Miles away from Fort Pearce!

Phil & Nikki Hoskins
Fri 3 Jun 2016 12:03
In Titusville (at least ‘Ajaya’ is!) 28:37.47N, 080:48.32W
Oh! dear – we’ve just checked the last blog which gives Fort Pearce as our current location. As nice and friendly as the place is we wouldn’t wish to spend that long in the Harbour Town Marina where we checked back in to the USA in April. So, some catching up to do, with a slap on each other’s wrists for being so slovenly and an admission that we are now back in the UK having put the boat to bed in Titusville some weeks back. How time flies.
De-commissioning was the usual farce of getting in each other’s way. It’s amazing how various important tasks tend to overlap in the same part of the boat. ‘Skip’ trying to change engine oil, clean bilges and investigate non working items of gear whilst the ‘Admiral’ tries to gain access to lockers and drawers that need to be emptied, cleaned and re-packed. We both have long lists of chores to accomplish and like many others ‘Skip’ tends to flit from one job to another leaving a trail of tools, rags and oily patches in areas already cleaned. Yes, harmony at such times becomes hard to maintain but with good friends on hand to chew the fat with when the heat of the day subsides we somehow manage to avoid all-out war in the de-commissioning process. Perhaps each of us needs to have somewhere on our respective lists ‘Hug and kiss to be applied three times daily – no oily hands!’.
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What on earth! This amazing local craft arrived for a lift and scrub. 75+ feet long and home built on a catamaran houseboat hull it features access to water from inside for his lady who can’t be out in direct sunlight. It weighs much much less than AJAYA!
Westland Marina was becoming busier by the day mainly with craft returning from their winter cruises. Some needing a quick blast-off before heading northwards towards the cruising grounds of the Chesapeake or Maine but most were arriving for lift out and storage for the hurricane season. For us, we prefer to spend as much time in-water before lifting as a lot of the process is much easier to achieve when water and electricity are close by on the dock. Many gallons of water are used flushing out the engines and tanks and washing anything that may have been exposed to salt water which is just about everything really! On solid ground all that water accumulates under the boat making a real mess. Perhaps more importantly it saves a lot of ladder climbing which has it’s own issues.
As the yard fills up space becomes precious especially as it seems to have become more popular in recent years. A brief tour of the place reveals quite a few boats that have been abandoned by owners that have either passed on or simply lost interest and stopped paying their dues. In Florida unless the yard are in possession of the correct documents there is no possibility of recovering any storage costs by finding new owners. The only solution is to chop the boat up which at least frees up space to accommodate a new customer. This time round there was one such instance where one week there is a recognisable yacht and the next it’s all in a skip off to the landfill site.
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Half a yacht remaining with its encapsulated lead keel which will be the last part of the boat to go. Not an item to allow to fall on your toes!
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Stitch in time – in fact many stitches being unpicked ready for new UV strip to be fitted.      Flushing the o/b with fresh water always draws Manatees to the dock for a drink
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OK.. lastly eject the toad that had somehow crept onboard unseen .................                                                        .....and that’s it for another season.
Our wonderful friends in Orlando (including the facility to lovingly hug a big hairy Old English Sheepdog) once again provided a haven to ease any lingering stresses of the de-com process before delivering us to Orlando airport for the flight to Gatwick. Wet and windy on take-off, wet and windy on landing but a very smooth flight in-between.
Walking the Dog – thanks so much you three!!!
A week later we acquired a mode of transport, re-commissioned and stocked the ‘van’ with food and made contact with family. The tomato plants are in along with a few beans, a green pepper vine and a pot of herbs! Our UK summer holidays have now started in earnest. All we need now is some sun and a little warmth to convince us we haven’t arrived back home too early.