August - November, 2006

We are sailing again.  As of December 1 we were back on our way south.  We plan to visit the Dry Tortugas, Key West and Marathon, Florida on our way back to the Bahamas.

If you only like to read about sailing, don’t read this and wait until we post our December log.  Here is what we did during hurricane season while we weren’t sailing:

Livin the Dream on trailer

At the end of July, we took Livin the Dream out of the water for hurricane season.  We were lifted at Charlotte Harbor Boat Storage and put on a hydraulic trailer for the two mile drive to Bowe’s Boat Storage.  Yes, our 41,000 pound boat with its 64 foot mast standing tall was driven over the roads in Florida.  It was very disconcerting to watch our floating home waddle down the highway on a trailer and then be blocked and secured by jackstands.


During our time off the boat we took our annual family vacation with all the children and grandchildren at a state park on a lake in Georgia.  We visited John’s family and the family cottage in Michigan where we completed  some much needed maintenance.  Our friend Pete allowed us to use his house at Dark Island , Florida for a couple of visits.  We spent several week’s with Ann’s parents in Georgia where we helped them with a few household projects and traveled with them to Edisto Island, SC.  John was delighted to play beach volleyball several times with his Atlanta friends and he was also able to participate in the Fudpucker Beach Volleyball tournament in Destin, FL.


Several boat projects were crossed off the list during this time.  Our sewing projects included a new sail cover for our mizzen sail, repairing our mainsail, a new cover for the propane grill, a bag for clothes pins, and a bag for the two-way radios.  John sanded and revarnished the saloon table and cockpit table.  We ordered new lifelines and we had our cockpit cushions recovered.

Our original plan was to get the boat back in the water the later half of October and start our southbound journey by November 1.  As we have learned in the cruising life, our timelines are not always under our control.  The South Gulf Cove lock we were behind was closed for maintenance and originally scheduled to open by mid-October.  Extensive repairs delayed the lock opening until November 18.  The delay impacted boating plans for people in 3 boat storage facilities.

We returned to Livin the Dream on November 8 and she was moved again by trailer to Charlotte Harbor Boat Storage where we worked hard to get the boat ready to go back in the water.  Our days in the boatyard were busy sanding and painting the bottom, polishing and waxing the hull, reinstalling all the canvas, installing new zincs, doing propeller and through hull maintenance, finalizing the provision list, and installing the new lifelines.

The boatyard had about 20 boats preparing to re-enter the water, and we met new cruising friends and enjoyed the nice facilities provided by Charlotte Harbor Boat Storage for those living aboard in the yard.   To be sure the boatyard’s TV wouldn’t be tuned to any other station, we hosted a tailgate party during the Michigan-Ohio State football game and had a fun time, even though Michigan wasn’t victorious.

  Evelyn and Lionel Hart


Back in the water on November 18, we waited for high tide and calmer weather to exit the lock, and we moved back across Charlotte Harbor to Punta Gorda Isles to the dock of our friends Lionel and Evelyn Hart.  Lionel and Evelyn graciously allowed us a few days at their dock to finalize our preparations and also invited us to a delicious Thanksgiving dinner at their home.  We stocked up on provisions and spares and on December 1 we left the dock and began our journey southward.