Well, I'm still there. Big "shout out" to our friends from s/v Windy City in Hawaii watching over Soggy Paws. They went onboard and got all the docs I need (I hope) to prove to the State of Florida that aliens haven't taken over my identity. I can't seem to make an appointment online for a Driver's License. So after Thanksgiving I'll just have to go stand in line, and see if I have enough paper to satisfy them that I am still who I have always been as a full-time bona fide voting and driver's license-carrying resident of Florida since 1970.
Well, we have been doing our usual "visit home" crazy schedule--trying to fit in a year's worth of catching up with friends and family, getting medical checks, and acquiring needed boat things and tech toys to carry on for another year of round-the-world voyaging.
The first step on arrival was to go retrieve our car, which has been stored for the last year at my brother's house in Hawthorne (3 hours north of Melbourne). That's pretty much an all-day trip.
Then we had one day of rest before we launched in the Seven Seas Cruising Association Gam activities. It was another great 'Gam' and we got to see lots of old friends, and meet some new ones. We organized another "CSY Breakfast" where we got to meet a bunch of new CSY owners. What a group!
We also enjoyed a few seminars and the vendor area at the Gam. But our favorite is always the flea market, and this year didn't disappoint. We got a few things we needed at really good prices, that I know the sellers were happy to part with. Dave and I had a good time sharing our experiences at the 'Round Tables' sessions on Sunday morning. Dave handled the 'Eastern Pacific' round table, I handled the 'Western Caribbean', and our friend Gwen on Tackless II covered the 'Western Pacific'. (Wish we could have attended Gwen's, but she gave us a private briefing later).
Then we rushed off to catch the last of the Waterway Net get together in Wickham Park. More reunions with many old friends.
The week after SSCA should have been a 'recovery' week, but I had promised Melbourne Yacht Club that I'd do a slide show on this year's cruising adventures... which I hadn't started yet. I "crammed" all week... trying to fit 10 months of intensive adventure, photographed by multiple photographers, into a 1 hour presentation. It turned out to be an impossible task. I ran out of prep time at 5:45pm the day of the presentation, and was already up to about 240 slides. So I just said "The End... More to Follow" after I covered the first half of the Tuamotus. *sigh* It ended up taking about 1 hour and 30 minutes, and was just about the right length. It was well-received, and a few people asked "Well, when is the 2nd half?" Not this week!!
The next day we left for the west coast of Florida, where we visited Dave's cousin Bryan and Aunt Eva Nell, and 2 different CSY's that we hadn't seen before... owned by new people we hadn't met. We always get new ideas for doing stuff when we see another boat like ours. And we're still "paying forward" all the help we got from other CSY owners over the years as we were working on Soggy Paws. We had a great round of golf with Bryan, and then a nice visit with Don and Gwen, formerly of Tackless II (now happily in a house and w-w-w-working).
After a few stops on the way back from the west coast, we have just enough time to regroup, do laundry, and repack for our Thanksgiving 'tour' to see family and friends in Georgia and North Carolina!!
More to follow... and hopefully pictures *some day*