David spent the remainder of our time in Bimini working on a few other boat projects including installing a light fixture over the island in the kitchen and a new Sirius weather receiver on our antenna. The wind remained strong through Thursday, but there was a weather window on Friday so we decided to head back to the US to make sure that we would arrive on time in Stuart and Hinckley for our scheduled month of maintenance and boat projects including a new fridge and hopefully finally solving our starboard engine vibration. The entire ride home was smooth and we pulled in to Hinckley before sunset.
We spent about three hours nervously and frantically calling every border security agency in the country since our app-requested border clearing never actually was approved, and weren’t sure we could legally land in the US. We eventually managed to reach someone at an airport who said we could clear customs there in the morning, and then nervously just … took the boat to the marina without any sort of actual crossing approval. Then, late at night, the app updated over to us being approved without any interview, and we slept more soundly.
We needed to drive back down to Ft Lauderdale to pick up our alcohol for the storage unit, and coincidentally it was the same weekend as the Miami boat show, so we decided to make a day-trip of it. After a delay picking up the rental car, we headed towards Miami. We primarily wanted to check out the vendor booths to chat to Spectra (the watermaker folks) to complain out our broken-on-arrival brand-new watermaker, and Webasto (the new a/c system folks) since the guy David had been emailing with wasn’t very responsive.
After walking around the vendor hall, we headed towards one of the marinas where we hoped to walk around on a few power cats. We did not visit any that felt like better uses of space than Highwind! As we were heading out, the sky opened up in a torrential downpour that lasted for about 15 mins. We ducked in a tent to wait it out before heading back to the car.
One of our SYC/MBYC friends has a second home in Miami and was hosting a yacht club happy hour for the boat show. We headed over to his place, which had an amazing view of Biscayne Bay and enjoyed some good company with friends.
After happy hour, we rushed to the storage unit just in time to clear out our alcohol before they closed for the evening.
For the rest of the week, we spent our time at the Hinckley marina on the boat preparing for a large number of projects to be taken care of on the boat over the next month while we do some traveling for work. Primarily, we are hoping to install a bow thruster, replace and relocate the fridges, and hopefully solve our engine vibration issue. We had various folks on the boat throughout the week assessing all the different projects (probably about 15 different projects in total) while we worked our day-jobs, and also prepared the boat for the work. At the last minute, the folks at Hinckley decided they wanted to haul Highwind out of the water on Friday rather than next week, so we changed our flights to New York and had a mad scramble to finalize everything before heading to the airport!