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Back in the USA

May 30, 2017

We’ve had a pretty relaxing couple of weeks here in Florida (how has it been two weeks already?!), easing back into life in the good old US of A. We spent our first few days reveling in the fast Internet and catching up on all the must-see TV we’ve been missing out on. Much as we loved it, if The Handsmaid’s Tale on Hulu is a sneak peek at what lies ahead here in the States, we are screwed.

The passage from Mangrove Cay in the Bahamas was a lot like spring but backwards: it came in like a lamb, and went out like a lion. It started out as a drifter, hot and very light to no winds. The sun was so intense that we broke out umbrellas to keep cool. About two-thirds of the way across, those calm seas turned into a washing machine and I was so seasick I had to put a patch on for the first time of our entire trip. I stupidly resisted putting it on for a long time, thinking I’d finally gotten my “sea legs” and was beyond seasickness. Think again! Fourteen hours later, the Gulf Stream spit us out and we were anchored in Lake Worth, Florida. Phew!

That bimini we used to have would have been really nice for shade at this point, but we sacrificed it for our planned solar arch, which we haven’t gotten around to yet. Let’s consider that officially moved to the top of the project list!

Goodbye, Bahamas!

After clearing in with customs the next morning (with the nicest customs agent we’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting), we stopped at a little waterfront spot near our marina for lunch and indulged in a couple of Stellas. Kalik, it’s been fun, but I’m happy to be back in Stella Land. But, man, are we ever missing all those shades of blue of the water in the Bahamas. Hard to believe we thought the murky water in Florida was clear before. Yes, our standards for what constitutes “gin clear” are officially ruined.

Now we’re slowly making our way up the ICW. We stopped in Melbourne, Florida, to visit our friend Connie, who we first met back in Nassau. She was nice enough to take us to see Alien: Covenant. The best part: the cherry Icees and air-conditioned comfort of the theater. The worst part: the actual movie. Unlike a lot of people, we enjoyed Prometheus, the previous installment, but Covenant was unbelievably bad. Ridley Scott is one of our favorite directors, but something went wrong with this one and they turned it into a schlocky horror movie with lots of bad action sequences and embarrassingly predictable plot lines. Here’s hoping this fall’s reboot of another fave, Blade Runner, doesn’t suck as much. Though we won’t be able to blame Ridley if it does; he’s not directing.

We were planning to leave the next day, but some nasty weather rolled in and we decided to visit the Kennedy Space Center while we rode it out. Muchas gracias to Connie for lending us her car!

Reliving a little bit of the queasiness of our passage in 3-D glasses. At least I could take them off and make it stop!

Trying on a space capsule for size. Is there some kind of maximum height requirement for astronauts?

The Rocket Garden: Two guesses which was my favorite…

This massive beast carries the Space Shuttle stacks over to the launch pads, and only gets 28 feet to the gallon.

It doesn’t look like much here but the Vehicle Assembly Building is 500 feet tall and the highest single-story building in the world. We could see this for many miles as we motored up the ICW.

I want my MTV.

Everybody poops.

Florida Kennedy Space Center

Learning what it feels like to land the Space Shuttle. Okay, really just enjoying going down this really fast slide. Wheeee!

We’ve also met up with a few cruiser friends since we’ve been in Florida. Deb and Pete of Delancey, who also lived aboard back in NYC, were on a mooring ball near us in Vero Beach. We’d never met them in New York, but heard about their adventures via our old boat neighbor Lauren’s blog and invited them over for dinner. We had a great time hearing about their two-year trip, including stopping to work for hurricane season last year in St. Thomas (something we’re hoping to do for part 2 of our adventure). We even got to partake in some of the bounty from their recent stop in the French islands (mmmm, rosé, pâté, and good cheese). A highlight was Pete breaking out his guitar to play the Replacements’ “Skyway,” an old fave. Deb and Pete stayed behind in Vero Beach (known as “Velcro Beach” for its cruiser-friendly amenities) to fix an engine problem.

We finally caught up with Jennifer and Mark from Luna Sea. We met them back in Savannah and have been a few steps behind them in the Bahamas for the last few months. They were visiting friends in New Smyrna Beach who were kind enough to invite us to join them at their pool for the afternoon. Jennifer is my hero for somehow managing to squirrel away a few Sands Pink Radlers (my absolute favorite Bahamian beverage, and yes, she shared!). Unless we can find them in stores here, I’m going to have to put on my mad scientist cap and attempt to replicate that grapefruity goodness on my own.

Meanwhile, we should be in Savannah in the next few days. We were planning on heading from there to NYC, but now we’re not so sure. This deciding what to do with the rest of your life stuff is harder than it looks. We’ll keep you posted!