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Melissa and Buddy

Melissa & Buddy Stockwell
on Lake Pontchartrain aboard their current sailboat, Moon Shadow, a 30' Catalina tall rig.
Read about our new life ashore >>

 

 

Note: The following trip report is the most recent and was posted February 25, 2013. Click on the Captain's Log link to the left to see previous trip reports. If you would like to receive an e-mail notification as soon as the web site is updated with new trip reports, enter your e-mail address in the text box to the right and click on the Submit button.

Key West, Florida to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
January 24, 2009 -
April 17, 2009

The start of hurricane season on June 1st loomed large on the calendar and demanded that we vacate the Paradise of Key West and face the business end of cruising. Even though we still had several months before hurricane season started, we knew it would take a month to do our annual haul out and get Indigo Moon back in perfect condition. Then, it would take a few months to ease our way up the east coast before hurricane season started. In contrast to our offshore run up the east coast in 2005, this time we planned to go spend a lot more time bumping up the ICW and stopping to see places. As such, to make it all happen in time to be ready for hurricane season, we needed to head for the boat yard to haul out and complete maintenance in time to make a lazy and slow trip to safer (insurance coverage-wise) northern latitudes by the start of hurricane season.

A pit stop in Fort Lauderdale at Lauderdale Marine Center will be the best place to do our annual haul out to paint the bottom and service the sail drives and propellers. After three years in the Caribbean where spare parts and quality materials are very expensive or non-existent, Indigo Moon is very much in need of an overhaul and Fort Lauderdale is the best place in the world to get it done.

It happens every year. Things are going swimmingly in some true Paradise and then the beginning of hurricane season mandates that the Party is over. When that day comes each year, there is a mental shift that is directly akin to what we experienced as weekend sailors: we were always so excited to get to the boat and get aboard on Friday and ecstatic about the weekend of recreation and fun to come, only to face a serious case of the blues when it came time to pack it all up on Sunday and make the long drive home to the “real world” so as to get back to the grind of work on Monday morning.

I’ve said it many times. Cruising is not at all the carefree vacation depicted in yacht sales literature. Sure, it’s a grand and priceless adventure well worth doing, but those “Sunday afternoons” of cruising are huge ones with huge responsibilities. Each year, the beginning of “annual haul out and hurricane season” mode flung me into a period of depression.

Yes, I know that it sounds like I am very spoiled when I say that I was genuinely depressed during parts of the cruising adventure, but it’s true in exactly the same way that it sounds like a weekend yachtsman is spoiled for being depressed on Monday morning. It all looks pretty fantastic to the dreamer who does not even own a boat. Perspectives change once you’re the yacht owner. The old saw is: “rich people buy boats and poor people own them.”

And so, before first light and while feeling very sorry for myself, I dropped our mooring line in Key West’s Garrison Bight Mooring Field and headed in the dark around the north end of Fleming Key and then to the southeast along Key West’s West End. It was first light as we passed famous Mallory Square and the cruise ship docks. Not a soul was stirring and the throngs who watched the sunset there only twelve hours ago were fast asleep somewhere.

For me, it was literally a teary goodbye to Key West. She did not notice us “slipping out the back door” before dawn. It was best. Melissa and I knew in our hearts that we would never get to spend that much time in Key West again and our once-in-a-lifetime vacation there was over. People ask us all the time where our favorite place was while cruising and Key West is always in the top ten. It’s just a fun place to hang out. We have already decided that should we ever win the lottery, we would definitely buy a house in Key West.

We made it out to Hawk Channel that runs eastward and northward along the Atlantic side of the Keys, inside the reefs. It was a grey morning and the seas were calm. Just as I was settling into a thick funk of sulky solitude with not another vessel in sight, an amazing sight and sound came our way . . . hundreds, literally hundreds, of very fast center console fishing boats came up over the horizon and they were coming at us FAST. There was even a chase helicopter buzzing over the action. It looked like a scene from Apocalypse Now.

Turns out it was a “shotgun start” of a fishing tournament underway, with everyone headed full throttle out toward the reef and the Gulf Stream’s deep, warm water beyond. I stopped Indigo Moon and held her still so as to minimize errors by those coming at us, hoping no one would crash into us. We marveled at all the boats whizzing right by us at 50-plus mph. Fifteen minutes later it was all over and we moved on. The excitement was effective in shaking me out of my melancholy and the sun soon brightened the scene and my spirits.

That’s the coolest thing about cruising. Being outside and in nature, there is no telling what will happen next and oftentimes when you are feeling low, the surprise of the unexpected on a grand scale will shake you out of your current state of mind and recalibrate your thinking in a good way.

A grey and depressing dawn departure from Key West

Later, the sun breaks through and things look a little brighter

As the morning wore on, I stayed on the helm and Melissa slept in. The next destination: Marathon and a homecoming party to mark our circumnavigation of the entire Caribbean. Our old friend Ed Watson was expecting us and his neighborhood dock-o-minium crowd was planning a nice get together for Melissa and me.

Here’s the thing about Marathon: we had taken Indigo Moon through Marathon twice already. But always just to round the tip of Florida and get through the reefs and Keys from the Atlantic side to the Gulf side and then back again, always turning northward after making it through.

The first time Indigo Moon saw Marathon, it was when I delivered her to New Orleans after buying her in Ft. Lauderdale. The second time was our maiden voyage of cruising proper and the trip from New Orleans to Marathon where we turned north and headed back to Ft. Lauderdale to add equipment and provision for our tour of the Bahamas.

We enter the channel in Boot Key Harbor in Marathon, Florida

This third time, we approached from the Caribbean and from the south after having traveling the entire circumference of the Caribbean Sea. Thus, today will be a big day. It will be the day we close the circle after three years down south and we will complete our circumnavigation of El Caribe.

It will also be the first time we stayed in Boot Key Harbor, a legendary destination amongst USA cruisers and considered the “end of the line” for many cruisers who intended to keep moving but stayed a little too long and set up permanent residence there, shifting from cruiser to live aboard status before they knew what happened.

WOW! Boot Key harbor is like a “Manhattan” of mooring fields: very close quarters and LOTS of neighbors!

As for Boot Key, I have never seen that many boats packed into a harbor. The mooring field is huge, dense, and you can almost “pass the Grey Poupon” by hand to any one of your neighbors. Here is a link to a map of the mooring field on the Boot Key website: http://www.ci.marathon.fl.us/government/departments/marina-and-ports/anchorage-mooring-dockage/

Per the website: “The City mooring field occupies most of Boot Key Harbor, North and East of the main Harbor channel. It consists of 226 permanently-attached, engineered mooring systems that provide secure holding for vessels up to 60’ in length. Since very little scope is required, more vessels can be accommodated within the same space as compared with a traditional anchorage. This increases the overall Harbor capacity and eliminates crossed-lines, flaring tempers and other ills associated with over-crowded anchorages.”

For $300 bucks per month, you can have a mooring, dinghy dock permit, showers ashore in the community bathrooms, and a parking space for a car.

After we entered the harbor, verified our reserved mooring’s number, and motored through very tight lanes to find it, we secured Indigo Moon in the vast mooring field without incident.

It was not long until I had the planning chart out and completed the last inch of red track line of our entire journey so as to close the circle on our Caribbean adventure.

I draw one last inch of red track line that will mark our complete circumnavigation of the entire Caribbean!

It’s all smiles as we reflect on the years of adventures we experienced down in El Caribe.

Like all crowded “end of the line” areas where cruisers stack up and become live aboard residents, Marathon is a predictable mixed bag. It is a great place to be in the winter and escape the harsh, cold up north. And it is very cheap by Florida Keys standards at only $300.00 per month! For those who have alcohol and addiction problems, it’s also a great place to stay pickled or fried, and let your boat rot. For those who do cruise, it’s a fine staging area for making a little trip to the Bahamas. It is also close to Key West.

All said, in general, Boot Key Harbor in Marathon is just too crowded. The mooring field is ludicrously packed with boats. The dinghy docks (note plural) are of the busiest we’ve ever seen anywhere.

Perhaps a life in Boot Key Harbor looks like “getting away from it all” to folks who have yet to ever really get away from it all. For us, after having had pristine beaches and keys all to ourselves at times in places like the Los Roques in Venezuela, Boot Key looked like living in Manhattan or Chicago.

At this time, Melissa and I were still adjusting to being back in the USA. At the dinghy dock, we would walk by dozens and dozens of dinghies, none of them locked. You could spot mine easily. It was the one with stickers from around the Caribbean pasted all over the outboard motor, all sorts of added equipment like a fuel filter and survival gear bag, a patina that looked as if the dinghy had drifted across the Atlantic, and, most notably, a huge stainless steel chain locking both the motor and dinghy to the dock: a sure sign that we had been a long way from Rule of Law at times during our travels.

The chain and lock was viewed as paranoid eccentricity by those who have never been south of the Bahamas. And there is no use explaining anything to the “cruising experts” in Boot Key Harbor. Whenever I caught flack about my big lock and chain, I would quip: “I’m not worried about someone stealing my dinghy; I don’t want anyone stealing my $300 (no kidding) stainless steel chain.”

The morning cruiser’s net on the VHF radio was something else too. There were rules, regulations, structure, egos, and conflict. One guy was really whining about how someone stole his heat gun from the community workshop area and sarcastically wanted to “thank them for their courtesy.” Apparently, just when Boot Key utopia was about to be truly realized, some turd had to steal a heat gun and ruin it all.

About the time I thought things could not get more surreal, I was crouched down in the starboard engine compartment one morning checking the oil, etc. and when finished I stood up waist deep in the locker to see a lady sitting stationary in a kayak a foot from the transom . . . it startled both of us . . . I jumped and she yelped.

We both laughed and then she said “Wow, I was just sitting here admiring your boat; it is so beautiful and neat! You better enjoy that new boat now, because after you have been cruising a little while it will never look like that again!” What could I say except: “Thanks!”

I watched her paddle to a nearby monohull sailboat that had so much crap on deck that it was painfully obvious that it had not moved in a years. She did not realize that she is not cruising. The mark of a successful cruiser is neat decks and a clean vessel ready for sea, not a mooring field junk heap covered with plants, bikes, water jugs, fuel jugs, wind generators, solar panels, deck generators, tarps, and other piles of stuff.

We also had some visitors stop by in their dinghy; they didn’t know us personally, but recognized our boat name and knew us via our website. Quite frankly we didn’t see this coming, but in the next year we would be spotted by numerous folks all the way up the East Coast and back who informed us that they were fans of the Indigo Moon website and they all thanked us for the time, effort, and industry we put into the website. Melissa and I are not the “celebrity” types, but the website had unintentionally propelled us into being recognized by many.

Not long after getting set up in Boot Key Harbor, our old friend Ed Watson (AKA “Snoozer”) and live aboard resident of Marathon came around to take us on a water tour. We saw many sights and enjoyed seeing Ed in Marathon again.

Snoozer comes by in his boat to take us on a water tour

Of course, at an “end of the line” destination such a Boot Key Harbor, there are goodly number of derelict “Bum Boats” that will most-likely never move again except to either the bottom or the junk yard one day

Here’s a Manta powercat in laundry day mode, with its lifelines being used for clotheslines

Here’s a first in live-aboard land! Check out the roof turbine vent that has been mounted on the forward hatch! Once people stop sailing and start using boats as stationary house trailers, you never know what you’ll see next!

Anchored outside the mooring field, two old power boats have become stationary windmill farms trying to power their electrical systems for free on mother nature’s breezes.

Ed had been busy planning a homecoming party for us to celebrate our accomplishment of circumnavigating the Caribbean Sea (and returning with all our fingers and no machete or bullets holes in either us or Indigo Moon). In anticipation of the party, Ed had been stocking up on stone crab claws and Caribbean lobster tails for months. It was a cool party with amazing food and great people and we are thankful to have such a good friend! We had a blast with Ed and his neighbors.

Hooo MAMA! Look at all those stone crab claws!

Okay folks, this is as good as it gets: a stack of stone crab claws and a stack of Caribbean lobster tails! Living in the Florida Keys certainly has its advantages!

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Snoozer’s neighbors to starboard: Chris with daughters Erin and Nicki

Coptain Howie makes an appearance

Snoozer’s neighbors to port: “O.T.” and Lorraine

What party would not be complete without firing cannons?! We walked down to the edge of the canal entering the complex and Snoozer had fun scaring all the wildlife with this impressively LOUD cannon.

Snoozer’s dock-o-minium

In the days following our party, Melissa and I spent time poking around Marathon and getting a better feel for the area. We enjoyed eating lunch at Burdines’s, a local favorite that sits upon the southern entrance to Boot Key Harbor.

The sunsets were beautiful and the days were sunny as we got our bicycles out and explored the area. We rode our bikes down the old Marathon Bridge which was a fun an unusual experience. We also visited the Turtle Hospital where injured sea turtles are treated and rehabilitated.

It was also fun to eat lunch at the Keys Fishery, which has been in business for over forty years. Located on the gulf side of the island, it has a lot of character and serves up all the fine seafood that the Keys are famous for. During our lunch, an egret had murderous designs on Melissa’s grouper sandwich and I had to shoo it away!

Lunch at Burdine’s, overlooking Boot Key Harbor

Sunset seen through the forest of masts in Boot Key Harbor

The entrance to Flagler’s old rail bridge that is now out of service

Biking on the old Marathon Bridge

Out of service now, the old bridge has sections removed and this is as far as we could go on our bikes southward from Marathon

Looking southward, this high rise section of bridge to the left has special significance in our Indigo Moon adventure. It marks our Florida Keys gateway between the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. When I bought Indigo Moon, to get from the East Coast to the Gulf and on to New Orleans, I went under it (from left to right to left as pictured here). In January of 2005 after departing Louisiana at the inception of our adventure we went back under it from West to East. Once in the Atlantic, we turned north, to port and would not see this bridge again until January 2009. Four years later, we would again reach this crossroads in the Atlantic just east of the bridge, but this time from the Caribbean and the south, having covered thousands of miles around the entire Caribbean.

Just off the old Marathon Bridge, the entrance to Pigeon Key

Pigeon Key is important in the history of the Keys because in early 1900s 400 workers were housed there to provide labor to build the Flagler’s Overseas Railway from Miami to Key West. Now it's inhabited by the Pigeon Key Foundation which serves to protect the culture and environment. It’s interesting and worth a look. Here is a link: http://www.pigeonkey.net/Home.html

The Turtle Hospital at Marathon, Florida. Per its website: The Turtle Hospital opened its doors 1986 with four main goals: 1) rehab injured sea turtles and return them to their natural habitat, 2) educate the public through outreach programs and visit local schools, 3) conduct and assist with research aiding to sea turtles (in conjunction with state universities), and 4) work toward environmental legislation making the beaches and water safe and clean for sea turtles. You can visit online at http://www.turtlehospital.org/blog/

All about Sea Turtles!

Who knew that the sea turtle would have such a complex skeleton?

Famous Marathon Eatery “The Keys Fishery” is a popular spot at lunchtime. We enjoyed grilled grouper sandwiches of the finest kind.

A white egret is walking around the dining area looking for a free lunch.

As much as we were enjoying the sites of Marathon and our dear friends who live there, our main mission of heading north was at hand. We said our goodbyes to Ed and all the gang at his dock-o-minimums and set out for Fort Lauderdale.

We have dock space reserved at Gateway Terrace and a reservation at Lauderdale Marine Center for a haul out. It’s time to “man up” and, like Cool Hand Luke, get our minds right! Hard work is coming our way and it’s time to head into work mode.

We departed Marathon early morning on a bluebird day. In no time we were headed north. The next stop: an overnight stay near Angelfish Key. It’s too far to make Ft. Lauderdale in one day. The only trouble with Angelfish Key is that the canals entering the area are very shallow and depths shift with the tides. As we neared the area late in the day, we could hear trouble: boats were aground in the canals.

I was having a little trouble of my own. Somehow we picked up a crab pot line in our port propeller. I put the engine in neutral and then eased it into reverse and the crab pot float popped up behind the boat and floated away. All seemed well, but I would have to dive in and check it to be sure when we anchored up.

The weather was so calm, and the forecast so stable, we decided, as did a handful of other boats, to anchor out in open water behind a shallow sandbar and reef. It worked out well. I dove in and verified that our port prop was in good shape and checked the anchor to verify it was perfectly set in nice white sand. We enjoyed a very peaceful night at anchor and it was nice to be underway again and out of the crowded mooring field of Boot Key Harbor.

On the way to Angelfish Key en route to Fort Lauderdale: there’s lots of traffic in these waters.

Melissa catches a morning nap underway

In flat calm conditions and a super-stable forecast, we anchor on the outside of Angelfish Key and I snorkel out to make sure the anchor is set perfectly in clean sand

I also dove under Indigo Moon to make sure a crab pot line we snagged earlier was long gone and not a problem. The water was chilly, but not enough to lower my good spirits of having found the anchor set nicely and no problems with our running gear

The next morning we were underway to Fort Lauderdale. It was quite amazing to be back there again, where this entire adventure started. Many competing emotions ran high: the comfort of returning to such a familiar place and knowing that Indigo Moon would get a “spa treatment” she’s needed for several years was exciting. We would soon be amongst old friends. Conversely, the realization set in that our lives had come full circle and our huge Caribbean adventure was over. We knew that we would not cruise much longer and it was inescapable that our adventure was squarely entering Act III.

And with the Great Recession, things had changed for everyone financially, including us. Fort Lauderdale was not the bustling bee hive of yachting sales. Mansions were up for absolute auction. When we left Ft. Lauderdale three years earlier, striking out for the Virgin Islands, the shops, restaurants and street vendors of the Riverwalk at the foot of Las Olas Boulevard on the New River were very busy. On the weekends, the place was so crowded you could barely walk around. Now, over half the shops were empty and the place looked like a ghost town.

The same was true for Lauderdale Marine Center: we once had trouble making reservations for a haul out getting into the boat yard because it was so busy. But this year it’s: “No problem; we have plenty of space and you don’t need a reservation.”

The financial crisis certainly decimated a significant portion of our personal investments and changed our plans and lives like most folks. But, we were further sobered by the shocking state of Fort Lauderdale. By the looks of things, the party was obviously over there too.

In fact, had the yachting market been better, we probably would have considered selling the boat and ending our cruising days at that point. We knew we were headed back to work anyway. But after weighing our options, we decided to stay aboard for another year and cruise the East Coast so as to get the boat ready to sell and market it ourselves after the economy had a little time to stabilize.

With plans set, we went about spending a lot of money restoring Indigo Moon to Bristol condition and getting ready for another season of cruising.

Back to the Future: As the 17 th Street Bridge opens, we marvel at our safe return to Fort Lauderdale after thousands of miles and years in the Caribbean

The first thing we notice is how depressed the area looks: fewer yachts, For Sale signs on everything it seemed, and a sense that things had changed

Mansions once festooned with yachts and Big Boy Toys are now up for Absolute Auction

We did a lot of work while at the dock at Gateway Terrace. There was canvas work to be done and I set up a sewing loft in the cockpit, as I had done many times. All sails were stripped off and sent to Bob Meagher III at Doyle Sails in Fort Lauderdale for refurbishing. I still contend that Bob and Doyle sails are amongst the finest yacht service companies in the area: dependable, knowledgeable, reasonable, honest and friendly service from people who love sailing. If you need sails or canvas, you can find Bob here: http://www.doylesails.com/lofts/floridaeast/index.html

In addition to canvas work, it was time to replace all the batteries on Indigo Moon. It was extremely labor intensive and a very expensive job. We replaced the old batteries with new Lifeline AGM batteries at a cost of over two thousand dollars. Hauling the old ones off and getting the new ones aboard is hard work and much care must be taken to protect the boat when moving such heavy components in, through and out of the tight places.

Also, there was the task of replacing the generator mounts and servicing that unit. The best way to describe the generator location is a “ship in a bottle” and it has always been a challenge to service the big 9.5 KW generator shoehorned into the forward locker. One of the tougher jobs is replacing the four rubber mounts upon which it sits.

I don’t know why, but within one to two years, the mounts get hard and stiff enough to the point that they no longer isolate vibration adequately. The generator starts shaking the boat too much and doors to cabinets begin to rattle along with contents in lockers, etc. This will be the third set of new mounts for the generator and to change them requires using the spinnaker halyard to lift the generator, one end at a time, and Houdini-like contortions to get to the mounts and replace them.

In addition to working on the boat, there were also the other miscellaneous chores like making sure debris in the canals does not damage the boat. At one point, a piling with a huge bolt sticking out of it showed up and I had to tow it off with the dinghy, secure it to the bank, and call law enforcement to alert them to the need to remove it as a hazard to navigation.

Going in for the big job of replacing the generator’s engine mounts

I have the spinnaker halyard winched up on the front end of the generator to suspend it while I change out the rubber engine mounts that bolt to the locker’s floor. I’ll repeat the process for the rear mounts. It’s a fight: I will be sore as hell with cuts, bruises, and a headache from all that blood rushing to my head.

This is what $2,300.00 of batteries looks like! After pounding mercilessly for five years on the old set of Lifelines we replaced, these new Lifeline AGM batteries will serve us and the next owners of Indigo Moon well. These batteries are very expensive but worth every cent. It is a serious job to haul these heavy batteries on and off Indigo Moon and hook up all the wiring without a meltdown, literally . . . there is a tremendous amount of DC power stored in these batteries. A short or mishandling of wiring could literally burn the boat down! Thus, we take our time and plan things perfectly.

Aaron, one of the residents at Gateway, has a small skiff and comes by to say hello now and then. He’s a cool cat!

Canal life in Ft. Lauderdale has its own set of challenges. Lot’s of debris comes and goes with the tide. Here, I have lassoed a piling with a large spike/bolt sticking out of it: just the type of debris you DON’T want scraping up your boat! I hauled it down the canal to a place I could tie it up. Then, I notified the local authorities to come pick it up.

The sail loft is back in business again. Now an “old hand” at canvas work, I have my projects planned out and carry them out at professional speed. It’s just another day at the office!

One very bright spot in our Fort Lauderdale visit was the appearance of the Lucia Family on the catamaran Serendipity! They were passing through and we managed to get them a dock at Gateway Terrace! We had not seen them for a couple of years and it was so good to catch up and share our experiences since we parted. Those of you who have read the whole Indigo Moon site will remember we met the Lucias in Venezuela during hurricane season and then spent time together in Bonaire and then sailed together across the Caribbean to the Virgin Islands where we spent several weeks together. The Lucias had put their boat on the hard and been to China for a year! They were back on the boat again and doing great. It was fun to see them again and Melissa and I could not believe how much the girls had grown up!

The LUCIAS! Pam, Jillian, Rachel, Marcie and Jeff: they are still some of our very most favorite people from our cruising adventures.

With all the work we could complete at the dock all finished, it was time to head to Lauderdale Marine Center for our haul out and yard work: bottom job, survey, servicing of the propellers and sail drives, and a proper buffing and waxing of the hulls.

Melissa and I shared the task of painting the bottom of the boat. That’s me, touching up bottom paint around a sacrificial anode that grounds the engines, and other components in a way to reduce electrolysis.

Shipped over on the deck of a Yachtwise yacht carrier, this brand new Prout Catamaran broke loose an deck in rough seas and smashed around on deck, underscoring that there are always risks in yacht transit, regardless of whether or not the yacht is on its own bottom or being shipped.

Chunk of the bow ripped out of the Prout Catamaran. One of the rudders was smashed too with its shaft ripping the hull astern. A VERY beautiful catamaran, this is a heartbreaking start for a magnificent vessel

Brought back to her full magnificence after a long run in the Third World, Indigo Moon in perfect from stem to Stern

It always feels like signing a painting; that moment when all efforts are complete and all is perfect: Indigo Moon is lifted in the slings to be splashed and the bottom of the keels are painted, completing another year’s hard work in the boat yard that will ensure a trouble free cruising season

There she goes! The most fabulous and pampered Lagoon 380 in the whole wide world!

One more stop before we can depart! We have to go to the main office of Lauderdale Marine Center and settle our bill for being hauled out. Here, Sarah (the brains behind the LMC outfit) and Melissa (the brains behind Indigo Moon) pose as we pay our bill, say goodbye and thank LMC for another fabulous boatyard experience. They operate the best boatyard facility on the planet as far as we are concerned.

SPALSH TIME! LET’S GO CRUISING!

Departing the boat yard and heading down the New River through Fort Lauderdale, we are off on the start of another cruising season.

Having completed all servicing and refitting to bring Indigo Moon up to perfect condition, our mission in Fort Lauderdale is complete. There is one more season of adventure in the cards for us! We plan to head up the East Coast for the hurricane season and visit some of the places we missed in 2005. Will we head up the Potomac River and visit Washington DC? Will we make it above Cape Cod and see Maine this time? Even though our plans are to head back to the land life in a year, we still have a whole year’s worth of escapade and exploration ahead of us and it is very exciting to head out.

As we motored out of the canal and left Gateway Terrace, the Lucia Family followed us along the seawall and waved goodbye. For purely selfish reasons, and wanting more of their company, we tried to convince them to “buddy boat” with us up the East Coast. But, alas, they decided to stay in Fort Lauderdale.

And so we are on the move again!

Melissa and Buddy Signature

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Current Location:
Mandeville, LA

Read the Baton Rouge Bar Association's article about our return to Louisiana and Buddy's position with the Lawyer's Assistance Program.

Read Buddy's interview 10 Questions for Indigo Moon by The INTERVIEW WITH A CRUISER Project.

02/2013 Update:
Land Ho! What Now?!?
Read about our new life ashore.

Previous trip log about our time in Key West, Florida

Hawksbill sea turtle hatching on Bonaire.

Find out how Indigo Moon got her name.

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