We are very busy down here at Palacios, Texas. Lots of work to be done on the boat. I've been varnishing the wood and disassembling/cleaning the winches and greasing them. Pam's making new awnings, bimini, seat cushions, and covers for things. We got a new outboard motor for the dingy the other day. I had bought a really cheap used dingy from a guy and finally tried it out a couple of days ago with the new motor (it was just a "starter" dingy). When I put it in the water, it was leaking... Pam wouldn't get in it! I was still able to drive around, the motor worked really well, but the dingy had a bunch of water on the floor. We pulled the dingy up on the dock and as we were doing it, we saw that a large section of the floor wasn't even attached! The guy gave me my money back, so now I'm looking at new dingies - they're not cheap...
Pam and I are pretty competent sailors now. We haven't done any anchoring yet, so that's our next thing to try. We can go out in the bay and anchor overnight. Another reason we need a dingy, so we can see what real cruising is like and dingy to shore - leaving the boat at anchor.
Hurricane season has started. People down here really respect hurricanes. We had been thinking we could do short coastal hops towards Florida during hurricane season. It would be fine to do it along the Texas, Mississippi and Alabama coasts, but its not safe to try to do it along the Louisiana coast. Its total wilderness and swampland with very long distances between safe ports. If a hurricane came up, the other problem is that if we did get to a safe port to tie up the boat, there would be a good possibility that we wouldn't be able to find a ride to get away from the coast to safety. So this summer we will probably only go as far as the Texas/Louisiana border and wait for the end of hurricane season to go past Louisiana and on to Florida.