dock-Chatterbox Falls
A forgotten ingredient for another Happy hour!
Wild Thing stern tied.
Jonathan and I fighting for control.
BC sunset
Well, the drive down was beautiful with all the trees in full colour driving through Pennsylvania and mountains of West Virginia. The drive isn't long but we took our time and arrived at Green Cove Springs two and a half days later. 
Now the bad news (for us)...Haven did not fair as well as we had hoped. One of the drainage holes became plugged even after the painstaking research we had done about the dos and don'ts of "summerizing" your vessel. Sure, it could have been worse as water filled the bilge, but what it did do is cause massive mold and mildew blanketing EVERY bit of wood in the boat. It also caused extensive surface corrosion on all metal- engine effected the worse. 
So the work began. Cleaning took 4 full days alone with Al still working on engine parts long after that.  I was glad that we had put most things from he boat in storage, it made it much easier to get around the boat to clean and work.  
Life consisted of working hard on the boat during the day then crashing at "home" in our motel The Green Cove Spring Inn. Cheap by the week, we ended up their for 2 weeks. When our launch was cancelled due to high winds we lived aboard Haven on the hard, you should have seen us hauling the mattress up the ladder!
We met lots of nice people, all doing the same things, trying to get their boats ready for the water.
We ended up tackling a few more issues that weren't expected along with our already lengthy list.

-rudder needed to be rebuilt
-new cutlass bearing
-replace steering cable 
-replace kill switch for engine (corroded)
-installed serpentine kit
-install watermaker
-install new chart plotter
-replace switches on fans
-install water level measuring device in our tank
-bottom paint
-install deck wash down/shower 
-replace reefing lines 

We were launched without incident. Haven was floating, no leaks and engine running well. We tied up dock side for another few days, putting up the sails, dodger and bimini and final provisioning. I also spent two days ridding the deck top of all the work yard carnage. 
Finally, ready to go.

The boat is treating us well once again, although we still have things to finish before crossing to the Bahamas. We are making our way back down the ICW and it has been a great trip so far. Meeting new cruisers as well as running into many familiar faces.  Happy hour aboard Sloop John Dee was a nice surprise, a couple we had met last year in Elizabeth City. We have re visited some of our favorite places like St. Augustine and Boca Raton, and manage to see some new places like Cocoa Village and Vero Beach. 

check this out! You can see where I wiped the table, at least it came off easily.

Charlie rebuilding our rudder.

Haven on the hard
This is me sanding the bottom paint.
finished bottom paint and rudder!
Our boat neighbours "Laughter" This is Jan hauling Peanut up at the end of their day.  Safety first always!
Our third home. We rented the trailer to empty our storage unit.
going in the water
mysterious dock fire
Ready to go.
Sunrise leaving downtown Jacksonville. Our first morning on the move.
Yes, we experienced some not so nice weather.
A couple of fun days in Boca, met a lovely couple from France, Pierre and Jessy. They had crossed the Atlantic in January as new sailors aboard their 40' Jeneau. They have some pretty hair raising stories about their travels but they are still having lots of fun.
Thanksgiving celebrations last night. Had a blast!
We are waiting for the next weather window for crossing, looks like won't be for another 7-10 days. Keeping in touch with Harmonium who are behind us a few days and it looks like we will all be reunited soon. We might all head to Miami again for the crossing instead of hanging out here for too long.

OK, so there you have it. You're all caught up now. (so am I)
Talk to you all soon.
Lots of Love

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