About Us

Living aboard and traveling on s/v Serendipity, Union 36. Beginning a new journey to visit Cuba (maybe), the Bahamas, or the western Caribbean.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

More miles in the marathon

Marathon is WAY more than trips to Key West and the Dockside bar.  WAY more.  We also fish.  New best friends Jill and Richard won a fishing trip at a silent auction (held by the community to benefit a local who had a stroke and was unable to work – this community rallies around those who need help).  They invited us to accompany them (maybe they got to the Ws in the phone book) and we had a BALL!  The fishing guide is a pro on the Chesapeake who winters in Marathon and can’t stop fishing.  He could pinpoint a sweet spot from miles away and tell you exactly where to land your bait.  Jill is by far the most enthusiastic fisherperson we’ve ever seen, and she was in heaven.  The four of us caught about 40 fish (grouper wasn’t in season so we had to send them back) and had a great fish fry for all our new and old friends on the dock (our guide kindly cleaned and filleted them for us).
this guy didn't stand a chance against Jill!
can you say dinner?
Rich is very patient
oh yeah!
lunch at Burdine's after the fish rodeo
you REALLY had to be there
Steve and Bill prep the fish for cooking
mayonnaise?  it worked!

Rich and Jay were first in line
 The guys formed a golf league (which the girls totally encouraged since it meant they'd be off the boats for a couple of hours a week).  They played in the afternoon then the girls met them for happy hour and apps (another reason we encouraged the golfing).  It was a good chance to listen to the huge lies golfers tell while knowing there would be no cooking or dishes.  Oh yes, and of course there was the exercise for the guys….
Patty is NOT buying that story!
but Jill believes everything
The Annual Marathon Seafood Festival is a reason to spend the afternoon listening to great local musicians and chowing down.  There are also a lot of vendors (crafts, marine supplies, etc.) and businesses handing out samples (so of course there’s a race to see who gets a tote bag full first and with the greatest stuff….like that strawberry-cheesecake-flavored…..)
good music all day
thousands of people attend every year
We attended two concerts featuring Howard Livingston, after hearing him at Boondocks.  He sponsors Kids Camp, which is a camp for terminally ill children and their siblings.  To raise funds, he auctions a blender full of margaritas.  The blender is mounted on a Johnson outboard, which of course makes quite a racket (and apparently quite a margarita).  He donates all the money raised to the camp (it costs ~$500/wk/child).  The first night (at Boondocks), the blender raised $5000 and the second time (at a concert) it raised $14,000.  That’s a pretty expensive blender full of margaritas, but it’s for a very good cause.  And he’s an excellent  musician.
this is NO fun
we think Bob just let one
lovebirds Phred and Candy
see Ron's margarita?
good crowd and good concert

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Keys and kegs and kisses (and some work too)

We were in Marathon for about 30 minutes (maybe a little less) before plans were made to go to Key West (we’re back with our Social Director, Bob).  Bil Kraus, a friend of Bob and Steph’s, was playing at Irish Kevin’s and they were anxious to hear him.   Turns out Steph had contacted him that morning to tip him off we were coming, so when we walked into the bar he said “Nancy!  My ex-wife!”  He was lots of fun, taping people into their bar stools with painter’s tape, wearing silly hats, and generally being hilarious (without being nasty, which is quite a feat).  Surprisingly (thanks, Steph), I ended up in the cage onstage (no, kids, don’t be scared…I didn’t sing or dance or undress).  We were there for quite a while, but still managed to hit a few more places (Schooner Wharf, Rick’s, Smokin’ Tuna) before dragging our silly selves back to the boats.
caged Admiral
we're baaaaack
this tuna was definitely smokin
On our next trip to Key West, Judy ended up on stage at Irish Kevin’s (I think Bob gets credit for that tip-off)  then William joined her for a serenade.  Bob told every female we met (from cradle to grave) that it was William’s birthday, so he got lots of hugs (and of course Bob got lots of photos).  Jay wants to have the next birthday!
Judy in the spotlight
Jay trying to get some of William's birthday kisses
maybe we've been on the boat too long?
We did sprinkle a bit of work in between games.  Captain Wade and Jay worked to repair the mast compression post (which decompressed last year as we crossed from the Abacos to the U.S.).  They lifted the mast up with bottle jacks, had a new plate made and re-welded to hold the post, then tweaked and retweaked (and sanded a bit) to ensure the perfect fit and stability.  There was just a brief time when the bathroom door wouldn’t close and the floors sounded like elephants were marching through).
Wade playing in the floor
pass the duct tape
no, that's not a gallows; it's the mast-holder-upper Wade and Jay built
new plates to hold compression post
We met some great new friends -- Steve and Kim (m/v Maya), Steve and Rose (s/v Gypsy Queen), Bill and Patty (m/v Conched Out Too), Jill and Richard (m/v Finally); and we were thrilled to see old friends again -- Phred and Candy (Sunset Dancer), Rick and Therese (m/v Capt’n and Hook), Stephen and Pam (m/v Tides In), Bob and Stephanie (m/v September Song), Bob and Katie (m/v Rolling Stone).

Thursday, February 16, 2012

She moves!

Early in February we turned the pointy end south to head for Marathon, where madness and mayhem had already begun (and we were missing it!!).  The Captain was deliriously happy to be moving again, and Serendipity was straining at her leash.
Outta here!
George and Terry (s/v Serena) traveled the first bit with us, and we anchored at Dragon Point in Eau Gallie the first night.  We enjoyed dinner aboard Serena, and bid a fond farewell to our good friends.
Beauty and the beasts
After a few anchorages (and lots of rain), we had to wait 3 hours one afternoon for the Don Ross bridge to be repaired, with no guarantee that it would happen in a manner timely enough for us to reach our anchorage.  The marina closest (and which could accommodate our 6’ draft) wasn’t really public, but when we called they seemed very anxious to have us dock there for the night.  As usual, I asked their rates on the phone and $1.50 sounded like a reasonable per-foot charge.  When we pulled into the cove we were amazed at how large the marina was and how large the boats were.  We tied up and the Captain went to check in.  As he left the boat, I jokingly said “hope they didn’t mean $150!”.  Well, no joke.   Too bad we didn’t have time or the weather to take advantage of the beautiful grounds and pool!  It was late and of course there was the electroshock therapy that needed to be done on the Captain…..
small boats at the marina
must've misunderstood.....
Ft. Lauderdale is one of our favorite stops, so we were glad to tie up in New River at Sailboat Bend.  We rented a car and got some shopping/reprovisioning done, and were able to reach the mechanic to whom we’d mailed our ham radio.  Sadly, it couldn’t be revived, but he had another one that fit our needs.  We walked into Los Alamos for happy hour, where the Captain was happy to see the UT basketball game on the bar TV.
Las Olas
cute little tug
do NOT want his job!
a cold one, coconut shrimp, and UT on the screen....one happy Captain!
small cabin in Lauderdale
We celebrated our 39th anniversary in Biscayne Bay (one of my favorite anchorages) with a beautiful sunset.
starting to relax into the cruising life again
anniversary sunset
We spent the next night in Rodriguez Key, then eased into Marathon on the 16th.  We were met on the dock by Bob and Katie, William and Judy, Bob and Stephanie, and Rick and Therese.  Bob had (of course) made plans (what?  Bob?) to have a pizza party on the dock.  We met some new best friends and reunited with old best friends.  Let the games begin!

Boot Key Harbor!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What a cute little bottom

Serendipity does NOT appreciate being left closed up for months on end.  The inside was pretty grim, with fur and rust growing on everything.  We’ll never leave her unplugged and closed up again for that long.  Things that had survived very well for 8 years suffered, and it took a while to get everything cleaned up and aired out.

The bottom wasn’t difficult to repaint, once the sanding was done and the blisters scraped. The stripe under the cap rail proved to be more of a challenge, however. The first coat of paint was kelly green (as opposed to the former emerald green), so it had to be removed. The weather didn’t always cooperate, as it couldn’t be too windy (or obviously wet) for sanding and painting. As a result, the bottom had three coats long before the stripe had two. It would never do to mention the size of the bottom as opposed to the stripe, or to mention that the Admiral did the bottom and the Captain did the stripe.
Captain Green Stripe hard at work
the looooong way up
We met a great couple next to us on the hard, Gordon and Jeannie, and we enjoyed a meal or two and a trip to the flea market in Vero with them. 
making those lists for traveling
I've seen so many shots of gourmet meals that I wanted to share the feted beans 'n greens 'n pinot
silly Bob wearing my pink flowered reading glasses
After a little repair work, new zincs, and a lot of scraping, sanding, painting and packing, we were ready to be IN THE WATER again.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy Holidays to all

As much fun as it is to cruise, it’s also good to be back with the family (especially for Christmas). The whole family gathered on the farm and we had the usual fun cluster.  Two little girl cousins and one little boy cousin (another is on the way!) made it an easy stop for Santa and of course made it more fun for the bigger kids (senior kids??).
Tennessee tannenbaum
family mayhem on the east side of the living room
and on the west side
now you know who REALLY plays Words with Friends

We parked the Tioga in the driveway (Jay’s Man Cave and happy hour hideaway) so we wouldn’t overcrowd the house and could add a bed or two).  Too much food and too many gifts made it perfect! 

After the cleanup we loaded up the rental car to return to Titusville (with a brief tiling stop in Chattanooga) and check on Serendipity.
when you buy tile at Lowe's you get a free kitty
Brittany with her two lap dogs

yay!  border done!
now this is how you play beer pong...get it right!

or you have to take a drink
instructions from the peanut gallery
NOT well received
but they don't care!
game on!