Paul, Joanne and I had a good trip back to Florida. The clearing in was
uneventful, other than being sent back and forth between two offices several
times. There was no mention of the customs sticker that I was supposed to
purchase for the boat, and no visit to the boat.
I was able to make it to my mother's 80th birthday party. I was told some
time ago that Mom had insisted that we not do anything, and that it had
devolved into just a dinner at her favorite restaurant, but it was a party
after all, and my absence would have been conspicuous, even if I was sailing
a once in a lifetime trip.
I spent a couple of days at my mother's house, leaving the boat to Paul and
Joanne. It was nice to have that option, and I am sure that it was nice for
them to have the boat to themselves. (they tried to hide the evidence, but
there was a lot of confetti in the corners, and champagne bottles in the
trash bin onshore near the boat)
I had to cut short visits to the boat from family, as the weather told us to
get underway Sunday night right after the party. You don't argue with the
weather. The first night was a little rough, and very dark. It was made more
unpleasant by the formation of two new leaks, one in the vee berth, and one
in the main salon. It makes it a little harder when you cannot go below and
stay dry, and when you know you will be drying cushions and gear for a long
time. I think we have fixed one, and hope we have fixed the other. We won't
really know until we have rough conditions.
We made over 200 miles that first night with the help of the Gulf Stream. We
made 165 last night. We are presently approaching the outer banks. We have
the opportunity of heading out into a gale that would propel us quickly back
to New England, or finding shelter for a week or two. I think I may seek
that shelter, though it is tempting. The Gale would not be all that bad with
the wind behind the beam, but it would be cold and wet. I am used to wet,
but not cold.
We may duck into the Chesapeake Bay and stop in Annapolis to see Ben and
Jen. (This may be the first Ben and Jen hear of it). Then I would proceed on
up single handed via New York.