We flew back to the boat on January 7, leaving a temperature of -9 degrees. It was only 19 in Charleston. It was warmer, but felt a lot colder in an uninsulated boat! Luckily we are hardy Minnesotan and for the first few days were plugged into power to run electric heaters. I'm glad we have flannel sheets, bunting blankets, a cozy quilt and comforter from our times on Lake Superior. Once we headed south and were on the hook most of the time, we would read under the covers once the boat started to cool down after the warmth of the stove and oven for supper.
It was a good trip down the ICW. The north winds made any thoughts of doing an outside passage very unappealing, so we stuck to the ditch and made good time. As we were passing Jekyll Island, we heard a thump, looked behind us up on the fly bridge to see a brown pelican had landed on the railing. He then hopped to the deck right behind the seats and spent quite a long time with us. Jeff even was able to pet him. At the end of the island he had rested up, walked to the edge of the upper deck and took off. We waved goodbye to Mr. Hyde and hope he fills up with fish.
The temperature slowly increased, but Jeff didn't get on shorts until after we made it to Florida. We attended the Trawler Fest in Riviera Beach over the past few days, mostly to attend a talk on going to Cuba - Jeff's new passion. We helped out at the MTOA (Marine Trawler Owners Assoc) booth and were able to crawl the piers to look at all the boats for sale. None of them were as nice as Adirondack, though almost all were a lot bigger.
Now we are sitting at a dock in Riviera Beach waiting for a weather window to cross the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas. The single side band radio receiver has new batteries and I'm having coffee every morning out on deck at 6:30 listening to the weather report from Chris Parker, who provides information about weather in the Bahamas. It is good to hear his voice again, as we listened every morning when we were in the Exumas two years ago. It looks like Friday may be a good day to go east to West End in the Abacos. Meanwhile we are doing boat jobs: new chain and line on the anchor, rebuilding the front head (toilet in boat speak - a really shitty job), cleaning, provisioning, laundry - there's always something to do. Sally