That’s right! We have decided to go bigger! We are enjoying the cruising life so much that we have ordered a new Kadey Krogen 48AE. Color us crazy I guess! It is amazing what additional space another four feet in length and another foot in width offers. Of course, all of the new bells and whistles of a new boat is pretty nice too! Pauline is excited to get a full size, frost-free, refrigerator/freezer (with ice maker), a small commercial grade Blue Star range/oven, a convection oven/microwave, central vac AND a dishwasher! Mark is excited to get all new electronics to play with. There will be granite counter tops, tile backslashes, wine cooler and solid cherry wood throughout. The boat will have a larger guest room/office and TWO heads with enclosed shower stalls (aka, bathrooms). So having the occasional guest or two on board will be easier. The fly bridge and upper boat deck offers much more usable space than we currently have. The side decks are wider and no ladder to climb – a nice wide set of built in steps instead.

The boat is being built in Taiwan. Here is a photo of our hull just out of the mold. We’ll update you with photos as we get them. We will take delivery of her next January in Stuart, FL (maybe even sooner if we’re lucky! Wouldn’t that be a great Christmas gift?).
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Hull No. 57

Hull No. 57

So, our wonderful Kadey Krogen 44 is officially on the market. We had planned to cruise to the Abacos in the Bahamas to meet Heather and our granddaughters. But have decided instead to move the boat over to Stuart, FL to where Kadey Krogen is located. They are the listing agent., We will fly to the Abacos instead. We will be sure to take our new boat over to the Bahamas at some point. Who wants to meet us down there some day??? After we return from our vacation in the Abacos, in May, unless the boat has been sold, we will be taking the boat up to the Kadey Krogen office in Annapolis, MD. Annapolis is out of the hurricane belt, which makes our insurance company happy and has a very active boat selling market during the summer. Hopefully she will not be on the market long. She is in excellent condition and shows very well. We certainly don’t want to be the owners of two boats! So if you know of anyone who is in the market for a great Kadey Krogen 44, let us know! Mark has been busily working on minor projects to get the boat ready. The boat has just been completely detailed and looks brand new.

We were in Fort Myers since November 30 and have thoroughly enjoyed it. The downtown area, which is an award winning restoration area, is a three block walk away and offers many restaurants and shops. Our marina, Legacy Harbour, has been great. The staff, the other boaters, the sunsets, the activities – fabulous! We have enjoyed the spontaneous “docktail” parties, Thursday potlucks and Monday movie nights with fellow boaters. There is a weekly Farmers Market and nearly every weekend there is some kind of festival going on.

We have so enjoyed spending time with our good friends Kirby and Susan, formerly from Wisconsin. We have had some of Mark’s US Bank co-workers visit, as well as Colorado friends, the Faucett’s and Stair’s. (Did I remember to take any pictures? NO!!) I have also reconnected with Polly Crane, a high school classmate. It has been such a pleasure to get to know her and her husband, Steve! We even ran into someone Mark knew from his Cedarburg, WI days while we were enjoying the sunset view in a bar on top of a building. Our friend and cat sitter extraordinaire, Andy, has been back and forth between frozen Wisconsin and here. He recently returned south to take care of Ming and Pema while we vacation in the Abacos, Bahamas. He has no plan to go back Wisconsin any time soon – at least until it warms up.

Besties Kirby and Susan at the Mediterra Beach Club

Besties Kirby and Susan at the Mediterra Beach Club

St. Patty's Day in downtown Fort Meyers

St. Patty’s Day in downtown Fort Meyers

Speaking of Pema, she took her first swim recently! Both Mark and I were inside the boat doing things. We thought both cats were outside somewhere on the boat, but did not know that Pema decided to walk next door and climb aboard our neighbor’s boat. She was on the back of their swim platform and became frightened when the owner suddenly came outside. She tried to jump from the back of their boat to ours; 5 feet across and 2 feet up. She missed! She swam the length of our boat and around the bow, then managed to climb on a mooring line low to the water and pull herself out! She came running in the boat getting salt water everywhere. The good news here is that she has not jumped off the boat since! A fellow working on a boat across the way saw the whole adventure.

Pema also gave us another scare sending us to the emergency vet – and, of course, it was on a weekend again! She had managed to eat a good portion of a dryer anti-static sheet. We were afraid that a blockage had developed because she was acting a little lethargic and also was not pooping! Luckily they saw no blockage, but X-ray showed a lot of “back up.” So they sent us home telling us to watch her. After several days she seems to have worked it all out and is back to normal. I have now removed all dryer sheets from the boat – this is the second time she has done this. Those of you who know Pema, do you think she has a fetish with anything dryer related?? Ming, as usual, is an Angel not getting into any trouble.

Colorado friends, Al Halverstadt and Susan Weeks on Twocan, a Kadey Krogen 42, came into Legacy Harbour and we got together for cocktails. It was great to catch up with them. We had hoped to cross with them to the Bahamas, but, alas, it will not happen this year.

A couple weeks past, there was a bit of excitement on our dock, two boats down. I was preparing dinner and saw out the window a fire engine and ambulance pull into the marina parking lot. Turned out that the owner (all by himself) slipped and fell down the stairs in his boat and broke his femur. Ouch! He also had a standard poodle, Lila, on board. While he has been in the hospital, Mark, Andy and I, along with a friend of his, down the dock, cared for her for a couple days. She was not at all happy to be left alone on the boat. She was recently taken back home by a neighbor who came to visit the man in the hospital. A few days later, four of his friends took the boat back to the owner’s home port of Punta Gorda, about an half day sail away. Poor guy, he will likely have a six to eight week recovery. Luckily he had his cell phone on his person and was able to call 911. The boater family here helped him out in his time of need.

Soon we will be flying to Treasure Cay in the Bahamas to spend a week with Heather, Ellie and Anna. We haven’t seen them since last August when we came through Milwaukee. We are excited to getting into the crystal clear blue waters and doing some snorkeling with them! First trip to the islands for the girls, they are going to be wowed by how clear and turquoise blue the water is. Paradise! Treasure Cay boasts one of the top 10 beaches in the world.

Fort Myers was a wonderful introduction to the “Snowbird” lifestyle for us. We are really loving living aboard, waking up on the water every day and of course, the warm weather!

Our final celebration in Forts Myers was St. Patrick’s Day. The streets in downtown Fort Myers were closed off and offered lots of music, food and of course beer! And, of course, a sea of green shirts. We also found some of the best corned beef and cabbage we have ever tasted.

Mark is anxiously awaiting his new hip. We will be heading back to Denver the beginning of June. His surgery is scheduled for June 23. He is in constant low grade pain now; not so much from the arthritic hip itself, but more from the muscles. Everything is so tight because of compensating his posture. Of course, crawling into tight boat spaces doesn’t help! Our good friend Stephanie Guyer recently underwent this surgery and is doing so well. Hoping the same for Mark! It will be about a six week recovery and then he will be back to his old self!

Three days ago we finally left Fort Myers in the thick fog, but it cleared up relatively quickly. Our trip began on the Caloosahatchee River, then western part of the Okochobee Waterway. Since we had 124 miles to cover in 2 days, we decided to make a long day of it, 72 miles, and spent the night in Clewiston. You all would have been amazed at Mark’s job of bringing in the boat to the dock! It reminded me of the Captain Ron movie where he brought that sailboat in and parallel parked it in front of the Yacht Club; albeit Mark did not do it at full throttle. In this case, Mark had to back down a very narrow channel, past about six boats (who I am sure thought we were going to hit them) and then parallel park in front of the Tiki Bar and Restaurant with an onslaught of onlookers. He did this seamlessly! The dock master was very impressed with Mark’s handling of a single screw boat (aka, only one engine).

After a well earned cocktail onboard, we had dinner on shore and sampled some local deep fried alligator tail! Tastes just like chicken! We departed at 8:00 a.m. the next morning and entered Lake Okochobee. A bit of trivia here – did you know that Lake Okochobee is the second largest lake in the continental United States? The first is Lake Michigan. Even Mark, who pretty much knows everything, did not know this. Along the way we saw a manatee, an alligator and lots of pretty birds. We travelled through five locks on our journey; all very easy after the mammoth Mississippi locks. Mark and I are pros at locking through now. After a 40 mile crossing on Lake Okochobee, we entered the St. Lucie River, which took us to Stuart, FL and our new home until May 1 – Sunset Bay Marina.

I was happy to see, right after we docked, a dolphin playing off of our stern! We are located just a block from the historic downtown area, which is filled with restaurants and shops. With any luck, our boat will get an offer while we are here. The Kadey Krogen market is pretty hot right now and our boat shows very well. This is Kadey Krogen central, there are seven other Kadey Krogens on our dock alone. This is where the buyers are looking right now. Fingers are crossed!

That is it for now. Until then, fair winds, following seas and warm weather!