Looking Forward to a Better New Year

We remain here in Vero Beach, but it’s getting “cold”! In the last 10 years we’ve never been this far north in mid-winter. It occasionally gets down to the high 60’s daytime & the high 40’s at night!  It’s easy to sit around & complain, as there’s not much else to do hunkered down for COVID.

Twin Sisters was treated to new fender covers for Christmas.

It seemed like a good idea to finally decide on & order a folding bike, after all, I’ve been thinking about it for the last 10 years.  Space & weight are always a consideration, but this ZIZZO bike is only 24 lbs., folds up into a fairly small storage bag & was less than 1/2 price of many others – while very highly rated.  I proved it’s comfort on my very first ride of 10 miles!  Although planned as a 6 mile ride back from returning our month-long Enterprise rental car, it seemed smart to avoid the Enterprise driver and/or other passengers.  “The rest of the story” … as Paul Harvey used to say … was the problem.  Halfway back I happened to reach to my back pocket for my wallet – gone!  I frantically backpedaled the last 3 miles twice looking all along the side of the roads, the sidewalks … where did I cross? After an hour of searching, I gave up.

I locked all my ATM & credit cards, waited one week, two weeks, three.  Finally gave up & ordered all new credit cards & a replacement drivers license.  Wait – that very night – what appeared from our mailing service (they receive, scan & send daily e-mails of any mail received)?  A mysterious U.S. Mail package stamped “FOUND LOOSE IN THE MAIL”.  Could it be? It was!  Some (kinda) good samaritan found my wallet, took my $75 as a self-reward, then dropped my wallet into a mailbox which the Postal Service finally mailed to me.

Long-term my folding bike should work out well & help in our travels along the way.  Two weeks later when we did a one-day car rental to go to our storage unit, along with other errands (liquor store), I could transport myself back & forth.  One little kid standing nearby was open-mouthed as I pulled out my bag, unfolded a “real” bike & all 6′ 3″ of me got on & rode off!

Our winter plans are still in flux.  While we could stick to plan & cross over to the Bahamas in mid-February, there are still challenging (especially for cruisers) COVID testing protocols before leaving & again once there on your 5th day.  There is the risk of getting COVID in the Bahamas with very minimal medical resources (we have emergency medical evac coverage thru our DAN divers group, but it excludes pandemic illness).  The Bahamas is likely to crack down further with additional measures as they just discovered that 42% of people entering the county are neglecting the required 5th day test.  The U.S. is now planning to require testing for travelers entering the U.S. – would that include us when we cross back?

Adding to the quandary is that staying in Florida, I will be able to get a COVID vaccine after my 65th birthday in mid-March. It’s ironic that Florida has been slammed in the media for weeks as giving the elderly (over 65) the next priority for vaccines (after medical workers, nursing homes residents & other high risk groups) as now the CDC & many states may now change their criteria to match Florida’s.

We may cruise down to the Keys or over to the Florida west coast, but it is difficult to get motivated when we’d be traveling so carefully & not enjoying our travels very much. We shall see …

 

Merry Christmas to All!

We continue to mostly hunker-down at our marina in Vero Beach.  The COVID rates have been on the rise over the last several weeks & will continue to increase, especially as more snowbirds flock down after the holidays.  We are being even more careful now, relying mostly on grocery & other delivery services (which works out well since we turned in our rental car last week).

Projects are a constant reminder that we live on a boat!  This one was a 2 hour fix after 2 months of head-scratching.  Rainy days would result in a tiny puddle of water accumulating under the galley fridge.  It turned out the fuel fill deck plate was leaking, running along the hose, under the fuel tank, thru a weep hole, down the inside of the hull to about 5′ away from the source!

Other fun projects have included re-installing our re-built watermaker & the arduous task of waxing the hulls.

There is always something to be on the lookout for – Momma Manatee and her calf cruising around the marina.
There have been a record number of launches from Cape Canaveral this month. Always cool to see even from afar!

Florida weather has been kind to us with daytime temps mostly in the 70’s to low 80’s.

The big news is the Christmas weather – the coldest in 21 years!  Floridians are actually excited to have a Christmas in the 50’s! Nighttime to the low 40’s … burrrrr! The news stations are even warning people to watch out for iguanas falling out of the sky (some sleep in the trees, get stunned by the cold & fall down)!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to all!  Keep safe!!