Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday, March 20,2009

We have finally seen a pretty day! It has rained every day since we arrived in Rocky Mount. Ondra left on Wednesday afternoon headed to Atlantic Beach for the remainder of the week. Will had a work trip to California and Stacey was working 7-7 Thursday- Saturday. GG is taking Jackson to school and picking him up and enjoying spending time with him in the afternoons and evenings until he goes to bed. On Thursday, Ondra went to see Gray Marrow who had her new grandbaby, Brad's son Jack with her and Rose Marie Wallace there also. It was good to see them also. The baby looks just like Brad. Brad was there also. It was good to see him again as it had been quite a while. He is recovering from the same back surgery as Nelson. He is hoping to get back to work soon. He is doing a great job of taking care of Jack while he is home with his back.
Justin and Lindsey are coming tonight for the remainder of the weekend. Today is Lindsey's birthday. We are all looking forward to seeing them. Nelson is also coming down this afternoon. Jackson keeps asking me how soon will they get here?
Will returns tomorrow night around 8:00. Jackson has really missed him.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009

Hello Everyone,
We arrived in Rocky Mount , NC on Thursday around 6:00. Boy, we were glad to see home. We spent the night, unpacking the car, opening mail and just enjoying a house for a change. We had tons of mail, mostly junk as usual. Yes, we did have a few items that needed our attention also.
Will, Stacey, and Jackson came Saturday and stayed the remainder of the weekend with us. It was great to see them all together and doing good. Jackson had grown so much and he is as sweet as ever. He is doing so well in school and seems to enjoy his class. Chase, their dog, also came to see us. He looks so good. They do not let him eat all the time like we did. He had lost 12 pounds since being with them. Jackson and he have become best of friends. We are happy that he has his dog now and Chase is not here by himself . We will be here visiting friends and family until the end of next week. We are going to need to be back at the boat by April 1 as we have someone coming to inspect the engine and give it a 1000 mile tune up. We have put over 1300 miles on it thus far this trip. We are still saying the trip was great and we are looking forward to more of the same as we begin our return trip to NC in April. We told Ike that we would spend a week with them when we get back to their house. Hope to see you while we are home. If not, we'll see you in June.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Monday March10, 2009

On Friday, March 6, after two weeks of enjoying our stay at Boot Key Harbor mooring field in Marathon, FL, we motor sailed and sometimes just sailed north on the west coast headed to Cape Coral. We entered Shark River around 4:00 to anchor for our first night with several other boats. We had six other boats going the same place and anchoring also in Shark River. No, I did not see any sharks, but they say that is why it is named shark because there are lots of sharks there. It was a good place to anchor but, the trees were all dead and there was not much to see. Our friend on Intransition said he thinks he saw an alligator the next morning but we did not see it. Randy and Kathy joined us on Last Boat for a pork chop dinner. They did salad and a baked potato. I baked some sugar cookies for our dessert. Together, we had a delicious meal.Saturday morning we set sails for Indian Key. We anchored around 4:00 and ate dinner with Randy and Kathy on their boat. We had chicken, rice and slaw. I baked a lemon pound cake and carried green beans. We were at their boat around six o’clock when two men came by on kayaks who said they were with others and got away and were lost and it was beginning to get late. Nelson, being the nice guy as he is volunteered to pull them on our dinghy back to Tiger Key where they were suppose to be. He and Randy found it on the charts and knew it was several keys up from where we were anchored. Well, we thought we were going to never see Nelson again. It got dark and there was no Nelson. He was two hours getting back. He did not have his cell phone to call us nor did he carry his hand held radio. We finally reported him missing with the Coast Guard. They asked us to wait one more hour and call them back. He showed up one hour later and we let them know he had returned. We finished dinner at 10:00. What a night! We all slept well.
The next morning, Nelson and I left on our boat. We sailed all day from 7:00 until 8:00.
We made it to Sanibel Island and anchored right across from the lighthouse. It was a beautiful day. The winds were blowing 10-15 knots which made for a good motor sail day. We like it when the winds are not so strong and that the boat is not rocking and rolling like it did the last day we were on the ocean. The waters were such a beautiful aqua green and sometimes, we could see the bottom. There were many dolphins on the water. They always look so neat jumping and swimming right beside the boat. We were having such a good day. We could have almost made it to Ft. Myers if we had had more daylight time. After getting anchored and eating a late dinner, we were very tired. We have not had any good television in so long that we forget to turn it on sometimes. But, we were too tired to even try that night.
Monday morning, we pulled anchor and motored under the bridge where we were suppose to pick up Eric and Leah to ride back to Cape Coral with us. As we went up toward the docks, the water became too shallow in a hurry and we came hard aground.
This was our first time ever that we could not get the boat to move at all. We called Eric to let them know that we were stuck. He asked one of the fishermen at the dock who had a big motor if he could come out and pull us back out to deeper water and one of them did. But, he got his finger caught between his boat and our anchor and almost pulled his fingernail off by getting it caught between the two boats. I felt so sorry for him. It was hurting him so bad and then he still had to pull us off the bottom. We paid him for his trouble and hated that he got hurt doing it. Another boat brought Eric and Leah out to meet Nelson in the dinghy. We should have taken the dinghy down and not tried to make it in such shallow water and everyone would have been happy. Too late no!
We were finally ready to get to Ike and Babs house with Eric and Leah on the boat with us. Eric was the captain as he knew the way and we had no idea which canal we needed to take to get us there. It was nice having him and Leah with us. The first canal we took after going slowly through the shallow waters had another obstacle for us. There were power lines and we were not sure whether our mast would clear them or not. So, we motored close while Eric stood right beside the mast and tried see if he thought we could make it without hitting the lines. Boy was this scary! Nelson told us not to touch any metal while we were going under the wire. Everyone was outside looking from their yards and shaking their heads letting us know that they too were not sure that we could make it. Well, we did! We were four excited people once we cleared the wires. The remainder of our trip was short and uneventful. However; Nelson and I were so excited because this was our goal for the whole trip, getting to Ike’s dock in his backyard and we have made it. They had a wonderful seafood dinner for us last night. Ike, Babs, Nelson’s brother and wife, Eric and Diane, Ike’s youngest son and his wife, and their daughter from South Dakota, Leah and us enjoyed eating dinner together out on the screened porch. It was delicious! And the weather was just great also!
We are getting the boat ready to leave it while we drive back to NC to do taxes (ugh). We are planning to leave early in the morning so we will be seeing Jackson, our grandson, our sons and their spouses, our friends and families soon. Yes, we have had a wonderful trip and have made some great friends, but we are also ready to get back to see you all too! We will continue our blog when we get back to Florida and back on Last Boat to continue our trip on the waters back to Jordan Creek, NC.
Nelson & Ondra

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Thursday, MARCH 5, 2009

We did not leave Marathon as we had planned. The northeast winds were 20 knots for the last two days and we were advised to stay here until they came from the east. We are hoping to leave at 7:00 in the morning if the winds and weather don't change from what they are forecasting. We had paid for the mooring through Friday so we are already paid up anyway. Now, we are not going to lose any money. We like it here and don't mind staying until we can get the correct weather window.

We went to the Marina yesterday afternoon for the meet & greet session. We carried a hamburger helper dinner to share with others and we enjoyed getting to enjoy their cooking and also meet new people whom we had not met on our last pot luck dinner. There is always a lot of new people coming and going around here. We got invited to a desert tonight with another boat at 7:00. I think she said strawberry short cake. They did not make it to the dinner and had to get some help in eating the desert she had mad to carry. Sounds delicious. We just met them last night through some other friends who we will be traveling with tomorrow to the West side of Florida. Nice people! Hope the next thing I post will be from Cape Coral on the west coast at Ike and Babs house. We are looking forward to seeing them land their family.

Nelson & Ondra

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tuesday March 3, 2009
Hello Everyone,
I understand some of you are having snow. I really do not misss the cold weather and especially the snow. We are still in Marathon, Florida and the weather here is a bit cool also. We had to wear jackets most all day yesterday because of the winds and cooler weather. Sunday night, the winds blew about 30 plus knots all night. Ondra got very little sleep as the boat was constantly moving and the noise from the mooring ball was too loud hitting the side of the boat which was also due to the winds.
We had a good day yesterday. Andrew & April Neville spent the day with us. They are here on vacation. Justin gave them our telephone numbers so they called us and spent their first day here in the keys with us. We rode around the area in their car and showed them places to enjoy while they were here. We ate lunch at The Fishery, one of our favorite places here at Marathon to eat. They were also nice enough to carry us several places as we have to walk most times. It was great riding in a car for the first time in quite a while. They rode the dinghy out to our boat where we visited and later went for a long dinghy ride out to the beach area. On our way back, there were five people in another dinghy in the channel who were oaring back and not making much progress as the winds were still blowing them further out. Evidently their motor had quit working. We tied a rope to their boat and pulled them for a rather long distance back to their dock across the bay from where we were moored. We then, rode around to another seafood restaurant on the water and ate our dinner. Andrew got his bottom soaked as the water was splashing us and we were all a bit wet, but not like Andrew. He was very cold so we found a table by a gas heater and we were much warmer while eating. We did not get as wet coming back to the sailboat. They stayed until later and then Nelson took them back to the Marina docks where they had parked their car. We loved having their company.
We are planning to leave here in the morning and head to Cape Coral on the west coast of Florida where Nelson’s brother lives. We will be there for several days and then leave our boat there and ride back to NC to do our taxes (Ugh!). While there, we will plan to see family and friends before coming back to Florida. After visiting with Ike and Babs, we are planning to bring the boat back north. We are thinking we should be back in Rocky Mount by the first of June. Thus far, we have had a wonderful trip and hope the remainder will be just as enjoyable. Looking forward to seeing everyone soon.
Nelson & Ondra

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sunday, March 1, 2009

We went to National Pig Day this afternoon here in Marathon. The stuffed Pig restaurant here across the road from the Marina had it and we went around 12:00 today with our friend, Ray who has the same sailboat as us and is moored just in front of us here in Boot Key Harbor. We had met him when we were in St. Marys, Georgia. They had delicious pork barbecue and hot dogs and hamburgers for sale there. All you wanted to eat for $15.00. The most fun was watching the pig races. They had three races. First the little white piglets raced, then, the black small pigs and the funniest was the huge pot belly pigs. They did not do anything but try to make it walking around the track. It was exciting and the crowd were cheering the pigs on.
Nelson and I left about 2:30 after the second race and walked about a mile down the road to the Home Depot. Nelson needed to get some straps for the dinghy. Yes, we got our exercise for today. We started out with beautiful weather this morning with 85 degrees, but the winds started blowing 30 plus knots and now it is 58 degrees and much cooler. We may not get to leave and head west until Wednesday.
Nelson & Ondra

Wed-Sun. March 1, 2009

Some friends of ours from our Jordan Creek dock are on their sailboat in Boca Chita which is near Key West. We went to their boat Wed. night and spent the night. The next morning, we drove to Key West and boarded a Cat boat at 7:30 and the four of us rode over to the Dry Tortuga's for the day. We toured Fort Jefferson which is the largest Fort I have ever visited. It was very interesting. The boys wanted to dive but the wind was blowing and it was too cold. Nelson said there was not very much to see there anyway. The trip back, was one I will never forget. The waves were gigantic and we were up and down for about 1 and 1/2 hours. There were many people who were sick and the staff ushered them outside to vomit outside off the back of the boat. No, we did not get sick, but we did take some sea sickness pills before we left for our trip back to Key West. It was a good trip but we were glad we were not on a sailboat. The cat boat went 35 miles an hour and only slowed down to jump the waves.We spent the night again with our friends and the next day, he and Nelson exchanged dinghies. Nelson wanted a smaller one with smaller motor and Bud wanted a larger one.
At Bud and Brenda's docks in Boca Chita, they are practicing for a conch blowing contest in Key West on March 7th. The girls are also dancing, blowing conchs and singing. It is really neat!
Everyone blows the conchs even at our Marathon, Boot Harbor at sunset. I have got to bring one of my conchs back when we go home in March.
It worked out good for them both.We spent yesterday doing errands. Nelson walked 5 miles to the hardware store and I walked a small journey to the Kmart and Grocery store. We rode our dinghy for several miles and left it at a dock for $5.00 while we did our shopping. Last night, we went up to the Marina and sat around and listened to many men play their guitars and we sang along. There was also a guy who had a small bongo drum and he was really good. There were a lot of people just standing around talking quietly and listening to the music.Our friends Marie and Chris left on Friday for the Bahamas with four other boats. We miss having them around. We are budding up with another boat for our trip sometime this week to the West Florida coast to Nelson's brother Ike's house on Cape Coral. We are waiting for a good weather window. Then we will continue our journey to Ike's. Hope that happens soon as this is our second week here.
We are ready for a change. But, we do like it here. Nelson is getting eager to get home and get the taxes completed
Hope to see you all soon!
Nelson & Ondra.