Sunday, January 1, 2017

1/1 Happy New Year back on the water

Happy New Year to all!!!   This is our first sunset of the year taken in Fernandina Beach.

We have had a busy two weeks.  We needed to have the prop balanced and a seal on the shaft fixed.  Luckily, Huckins Yacht could so the work while we went to Houston and DC for Christmas.  We returned to the boat on 12/30.  It was all fixed and in the water waiting for us.  We provisioned on New Years' Eve.  We barely made it to boaters' midnight to wish each other Happy New Year.  We listened to the fireworks at midnight.  Today, we left the Ortega River to the St. John's River. 

We passed Jacksonville, where we saw this wonderful art done on grain silos along the river.    The title is Unity.  The artist, Guido Van Helton, is from Australia and has done these all over the world.  His work is usually monochromatic.

We thought we would stop at the free dock on Sisters Creek but it was such a nice day and we were cruising along, so we decided to go to Fernandina to anchor.  The Fernandina Marina was ruined during the hurricane.  They had a large mooring field too.  We saw ruined boats and masts on sunken boats.  The Marina hopes to open soon. 

Before we left for Houston and DC, John gave me a set of stainless steel wine glasses that commemorate our loop for our anniversary.  Some of our glass wine glasses have not made the whole loop.  It was a thoughtful gift.

We flew out of Jacksonville for the holidays.  Santa's sleigh was being pulled by dolphins.

Our daughter, Christine, her husband Paul, and children, Anna and Abigail live in Houston.  We made it there before Dec 22 which was Abigail's 5th birthday.  We had a great day feeding ducks, and giraffes.

Anna and Abigail enjoyed the carousel.
Abigail blew our the candles on her cake and was bathing her new baby doll in no time. 

Paul's parents were visiting too.  We all got tickets to ride on the Polar Express.
Everyone had hot chocolate and a cookie.
 Here we are arriving at the North Pole.
Santa gave Anna and Abigail a bell just like in the story.

At Christmas Eve Mass, Anna and Abigail were in the Cherub Choir, that sang hymns before Mass.

The next morning, we got on a plane and flew to DC.  Our daughter, Catherine, her husband Stephen, and children, Madeline, Sarah, and John along with our other daughter, Alicia, had Christmas dinner ready for us.  In April, we will be chartering a sailboat in the BVI for a week with the DC relatives.  Here is John going over provisioning and activities with kids.
Little John is in 1st grade and loves chess club in his after school program.  He beat me.  Here he is in games with John and his dad.

Madeline and Sarah are in 4th grade and seem to be moving into being tweens.
But they are not too big to get whipped cream directly in their mouths from Grandpa. 
We went bowling and did crafts. We made erasers.  Here is John with his moustache eraser.

No wonder we needed a down day when we got back to the boat.

Tomorrow, we say good-bye to Florida and head north to Georgia.

Lat 30 degrees 40.40 North
Long 81 degrees 28.11 West

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