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Florida Lovin’

December 25, 2016 0 comments

Please forgive us and our sparse updates on the website! We’ve been spending so much time on our videos only to realize that it’s nearly impossible to upload them now that we’re in the Bahamas. It’s really sad. 🙁

Until we figure out a solution, I’ll be posting more frequently to the blog. That’s a good thing, right? Anyway, back to our scheduled blog entry…

Our New Favorite State

During our travels we’ve been able to stop at many places. Sometimes we can get off of the boat and explore, sometimes we can’t. Either way, there’s always something special we remember about each location. The East coast has been great, but we found that Florida has been the most memorable for us.

Sunshine!

After leaving a chilly and temperamental Charleston, SC we were relieved to have finally found warm weather! Our shorts and t-shirts came out and the sweatshirts were quickly tossed down below.  The sun was shining warm on our faces and we were relieved to take off our shoes and socks and let our feet get some needed fresh air! 🙂

Florida Lovin'

Sunshine and we feel fine! Picture courtesy of our pals Tim and Jill on SV Links 🙂 Thanks guys!

Rice Crispies

As we anchored for the night in St. Mary’s Inlet, we discovered a funny sound resonating around our hull.  It sounded like rice crispies crackling in milk, but it was something completely different – shrimp!  We’ve heard different explanations as to what causes the noise.  The consensus has been from snapping claws, but no matter how, it’s pretty fascinating.  This sound followed us all throughout Florida and to be honest, I kind of miss it!

Clams

Sandbars, sunset, dolphins and clams.  What more do you need? We made our own anchorage at St. John’s Inlet a day later and were treated to a nice little sandbar which we had all to ourselves.  We paddled over and started discovering clams buried in the sand.  A free seafood dinner! Of course we added some pasta, onions, garlic and red sauce for a tasty meal.  As the sun set we had the pleasure of watching nearby dolphins corral fish on the sandbar for their own dinner that night.

Florida Lovin'

We found 16 of these babies. The biggest one was as big as the palm of my hand!

Christmas Lights

St. Augustine brought us some Christmas cheer.  It just so happened that the St. Augustine Light Up Night was taking place during our stay and we were able to take part with thousands of people gathered in the town square (right next to our marina) to watch the surrounding scenery become illuminated with little white xmas lights. It was pretty cool!

Florida Lovin'

Twinkling lights in St. Augustine’s town square.

Land Life

We were able to stretch our legs and spend a few days on land on two separate occasions. Once in a beautiful condo in Ormond Beach over Thanksgiving and then in lovely home in Hobe Sound. We were able to have a proper Thanksgiving (with chicken),  Darby was able to run around and we had SPACE!!! It was glorious. SERIOUSLY glorious. Thank you Joyce! Thank you Townsends! It was amazing 🙂

New Dinghy

During our trip we came to the conclusion that our little inflatable 8’ dinghy wasn’t going to cut it.  She was getting swamped with water in minimal chop and didn’t have a solid back transom for us to mount our motor on.  The engine wasn’t sitting correctly in the water and it just didn’t feel safe. Thanks to Craigslist and some kind strangers we were able to get a new (to us) Walker Bay 8’ hard dinghy. Much better!

Florida Lovin'

Boldly going where no inflatable dinghy can go! Although she’s a bit tipsy, she does have her perks.  PS. This picture was taken in Norman’s Cay, Bahamas where we currently are for Christmas 🙂

Clear Water

There is something fascinating about being in deep, deep water and being able to see all the way down to the ocean floor. I love it.  Dave is a little creeped out by it (not sure why), but I think it’s AWESOME. This is something we hadn’t found ANYWHERE else besides southern Florida and it’s incredible.  Snorkeling is my new favorite activity and I only wish I’d discovered it sooner!

Florida Lovin'

A fun sandbar that popped up during low tide in Miami. This is where we discovered a tiny Portuguese Man-O-War, our first conch, a sea urchin and a little wicker basket  (Alli is holding in photo) that now serves as our “odds and ends” basket.

A Paddle Board and Hot Spot

Miami brought the opportunity to buy a paddle board and get some wifi for our boat! Woohoo! We were finally in a spot where we weren’t miles and miles away from shopping areas so we took full advantage.  Thank heavens for Uber because they were our main mode of transportation in Miami and they were fabulous.

Florida Lovin'

Dave testing out the paddle board in Miami 🙂

Provisions

Miami was our last stop in the States before we made the jump to the Bahamas.  Be advised fellow cruisers – DO NOT provision in Miami.  This is a no brainer right?  Anything in a major city is always way more expensive, but our inability to get a TON of groceries in our dinghy at our last anchorage which was about a mile from shore left us no choice but to stock up in Miami.  We were at the mercy of the local Publix grocery store and holy smokes was it painful.

Nearly $500 later we hobbled out with two shopping  carts of food, beer and LOTS of toilet paper.  Thankfully we had some help.  Dave’s awesome parents stopped by to visit for the afternoon and they picked us up from the grocery store, helped us load everything in their rental car and unload it onto our boat back at the marina.

Florida Lovin'

Provisioning was pretty tough on everyone- especially Darby 🙂

Until next time, Happy Holidays from all of us on SV Alli Oop and keep your eyes peeled for new blog posts! They will be coming! 🙂

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