Friday, September 14, 2012

Escaping the heat, the rain and the Hurricanes

Pura Vida is ready to go, the crew is ready to go but Mother Nature say's "Not yet".  Three months of replacing and repairing, learning the local weather patterns, gathering the "secrets" from the colorful local boaters, accumulating a boat full of spare parts, studying charts and speeding a boat full of money in the process we pulled Pura Vida out of the water and put her on the hard to wait for Mother Nature to say "OK" now it's time to go.

So off we went on a southern driving tour. From the historic and quant Savanna to Atlanta to Memphis (we did not see Elvis) to Bentonville, Arkansas for the Crystal Bridges Museum to KC.

Fortunately my friends at Barkley and Blue Bunny have a project for me that will keep me busy and out of trouble and most importantly refill the cruising jar.

Sorry we don't have stories of exotic islands and topless natives to tell all of you. This will just have to do for now.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

How's the weather, you ask?

Lately the text messages, phone calls and the emails have all been about the weather, so I thought I’d give you the scoop.

After returning from Kansas City we got ourselves into a great daily routine of riding our bikes by the river every morning then later in the afternoon we’d do a few in-door projects (or King would take a nap) while the rain passed.  Later on in the evening we would either visit with our new dock friends or whatever other social thing we had planned.

In the last couple of weeks we have met some wonderful couples living their dream. Here are a few:

A great couple from Joplin, Missouri - Mike & Twyla Chapman (Yes, they got out of Joplin before the Tornado.) are docked down the way from us.  They like to go to the beach with us but they especially like to host cocktail parties on their 42’ trawler .  They said most of their friend’s thought they were crazy to sell all their possessions and move on a boat.  Imagine that! We all had a good laugh.

Bill & Judy Speary, they have been on their Whitby 42 for over 20 years.  They have sailed from Annapolis, through the Chesapeake Bay, over to Bermuda, across the pond to Portugal, the Canary Islands, and up and down the Caribbean.  Judy is a true trendsetter.  She has been playing the steel drums since 1996 and that is why they sailed to Trinidad so she could play the drums in a panorama competition for Carnival.  They came in second place.  She set-up her drums one evening in the clubhouse and played for everyone.  I still don’t know how they keep those drums on that boat.

Bill & Helen on their 50” power monster. They went with us to checked out some of the local events such as the Blues, Beer and Food Truck Rally in Titusville.  Shuggs, I’m sure you would have loved to check that out.  Their a great couple and our go to source for all mechanical issues on our boat.

Then along came Isacc!  The Dock Master Ken here at Cocoa Village Marina made us button down the hatches and place on all our dock lines, then we thought it was going to the west side of Florida and we wouldn’t get much but that turned out not to be the case.  It seems that when the storm came off of Cuba it split apart so that part of it went straight up the east side of the Florida Coast. So we started seeing a lot of storms move through. More than just our one a day rain squalls.  Finally it turned into two straight days of high winds and walls of rain.  That is when King and I decided to have a double feature day at the movies. 

Today we only had a small amount of rain and the sun did come out for a bit so I think we can get back into our normal routine.  We rode our bikes today so you know we are doing just fine.

Hope everyone is doing great in your area.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


You have all been asking where we are?  Well, Michael and I left our home base in Cocoa for Kansas City on August 3rd to celebrate my dad's 80th birthday on Aug.6th.  It was a fun filled weekend toped off with a Birthday dinner at the Gas Light Grill in Leawood on Sunday night.

We then traveled up to Omaha to celebrate the life of Glenn Margritz (Cindy King's father) who passed away and listen to the many stories of his amazing life.   He will be greatly missed.

We have now returned to our boat at the Cocoa Village Marina. Since returning we have had some big storms with 80 mph winds and great walls of rain.  We are in the thick of the Florida storm season.

Michael and I are now working on our plans to go further south.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

All together now

Last Wednesday Sarah joined us from Chicago for a whirl wind four days of togetherness.  Thursday started out early with a visit from the resident baby manatee and her mother giving us a great send off.  We were headed south down the ICW all the way to Fort Pierce but first stopping at Vero Beach for a night. 

While at Vero we went in to the beach which turned out to be more of an adventure than we planned. While swimming we were surrounded by small bait fish, I felt a little uneasy and told King to come in closer to the shore after seeing to many big shadows in the water.  At about the same time I got an aerie feeling the life guards started blowing their whistles telling everyone to quickly get out of the water.  "SHARKS"!  We all quickly obliged and sat on the shore and watched the sharks stir things up.  As you can imagine we didn't get back in the water that day.

After a fun night in Fort Pierce we headed out to the Atlantic to sail all the way back up north to Port Canaveral. Within the first half hour we were greeted by three dolphins off our bow which reminded us all of the many times sailing with friends in Marina Del Rey. Unfortunately we didn't find much wind the rest of the way.  I was wishing for more wind the whole time but didn't get it.  We were all glad because the next day back in Cocoa Village we got the wind up to 40 mph and the rain followed. We were glad to be back at the dock.

Back in the states

On the 13th of July we picked up our daughter Michelle in Miami. She was returning from Guatemala after a 5 week stint teaching children in Santa Maria.  While there she saw and experience some amazing sites like the Pacaya Volcano where she roasted marshmallows and took a little "natural" sauna. She loved working with all the children now she'll spend some time with us on the boat.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Red Letter Day on Water

I decided to give this blog stuff a try (Cherie writing now.)  Yesterday was our best day on the water when it came to sailing since acquiring Pura Vida.  Everything was working well and we sailed for hours with great wind plus many hands to help tack this big boat. Captain Mike, of course, knows how to maneuver this big boy in the narrow and shallow Indian River like you wouldn't believe.

My sister Sandy and her family are in town that is why we had so many hands on deck (Minus Neil but he was our first guest who stayed on the boat.)  Sandy isn't to keen on motion and dramamine is her best friend when she is on the water but she wanted to come down and check out what the heck we decided to do with this boat business.  They got a room at the Hilton on the beach which was a good thing because the weather turned hot hot hot.  I think that is happening every where right now.  Hey it's summer!  Anyway, Ross and I have enjoyed the beach because I had the boogie boards on the boat so we have been boogie boarding daily and the water is warm, not like the Pacific.

After boogie boarding the first day she arrived we sat that night having dinner on our boat and watched the sunset while Ross played my guitar (Nice night!).  My brother-in-law Doug flew in the next day.  While Michael went to get him  I got things together for our 4th of July celebration on neighbor's Helen and Bob's 50 foot trawler.  About 20 minutes after Michael left the sky turned dark and it got that same look Tropical Storm Debby had shown us a few times.  So I zipped up the windows to the bimini and battened down the hatches, then the wind sped up to about 32 knots and the rain squall came quickly.  Michael and Doug had just pulled up to the under ground parking below the Cocoa Village Marina club house but all they could do was watch the boat as it tossed and turned blowing around and the power even flickered but within a hour it was all over and the sun came back out.  So the 4th celebration went on as planned and we had a great view of the fireworks from the top deck of the 50 foot trawler over the water which was picture perfect.

That brings back to yesterday which was a red letter day of sailing.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Plugged in and running cool :).

Back in Cocoa from our 4 day excursion to Vero Beach. Some call it "velcro" beach because you don't want to leave. Personally we had no trouble leaving and coming back to Cocoa. They have nothing on Cocoa! This was the test run for us unplugged from the dock. Boy did we miss the A/C !!! It was hot, hot,hot down below. Up top where the breeze was it wasn't so bad.
Lesson #1: Don't leave your 30amp cords behind. Without them you can't pull into a marina and plug in to run your A/C:)
Lesson#2: Don't stray to far from the home base in the summer heat.
Lesson#3: We picked the right sailboat design. The center cockpit is fantastic and it allows for the spacious cabin down below.
Mystery#1: What happened to 100 gallons of fresh water that disappeared between Cocoa and Vero Beach on the way down?
Mystery#2: Why do the battery loose over 50% of their power in just over 4hrs of use?
Discovery #1: The work is NEVER done on a boat this size and with sooo many different systems that need constant maintenance.
Discovery#2: The best purchase we made so far is the new bed:)
Fact #1: This boat is going to put us in the poor house a lot sooner that we thought:(.

Anyway Cherie's sister and her family are arriving today for a visit. They are staying in a hotel on Cocoa Beach for the week. Should be a good time. Gotta go pick them up at the airport.

Have a happy 4th of July !!!!.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Safe & Secure but WINDY

WINDY and wet!  Felling the affects of Debbi now. The wind is gusting to 30knts and the rain never quits. The harbor we are in is well protected and we have 14 lines holding us in place. Tomorrow I will  buy 6 more lines because the Marina requires 20 for Hurricane preparation. We are praying that Debbi stays west of us but only time will tell.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Getting Started

Saturday, June 23rd
All right we finally got some breathing room to set-up our Blog. It's been an exciting start of our adventure on Pura Vida. Somehow our plan is unfolding as planned albeit a few new developments from my friends at Barkley and at Blue Bunny. More on that at a later. Anyway the plan to spend a few months close to the East Coast working out the kinks and getting acclimated to spending extended time on a sailboat again has turned out to be a very wise decision. Everyday we discover new ways to ease the challenge of staying aboard a sailboat with limited space. Cherie is MacGyver in a female body. She is amazing at solving the multiple challenges we face every day. Our new temporary home here in Cocoa, Florida has turned out to be a incredible lucky find, a safe and secure marina  just yards away from shops and restaurants, a hardware store that's been in business at the same location since 1868, a sailmaker just blocks away, a marine supply just over the bridge and all them are willing to take our money. Anyway the sails have been re-stiched, the generator has had a major tune-up, the fresh water system has been tuned up and the boat is organized the way we like it so it's time to start putting it all to work. After this newly named (Debbie) storm moves through we will sail down to Vero Beach which is about 50miles south of here. We are planning to leave on Monday weather permitting.

PS.. I chose Google Blog for it's simplicity. Let's see how it goes. Consider this a test run