Dear Friends and Family,
You may be wondering at the delay in leaving on our cruise. While we have been working at taking things day to day, as the time has passed, it has been a challenge. Still, as each day unfolded the reasons we were not leaving were very clear and for the good.
The first blessing was that the day my last log was published, was the day my Mother passed away in Nebraska. While the family had determined ahead of time that the funeral and family gathering time would be this summer rather than trying to come together in the winter time, it was still a blessing to me to be here in easier communication with family and time to be thoughtful about the death. My mom died at 97 in her home, ready to enjoy some ice cream when she simply took her last breathe. My oldest brother and his wife were visiting at the time and were able to help my father through the following days of dealing with what needed to be done. He is 98 and staying on the farm with help from the people who were care givers for my Mom.
Mom was mostly blind and hard of hearing but her biggest problem with care was her dementia. Up until two weeks before her death, Dad was alone with her at night with care only during 9 hours of day time. Dad has been able to cut those hours to about 4 a day for himself. His mind is still functioning well, and though getting around is challenging, within the house it is no problem. He is a man pretty comfortable being alone and is probably happy for some of that now. He is blessed with wonderful neighbors who live across the road and love to come and visit with him now and again. Family and friends also come by from time to time. We will all be together this summer for the memorial on June 24 and family will be in and out through August.
Mom’s death was not unanticipated but the blessing is that we are now able to think of her as the essence of the beautiful spirit she is rather than worry about the state of her body.
The legacy of love and acceptance she left those who knew her is apparent in so many ways that she is still a great part of the world she left.
Our friends, Steve and Nancy, who are heading on this cruise on their boat, experienced a death of Nancy’s aunt who was also very elderly and in fragile health. The delay allowed them to attend her funeral this week in Chicago.
Frankly, even with not waiting for the part, the boat work just keeps on coming! You think a project will take a short time and then you discover other things that need to be taken care of too. Aside from the part, which we hope will be here Saturday and installed and ready to test by some time Sunday, we don’t have major projects to do. There is the last minute packing, though most has already been done. I need to clean the house as we are having friends house sit for us while we are gone. They will likely arrive next week right after we leave. Luckily, they are flexible because they delayed their arrival around all this.
We have also been able to enjoy our life here in Punta Gorda during this waiting time. We have had opportunities to attend our boat club events. I mentioned the Road Rally which was last Sunday, when I wrote my last log. It was as much fun as we anticipated. One of the best things about living in our community is that the people who have come here, by in large, have lead very interesting and productive lives. The talents and skills and creativity that is so bountifully shared in this community makes it a place where everyone can find an outlet for fun, interests of unlimited activities or expression on their own terms. The land and weather are great but it is the people here that make Punta Gorda Paradise!
Leaving for this cruising adventure and the one to follow next winter are certainly something we look forward to experiencing, but if it all went away and we just stayed home, a wonderful menu of opportunities would also be in front of us. We are very blessed that whatever happens, it is perfect!
Well, I spoke about the delay but now comes the tentative time line. If the weather and part replacement go as predicted, we are planning to leave our docks on Tuesday, Feb. 22 for our local anchorage about 3 hours south of here, called Pelican Bay off of Cayo Costa Island. We will spend the night there with other boating friends who will be coming to wave us off. We plan to leave from Boca Grande Pass in to the Gulf of Mexico and head toward the island of Isla Mujeres off the coat of Cancun in Mexico. Depending on the winds and currents and waves, we plan it to be about a 3 day passage with a Saturday arrival. WE are trying to plan the trip to be able to do as much sailing as possible while still seeking comfortable sea conditions.
That is a reason we are not leaving a day earlier. We plan to be there for about a week. Some of that time is likely to be Mardi Gras which we were there for the last time we did this trip. As the weather permits, we will make the trip south to Belize. We hope to be there by the second week in March but who knows! Stay tuned and find out when we do!
OK, are we all set? Any questions? Don’t forget that our main e-mail access while we are on the boat will be at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you get a bounce on it, check with email@example.com to be cleared. If you are in the area and wish to join us on the farewell cruise, feel welcome. We love to have comments to us directly and we like to know what you enjoy or to answer questions you may have. I am hoping that this won’t be a one way communication! If you are a stranger who accesses this site, consider yourself a friend we have not yet met and we welcome your messages as well.
Let the cruise commence!
Sue and Rob
Almost ready to go
Above photo information: Photo #3 – Rob is pretending to be Marley in Christmas Carol with all the heavy chain he is wearing. This is about half of the anchor chain and the way Rob chose to move it from the dock by the boat where it was laid out to the area where it will be stowed.
Photo #4 – Rob is getting ready to get rid of the anchor chain and go back for the second length. We carry 150 feet of anchor chain on the boat and most of the anchoring we do does not require more than that. After 150 feet, it is rope.
Photo #5 – Avalon Reef Club on Isla Mujeres