I have been procrastinating about this blog post because I just haven’t been sure what to write about or what to say. There are no more photos of beautiful Bahama beaches, clear warm water, and sunsets and sunrises. This is a different phase of the adventure.
When we left Fort Pierce we traveled south down the ICW to a little place called Manatee Pocket in Port Salerno which is next to Stuart, Florida. Manatee Pocket is a small (surface area of 0.5 square miles), shallow bay-like area located where the St. Lucie River meets the Indian River Lagoon. The junction of the Okeechobee Waterway and the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway as well as the St. Lucie Inlet are located in these waters, a real “water intersection.” This convenient waterway access makes Manatee Pocket a good location for marine-related industries, commercial and recreational fishing; as well as a jumping off or return point for the Bahamas or crossing the state by way of Lake Okeechobee.
We have spent a few weeks in Manatee Pocket at the Stuart Yacht Sales dock, and we will be leaving Kindred Spirit here in Florida when we both return home to Connecticut. She is now for sale. That is very hard for me to write. We have owned this Morgan 43 foot center cockpit sailboat for 12 years and she has been our home for 6 months. For over a year we have discussed making the transition from sailing to a trawler, mostly because of my health (ovarian cancer and lymphedema in my leg) and our age as we look ahead. I’m so glad we made this trip to the Bahamas on Kindred Spirit, She was fully equipped and ready for the voyage. She handled everything that came our way, safely and comfortably. We could not have asked for more.
A truly pleasurable bonus to this is spending time with Al’s brother, Bill and his wife, Barbara.
Life at a dock isn’t the same as swinging on a mooring or at anchor in the Bahamas, but it is a good place for all of the cleaning, emptying and boxing that we have to do now. Our dock home is a funky little spot with a bar (karaoke night on Thursdays) and a collection of shops and art galleries.
We were able to watch tv again on a more regular basis. I’m not sure that we missed much —-
One morning we awoke to a new noise that sounded very near to us. I took a peak out of the ports, and saw —
There is a good side to being back home in the U.S. – convenience. Any store you want or need – Publix the grocery store, Home Depot, Lowe’s, West Marine, and more.
We rented a car and a storage unit – 5x5x10 feet. I was not convinced that everything would fit inside that. Fortunately, Bill had additional space in his office for storage. It is amazing how much stuff was on that boat. Box after box after box……
We took a break from the unloading and packing and drove to Vero Beach to visit our CT SYC friends, Dean and Mary Jo. They are escaping the cold New England winter and spending March and April in a lovely condo there. We really enjoyed our time with them.
It really helped to take breaks from the depressing and tiring routine of unloading things. We spent a night on the west coast of Florida (to see a potential trawler) at a cute little bed & breakfast inn. So much more fun than a sterile chain motel (and cheaper, too.)
After two weeks, the end was in sight. I took a flight home so that I can get the house ready and attend the baby shower for our next grandchild. Al will finish up and drive himself and our belongings back to Connecticut in a one-way rental truck. After six months of togetherness 24/7, it seems strange to be apart.
So, the big question is……. what’s next? I don’t know, and that’s ok. We will figure it out as we go. This has been an incredible experience that leaves us with memories that we will treasure forever.
The end of this post has to be a tribute to our very special and unique Kindred Spirit. We will always be sailors at heart, and this Morgan will carry a piece of us with her wherever she goes. I just hope there is someone out there who will love this boat as much as we have.