Conch Cruising
 

2 June

Almost at 2 weeks now, and we're still here.  A highlight was the day that my sister Adriane and her boyfriend drove down from Key Largo to spend sunset with us, the same day we sailed on Ute with some sandwiches and beer.  We felt like real Americans, that spend Memorial Day with family and friends. Somewhat surprisingly for the amount of time we've spent sailing next to Ute, that was our first time sailing -on- Ute. One day Tim and Al went dingy sailing and fishing, radioed Cora and I for beer, so we taxed and delivered some beer, then went for our own sunset motor around, checking out some of the neighboring islands.  Last night we finally got some frozen squid to bait the chicken rig with and caught a whole mess of pinfish, yellowtail snapper, and blue striped grunt.  We had a great dinner together after Tim did a quick fry up and Cora made some fresh bread. 

Key West is a great way to get reintroduced to living in the States.  We've taken the bus on our obligitory trips to giant well lighted warehouses like Winn Dixie and Kmart, along the suburban thoughrofares so completely set up for cars at the expense of pedestrians, and that's  despite the wide sidewalks lining the streets.  But the bus system is great, the people friendly and the weather sunny. Unfortunatly, the wind has been nonstop from the wrong direction.   So, here we sit, unable to go north of the keys because it's to shallow, unable to take the Hawk Channel because the contrary current, winds, and profusion of traffic sounds terrible, and unable to take our train ride north, the Gulf Stream, because of those contrary winds and higher than 10 foot seas. 
And, not to complain to much about being 'stuck' on a sailboat in Key West with two of our closest friends in sunny and breezy weather, eating fresh fish and drinking Nicaraguan rum, but the beer is kinda expensive and we're really looking forward to wearing bedroom slippers and pajamas again.  Wait, maybe that's just me.  

Even though we are back in US territorial waters, we're still not actually done with our trip.  We have another couple hundred miles to go, which isin't much given the near 5000 miles we've left to our stern, but it's still a decent hop.  

We celebrated the first day of hurricane season with the first named storm and winds finally turning in our favor, we're hoping to leave tomorrow morning and head to Miami.  Hope, hope, hope...

20 June or so now...

We made it to Melbourne with Ute, though God did seem to have a hand in it.  Really, read their blog on their lighting strike http://uteatlarge.blogspot.com.  We're having a go at trying to start all over in life, jobs, car, house, etc etc.  After, as Cora says, a life on beans and love, this is taking some material adjustment.  My family did get together for some lakeside fun on waterskis, tubes and boats, it was great to see everyone again.  We sadly saw Ute off, again, in what has become something of a running joke.  We've hit double digits in the number of times we've said goodbye to them, starting on the west coast of Costa Rica.  We've plans to see them again Friday in Saint Augustine and deliver a radar dome.  Seeing them leave, really made it hit home that our trip is -over-. 

So, that's it for the updates, maybe at some point one of us will get saucy and post some nature of summation of what it was to live aboard with a new spouse for almost two years throughout this hemisphere, mostly likely we'll leave it up to your imaginations...

Pic album 

 

 Adriane drove down for a visit in Key West.

 

Ute busted out a surprise spinikker, which rocketed them forward in our Key West to Miami race.

The water color was indescribable.

We both made it to Key Biscayne a day later.

 

 Cora and Tim, discussing the upcoming presidential race.