June 25, 2015 Update from Sharon and Richard on Lucky

Update from Sharon and Richard, of the Sailboat Lucky, now back in Ontario

On April fourth, we sailed to Samson Cay, followed by and sometimes following Jim and Lynda on their little 30 foot eastward Ho!, Morningstar. Richard knew this place as a beautiful anchorage just off of a nice marina with a good restaurant, but the marina was gone, now private and closed to boaters. We cooked our own dinner, in the empty anchorage.

We made our way up the Exumas, enjoying exhilarating sailing, and stopping for a couple of days in Ship Channel anchorage, by Roberts Cay, and Bimini. We were surprised at the number of very large motor yachts we saw, up to 150 feet in length, with two or three stories, and tenders the size of our boat! Fortunately, they were too big to get into our favourite anchorages.

After two nights of luxury on the dock at Bimini Bluewater Marina, and sipping cocktails in the pool there, we set out across the Gulf Stream to Florida.

Right at the axis of the Gulf Stream, the prop stopped with a big clunk, and we were drifting in the light wind. Richard leaned over and looked under the dive platform. We had picked up a chunk of heavy commercial fishing net the size of three people. He could not go under the boat with just a snorkel in the strong current and choppy waves to free it. Since no one was in immediate danger, the Coast Guard was not interested in our plight. Jim and Lynda tried to tow us with Morningstar, but it was too dangerous.

After several hours of sailing at two or three knots and being pushed north, we realized we would get to shore after dark and past the harbour entrance. We radioed TowBoatUS (whom we suspect were expecting our call) and an hour or so later, a young man came out in a towboat. When he had towed us into Lake Sylvia, we anchored. He got out his hookah, remover the big clump of netting from the prop and took it away with him. It cost $1037, but by that time we felt it was well worth it. And divided by the thirty years that Richard has not carried insurance, it was a bargain. There was a problem with Customs too, but I’ll save it for the book. (I may never get there. I’m paging through the current calendar faster than I’m telling the story in my journals.)

After that we made the usual passage through the dozen and more bridges in the Intracoastal Waterway with very little waiting.

Back in Indiantown, Richard anchored us in a perfect four-point position off the dock of Richard’s old friends, Richard and Renita. Then we dove into the cleaning, organizing, getting rid of stuff and packing that must happen before heading north. There were also issues getting my car operational. And all those friends to visit. We had the Brookses and Chris and Divya for crêpes when we got tied to the dock.

Nine days later we were in the car and driving north. More than halfway to my house in Ontario, Richard remembered that he had forgotten to loosen off the seal on the stuffing box. As a result, it will have to be replaced ($400?) when we get back. I’m going to start the list of things to do before leaving as soon as we get back to the boat next year!

When we got to my place after ten p.m. , ready to fall into bed, we discovered that my sister-in-law Connie had put breakfast in the fridge for us. She is an angel. There were many reunions with family and friends, most involving food. Richard went home and I felt that a big piece of my life was missing.

I tackled Paypal, Smashwords and the editing of my art on my webpage, www.mydetour.com. I’m still working on all that stuff, but go to the website to see what’s there so far..

Christine had prepared Idiot Afloat, Books I and II for ebook publication in Smashwords, and now both books are available to Canadian libraries, and are available on Overdrive, Kobo, and many other ebook sites. (Book I still available on Kindle, but not to Canadian libraries, which is why I went to Smashwords.) Of course, both books are still available from me and the info about them is on the website.

The latest news: Kamo emailed me from to say his passport had expired and he was about to be deported from Grenada(which has no Canadian Consulate) and might lose his boat. After much investigation, old friends Rebecca and Laurel and I concluded that the best way to resolve the issue was for him to fly to Canada (the only place that will accept him with an expired passport – he’s Canadian). Actually getting on any plane with an expired passport in another whole issue and it took several phone calls to airlines and various government departments to work that out. I sent begging emails to those of you that knew Kamo personally or through Idiot Afloat Book II. Enough people responded that there is money for his flight back and a ten-year passport. Any extra money will go to Kamo for incidentals (photo I.D., emergency passport, repairing his boat, etc.) Thank you for your generosity. If you would like to donate and I didn’t send you a letter, email me and I can give you the donor info.

I didn’t use crowd funder or whatever they call it because they take a big cut, I understand, and the amount of money Kamo needed is relatively modest. Rebecca picked Kamo up at the airport and did research on documents needed, etc.. He stayed with Laurel and Murray a week and was able to work a few days at the yacht club in Hamilton. He is staying with me a month, waiting for his photo i.d. and passport. Then he will fly back to Grenada, where Immigration promises to welcome him back with his valid passport. All donors will receive a summary of money raised and how it is spent.

It’s nice to be back home, surrounded by my family and the many shades of a green Southwestern Ontario summer.

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