Home for the Holidays

January 4, 2015 Posted by Deb

After a multi-year holiday absence, Deb returned home to her family for Christmas. My family is scattered all over the planet so we exchange e-mails. There are at least four major food events, church programs, pool, poker, and the traditional volleyball games. That’s right, they rent out a gym. The generation that hardly ever lost is now old, hurt, or AWOL and the next generation is looking pretty good. My money would be on them for quite some time.

Germantown Country Church Christmas Program (the youngest one on the far right is our grand nephew)

Germantown Country Church Christmas Program (the youngest one on the far right is our grand nephew)



A Bad End Game for a Great Year

We definitely have to work on our end game. As we drove to the airport to leave family and friends we could feel the nagging hints of the flu that everyone was catching. Shortly after that our plane broke and we were looking at a minimum four-hour delay with subsequent missed connections. Deb got us on a different flight but we arrived in Georgia eight hours late with only one day to close out our Georgia lives and get ready to cast off our lines. The rush was because a strong south wind was predicted to hit after two days and continue past our haul out date in Jacksonville. We fought through the flu and rushed through the last minute details which included hiring a diver to clean off the bottom of the boat in very cold conditions. We shook his hand afterward and it was scary cold.

New Year's Day: Good to be Heading South

New Year’s Day: Good to be Heading South

It was out into the Atlantic (we’re too tall to use the Intercoastal Waterway), hang a right, and immediately start piling on coats. Eventually, we dug out full blown foul weather gear. We were riding a cold north wind south and that is never pleasant. Even though the flu was tightening its grip we planned to dink on into Fernandino Beach for a famous Mexican meal as well as pay our mooring ball fee. That didn’t happen because the outboard throttle was frozen and there was no rowing in the three knot current. We called in our mooring fee and sat out New Years Eve on the boat. Well, not really … I got the fever shakes and it took all our drugs and blankets to get me through it even though I was already in bed with shoes, long underwear, two coats, and a stocking cap. About an hour after the shaking stopped Deb informed me that the boat was hung up in the mooring ball and that can be nasty. The last time that happened was Hatchet Cay in Belize, and we had to dive to free the lines. We got our foul weather gear on and pulled and yanked on the mooring lines in a light rain at close to midnight until we got the boat more stable. After watching the boat dance against current and wind, we’re not sure a mooring ball is a good idea for a cat in high current, high wind situations.

The final run on into Jacksonville was a repeat of day one. Deb was in better flu shape and gave me most of the day off. Her bad flu days were still ahead of her and mine was definitely New Years Eve. We side slipped a 44-foot cat through a 60-foot slot in a 2.7 knot current and eased on into our slip at about 1500 rpm just to hold her steady. It was a nice move but mostly we just didn’t give a damn after the previous two days. The marina guys said some nice things, but we still have to get out of here and over to the travel lift without bashing the boat. We’ll see what we can do when we are back to caring again.

Slipped Right Into the St. John's River in Jacksonville

Slipped Right Into the St. John’s River in Jacksonville

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