Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!!!

It is Easter Sunday.  Easter has always been my favorite Sunday of the year.  I am filled with wonderful memories of family gatherings.  But more than those memories of time spent with family, I have memories of church services celebrating the resurrection of Christ. It is a time of hope and new beginnings and celebration. 

I have written before about my love for old hymns--these are some of my favorite Easter hymns--although I like them for any time of the year.

Charles Wesley wrote Christ the Lord is Risen Today

Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia!
Love's redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia!
Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia!
Vain the stone, the watch, the seal, Alleluia!
Christ hath burst the gates of hell, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia!
Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia!
Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once he died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where's thy victory, boasting grave? Alleluia!
Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia!
Following our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like him, like him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!
Hail, the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia!
Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia!
Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!
Hail, the resurrection day, Alleluia!
King of glory, Soul of bliss, Alleluia!
Everlasting life is this, Alleluia!
Thee to know, Thy power to prove, Alleluia!
Thus to sing and thus to love, Alleluia!
Hymns of praise then let us sing, Alleluia!
Unto Christ, our heavenly King, Alleluia!
Who endured the cross and grave, Alleluia!
Sinners to redeem and save. Alleluia!
But the pains that He endured, Alleluia!
Our salvation have procured, Alleluia!
Now above the sky He’s King, Alleluia!
Where the angels ever sing. Alleluia!
Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!
Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
Who did once upon the cross, Alleluia!
Suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia!

Robert Lowry wrote Christ Arose in 1874

Low in the grave He lay,
Jesus my Savior,
Waiting the coming day,
Jesus my Lord!
Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph o’er His foes,
He arose a Victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever, with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose!
Hallelujah! Christ arose!
Vainly they watch His bed,
Jesus my Savior;
Vainly they seal the dead,
Jesus my Lord!
Death cannot keep its Prey,
Jesus my Savior;
He tore the bars away,
Jesus my Lord!

 Alfred Ackley wrote He Lives


  I serve a risen Saviour; He's in the world today.
I know that He is living, whatever men may say.
I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer,
And just the time I need Him He's always near.

He lives! He lives! Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life's narrow way.
He lives! He lives! Salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart.

:In all the world around me I see His loving care,
And though my heart grows weary I never will despair.
I know that He is leading, thro' all the stormy blast;
The day of His appearing will come at last.

He lives! He lives! Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life's narrow way.
He lives! He lives! Salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart

Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian! Lift up your voice and sing
Eternal hallelujahs to Jesus Christ, the King!
The Hope of all who seek Him, the Help of all who find,
None other is so loving, so good and kind.

Many of the services at my hometown church ended with this blessing from Numbers 6.

The Lord bless you
    and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
    and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
    and give you peace.

P.S.  We are crossing the Gulf Stream this morning--keep us in your prayers as you celebrate Easter.  

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Gift Shopping in Dania

We saw this gift shop with coral lining the windows and we just had to go in.  As Mr. Adventure would say "they are real proud of their coral".  Translated to Joyspeak--that means "they must be crazy if they think I am going to buy any of this for this price." 

I happen to agree with him.  I had no idea that coral could be so expensive.  They did have alot of interesting merchandise.   

Hinged Orange? why?

Does anyone have one of the mobiles?


He has peg leg

 We didn't find any coral in our price range. So what did we buy?  A crazy tower of bobble head turtles made of seashells. It will look great on the boat.

$6.99 Tower of Bobble Head Turtles--we know how to find real fine art. 

Friday, March 29, 2013


We have been preparing for this trip to the Bahamas for weeks.  I have been stocking up on food, paper products, cleaning supplies, etc for about two months.  I have been seen loading up two grocery carts in the past to avoid having to return too quickly.  Today was one of those days where I could have used two carts.  I was in Wal-Mart in Dania Beach, Florida with all the Easter shoppers.  I just couldn't bring myself to trot around with two carts avoiding all the other shoppers and workers who were busily restocking all the shelves.

After getting most of my items at Wal Mart, I headed back to the marina and passed by Publix to get the remainder of our items.  We are planning to be away for about 8 weeks.  That means 7 days of meals for 8 weeks 3 times a day for at least 2 people.I think that is about 336 meals.    We hope that some family and friends will be joining us too so that means even more meals.  Don't get me wrong--we want visitors.    The reason we want to stock up rather than purchase there is because everything purchased in the Bahamas can cost much more than what we pay in the US. 

I am sure its odd to take a picture of one's freezer, but I am so impressed with myself and with the organizational beauty of my freezer, that I just couldn't resist.  I wish my Home Ec Teacher could see me now.


Just some of the food in the pantry, we have even more storage under the settee in the salon

My freezer at home was never this organized--key to neatness--re-bag every thing so they are all foods are packaged the  same size and they fit neatly

I remember talking to the Home Economics teacher at when I was a  first year teacher.  She told me at New Years that it was so easy to cook black eyed peas that she always volunteered for that food at her family gathering.  I opened my mouth and stuck in my foot--I whole heartedly agreed with her and said yeah--all you have to do is open a can.  How much easier can it get?, I asked.  She coughed to stifle her laugh at me and said, Joy, I was talking about dried black eyed peas soaked in water and cooked with ham hocks.  OOOPS!  She was not too impressed with my cooking skills.  She would be proud to see how I have grown.

My freezer has the following:

1 Bag of Bagels
2 Bags of English Muffins
8 Ice Cream Sandwiches
1/2 Gallon Moose Tracks Ice Cream
2 Flank Steaks
6 NY Strip
2 Chuck Roasts
5 lb ground beef already browned
2 lb ham for sandwiches
2lb turkey for sandwiches
3 turkey tenderloin
2 pork loin
1 pork tenderloin
1 lb ground venison
2 lb venison stew beef
29 chicken breasts
3-oz bags of shrimp
5 salmon filet
14 tilapia filet
2 pie crusts
4 QT bags Normandy Vegetable Mix
1 QT bag baby butter beans
4 QT bags stir fry vegetables
1 QT corn (from Thompson Family Farms)
2 QT pepper, tomato, onion, medley
2 QT sliced carrots
6 QT broccoli
2 QT Yellow Squash
5 QT Green Beans
8 cups mexi-cheese

I have also stocked up on canned vegetables, tuna, boxed items, tea, sugar, coffee etc.  We have 7 jars of salsa and 7 bags of tortilla chips, 2 bags of pretzels, and 2 bags of chips.  48 cokes, 24 diet coke, fresca, ginger ale, root beer, diet ginger ale and 48 bottles of water.

The fridge is full of salad stuff, cucumbers, tomatoes, cheese, and 1 gallon of milk--we also have boxed milk--we will see how that goes over.  I don't drink much milk, but Steve insisted he would drink this milk. 

Our favorite boat food is Wasabi Almonds--we have 7 cans.  It's embarrassing--but these are very very good.

We have heard that when at anchor at at the marina in the Bahamas, there are gatherings almost every night where everyone brings a favorite appetizer to share and enjoy meeting new cruisers.  Because we never shy away form having a party--we are stocked up in anticipation of inviting boaters over to chat & eat.

We are super excited about heading over to Bimini in the next few days.  It looks like we are going to be here another day or so since we have heard reports of high winds.  Steve has already told me that I am to lie down if the winds are high --sounds a little scary to me.

I hope I remember to take an inventory when we return to see exactly how much of everything we used.

The Commonwealth of the Bahamas

Officially named The Commonwealth of the Bahamas, this country is made up of more than 3000 islands, islets and cays.  In 1718 it became a British Colony and in 1973 became an independent commonwealth retaining the Queen Elizabeth as monarch.

The name Bahamas is derived from the Spanish term Baja Mar meaning shallow water.  The closest island to the United States is Bimini.  This is where we plan to make our first stop and check in with customs.   Nassau on the island of Providence is the most densely populated followed by Freeport and West End on Grand Bahama.  We will be spending most of our time near Marsh Harbor on Abaco Island with a population nearing 6000.

Map from

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Bahamas Bound

The time has finally arrived for the trip we have been planning & there has surely been alot of planning.. We had originally planned to be in the Bahamas in March and April.  We changed that plan because we knew we would not have all the permits/equipment/stuff  to leave by March 1.  We still don't have everything, but we are close.  

We purchased our boat in November, but did not receive the coast guard vessel documentation until mid March.  We are now fully registered with the US Coast Guard.  Our tender/dinghy also had to be registered.  We received those documents a few weeks ago as well. 

Although not required to have an EPIRB, we have one.  EPIRB stands for Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon and is used to alert search and rescue services in the event of an emergency. It does this by transmitting a coded message on the 406 MHz distress frequency via satellite and earth stations to the nearest rescue co-ordination center.(Thank you for that information)  Even though it is not required to have an EPIRB--I wouldn't want to travel without one--if there is one on the boat, it must be registered with NOAA.  Another acronym--NOAA is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. Below are some EPIRB examples. 

The Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking (SARSAT) branch of NOAA under which our EPIRB is registered was started after a plane carrying two US Congressmen crashed in Alaska.  A search and rescue attempt was made, however, no trace of the plane has ever been found.  After this accident, Congress mandated that all airplanes must carry an Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT)  Through a joint effort with Canada, France, and the United States; the SARSAT was developed by NASA and handed over to NOAA.  A similar system was developed by the Soviet Union in 1979--after which all four nations joined to for Cospas-Sarsat.  Today there are 46 nations participating in this program. 

Another safety device we must have if traveling in international waters is a Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) number in order to participate in the Global Maritime Distress & Safety System. The MMSI number is a 9-digit code issued by the host country agency for use in VHF marine radio equipment, AIS transponders and EPIRB's.   In the United States the Federal Communications Commission is responsible for assigning MMSI's to commercial and recreational vessels. The charge for the MMSI number is $160.00.  We will never have to get another number as this number stays with the vessel forever. 

Before checking into customs in a foreign country, one must fly a Quarantine Flag.  The Quarantine flag is yellow.  After being cleared by Customs, we must fly The Bahamian courtesy flag.  We found both of these flags at Sailor's Exchange in Jacksonville for about $25.00.

We have applied for a US Customs decal.  We are supposed to have this decal when we return to the states.  This decal is required for return and costs $27.50.  We just found out about t his decal this week and applied online.  We were told that we could probably just show US Customs our application and receipt since the decal won't be sent to us in the Bahamas.  We aren't sure why we need this decal except as a way to collect a fee. 

A pet permit is required by the Bahamian government to bring a pet into the country.  We received the permit from the Director of Agriculture for $10 for Piper to join us.  We also must have a valid certificate from our veterinarian that all of Piper's vaccinations are up to date.

We are heading to Dania, FL where we left the boat at Royal Palm Yacht Harbor with all our permits in hand.  We will do the last minute provisioning stocking up the pantry and refrigerator than look for a good weather window to cross the Gulf Stream.

 our customs decal, our veterinarian forms, our Epirb registration, coast guard vessel registration, tender registration from Florida, Bahamas charts from Nobeltec, paper charts for Bahamas. Bahamas Agriculture Permit for Piper, Veterinary Health Certificate for Piper,

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

March Madness

On Friday, March 15  Lainey, Miranda, and I left Steve and Piper aboard to head home.  Lainey and Miranda had to be back at school and they  needed a day to get Lainey's car repaired as well as a day to shop. Steve stayed in Titusville until Sunday afternoon when he was joined by Jack French and Spencer McCroskey.  Both are experienced boaters who volunteered to help Steve move the boat further south so that we could be closer to the Bahamas when we finally get ready to leave.  Many thanks to bot Jack and Spencer!

I had a full week at home.  I was able to join my tennis team for one coaching session and one match.  My partner Cindy Moon and I won in two sets!!! We have been playing tennis together for close to 15 years.

My father turned 79 this week so I was able to spend a little time with him and my mom.  We are lucky that they live close by.  Many thanks to them too as they watch after our zoo of animals when everyone is away. 

My supper club met while I was home.  This was a great treat for me because I have not been able to attend many meetings this past year because of our crazy schedule.  We had a great time acting out our own version of Chopped  a Food Network series. 

On Saturday, Katy and I met Caroline at the Waverly Galleria Mall and Conference Center where she was involved in a Pan-Hellenic training meeting.  After this meeting, we headed to Perimeter Mall to look for a formal dress for Caroline for a function she will be attending in April.  (I would call this function a dance, but I am not up on the latest sorority lingo)

After shopping with her we headed home where Katy left to join some friends in Athens.  Steve and I took Caroline out to eat at the local Mexican restaurant.   Caroline was disappointed that Katy's Mexican love interest at the restaurant was not working.  (Long story short--a middle aged bus boy at the restaurant is infatuated with Katy)

Sunday morning, I drove Caroline back to school to prepare for the Founder's Day Luncheon for her sorority.  The local chapter of her sorority met for a luncheon where they discussed future plans, gave out awards and generally updated everyone on the status of the sorority. 

Caroline and I shopped a little more than headed off to eat at  an Indian Restaurant in town.  We had a great meal and she took home two to go boxes.  I headed to my hotel where I slept from about 9:00 until 7:30--without waking up even once--

On Monday I helped Caroline get her car jumped off since the battery had died, we shopped some more, and ate a little lunch before I headed back home. 

After arriving home I learned that our dogs Hobie and Jack had gotten out of our fenced in yard.  Hobie had returned--Jack was still missing.  This is always traumatic for us.  Jack likes to wander and is fond of the ladies.  He does not like it when we find him and make him get back into the car  to go home. 

While waiting for Jack to turn up, I got to play with Mr. Adventure's men's tennis group.  It is a rare treat for me to play with them.  They are very good and don't treat me like a girl---in fact I think Steve at least aims at me.  While we were playing our friend Clay came over to cheer us on wearing his Nanook of the North Hat--we couldn't tell who he was but he was warm.  It was snowing while we played--so Clay was dressed appropriately.  After the match, the men headed over to Clay's house.  While there, Steve got a call that Jack had been found stuck under a tarp at a neighbors house.  Thank goodness--we wouldn't have been able to sleep had he been missing.

On Tuesday we (not me so much) put up the portable dog kennel.   Steve had taken it down while he rebuilt our peacock kennel.  We decided we better get this up since Jack seemed pretty determined to visit his lady friends this spring season. 

Wednesday was a day for packing and cleaning up everything before heading out on Thursday. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Cocoa Beach

Cocoa Beach is a great little town to visit for shopping and dining.  We were pleasantly surprised with this little jewel.  Our first stop was the S. F. Travis Hardware store established in 1885.  Click here to read about the history of this unique hardware store.  We wandered up through several buildings, up rickety stairs and through some dusty aisles looking at their wares. 
Wrench anyone? 

We were told ghosts were up the steps--we had to check it out

No ghosts but a skeleton pirate

There were too many interesting shops to photograph--I think this town would be great for a girls trip! Not so much fun for Mr. Adventure.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


The wind was really bad today on the water.  Although we wanted to make it to Cocoa Beach, we decided to stop for the day in Titusville at the Titusville Municipal Marina.  The reviews on Active Captain for this marina were great!  The marina has made great strides to make cruisers welcome since the cutbacks at local NASA.  There is a great park within walking distance with exercise equipment on one side of the marina and a dog park on the other side of the marina where dogs can run freely in a fenced in area. 

The marina is also home to many manatee who come up for fresh water which we found out is strictly prohibited.  OOOPS!

Ron Jon Surf Shop Cocoa Beach

Looking for entertainment for Miranda and Lainey was not too difficult.  We headed to Cocoa Beach, the home of "I Dream of Jeannie" to Ron Jon Surf Shop.  (We are big on free entertainment)  No one is sure why or how Mr. Adventure knew about this surf shop, but he was determined to show us all its spectacular glory. 

We were not dissappointed in the grandness of this surf shop.  Lainey was a little disappointed when we refused to purchase a "World Famous Spring Break 2013" T-shirt for her.  I have sworn off t-shirts since donating at least 50 such shirts to good will after Lainey graduated. 

Las Olas Inlet Harbor Marina

After leaving St. Augustine we stopped in Las Olas, just below Daytona Beach.  We stayed overnight at the Inlet Harbor Restaurant and Marina.  We were docked next to a mega yacht named Lady Sura.  Lady Sura is 55 meters long and requires a crew of 14 to operate. ( Pictures to come at a later date for Lady Sura).

We saw the boats below on the way from St. Augustine.  The first is a classic fan tail yacht.  I almost didn't get a shot of the second boat--I was intrigued with the emblem of the Pink Panther on the side...

We had no trouble docking at the marina.  Lainey and Miranda immediately headed to the beach which was about 3 blocks away.  They were surprised to see that Piper wasn't allowed on the beach.  Lucky for them I arrived at the beach just after they did and took Piper for a walk down the road.  We made it to the light house.

We had a little trouble leaving the marina as the current was quite swift and the wind was heavy.  We made it out without running into the mega yacht so considered it a success.