Friday, March 11, 2011

Like Ice-water Poured Over Your Head......

From the tranquility of our anchorage on Mangrove Cay and the a beautiful final sail on the Little Bahama Bank ....


.... we were all in for a shock when we arrived in West Palm Beach Florida in the middle of the Memorial Day Weekend!!

Greeting us at the entrance channel was a steady parade of tour boats and pleasure craft heading in and out from the ocean. You would have thought that compared to the 5' beam-on seas we had just endured for 14 hours, the entrance channel would have offered some relief??




Nuh-uh, not a chance!!

Not only were there wakes coming from every direction, but it seemed like every idiot that owned a PWC was on the water that day. They seem to love all the confused wakes, especially when it means they can jump them just in front of you. And it's not as if we would be able to avoid hitting them if they fell in. Something that can do +50mph and takes all of 10 minutes to "master" is where the Marine Police and Coast Guard need to concentrate their efforts. Rant over, but jeez do I hate PWC's!!!

We had to wait until the next day to clear US Customs, so we grabbed a slip for the night, ordered a pizza and had a few cold Bud's with Gary and Ingrid from "Tamaki".

We cleared Customs the next day and quickly moved north to one of our favourite spots, the anchorage at Peck Lake.




We spent the day wandering on the beach noting all the sea turtle nests. We even got an excellent explanation of sea turtle breeding and nesting habits by 2 very friendly Park Rangers.


After leaving Peck Lake, we then spent the day moving inland via the Okeechobee Waterway to Indiantown, Florida.

Sadly, this day on the boat was to be our last trip ever on "Charlotte-Ann".

We had heard good things about Indiantown Marina (http://www.indiantownmarina.com/) when inquiring about somewhere to haul and store "Charlotte-Ann". Not only were we looking for a place to haul-out, we were also trying to figure out what our future boating plans were to be.

We arrived in Indiantown and made arrangements for the boat to be hauled the next day. Hot, muggy, sticky, humid= Indiantown. The kids did some exploring, noting some of the local wildlife, from the fuzzy backed turtles...


To the resident 8' gator patrolling just off the stern of "Charlotte-Ann"!

After more than 20 years of boat ownership we have never gotten comfortable with seeing our boats hanging on 2 nylon straps 5' above pavement!

We packed the boat up as best we could, as well as placing about 20 Roach Motels around the interior. I suppose if there is one good thing about living in Canada it's the fact we don't have to worry about cockroaches!!! We sealed the boat up, including closing the few seacocks on "Charlotte-Ann". The remaining thru-hulls were stuffed with duct tape to further prevent any unwanted visitors. With the help of one of the marina staff, Lisa went to Stuart to pick-up a rental car.

As far as the kids knew, our plan was to fly home from Orlando the following day. Once we were settled at home, Lisa and I would drive down and bring the rest of our "stuff" home. We hadn't decided yet if we would sell "Charlotte-Ann" or not, but regardless, we would need to give her a good cleaning when we returned.

If you have ever been to the Orlando Airport, or Orlando for that matter, you can't help but notice all the Disney Shuttle buses.

Well , so did our kids!

Although they did ask if "someday" we could go to Disney, they seemed satisfied with our answer that it was too much right now, but "someday" we would return. What they didn't know was 3 weeks earlier we had booked a 5-night stay!

After we returned the car, we were walking to what they thought was our flight home. We then stopped, I looked at Lisa and said, "What do you think if we just go to Disney instead of going home???" Neither kid really knew what to think, in fact their response was a little "too" subdued!!!

video
So five days of Disney was ahead of us. We all had a great time, but unlike many families we met who had been there multiple times, I don't see us going back anytime soon, but who knows???






A month later, Lisa and I came back to Indiantown after deciding to sell "Charlotte-Ann". Initially trying to sell privately, we instead chose to sell through Advantage Yacht Sales, a brokerage that has the "advantage" of being at the Indiantown Marina. Here is the listing:


A bit of a bummer was the fact that all our kiteboarding kites got stolen. Really a shame, the owner of the marina was shocked (and gave us a great deal ), as was the local Sheriff.

On the bright side, insurance came through so we now have a full quiver of 2010 Naish Cults!!!!
Yee haaa!!!!


Mark.



Still playing catch-up on the entries.