Saturday, November 22, 2008


It is a very strange feeling to be sleeping at a level six inches (150mm) under the waterlevel about plank thickness away. It is even stranger to realise the toilet ( the head) is now below water. Whoever leaves the pump switch open is in serious trouble. YES,... WE HAVE FULLY MOVED ON BOARD. YES,... WE ARE STILL FLOATING, ALTHOUGH SOMEWHAT LOWER IN THE WATER. YES,.... WE CAN DO THIS. The good thing is that everything is very close. The bad thing is that everything is very close. Bending down is a toss-up between butting your head or hitting your butt. Until we are fully used to it all we are definitely living in the ultimate "Bruise Factory".

The Queen's adaptation to the new galley is wonderful. I heard her dancing and singing while trying to make her pressure cooker work. I think she was singing. Hot coffee from a cooktop percolator in the morning is also new and tastes real good, and with LP gas it really is hot. It is terrific to have instant hot water on board from our LP gas heater. Luxury cruising at its best. On the downside is the constant dripping condensation from the ceiling when the outside temperature is 4-5 degress below freezing in the morning. On the upside is the fact that we have a little heater going during the night and we are, as they say, " COZY AND TOASTY".

We have changed the departure plan a bit. The new owners of SVEA will arrive in January and so we will delay our departure so that we can leave together. It makes the most sense, keeps us tied to the dock (and to a heater) and will allow us to do some orientation with them before the joint adventures begin. "IN SEARCH OF PALMS" CONTINUES. Soon I hope, before it becomes " IN SEARCH OF ALMS".


Here are three blossoms to remember the joys of summer. The Queen and her daughter on the water's edge at Long Cay in the Exumas, part of the southern Bahamas, during our summer cruise in 2004. Both photos are enough to keep anyone warm this winter.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


The POT OF GOLD is definitely buried in JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA. A wonderful chance to work, to meet the Queen, to discover tremendous friends including John Moore who took the rainbow shot and a grand opportunity to fix and repair many things on ARITA. These same friends, some eighty or more came together last night to celebrate our eminent departure.

The farewell party was wonderful. The QUEEN's longtime friendship with her three bosom buddies dates back to junior high (primary) school. That's over FORTY YEARS. (Did I just give away Her highness's age). What's not remarkable is that we change our clothes regularly, our shoes and watches less regularly, our vehicles on occasions, our houses even less, but when you hang out with the same friends for FORTY YEARS now that's REMARKABLE.
LISA, KAREN, ROBIN and LAUREN, steel magnolias, all of them.

The caps and a good bottle of Bahamian Mango Rum are all that remained standing of the Pirate and his Queen. Not sure if the bottle is exactly standing ........... Perhaps the Pirate's cap says it best...... "Time flies when you're having Rum".

Thank you to all those who came and have supported us all these years, especially Laura, Brent and Robin. You certainly know how to throw a great party. It is truly a treasure to know all of you and those who couldn't make it. Most things are just stuff, but friendships are irreplaceable. Please join us on this journey and stay connected.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


The cold is here and it is here to stay, at least for the next couple of months. Shortly, we will be joining that long line of "snowbird" yachts heading down the Intracoastal waterway (ICW) on their way to the Caribbean for the winter sailing season. Thoughts and images of our past cruises in the Bahamas and beyond keep recurring. We have memories of sights like the magnificent tropical flowers, golden beaches, waving sea-oats and incredibly blue water.

YES.... WE ARE LOADING AND GETTING READY TO GO. We should be in Micco near Sebastion for Thanksgiving to spend time with the "Duchess" Dana Hope, the Queen's sister and her husband "Count" Chris Hope.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


FINALLY ARITA IS BACK IN HER ELEMENT. Amazing how easily you pick up a yacht turn it and move it over the water and just drop it in. It used to be a case of divers putting solid wood blocks on a railwaycar all under water, and the yacht slowly coming out of the water on a sloping railway. Shivering, shaking and rocking as it came up. In those days one's heart would make the same vibrations until the yacht came to a stop at the end of the track. Double click on the pics to get better detail.

Time to start loading stuff on board by first taking stuff off. One of the benefits of all this is that many of the boat items are equally useful on SVEA so that it too will be more fully equiped for extended cruising as a result of all the acquired gear for ARITA. Over the years we have ended up with spares of everything. We even have spares for spares. Time to get real or get a U-HAUL barge.

There was frost on the windscreen this morning..... it is definitely time to get moving and head south, I mean south beyond FLORIDA. Somewhere where the hibiscus blooms all year long and where in "winter" you need the shade of a palm tree. Somewhere south where you can walk in bare feet with sand on your toes and the smell of salt in the air.