We have deliberated a lot about the sailing route home. The northern route appeals very much to us (mostly because of Iceland and the shorter crossings), but maybe too much of a challenge weatherwise in a somewhat tight time schedule? We have had such a fantastic year until now, why not end it in a more relaxing way and not push our luck too much? For now we have set our minds on taking the southern route via the Azores and stopped with deliberating until we will make the final decision probably just before departing. So for now we focus on enjoying the rest of our time in Florida instead of thinking too much about what is to come (especially Mira) 😉.
Eline is living an intense social-life with lots of fun activities, with Prom being the absolute highlight! She looked gorgeous in her prom dress and the total experience was far above her expectation. Eline: “Prom was amazing!! Two weeks ago Pablo asked me to be his prom date (in Dutch 😉) so I went with him and eight other friends from our group. We shot amazing pictures beforehand, had a delicious dinner at the prom table, danced on the dance floor until our feet hurt, and went to a fun after-party. I had a wonderful time with all the great people I know from school and it was an experience I will never forget!”
She is busy almost every weekday and on the weekends, either practicing with the swim team or doing social activities with friends. One Sunday she went to a music festival in West Palm Beach with her friend Letitia. She had her last day of school last week, so no more commitments the coming week. That is good timing since Diede (her best friend from the Netherlands) arrived yesterday and is staying with us the coming week 👍.
Last weekend Marinthe played her very first international youth tennis tournament (ITF) close to Miami. Marinthe: “As the best girls and boys in the country compete in these kind of tournaments, it was very cool to be part of it and watch them play. Unfortunately I lost in the first round of the qualifications, a sudden injury in my right foot kept me from playing at my full potential. I had to play some kind of ‘mini Serena Williams’ who was extremely muscular. With incredible serves, but in the rallies I could beat her 😅.”
Last week Toine travelled to the Netherlands for a number of business appointments. He took two big bags with clothes and shoes home, so we don’t need to store these on the boat. He became the first traveller who was happy that his bags were lost due to a short stop over in Copenhagen. So no dragging with 40 kg of bags in the trains to Tilburg 😎.
He slept in our own house, as Erik and Jeske moved out last month. This felt a little strange, without us. However he really appreciated the many good things of our own house. He spent ‘Hemelvaart’ with the ‘Summertjes’ on their boat, sailing from Bruinisse to Breskens. Followed by all kinds of public transportation challenges to get back to Schiphol via Bruinisse and Tilburg the same evening. We are all very glad he arrived safely back ‘home’ in Florida. This was his last business trip from here 👍.
I have been busy with my usual things; the last three English lessons, going to the gym, taking the girls back and forth to school and spending quite a few hours improving the website of Hallberg-Rassy Connectie.
We have also spent some time on boat preparations such as:
- Polishing all the white fiberglass on deck.
- Further stocking the boat with preservable goods.
- Filling the diving tank of our small diving set to be able to clean the fouled propeller the coming week.
- Preparing for the installation of a thermal camera.
- Investigating which watermaker to buy and how to install it.
A thermal camera? Yes, we bought one last week after Toine had explored the answer on my question “what would be a good back-up for our radar?”. After all, a good working radar is quite essential for the northern route (fog and icebergs) and also very useful on the southern route during night sailing. Toine found a perfect solution …. A thermal camera creates a picture based on temperature differences. Day or night, everything with a small temperature difference will be detected. It is going to be mounted on the first spreader of the mast and will display the camera view on our Raymarine A67 screen (at the steering wheel stand) and on our iPads. Amazing how much you can see with this camera in the dark. This is not only a good back-up for our radar, we also expect to use it in combination with the radar or sometimes even instead of the radar (for example when entering a harbour at night or detecting fish traps).
A watermaker? Yes, we bought one yesterday, type Sea Maker 20, 75 liters per hour. A little bit last minute, but they are so much cheaper here, especially with the current exchange rate. We know how useful a watermaker is, especially on longer trips like the southern route. On our previous boat (Brandaan) we had a Schenker watermaker, very useful, but a bit sensitive to failures due to advanced electronics. The Cruise RO watermaker we just bought has a fully manual operation. With all parts available world-wide. For now, but also for our future sailing plans, a very solid and perfect solution 😊👍.
One more week to go in Florida! Our plan is to leave on Monday May 21st, as soon as the weather (and canal depth) permits us to go.
The coming week will be filled with: enjoying our time with Diede (and visiting Orlando Universal Studios), saying goodbye to our Florida life and finishing the preparations for sailing home (including the installation of the watermaker and camera). Busy times, however also very special and very much fun! We, ‘projectmanagers’ as we are, love to deal with these kind of planning challenges 😉.