Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sailing in December

Picture from the hospital work party. 
Marathon weather has been mostly warm in the 80’s with some cold fronts moving through at times.  Seems that the city tries to make it feel like Christmas by celebrating every chance they get with lots of lights and Santa coming 1-3 times a week to somewhere in town.  He usually arrives on the back of a firetruck with lights and sirens to make sure he arrives safely.  Along with this there are lots of treats.  Treats from school, treats from the marina, treats from fellow boaters, and treats from family.  We are all pretty much sugared out, if that is possible.  

The marina has been especially nice to all the kids this season by opening up the marina for decorating stockings and old mooring balls that were painted green and red.  The stocking were hung in the marina and filled with all kinds of treats and toys for the kids by all the boaters and marina staff. 

Christmas on the boat was lots of fun.  Santa found his way and left presents with stocking stuffers.  It is hard to stay away from all the consumerism when you live in the United States.  After being in the Bahamas I have realized the amount of “stuff” that is readily available here is overwhelming.  “Stuff” being everything from boat parts, clothes, shoes, toys, etc.  The prices are considerably less here in the States compared to the Bahamas and the selection of items can be a bit mind boggling. 

Christmas Day we went for out for a motor/sail to anchor out for a couple of nights.  We haven't taken the boat out since Labor Day.  It felt so great to be back to cruising, even if it was only for 2 nights.   

Our countdown has started for our trip to the Bahamas and then to the Caribbean.  I will be blogging more about our preparations as we get closer and closer to our departure date.  The date itself is written in the sand, nautical term for we really don’t have an exact date yet.  Maybe in the next month or two? 

Be prepared, there are a lot of pictures to follow...
The beginning of the tear out for new cabinets.  Previously used as storage with large plastic bins.

The finished product.  Paul will install sliding doors to hold everything in while underway.  
Nicholas is at the hair salon with his fake reading glasses.

Samantha's winter picture.  Guess who is getting the snowball in the face?

Decorating their stoking for the marina.

Samantha's decorated mooring ball. 

Nicholas's decorated mooring ball.  (note to self, hot glue gun does cause burns on little fingers Oops!)

Playing Legos with cousin Timmy.

Hanging with cousin Mikel.

I still can't believe how old Mikel looks.

Fun time with Grandma Nee Nee.

Just one of the many beautiful sunsets here in Boot Key Harbor. 

Our Christmas tree on the boat. 

Orenda has their boat decorated. Notice Yoda and Mikey on their boom. 

Brenda from afar. 

The tree of knowledge with hanging mooring balls.



Where else but in Marathon, FL would you find Christmas lights with a lighthouse and a fish?

Or a pink flamingo?

Or a sea horse?

Manatee and her baby at the dinghy dock.

Nicholas has his own holiday artwork. 

Work celebration of Festivus.  For all of you Seinfeld watchers we started with the metal pole (no tinsel because it's distracting)

We had the airing of grievances (very funny), festivus miracles, and feats of strength.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

October in the Keys

Another month flew by here in Marathon, FL.  The kids are enjoying school and playing soccer on the weekends.  Of course I (Staci) can’t say no so I am the soccer coach for their team.  It has been interesting, frustrating and rewarding.  

The holding tank Paul built is amazing and working flawlessly.  Everything else on the boat has been holding steady, no repairs needed.  In the meantime we have found new renters for our place back in Colorado and life is getting back on track.  

I am still working at the hospital in patient and out patient.  They are grateful to have the help especially now that the snow birds are flocking down.  Paul found work building Marathon’s Oversea’s Liquors across the street from the marina.  They are flexible with his hours and the kids school schedule.  The kids school is right next to Paul’s work, so all is within walking distance.  Both kids have straight A’s in school and are reading and doing math way above their grade level.  I attribute this to the homeschooling and can’t wait to get back to home school again. 

Now, about Marathon.  This is a small community with a major thoroughfare going through it.  Everyone passes through here on their way to Key West, the most southern part of the United States.  Strange things happen here in Marathon.  Some call it Keys Disease.  Paul is the one who gets to experience most of the craziness.  Here is a great example.  Yesterday the cable company (nationally known so will remain nameless) came to install cable to the building.  They needed to get the cable over the building so one of the workers pulled out a big black case out of the van.  Paul was waiting to see what kind of cool tool they were going to work with.  They worker pulled out a large bow and arrow.  They other worker proceeded to tape the cable onto the arrow.  The first attempt the worker pulled the bow back, set the arrow and the arrow fell out.  Second attempt the worker pulled the bow back and the arrow flew through the air but left the cable behind.  The arrow flew through the air towards Keys Fisheries Restaurant and Marina.  We still don’t know where that arrow landed.  The two workers quickly put away the bow and arrow and put their tools away and haven’t been seen since the incident.  There will be more to this story later I’m sure but suffice it to say this is how everything works down here.  

It has been tough to watch some of our other boating friends continue their cruise through the Caribbean but we know we will be there soon enough.  
Paul hard at work

Nicholas as a spy

Samantha as Frankie Stein (the daughter of Frankenstein.

The team Super Stars.  

Nicholas is matching the twins in the harbor.

Samantha's birthday was lots of fun for everyone.

Awards for straight A's and excelling in reading. 

Pumpkin carving put on by the marina. 

Happy Halloween!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Play Time and Work Time in the Keys

Well a month has gone by since our last post and it seems like just last week.  But, a lot has happened since then...
We have been to the beach a few times while Paul heads out and spear fishes. 
A night out on the town. (Kissie faces) 
More beach fun with our boat family friends on Orenda, MadSam, and Airbess.
The kids trying out school on land.  They love it!
More work on the deck boxes.  More pictures to come when finally complete.
Eating fresh fish while rafted up with Orenda.

Boarded by the local pirates that actually give out treasure!

Paul will begin work as a builder across the street from the marina.  Yea! for more money in the kitty.  
The list of boat projects continues but also some get crossed off the list (well maybe that is just wishful thinking).
The sewing machine is working great again so the genoa will be getting some attention soon. 
The aft head holding tank started to leak again ( a lot of stink!!!!)  so that is being addressed.  
Deck boxes and a new holding tank with stitch and glue.  Hmmm... Paul says it will work :)
New fabric for the interior cushions that are tearing apart (and not even at the seams).
We will post more soon as these projects and more are going through the stages of completion. 
In the meantime we try to get play time in so we still feel like we are cruising even though we are stationary for the time being. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Deck Boxes

When we started this journey on Shambala we carried a lot of stuff (junk) on deck.  We have pared-down the deck some but now we will hopefully look even more ship shape.
Paul is creating deck boxes with a similar strategy that he made the dinghy with.  He is taking plywood with stitch and glue with fiberglass overlay making deck boxes for the rest of our stuff.
In the meantime our deck is extremely cluttered.
Start fruit is a new yummy treat for us.

Samantha has officially lost 2 more teeth in one week. 

Nicholas has a new haircut for the summer.