Days 208 - 224
Okay, so it has been a little more than a week (yea more than two weeks) since I last updated the blog. What a busy but awesome two weeks it has been. It is a very different feeling not moving every couple of days. But it seems like we have run just as much.
We went back to NJ for 5 days for Christmas. On one hand it was not long enough, but at the same time it was a long time to be away from the boat. We started our preparations for our trip back by getting "boosted". With the spike in covid, and our upcoming flight we thought it was a good idea. Walgreens made it very easy to get that done. As we watched flights get cancelled we were concerned Frontier would cancel our flight. We did make it back without any delays or issues. We had a wonderful time seeing friends and family. We wish we could have seen all of our friends and family, but there was not enough time. Our return flight did not go as smooth, but it did work out in the end. We were only delayed by about 45 minutes. Mark & Karen (Kay Dee) were nice enough to pick us up at the airport making a nice ending to a long day.
So far Clearwater has been a good place to get work done on the boat. We were able to get some repairs and modifications done to the helm isinglass. We took the front panel to Custom Canvas in Clearwater and they replaced the main section of isinglass and resew two zippers and add a zipout window. I was hoping they would be able to complete the work before we left in two weeks. They assured me it would not be a problem. Two days later the work was done, wow quick, quality and fairly priced work. We are not use to that in the boating world!
We also had Tim Hudson, come to replace the cutlass bearings for us. Tim spent six hours trying to remove the old bearings but they would not come out. (Tim was doing this using scuba gear, the cutlass bearings are under the boat.) Luckily Tim was able to use his connections and find us a boat yard that will haul the boat out of the water, and replace the bearings while we wait. The boat yard is back in Tarpon Springs, but it is well worth going back to get this done.
Not all of our time in Clearwater has been spent working on the boat. We have explored Clearwater, Dunedin, Largo and Clearwater Beach. Having the electric bikes has been wonderful. The bike ride to Largo was over 20 miles, and I do not think we would have tried that with regular bikes. Even with the electric bikes we have been pedaling more and relying on the motor less. The first time we rode that far the batteries were almost dead when we finished, this time the still had 70% charge left.
We also had more friends from home visit, Nick & Maria from the yacht club were vacation nearby and joined us for docktails and dinner, it is great to see friends from home.
One of the highlights so far in Clearwater was visiting the Clearwater Aquarium. Clearwater Aquarium was the home of Winter the dolphin who starred in the movies Dolphin Tale and Dolphin Tale 2.