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Month: April 2019



April 30, 2019 Tuesday Harbourtown Marina, Merritt Island, Florida  0 nautical miles

28°24’30.7″N 80°40’42.4″W
28.408533, -80.678443
Elevation: 0 ft

Along the Way

Tom and Adam took Jake and Bre fishing in the Ulumay Wildlife Sanctuary right behind Tom’s house. The kayaks were full to the gunwales with tackle, bait and fishermen.

Final Score:
Bre – Tarpon Trifecta (Tarpon, Snook, Redfish)
**A Tarpon Trifecta is better than a Trout Trifecta (Trout, Snook, Redfish)
Adam – 1
Tom – 0
Jake – minus 1 for the Catfish
**Jake said the minus 1 was better then a 0 like Tom

The old folks (Mary and Dale) had an exciting time doing other stuff. They went to the Bass Pro Shop and looked at alligators and wild boar.


Tarpon are mouth breathers. They are one of the few fish in the world that have a swim bladder that acts as a lung so they can breathe raw air. They can still breathe like most fish breath through their gills too.

Tarpon are a prehistoric fish that date back 100 million years. Female tarpon grow as large as 300 pounds and can reach over 8 ft long. The females can live for over 50 years while the smaller males 30 years. The oldest tarpon in captivity lived in an aquarium in Chicago and died at 63 years of age.

Nauti Words

Full to the gunwales – Full to the brim or packed tight.

Origin: Gunwale (pronounced “gunnels”) are the upper edge of a ship’s side in large vessels and the piece of timber extending round the top side of the hull in smaller craft. The expression first referred to heavily loaded ships.

On a Safari

On a Safari

April 26/29, 2019 Friday/Monday Harbourtown Marina, Merritt Island, Florida  0 nautical miles

28°24’30.7″N 80°40’42.4″W
28.408533, -80.678443
Elevation: 0 ft

Along the Way

They’re heeeerrreeee.

Jake and Bre are here for a visit. We treated them to a store bought pizza, their pick. The one they picked had this cut out mustache. The mustache was cool but the pizza tasted like crap.

Cocoa Beach – Safari first stop is Ron Jon’s of course.

Ron Jon customers.

Safari late Sunday morning at Cocoa Beach

Safari Cocoa Beach Skate Park stop

I had better picture of Jake but I like the shadows on these.
Jake. I thought this pop-out of the bowl was kinda funny.
Bre dropping into the bowl. Mary really thought she should be wearing long pants. Scarry.
Licking the rim.
Jake and Bre

Back to the boat

Bahamian? Bohemian? mox nix
Hey Cheeseheads! Do these look familiar? Sandhill Cranes. They should start migrating north soon.
Sandhill crane babies are called colts.

Cousin Tommy took us for boat safari up Sykes Creek through the land of almost affordable homes and mythical creatures.

You don’t get the pictures of the almost affordable homes but you do get pictures of mythical creatures…..
…..and tilted perspectives. (This is Trump country so I did the Trump thing ‘….’)
Sykes Creek culverts used to control the water level in the backwater. Mosquitos do not breed in brackish water.

Alligator and bird safari along Blackpoint Wildlife Drive Safari. Mary had her camera put away for most of it because she thinks she takes too many pictures. She finally broke down at the end. Fun drive.

Mary turned a blind eye at Jake and Bre car door window sitting for better views of the grassland marsh and swampy water pools.
(Yes, Mary is sitting on the passenger side door window too. How else could she take this picture.)


The famous Ron Jon’s Surf Shop in Cocoa Beach is not the original.

The first Ron Jon Surf Shop was opened on the Jersey Shore in 1961, a fitting location for an owner who with a wild reputation. Owner Ron DiMenna opened the original surf shop on Long Beach Island, New Jersey, after following his dad’s advice ‘Buy three, sell two at a profit, then yours will be free’ when he wanted a new fiberglass surfboard.

The Cocoa Beach Ron Jon store is, however, the largest at 52,000 square feet and is the company’s flagship location.

Nauti Words

Turn a blind eye – consciously ignore unwanted information

Origin: From Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson’s awesome display of badassery at the 1801 Battle of Copenhagen. Nelson held his spyglass to his blind eye and to avoid signals from his superior telling him to withdraw from battle. He then proceeded to kick butt, of course.

A little mascara and eye liner

A little mascara and eye liner

April 24/25, 2019 Wednesday/Thursday Harbourtown Marina, Merritt Island, Florida  0 nautical miles

28°24’30.7″N 80°40’42.4″W
28.408533, -80.678443
Elevation: 0 ft

Along the Way

You must check out S.F. Travis Hardware Co store if you are ever near Cocoa, FL

It was established in 1885 and has everything. Some of the items have probably been on the shelf since 1885 too. The store is comprised of about 4-5 two story buildings and is chockablock full of everything in all sizes.

Cousin Tom and wrenches. The largest one cost $1,088.
Loved the old ladders and tin ceiling
Giant drill bits
Jackhammer bits. Any size you want.

We bought velcro.

The Mooch (previously known as The Escape Clause) goes for a ride to Tom’s house to look for and fix air leaks.
This tree is in Tom and Laura’s yard. It’s a Norfolk Island Pine.

I need to repeat that …. It’s a Norfolk Island Pine. WOW. I have only seen these as house plants in Minnesota decorated as mini-Christmas trees. This tree is unique because has a double crown, most don’t. Laura has had this tree since it was about a foot tall.

Down the rabbit hole ….
Adult trees are tall, up to 190 feet, and skinny canonical. They look Jurassic.

Norfolk Island is a small island in the Pacific Ocean located between Australia, New Zealand, and New Caledonia. According to 2014 data, 2,210 people call Norfolk Island home. Norfolk Island has a very unique phone book. A new one is issued every three years and features a section with everyone listed by their nickname rather than their family name as so many share the same surname. Islanders are so much more familiar with one another’s nickname that many have long since forgotten their birth names.

BTW. It’s against the law not to give way to cows

Today Dale Fixed

One of the big items Dale checked off the boat list was Ceratopogonidae biting midges (a.k.a. no-see-ums, punkies, five-O’s (related to biting around 5 PM), pinyon gnats, and moose flies depending on the geographical region you are in) screens for the boat. Although CBC Canvas came highly recommended, our screens must have been made by the B-Team. For starters, Dale ordered black trim. They used white. One of the screens was cut too short so an extra row of trim was added to the bottom. The velcro is attached to the trim so it doesn’t attach to the velcro on the boat.

They knew they had screwed up and they knew we were transient boaters. They knocked $50 off the bill and said take it or leave it. It would take 3 weeks to remake the screens. We took the screens.

A little mascara (new windshield wipers)
and a little eye liner (no-see-um screens)

The white doesn’t look too bad but I still wish they were black. You can see the messed up corner in the lower right if you blow up the picture.


Mascara and eyeliner are some of the most ancient cosmetics known. Egyptians used a substance called kohl to darken their lashes, eyebrows, and eyelids. The first recorded use of eyeliner suggests royals in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia were lining their eyes as early as 400BC. The more the makeup the higher your status was, so Egyptians would pile on the kohl, winging it out to their hairline (kinda like what is haute couture fashion now)

Yes Dear’s status is going up in the world.

End of the line

End of the line

April 14-23, 2019 Sunday/Tuesday Harborview Marina, Merritt Island, FL  to Roseville, MN 1484 nautical miles (1708 statute miles) and back again another 1484 nautical miles

Along the Way – April 14 – April 16

End of the line April 16 was Minnesota!
45°01’33.9″N 93°09’03.0″W
45.026077, -93.150840
Elevation: 927 ft

The cleaning power of lemon juice.
Pizza with the rellies and friends at Bruno’s. Thanks Adam for buying it! Arlene, Laura, Leah, Jodie, Tom, Dale and Adam.

Couple of marina pictures.

Waiting for ride to airport

At the airport.

He found his buddy after he checked in.
Fashion burka. I never knew they came in colors other than navy or black.

Thanks Tom and Dale for the ride to the airport!

The plane was chockablock with babies and toddlers. I think I’ve said enough on this topic. I did score on random seat assignments. I was assigned seat 2F. It’s in the 4 across section not the 6 across sardine section.

I was lucky enough to have both Sarah and Jake both pick me up at the airport!
End of the Line. Nothing like a good garage sit. Bre, Emily, Jake

Today Dale Fixed

The boat list had over 20 items on it when Mary left…..


Chockablock – crammed tightly together to prevent movement

Chocks are wedges used to secure moving objects and a block and tackle is a pulley system used on sailing ships to hoist the sails. When two blocks of rigging tackle were so close together they couldn’t be tightened further, it was said they were “chock-a-block”.

Along the Way – April 17 – April 23

End of the line April 23 was Harbourtown Marina, Merritt Island, Florida
28°24’30.7″N 80°40’42.4″W
28.408533, -80.678443
Elevation: 0 ft

Mary’s week was jammed full of family, fun, taxes and other tasks. The camera was on a hiatus in Minnesota. The cell phone managed to catch a couple pictures. Sarah, Jake and Emily coined a new word: Momitoring

OMG a Shark!
Sarah modeling the latest Game of Thrones fashion from Ikea.
Kirsten. Mary’s favorite beautician. She got a hair cut from Kirsten so Dale didn’t need to cut it.
Saturday night pre-Easter supper at the Lake Elmo Inn

Thanks Gary and Barb for having me over for Easter! Great to see you Margo!

End of the Line. Thanks Emily for taking me to the airport at 4:30 am. (Sorry Jake, Bre and Sarah for kicking you out last night at 10:15 pm so I could go to bed.


Dale worked his boat list down while Mary was gone. Don’t feel too sorry for him because he played too.


Momitoring – Taking of turns monitoring whatever Mom is doing so that she doesn’t kill any more of Emily’s yard, over feed the dogs, ……….

We bought the month

We bought the month

April 13, 2019 Friday Harborview Marina, Merritt Island, FL  0 nautical miles

27°28’16.2″N 80°19’30.5″W
27.471170, -80.325148
Elevation: 0 ft

We bought the month. At Harborview Marina it is $15 cheaper for a monthly rate than for 2 weeks. Things are going to slow down while Dale does routine maintenance, changes oil and fixes a few things on the boat. Mary will be in Minnesota from April 16 to April 23 (Tuesday to Tuesday).

Most-likely there will not be a daily post until we are underway again.

Along the Way

Dale’s cousin Tom and his wife Laura live about 6 minutes drive from this marina. Tom stopped by early afternoon and took us grocery shopping. Laura joined us later that evening.

We went to the marina restaurant for supper. Good  food an extremely cheap compared to the Bahamas.

Today Dale Fixed

Today Dale fixed both air conditioners while Mary washed all the dirty clothes and household items she could find.

Simple pleasures. The air conditioners took all the sticky humidity out of the boat. It is great to sit on non-sticky vinyl seats and sleep on fresh crisp, non-sticky sheets.


Today is Friday the 13th . Paraskevidekatriaphobia is the fear of Friday the 13th, which is considered to be a day of bad luck in a number of western cultures.

Dale was born on Friday, April 13th 1951. He has been alive for:
— 24,838 days old
— 596,112 hours old
— 35,766,720 minutes old
— 285 dog years

Billy the Kid (1881) and Butch Cassidy (1866) were born on April 13.

‘Dale doesn’t eat sweets so Mary got his free dessert at the restaurant.

Love you!

North of the Tension Line

North of the Tension Line

April 12, 2019 Thursday Fort Pierce, Florida to Merritt Island, FL 67.4 nautical miles

27°28’16.2″N 80°19’30.5″W
27.471170, -80.325148
Elevation: 0 ft

Along the Way

Mary carrying two cups coffee to the upper helm: “Lookit Dale! I can walk without holding on to the rails!”
Dale: “You SHOULD be really good at it with only one inch waves.”

First stop of the morning was to purchase fuel at the Harbortown Marina and checked into customs. We turned on the Customs and Border Protection app and checked in. After a brief pause we were welcomed back by the app and customs cleared!  No video chat.  I was bummed we didn’t get to do a video chat cause I wanted to see how that part of the app worked. Cool app.

It’s different being back and on the Atlantic Intercoastal Waterway (ICW). We are back watching day marks, avoiding in-channel crab pots and playing high speed dodge boat. I already miss the aqua blue Bahamian waters.

OMG! Did you see that?????    I know it Mary! I saw it!!!

We were portside slow passing a sailboat, ~30 feet our starboard to their port, when a run-about threaded the needle full speed between the two of us. You can see the sailboat’s waterline at the top of this picture.
Another close call. We could have high-fived as they passed.

It was a pretty run today. A lot of beautiful mangroves, parks and houses.  A lot of people were out enjoying the day and people were pitching tents on the islands.

The sea hawks are back to their assigned day marks for nesting. 😊

Interesting boats

I do blow boats too.

Whoa! One big airplane. I found myself compelled to duck as this C17 flew by.

Running the river

Our marina is just down the Cape Canaveral barge canal. There are two sea hawks in the picture fighting over territory. We also saw two flamingos fly over. Neither of us had ever seen a wild flamingo before. 14-Apr-2019 correction – They were spoonbills not flamingos. Still cool.

Canal Life – live aboards


A record-breaking 17 foot, 140-pound Burmese python was recently caught in the Florida Everglades and is the largest ever removed from the state’s 729,000-acre Big Cypress National Preserve. Measuring about the height of a one-story building or a five-meter diving platform, the snake was carrying 73 developing eggs at the time of her capture.

Drollies and Yuks

HA! Spat between YO MAMA and another boat today on VHF channel 16:
“If you wanted to plow you should have bought a farm!”.

Good one. We loved the line. Apparently the other boat didn’t because the language escalated, severely.

(In case you didn’t get it plow means pushing too much wake)


I wasn’t going to ever do this again in Florida. But here I am, back from the Bahamas and suddenly North of the Tension Line. I have to get it out of my system.

DERELECT BOATS – I hate these.

UNAFFORDABLE HOUSING – With all the self-control I could muster I took only one OMG look at that house picture. There were much better houses. I should have bided my time for the better ones.

Then I had to take the below picture just because I thought it was cute.

Whew. Out of my system, I hope.

In the offing. We’re baaack.

In the offing. We’re baaack.

April 11, 2019 Thursday West End, Grand Bahama to Fort Pierce, Florida 88.1 nautical miles

27°28’16.2″N 80°19’30.5″W
27.471170, -80.325148
Elevation: 0 ft

Along the Way

WOW. We were greeted by an unpleasant surprise as we left the marina harbor. 4-5 foot rollers. It must have been the wake from LET’S GO, NOT JUST DREAMING and the rest of the pack who had just left the marina in front of us. and Marv’s Weather couldn’t be wrong. About an hour later as they continued towards Lake Worth and we headed north towards Ft Pierce we finally out ran their wake. The rollers flattened out for a much more enjoyable ride just as and Marv’s Weather predicted. (you know I’m kidding about the wake don’t you)

This boat was coming across as we were leaving

For those of you who know Dale, you know red traffic lights are his nemesis. It’s almost impossible for him to catch a green light. It’s really aggravating. Here in the Bahamas his nemesis is sailboats. He is forever in the middle of nowhere and there is a sailboat crossing from his starboard side so he has to yield for right of way. Where do they come from?

Case and Point. We are in the middle of the gulf stream and this sailboat come out of nowhere straight shot perpendicular across our bow. The sailboat skipper did call and thank us for adhering to rules of navigation.

We rode the Gulfstream for several hours. It nudged our traveling speed from 9.2 knots to 12.1 knots.

Once Florida was in the offing cell our USA phones were turned on. The USA offers an online Customs and Border Protection app that you can check into customs with. Dale filled in all our info and submitted the form. Presto, a Customs office called us for a video chat. That’s as far as we got. Turns out we have to be on USA soil, like a boat dock, to clear customs. We are anchoring out tonight and not dropping the dingy. We will have to complete Customs at our next fuel stop.

In the offing of Fort Pierce . Taking down the Bahamian flag.
Ft Pierce Inlet

Space X taking off from Cape Canaveral. Thanks for the call Mark H. We would have totally missed seeing it.


Back in the land of derelict boats.I’d forgotten about them. It appears one dragged into the other. At low tide they were both on their keel.

Our other neighbor is the the N. Causeway Bridge. It’s a little noisy but interesting to watch.

Coming off the trailer?


Fort Pierce has a colorful history. Edwin Binney, who lived in Fort Pierce, invented Crayola crayons. Binney and his cousin, C. Harold Smith, produced the first box of Crayolas in 1905.

Nauti Words

In the offing – imminent or likely to happen soon. “Offing” is that area of sea that can be seen from land, so when a ship was seen to be “in the offing” it would be expected to dock before the next tide.

Back to where we started from… three doors down

Back to where we started from… three doors down

April 10, 2019 Wednesday Mangrove Cay, Abacos to West End, Grand Bahama 28.2 nautical miles

26°42’03.3″N 78°59’28.2″W
26.700922, -78.991153
Elevation: 0 ft

Along the Way

Back to where we started from. We crossed our Bahama’s wake here at Old Bahamas Bay Marina, West End, Great Bahama. We are docked three doors down from where we were February 3rd.

What a great way to spend our last night in the Bahamas! LETS GO (Marshall and Judy) and KNOT JUST DREAMING (Shawn and Cindy) are crossing tomorrow and were in the marina too. We spent the afternoon at the swimming pool.

Boating is hazardous. Dale and Shawn compared toes.

A fisherman came in to sell his catch. He had fish, lobster, conch and snow crab claws. He also had a few shells. Mary bought a couple. You might get a picture once she cleans them up. She bartered for them, $5 and a beer. It was Dale’s last beer.

And when we got there the cupboard was bare. We are down to our last provisions.

Good thing Dale caught fish. Marshall and Judy invited us over for a pot luck supper. We brought red snapper that Dale had caught and Judy turned it into delicious almond crusted fish fine dining with homemade beach cobbler for dessert.

Today was our last full day in the Bahamas. I’m going to miss the conch horns at sunset, the crowing chickens and the barking dogs.


West End is the capital of Grand Bahama. It first achieved notoriety as a rum-running port during the Prohibition.


“The only way to get a good crew is to marry one.”
~ Eric Hiscock

“There are good ships, and there are wood ships, The ships that sail the sea. But the best ships, are friendships, And may they always be.”

It’s been fun here in the Bahamas.

Really middle of nowhere

Really middle of nowhere

April 9, 2019 Tuesday Great Sale, Abacos to Mangrove Cay, Abacos 25.2 nautical miles

26°55’14.4″N 78°36’50.3″W
26.920675, -78.613962
Elevation: 0 ft

Along the Way          

The waves when we woke up this morning were 1 inch height and 1 second duration. You could call them ripples. We knew it was going to be a lumpy ride to Mangrove Cay once we left the shelter of our anchorage. It was.

We were the first boat to pull into anchor on Mangrove Cay at about noon. Once we pulled in the blow boat in front of us turned around and pulled in too. There is a safety in numbers mentality with boaters. I get it. He’s pretty little, 32 feet(?) was traveling alone in lumpy water (2.5 feet and 4 second duration). It’s nice to have someone in VHF hailing distance. Cell service doesn’t work out here.

I thought where we were last night was the middle of nowhere. Wrong. This is.


As the afternoon progressed 4 more blow boats pulled in to anchor.

One of the boats anchored directly behind us and another directly behind him. We are sitting in 4 inch height and 1 second duration waves and it’s rolly in the wind. They are in 6 inch height and 1 second duration waves and even rollier in the wind. ??? They need to be closer to the cay shoreline for wind blockage. ???

Two of the blow boats still have quarantine flags. Hope I don’t get the bubonic plague or anything.


There is nothing interesting about Mangrove Cay.


“At sea, I learned how little a person needs, not how much.”
~ Robin Lee Graham

Dale tows the line

Dale tows the line

April 8, 2019 Monday Hawksbill Cay, Abacos to Great Sale, Abacos 25.9 nautical miles

27°00’44.2″N 78°11’51.5″W
27.012265, -78.197630
Elevation: 0 ft

Along the Way

Dale towed line from Hawksbill Cay to Great Sale. Persistence paid off. Just off the Barracuda Rocks Channel Dale had a hit.  Zzzzzzzzzzzzing! Engine in neutral … we both stood in the cockpit fully expecting to see a good-sized barracuda surface as Dale fought the fish in.

Red Snapper 28” long 8.5” girth

Dissector Dale. Dale was surprised at how strong the backbone was as he cut through it.

A 6+ foot bull shark circled Yes Dear for a couple of hours, maybe longer.  We are thinking the snapper head and guts drew him in.

The honey sesame chicken Mary had planned for supper is on hold until tomorrow night.

The Great Sale Cay, where we are anchored, is in the middle of nowhere. It’s an important cay for slower boats leaving the Abacos and heading to West End, Grand Bahama as the distance is too great for them to travel in a single day.

Neighbors (and waiting for the Green Flash)



There is concrete obelisk on Great Sale Cay that once supported a US space program radio telemetry dish. There are also wild pigs on the island.  I wonder if it has chickens too?

Words of Wizdom

Mary’s Dad used to say:
Winds from the West fish bite the best.
Winds from the East fish bite the least.

He called it right today.


Toe the line – When called to line up at attention, the ship’s crew would form up with their toes touching a seam in the deck planking