Well, we splashed down on Sat Nov 13th. It took us 3 to 4 hours of scrubbing the decks to get rid of the boat yard grime and the summer’s accumulation of dirt. But, it was wonderful to finally be back on our floating home. Foolishly, we had invited guests for dinner that night but we managed to hide the extra stuff and clean up the main salon enough to be respectable.

The next few days were spent sorting through the stuff in the car and the boat to separate out that which stays and that which comes with us. We tried to be ruthless this year and threw out old computers, printers, clothing etc. Then, it was time to fill up all the lockers with cans, packages and bottles for our winter’s meals. Flour was purchased in Canada ( 22 lb of white and 10 lb of whole wheat ). When that runs out, we can obtain Canadian flour in the Bahamas, believe it or not. Visits to Sam’s and WalMart depleted our bank account but filled up the lockers to the brim.

The sails have been bent on and the new main looks wonderful. Hopefully we can give it a try very soon.

Last evening Murray re-installed the ham radio and the antenna tuner went back on today. A test of our pactor system for e-mail showed complete success. Now there is just a part to be returned. Our hydraulic backstay adjuster lost its oil before our launch and, after a myriad of phone calls, was sent to Florida Rigging and Hydraulics for repairs. You may remember the name as they replaced our rigging after the lightning strike. The repairs are completed and now we are just waiting for UPS to return it.

In the meantime, Mur is working on teak – not his favourite pastime. But it does mean that most other jobs are under control if varnishing has come to the top. I have been doing some computer checks and radio memory re-setting. Just like us, the radio seems to forget its settings every time we take it off of the boat. Each fall we swear that we are going to write all of this info down to jog our memories but each spring it seems so obvious that we do not bother. Then when we get back here in the fall we ask “how do we…..?”

My hands are doing ok but I know that they are not back to full capabilities, even the one that was operated on in the spring. Climbing the ladder to the dock is the worst as it actually is tilted inward beyond 90 degrees to the dock. And the top rung is partially blocked so that only a toe hold is available. Luckily the ladder has strong arms that extend above so I can haul myself upward.

Our plans – to get out of here as soon as we can, maybe later on Friday or early Sat. Titusville will be about a three day journey from here and we will stop for a brief visit with friends. Then, push on to Vero Beach where we will likely stay a week or more. Vero is a difficult spot to leave as everything is convenient for the cruisers with free buses and safe moorings. So even if we plan to only stay 3 days, we never make it out that fast. May as well just plan to stay a week.

Thanksgiving will happen in the midst of all of our travels. Yes as lucky snowbirds, we get to celebrate two Thanksgivings and we are very thankful for that. A small cooked turkey breast already resides in our freezer in anticipation. We don’t know where exactly we will be but we will raise a glass in a toast to all of you. May your days be bright and your nights calm. Fair winds from Windswept IV.

Hugs, Heather & Murray

PS for VA3TD rig is working -email freq and time for sked.