Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Our Year With a Boat...

How time flies.

We left in July 2015 to do some land travel and look for a cruising sailboat.  We found Wings in October 2015 and purchased her, I believe, on October 22nd, or thereabouts.  We sold her October 11, 2016.

Our year with a live aboard cruising sailboat wasn't entirely spent on the boat so, here's a summary of what we did:

October 2015
We purchased Wings in Punta Gorda, Florida from Dave and Dottie, a lovely couple, that immediately turned around and bought a trawler that they fixed up and now live aboard full time!

November 2015
We lived aboard at Fisherman's Village Marina, where we bought her, and sailed around Charlotte Harbor to learn the ropes.  We also took some Coast Guard Auxiliary courses.

December 2015
We were in Austin for the holidays and to take care of some business.

January 2016
We returned to Punta Gorda, provisioned the boat, and sailed south towards the Keys.  We took about 10 days to reach the Keys.  As has been our experience, throughout our boating time, there were weather issues...

February 2016
Was mostly spent in Stock Island Marina (Key West) but we did make a trip out to the Dry Tortugas.  The Dry Tortugas, where Fort Jefferson is located, might be the highlight of our entire time with the boat.  Of course, on the way back we got thrashed and had to return to Stock Island Marina for almost a week, again weather...

March 2016
We sailed up the Keys to Key Largo where we waited at Pennekamp State Park for a weather window to cross over to Bimini.

April and May 2016
In the Bahamas.  We went to Bimini, Providence Island, the Exumas, and Eleuthera.  If you read the previous few blog entries you're probably wondering "did you have any fun?".  Yes, absolutely, but it was all but eclipsed by our weather related issues...

June 2016
Limped back to Florida to handle boat repairs.  Most of June was in West Palm Beach where we stayed in a borrowed condo (thank you thank you thank you Herb and Gayle) while working on Wings at Cracker Boy Boat Works.  Funny name, we know, the story is that Florida cowboys used to herd cattle with whips and became known as "cracker boys" at least that's what I was told...

July 2016
Wings was back in the water and we motored her inland via the Okeechobee waterway to be stored at Port Labelle Marina between Lake Okeechobee and Ft Myers.  We might have to do a blog entry dedicated to Port Labelle Marina it's a... unique place.  We put her on the market and took a road trip to see family in Maryland and Pennsylvania in a borrowed Toyota (thank you thank you again Herb and Gayle).

August 2016
I (Greg) stayed aboard Wings to continue repairs (not very successfully) and show her to prospective buyers, most of whom were just looky-loos until Scott and his father Wes came along.  Almost completed the deal until Hurricane Hermine made us postpone.  Meanwhile Angie took a trip to San Diego and we spent a lot of time at my cousin Beth's in Sarasota.  In fact, we spent a ton of time at Beth's while we were in Florida the whole year, thanks Beth, Jon, Ryan, Kyle, and Michelle!

September 2016
By now we had another van and took a roadtrip to Austin, Colorado, Seattle, Houston, and points in between.  Did a bunch of camping and caught up with lots of friends and family (thanks Ryders, Wilsons, Terry, Jerry, Theo, Jason and Kay!).  Then we drove all the way back to Florida...

October 2016
Back to Wings to finalize sale to Scott and Wes.  Got delayed a couple of days by Hurricane Mathew but wrapped it up on October 11th.  After a thorough survey we handed Wings off to Captain Bob who delivered her to Ft Walton Beach, FL where she lives with her new family!  Scott and his Dad, Wes, have got her all ship shape again.
Very happy with the outcome for Wings.  She's 49 years old in 2017!

November - December 2016
Back to Austin for a visit then off for a week in West Texas before driving to Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving with Rose family (thanks Mom, Dave, Pam, and kids!).  Onto Massachusetts to visit Jess, Dave, and Nancy (thanks y'all!); then Virginia to see Herb and Gayle (thanks again!) down to the Florida panhandle to retrieve some tools from Scott, back to Houston briefly (thanks MA and Laurent!) and now we're back in Austin.  Whew!  Currently staying with Lee and Patti, huge thanks to them!

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year everyone!

Uncharted territory...


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