This week started with me in the Bahamas and ending with me in the United States. On Sunday Paul, Nancy, & I hung out at the fantastic Old Bahama Bay Marina relaxing around the pool and beach. We were preparing for our Monday crossing of the Gulf Stream, which we motored across in flat seas in 13 hours arriving at Ft Pierce. It was so calm the only thing of note is that we played games and Paul caught a 24 inch mahi. Nancy, being the more level head of the three of us, talked us into getting a dock for the night and we were grateful. Tuesday we got up and I filled the boat up with fuel for less than $4 a gallon (I was paying around $6 in the Bahamas) and had a cheese Danish and iced chai tea for breakfast (I must be back in the USA). Paul and Nancy drove the boat up the ICW and we anchored near their house in Palm Shores. Right before we got there a thunderhead started dumping 30+ knot winds on us and we could not get to shore in the dinghy due to 3 foot waves. We waited it out for an hour and everything calmed down so we went ashore and friends of theirs, Dan and Dennis, picked us up and we all had pizza and played games while I did laundry. I found out later that the storms picked up again and there were 75 knot winds. My boat dragged anchor for the first time, about 200 yard, but was still clear of any obstructions.
On Wednesday I ran errands with Paul and Nancy as they started to get back into their normal lives after a month away and Thursday I moved the boat up to Titusville with Dan aboard for the day. Once there, Paul and Nancy picked me up and we drove to the Tampa Bay area to visit their daughter, Jessica, who was a birthday girl. She had two friends over and we all had fish tacos from the mahi Paul caught. The next morning we headed to the beach, which is all of three blocks from her house. I tried out her paddle board, but it was way undersized for me (I am sure I out weigh Jessica by 80-90 pounds), so I could not balance on it at all. After an hour we headed to Jessica’s friend, Dana’s, 20 foot sea ray and we went wakeboarding. This was my first time and after 7-10 tries, and great coaching from Dana, I was able to get up and board for a minute or so at a time (see photo) on another completely undersized piece of equipment for me (all of my toes were sticking out), so I was very happy. She also brought an intertube, which Paul rode (see photo) a couple of times and then when he wiped out the last time it filled with water and the cover ripped off. I decided to try the naked tube anyways, but I had to hold the tube and the line to the boat at the same time (see photo). It took one try and then I figured out the balance and had a blast. After some showers Jessica took Paul, Nancy, & I out to dinner to celebrate Father’s Day with her dad (see photo).
We then drove back to Titusville and pulled in right behind Eric, who is a new guest for the next week or so. He is a friend of a distant cousin. I said good-bye to Paul & Nancy (Guys, it was great having you along for the adventure and I look forward to see you again) and took Eric to see the boat. Yesterday we motored north along the ICW and anchored near the Ponce Inlet. After which a thunderstorm blew through with up to 40 knot winds (seems to happen every afternoon – I must be in Florida during the summer).