It has been a long 17 months since Island Spirit set sail, and now, after 40 days of rebuild and system prep and after flying 14,000+ miles to attend two weddings coast to coast, we departed Puerto Del Ray Marina on Dec 20th, 2021 for points EAST. Remember, we spent 15+ days putting the boat away in July 2020 and then life happened along with covid and we could not get back until Nov 12, 2021! One of the worst things you can do to a yacht is to park it and not use it, especially in the hot humid salt air. Everything corrodes and stops working. That is why it took us 40 days to get off the dock, but first, let me back up…..
Weddings, Yes, We flew out to TWO!
Both of these “Family” weddings were planned last year, but covid delayed them. Luckily for us, they were rescheduled only 6 days apart but collided with us getting back to the boat and to set sail after our own lockdown. We decided to stay on our launch schedule (Nov 17) and begin to prep the boat to be ready after the weddings. One was in Tampa, FL and one in Temecula, CA, oh yes, and we are in Puerto Rico! So with 5 bookings on American Airlines bought while flights were still covid-cheap, we flew 14,000 miles to and from to attend these wonderful life events.
Friends along the Way
Since we were back in the USA why not swing in and see friends as well? Great friends, Sally and Conrad hosted us for days as we ran back and forth to wedding #1 in Tampa. Here are some fun selfies taken with our boat buddies…
Miami to San Diego, California
Departing Punta Gorda, west coast of Florida, we drove back to MIA to board our flight to California where we joined family for wedding #2. We flew SJU to MIA then MIA to DFW to SAN, then SAN to MIA then MIA to SJU! Thank you, American Airlines, you are the best!
My Student Gabi Connects in SoCal
Social Media is amazing at connecting friends and in this case, it really hit a home run. My Rotary International Foreign Exchange student from Hungary noticed we were heading west to California. He messaged me and worked out a lunch meeting midway between Hollywood and San Diego in Laguna Beach. What a JOY this was, as Gabi was always a super person and so well-liked when he was my high school student. Here, 20 years later, we connected, shared a drink or two and caught up on everything. Gabi has traveled the world working on Cruise Ships and he has lived in many countries and now he has settled in Hollywood working as a leader in Information Technology. He runs a team with many members and works remotely online. What a great success story he is. Thank you, Gabi Gaspar, for taking time to connect and visit. What a joy!
Finally Back to the Boat
After 13 days of travel from Puerto Rico, we finally made it back safely to the boat. Our wedding clothes were $hipped home via UPS, thanks to Tammy. We traveled back to the boat with our normal overhead bags. We arrived after 27 hours of travel from California, exhausted, but very happy to finally be on the path to sailing. Island Spirit has been waiting to be set free…
The Outboard Saga continues
It was now 4 weeks since we sent our outboard out to be fixed for a new impeller and a busted impeller housing bolt. After $350 in parts, we were given the outboard back in parts and needed to find another mechanic who can fix this lower unit. Without a running outboard, we have no way to go to shore from our anchored boat. We do not want to dock as docking a yacht costs $100-$200 per day, so we always anchor out….unless we are flying to weddings and then we dock the boat to leave it 🙂
The departure date is NOW
Our dockage time expired Dec 17th, but we were able to extend this to Dec 20th. With our outboard motor broken, we called every shop in Puerto Rico for a used one or a new one and none exist. So, we called every shop in the USVI and none exist and no one would take our repair as they are booked thru all of January. Then we found out that in Sint Maarten the chandleries on the Dutch side had 13+ Yamaha 15hp outboards in stock. So, the plan was set to blast to SXM asap to get a new motor
On Dec 20th, we left the docks for the start of our 20th season on ISLAND SPIRIT! HERE WE GO….
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