New Year, New Experiences

Happy New Year’s everyone!

Annapolis, MD
Stuart, FL

We are in Stuart Florida now on a mooring ball at the Sunset Bay Marina on the St. Lucie River. We have been here since last Wednesday. We thought we would only be here for a couple of days, but it has turned out to be a beautiful place with lots of amenities so we are just using our time here to get some final things done before shoving off for The Bahamas. It’s just easier here. The marina has a shuttle bus that takes us to town three times a week for any type of shopping or supply runs we need, and by staying some extra days we are having our mail and some packages sent here. We have a few final things to prepare before we go. Phone calls to insurance companies, Verizon, etc., and figuring out what/how to get our taxes done while we are away. The tax-collector doesn’t care where you are as long as they get paid. We’re getting close though.

Daytona Beach, FL

So sometime in the next week or two, depending on weather, we will be casting off and heading east for the crystal clear waters of The Bahamas. It’s been a long time getting here. We’ve been on the boat for 5 ½ months already. We have crossed Lake Superior, Lake Huron and Lake Erie. We have done the entire Erie Canal from west to east and dropped from 600 feet above sea level to the tidal waters of the Hudson River. We sailed past New York City, around New Jersey, up the Delaware River and down the entire length of the Chesapeake Bay. We have seen Aircraft Carriers in Norfolk Virginia, Osprey Aircraft practicing taking off and landing while anchored in Camp LeJeune, NC, and all manner of amazing military ships and aircraft along the way. We have motored and sailed 1000 miles of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway from Norfolk, VA to Palm Beach Florida. Most of our route has been in the protected waters of the AICW, but we have made a couple of overnight offshore passages. While the weather hasn’t always cooperated, we have persevered through the cold and rain and sometimes the punishing heat and storms, we have made it this far. It seems everyone around us that are cruising in boats has had the same time dealing with the weather and everyone is a few weeks behind normal schedule. The mooring field here is completely full of boats and it seems like half or more of them are waiting for a weather window to go to The Bahamas.

Since we left, Marge has been writing a blog post every single day with a picture or two of what we’ve done that day. Not sure if everyone is aware of that, but they are on the blog website here. Just click on where it says Travel Logs and they are all there. This has been a monumental undertaking on her part having written almost 200 daily logs of our travels and all of the stuff we’ve seen along the way. If you haven’t seen that and are interested it really is the documentation of our trip so far and worth a look. I’m really happy she’s doing that and it takes a lot of perseverance on her part to keep that up every day. If you’ve seen it and enjoy her effort, please let her know that you’re seeing it and what you think. I’m not sure she’s getting much feedback or contact from back home.

Offshore between Charleston and Jacksonville

This first year on the boat for us is probably the longest we will spend on the boat at one time. But we’re about half way through our first year and still having the time of our lives. The boat is more crowded than we had hoped for. We brought too much stuff and feel like we are just carting it around until we can get some of it off the boat. But it’s all a learning exercise this first time around. We ran out of gas for our stove and oven a month ago and found out that the only place (apparently in the country) that we can get it filled is in Minneapolis. So we had to buy a camp stove to cook with for the next few months. It’s working out okay, but not what we had planned on. Next year will be different as we will be able to start out with full gas tanks that should last us for the 4-5 months in The Bahamas. And we know that we’ve missed many things along the way that we would still like to see. We learn as we move along and I’m sure every year will be different.

While we were in St. Augustine Florida we did all of the business needed to become Florida residents. We spent several days with our friends Rick and Alma and they helped us to get to some of the places we needed to go. We had a great time with them and will be back to St. Augustine whenever we can. So Florida is our state now. We have driver’s licenses and get to vote here now. It’s funny, we have our RV registered and licensed in Florida and that serves as our “Home”. Because we will spend so much time in the RV we got him a personalized license plate, “Verne 1”, and it will be easy for us to remember. So then because that’s our home in Florida, when they printed our driver’s licenses, our address says Verne 1. Apparently it’s a thing. Because so many people live in their motor homes, they just put the License Plate number on your driver’s license as your address. So we live in Verne 1! Okay, that’s cool, and not too far from the truth!

Being mobile is fun, but you have to be okay with always being in a new place. I find it very nice. If you want to move on you do. If you want to sit still with a book and watch the world go by, it’s really easy to do. It is being home all the time wherever you are and always getting to see new scenery. There is a feeling of “Growing Roots” whenever you are in one place for a week or two that tends to make you ready to move along, and that’s good too. What isn’t the greatest is that not too many of our connections actually keep in touch. It would be nice to actually hear from people once in a while to keep those connections.

With 2018 now behind us and a new year ahead, we hope that everyone has a chance to renew themselves, see positivity ahead and dig into whatever makes them happy. Time is all we got. And each other. Don’t lose sight of your goals, make time for yourself to be happy and be open to letting it happen. Have a happy new 2019 and keep in touch!

David and Marge Back
s/v Wandering Toes and Verne!

17 thoughts on “New Year, New Experiences”

  1. Just reread your blog again. Interesting about the blog on your gas situation. Will you be anywhere near there? Love reading it again. Marge, your travel logs are wonderful. Keep them up, they are such a great remembrance of your trip. I love them. I miss you both so much. Be safe. Love you.




  3. Tell Marge I love the photos and Travel Blog. I just did all of Dec. I read it now when I read the new Blog entries. Later, Buffy.


  4. A Happy, Healthy New Year to Both of You. Finally got around to reading your update. Glad you have survived and thrived so far on your adventure. I thought you were going to the Keyes first, but I guess not. It looks like Ye be Jammin in the Bahamas soon! Sail On. Buffy


  5. Load the CNG Fuel Finder “CNG NOW” App on your phone (their website mapping just hangs). The app shows there are 2 CNG refill stations in Pompano. I have CNG as well only I am not cruising (yet). If you are going to either station in Pompano you may want to call first and see if they have the adapter for a marine CNG tank.

    S/V Obsession, 94 Hunter 35.5


  6. Wow 😲 I just found your post in my junk section, why I don’t know. Anyway, lm so glad I did. Your living the dream and it seems to be going well 👍 I’ve been wondering where and what’s been going on with you guys. Things are interesting in the new warm states of Minnesota & Wisconsin. Not complaining but kind of. Anyway I’ll try to keep up with your post and Marge’s also. Pease & Love, Bob✌️


  7. Happy New Year! Great to hear from you! Thanks for mentioning Marge’s daily logs too, we will definitely check them out. We are excited to be heading for warmer waters ourselves, at least for a few days. We’re doing a one-week charter in the BVIs on January 12. Can’t wait!

    Safe travels!

    Jill & Dave Blom


  8. Happpppy New Year! Wow, sounds wonderful. So now you are FL residents, huh. When you get Vern down there we will come visit. Hopefully one of our Westgate reesorts will be nearby. All our love now and keep sailing. Mary & Steven


  9. Happy New Year guys! Wow, official Florida residents. . . puts the icing on the cake of retirement!! As always, love your posts. Take care and love you!


  10. HAPPY HAPPY NEW YEAR. Good blog with great pictures.. I get it, all is licensed in Florida. It seems strange for us back home. Really good blog. I hope the cooking stove will work out. That makes it a little hard. You are having such great adventures. What a wonderful time. Be safe, Love you mom


  11. Jerry & I were wondering, if you have “Verne 1” licensed in Florida & also listed as your Florida home address on your drivers licenses, does that mean that Verne is down there with you? Did we miss something?


  12. Happy New Year David & Marge! Nice to hear things are going well and you are enjoying yourselves. Freezing back home but we have turned the corner with spring in mind. Send me a couple pictures when reach the Bahamas for CC! Safe Travels!


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