Best Christmas Present Ever!

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Yes, our new boat is absolutely the best Christmas present we could have ever imagined. We closed on our new “Next Dance” on October 20, but we did not move on board right away. We had a commitment to be in the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show the first week of November and decided to wait until that was over and the boat was back in our slip before moving everything on board.

Merry Christmas Florida Style

Merry Christmas Florida Style


The Fort Lauderdale Boat Show is over and Mark, along with another captain, brought Next Dance back to Stuart. I drove back from Fort Lauderdale with the cats. So, we are now officially full-time on the boat! It feels so good not to be moving around from place to place and know that we will be on the boat for the upcoming future. We have emptied our storage locker here and everything is stowed and in place. The boat feels like home. We have actually just finished decorating the outside of boat for Christmas. We’ve had our first two dinner guests and have wowed them with the culinary skills and use of the wonderful galley and grill.

The boat show went well and I think Kadey Krogen came back with a number of good leads. Kadey Krogen does not build “spec” boats, only custom for owners. So they ask owners if they can use their boats for a few shows. They are quite good about the whole experience and shows are at our discretion and our schedule. The Fort Lauderdale Show is the largest in the world – yes, bigger than Miami. It was ungodly hot and also incredibly packed with people. We spent some time at the show, but also spent time at the little house we rented. The house had it’s own pool and a great place to relax. Ming and Pema enjoyed the fenced in yard to wander in. It was nice to get away from it all from time to time.

Here are some pics of the interior of the boat.

Salon - Starboard Side

Salon – Starboard Side


Salon - Port Side

Salon – Port Side


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Galley, Buffet and Wine Fridge!

Galley, Buffet and Wine Fridge!


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Den/Guest Room/Office

Den/Guest Room/Office


Guest Head (aka bathroom)

Guest Head (aka bathroom)

Master Head (aka bathroom)

Master Head (aka bathroom)


Master Stateroom

Master Stateroom

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Pilot House Settee - where the Admiral gives commands to the Captain!

Pilot House Settee – where the Admiral gives commands to the Captain!


The pilot house - where a lot of the action takes place

The pilot house – where a lot of the action takes place

Fly bridge - a great place to watch sunsets and have a cocktail.

Fly bridge – a great place to watch sunsets and have a cocktail.


Single Malt!

Single Malt!

Happy Hour

Happy Hour

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There's room to dance up here!!

There’s room to dance up here!!

These are some pictures of some of the fused glass panels I made that lay on top of the port lights (aka windows) in some of the rooms. I could probably make a lot of money making these if I was so inclined! There was a lot of interest at the boat show. Not sure that I’m up for that. I put the glass panels up for the boat show, but we took them down before Mark brought the boat back up. I hadn’t secured them on the bottom and didn’t want them flopping around on the Atlantic Ocean! We finally have them up!

Fused Glass Overlay of Fish Swimming

Fused Glass Overlay of Fish Swimming

Fused Glass Overlay - it's "an abstract sea anenome" of course!

Fused Glass Overlay – it’s “an abstract sea anenome” of course!

Abstracts in our Stateroom

Abstracts in our Stateroom

We slowly moved our things on board and they are now properly stowed. It is a welcome feeling not to have to think about where the next thing will have to go. Yes, I actually have more room to stow some more kitchen things! Wish I hadn’t taken my ice cream maker back to Denver 🙂

Of course, just like a new house, there are little things that are wrong and need to be fixed. We’ve not encountered anything major (hopefully not “yet”). Just some fairly minor things. Kadey Krogen has been superb in getting everything taken care of as quickly as they can. Great customer service!

When Ming and Pema moved back on board, it was just like being on the old boat for them – everything was very familiar with just some new smells. They are once again enjoying the different levels inside and out. They love being outside looking at everything going on around them. They will be very happy not to be moving from place to place for a very long time! We do spoil them. On our previous boat, there was a ladder up to a hatch over the aft deck which they loved to perch on the top step and look at what was going on around them. We decided not to put the ladder in because it couldn’t be used to access the top deck (our dinghy is stored over the hatch), and it opens up more space in the aft deck. There is a yacht carpenter here who does incredible work and has been on board to make one minor repair. He is putting together a prototype cat tree for us of some platforms that will clamp onto a pole in our aft cockpit. If we like it, he’ll build one out of teak. Merry Christmas Ming and Pema! In the meantime, we have purchased a cheapo cat tree for them, but carpeting over cardboard is not the best idea in a salty environment . . . but they are enjoying it.

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We will not be visiting any family for Christmas; it will be just the two of us this year. But we are going to drive over to Naples on 12/27 and spend a belated Christmas with our good friends Kirby and Susan Shoaf, and Jean Woods and Scott Hickey from Milwaukee, who have just built a home there – just around the corner from Kirby and Susan. A good time is sure to be had! We are looking forward to seeing the new home. Here is a pic of Pauline going off to send Christmas packages to the family!

Santa's Helper!

Santa’s Helper!

For New Years Eve, we will be joining 16 other Kadey Krogen’s rafted together in a nearby bay. Some new friends of ours on their 55’boat will serve as the “host” boat for the gathering. This should be a blast! We will be rafting up 3-4 boats on a single anchor and taking our dinghy’s over to the host boat. Pictures from that will be in the next blog. There are 29 Kadey Krogen’s currently in our marina! And more in other surrounding marinas not too far from here. Every Tuesday morning there is a Kadey Krogen breakfast at a local restaurant in Stuart. Recently there have been over 40+ people attending these breakfasts! It really is a family. After the first of the year, boats will start departing for other warm locations. There are a number of people that are heading to the Bahamas. A bit jealous, but we know that it is best for us to stick near the United States this first year. We know things are going to happen on a new boat and want to be close by a full service marina to get them repaired.

But in 2017, our current plan is to head to the Bahamas and then on to the Caribbean. Can’t wait to swim again in that turquoise water again and enjoy the good life down there.

Well, I think that’s it for now. Best wishes to all of you for a wonderful “Holiday”, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Wishing all of you a happy and healthy 2016 and hope to see some of you somewhere.

Until next time, fair winds and following seas!

Pauline and Mark

“CAT TALES” – The Adventures of Ming and Pema

Santa Paws (Pema)

Santa Paws (Pema)

Santa's Elf (Ming)

Santa’s Elf (Ming)


What can we say furriends, our mom is nuts! She has dressed us up in these goofy Christmas costumes just so she can have a picture. Oh well, I guess we can amuse her for a bit. But we’re not putting up with having them on too long!

We are enjoying our time on board our new home! We find some new spots to hide all the time. Our Mom and Dad will be searching for us and we are playing hide and seek, so of course we must be very quiet and not meow to let them know where we are. Eventually they find us though! Our new favorite place to explore is Dad’s engine room. Wow! Now that’s an exciting place. Plenty of things to hide behind. We don’t know why they don’t like us to be down there. It’s so cool!

What??  It's just the generator.  What's the big deal?

What?? It’s just the generator. What’s the big deal?

We have seen fish jumping out of the water and really big birds flying around too and small boats going by. There are always people coming on board to either do some work or just look at the our pretty new boat. Mom has done a great job of decorating and gets lots of compliments! We’ve explored all of the areas outside on the boat and really like the cat tree that they bought for us! Usually they let us walk around the boat without getting too nervous. If it’s not too windy we like to go on the top deck and sit under the dinghy and look around.

Checking out the dinghy

Checking out the dinghy


Pema

Pema


Yes, I am the Captain!

Yes, I am the Captain!

We’ve been out on the water a couple of times while they practiced anchoring with the new windlass. It was very calm, so we were not bothered at all about being on the move. The engine on this boat is also much more quiet and it doesn’t scare us too much. We hear we’re going out with a lot of people for a big party on New Years Eve. Meow.

Merry Christmas everyone! Hope you all have a Pawsome New Year.

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas!  It's the best time of the year!

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas! It’s the best time of the year!

Respectfully submitted,

Ming and Pema

Next Dance Has Arrived!

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Since her departure from Taiwan, we have received updates on where Palabora (the ship bringing her to Florida) has been periodically during the long trip to the US and Florida. Palabora arrived in Port Everglades on 9/14/15 and our Next Dance splashed for the first time. I drove Mark down to West Palm Beach where he was able to join the crew from Kadey Krogen to bring her up to Stuart, FL where the commissioning process will be completed – canvas installed, electronics completed, carpeting, window treatments, etc. I was a bit jealous about not being on board for the first time she was underway.

We are staying in a little two bedroom cottage in Stuart while the commissioning process is going on. It is adorable inside with all of the white painted cottage board and wicker furniture. It is within walking distance to the marina we will be staying at and also to the historic downtown area, full of restaurants and shops. We will be here until the end of October. Having the cottage as our base will enable us to get everything moved on board the boat after we close in a much more orderly fashion. Here is a picture of the outside.
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While we were in Denver, I took a class to learn how to make fused glass. Another Kadey Krogen owner, who is a glass artist, made some glass overlay panels of fused glass to put over some of the port lights (windows) on their boat. I loved them and talked to her about it and decided to make some for our boat. So I spent several weeks before our departure making my own glass panels. Here is a picture of one that I made.
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We expect to take possession of her about mid-October. Her first voyage, a relatively short one, will be from Stuart to Fort Lauderdale, where she will be on display for Kadey Krogen at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show the first week of November. Dennis Lawrence, our sales rep from Kadey Krogen will be joining Mark for the trip down. Dennis will help him maneuver the boat into the extremely tight dockage at the show. I think I’m glad I won’t be aboard for this. Here is a photo of what the boat show looks like. Can you imagine the logistics involved in getting all of these boats docked?

Ft. Lauderdale boatshow pic

Kadey Krogen does not build any spec boats, they are all custom for owners. So Kadey Krogen asks owners if they would be willing to allow them to show their boats at shows. We have rented a small house in Fort Lauderdale during the show.

Once Next Dance is back in Stuart, we will be in our slip at Sunset Bay Marina until the end of February. We will be doing some short excursions during that time, visiting ports and anchoring off where we can. Then our plan is to head across Lake Okachobee to Fort Myers and Legacy Harbour Marina for March and April. We are looking forward to seeing our friends Kirby and Susan in Naples, and also Scott and Jean and their new home, also in Naples.

After that we will come back to the east coast, by way of the Keys, and start heading North for the summer. No concrete plans as yet to where we will venture to. We have decided to keep close to the east coast this first year. We know that stuff will happen with a new boat and we want to be somewhere close where repairs/adjustments can be made. There are so many wonderful places to visit along the Intra-coastal waterway, and so many that I have not personally seen.

Many years ago, when we had our last sail boat, we took it from Wisconsin to the Chesapeake Bay via the Great Lakes and Erie Canal. While the boat was hauled for the winter, I managed to break my leg skiing in France and was not able to join Mark for that portion of the trip from Annapolis to Florida. So, I am looking forward to seeing some of the places he was able to visit without me. We are also looking forward to going “outside” and running on the Atlantic Ocean whenever weather and sea conditions permit. No bridges to contend with and a lot quicker! It’s also a great opportunity to have those wonderful dolphins swim alongside our bow. Our boat is a fully ocean-going boat, with a full displacement hull (I’m not going to go into explaining that..). We have no desire to cross the ocean to Europe (well, at least I don’t), but it is good to know that she is very sea worthy in difficult situations. There are certainly times that we get caught up in some tricky situations. In early 2017, our plan is to start heading to the Caribbean, ultimately getting as far as Trinidad. We sailed the beautiful waters of the Eastern Carribean many years ago and are looking forward to getting back there. We also hope that things open up for boaters going to Cuba. We would love to visit there before it changes too much.

That’s it for now. The next Blog will have lots of photos of the interior. So stay tuned!

Until then,

Fair winds and following seas . . .

“CAT TALES” – from Ming and Pema, the Boat Cats IMG_2873

Well, we simply can’t believe it. Last May we got packed up into a car and drove back to Denver, Colorado. To say the least, we were not purrleased. IMG_4107After having the run of our boat and then spending five days in a moving vehicle, and finally four months in a tiny apartment with NO outdoor space – boring! Then a few weeks ago we get packed up again in the car and back to Florida we go. Furriends, something is up. The good news is that our people have rented a little cottage with a great back yard and they are actually allowing us to explore it several times a day – though they always keep us in sight. We have decided to annoy them by constantly crying at the door until they let us out. Meow.
IMG_4147We have heard them talking a lot about “the NEW boat”. We can’t wait to get back onboard a boat again. We love the multiple levels inside, finding secret hiding places our people can’t find us (Meow), and of course exploring the decks and watching everything going on around us. My sister, Pema, loves to jump ship and get our people all worked up, especially when she decides to go on other boats. Me, Ming, I am an angel of course. We think that the boat has arrived because our people are leaving us alone for long periods each day, coming back with lots of packages. But we don’t mind – we just take longer naps! In the meantime, we are enjoying backyard and the great outdoors. I try to catch lizards, but so far they have escaped me! We’ll be sure to send some pictures of us on the new boat when we can. Until then, have a purrfectly wonderful day.

Respectfully submitted,

Ming (with a little input from my sister, Pema)

Ming bought a selfie stick!!

Ming bought a selfie stick!!

She’s On Her Way!

Well, we have received word that our “Next Dance” has been loaded on the ship and will be departing Taiwan in the next few days for the United States. We are so excited to see her up close and personal; which will be around mid-September. She will arrive in Port Everglades, FL and then a representative from Kadey Krogen will bring her up to Stuart, Florida where she will complete the final commissioning process. We should be taking possession of her mid-October at the latest.

Here are photos of her being loaded on to the ship she will be coming over on. We will be getting updates along the way.
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And here she is all wrapped up for the sea voyage and nearly ready to be loaded on to the truck that will take her to the ship.

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We arrived in Denver around May 20 and began our stay in our little one bedroom apartment situated right in downtown. There are literally hundreds of restaurants surrounding us, which has not helped our waistlines. Mark was in pretty bad shape (hip-wise) by the time we arrived. Sitting in a car for hours on end for four days did not help matters. He was definitely looking forward to his surgery, which took place on June 23. We got up early on the morning of surgery to get Mark to the hospital by 5:45 a.m. Arrived on time and got him checked in and into pre-op where he met his nurses, anesthesiologist and waited for Dr. Loucks to stop by. He was wheeled into surgery and I headed to the waiting area. The technology is amazing these days. They had screens set up in the waiting room where updates were constantly made on his progress through surgery. Following the surgery, Dr. Loucks met me and informed me that everything had gone well and that Mark was in recovery. Once up in his room, they would come and get me. He was a bit groggy by the time I saw him, and actually did not remember parts of our conversations. Within several hours, after he had full feeling in his legs they had him up and walking with a walker and a nurse close by. His nurses enjoyed talking to Mark about our boating adventures and were quite envious of our lifestyle. The next morning he was discharged. The new anterior approach to hip replacement does not involve cutting any muscles so Mark was able walk as much as he wanted starting the day after and did not need any physical therapy. Now five weeks out and you would never know he ever had a problem! He is walking a couple of miles each day and feeling great. Within the next week he should be able to get on a bike again. That will be great as Denver has many miles of bike trails near us that we can ride.

Mark after his hip surgery (on drugs and happy)

Mark after his hip surgery (on drugs and happy)

While in Denver we have been able to visit Mark’s son Scott and our Breckenridge friends quite regularly. It has been great catching up after a year of living half the country away. Pauline also had time to see her foot surgeon to have a scar tissue growth removed from the top of her left foot which was beginning to be painful when wearing sandals or shoes. We also learned how hot Denver can be during the summer, high eighties/low nineties almost every day. But the humidity is low and the city cools off nicely after sundown.

Post op foot

Post op foot


At the top of Hoosier Pass

At the top of Hoosier Pass

Dancing with John Goetz (Mark's brother-in-law)

Dancing with John Goetz (Mark’s brother-in-law)

At the Rockies game with Margo Goetz (Mark's sister)

At the Rockies game with Margo Goetz (Mark’s sister)

Rockies game with Brian Goetz (Mark's nephew)

Rockies game with Brian Goetz (Mark’s nephew)

Fireworks seen from the top of our building

Fireworks seen from the top of our building


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Celebrating 50 years with friends Fran and Barry Lazarus

Celebrating 50 years with friends Fran and Barry Lazarus

Ming bought a selfie stick!!

Ming bought a selfie stick!!

Mark enjoying Happy Hour

Mark enjoying Happy Hour

Happy Hour in Breck with Scott, Emily and my friend Inna

Happy Hour in Breck with Scott, Emily and my friend Inna

Because our new boat was completed ahead of schedule, we will be leaving Denver around the end of August, earlier then originally anticipated. We have rented a little 2 bedroom cottage in Stuart, FL, near the marina until the end of October. We will take possession of the boat no later than mid-October. We will then be moving our things on board and getting organized before we head off to Fort Lauderdale for the annual boat show, where Kadey Krogen will be showing our new boat!

Well, that’s it for now. We’ll send out my next blog after we arrive in Stuart. Until then, fair winds and calm seas.

SOLD!!

Yes, we have sold and closed on the sale of our Kadey Krogen 44, “Next Dance”. It was certainly bittersweet, especially for Pauline. Although we only had her for just under two years, we loved every moment aboard her. Now, we look forward to taking delivery of our NEW Kadey Krogen 48 in December. It is already an exciting process seeing her being built from afar, in Taiwan. Things are progressing well and actually ahead of schedule. She will probably be delivered via ship to the U.S. around the beginning of October and we will take delivery the end of November. We simply can’t wait!! We will be keeping the name.

We had a hectic couple of weeks getting the boat ready and all of our personal items moved off of the boat. We have rented a storage locker in Stuart to house all of the things that will go back on to the new boat. After everything was off, the boat actually floated 3″ higher in the water! It is amazing how much stuff we had on board. We have brought some things back to Denver which we decided were not necessary on the next boat – such as an ice cream maker and excess shoes and clothes (Pauline’s of course). They go in our storage locker here.

We had the survey and inspections on the boat 5/7 and 5/8. It was quite an exhausting experience, especially for Mark. The new owner was there, along with his broker, our broker, and three other inspectors the buyer had hired. Everything went well and Mark received many comments over those two days on how well the boat was maintained. The new buyer is over the moon. He will be taking her up to Virginia in early June. We are sure he will have many years of enjoyment on her. Here is a photo of her leaving the St. Lucie River heading into the Atlantic Ocean to test the stabilizers.
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We finished unloading all of our personal items, including Ming and Pema, and headed to the hotel for the evening. In the morning we will begin our long road trip back to Denver, with the cats sharing the middle of the only seat in our pick-up truck!! If nothing else, it feels good to leave the boat in great condition and ready for the new owner.

The next morning we got up, had some breakfast and were on the road. It will be a long few days to reach our destination, downtown Denver. We will be there until September 30. At first we were going to head towards New Orleans and spend a day or two taking in the sights and eating the wonderful food. We would have then continued on interstate I 10 through Dallas/Fort Worth, then work our way northwest to Denver. However, after looking at the weather reports with heavy rains, flooding and tornadoes in our path, we decided that we will visit New Orleans by boat at a later date.

Our first day on the road was uneventful and we got as far as Atlanta without the cats getting car sick. The next day, after tracking down our hiding cats who hide in the room attempting to avoid another long day in the truck, we got an early start. We drove generally west through Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi ending for the night in Little Rock, Arkansas. Beautiful country, good roads and little traffic.

The previous day, we stopped at a Cracker Barrel restaurant to have lunch at and rented two audio books. You actually purchase them then return them a to a Cracker Barrel further down the road for a refund. The difference in dollars is your “rental” cost. The first book we listened to turned out to be one of the worst books we have ever “read” (listened to) in our lives; “Micro”, by Michael Crichton. Sort of a cross between “Honey, We Shrunk the Kids” and “Lost World.” The writing, character development and plot were so bad, we continually laughed out loud. Yes, we finished it 16 hours and one day later. What else did we have to do!

From Little Rock we drove to Oklahoma City then headed north to Salina, Kansas. In the afternoon, we drove under some very dark and ominous storm clouds and endured periods of heavy rain, so bad, that we had to pull off the road and wait for them to pass over. Scared the **** out of the cats. That night while watching the weather on TV, we learned that Salina was surrounded by tornado watch areas. But we just had more heavy rain and lightening.

Finally, the next morning we headed west to Denver, listening to our second rented book. Much, much better, but no award winner. We arrived in Denver in early afternoon, dropped off the rental books at Cracker Barrel and found our new home for the next 5 months, the Barclay Towers, located at 16th St. and Larimer, downtown. The apartment is small, but will be perfect for our purposes while we are here. We have only been here a little more than two weeks and have already been so busy. We have seen friends, gone down to Sante Fe for a few days to visit our friends Dick and Vicki, doctor appointments for Mark, Pauline went out with her friend Pat to a Cha Cha dance lesson, up to Breckenridge to see Scott and Emily, Pauline took her good friend Doni to her chemo appointment, happy hour with our friend Pam from Wisconsin. Whew!! Finally had one of our only nights in last night and just watched a movie. If this is a sign of what our stay in Denver will be these next few months, it is going to go fast.

We have also sold Mark’s pick-up truck and purchased a 2015 Rav 4! It’s great to be driving around in a little more comfortable vehicle. I’m sure the cats will appreciate the extra room on the way back Florida later this year.

We received our latest photos of the build of our new boat. It is so exciting to see the progress. We have been told that it is again ahead of schedule and will probably be completed mid-August, but it is unknown when it will be able to be shipped. Take a look at the progress!

Looking like a trawler!

Looking like a trawler!

The galley

The galley

Where the dishwasher, trash and recycling will go in the galley

Where the dishwasher, trash and recycling will go in the galley

The port side of the saloon

The port side of the saloon

Buffet and where our wine refrigerator will be!

Buffet and where our wine refrigerator will be!

Pauline's pantry with pull-out shelves!

Pauline’s pantry with pull-out shelves!

Starboard side of the saloon and seating area; TV will pop up behind the settee!

Starboard side of the saloon and seating area; TV will pop up behind the settee!

Saloon looking towards the galley

Saloon looking towards the galley

This is what our granite looks like!

This is what our granite looks like!

Doorway to the master head (aka-bathroom)

Doorway to the master head (aka-bathroom)

Guest head (aka bathroom)

Guest head (aka bathroom)

Pilothouse navigation station

Pilothouse navigation station

Pilothouse setee

Pilothouse setee

Pilothouse helm/navigation

Pilothouse helm/navigation

Setee in pilothouse

Setee in pilothouse

Closet door in master stateroom and drawers

Closet door in master stateroom and drawers

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Master stateroom

Master stateroom

Master head cabinets and sink

Master head cabinets and sink

Desk area in den/guest stateroom

Desk area in den/guest stateroom

Den/guest room seating area.  The settee will pul out into a double berth for our guests!

Den/guest room seating area. The settee will pul out into a double berth for our guests!

It is so exciting for us! We have picked out the furniture coverings, chairs and bedding. We are working on carpeting selection too. We don’t think we want “wall to wall”. We prefer to see some of the beautiful wood floors, so will probably go with area rugs again. We think we are going to go for a more “contemporary” look this time. Lots of fun picturing what the final product will look like!

This was a long update. Next our adventures in Colorado along with the progress of Mark’s hip replacement and recovery!

Until the next time, fair winds and following seas . . .

Accepted Offer!

Yes, we have an accepted offer on this “Next Dance”. Fingers crossed and hoping all goes well with the survey and inspection. If so, we should close on or about 5/14/15. Then we will be heading back to Denver, CO. We have not rented an apartment as of yet, but are working on it.

Once we are back in Denver, Mark will be getting ready for his new hip! He can’t wait. He’s been suffering quite a bit these past months. Crawling around in tight boat spaces doesn’t help. His surgery is scheduled for 6/23. Send him good wishes for a speedy recovery!

Construction of the next “Next Dance” (we are keeping the name) is coming along very well. We are actually ahead of schedule. Right now it looks like the boat will be delivered to the U.S. in early October. Once here, the remainder of the commissioning will take place in Stuart, FL. We should take delivery of her early December. What a wonderful Christmas present for us! We will be staying close to Southern Florida in the beginning. We are committed to having the boat in three boat shows – probably the Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Trawlerfest. Once that is behind us we will probably head up the east coast to the Chesapeake and beyond. Although it is a brand new boat, things are expected to go wrong and we want to be close by major boat yards to take care of any necessary repairs. Here are some of the latest photos we received. It’s beginning to look like a Krogen!
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We were planning to take this boat to the Abacos, Bahamas, but after making the decision to build a new boat and put this boat on the market, we thought it best to fly there and rent a condo. We were there for 12 days and during that time, Heather, Ellie and Anna joined us for a week. We had already booked a condo for them; our place was in the property just adjacent to that in Treasure Cay. Treasure Cay boasts one of the top 10 beaches in the world. You can see why! When we were walking over to the beach for the first time, seeing that incredible turquoise water and the powdery white sand beach was breathtaking. The girls had a blast. We had lots of fun in the sun and the water. Ellie and Anna returned home with a nice tan. On the last day with them, we were able to arrange for a boat to take us out snorkeling, feed sting rays, see sea turtles, pick up a starfish and feed the wild pigs (who sometimes like to swim with you, but not on our trip). Unfortunately, Papa was not able to come. He was unable to snorkel and also felt the boat ride was going to be too bumpy for his hip. Anna celebrated her 13th birthday while in Treasure Cay. All in all, a successful vacation.

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Heavenly!

Heavenly!

Heather and Pauline

Heather and Pauline

A secluded beach

A secluded beach

Jump!

Jump!

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Hope Town Light House

Hope Town Light House

Ferry ride to Hope Town

Ferry ride to Hope Town

Happy 13th Birthday Anna - Bahamas style!

Happy 13th Birthday Anna – Bahamas style!

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Easter in Treasure Cay

Easter in Treasure Cay

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Life is good (except for my damned hip!)

Life is good (except for my damned hip!)

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Hope Town

Hope Town

Cocktail Hour

Cocktail Hour

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Once back, we have started packing up everything that needs to come off of the boat. It is always a pain packing. But the good news is that it is easier than packing up a house. Although it is amazing how much stuff we have on the boat! We are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe another eight plastic containers. We say that we are going to be “homeless, boat less and we can’t even call ourselves trailer trash because we don’t have a trailer!”. It is a bit of an odd feeling. We are now the proud owner of, count them, three storage lockers!! This is obscene. We have one in Breckenridge we didn’t have time to empty before taking off after the sale of our house. We don’t even know what is all in there! I’d like to take a match to it. It will get emptied this summer when we are in Colorado – finally! We have another locker in Denver with things that we want to take to our next house; whenever that takes place. And, now one in Stuart, FL for all of our boat possessions. At least we know that this unit is only short term.

My good friend, Pat DeCarli in Denver, has been diligently working to help find us a condo to rent in her building. We think there is a good prospect. We should know shortly if we can rent it. It’s right downtown on the 16th Street Mall. Great location. We can’t thank her enough for her efforts.

That is it for now. The next blog, we hope, will announce the sale of Next Dance. Keep your fingers crossed for us! We are aware of no problems with the boat, but when inspectors and surveyors are involved, they always seem to come up with something!

Until then, fair winds.

GO BIG(GER)!

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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


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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!

Fort Meyers – We have arrived!!

After spending approximately a week in Clearwater, we moved on to St. Petersburg Municipal Marina, where we spend five nights. Technically, this is where Mark completed, or as they say, “Crossed His Wake” doing the Great Loop. In 2003, Mark arrived in St. Petersburg on our 40′ Sailboat, Beau Soleil, after bringing it down from Milwaukee via the Great Lakes, east coast and around Key West.

St. Petersburg has changed a lot during the last 11 years. There has been substantial development of the downtown area; many new high-rise condos, restaurants and shopping areas. The marina is easy walking distance to most attractions, but there is also a trolley which is available. While there we took in an art festival, a weekly food entertainment festival and flea market. We saw our first movie in six months – Catching Fire, part of the Hunger Games Trilogy. It was great! We had planned on spending about three days there, but strong east winds along with heavy morning fog kept us there longer.

We departed for Sarasota on the third day of morning fog using radar extensively. When going underneath the Sunshine Skyway Bridge we were physically under it before we saw it. Fortunately, the fog lifted shortly thereafter and we had an easy run down the ICW down to Sarasota. We had made reservations for four nights in the Sarasota Public Mooring field. By the time we arrived the wind and waves had picked up so that attaching our boat to the mooring ball was a real challenge. It took us approximately 45 minutes to finally get the boat secured. Mark sent Pauline in to have a drink!

That night we experienced the roughest night on the boat to date. The winds picked up to 40 miles an hour, gusting to 50. While we were somewhat protected by tall buildings up-wind of us, the waves, as they frequently do, curved around a point of land and hit us from the side. This caused the boat to roll excessively from 3:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. It was too rough to sleep below, so we came up to the saloon and embraced ourselves against the motion. The cats got sick. We had food flying out of the pantry locker (brown sugar canister broken all over the floor), and one table lamp on the floor. What a night!

Fortunately, the next morning the wind died down to 25 mph. While still too rough to launch the dinghy and go ashore, life onboard was bearable. The next morning, Thanksgiving Day, we saw sunny skies and calm winds and were able to launch our dinghy and visit the city of Sarasota. We stopped for breakfast, then walked to a nearby grocery to pick up a few last things for our Thanksgiving dinner. Pauline prepared a turkey breast and all of the trimmings – enough food for six, but only the two of us! Leftovers. . . yummy!

The following day we went ashore, toured the city, shops and had a fine dinner at an Italian restaurant.

Saturday saw us continuing South on the ICW to Venice, where we went out into the Gulf, proceeding outside to Boca Grande. We did this to avoid seven of ten bridges that we would have needed to have raised to proceed under if we had stayed on the ICW the entire way. It’s much quicker to go outside, than go down the ICW. However, the trade-off is to dodge crab pot floats most of the way. After joining the ICW again at Boca Grande, we motored a few more miles south and anchored off Cabbage Cay (pronounced Key). Cabbage Cay is a popular bar/restaurant on the Gulf Coast; supposedly where Jimmy Buffet got the inspiration for his “Cheeseburger in Paradise” song. We anchored in exactly the same spot as we did in 2004 while spending the summer on our sailboat.

After a peaceful night, we continued down the ICW to the Caloosahatchee River. We then motored up 14 miles up the river to our destination of Legacy Harbour Marina in downtown Fort Meyers. The trip up-river was very interesting. This was the first warm, sunny day in two weeks for the Gulf Coast and it seemed like every power boater in the area was bound and determined to spend it out on the Gulf. We were going up river and they were all going down river. We literally passed hundreds of boats in a two hour time period. More boats than we probably passed in the last three months.

Legacy Harbour Marina will be a wonderful place to spend December, January and February. It is two blocks from Downtown Fort Meyers. Very modern, wonderful facilities and great staff, and filled with many boaters like us who are spending the winter here. There is an active social calendar (Monday night movies in the on-site Tiki Hut, Thursday night Pot-luck dinners along with other organized gatherings). This past Sunday night, there was a “girls only” Pajama/Martini party, in which Pauline participated in. It was a great opportunity for her to meet many of the ladies on boats here. She had quite a good time and also won First Place for the best decorated reindeer! The ladies split up into groups of five. Each group had a bag filled with pantyhose, balloons, bells, ribbons, candy canes, crepe paper and tissue paper in order to put their creative efforts to work in making a reindeer with antlers. What fun. At the Christmas Party, all of the ladies are going to get up and sing the “Sisters” song from White Christmas. Fort Meyers itself has a vibrant downtown historic area with many fine restaurants, a weekly Farmers Market, free shuttle bus service. We think we will thoroughly enjoy our stay here.

One of the reasons we chose the Fort Meyers area was that we have several old and new friends who have homes down here. Some are second homes. Those include Kirby and Susan Shoaf and Tim and Ann Lawler from our Milwaukee days. Pat and Gigi Noble, Dennis and Kathy Battles, and Chris Bauer and Dee Dee Peligren from Mark’s banking days. There is also a couple who are good Breckenridge ski buddies, Jeff and Laurel Belay. Bob and Monique Mustard, who lived in Frisco, now have a home in Fort Meyers. Our good friends Scott and Jean Hickey are going to be here in January looking for property in Naples. Of course, there are also people coming down in this area to visit who we will see, including Linda Thompson and Alan May. We will also be spending time with one of our fellow-Loopers, Anita and Don Gulseth from Manitowoc. There will be here, this time, in their RV.

Our friend, Andy Horn, arrived from Milwaukee about a week after us by driving down our 2001 Toyota Tundra pick-up truck. We now have wheels again (by the way the only possession, besides the boat, that we own)! We spent the first day driving around buying Christmas lights, stockings, etc. to decorate our boat for the Holiday. On December 11 there is a marina sponsored Christmas Party where they will be having a “Boat Decoration” contest. Pauline is determined to win it (at any expense). Andy flew back to Milwaukee but will be joining us again later this month. He will be then “cat-sitting” Ming and Pema from 1/1 – 1/18, while we are back in Colorado working the Music Festival in Steamboat, skiing, visiting friends, and fitting in doctor appointments.

Speaking of Ming and Pema, they of course had to get the lay of the land and take any opportunity to jump ship and explore the surrounding boats. They are often admired when they are perched on the bow pulpit by walkers-by. There are plenty of people, AND dogs walking the dock. I’m not sure how they choose when to jump off the boat, but they somehow manage to do it when no-one is around. Although, we do get told by others if they see them on another boat. They only go a short distance (so far), but we don’t like it when they are on other boats. One of these days one will take off with them! We wish that we could install a GPS tracker on them which would notify us when they are off the boat! We have bought little LED lights for their collars which we can see if they are off after dark. They are enjoying not moving for now.

The Christmas holidays are upon us and everyone is getting in the spirit here at the marina, including us. Pauline attended a ladies only PJ/Martini party and won Best Decorated Reindeer! Boats are getting decorated and last night the judging took place. Pauline’s persistence in purchasing more lights, etc. paid off! Ha ha! We won 3rd place and a gift certificate for dinner at a local restaurant!

In case you are wondering why there are no photos in this blog, it is because we are having some “iCloud issues”. I have had this blog written since before Christmas and was waiting to upload photos. However, here it is 1/6 and I still am having problems.
We hope to have this taken care of soon. But unfortunately, photos taken have not gotten where they should be! Ah, technology. Hope you enjoy the read in any case.

Until next time, we wish everyone a Happy, Healthy & Prosperous New Year!