March 2008 Photos

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We had Aquila hauled out for bottom paint while we were in Key West.  Our project list got serious.  It's a long one and getting longer as we anticipate our voyage across the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea in May.
We spent 6 days "on the hard" doing a lot of manual labor.  I hate living on the boat when she's up on the hard.  We had high winds for a couple of days and while I know it's ridiculous, I felt like we were going to blow over.  Everything was shaking and vibrating as the high winds tried to rip off the bimini.  The lightning, rain and wind kept me awake all night.  I much prefer being in the water to being on jack stands.
We took a day off from boat chores and drove to Ft. Lauderdale to meet Mike's sister Diane and brother-in-law Glen (from Phoenix), as they disembarked from their Caribbean Cruise.  We enjoyed spending a few hours together and wished they had more time with us.

After launching Aquila at the boatyard in Key West, we did an overnight sail to Coconut Grove, Miami.  The water is very shallow and we had to anchor out.  We had a long dinghy ride to the public dock and the weather kept things pretty choppy.  I cut holes in a trash bag and wore it over my shorts to stay dry.  Due to us being anchored out so far, we did not venture out at night.  We got to know our way around Coconut Grove pretty well by bus and on foot during our week there.  Then we headed north to our marina in Ft. Lauderdale a week early when our generator conked out. (It's always something!)

We were so happy when our friend Bill flew his airplane to Ft. Lauderdale to spend a few days with us.  We were disappointed that his wife Monica couldn't get time away from her job to join us, but Bill promised they would visit us when we are in Europe.  It was great to be able to kick back and laugh with Bill.  We were on a roll testing each other on movie and music trivia.  One of us would quote a line, and we'd see who could name that movie first.  I got a few right, but Bill and Mike amazed me with their recall of lines from really old movies!
We will fly home to California for a couple of weeks to visit all the kids in April.   When we return to Ft. Lauderdale at the end of the month, we will be in the final stages of preparing for our Atlantic crossing.  So far, we got the generator repaired, the radar repaired, bought solar panels, bought the materials to make a passarelle for getting on and off the boat in the Med., ordered an adapter for our propane tanks to use butane in Europe, stocked up on 3 years worth of $pare part$, booked a slip in a marina in Spain for next winter, booked our flights home from Madrid for next Christmas, and a million other little things.  We're feeling almost ready.

(next photo album)