Crew Change and New Adventures

April 30, 2013
Sojourner heads off to new adventures!

Sojourner heads off to new adventures!

It is with very mixed emotions that we announce a change in crew for Sojourner.   She now belongs to Barry and Barbara and will be cruising out of Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. We wish them many great times on this very special vessel!

For five years, almost to the day, Sojourner was the central focus of our lives, and we had the adventure of a lifetime aboard her!!  As two academics who had never owned a boat before, we had not a clue about what awaited us on that summer day in 2008 when we boarded her for our first cruise.  We certainly had no idea of the challenges we would face, how much we would learn, or how much fun we would have on what quickly became a life-altering, grand adventure!  Our lives have been immeasurably enriched by our time on Sojourner, and we will remember always the incredible sights and sounds we encountered, and we will treasure always the many, special people whose lives touched ours along the way.

In this last posting, we now check off “living on a boat, long range cruising, and the Great Loop” and turn our attention to the many other items still on our Bucket List!

We hope you have enjoyed “Sojourner’s Sea Stories!!  Thanks cruising along with Sojourner and us on our great adventure!!


Wintering in the Keys II

April 22, 2013
Sailing ship of yore cruising Hawk Channel

Sailing ship of yore cruising on Hawk Channel

After spending the winter holidays in Port St. Lucie with Cousin Evie and then stopping in Ft. Lauderdale for Trawlerfest, we didn’t actually get to the Keys until early February.  When we finally headed there, we had great weather and followed the same route as last year (see: Nov. 2011 and 12/16/11) through Miami, across Biscayne Bay and then down the Hawk Channel the length of the Keys with just short stops at Key Largo and Duck Key.

One of MANY Miami bridges

One of MANY Miami bridges

The Biscayne channel

The Biscayne Channel on the chart plotter

Stilt house on Key Biscayne

Stilt house on Key Biscayne

The real, original African Queen cruising out of Key Largo

The real, original African Queen cruising out of Key Largo

Incredible water in the Keys

Incredible water in the Keys

Tho’ much shorter, Sojourner’s second winter in the Keys was as interesting and enjoyable as the first (see: Key West Moment 12/20/11 and Key West or Key Weird? 1/22/12).  This year, we spent virtually the entire time in Key West, one of our very most favorite places among all we have experienced on this grand adventure.  We called Conch Harbor “home”, so we were still in the historic seaport and right next door to the city marina where we  docked last year.  This time, however, “the little white boat” snuggled in on the Yacht Dock, amongst the BIG Girls:  Lady Grey at about 100 ft., a massive Nordhavn, and a rather large Trumpy served as very protective neighbors.

The "little white boat" on the Yacht Dock

The “little white boat” on the Yacht Dock

Tortuga IV, a bright chartreuse, commercial catamaran chartered for ½-day fishing trips also docked nearby.  The cleaning of her tourists’ twice-daily hauls of fish ensured we had plenty of pelicans and a rather amazing number of 5-7 ft. tarpon in the neighborhood!!  Most impressive, however, was the resident manatee who seemed to be particularly fond of Sojourner’s hull and Lady Grey’s fresh water hose!!  And then, there was the rather large Portuguese Man-of-War jelly fish that appeared dockside one day and without invitation, stayed for several!!

Sojourner's favorite tarpon

Sojourner’s favorite tarpon

The neighborhood manatee comes visiting

The neighborhood manatee comes visiting

Pelicans and tarpon fight for fish scraps

Pelicans and tarpon fight for fish scraps

Not good for the manatee!!  but cute!

Not good for the manatee!! but cute!

Our visiting Portuguese Man of War...

Our visiting Portuguese Man of War…

 While Sojourner relaxed at the Yacht Dock, we explored Old Town in much more depth than last year.  In addition to revisiting places we had discovered before, we ventured regularly into the charming neighborhoods filled with KW cottages interspersed with rather large Victorian homes, both with amazingly intricate woodworking and brightly painted porch ceilings. We enjoyed the many, many gardens in full-bloom and discovered several fine restaurants and intriguing eateries tucked in the residential area away from the more tourist-oriented seaport.  Sharing such discoveries with friends, both land-based and cruising ones, made our time in KW all the more special!

Ubiquitous KW rooster and friend

Ubiquitous KW rooster and friend

KW pink walls...

Bright KW pink walls…

Introducing our good friends:  Slade and Susan of Sojourner NY and ...

Introducing our good friends: Slade and Susan on “Sojourner NY” and …

Orchids in the front garden

Orchids in the front yard

A musician's home...???

A musician’s home…???

Orchids everywhere!

Orchids everywhere!

A lily theme throughout...

A lily theme throughout…

Kim and John from Louisville

Kim and John from Louisville

Blue ceilings...

and sky blue ceilings…

Cathryn and Bob from Next to Me

Cathryn and Bob on “Next to Me”

Delightful art deco AND wonderful fresh seafood!

Delightful art deco AND wonderful fresh seafood!

Pineapples and parrots, anyone?

Pineapples and parrots, anyone?

David of the Shirley Ruth and new KW friend

David of “Shirley Ruth” and new KW friend

Carolyn with Anita, Linda and Shirley visiting the Shirley Ruth

Carolyn with Anita, Linda and Shirley visiting from the “Shirley Ruth”

Yum-m-m-m!!

Yum-m-m-m!!

More orchids

More orchids

Hardworking Crabber provided incredible stone crab claw delicacies

Hardworking Crabber provided incredible stone crab claw delicacies

As sad as it was, we eventually had to leave KW.   We headed back up the Hawk Channel, again stopping at Duck Key.  Facing a dramatic change in the weather, we bypassed Key Largo and ran directly to Dinner Key in Coconut Grove on the far side of Biscayne Bay.  The next couple of days brought strong winds, but by then we were again on the Intracoastal Waterway traveling slowly through the dozens of bridges and even more “no wake/manatee” zones of the vast, densely populated metropolis extending from Biscayne Bay north from the Port of Miami and Miami Beach through  Dania Beach, Port Everglades, Ft. Lauderdale, Delray Beach, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach, etc., etc. to Lake Worth.  From Old Port Cove in North Palm Beach, another of our special marinas, we had but a short day’s journey through Hobe and Jupiter Sounds to Stuart and then on to River Forest Yacht Center on the St. Lucie River where Sojourner had a reservation for indoor, climate-controlled, storage through the upcoming hurricane season.

Unbelievable cruising weather!

Hard to believe bad weather coming!!

Metropolitan ICW

Metropolitan ICW

Port of Miami "Flight" Tower

Port of Miami “Flight” Tower

Ft. Lauderdale beach

Ft. Lauderdale beach

Up out of the water!

Up out of the water!

Into the hurricane-proof shelter

Into the hurricane-proof shelter

Snuggling down for long summer's night rest.

Snuggling down for long summer night’s rest.