March 2007

Marine Life
Log Book
Our Family
The Crew

March 7th, 2007, Fort Lauderdale, Fl

Well a lot has happened since my last update! We put Colomba up for sale and moved onto a catamaran! Just like that. We briefly thought about going back to land life but for reasons beyond our knowledge we are destined to be on the water. Not sure if this is a good thing necessarily! The transition has been an easy one for us since its moving from boat to boat. 48 boxes, 2 bikes, 4 suitcases and 3 garbage bags of stuffed animals were offloaded from Colomba and moved to Papa's house. He's letting us store it for a while until we can get things ready here. Yebo is the name of the new catamaran, meaning "yes" in Zulu. She has a bit of hurricane damage so we are fixing her up a bit and giving her some good old TLC. We are sad to leave Colomba. She is such a great boat and has been a good home to us. I won't bore anyone with our reasons for going catamaran but its as they say, things change.

Unloading Colomba

Helpful Packers

We really enjoyed Maryland.  The people were great and the countryside of the Eastern Shore was just breathtaking. Could not hack the cold weather I'm afraid. Experienced my first icestorm up there which, as usual with a big storm, Justin was absent for. I'm starting to think he plans these things! Justin is determined to never experience a winter again. Chasing the sun is the new plan and I imagine that's more of a lifetime plan than a 5 yr model.

Fort Lauderdale is pretty cool. There are iguanas all around the docks and loads of little anole lizards. We see manatees daily. The weather is warm. Abigail catches shrimp and small fish off the dock with her net. There are loads of marine chandleries. We've even seen shops that just sell dinghies! The canal system is quite busy with various boaters, from kayakers to mega yachts. The three level "Jungle Queen" totes tourists up and down the river hourly. I think we will feature on many holiday snaps and videos - mops, scrub brushes and all!!

Kids fishing in Florida

I just have to add this...
The condo market is insane. Soon I think the entire state of Florida will become a gigantic condominium. I really dislike them for all the land they destroy, squeezing out local wildlife, and the limits they put on access to beaches and waterways, not to mention the marinas and boatyards that are disappearing daily because they've sold out. The people that live in them, the same people we see chuck rubbish into the canals and constantly moan about boaters, live aboards or boatyards will then use a pooper scooper to clean up their dog's doo (with plastic packets no less)!

March 11th, 2007
Went to the beach Friday evening. It was nice to be reminded of why we are doing this. Fort Lauderdale is to busy a scene for us, take me to the islands mon! Trying to find a reasonably priced true DIY boat yard in the state of Florida that accepts live aboards is like banging your head against a brick wall, only the brick wall is friendlier.

Aaron fell in a water fountain along the river walk as you do. He is proud of himself however as he remembered to take a deep breath of air and never swallowed any water! Abi then had to have a dip too. I can tell you, this is not the sort of thing they smile upon around here. Abi also picked a bunch of flowers from a landscaped area where I'd told her she could have one! Two soggy kids and a bouquet of flowers later we trekked back to the Yebo.

March 16th, 2007
Aaron celebrated his fourth birthday on the 12th March. He opened his pressies in the morning and we went to Museum of Science and Discovery. It was a belated celebration for Abi's 6th birthday too as we couldn't go out in Maryland for her birthday - too darn cold. A very busy and exhausting day! We had fun though. Even if Aaron pooped in his pants during the 3D Sharks movie! We had pizza and birthday cake for dinner.


Museum's Florida Oranges Exhibit

Orange picking

Abi gets a basket of oranges.

Me in the flying simulator

Abi in a tree playhouse

Aaron tells us about the scary eel in the tank

Surfin legos dude!

Aaron is a pirate wherever he goes.

Name that fossil...

Chasing pigeons outside

3D Movie!

Pizza time

Aaron making his wish!

Boatschool going well. Have done two 4 day weeks consecutively! This is really good for us! The best thing is that both kids are involved now and they really have a great attitude towards it. Took some coaxing initially as we'd put school off for the packing of Colomba and the break at Papa's house on our trip South. Never break the routine. Never.

Starting to wonder what we've got ourselves into! We had a perfectly finished sailboat kitted out for cruising and have changed everything! Gone from a heavy displacement finished steel monohull to a lighter fiberglass shallow draft catamaran that we can feel and hear every movement on deck which needs a complete refit really. We had never been on a cat till we bought this one. In fact I only saw it after the purchase. What were we thinking??? We were thinking, oh, we will just give her a good scrub and gradually replace everything and we'll have a lovely cruising boat minus some of the seasickness for the Bahamas and Caribbean! We will have loads more space on a catamaran because of the roomy salon, cockpit and cabins! This is still true but that good scrub and replacing we spoke of could take up to a year I figure! Me thinks we shall be cruising on a partly unfinished boat for a while. Hey, better than not cruising at all! But ya know, we had no sailing experience when we bought Colomba and things turned out okay. It's cool though, like we are camping. The kids sleep in sleeping bags on a hard bunk (no mattresses). We brush our teeth, wash our dishes, clean the boat and shower with a single hosepipe. We have our electric 2 burner stove to heat coffee water and make a few light meals.

This is a large part of the cruising experience. The part where you find out what you can really handle. Usually you'd think this would be all about the ocean experiences but in fact the cruising life presents challenges at the dock too sometimes. What fun is there in buying a ready to go boat when you can start from almost scratch, learn new skills and camp out while you wait for mod cons to be installed!

The Real Captain & Matey!

The kiddos seem to like the boat and not miss mattresses or sofa cushions. They don't really need much to be happy. The kitten is making adjustments too, he is shedding to the point of baldness to be more comfortable in the heat - not really:). The big kids are just trying to get their head around this next adventure. It wasn't enough to hop on a sailboat 3 yrs ago with plans to sail around the world and not a clue how to sail. We had to spice things up a bit!

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Resident Iguana lives nearby

A & A go camo

Wild Green Parrot

Tropical bird

Heron of sorts

Another iguana!

Swinging parrot