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Back On The Water 2024

February 2024









We have been back on the boat for two full months and this is the first opportunity I have taken to write.  “Unusual”, but the perfect word for our first two months aboard Her Diamond.


Shadd Heaston RIP


Shockingly, we lost one of our dearest boating friends at the young age of 58.  Shadd Heaston, may his memory be a blessing, died last month after a respiratory infection that was more than his heart could handle.  He left behind his wife, Tina and two sons, Cameron and Colin.  They had lived aboard their 46-foot sailing vessel, Symmetry, for eight years.  During the past month, Bob and I and many other friends have helped Tina ready the boat for market.  She has a condo here at Burnt Store and needs to sell the boat to get out from under the dockage fees.  


It has been cooler than usual for this time of year.  Every year I seem to bring less and less clothing down with me, as I wear my favorite things and the rest sits in a very small closet.  This year, I should have brought more warm clothing and I didn’t!!  We have used the small cube heater we bought for the north channel and the boat’s internal heating system more than I ever remember doing.  We have had some rain and some heavy winds as well.




More than four inches of rain on Christmas and high winds that blew the snowman off the roof.


Today is beautiful, in the 60s and the sun is in full display.  I am sitting in the cockpit, in pants and sweatshirt but enjoying the sun and 15 knot breezes.

We haven’t had a single overnight trip yet, but we have had some spectacular day sails with friends and on Her Diamond.  Some of the highlights include:

1.      Enjoyed lots of yoga and pickleball at the fitness center.




2.      Lunch at Nevermind (Burgers and volcano rolls) before they closed for good.


3.      The most amazing dolphin encounter, with 5-6 dolphins swimming with the boat for over a half hour – see the video. TO BE INSTALLED



The Cleveland group left to right- Bob and Sheila Allenick, Jeanne Shatten, Jeff Nash, MIchael and Hedy Milgrom, Larry Oscar, Rebekah Dorman and David Ashpis


4.      Met up with seven other Clevelanders for brunch at St Armond’s Circle in Sarasota. Cilantros is a great place for brunch.




5.      Introduced our boat friends to the Jewish custom of movie and Chinese on Christmas day.




Hannukah banner back out for the holiday.


6.      Had a fantastic New Years Eve party at the boater’s pool with two tables of Texas Hold’em, great food and friends. Thank you to Shadd and Tina for doing the planning.






7.      Sailed to Cabbage Key, anchored, and had lunch (cheeseburger in paradise) before sailing back to Burnt Store at dusk.  Entered the channel for the first time in dark and docked beautifully.



Faith was out of her comfort zone initially, but captain Bob put her at ease.


8.      Racing with Sue and Lawrie on Thomasina – We won the Golden Conch Regatta!

9.      Joined a book club here at the marina and have taken the time to read several books.  Check out the library section of the blog.

10.   Spent a weekend in Naples with good friends Faith and Shelly Schaffer, eating, time at the pool, and playing pickleball.  Let’s not forget Royal Scoop Ice Cream!

11.   Dinghy rides to see the manatees.




12.   Happy hours with friends & blowing the conch at sunset.

13.   Misc boat cleaning and repairs.  I must say the boat looks great since the Ian repairs.  Minor stuff like patching some of the canvas, repainting the numbers on the dinghy, waxing, reinstalled the jib which had been off the boat for a few years, installing the composting head and removing the unneeded plumbing, installing solar powered cockpit lights and a hundred other little things that were on Bob’s list.

 

A great start to the winter.  I am going to be back in Cleveland February 15-19.  I hope when I return the weather has warmed up so that we can cast off the dock lines for a bit of cruising.

 

That is it for now.  The cool weather here in Florida is much better than the snow in Cleveland.  More to come…….

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