Monday, December 10, 2018

Around the World in 68 Days (USA)

We landed in Baltimore and spent 2 days at the Annapolis Boat Show looking at Dynema rigging options, and catching up on boat gizmos. Then we took a short hop on Southwest to Atlanta.

We had a delightful week decompressing at my sister's house and catching up with Georgia family. We were happy to pick our car up from the storage facility and find everything working. Unfortunately a few days later I had a minor accident at a stop sign which ended up totaling our car. Fortunately my sister had an extra car--a similar old-but-good-condition small SUV (Ford Escape)--which she was happy to sell us.

We drove from Atlanta to Dave's cousin's house in Largo, Florida, with an overnight stop at my brother's house near Gainesville. Dave's cousin Bryan handles all our mail, so he is always our first stop once we get to Florida. After only a couple of days at Bryan's house, we drove across to our tiny condo in Melbourne. "Home" at last! It's only 700 sq ft, but it looks out on pretty Melbourne Harbor.

We spent most of the first week at home on catching up with Melbourne friends, ordering "boat parts", and seeing doctors...general health (and prescription updates), eyes, teeth, and skin! The eye doctor is warning both of us that we'll probably need cataract surgery in the next couple of years, but other than that, we got a clean bill of health. Whew!

Sherry also got to do several sailing events associated with the Melbourne Yacht Club's Fall Regatta--racing one day in a 420, another day in an Opti Pram, and two days in PHRF competition as crew on two different boats. That was fun!

We also took 2 days somewhere in there to drive to Miami to see a boat a friend was looking at buying, and stopped at Sailing Services to pick up some rigging. We decided to stick with traditional rigging for the time being--the insurance company wasn't very keen on insuring us with Dynema. We ended up bringing a new forestay back in our luggage. The rest of the rigging will have to wait until next year.

The next weekend, I flew to Cincinatti to see daughter Nicki. Dave dropped me off at the Orlando airport on Thursday morning, and then drove to see his Naval Academy roommate in neaby Clermont, and then on to Bryan's house in Largo to hang out with Bryan and watch college football on Bryan's big screen TV.

On Monday morning, he picked me up at the airport, and we drove straight to the Suwanee River State Park, where a few of his Naval Academy classmates had planned a little kayak / hangout reunion. We did two days of down river paddling on deserted stretches of the Suwanee, and enjoyed hanging out with the guys. It was a beautiful getaway.

On Thursday, we drove back to Melbourne just in time to participate in the Seven Seas Cruising Association Melbourne Gam. We managed to avoid any volunteer slots--except for speaker slots. Dave gave a talk on Refrigeration for the Cruiser, and did a Sunday roundtable on Snorkeling and Diving and Photography. We both gave the Saturday night "keynote" talk on Cruising the Philippines. And I proctored the Ham Exams on Sunday afternoon. Another busy weekend! (and for the 4th or 5th time, I said "never again!") But we really enjoy attending the Gams to catch up with other cruising friends.

Then we had another week where we were frantically trying to finish off our lists of stuff to buy...Amazon, West Marine, Walmart, etc. Plus Goodwill, of course, to buy 2 extra suitcases to haul all that stuff back to the boat. We nervously eyed the growing pile of stuff every day, wondering if we could fit it all in, and could we get it in under the 50-lb bag weight limits. We had booked our tickets back on Southwest ("where every bag flies free") to Los Angeles, and Philippine Airlines (which only has a small fee for checked baggage). Then we were thinking about the logistics of trying to travel with 4 50-lb bags, plus a large-as-allowed rolly bag as a carry on, and a "personal item" (an overweight backpack). Spent many a night laying awake worrying about the logistics of getting our stuff back to the boat...

In between all that, we're worrying about taking care of annual maintenance items on two of our rental condos. Big thanks to friends nearby who loaned us several key items, including power drills, a big ladder, and several small items.

Then Thanksgiving--we had decided to leave the car in Florida this year (due to insurance reasons, mostly), and had already booked our flight out of Tampa. Then my nieces decided we HAD to do Thanksgiving in Atlanta. So we packed up our stuff in Melbourne, drove to Largo and dropped a load of it off at Bryan's house, and drove to Atlanta for Thanksgiving, returning to Largo the day after Thanksgiving. We managed to fit in a short stop overnight at another of Dave's USNA friends, who are also cruisers and travelers.

Then a final few days in Largo, organizing and sorting and packing. We thought we had it all packed and then weighed the bags and found that one was overweight by 20 lbs!! We left one piece of rigging and a heavy new bridle line at Bryan's house... But the bags of my special Hazelnut Coffee, the Smoked Salted Almonds, and several boxes of Triscuits made the cut.

We flew to Los Angeles and drove to San Diego for a short visit with Dave's son Chris and his wife Sandy. Fun, but short!

Then back to LAX where we had a long late night flight to Manila, and a short hop from Manila to Davao. Not home yet--we had the bad luck to land on a Saturday in Davao, where the ferry to Samal (where the boat is) is jammed up every weekend. It took us 2 hours waiting in line at the ferry to get across to Samal and finally we were HOME.

Our checked luggage didn't make the flight from Manila to Davao, so it was delivered to us at the marina the next day. We were worried about it sitting around unattended in some luggage room, but once we got it all packed, NOTHING was missing.

Time to relax, right? Nope, we're launching in two weeks!!

No comments:

Post a Comment