After months of anticipation and 5400 miles of watery travel, I can’t tell you how amazing it feels to be home. Well, technically we aren’t home/home (where our families are),but after being in foreign countries for the last year, I think anywhere in the States would feel like home at this point.
We had a rolly-poly night across the Gulf Stream from Grand Bahama to Ft. Pierce, Florida. The first 12 hours were pretty uncomfortable, but things eventually smoothed out as we got closer to land. Once we had sight of the coast, it felt like a weight was lifted off our shoulders. We had no more worries and we were back in our comfort zone. Sweet relief!
Give me that Taco Bell
We were concerned that perhaps we’d be dealing with some severe reverse culture shock, but that hasn’t been the case. I (Alli) had felt overwhelmed back in September while I was visiting family. As soon as I set foot inside a giant grocery store I thought I was going to have a panic attack. Driving on the highway made me feel like I was in a rocket ship whizzing out of control. I’m getting queasy just thinking about it.
Luckily, neither Dave or I experienced that this time. As soon as we got to shore we relished in a quick walk to a shopping plaza and all of the conveniences we’d missed while we were away – friendly and prompt customer service, fully stocked grocery shelves and more variety than we’d ever need.
The next order of business was gorging on fast food and take-out for the following week. You cannot believe how good Taco Bell tastes after going without for so long. OMG. I don’t care if you’re judging me. I loved it.
Boat yard blues
Once we were rested up, our plan was to head up to Vero Beach and take advantage of their cheap(ish) moorings and cruiser friendly atmosphere (free shuttle, showers, beach, etc). Alli Oop, however, wasn’t too keen on that idea. As we started to head north up the ICW, we noticed the engine wasn’t getting up to RPM – aka we couldn’t haul a**, full speed ahead). So we instinctually turned right back around, dropped hook and called the nearest boat yard (which happened to be right next to us).
Dave suspected there was something going on with the propeller so we had the boat hauled out. We were on the hard for about a week as he tried to figure out a solution. I just watched a lot of Netflix. Just kidding! I actually ran a bunch of errands with the rental car we had and helped with sanding the bottom. I try to contribute…sometimes.
After some headaches and frustration, everything was sorted out. Seems that our prop just needed readjusted. We also put on some new bottom paint and raised our boot stripe.
The next step
During the last month or so, we’d been debating on where we’d spend the next chapter of our lives as liveaboards. We definitely wanted to stay in Florida where it’s nice and warm, but we were torn between the Gulf and East Coasts. Should we stay south or move north? After consulting other cruisers, doing lots of research and much deliberation, we finally had an answer.
Probably not what you were expecting, huh? I know it seems kind of strange. Initially we thought so too, but we have our reasons. Why would we head north when we were already in sunny South Florida? More on that later. 🙂