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Where did January Go???


I can’t believe the month of January has flown by as quickly as it has. As I look back on the calendar, I see that we packed a lot in.

Gennaker up in the ICW

First we joined the athletic club here at Burnt Store for four months (January – April). This allows us to play pickleball almost every day and gives me the opportunity to enjoy yoga classes at least twice a week. We have met some great people (dirt dwellers) playing pickelball and our game has definitely improved – watch out Cleveland pickelballers.

Shaina came back to Florida with me - had a good visit.

I went home for a long weekend and had great visits with our daughters, my mom and the rest of the family. It was cold compared to the warmth of Florida but there wasn’t much snow which I appreciated. On Monday, Shaina flew back with me to Florida. We had an easy flight with an empty seat between us, which allayed my Covid fears a bit. We landed around noon and went right to the marina for a beautiful afternoon sail. Day two we took Shaina to Venice where we walked the town and then went to the beach and jetty with a picnic lunch. Day three we sailed to Cape Haze (which I bet you are getting sick of reading about) our favorite nearby anchorage. We enjoyed the beach, peaceful anchorage, dolphin sightings and great sails both there and back. Shaina left Friday morning - all in all a short but wonderful visit.

Saturday, Bob sailed with Lawrie and Sue aboard Thomasina (a 39 foot Beneteau) for the Golden Conch Regatta. They came in first in their class after three races. The trophy was a beautifully carved wooden plate which Lawrie and Sue will proudly display.

The next two weeks were a blur of pickelball, yoga and drinks or dinners with friends including:

Lee and Michelle – newer dock neighbors who refitted a 38 foot island packet

Mary and Diane (Kenny) – friends from Iowa that have made playing pickelball so much more enjoyable

Vic and Terry – dock neighbors from last year who also enjoy playing backgammon

Dee Smith – boating friend from Annapolis we met in 2018 who was in Port Charlotte racing his 2.4 meter sail boat. We missed you Jocelyn!

Karen and Doug – new pickelball friends. Doug is from Cleveland Heights so we were able to explore who we know in common.

Tina and Shadd – friends from A dock. Tina has helped me with my sewing adventures – more on that later.

Kenny and BJ – new E dock neighbors. Kenny does yoga with me and BJ is an excellent chef.

David and Rhonda – brother and sister-in-law who are always gracious hosts

We took Mary and Diane (new friends and pickelball players) out for a great sail.

We also met with Captain David; Tina and Shadd; Lawrie and Sue and Jenny to discuss an upcoming trip to the Dry Tortugas. We have tried to sail there for the past three years and I think this is the year we will finally make it. It requires a 24 hour overnight sail there and back – which of course requires a great weather window. There are two boats in this group that have done it before and I think from this group (and others that we have talked with since) we should be able to get a small flotilla to do it together in mid-March. Life happens so you can never plan too far in advance.

Thank you to all who hosted us. We feel very grateful to have so many good friends who add color and warmth to the enjoyment of our retirement life.

Tiny Tach in bottom left corner.

Bob has been struggling with how to replace our engine tachometer, which stopped working last year. There are a variety of tachs that could do the job. (I will let him add more about that here). The original tach failed after 30 years of reliable service. Because it was located in a spot that was nearly impossible to see (at the back corner of the cockpit near the helmsperson’s feet), I decided to replace it with a digital Tiny-Tach. The display (pictured below) takes a reading of the engine RPM from the pulses of fuel going through fuel injector line and dislays it on a readout conveniently located below the multifunction display at the helm. I budgeted 6 hours for the install – and of course it took 2 days.

The Beast!

The other exciting thing that happened this month is that I bought a Sailrite sewing machine. Anyone who knows sailing is familiar with this workhorse of a machine that can sew through almost anything. A dock neighbor (Aga) sold me the machine at a terrific price which included my sewing two jerry can covers and two winch covers for him. Over the next couple of days I also made three winch covers for Her Diamond and a cover for the front window of our dodger, to help prevent chaffing and prolong the life of the Isinglass. Thank you Tina for your guidance and help with the snaps!

Sample of one of the winch covers I made.

As I write this we are on our way to St Pete for a week. The weather has been unusually cold in Florida as it has all over the US. With temperatures at a 20 year low, we delayed our departure three days. The enclosure is all down and we are cozy in the cockpit as we motor up the ICW.

Cozy inside the cockpit with the full enclosure.

There is no wind but we are grateful to finally be underway.

More to come………



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