The Rock of Byron

I’m sure that you have all heard of Plymouth Rock, the rock of Gibraltar or how about rock-n-roll? But,I’ll bet that you’ve never heard of Byron’s Rock!

Rocks are an often-overlooked part of the landscape after all, they don’t move or blossom into pretty flowers. I’ve always got my eyes peeled at all mother nature has to offer and apparently I am not the only one.

Certain stones started out as dumb common boulders, like all the rest. But one day they got a lucky break, and now they’re genuine rock stars. Here’s one that got lucky enough to hop on a flight to the Caribbean with us!

Now don’t tell Brian because I was not supposed to pack it along but how could I resist? A friend of ours Bryon, gifted it to us when we were visiting family in Floral City, FL.

He said that he was drift diving in Boca Grand and as he was looking he saw nothing but a pure sand bottom all around until he came across this one rock. It spoke to him…well, not really…hmm, I think. But anyhow, he was compelled to pick the rock up because it made him think of us and our journeys.

He gave us the rock right before we left and I set expectations with him that I was not sure that it would make the cut in my luggage and by the way what would customs think of some strange rock in there if they found it?

Anyhow, I tucked it in my bag to be thought nevermore until recently I was digging through my stuff and low and behold there was Byron’s Rock!

If you look at the left hand side of the rock it has a smile!

Well, it made it Bryon! It is now famous on the internet and all! Now that it has had it’s moment of fame it shall become one with the sea again and make some new Caribbean friends here at Dakity Reef, Culebra Puerto Rico. Who knows maybe it will join a rock band!

Thanks for the smiles Byron, rock on!

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Scraping, Sanding, Sewing, Scrubbing, Painting, Cooking and Sweating!

Hello all. Sorry for the long delay in getting something posted. We recently switched our server and had some hiccups in getting our site up and running. Even our computer guru Brian was stumped with some of the back end stuff that he had to do to make everything work smoothly again. Looks like we are up and running and ready to share our adventures or as of now lack of adventures.

Frittata and potatoes in the solar oven for breakfast. The oven is just over 300F at 10:30 in the morning!
Stuffed eggplant ready to go in the solar oven. Forgot to get a pic after it cooked though.
Forchetta bread fresh out of solar oven!

So, what have we been up too? Pretty much the same as always as our title suggests. We’ve mostly been working on the boat. So much that I’ve been neglecting to take pictures like I should of the work being completed to share with you. Everything is starting to blend together as one never ending long day. Ever seen the movie Groundhog Day? It’s sort of like that for us right now!

Everyone brings their fun toys to Dakity Reef on the weekends!
So cool, that board is electric!
These two planes landed by us one Saturday afternoon.
Brian dreaming of his next adventure, now he just has to figure out how to get one of those planes!
Taking off!

It’s pretty quiet here otherwise. The town is slowly preparing for the tourist season to start as it seems that the other islands to the east are too. We see fleets of charter boats being sent that way almost daily. They are being transported to the popular areas of the Caribbean, getting ready for the masses escaping the cooler weather. Sure wish that we would get some of that here…the cooler weather that is. It is still very hot!

Took a ride on our friend Les’s boat to town…thought it was funny that he steered the whole way there with his toes!

As always after the chores are done for the day we swim. On the weekends the locals come over from the main island of PR and the anchorage livens up a bit with music, laughter and the fun of all of their toys buzzing around. It makes for good people watching. Sometimes they quiet down early and sometimes they party all night long. I used to find it a bit annoying but a friend of ours on a boat nearby named John put it into perspective for us. He calls it “paying the rent”. The way that he explains it is that because there is no charge to stay on the mooring balls here that when the locals come over and party loudly all night long it is like paying the rent. You just deal with it and before you know it we have the place to ourselves again. I like that. It made sense to us and now it does not bother us as much.

Haircut day for me…thanks Les!

Well that’s all for now. I will try to take more pics and maybe we will do something that is more fun to share. We need to go snorkeling soon and look for the kraken!

Take care,

Jennifer and Brian

SV/Moon

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Sunshine Makes It All Happen!

Those of you who know us know that usually you will find us hiding from the sun as much as possible, but we make our boat do the exact opposite. We are all about solar energy. It is amazing what the sun can do! Because of the sun we can have power…lots of power especially since we bought our new solar panels last year in Antigua. And now that we have a solar oven we are unstoppable…uh, unless it is a cloudy day but we will deal with that when it happens…lol! So far that has not been too much of an issue and we always have our wind generator too.

Brian putting the water maker together…look at those handsome toes!

Our water maker in all it’s glory! Still needs to be mounted.

First few gallons of water from our water maker with their test results for salt content marked on them. Goal is to have them under 300.

We’ve been harnessing the sun to work for us. Because we have so much power we were able to finally install a water maker. Yes, we now have a water maker…pure luxury! Brian has had some of the parts to build one for a while now but he has finally built it and we are water making fools! Now I don’t have to decide whether I want to swim and get my hair wet because I will have to wash it, I can just jump right in! And if I have some laundry that I want to wash until the next time that we go to the laundry mat, I can wash it! I know that this might sound ridiculous to some of you reading this but water is an issue when you have to work to have it. No pipes running to our boat from the water company. The best thing yet is that Brian no longer has to lug all of our water jugs to shore to fill them and then haul them back to the boat. This saves time, money and backaches!

Repairing small section of rot from a leak in the bunk. More sanding and fiber-glassing ahead.

A small crack in the wall being repaired.

Fiber-glassed and ready to be sanded and painted.

Brian working on repairs to the cabin top.

Repair on it’s way to being finished. The rot removed, the hole filled, fiberglass has been applied, next sanding and painting.

Underside of the cabin top filled in with some foam where Brian is making the repair.

Boat chores are never complete though. As as we always say there is lots to do here. We had a small bit of rot in one of our bunks where water had leaked in and another spot along the forward companionway hatch. Brian has been working on repairs to them and they are almost complete. First accessing the damage, scraping out the rotted area, applying product to dry it out, then sanding, fiberglassing, then more sanding and then finally painting to finish. Lots of dirty work!

Cutting the foam for new bunk.

Smile!

Completed the top cushion.

Brian working on a sewing project for our friends Les and Patty. Good thing that we have lots of deck space for this project!

Brian also took on a project for our friends Less and Patty and helped them by making a new bunk for their V berth from scratch.This was quite a project and Brian of course did an awesome job!

New panels sewn into the bimini top…crystal clear!

Look at how clear the new bimini glass is! The middle section is open but to the left it is closed and still crystal clear!

As always we try to find fun where and when we can. Recently it was our friend Les’s Birthday and we had a great time with him and his lady friend Patty at Zoni Beach. It’s a beach that is on the north east side of Culebra and it is a bit from town so it was nice of them to invite us along in Patty’s car. We had so much fun that day! Happy 69th Birthday Les!

Les, Patty, Brian and I posing for Les’s Birthday picture…Less says, “69 and feeling fine!”

This is a view from the top of a hill as we approach Zoni Beach. The island in the background is Culebrita.

Zoni Beach, looking towards the west.

Zoni Beach looking east. Culebrita island in the distance.

I am still experimenting with the solar oven and am always looking through my cookbooks or browsing the internet for new recipes. It’s been fun and rewarding learning how to use it. Sometimes things cook quickly and sometimes they take a little longer depending on how strong the sun is. Mostly been using our propane stove just to make coffee in the morning. That’s awesome too because it is really hot here!

The local store Milka’s gave us a fabric reusable bag…we must be locals now!

Tofu in a can! Surprisingly it is very firm and tasty! Brian won’t eat it but I will!

Tofu all fried up in it’s yumminess!

Nachos in the solar oven at 300 degrees!

Solar baked nachos!

OK, cheated a little bit. The garlic bread was made on my stove top but the lasagna is straight out of the solar oven.

Stuffed peppers made in solar oven…they were so delish!

Solar oven brownies…yum!!!

On the days that we go to town and have to anchor in the harbor we swim at a little beach near the ferry dock to cool off. If we are on a mooring ball at Dakity Reef which is most days, after our work is done we open up the floating bar. Just happens that one of our kayaks is perfect for this. We stock it up with a few cold beverages, turn on our blue tooth speaker and swim under the shade of the deck.

Taking some time to paddle.

Passing by Hector the Protector as we go to swim at Datiles Beach by the ferry dock.

Yup, another iguana just chilling out.

When we anchor near town in Ensenada Honda Bay we take the dinghy to Datiles beach by the ferry dock to swim.

A rainbow to start our day!

Out kayaking and I found a life ring and throw cushion. Great find!

The floating bar is open! We use the kayak as our floating bar and turn up the bluetooth speaker and create our own entertainment while moored at Dakity.

Nice and shady under the boat.

As you can see we’ve been busy seems that the list of chores is never ending…just like you guys on shore…see boat life is not that different. Just different challenges! Take care for now all. I have to go and get my apple bread out of the solar oven. It smells like it is cooked perfectly!

The end to another beautiful day.

Our friend John sailing his dinghy by during the full moon rising.

Jennifer and Brian SV/Moon

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Work and Play, The Days Blend Together

Hello there again. Been meaning to get on here and write for a while but the days all seem to blend together with a mixture of work and play. Sometimes at the end of the day I wonder where the time went then I think of what we’ve done and it all makes sense.

Love the flowers on the Flamboyant Trees! This one is just outside of where I do our laundry.

See this big guy just about every day in the same spot along the seawall.

Chilling out at the “Yacht Club”.

Peacock hanging out with us at the “Yacht Club”.

First batch of banana bread cooked in solar oven, used a bunt pan to help it cook quicker and more evenly…it was delish!!

Apple nut bread cooked of course in our solar oven…soooooo good!

Zucchini, tomatoes, onions, garlic and spices all roasted in the solar oven!

This yellow butterfly looks like he just came out of his cocoon on our boat.
For American Natives seeing a yellow butterfly is a sign of joy, happiness, and hope.

Brian has been very busy working on the ever never ending boat projects. He’s sewn us some windsocks for our bunks, a rain catcher, (still a work in progress needs better material) and he’s also replaced our foggy windows in the bimini top. We can actually see out of the windows now, it is amazing! He’s been completing so many projects that I can’t even keep up with him in showing them all to you! I will share some that I have pics for today and some on our next posting.

Brian bought some material and is sewing up a windsock for the bunk that we sleep in.

Windsock all sewn up.

Windsock complete and whisking the air down below into our bunk!

View off our new windsock from the bunk below…it’s like having air conditioning!!! Well, almost 🙂

More sewing for Brian, today he’s making a rain catcher.

We took some time of to have some fun recently and went to Flamenco Beach with some friends and another day we went sailing to Culebrita Island on our friends Chris’s boat. Not much wind that day but it was great company and a fun sail!

Flamenco Beach is one of the few beaches in the world consistently ranked and included on the “Best World Beaches” lists.

Flamenco Beach

Flamenco Beach

One of the many food huts at Flamenco Beach.

Some of the gang hanging out at Flamenco Beach.

Th Captain and Crew

Chris on deck adjusting sails.

Swimming just off of Culebrita Island.

Leaving Culebrita

Sailing back into the harbor under light winds on Dottie II

Of course we also went snorkeling, this time at Melones Beach and it was better than I remembered from when we were here last season.

Melones Beach. Playa Melones is on the South West coast of the island and a easy spot to get to for snorkeling. Cayo Luis Peña is the island in the background.

The smooth trunkfish can be one of the most entertaining fish to watch on a dive. Not only is it cute—who doesn’t love its puckered-lip look and its fancy white polka dots—but it always seems to be hunting for food. This little guy did not even seem to mind that we were there, it was like he enjoyed hanging out with us!

Lots of Long-spined black sea urchins!

Trumpetfish are a common site when we snorkel around here. These fish hunt by hanging vertically next to sea fans and branching coral. They mimic the coral’s gentle movements and wait for unsuspecting prey. Good thing that we are not it’s prey because because a trumpetfish’s mouth can expand to many times the diameter of its body, open wide!

So many little tropical fish everywhere!

Pretty brain coral

I love it when I see sea anemones! This one has green on it’s tips…so cool!

That’s all for now and I will write again soon. So much to organize to share with you. I hear that some cooler air is moving in back in the states and at home. Sure wish that we had some of that here…it is still soooooo HOT! Take care all.

The sunsets behind the hills here and rises behind one too. This is the sun coming up to greet us for the day. Good morning sunshine!

Looking towards the Dewey bridge at sunset.

Heading out to Moon at sunset.

Jennifer and Brian

SV/Moon

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“Wherever A Beautiful Soul Has Been There Is A Trail Of Beautiful Memories.” Author Unknown

Three years ago today my Mom left this world. It was the hardest thing ever. A day does not go by that I do not think about her. I know that she would have it no other way than to remember all of the fun times that we had together. I wanted to share her beautiful smile with all of you that she shared with the world.

Mom’s favorites!

Her life was not easy, yet she was a living example of someone who did the best with what life handed her. Thank you, Mom. I will always be grateful for the life lessons you taught me and the love you shared.

I love and miss you!

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Tropical Storm Karen

Karen has come and gone and thankfully was not that big of a deal. We had winds of 35 and gusts up to around 50. There were winds and storms through out the day but the biggest part of the storm blew through around 1am Wednesday morning, not much sleep that night. Storms in my opinion are more daunting at night when you can’t see anything. It was close to a new moon (25% waning crescent) and it was pitch black too!

Chichi’s party island that is usually moored by us at Dakity Reef is being brought into the mangroves for safe keeping during TS Karen

Osprey that was hanging out in the mangroves with us

It was so crazy, we were watching the radar and Karen was a bit of a puzzler. They said that the eye was just south of Puerto Rico but the radar was showing us something totally different and strange. It looked as though she had more than one eye!

As the night went on and we kept up with the updates we found out that it was true. The NCH said that she had multiple eye wall mesovortices. Maybe it was just me but I had never even heard this word before and had to look it up…good reading here on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesovortices

Brian on the other hand already knew what that was and it confirmed what we saw on the radar.

Clouds starting to roll in through out the afternoon

It was so crazy watching the storm. It seemed that it was jumping around. In the evening as we were down below watching it on radar our boat did a 180 which we thought was strange…that meant that the storm was changing direction! Karen was all over the place. We later found out that the center passed right through Culebra and Vieques. Thankfully she was a small storm and it seems that everyone did just fine.

Pic is a bit blurry but we are right above the small island (Vieques) that is in the white spot to the right of Puerto Rico

We hauled our anchors and moved out of the mangroves and are now back on a mooring at Dakity Reef. Brian is working on sewing projects, I have things baking away in our solar oven and things are back to normal.

Until next time, take care everyone!

Jennifer and Brian

SV/Moon

 

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Never Ending Storms, Work and Solar Oven Baked Bread!

Last we left Brian was working on binnacle repairs which I thought were close to being completed. Boy, was I wrong! Not to say that it took forever (I think that the entire project was completed in four days) but, I thought that once he shaped the base that it would be smooth sailing with the repairs. Little did I know that removing the binnacle base, helm cable and all that is associated with that was going to be a bit of a pain in the arse! Do you like my pirate talk? Well, there was a bit of that and some other things communicated on the boat as we got the repair completed…lol! Anyhow, as always Brian did an excellent job and our binnacle is as good as new.

Taking apart the binnacle

What our helms cable looked like when we got the binnacle removed. Ugly but greased up nicely…just what you want to see!

Measuring before installing

Binnacle base ready to be bolted to the cockpit floor

Steering/helm cable installed in new binnacle base

Binnacle base completed and reassembled, just needs to be cleaned up.

Next was dinghy engine repairs. Brian had to replace the valve cover, carburetor, throttle cable and prop.

Parts we ordered to repair the dinghy engine

Brian has the dinghy engine apart and is making repairs

Motor on the dinghy is up and running again!

Meanwhile, I have been learning how to use our new solar oven. I can not express how happy I am to have it! I can now finally bake things and not heat up the boat at all! Very big factor since it has been so hot here lately. The All American Sun Oven is the one that we chose and we love it! And as far as solar oven temps go this one is top notch! It gets temps of 300 easily on a sunny day. It might take a bit longer to bake something than a normal house oven but not that much. I have had fun experimenting.

My first veggie/bean burgers baking in the solar oven

Zucchini cornbread casserole baked in of course the solar oven!

Solar oven baked potatoes

Zucchini casserole and oriental cabbage salad.

Taco Tuesday, well not sure if it was Tuesday but it was tacos vegetarian style with re-fried beans and jack fruit all cooked in solar oven.

Bread cooked in or solar oven!

Turned out great!

More bread baked in solar oven!

Our neighbor John has a solar oven too and he was the inspiration for us to finally get one. He has been amazing in helping us get started. He’s even shared recipes and some of his bread making supplies. Thank you John!

Our friend John sailing by. John is the one that inspired us to finally get a solar oven. He also was nice enough to share some yummy ingredients and a recipe for us to be able to make a successful loaf of bread. Thank you John!

As always once our dinghy engine was up and running again we took some time to explore the underwater world around us…this time we snorkeled at Punta Soldado Beach which is a short dinghy ride from our mooring at Dakity. It’s a nice beach and generally not very crowded. The reefs here are pretty but not as much color as some of the others but it does have some reds and greens that I don’t see everywhere.

As I am writing this we are once again anchored in the bay by the mangroves. Just moved the boat here this morning for protection. Tropical Storm Karen is heading our way, expected to arrive by tomorrow sometime. Hopefully she will not gain strength. They say she is not supposed to but, I have a hard time believing until it actually happens!

Never ending storms out there!

Storm/squall line blowing through Dakity

Let me in!!

Another land crab and the number if you want to rent a Jeep in Culebra…lol!

I love the artwork on this store…beautiful!

Well, that’s all from us for now. Time for us to batten down the hatches and get ready. Take care all.

The water is so clear and shallow where we are moored at Dakity. This picture was taken from the deck of Moon looking down!

Another beautiful sunset, anchored in Ensenada Harbor looking towards town in Culebra.

Full moon rising. We are anchored in Ensenada Honda harbor Culebra looking out towards entrance and Dakity reef.

Jennifer and Brian

SV/Moon

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Getting Back Into the Swing Of Things

Slowly things are coming together for us after the excitement of Dorian passing through. We’ve had some very hot days with no wind and lots of biting bugs just to remind us that it is still summer in the tropics!

As far as projects go we found that we had some rot at the base of our binnacle. For my non-sailing friends our binnacle is a waist high round base in the middle of the cockpit where our steering wheel and compass are attached. As you imagine it is an important working part of the boat. Brian had at first thought that it was just rotten a bit and a small part of it had to be repaired but upon inspection the entire base has to be replaced. Now this is not just a part that you go off to the store and buy so Brian had to work his creativity and fabricate a new one.

Brian checking out the underside to see how the binnacle is attached.

Rotten base

Removing the rotten base from the Binnacle.

Binnacle standing back upright now that Brian has removed all of the rotten wood from it’s base. Waiting for new base to be fabricated.

 

He took 4 pieces of of 3/8 marine grade plywood, cut, shaped and and epoxied them together to make a new strong base. He is still working on it and now has to figure out how to mount it properly under the binnacle with the helm and cable going through.

Cutting the plywood for the binnacle

Using the water jug as a weight to compress the pieces together

Now time to shape the base

Shaping

Cutting a round hole for the cables to go through

Final coat of fiberglass then more sanding

Complete

Ready to be installed

 

Another unexpected project came up as well…our dinghy engine. The valve cover rusted through and it was leaking oil like crazy. So much that we were not able to go short distances without refilling it or causing it to overheat and shut down. So back to rowing for us while we waited for engine parts.

Back to old school and having to row our dinghy while we wait for engine parts!

 

On a happy note we have a new oven on board….a solar oven and it is so cool! In all of the years that we have been on the boat we have never had an oven. We’ve only had it for a few days but I have to say that it is amazing! My bread making skills are not quite as amazing but I can work on that. So far we’ve made a couple of breakfasts of potatoes and eggs, bread (that did not rise that great but tasted OK), eggplant Parmesan (was awesome), a spanish rice and black bean bake (was great) and we also made some apple and rum bread pudding (this was really good. We used what was left over from the first loaf of bread). So far we are really liking the oven. It is awesome to cook without heating the boat up. We’ll have more pics and info with our next post.

Trucking our solar oven down the sidewalk from the post office.

Solar Oven coming home…down the dock it’s getting loaded up…look at those big muscles my man has!

Solar Oven coming home, nice dock too…Moon is in the background in the harbor.

One of the locals watching us as we go by

Opening the box with the Solar Oven…it was like Christmas!

Solar Oven right out of box

First meal cooked in solar oven. It was eggs, onions, left over pan fried squash, topped with cheese in one pan and potatoes and onions in the other.

Our first meal cooked in our solar oven. Potatoes and eggs for breakfast. (Toast was made o my stove top) I agree that it could look prettier but it tasted good!

First loaf of solar oven bread

 

As always we try to have some fun in where we can and before our engine went out we were able to go Carlos Rosario Beach on the NW side of Culebra where we had an amazing day snorkeling in the crystal blue sea. This is one of our favorite places to snorkel in Culebra as you can see it is beautiful!

Some of the corals off of Carlos Rosario Beach

Brian exploring Carlos Rosario

Pretty purple coral fan

Lots of blue tangs!

Dinghy ride back from Carlos Rosario

Hector The Protector protecting Culebra

 

We spent a few days in the main harbor of town waiting on the dinghy engine parts that thankfully did arrive…yea! Now we are back at Dakity Reef where Brian is going to work on the engine, the binnacle and anything else that inevitably will pop up that needs to be worked on. Always something on a boat!

Sunset at Dakity

Sunset at Dakity looking towards Vieques, PR

 

Until next time, take care all….

 

Jennifer and Brian

SV/Moon

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Lots To Share!

Wow…so much has happened since we last posted. We made our last stops to see family before we left the main land US, spent two awesome nights in Old San Juan, PR and went through a Cat 1 on the boat in Culebra, PR!

I guess we will start our story with our family and end up near the eye of a hurricane. If you read our last post you saw that we were in the Space Coast watching rockets shoot off into the sky. From there we hopped back on the road bound for Ft. Myers and Cape Coral to see more of our family.

It was a nice ride. We took the back roads off of the beaten track to see some new ground. Its always neat driving through small towns that we’ve never seen before. Before we knew it we were at our destination.

Yummy Eggplant Parm!

Someone’s showing off trying to get a girl!

Aleesa and Ryan entertaining Marley…all smiles!

 

We always love visiting with family! One night we enjoyed a great dinner at one of our favorite places for yummy eggplant parmesan and for another our brother-in-law Emerson had one of his famous BBQ’s for Brian. Mostly though we just hung out enjoying everyones company. It was so nice to see my dad, my little brother and his family. Visiting with all of Brian’s family is always fun too. Brian’s mom has the prettiest flowers in her back yard! I can’t believe how big our niece Aleesa has gotten and little Marley too! The time really flew while we were there and sadly before we knew it, it was time to leave. It seems like the times that we spend together are never long enough!

Next stop for us was the airport where we would fly over the deep blue sea to San Juan, Puerto Rico.

I love the old blue cobblestone bricks of Old San Juan!

Today’s edition of “Where’s Waldo”…can you spot the pink flamingo in this picture?

Can you see it now?

The rooftop of our hotel had big bathtubs for the guests to enjoy!

 

We love Old San Juan! I know you’ve probably heard this before, but we do! There is so much to do and see here. We got lucky and there were not any cruise ships in port so the city was not crowded.

I found this old horseshoe on the beach and wanted to take it home. I was out-voted because it was heavy and rusty. Who knows how long the sea has held this treasure? Anyhow, I thought it was pretty cool.

 

 

We ate at one of our favorite spots and explored the beach looking for sea glass and chaney. It was nice to finally relax after being on the move for the past three weeks. After catching up on our R&R it was time for us to get back to Moon. We headed to the ferry dock for our ride to Culebra. We got lucky and the ferry was running on schedule. This is not always the case with it being public transportation. Sometimes it does not run at all even when it is scheduled. So far so good!

We finally arrived on the beautiful island of Culebra. We reserved a room for the first night so that we could find a ride to Moon anchored way out in the mangroves and give ourselves a day to get things together. When we leave her alone for months at a time we have to clear out cobwebs and such before we can move back aboard. Sometimes I wonder if the critters think that we have let them a new home cause we find all kinds of them setting up camp!

 

 

All was good aboard when got back however there another issue brewing….a storm in the Caribbean Sea…Dorian! By now everyone has heard of Dorian. But she was just getting started here when we got back. Our second day on board we weathered her out as she became a Cat 1 Hurricane right on top of us! I know that most of you think that a Cat 1 is no big deal, sure when you are in a house that is true. Try being on a sailboat…you are much more exposed and it is a bigger deal!

Dorian as she approaches us.

 

 

We had been keeping our eye on the weather knowing that it was coming our way. It looked like it was going to be a tropical storm and pass way to the south of us. The locals did not seem that worried so that was a good sign, right? When we woke up the second day on Moon we saw that lots of boats had migrated to the mangroves to tie off for safety. Hmm, time to check the weather again. The storm had moved more NE and strengthened more than forecasted and now we were looking at a direct hit. OK, time to batten down the hatches! We got lucky it was going to come during the day so at least in my opinion it would seem less scary. As the day went on the winds strengthened and the rain really came down. We were in a great spot and Brian did an excellent job with our bottom gear. If you read back through past post http://sailingonmoon.com/?p=4452 you can see what he put down before we left for the season and that is what we sat on for Dorian. We kept watch on deck as the storm passed. The wind came from the WNW and this was a bit of a surprise to everyone. Mostly storms pass here ESE. The boats anchored around us bounced up and down. At times the wind and rain was blowing so hard that we couldn’t see anything. Thankfully the storm only lasted a few hours then just some squalls here and there. We got lucky and Dorian moved on.

Hauling up the anchor gear that has been down for the last 4 months.

Brian running the halyards, main and jib sheets back up the mast.

Brian cleaning the bottom of Moon

 

 

Seems that all of the boats in Culebra were safe. We saw one boat by us break free and run into a couple of others but I don’t think that there was any damage. We later found out that one person left their sailboat on the unprotected side of the island exposed to the open sea. His boat broke free and washed up on the beach. He was lucky though because his boat washed up right where there was barge with a crane on it and he was able to work with the barge captain to get his boat off…what luck!

Moon sitting pretty at Dakity Reef

Our neighbors at Dakity Reef.

Pretty brain coral

We see this ray just about every time we snorkel around the boat.

 

 

Well, things are getting back to the norm here. We are moored off of Dakity Reef at one of our favorite spots. We are working on normal maintenance which seems never ending. Don’t feel sorry for us though because when the day ends we jump into the crystal clear pool surrounding our boat with happy little fishes swimming all around us.

Wow…that was a lot! Take care for now all.

Jennifer and Brian

SV/Moon

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And the Rockets Red Glare – The Space Coast

Mission accomplished! We got to see a couple of rocket launches from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station while we were visiting Brian’s dad. We were able to view them from Charlie’s front yard. The first launch was the Falcon 9 rocket. It launched the Amos 17 communications satellite an advanced communications satellite owned by Spacecom, an Israeli company. It was pretty cool! The launch was in the early evening and it was cloudy but we still got to see it as it shot off towards space.

 

 

 

 

The second launch was even more spectacular! The rocket launched at 6:13 AM and the sky was still dark and clear. The viewing was amazing! It was a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket delivering a highly advanced communications satellite into space for the U.S. Air Force. Perched atop the rocket was the Air Force’s fifth Advanced Extremely High Frequency spacecraft, a secure military communications satellite that will provide jam-proof communications — including real-time video — between U.S. national leadership and deployed military forces. Pretty cool stuff shooting into the sky above us!

 

 

View from the front yard of Brian’s Dads house of the Atlas V rocket carrying the AEHF-5 military satellite for the U.S. Air Force being launched.

 

 

Brian’s dad had just gotten a pontoon boat that needed a bit of fixing up so Brian of course was happy to help out. Brian was in his natural element working on a pontoon boat just like at home. We had fun taking it for test rides!

 

 

 

Of course we had to take a test ride on the Banana River after Brian got the engine running smoothly!

We even saw dolphins!

 

 

Then of course we had to check out the beach. It was the same and a lot different than the beaches of PCB. The sand was much darker and hard packed. It was a pretty calm day so we did not see the waves that this coast is know for. Brian of course had to take another adventure on his bike and rode 36 miles down the beach from Melborne to Cocoa Beach and then ending up in Meritt Island at Brian’s dads house. It was a wonder that he did not crash with all the girls running around in their tiny surf bikinis!

 

 

 

Such a pretty path to the beach!

In the sky you can see one of the planes from Patrick Air Force Base.

 

 

All in all we had nice visit with Charlie, Diana and of course my new walking buddy Freddy. Diana is a great cook and we always enjoy the delicious food that she makes for us! Sadly again it was time for us to leave. Well, I guess that they would let us move in with them but that might be asking too much, lol! Next stop and story for us will be in Ft. Myers and Cape Coral, FL where it will be our last stop before heading to Puerto Rico and back to our Moon.

Until next time…

 

Jennifer and Brian S/V Moon

 

 

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