Decisions, decisions

We hope everyone out there had a sweet Thanksgiving! We sure did. Beautiful Florida sunshine, friends, a real house to stay in, yummy food…..

We drove across the state of Florida in about the time it would have taken us to sail 15 miles. Incredible how fast cars go! We got a whirlwind tour of St. Petersburg from our friend Mimi. We checked out a few different areas where we might stay for awhile to get jobs. St. Petersburg is definitely a city, and while that means more opportunities than we would find in a smaller town like St. Augustine, it also means that things are more spread out and navigating around all that without a car could be a challenge.

We also looked at the options for staying either on anchor, on a mooring, or in a marina as liveaboards. This presents some challenges as well, which we will discuss more in a future post. St. Augustine Municipal Marina is fabulous in that it is very conveniently located right downtown and allows people to live on their boats. (not all marinas allow that, we are discovering). We want to continue to live on our boat in order to save as much money as we can for traveling. There is some debate going on in Florida and other places about restricting people’s rights to anchor and also to live aboard their boats. This is primarily in response to the problem of “derelict” or abandoned boats, as well as what could be called the “trailer trash” population of the boating world….people who use their boats as a means of cheap housing, but who do not maintain their boats in good or even navigable condition, causing the boat to be an eyesore to everyone else, not to mention the issue of where they are disposing of their waste. We realize that we fall into a strange gray area between active cruisers and “liveaboards”. It will be interesting to see how this pans out for us.

While we were in St. Petersburg we got to see our cruising friend Wes, who we sailed with last year to the Dry Tortugas. After spending the summer working in Panama City, he is getting ready to go off sailing again with his young son Aryton, (aka the Fisher King) who is a fishing fanatic and in heaven getting to live on a boat with his dad. They fish every day…he is living the classic little boy’s dream life! Wes is writing about their experiences on their blog at http://svgeminidreams.blogspot.com/. Many people have asked us about people who manage to cruise with children and he is a great example of someone who is doing it well.

We got back to St. Augustine yesterday and are reviewing our list of pros and cons of each place. St. Petersburg has a longer list of pros, however it doesn’t even come close to having the charm of St. Augustine. We are so enamored with this place! But as much as we are in love with St. Augustine, can we find decent enough paying jobs here? We are putting in some applications and we’ll see what happens….stay tuned for our decision!!

Today we moved off the mooring ball we were on to save money and we anchored right in front of the Castillo de San Marcos, the old Spanish fort that is prominent on the St. Augustine waterfront. This picture wasn’t actually taken by me of our boat, but imagine that one of the sailboats you see here is Way Happy — that is pretty much where we are right now.

Way Happy lookalike anchored in front of the fort

Well, on weekends they have demonstrations at the fort of artillery fire with the old cannons, with park staff all dressed up in period costumes. Shortly after we anchored and were getting settled these cannons started going off RIGHT next to us and about startled us to death!!! If they were really shooting cannon balls our boat would be sunk right now as they were aiming the cannons right at us!

I am happy to report that the amazing Cap’t K has done it again. He has defeated all odds and resurrected our dinghy motor from the dead. With a very simple patch job using J-Weld epoxy! We were told by the mechanic that the head of the engine needed to be replaced, as some corrosion had worn a hole through it and was causing it to not run. But Cap’t K tried patching the hole up as a last ditch effort to get it working again, and now it runs as good as ever! Good thing, too, now that we are anchored a little farther out from where we were in the mooring field!

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