Message in a Bottle

Found on Hawksbill Cay, The Bahamas

5/26/2019 – Found!

Washed up with literally TONS of trash on the windward side of the island was the above bottle with a rolled piece of paper inside. We hoped for a long lost love letter or even just a “here I am, where did this end up?”, message but the writing was gone.

I will post more detailed pictures of the bottle. If anyone recognizes this, let us know!

Enjoy the adventure! And safe travels,

J

Codax wine – Spain
Albariño bottle
1 of 2 legible script
2 of 2 legible script

From the Codax wine website:

“Martin Codax, the character who gave name to our Albariño was one of the most important medieval Galician troubadours. Parchment Vindel houses his ballads, the oldest in the Galician-Portuguese, extolling love and passion for the sea.”

Talk about a “passion for the sea”! It would be amazing if this actually was carried to The Bahamas from Spain. It almost makes me wish there had been a tiny camera attached.

Windward side of Hawksbill Cay
No “trash day” pickup

Life Changes…(June-October 2019)

We made the decision to wait out hurricane season in Brunswick, GA at the Brunswick Landing Marina. The marina is near a former submarine base in a backwater with lots of swampy land around. We felt it was a good choice to absorb the effects of a potental hurricane. I don’t think I’d want to live-aboard with the swamp bugs and humidity but it was a safe hurricane hole.

With the boat secured, we drive back to FL. We still have vehicles and airplanes to move. Our current “plan” (which tends to change frequently-sometimes hourly) is to come back to the boat in about 6-8 weeks and venture north towards the Annapolis Boat show in October, then either make the jump to the Med or head east then south to return to the Bahamas for a season.

We load two hangars of tools, parts and stuff that didn’t move onto the boat into my car and an enclosed trailer. Steve is driving our truck/camper combo and is towing an airplane. We made quite the sight as we caravanned towards AirVenture in Oshkosh, WI.

Truck/camper with Zenith on straight floats
Subaru w/3000 lb tow
My view for 3000 miles…

We have an uneventful trip to WI and rebuild the airplane. We also have a short window where Steve was able to fly commercial back to FL and bring our AirCam to AirVenture.

First time Zenith is on floats!
Steve flies volunteers from the Seaplane Base

During AirVenture, we decide we have to bring our life back on the west coast. A friend kindly offers a hangar for the AirCam near Chicago and we gratefully accept. Our little caravan continues west to CA and gets parked at home. We have enough time to put things away and into storage as appropriate, then we have planned travel to visit our daughter in Alaska where she is employed at her first “real” job after college.

Alaska was wonderful. Sarah is a CFI (certified flight instructor) training pilots to be seaplane pilots. She was able to take a few days to train me in preparation for taking my check ride to become a flight instructor also.

Sarah is an excellent instructor
Sarah also instructed her dad in flying the Pacer on floats

During our time in AK, Hurricane Dorian spun about 40 miles off the coast of GA before turning north. Fortunately, there was only 30-40 mph winds and no damage. The marina posted drone footage showing every dock and boat on their website. That was a relief.

Magenta circle is Brunswick, GA and ALWAYS

We also managed two additional trips during the fall. They had been planned around going back to the boat and the east coast but…life changes. The first trip was to Nashville, the second to NY, DC and Annapolis which ended in NC.

Sightseeing in Nashville
Trisha Yearwood-back on tour!
New York City
The wand chooses the wizard…at The Cauldron
You’re a witch!!!
30 year reunion, Annapolis, MD

We drifted down to NC. Sarah was meeting her cousin for a cross country drive and we would be headed back to CA because our boat shipping date had been delayed….again. All our plans have become very flexible. Our summer was very busy but also exciting as we adjusted back to the west coast.

Rose Island (9-14 May 2019)

(Note: I apologize-I thought this note had already been published!)

After a brief off-island trip, we returned to Palm Cay Marina. We highly recommend the marina for friendly staff, clean facilities and security. (Marina details elsewhere but $1.50 to wash/$1.00 to dry).

We had a wonderful visit from CA friends that allowed us to visit Rose Island and the two small cays to the north.

Jim with Steve

Leslie and Bryson

Sandy Cay was a little rough; Steve and Leslie stayed on the boat while Jim, Bryson and I took the paddle board onto the Cay. There were some interesting ruined buildings and one lone blue chair.

It was delightful to see the islands and boat through the eyes of a 6 yr old.

After watching numerous boats visit Green Cay, we moved across the channel and anchored. With Leslie and Bryson on the beach, Jim and I snorkeled and immediately saw the “why”-several large sea turtles were grazing on the grass bottom. We saw 7 turtles in our 20 minute drift along with beautiful reef fish. When we returned to the boat, Steve did a snorkel/drift at the western end of the Cay, and we were surprised when Bryson decided he wanted to do that too. It was a privilege to watch him try things for the first time!

Bryson snorkels in deep water

All too soon it was time to say goodbye. In addition to the gift of their friendship, they brought us the best boat gifts! I hope they know that we will use these daily!

Best. Gift. Ever!

Uncharted Territory

Steve and I are no longer employees.

In our 29 year history, he’s always had a job and I’ve sometimes had a job in addition to “mom”. We just finished our last two week commitment to Seaborne Airlines and soon he will join me on Always to begin the next chapter of our adventures.

Seaborne Twin Otter, Christainsted Harbor

It will be a unique experience. We have friends dropping aboard; after that, we have no time constraints other than those imposed by tide and weather. The boat is self-sufficient for water and power. Other than a diesel, LP and grocery top off, we can avoid marinas and crowds for quite awhile.

I’m looking forward to sleeping until I’m not tired, swimming in the clear ocean when I’m hot, hopefully fresh fish on occasion, time to read and write, and listening to Steve play guitar. And I’m excited to see what Steve does when he doesn’t have to do anything!

I’d be lying if I said “I’ll miss Seaborne”. I WILL miss the pilots and flying the Twin Otter, a great platform and perfect for the task. I met some very special people on both islands and look forward to coming back on Always for the promised sails. I will not miss the lack of management and support that allows the seaplane bases to deteriorate. I hope the promised improvements come soon for all that remain.

Going away party at Castaways-eventually I’ll miss the Pickle Backs!

Castaways’ #5 wings-can’t miss something I never had but don’t think these guys will either!

I’m glad we postponed our other plans for a year to experience St Croix and fly the Twin Otter. I appreciate being so welcomed and hope our paths cross again many times!

Safe travels,

J

Newest Alaska float plane instructor

Our daughter recently graduated from college (Yay! SO proud of her!) and was hired over the phone as a bartender at our local ski area. She said that after finishing college in 3 years, she wanted an easy job–and her first day was a 13 hour shift.

After 3 months, she decided she’d been cold long enough. The ski area would be closing soon; she gave 2 weeks notice and booked a flight east. Her plan was to stay with her cousin a week, then come crew during the Gulf Stream crossing. Unfortunately (for us), she was hired (over the phone again) to be a flight instructor in Talkeetna, AK. As our repairs dragged out and her new job start date got closer, the window of time available for her to crew closed.

Steve and Sarah at Sun n Fun 2019

After a brief visit to sunshine, she’s now back in the snow getting ready to take her CFI check ride. I guess she really does like the snow! I’m so proud of her!

On the Alaska Ferry

First day of work-poor Prius

New “office”