Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Road Trip Home

Punta Gorda, FL to Campbell Creek, NC

THE TRIP HOME by road …

ReturnTripJanFeb2018 (31)ReturnTripJanFeb2018 (2)First we headed south & east to see family we thought we would see by boat. We could not leave FL without seeing them. Rip’s cousin & his family live in Ft Lauderdale and his aunt & uncle live just north of there.

On the way to see the cousin/family, detoured to Boca Raton to celebrate with Gypsie’s Palace & Firestorm. Both boats/crew achieved GOLD Looper status.

ReturnTripJanFeb2018 (6)ReturnTripJanFeb2018 (9)ReturnTripJanFeb2018 (11)ReturnTripJanFeb2018 (15)ReturnTripJanFeb2018 (16)ReturnTripJanFeb2018 (18)ReturnTripJanFeb2018 (19)Steve made wonderful guacamole for docktails and Debbie made a great chili for us all for dinner. Everyone else pitched in with other cocktail foods and, of course, champagne. Little did we know Debbie, oh so clever, came up with the slogan “2 Gold & 1 Sold” … so we all could celebrate!PuntaGordaJan2018 (6)

A behind the scenes pic of the GOLD pic in progress for Firestorm. Laurie & Mike crossed their wake in the middle of a day’s cruise with no one around. SO, today is their formal picture!!

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CEB, Ana and their son Chas, graciously put us up for the night. Not everyone is able or willing to have a Labrador spend the night! We appreciate it. First night sleeping in a regular bed, on land, in 10 months!ReturnTripJanFeb2018 (20)ReturnTripJanFeb2018 (21)We were up way too late talking and catching up. It was great. After a slow restful morning, we all headed north to CEB’s mom & dad; Aunt Carol & Uncle Buddy.

ReturnTripJanFeb2018 (22)ReturnTripJanFeb2018 (23)I I cannot tell you how long it has been since we have seen them and they both look great! Our time, too short, was delightful with Carol & Buddy. Carol is as sweet & beautiful as ever and Buddy is as funny as always.ReturnTripJanFeb2018 (24)ReturnTripJanFeb2018 (25)

Off we went, further north, to stage ourselves for the next morning to see a boat. We stopped to look at a boat for sale; it wasn’t the boat for us, but at least we tried and won’t wonder what if. ReturnTripJanFeb2018 (30)ReturnTripJanFeb2018 (28)

From there 2 easy days to reach home sweet home. We had not been home in 10 months. ReturnTripJanFeb2018 (32)ReturnTripJanFeb2018 (34)All went well starting the house back up (water systems, etc.); thanks to Rip’s prep in leaving. Everyone had a very restful night! It was great to be back in a king size bed, all though on land. With no groceries on hand and the refrigerator turned off … easing back into live on land was simplified with the offer of dinner out the first 2 nights at friends/neighbors homes!! 

ReturnTripJanFeb2018 (37)ReturnTripJanFeb2018 (38)WOW, we have some great friends!! I was too tired to remember to take a pic while on Bond Creek with Carolyn & Phil. It was nice catching up with everyone and hanging out. When we left, we assumed we would come home by boat, therefore we would have groceries on board with the ability to cook, eat, clean, sleep until we had a chance to get the house up and running and a time for run to the grocery store.

The only hiccup we had in restarting life on land was the battery of the Escape was dead. Nothing could come out of the garage/shop until the Escape came out. We couldn’t unload the mini vans until the space was empty of the truck and car. ReturnTripJanFeb2018 (35)After a bit we located a new battery 30 miles away (got to love rural life on the water). Though not easy to install, Rip handled it with ease. After that all went as expected.

The pier sure does look empty, but room for guests – hint, hint…

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T The view is still incredible

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Now, to all the unpacking … PLUS, we need to secure our “next boat”!! More on that adventure in the next post.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Our Last Month in Florida & on The The Great, this year

2 miles traveled/2 short sea trails to check out the fix for the vibration found at survey

Jan 1 – Jan 27; Punta Gorda, FL

PuntaGordaJan2018 (8)By now you know we sold the boat; so let me back up and explain our last month on the Loop (this year) and January in Punta Gorda, FL.

By January 1, we found ourselves under contract to sell the boat and temporarily stop our Loop trip. Survey and Sea Trial were scheduled for Jan 10, Acceptance date by Jan 15 and close by Jan 31.

PuntaGordaJan2018 (20)Understand the Monk holds a LOT of stuff. There is storage galore. To better show the boat’s space (i.e. empty storage spaces) to the soon to be new owner and for better access for the surveyor to systems … Rip decided to rent a PuntaGordaJan2018 (74)storage locker in town and move the stuff we didn’t need day to day; tools, extra clothing we had not used the entire trip, the SUP, etc. That also allowed us to start packing for the trip home. PuntaGordaJan2018 (87)Sort of weird being on the boat and not thinking of where we were going next. We were staying put, not heading south; as planned until Christmas Day when the offer on the boat was accepted. We were days away from moving on. Instead, life became sorting, packing, cleaning and hanging out with the other Loopers, boaters and good folks at Laishley Park Municipal Marina.

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Oh, and LOTS more ice cream!! Laishley had become like home at this point.PuntaGordaJan2018 (56)

PuntaGordaJan2018 (22)January 10th came; Rip was on the boat for sea trail along with Fred, the buyer, and John the surveyor. This meant 2 things: First, Rip had to run every system on the boat (surveyors don’t run anything, just check it is running or not) and run the boat for sea trial, Second, Cally and I had to be off the boat. We hung out at the marina lounge and had company to pass the time. Thanks to Tammi (Liberty) & Gail (The Good Life) for hanging out with us!

Though a long day for us both, the survey and sea trial went really well … except for a vibration when running at cruising speed. It was  a vibration we were not used to feeling. The surveyor thought the barnacles on the running gear (prop & shaft) were probably the cause. PuntaGordaJan2018 (106)We hired a diver to come out the next morning and clean the running gear.

Since Fred was still in town (they are from NC), we asked him to go along to sea trail the boat and check if problem was solved. PuntaGordaJan2018 (27)Cally and I went along. Though the vibration was less, it was more than we were used to the last 5000 miles.

The next step in solving this problem was to hire a diver to drop the prop (take it off) while we were in the water and send it to a prop shop to be retuned.

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Take a look below at the color of the prop when it comes offPuntaGordaJan2018 (44)

NOW look at the prop, just back from being retuned!! WOW. There was an extensive report on the specs of the prop when it arrived at the shop and then new specs once it was retuned. Though it looked fine, it was out of whack/ Not NOW!

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Remember we live on the boat, so we don’t want to be hauled out for this and be homeless. Living on a boat on land isn’t easy with a large dog; how do you get the dog aboard? Anyway, it was going to take days to get a diver out and then a couple days for the prop to be retuned, returned and sea trailed again. So, Acceptance Date for the buyers was moved to Jan 25th. On Jan 18th the prop was reinstalled and sea trailed the next day, Jan 19th. Success!! PuntaGordaJan2018 (62)

Tammi & Ethan (Liberty) went with us on the sea trial.

PuntaGordaJan2018 (64)PuntaGordaJan2018 (66)Matter of fact, not only was the unknown vibration gone; the boat was running smoother, with less vibration, than ever. She hadn’t run that smooth since day one of our ownership. Time to celebrate!PuntaGordaJan2018 (67)PuntaGordaJan2018 (69)PuntaGordaJan2018 (70)PuntaGordaJan2018 (71)PuntaGordaJan2018 (72)PuntaGordaJan2018 (73)

By the 27th, we had closed the sale, packed the rest of the boat and were off on our odd route home. PuntaGordaJan2018 (97)

It took TWO mini vans to get all our stuff and us home. Wow, and we left a lot of things on the boat.

During all this work, and stress of working through the vibration issue, there were a lot of fun times:

There were farmers markets and craft fairs

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Docktails aboard The Good Life

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Dinner out at a HOUSE in Cape Coral; thanks to David & Barbara!! It was nice to be at a home!!

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MV Magnolia came into the marina!!

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We first met Anthony & Annette in the Annapolis area as slip mates when they had Sailing Vessel Magnolia. This past year A&A sold the sailboat and crossed to the dark side with a Kadey Krogen 42!! We have followed their blog of all the work needed to make her their own … Finally got a chance to see all their hard work! Boy, did they do a great job; she is beautiful and will serve them well for a long time to come.

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Pot luck dinner at the marina lounge; too cool for eating outside tonight

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Random sightings:

Interesting cross streets

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Great name for a HVAC repair companyPuntaGordaJan2018 (37)

1/2 Off Pizza at Manatees every Thursday; but you have to go early to beat the crowd.

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Along the way we found out I will be a GREAT Aunt again!! Elizabeth & Isaac are having baby #2!!

Cally had LOTS of fun with her newest buddy, Blue from Liberty

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Not every day was sunshine and balmy weather … some mornings called for hat, gloves and flannel lined pants.

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More docktails … and actually on a dock

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Gail & Bob, The Good Life, hosted a celebration after the boat closed & the money was in the bank!!

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Thanks for hanging with us throughout the month – Gail & Bob on Liberty and Tammi ,  Ethan & Blue on Liberty!! We enjoyed it!!

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We rented a car to go see a Rosbrough RF-246, the boat of choice … just across the river from our marina. Now, that would be too easy!!

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Going a lot smaller …

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the next boat will be trailerable!! This was THE boat for a long time, then one in the north end of the Chesapeake became available. More on that in the next post.

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Another pot luck dinner & warm enough to be outside!!

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PuntaGordaJan2018 (121)We took down our Great Loop burgee to be put on the bow of the next boat when we finish our loop.

Once last meal out with the whole gang … breakfast!!

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Sign couldn’t have been more true … boy, did I stuff myself!

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Now, it is time to leave the boat and friends behind …

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Got to admit, I am going to miss this place; the view & the people. Wintering in Florida has been fun; getting further south would have been more fun, But, now, I get why people do it.

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We will be back, right here, when we restart the loop in the next boat. Stay tuned.