Monday, July 7, 2014

Long Lost Posts and Catching Up

For the past two summers and again this year, we have returned to Alberta, Canada and our rural land home.  For the first time, Alberta Crewed will enjoy what we hope will be a lovely summer in central Florida.  After two seasons sailing back to North Carolina, we are going to stay closer to the Bahamas in Fort Pierce and look forward to a day sail back to the Bahama Banks in December.   We have just ducked the first storm of the season in Arthur and follow our weather service provider with great anticipation as much on land as we do at sea.  While my farm neighbours are asking, “Who’s Arthur?”, we are madly searching our hurricane storm tracker software and sending all kinds of charms to the weather goddesses, hoping Alberta Crewed stays out of nasty storm paths.  We have also witnessed the decades and sometimes centuries-long aftermaths of hurricanes along the Caribbean, Bahamian, and Eastern US coastlines. Our losses would be nothing compared to those whose lives and livelihoods are devastated.

Going back to our last weeks on the boat in northern Bahamas and Florida, we arrived to the US after a breathtaking two days through the Abaco Islands and along the teal green Bahama banks.  I will never find the words to describe the colours and textures of the seas there and will continue to tire anyone who will listen to my bumbling, inadequate depictions.  I can only say this:

Our overnight crossing of the Gulf Stream was a calm, star-filled sail with four new buddy boats close by to talk to.  I traded weather, seas, and traffic information over the radio with any other boaters around.  It was particularly fun to meet up with them at customs, knowing them only by voice.  “Oh, you’re Wind Dancer!”, we called out as we organized paper work and filled out forms in the office.  Meeting for dinner was in order after we were declared fit to stay.

After two weeks back in our favourite Vero Beach marina, we roped our friends John and Grace into helping us with the hauling-out adventure.  This year was particularly a nail biter with only 6 inches between our hulls and the concrete sides of the chute at the marina.  Using our swim noodles and carpets tied to the lifelines as fenders, we all watched in awe as Craig maneuvered Alberta Crewed through a 15- knot crosswind, across a heavy current, between protruding bows in the narrow marina canal, and straight into the chute from a 90 degree turn.  He was as cool as a cucumber.  Long time sailors, John and Grace were savvy, competent hands and we were lifted out of the water without a scratch as the marina staff guided AC with patience, great care, and awe-inspiring skill. 

Summer time is a good catching-up opportunity, therefore new photos and old postings will pop up on our blog as I enjoy unlimited internet.  The old postings are from the archives that were missed as I moved to Blogger, and a photographic account of this past season is in the works as well.  Thank you to all who continue to follow our journey and please write anytime.