Sunday, 29 May 2016

Bye Bye Aguatherapy, Hello Pearl

Bye Bye Agua Therapy, hello Pearl

Well as they say "all good things come to an end" sometimes.
However, let the next chapter begin. This is what we have been doing and although its been a while since the last blog we thought we would stay off the radar for a little while to see how things turned out.

As of mid May Agua Therapy went to her new owners, we hope that they have as much fun and use her as we did.

At anchor somewhere in the Caribbean. 
We had already started our search for the next boat, in fact we had been looking at others for a few months but not seriously until the deal was closed.

The next adventure will be completely different, a boat without those big white flappy things to push us along. Some say we are moving to the "dark side", we don't see it like that, in fact the opposite.

While we looked at boats the search confirmed all the "boxes to be ticked" so we could narrow the search. The hunt took us all over Florida, over to Tennessee, up to Virginia and Maryland, so we went through several US states.
As we had booked a rental property in Naples Florida, we were on the way back there but passing by Jacksonville on the east coast of Florida and there was just one boat to see, we had discounted it as it looked as if the galley was down below which is what we didn't want but we went to see her anyway.
Thats when we saw Pearl, what a very unexpected surprise!
There was someone onboard doing a service on the generator which is always a good sign to see a boat being well maintained.  In fact its pretty obvious by the look at everything in more detail that she has been well taken care of.

As we have had a power boat before, the requirements, apart from 2 engines are very different, the old one did 38 knots and used way too much fuel, the next one we need it to sip fuel.

Reasoning: So what's it all about then I can hear you asking, well comfort and being able to live more above decks. Not having to wait for the wind in the right direction but that will still be a consideration, we want little wind if none. As much as we like to travel we found that Agua Therapy couldn't go to the places we had in mind for the future, for example the "Man Friday Islands"(deserted, uninhabited places) in the Bahamas where the water is, lets say, very "skinny".
The ICW which is the inland waterway and the route named the Great Loop is way to shallow and there are lots of bridges too low for a boat with a big 60ft plus stick with bits on top. So the only way is to explore with a shallow draft boat without a mast.
I will explain the Great Loop in another post, its not something we intend to rush and there is so much planning to do anyway.

We consider ourselves extremely lucky to have found another boat in such a short time as we know its taken others years to find theirs and that was out of the question trying to live in the US without a home.

So the next step is an Ocean Alexander 48 Classic, equipped with 2 Yanmar 240hp engines. We close the deal in 2 weeks ( June 10th 2016) then we are ready to move onboard.

Pearl is a trawler style but with a semi displacement hull, the top speed of 10 knots, its not that we need the speed and we won't be travelling at that rate. What's the point we want to see things not whizz past.
Not only have we found what we consider the boat for us but, she is pretty much turnkey, just add the toothbrush so to speak.

Here she is, not my picture but she will have many many more taken of her.

"Pearl" yes we like the name so we are keeping it.
Before any comments, yes, she has a mast but it lowers so we can go through those low bridges, having a draft of 4ft means chilling in the Bahamas and the Florida Keys.

So I won't go on until we are back on the water, more photos on the next blog.
We are keeping the domain aguatherapy so e-mails are as usual.

Glenys and Don.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Here are the links to our land trip, still don't fancy being "dirt dwellers" yet

and this one is the latest

Sorry you will have to cut and paste into the browser to see these blogs

from Down under

Missing being on the water

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Time to leave the US

Hi all,
this is just to say we have to comply with our visa conditions for the United States so, its bye bye from Agua Therapy for now.
However many of you have asked what we will be doing, if you are interested you can follow our travels.
So here is the link

So sorry but as the page has forward slashes this system won't let me use a permalink so you will have to copy and paste it in your browser.

Glenys and Don

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Fort Lauderdale part 2

Fort Lauderdale part 2

Here are a few pics of us when we hauled out in May.

The old paler blue bottom just after washing, it wasn't too bad, mind you we cleaned underneath as often as we could along the way.
The prop in bits being cleaned up
New anodes
Prop back together and greased
All done, shiny sides too
Don is just doing the underside of the keel
The next scary bit, always a tense moment
On the dock at Cooley's Landing
While Don worked on the outside I was busy giving the inside a bit of a facelift.

I returned to collect Don and this is his new "Blue Man" look, he must have been like that all day and no one said a word
Along the riverfront are a couple of "Irish bars" and a few nice places to stop and eat.We have walked into Las Olas a couple of times which is not far from the place that we stayed in 2013, its full of designer shops, exclusive boutiques, art galleries, very posh restaurants and the whole area is lined with Bentley's Ferrari's Maserati's, Porche just to mention a few. Oh and the "posh" folks to go with them.

We have rented a car for most of our time here as there always seems to be things that we need that are miles away, not just for "boat bits" but to eat out, visit friends and go to the cinema.

Along the riverfront are a couple of buildings which are pretty old, now the museum so we went one afternoon. Not that anything here is very old but it did give us an in-site to local history. I won't bore you with the details but if you like you can read about more yourself. 
The website isn't too good but does explain a little.

Of course we constantly check the weather for any signs of hurricanes after all we are in "the zone" the area did have one waring which turned into nothing really but we had "superyachts" come past us for at least a week to seek shelter further inland and gain when they returned to where ever they had come from. We do get thrown about when they come past going way too fast but not as much as the "nutters" every weekend using the free slipway'e next to us. This is supposed to be a "no wake" area to protect the manatees but folks ignore it.

Jail with a nice view, its next to the city dock where we were 

One of the locals along the river
Since being here we took a 4 day trip "down" to the Florida Keys for a break.
We did like the place but its way too "touristy" for us, we thought one day we may visit on the boat if we could find somewhere shallow enough but now we won't bother. The highlight was to see our first Manatee, not that we could see much of it but we did see one. Typical ! the camera was in the car.

We did see the African Queen the boat they used in the film, its one of Dons favourite films

This cheeky fella watched us eat dinner
Chowder, yummy
Don on our swinging seat for dinner
A lunch stop, they did excellent crab chowder
Oh well !
View from our room
We did see some very nice sunsets

One of the Sunday concerts
A golden breasted woodpecker, it lives near the new dock
This is where we are at Cooley's
When we took a trip along the river to find a dock this is what we found
Bet thats fast, ugly but fast
At the moment we are getting ready to leave, not too far, just a mile or so along the river to a non live aboard dock so its cheaper while we are away. Off we go mid October to comply with the US rules that we must leave after 6 months. Obviously to visit family and friends in the UK, check on the house in Spain and then!
The next big trip, Australia for just over 3 months, we will stay with my favourite sister in law Lisbet, Dons sister, she lives in Perth. All being well in the new year (flip where is the time going) want to go to Sydney and a few other places but have nothing planned yet. We do hope to see some of our cruising buddies we have met along the way, we will see.

Back here in mid March 2016.

I'm sure there's lots I have forgotten but you can always ask.

Glenys and Don
Agua Therapy

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Fort Lauderdale part one

Fort Lauderdale - yet again!
As most of you know this is our second visit here, the first time in 2013 when it was only going to be a stop off before heading north, we stayed over 7 months, what?

So at the end of May we came in and stopped at the City dock for a few days then arranged a lift out at Playboy marine so that the anti foul, waxing, general "bottom jobs" could be done. That meant staying off the boat in a hotel which was welcome as our bed didn't move, great.

When we first made landfall in the town it was only a short walk to the local supermarket "Publix" reminding us that you can buy pretty much anything here. It was so difficult to not fill the trolley to the brim and only buy the essentials. Having said that I couldn't resist walking down all the isles where the freezer cabinets light up as you walk by them, childish I know but I found it funny trying not to giggle as I did so.

So the task began, Don sanded down the hull, stripped the prop, replaced the bumpers, all the anodes, had the cutlass bearing pulled off and replaced then repainted after numerous coats of primer. I'm not mentioning all the details but as you cruisers out there know its not so simple as that. Don worked very hard and did a splendid job. I will post pics on part two of this blog.

After almost 2 weeks we "splashed" then went back to the city dock for a few days then moved along the river inland to Cooley's landing.

Cooley's has better facilities than the city dock, WiFi, a great laundry, showers and lots of ducks. No I didn't mean to say docks I did say ducks, lots of families which seem to continually breed.
We like ducks so please forgive all the pics, by the way they are qackless  but the babies sort of squeak and the adults make a gentle snorting noise.

Love this sign, pity its not near us where the ducks are 

Following mum and dad, Can I hear you saying arrrrrrrr  ?

I'm afraid this poor thing didn't survive
Guard duck
We are close to 7th avenue bridge which after a time you get used to the bells ringing when it opens and closes on demand for boats that can't get underneath, in fact as I write this its bells are ringing now and has done several times since I started writing. The bells are not so noisy at night maybe they turn them off but the lights flash a lot.

Its a lovely 15 or 20 minute walk to the supermarket depending on which way you go so I tend to walk the long pretty way along the river going and return the quicker way with the food as its pretty warm here.

From here its a nice walk along the river front, free water taxi's operate but don't go very far, we did a short return one day as the weather looked grim. On the 1st Sunday of the month there is an free open air music concert in a couple of places and crowds take their own seats, sunshades, food, dogs and just about the kitchen sink. There are food stalls too for those that don't bring their own. Its a nice friendly atmosphere with lots of folks dancing.

We have no idea what this is all about but its close to the city dock and next to the court house
This is a bank named the 5th and third, weird name. 
Lots of high rise here
The Wells Fargo bank, its our bank, yes they use a coach and horses logo.
Bank of America
Its a long way up or down depending on how you think
yet another high rise, love the reflexions
Taking tourists along the river, they have a running commentary as they go along, we hear the same story every day as they pas us, sometimes they wave and cheer at us. 
Not sure about this and its meaning but its next to the court and jail 
I quite like this
Maybe waiting for a bus? 
These guys are watching you!

A green Heron
I'm sure I have missed things out but I can add bits in the next blog.

Glenys and Don
Agua Therapy