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Monday, September 12, 2011

"SOPHIE" WATCH .........




Nice flight from CURACAO, where we left " ARITA " with three anchors down, to the USA and to Laurie's home state of FLORIDA....... Made even nicer because for once we didn't have to do the usual, like "Take off your shoes and your belt, Sir" ... "Empty your pockets, .... Yes, take the laptop out of its case" ..... "Take your sunglasses off your head please, Sir" ..... "And your wristwatch too, please"... "Now step forward" ....... No, we had to do none of that ....... Amazing, and we were getting on an American Airlines flight too, direct for Miami ...... Thinking the whole time that Homeland Security had come to its senses at last, but ours was the exception and not the norm ....... The same stuff is still in full swing ........ Still we made it safely to Miami and stayed with Caribbean cruising friends Dudley and Becca who have the yacht 'ALTAIR' for a night of reminiscing and laughter, and a little wine ....... Or maybe it was the other way around ........ By morning we were on our way to collecting our brand new solar panels ....... Bit of struggle to get four big ones into the rented car but Laurie, the "Queen of Florida" found a way by folding the back seat down and sliding them in .......... Huge panels, that should give us a nice continuous 45-plus amps when the sun shines on our new yacht " Southern Comfort " ................



Great to see a whole warehouse full of solar panels ....... So many to chose from ..... And some as big as a dining table ............ Power for the future ....... Our four with piano hinges will fold out in a sort of parabola, to face the sun and fold in again if stormy conditions prevail .... The birth of Lauren-Anne's baby (That's Laurie's baby's baby) is the reason for our FLORIDA visit, but we might as well do some shopping for the new yacht " SOUTHERN COMFORT " while we are here ......... Lots of renovations are planned to modernize the systems ......



Our next stop was to spend time with sailing friends John & Marianne King who are also cruisers with an awesome yacht "PURA VIDA", a wonderful AMEL, one of the World's best designed cruising yachts ..... John now manages a very extensive edible fruit-tree nursery and our visit there sure made us take some wonderful pictures of palms, tropical fruit trees and early morning flowers .....



Now that's what we call " A pair of swinging mangoes " ........... You might need to back your truck up to the tree when loading these, once these are ripe ........ The whole tree in its nursery bag is only four feet tall ....... These are already bigger that the 'Queensland bullock-heart' mangoes that I grew up with, back in Oz ....... Classic genetic engineering ..... Hope they are sweet, as well as large .... We will be back in CURACAO when that happens ........



Succulants like these very small Aloe Vera and some more palm species to enjoy, like this 'bearded' palm ................



And how could we not share these beautiful 'Bird of Paradise' and these purple tipachina flowers with you .....



It is very hard for us not to share the beauty of that first Florida morning with you .... Like this magnificent 'Royal Purple' flower, a 'Tipachina' we think ....... But we need to drive on to Jacksonville in the north of Florida ...... Young 'Sophie' is busting to get out .......



Now here's the thing ...... Princess 'SOPHIE' is coming ...... That's obvious .... And in the closet are so many clothes in readiness for the great event that the 'Royal Wardrobe' simply defies description ........



We take a 'quick salt-water fix' to see the blue ocean again at Jacksonville Beach in Northern Florida, and the sea is beautifully flat ...... So are the beaches ............ Fun to see, and great to smell the ocean again ...... What a glorious summer's day ....... People are all a-gog at 'mother and daughters' on surfboards, competing for prizes .................." Sisters of the Sea " ..... Photographers out there to get the long distance photos ...... Florida's coast is shallow and waves break a long way out ........ They built a pier to get out there ....



Counting the days to "Sophie's" birth, and it is wonderful for Laurie to be here to share this moment with her daughter ............. The World's 7 billion population is about to increase by one ............... We know this blog is supposed to be about sailing, sunsets and palm trees and things, and we'll get back to that real soon ...... At least we managed to get the palm tree part in ............ And within a month we will be sailing right across the Caribbean Sea back to the Virgin islands ....... Hurricanes permitting ...... Currently they are marching through the Caribbean like a regular procession ............... NASTY BUGGERS .............. Don't go near them ........... Take our word for it .............



LATE UPDATE ................. September 17th ..... Delivery minus 18 hours or thereabouts ....
video
Husband Tony bouncing his wife Lauren-Anne around on the exercise ball ........ Is there such a thing as pre-child abuse....... Today looks like it is going to be 'SOPHIE DAY' ........ Now 'D' minus 17 hours .........

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