‘Hamas: Hope Town 2016_05_31

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Hope Town Light House, June 2016

Our move from Man-O-War to Hope Town was uneventful, but shortly, and I mean within minutes of putting down our anchor, in comes Island Fever, with BB and Howard. They just returned from Eleuthera and the Exumas and are making their way back to the states. We had a great time hanging out for a couple of days before they where on their way.

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Island Fever returning from Central Bahamas

The Captain and I had several fun days climbing the light house, looking around town and perfecting our selfie skills.

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Climbing the Light House – 101 steps. Who needs a bathroom mirror when there are windows available. Russell Avenue – let’s move in.

We attended the St. James Methodist Church on Sunday morning. Mr. C. Vernon Malone was the Lay Preacher. Sermon was wonderful, as was the music and service. They had a lot of competition to keep our attention from this view past the alter.

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St. James Methodist Church, Hope Town, Bahamas

After church we took a long walk along the beach. We gathered quite a pile of sea glass to add to our collection.

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We Miss You at home and Hope Town too.

Flowers and Gardens. This is the best time of year to visit the Abacos, flowering trees and more fill the eye and nose.

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Flowers and gardens in Hope Town

While we were in Hope Town, our first year anniversary of moving aboard happened. June 7th! Thank you Captain for a great year, can’t wait to see what next year brings us.

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top, Hope Town, June 7, 2016. below, Leaving the dock in Stuart, FL, June 7, 2015

The celebratory meal. Steak and lobster, sweet potatoes and a special bottle of wine given to the Captain at retirement by Sam.

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Anniversary dinner on No Ka Oi, June 7, 2016

The harbor is a busy place, boats coming and going, water taxis and ferry boats. And this…deliveries. No Rooms to Go van for these mattresses being delivered to the Hope Town Inn and Marina, just pile ’em on the deck and unload to the dock.

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Groceries, freight and More

This was our spot by the pool most afternoons. I can’t believe I had to “borrow” this pic from BB’s Facebook page. I was enjoying the relaxing so much I never took one pic with Jack and Cheryl, or of any of the activities going on pool side all week at the Hope Town Inn and Marina.

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Sitting pool side with Howard and BB, waiting for Jack and Cheryl to arrive

Tommy and Alicia returned from Little Harbor to hang out  by the pool for a bit. We had many weeks of great fun with this family. We are so happy to see them stretching out to explore with young kids aboard.

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Tommy and Alicia from Saol Nua

Before they left, I had the blessing of baptizing Alecia in the Sea of Abaco.

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Baptizing Alicia

We will miss this crew!

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Kemery Clan and the Captain and I.

Sky still loves the Captain, as long as he keeps his hands to himself. The Captain’s finger is healing very nicely. We were blessed with Ann, and the clinic nurse at Hope Town for helping us get everything moving in the right direction for healing.

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Sky and the Captain

We made  our stay in Hope Town a bit longer than we might have because of a forecast of  heavy weather heading our way. And even though we did get some rain, enough to fill the water tanks and wash the dog and boat, we just mostly spent another beautiful week in paradise.

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We are finally current in our log!!! Stay tuned for pics from Little Harbor and Lynyard Cay. Thanks for following along with us.

 

Thoughts on Living Aboard: One Year!

June 7, 2015 Leaving the dock

June 7, 2015 Leaving the dock

We left the dock one year ago today to begin our adventure of living aboard our 37’ Tartan sailboat.  I couldn’t let today pass without posting some thoughts about this past year.

First, because I hardly ever post blogs that show a bad day, I need to mention this isn’t life perfect, some Jimmy Buffet song and picturesque sunsets every day. Some days have been hard. Things break down, new installations need to be done, inclement weather happens and you don’t have time to get away from it, or, you have to wait someplace safe for it to come and then pass. This is home now and if it breaks we have to fix it with the resources on board, or those available to us in the location we are.

We have both had to adjust from living on dirt, as our friend Lori so aptly puts it, to living in a much smaller space, 24/7 with our partner. This alone is a huge adjustment after so many years of working. I can tell you, I’m messy and set things down and forget them, and the Captain picks up after me, when I was going to get it in just a minute. I haven’t found all of the Captains annoying habits yet, but I’m willing to get to the bottom of each one of them. There may have been just a few sparks flying around here every once in a while.

This living aboard is a little harder than living on dirt. I just hauled 30-40 pounds of laundry from the boat, to the dingy, to a dock, up the dock to a laundry, and back…weighing much more on the return, because I refuse to pay $5 per load to dry it after paying that much to wash it. Then I hung it all over the boat’s life lines to dry. I still have to take it down and fold it. The good news is we use way less cloths or wear them more or something, because I don’t have as much laundry as I did at home, but when I do…

Cooking is different, thinking and planning about meals and storage has  been an interesting challenge, think, I want to cook spaghetti, which locker or what part of the bilge did I store those jars? And finding stuff in the refrigerator is a real pain in the ***! I am learning to do without some things I didn’t have to at home, because of cost or inability to store certain items, and I’m learning to enjoy a lot of some things, when they come our way, think a big fish or an entire stalk of bananas, before they go bad.

Cleaning has to be done more often. With two animals and two people, one people is sure she will be bald by next year, our little space gets yucky quickly, but, it doesn’t take as long as it did at home to clean.

And, now that we are out of the country, phone calls and messages, aren’t as easy or as affordable as when we were home.

Before you tell me to go home because it looks like a miserable existence, I have to say.

I LOVE THIS!

I LOVE LIVING ABOARD, even on bad days.

I will gladly haul loads of laundry and look at the gorgeous view while it spins. I will do without, space, cold cokes, and five course meals, to have conch salad until I don’t want any more. I will take the dog to shore in the rain, again today, because tomorrow will be beautiful once more. I will get sea sick to cross the ocean too.

Because,

I am making new friends and life-long relationships with people I might have never met, had I stayed at home.

I am exploring and learning about new things every day, not just new places, but how things work, how to make living aboard more comfortable and stuff I never new I needed to know.

I am learning anew how to improve my relationship with my husband. And, get to the bottom of any annoying habits he may still have. Then, remind myself that I don’t have to fix them.

I am learning more about what I am capable of.

I don’t miss the stuff at home as much as I thought I would, except for people. But, fortunately I live in the time of Face Book, Messenger, Face Time, and Wi-Fi, so I am able to keep in touch better than I might have years ago, and of course going home can always be added to the agenda.

So my summary for our first year, let’s do a second year, Captain.

June 7, 2016, Hope Town, Bahamas

June 7, 2016, Hope Town, Bahamas

 

Count Von Count-down

FPL retirement luncheon (check-out his electric meter light...so cool)

FPL retirement luncheon
(check-out his electric meter lamp…so cool)

I can hear Count Von Count, from Sesame Street, counting down slowly and deliberately…five…four…three…two…one, mixed with a few of his infamous “ah-ah-ah’s,” and the last day of work has arrived. Amazing.

Officially, June 15th is Russ’ final day, but with accrued vacation and Memorial Day, this coming Friday, May 22nd, will be his last day of going to the office.

We just completed a busy week of celebrations and this week is stacking up to be the same. While I’m off to California to hold this new little cutie for two weeks,

Gabriella Faith, May 12, 2015, 7 lbs, 21 inches

Gabriella Faith, May 12, 2015, 7 lbs, 21 inches

Russ will be finishing out his last week at the office (“ah-ah-ah”) and then getting his final to-do list in order. We didn’t see much of No Ka Oi this week, but here is a little sample of the celebrations.

Joyce's 80th and Kiera's 7th

Joyce’s 80th and Kiera’s 7th

 

Mother’s Day with a big birthday party celebrating 80 years for Russ’ mom and seven years for our grand-daughter Kiera.

 

 

Florida Power and Light retirement luncheon where Russ received a beautifully crafted electric meter lamp and a gift for his retirement tattoo, along with tall tales of the way things have changed over 34 1/2 years. If I hadn’t been there to see in person, tears would have been denied.

Retirement tattoo funding

Retirement tattoo funding

 

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Our week was completed with friends and family getting together too.

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I will say for the both of us, thank you for all the love, missing everyone would be an understatement!

‘RULE OF 90’

Josiah, Ashley, Ron, Julie, Damien, Jennette, Ray

Josiah, Ashley, Ron, Julie, Damien, Jennette, Ray

Today is Russ’ birthday…Happy Birthday, honey! But more importantly to him, he reaches the ‘RULE OF 90.’ It was the first thing he said this morning. After working for 34+ years towards a goal, it’s a great feeling to make the mark.

Rule of 90 is a calculation of age and years of service with FPL that allows a person to retire with full medical benefits.  I’m sure it’s a bit more complicated than that, actually, I’m sure, because I have never actually been able to figure out exactly when this date would happen. We do have a co-cost in the insurance, but this is one of the freedoms we have that allows us to retire this young and pursue our dream of living aboard full time.

That explained, I wish to brag on my hubby for just a minute and thank him for being so diligent all these years at his job.  Having the privilege to work at the same job location as your husband gives you a little more insight into what he may have had to handle over the years.  I have first-handedly experienced the stress and pressure that predominates the nuclear plant work environment and an electric utility in general. I remember after only a few days of working there years ago, calling my friend, whose husband also works there, to tell her we cannot be upset with these guys when they come home all stressed out, this is a different world of rules and regulations that most do not experience.

1999 Capital Reef National Park

1999 Capital Reef National Park

Except for the 25 or so years that I was a hands-on mommy, my longest job run is maybe five years. I really can’t wrap my head around getting up every day for 34 years, especially when I know that not all those days were fun and exciting, and going to work. But, I know that he did that for his family (and maybe just a few toys, lol.) He has done well in providing financially, but more importantly, in spite of outage hours and supervisor demands, he has made time to show how important family is.  Boating, skiing, wake boarding, jet skis, sand-rails, camping trips, and even hanging disco balls in the living room are just a few of the things that come to mind. He has been a great dad to our four children and is already talking about the fun things he will now be able to do as a Pop Pop with more time.

Bahia Honda Bridge - FL Keys 2001

Bahia Honda Bridge – FL Keys 2001

Now I know Russ, and the first thing he would say about this is that he didn’t do enough or could have done a better job. Maybe, but just know this, honey, we, your family, love you for showing us diligence, responsibility and perseverance, and mostly just for loving us the way you do.

Happy rule of 90, Happy Birthday and job well done!

Milestones

 

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We mark life in milestones. Notable ones: weddings, births, graduations, more weddings and GRANDCHILDREN! Sorry, I need to stay on focus…but our next milestone happens on June 15, 2015: Russ’ official retirement day after 35 years with Florida Power & Light. This will open the door to our next adventure, cruising and living aboard our 37 foot Tartan, No Ka Oi. And this blog is our place to share our adventure.

Our count down days are going to be a learning experience and hopefully not too stressful. We have been at this sailing thing for a long time, but not for any long periods of time, with one month stints being our longest hauls to date. We have to figure out what we will need to bring, what to leave behind and what to do with the rest.

​I hope you will share the fun with us as we do this thing we have dreamed of for so long (see upcoming blog post about our dream.) I also hope that you would share ideas and any experience you have with us, so we can make these last days of preparation as stress free and practical as possible.​

Aloha, kipa hou mai,

Russ and Jennifer