January 2007 Letter

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We keep finding reasons to delay our departure from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  Each time we check something off of our boat chore list, we seem to add two more things to it!  But ready or not, we're sailing away this week on Feb. 1.  We might stop in Miami for a couple of days.  Mike wants to take Linda to Coconut Grove to enjoy the Cuban food and culture.  Then, when the weather is right, we'll sail down to the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean.  It could take us from 9 to 13 days of sailing to get there.  We plan to sail 850 miles east into the Atlantic Ocean, then turn right and head straight to BVI.  We're looking forward to seeing our friends Frank and Patti, who live on the island of Tortola.

Our weeks here in Ft. Lauderdale have been fun and productive.  We had a great time socializing with our Hylas family, Brad & Ingrid, Larry & Mary, Sam & Charlie, and Dave when he flew in from California.  What special people they are to us.  You couldn't ask for better friends.

Naturally, the highlight of this update is our trip home for the holidays.  The most important people in our lives are our family.  Our trip was shortened by 2 days when we got stuck at the Denver airport.  We were scheduled to make a connection in Denver on our way from Florida to California, and the blizzard of all blizzards hit Denver just as we landed.  The entire airport and all roads leading to it were closed.  We, along with a couple thousand other people, weren't going anywhere!  We slept on the floor at the airport for 2 nights!   What a shock to our systems, it was so cold!  If we went downstairs, we had to go through the screening process again to get back up to our gate (campsite).  Linda got so irritated because the TSA found something new to confiscate each time we were screened.  It was bad enough living in the airport for 3 days, but did they have to take the toothpaste, face cream, and hair gel?!  Fortunately, we were on the first plane out when the airport finally re-opened.  Other travelers weren't so lucky and some spent several more days there before getting a seat on an outbound plane.

The next few weeks with the family were wonderful.  It's such fun to spend time with our kids and grandkids.  The grandkids are all growing up so fast!  They entertain us with their wonderful little personalities.  We love being around them.  Linda and Kimberly enjoyed their long talks, going shopping, getting pedicures, and just being together.  Just like old times.  Makes it so difficult to leave again.  Mike had fun going on a ride-along with Sean.  Brought back memories of being on-the-job.  He's very proud of Sean and enjoyed watching him in action.

We had a chance to meet up with a few of our old friends which was fun.  And we were delighted that Mike's mom and sister drove in from Arizona, and Linda's mom flew in from Texas to visit.  However, there were many good friends we didn't get to see.  Our days were jam-packed with family events, doctor's appointments for annual check-ups, chores and errands.  But we're flying back to California next summer for a much longer visit.  We plan to see many more of our friends then.

This is a short letter because we don't have any sailing adventures to share.  But this update is about family and friends and the Photo Album will share those memories.

I suppose I could list all the boat chores we did.  Ok, here's the list:

bulletHaulout for bottom paint
bulletInstall air conditioning
bulletReplace entire back-end of generator (warrantee)
bulletService Fischer Panda generator
bulletYanmar valve adjustment and service
bulletReplace bent stanchion
bulletRepair dive compressor
bulletReplace dinghy propeller
bulletReplace all head hoses
bulletInstall new Xintex propane control panel
bulletInstall new Frigoboat refrigerator hard controller
bulletDisassemble and lubricate winches
bulletLubricate rudder control
bulletLubricate accelerator cable in cockpit pedestal
bulletCut off and replace bent anchor pin
bulletReplace lazarette gas springs
bulletInstall quick release pins for dorade rails
bulletReplace sink check valves
bulletInstall new wetcell 8D house batteries
bulletReplace seal in main salon hatch
bulletReplace seals in Sea Recovery watermaker
bulletReplace mainsheet outhaul and genoa lines
bulletRemove fold-down teak deck seats
bulletBought a million spare parts
bulletBought a new inflatable dinghy (goodbye Lucky!)
bulletRe-provisioned and re-inventoried everything

The other important project not completed was varnishing.  We'll buy what we need here and do that project in the British Virgin Islands.  Until our next update .... stay warm!  We're packing away these jeans and sweatshirts!

Click here for this month's photo album.

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