Nov 18,2002
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As usual time is passing very quickly and we are starting to make our plans to leave Ft. Pierce. The weather has turned a bit cooler with a couple of cold fronts moving through this past week. The winds today are 25 - 30 out of the NW and temp is to drop to the low 40s tonight. Way to cold for this body. This weather change is helping us to get things done quickly so that we can move further south. The shop finished rebuilding our generator and reinstalled it this past Thursday afternoon. I then spent most of Friday reconnecting all of the hoses and electrical connections. Our next task is to get our water maker installed which I suspect will take a week or two. We first have to decide where to put it. Our thought is that we will remove the starboard water tank that is under the settee and use that space for the water maker and additional storage. The tank holds 75 gallons of water which would translate to 650 lbs when full, so we have to make sure that removing tank does not unbalance the boat. If it does we will reduce the size of the tank enough to make room for the water maker. Once the water maker is installed all of the major tasks will be completed and we will be ready to head south.

On Friday our friends from Lake Lanier, Robert & Carolyn Wilson with their dog Maggie, sailed into Ft Pierce on board Gypsy Common. They had moved their boat to the coast a couple of weeks ago and are also heading south. I arranged with the dock master to give them a slip on our dock. They will be staying here for a couple of days and then will move onto North Palm Beach. It was great to see them again. Friday night we had them over for dinner serving one of my favorite fish receipts. The recipe is listed in The Galley page. Last night they had us over for dinner. Both nights we had a great time talking about the old times at the lake and looking forward to the future. If things workout we will probably hook up with them again in the Bahamas.

Over the last couple of weeks the docks here at Ft. Pierce have become almost full. Many of the boats had spent the hurricane season on the hard here at the marina as the owners went north for the summer. They are coming back now and getting their boats ready to sail south. Many of them will be heading to the Bahamas as we are, others are planning to sail further down into the Caribbean or down to Mexico. At least 2 boats from our dock will be leaving December 1 with the others staged out over the next couple of months. One of the things that keeps the boats here, here being from Ft. Pierce to Miami & the Keys, are these cold fronts moving through. When they move through the wind quickly moves from the SE to the south, SW and then to the north and NE. Once the wind gets to the North the gulf stream gets very very rough. An example, tomorrow the wind is to be 20 - 30 knots out of the North and the gulf stream, that is moving north at up to 4 knots, is reported to be 12 to 13 ft waves. Sailboats and trawlers generally need a minimum of 3 days with winds out of the SE or South to get where they can anchor at a island protected from the north winds. If the cold fronts are to close together as the last 2 have been the stream never has a chance to settle down so the cruisers just wait until the weather will settles down.

Ugne and I are doing great. We really love the life style and can see us doing it for many years. The cruising community in general is very friendly and helpful and we are making many new friends whom we will meet again in anchorages around the world.