Final Week in Key Largo and Moving Onto Highwind II

We spent the last week in Key Largo in the house surrounded by boxes full of our things, but it was a nice relaxing time. The sun came out for long enough that we w even found a moment for a dip in the pool – our first and last of the stay at the house.

On Wednesday we rented a uhaul and spent the evening loading everything up. David and I woke up early the next morning to drive up to Stuart, where the new boat had been moored for the month.

The dock hands at the marina were extremely nice and assisted us with their golf carts in unloading all the boxes and gathering them in the new boat for unpacking, making the whole frantic-morning-move fairly smooth, in the end. Later that day, Mum and Dad joined us among the boxes. I had taken the day off to deal with unpacking, but David had important meetings in the afternoon that he could not miss, so he set up shop upstairs while Mum and Dad and I unpacked most of the boxes downstairs. Since I had done most of the box packing, this worked out well – everything was jumbled together with kitchen, bedroom, and random boat things in each box!

We were able to get quite a bit sorted and organized, and made enough room to enjoy some takeout on the boat for dinner in the evening – our first meal aboard!

On Friday, both David and I worked while Mum and Dad hung out, ran a few errands for us and did a bit more unpacking – what way for them to end their trip! They headed out on Saturday morning, leaving us to spend the weekend getting further unpacked and settled in.

It wasn’t long before David had started dismantling the walls and ceiling of the skylounge for installing the first phase of internet on the boat! Once the project was complete, we settled in for the evening and I found my new reading spot and watched a gorgeous sunset.

On the survey, it was discovered that the bowsprit of the boat, around the anchor and windlass had significant leaking/dampness and was in need of repair to replace the sodden plywood core with a stronger material and re-fiberglass everything. We had made an arrangement with the previous owners for this to be fixed, but unfortunately the contractors kept delaying and it was not able to be repaired before we received the keys. We had been put in contact with the contractors and organized to take Highwind II (hereafter referred to as Highwind…) to their shipyard the next week. Since they would not allow us to remain on the boat, we also had to secure a nearby AirBnB. We were watching the weather closely as it was extremely windy at the beginning of the week and we didn’t want our first voyage to be in adverse conditions, especially considering that the slip in Stuart was extremely tricky to get out of in the best of conditions. By the middle of the week, the wind had calmed, so we headed out. It was smooth waters for the 5 mile trip and we pulled into the new slip with no problems (after 3 attempts – it had only an inch of room on either side – Highwind is fatty!).

Thursday morning, they started investigations on the bow and soon discovered that the job extended much further than they originally estimated. As such, they actually did not have anyone available to do the repairs, since they’d put us in a tiny time slot, but he put us in contact with one of their 3rd party contractors to do an assessment. We had an uneventful night in the AirBnB, which included wandering out into the freezing evening (55 degrees) for some dessert.

The next day, we found out from these new contractors that the work would take 7 days, which was longer than we had planned – we had been told 3-5 days and had been planning to head to Cocoa Village where we intend to stay for a month completing the first phase of boat projects. This was much longer than we wanted to stay in a place where we would not be allowed to sleep aboard. We decided to head to Ft Pierce in the next morning as there was a chance this new contractor would be able to find us a place near there where we’d be able to keep the boat, sleep on it, and have the work done. If that didn’t pan out, then we’d keep heading north to Cocoa and make arrangements with some more advance warning with a shipyard further north.

We arrived at Ft Pierce and David made a beautiful docking. David had the day off, so he got started on the bedroom to office conversion project while I worked. It was a lovely day, so in the evening we headed over to Pierced Cidery (we’d visited before) where we enjoyed another sampler of all their flavours and some live music.

On Saturday, we heard from the new contractors that they had found us a place just on the other side of the ICW and we’ll be allowed to stay on the boat, so we’ll head over there on Monday and hope that the work doesn’t take longer than 7 days!!

After months of taking it easy, remote phsyical therapy, doctors visits from Boston to Miami, in-person PT in Islamadora, I was finally cleared to get back on the pole. I pulled it out once at the house in Key Largo, but then we had a few busy weeks of moving, so yesterday I was finally able to get it out again. I’m taking things slow, but it’s very exciting to hopefully get back in a regular routine of training, yoga, etc.

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