26:08.013N 080:01.258W Getting ready to go
We have been in Ft Lauderdale for the last week -
working very hard at getting the last few things done. This included quite a bit
of shopping and some rather expensive repairs. I have been trying to stock
up on all the items that we know will be hard to find or will be very expensive/
poor quality in Central America. This included lots of spices, condiments,
toiletries and paperware. We cannot buy too much meat as we are not sure
of the regulations into Cuba - and our freezer is not that big.
On the maintenance side, we had to have the 'brain' on
the AIS replaced as it was not functioning properly - we are still not 100% sure
that we wont have problems, but cannot test it until we head out to sea again.
It should work, its just the range that may be a problem, and the
irritating alarm. While that 'repair' went relatively smoothly, the same
can't be said for the watermaker. Once we finally got hold of the agent, and got
him on board, it was already late in the week. In summary.....it took many
frustrating hours and a huge amount of money to ensure that it is running
perfectly. Unfortunately its one of those things you can't do without.
Mike has also been checking and buying spares or all shapes and descriptions -
every cubby-hole seems to have some kind of filters in it! Mike is now
exhausted but very ready to go.
On the social front, we have managed to see our friends
from Sea Wolff & Shangri-la again - and then today Amarula arrived, docking
right in front of us. We have not seen Dave & Dawn for ages and it was good
to have a quick catch-up on their journey through South & Central
America. Matt, the dockmaster on the New River is getting quite used to all the
South Africans visiting.
Tomorrow morning we will head south to the Keys - we
hope to make Marathon by sunset and will then sail further south to Key West on
Tuesday. We have to check-out of customs and will then cross over to Cuba. The
distance is not very far, but we have to cross the very busy and fast flowing
Gulf Stream again. We are really looking forward to this