. . .Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men . . .

Next Dance leaving the dock!

Next Dance leaving the dock!

On our way . . . or so we thought

On our way . . . or so we thought

NOTE:  WE WOULD LIKE TO ADD AN UPDATE TO THIS BLOG WHERE WE DESCRIBE IN DETAIL WHAT TOOK PLACE WHEN WE DEVELOPED A “SHORT” IN A WIRE BETWEEN THE ZF CONTROLLER AND THE JOHN DEER ENGINE.  FIRST AND FOREMOST, THERE WAS NEVER A PROBLEM WITH THE JOHN DEERE ENGINE OR THE ZF CONTROLLER.  IT TURNED OUT TO BE NOTHING MORE THAN A SHORT/BROKEN WIRE, WHICH WAS REPAIRED WITHIN 5 MINUTES ONCE THEY FOUND THE PROBLEM.  OUR JOHN DEERE ENGINE HAS ALWAYS WORKED FLAWLESSLY.  ONCE THE SHORT IN THE WIRE WAS REPAIRED WE HAVE NEVER EXPERIENCED A PROBLEM AGAIN WITH THE BOAT.  WAS IT A FRUSTRATING EXPERIENCE TO GO THROUGH BECAUSE OF BEING STUCK IN MARATHON, AND CHANGE OUR CRUISING PLANS? – YES.  HOWEVER, WE KNEW WHEN WE BUILT OUR BOAT THAT THERE WOULD BE ISSUES THAT WOULD COME UP – JUST AS THERE ARE ISSUES IN BUILDING A NEW HOUSE.  THIS TURNED OUT TO BE A VERY MINOR ISSUE THAT SIMPLY TOOK A LONG TIME TO DIAGNOSE.  ONCE DIAGNOSED, IT WAS REPAIRED AND WE WERE ON OUR WAY AND ENJOYING THE DANCE ONCE AGAIN.  (IF ANYONE HAS FURTHER QUESTIONS ABOUT WHAT TOOK PLACE, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO DROP US A NOTE.)

On Saturday morning, April 23 we left our slip in Marathon to begin our journey to the Abacos, Bahamas. We were about 2 miles out when Pauline heard sounds from the engine while standing on the aft deck that were definitely not normal. She rushed up to the pilot house to let the Captain know. At the time he happened to be on the radio with our friends Maria and Roberto of Gratitude, who were traveling with us to Rodriguez Key for the evening. They were just a little ahead of us. By that time he, too, had noticed the problem and then an alarm went off, beeping and beeping. There was clearly a problem. When trying to put the boat into either forward or reverse, the engine rpms would fluctuate radically from idle to full without moving the throttle lever! In neutral the engine ran normally. Mark immediately began to try to diagnose the problem. But no matter what he tried to do, the boat would not respond properly and could not get the alarm off.

In the meantime, our friends Lisa and Mark Carruthers, back in Marathon, heard our conversations with Gratitude and Mark took off in his dinghy to come out to see if he could help. During this time we were adrift in water about 9′ deep below our keel being blown toward a nearby key. We decided that we needed to anchor the boat. Gratitude turned around and came back, but we told them to go on. There was nothing they could do to help. Mark Carruthers arrived and for the next few hours the two of them tried everything they could to rectify the situation. They identified that the problem was with the electronic engine throttle and transmission controls. Our boat has 100% electronic controls, not the older style mechanical or hydraulic controls. Numerous times they turned everything off and tried starting the engine and going through the start-up process of what one does every time in readying the boat for departure. No matter what they did, the alarm and error code came back on and the throttle/transmission did not respond. Pauline was able to get Gregg Gandy, the service VP at Kadey Krogen on the phone. Gregg had Mark try numerous things to get the alarm to reset and the controls to work properly. Nothing worked. We ultimately decided that we needed to call US Towboat and get towed back. We contacted the marina and told them of our plight and made arrangements to get back in our old slip. Within 30 minutes the tow boat arrived. We hooked up a “bridle” with a tow line onto Next Dance, and pulled up our anchor. Mark Carruthers took off in his dinghy and Lisa Carruthers, along with the marina, readied troops on the dock to help catch our lines. Again, we could not maneuver the boat to get it back in the slip using forward or reverse. The tow boat got us lined up so that we could drift back into the slip. Luckily the wind was in our favor to do this. The Captain was able to maneuver the boat with our bow and stern thrusters to move it right or left. As soon as we got close enough, Pauline was able to toss a spring line to someone on the dock so that we could get attached to land. The remaining lines were tossed and Next Dance was again secured in the slip. Whew! What an experience. Not one we EVER want to have again.

After we were settled, Gregg Gandy called with the phone number for the ZF Controls technician. Together they went through the error codes shown on the controls processor, a large computer. All the readings were normal. Mark once again fired up the engine. Guess what – everything worked. No alarm, the throttle/transmission controls worked normally. What on earth?? He tried this a couple of times with the same result – everything worked. As mentioned before, the throttle/transmission controls on our boat are an electronic system. So the problem was not mechanical, it was electronic. So now the technician was stumped. He originally thought that it was probably a bad processor. But now that we could not duplicate the problem, he was not sure. He suggested we should try to leave in the morning and see if it happened again. Really? Mark asked what the next step would be and it would be to have the processor replaced with a new unit, and the existing one sent to the factory so it’s memory codes could be reviewed. After Mark got off the phone with him, we discussed all of our options and made the decision not to attempt crossing the Gulf Stream and potentially having the problem occur out there. If the problem reoccurred at mid crossing, 30 miles offshore, we could not communicate with land, except by using our emergency beacon and the tow back to the US would run into many thousands of dollars and we would be at the mercy of the waves and current for hours while waiting for the towboat. It was a quick decision that we were not going to put ourselves in danger.

Now the sad news. Our Bahamas trip will not happen. We made the decision not to go. If it was just affecting us, that would be one thing. But Mark’s son Scott, and his girlfriend Emily were flying into Marsh Harbour on 4/30. We had to make the phone call to tell them their trip has been rearranged. We are going to have someone come out to replace the processor, try to determine if there is anything else wrong which could have triggered the problem. Scott and Emily will fly into Fort Lauderdale or Key West, rent a car and drive here to Marathon. By the time they arrive, the repairs should be completed. We will spend our time with them exploring the Keys, take the boat down to Key West for a couple of days, and anchoring somewhere. No, it won’t be quite the same as being in the islands, but we can still have a good time. Emily has never been to the Keys, and Scott has only been to Key West with us. We’ll have a lot of fun exploring the Keys and spend a lot of time people watching. There are a lot of unusual characters down here! After they leave, our friend Louise Crowley is also scheduled to fly into Marsh Harbour. We haven’t made that phone call yet. But Louise is always a trooper and she will understand and we will have a great time with her also. After Louise departs, we will begin heading north up the east coast, a little later than we had planned.

So, we invited Mark and Lisa over for dinner, pounded down a few cocktails and finished off three bottles of wine. We drowned our sorrows and had a lot of laughs. Like we said in our last blog, with boating, nothing is written in sand.

In the end, we know we are making the right decision. We will continue our “shakedown” cruising close to the east coast. It is a new boat, and stuff is going to happen.

Until next time, fair winds and calm seas . . . (and no problems)

Pauline and Mark

    CAT TALES

Well furriends, there was a lot of activity this morning. The engine roared and off we went. All was good for awhile. We assumed our usual positions under the chairs in the pilot house. Then all of a sudden there were loud beeping noises and chaos in the pilot house. Mom and dad were clearly distressed about something. This in turn made us very upset. We didn’t know what was happening, but we didn’t like it. Over the next few hours this continued. A strange man came on board and added to all of the chaos. We proceeded to start foaming at the mouth.  While dad and the stranger were going in the engine room, the pilot house and the flybridge, the loud beeping continued. The engine room door was open and that noise was really loud too. We were very distraught. Meow. Mom went on clean up duty and tried to calm us. She even gave Pema some medicine to get her to relax. After some time, we heard mom and dad say that we were getting towed back into shore. Thank God! We were done with that fiasco going on. We are glad to report that we are safe and sound back in the slip and everything is quiet. Wonder when the engine is going to roar again? Until it does, we are going to chill out and savor our time in the sunshine! Meow.
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Respectfully submitted,

Ming and Pema, Boat Cats

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The Cruising Begins!

There is such a weight off of our shoulders now that we have left Stuart. After 4+ months of commissioning and awaiting our boatshow obligations, we just now feel that we have our life back and we can again enjoy cruising and exploring new destinations. And we are!

After a two day trip across Florida via Lake Okeechobee, we arrived in Fort Myers on Monday 3/21, staying at Legacy Harbour Marina right in the historic downtown area. Many restaurants and shops are within walking distance, as well as a grocery store. We had our car available during our stay. Afterwards, our good friends Scott and Jean Hickey, who have a new home in Naples are letting us keep the car in their garage while we are cruising this year. We enjoyed our time in Ft. Myers visiting them, along with our other local friends Kirby and Susan Shoaf and Alan May and Linda Thompson. It was also fun catching up with other friends at the marina, who we met during our stay there during the winter of ’15/’16. They had us on a different dock than we had last year, but that just meant new faces at the nightly “cocktail” gatherings.

We had the most bizarre thing happen while there. Mark went up to the flybridge to get something and immediately came down and said I just had to see something. I got up there and saw a swarm of bees suspended from a railing! Thousands of them! This sudden appearance of a swarm is apparently fairly common at this time of the year. The marina had seen this happen on another boat the previous week. When a hive get too crowded, the queen bee leaves her hive and brings with her about half of her workers, scouts and drones. When she gets tired, she lands and so do her subjects. She unfortunately picked our boat to land on. The remaining half of her original hive “elects” a new queen and starts replacing their departed brethren. The dock master gave us the name of a beekeeper to call in case they didn’t leave in a day or two. Of course this occurred on Easter Sunday. The local beekeepers charge $200 to remove the bees even though they’ll keep them to form a new hive for the honey. So we decided to wait a couple days before handing over any cash and sure enough two days later the queen bee took off along with her subjects. Pauline happened to see them leaving. It was really quite interesting to see all these bees swirling through the air like a mini tornado and moving across the river. Hope they found a nice new home! There was a group of about 50 or so who were still there the next morning. These apparently are scouts who were out looking for a new home and when they came back the queen was gone, but they could still smell her scent so they stayed. We again waited for two days and they weren’t leaving. They were probably going to die anyway, so we decided it was time for them to go. We sprayed them with soapy water and that was that. No more bees!

Honey bee swarm!

Honey bee swarm!


Mark celebrated his 73rd birthday in Fort Myers! Our friends Kirby and Susan from Naples joined us for dinner out. We came back to the boat to enjoy a cake that Kirby made – carrot cake, Mark’s favorite. Our friends Chris and Gail Wilkinson, fellow Krogen owners, on Tortuga, joined us. Pauline surprised Mark with the gift of a ukulele! It has been on his bucket list for a long time and he really wants to learn how to play. Hopefully he’ll be strumming some tunes in no time! Learning new things keeps the brain active, right?
Happy Birthday Mark!

Happy Birthday Mark!

On April 4th we left Legacy Harbour Marina in Fort Myers for Fort Myers Beach. No, they are not the same place. Fort Myers Beach is about 14 miles further downriver at the mouth of the Caloosahatchee. We spent one night there. The next morning we departed Fort Myers Beach to begin run to Marathon Key. We tried to get into our marina there a few days ahead of our reservation date, but were not able to do so. The weather as been very usual this year, with consistent strong north winds, instead of the more gentle SE winds. As a results, the “snowbird” boats were slow in departing for their annual run up the east coast to home waters. So we were forced to anchored in Little Shark River for three nights. This was our first time anchoring Next Dance for an evening. We travelled approximately 10 hours from Fort Myers Beach to Little Shark River on the Gulf of Mexico. We had a great trip coming down. Some occasional four foot waves from behind us, but otherwise two to three footers. No problem for a KK, Next Dance operated flawlessly.

Next Dance leaving Fort Myers

Next Dance leaving Fort Myers

Fort Myers Beach

Fort Myers Beach

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Pink Shell Marina in Fort Myers Beach

Pink Shell Marina in Fort Myers Beach

Dolphins on the bow!
Dolphins on the bow!

Little Shark River is major drainage river of the Everglades, with no human habitation for 25+ miles. But plenty of alligators, no swimming there! Also, when the sun goes down, we were mobbed by man-eating mosquitos and VERY annoying biting no-seeums. Pauline was covered with welts from bites. Mark was left pretty much untouched. She attributes this to being very sweet (not!). This would have been a great place to explore by dinghy, but we decided not to try to launch it. The current is quite strong here and reverses 4 times a day. Besides we probably would have gotten eaten alive. On Tuesday night we had the anchorage completely to ourselves. It’s too bad that we couldn’t enjoy sitting outside because of the darned bugs. After our peaceful, pristine anchorage we headed due south over the Florida Bay for 43 miles to Marathon, which lies about halfway down the chain. Pleasant trip, but very shallow water. Most of the way we had only 3 to 5 feet under our keel.
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Special note: we have activated a new device on board that provides us with continuous satellite communications anywhere on the globe. One of the features of this device is a track of our route while we are underway. It records our location every 10 minutes and send that position via satellite to the monitoring company. That live track is available on line for anyone to see. To view it go to https://share.delorme.com/NextDance. The arrowhead icon is our current position. On the left it shows the date and time of our last position it recorded. Try it out. All we have to do here is to remember to turn it on when we get underway.

We have been hearing from other Krogen’s, who had planned to go to the Bahamas, and had to change their plans due to weather – very windy and very rough seas. So many of them are heading north a little earlier than planned. We are still hopeful that the weather patterns will settle down over the next two weeks and give us a window to cross. Mark’s son Scott and his significant other, Emily, are scheduled to join us in the Abacos in the Bahamas for a 8 day cruise. It’s a five day cruise from current location to Marsh Harbour, where they land on the 30th. We have given ourselves a 8 day window to make the journey. We would be quite sad not to be able to get there. This would really change plans for Scott and Emily to join us. Worst case, we’d have them get off the plane in Fort Lauderdale, rent a car and join us here in the Keys. Not so bad.

It’s now April 20 and we will be leaving Marathon Key on Saturday. Right now the weather forecasts look promising! We have enjoyed our time here. Two other Kadey Orogens, a Gratitude, a 48′ like ours with Maria and Roberto Rosa, and a 58′, Tapestry, with Lisa and Mark Caruthers, are also here. We’ve enjoyed getting to know them better. We’ve gone exploring the area in our dinghy and have had our fair share of the world class french fries at Burdine’s, a local tiki bar. Some Colorado friends, Zoe Ann and Stuart Smith, happened to be visiting friends in Marathon, so we were able to spend a day with them. Stuart is ready to start living the lifestyle we are, but Zoe Ann is definitely not there yet. It was great catching up with them.

Friends from Gratitude and Tapestry enjoying a spectacular sunset!

Friends from Gratitude and Tapestry enjoying a spectacular sunset!


Colorado friends enjoying a Marathon Key sunset!

Colorado friends enjoying a Marathon Key sunset!


Marathon has long been a winter gathering place for Krogenite’s – those who still have boats and those that do not. One of the couples we’ve met here had high ranking State Department appointments during the Clinton administration. It has been interesting to hear their thoughts on the current state of affairs with the upcoming election. They have a home in Annapolis, MD, but have been coming down here for 10+ years and are now buying a condo. John is a accomplished musician and plays his banjo with a local blues group every Friday night! Quite a lifestyle change from his years in Washington. On Wednesday mornings, the local Kadey Krogen group gathers at a local restaurant for breakfast. Most of this group no longer own a boat, but they loved Marathon so much, that when boating was no longer possible, they settled here or winter here.
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Enjoying the tunes at Burdines in Marathon

Enjoying the tunes at Burdines in Marathon


One afternoon we took a dinghy ride with Maria and Roberto of Gratitude. They showed us one of the areas they discovered. It is an island that is no longer accessible by car. There are people who still live there and some sunken boats too.
Someone actually lives here . . . scary!

Someone actually lives here . . . scary!

Leftovers from a hurricane?

Leftovers from a hurricane?

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"We all live in a Yellow Submarine"

“We all live in a Yellow Submarine”

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We have explored the area and even took the local bus down to Key West for a day. Well, actually two days. A week ago we spent a day there being total tourists. Then late last week Pauline asked about clearing customs when we return from the Bahamas. We totally forgot to obtain the necessary documentation to re-enter the US on a pleasure vessel. So this entailed us another trip to Key West yesterday to be interviewed by a representative from Customs and Border Patrol. So we hopped on the bus again, along with all of our necessary documentation for our interview. We were in and out in 15 minutes! So we did more sightseeing.

Eyeee Carumba!

Eyeee Carumba!

Famous Sloppy Joes in Key West

Famous Sloppy Joes in Key West

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Ceviche!  Yum!

Ceviche! Yum!


The bus ride takes about 1-1/2 hours to get there and about 2 hours to come back. 140 miles round trip with a number of stops. The ride is beautiful and only costs $1.50 each way (senior fare). What a bargain! Not worth renting a car and trying to park down there. We saw a lot of unusual characters on the bus. The lifestyle is very laid back down here to say the least. We had visited Key West back in 2002 when we had put our sailboat on the market in Tampa Bay and Mark’s son joined us for a long weekend there. It’s a fun place, but not someplace you want to spend a lot of time in. The historic downtown area has many beautiful “Key West” style houses that now sell in the millions. It was probably a wise decision to purchase something there years ago and renovate it. There is a lot of interesting history there, along with the flora and fauna.
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On Saturday, we will leave Marathon and will anchor off of Rodriguez Key for the night. Then head up to Key Biscayne and anchor there for the next night. On Monday morning we plan to cross from Key Biscayne to West End in the Bahamas. We will be in the Gulf Stream for most of this crossing. This great river of the Atlantic flows north at 2.5 mph and when added to our 8.5 mph normal cruising speed, it will enable us to cross in about 10 hours. Right now the weather looks good and the seas should be relatively calm. Just the way you want to do it! Pauline is looking forward to getting her fishing rod set up in hopes of catching some fish along the way!

Hopefully the next update of this blog will be filled with all of our adventures in the Bahamas. But when boating, all plans are written in sand. We are so looking forward to those beautiful turquoise blue waters and white sand beaches, conch fritters, fresh fish and lobster! We also plan on getting good use out of the water maker we just had installed. Fresh water is very hard and expensive to obtain there. No wells and little rainfall, so all drinking water is made by reverse osmosis (which is how our water maker works) and costs about 25 to 50 cents/gallon. We have a 400 gallon water tank on board, but we use about 50 gallons a day per person, drinking, cooking, bathing, laundry, toilet flushing and spraying the salt off the boat, so it adds up fast. It will be interesting for us to see how the area in the Abacos has changed since we were there many years ago cruising on a chartered sailboat. We can’t wait to tell you all about it.

Here’s a picture of all the Kadey Krogen’s currently enjoying the Bahamas! This is an app called Krogen Finder, otherwise known as “Krogen Stalker”. To see who they are, you just have to click on the pin and the boat name pops up. Pretty cool! We are sure to run into some of them while we are there.

All of those green pins are Krogens!

All of those green pins are Krogens!

Until then, fair winds and calm seas . . .

CAT TALES

    Greetings furriends! After months of peace and quiet on the boat, the engine has begun to roar again. We have to admit we are not particularly fond of this development. When the engine roars, it means that the boat will move. We haven’t moved in some time, so it’s going to take some getting used to again. When we are underway, we assume our positions under the chairs in the salon. This is where we feel safe. Mom has decided to give us some medication which makes us very sleepy. This also ensures that we don’t throw up! After about four hours it wears off and by then we are used to the motion and start walking around. It’s been pretty calm so far, so it’s not too bad.

    The good thing about this moving of the boat is that we are getting to see some new sights! That’s always interesting. When we got to Fort Myers there were a lot of people who wanted to see us again. Last year we would sit on the anchor pulpit and look down on people walking by. This year we backed into the slip, so we could only watch people walking on the dock from our cat tree on the back pouch. The people all say nice things to us as they walk by.

    Helping dad open his birthday present

    Helping dad open his birthday present


    My favorite spot!

    My favorite spot!

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    It’s been really purrty quiet for us lately. No big excitement. We’ve been just hanging out, sleeping, playing and being pampered. We’ve both been behaving too. I don’t think we’ve gotten into any trouble at all since our last writing. We’ve occasionally hidden ourselves purrty well so that mom and dad can’t find us. The engine room has a lot of great hiding places, but can be very noisy at times! Pema did take the opportunity to jump onto the dock, but she got caught right away and jumped back on the boat quickly. Meow.

    Here in Marathon we’ve really enjoy sitting on our cat tree and watching pelicans diving in the water. We also have seen these big, fat, slow moving creatures in the water around the boat. We don’t think they are fish. I think I heard mom calling them manatees, or something like that. I also think that she posted a photograph of one in this blog somewhere. (By the way, she takes way too many pictures of us.) We’ve become pretty accomplished at catching big dragon flies too! The weather has been so nice here and we’ve been spending a lot of time outside.
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    Bird watching!

    Bird watching!

    My new favorite hiding spot!

    My new favorite hiding spot!

    Hello Mr. Manatee!

    Hello Mr. Manatee!


    There has been a lot of talk again about moving. Meow. This time they’ve been talking about someplace called the “Bahamas”. Mom keeps telling us how blue the water is there, just like our eyes. She also has told us we will then be in another country! Well, that’s purity exciting. We can now say we are international traveling cats.

    Well that’s it for now. Next time we’ll tell you all about our adventures in the Bahamas.

    Respectfully submitted,

    Ming & Pema, boat cats

Still in Stuart . . . but getting ready for cruising!

At Trawler Fest Riviera Beach

At Trawler Fest Riviera Beach

It’s now March and we are still in Stuart Florida and will be here until about March 20. Next Dance will be on display at the Kadey Krogen Open House here in Stuart on March 18 and 19. After that show we will be free to begin cruising and we can’t wait! We are itching to get on the move. One more boat show was scheduled for mid-June in Essex Connecticut. We were happy to learn that the entire boat show has been cancelled. It would have been quite a push to get up there. We think that our boat show commitments are now complete.

Our current plan is to leave here right after the Open House and then cross over to the Gulf side of Florida via Lake Okeechobee. We will spend a little time in Fort Meyers and then head down to Marathon Key. From there we will head up to Miami and cross over to the Bahamas. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long, if at all, for a good weather window. We plan to spend about five weeks in the Abacos Islands. We are looking forward to having our own boat in those beautiful turquoise waters. We can’t wait to go swimming and do some snorkeling there. While there, Scott (Mark’s son) and Emily (Scott’s girlfriend) will be joining us for a week. Also joining us for about five days, is Louise Crowley, a very good friend from Wisconsin. Can’t wait to have some fun in the sun with them! Once we are back in the States, we will begin working our way North for the season. We are looking forward to visiting many historic ports along the way; St. Augustine, Charlestown, Washington DC, Annapolis to name a few. We are hopeful that our two granddaughters, Ellie and Anna, will be able to join us sometime this summer for a week all to ourselves! It would be the first time in many, many years. They are now 13 and 15. The time goes so quickly and we want to be able to share this part of our lives with them while they still enjoy hanging out with us (why would they ever want to stop hanging out with such fun grandparents??). We hope this will be one of those memorable times for them with us. They have incredibly busy schedules, so hopefully we can work something out. Heather, their mom, will join us somewhere another time when the girls are busy doing something else.

Ellie and Anna enjoying some Wisconsin snow!

Ellie and Anna enjoying some Wisconsin snow!

It has been a very chilly and wet winter here in Southeast Florida. However, the weather has now changed and the days are getting very warm. But we can’t complain too much because we know how cold the rest of the country REALLY is. We are sad to be missing a ski trip to Big Sky Montana with friends. But they were kind enough to call us while there and also ask Pauline some cooking questions. We are very hopeful that they will change their ski vacation into a “fun in the sun” vacation and meet us in the Bahamas next year!

Let’s see, what has happened since Christmas? Well first, we had a very fun New Year’s Eve rafting up with a group of Kadey Krogen boats – 17 to be exact! What a fun experience. Here are a few pictures of the group anchored in a little cove off of the St. Lucie River. A fun time was had by all. The ladies danced the night away on the deck of Galactic, a Kadey Krogen 55.
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The night before we went to the raft-up, Pauline was sitting in the salon and Mark was on the aft deck, when she heard a crash down below. As she got up to investigate, Ming came out of the office and Pema was right behind her. Ming was not putting any weight on her left hind leg. Not a good sign. Of course it’s New Year’s Eve weekend, and of course, a Friday. Pauline took Ming to the vet the next morning and found that she had broken her foot. She needed to go to an Orthopedic Surgeon, which was going to have to wait until Monday before we could get her in. Poor thing had to go through the weekend hopping around, and probably in pain. Thankfully, she did not need surgery. They put a lower leg cast on her. That was the good news. The bad news was that she had to be confined in a cage for two weeks so that she was not jumping around. She was definitely not pleased about this. We think that Pema actually felt sorry for her! She would go up to the cage and lick her (aka “kisses”). Ming had her cast changed every two weeks and X-rays taken. She healed well after six weeks and is thrilled not to have a cast on anymore. She’s back to herself! Although, a bit more cranky when getting picked up. Her experience at the vets has left a bad taste in her mouth!
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In February, Next Dance was on display at Trawler Fest in Riviera Beach for several days. She showed very well and we think Kadey Krogen left with a number of good prospects. During the show rented a little cottage. After the show was over, Pauline and the cats joined Mark onboard and were able to ride back North to Stuart. The weather was nice, so we able to run outside in the ocean. The big surprise for Pauline was that she took Next Dance out of the slip, and out to the inlet to the Atlantic Ocean! Was she nervous – yes! But she had a captain next to her to make sure she didn’t get into any trouble. Mark was outside handling the lines. He was a probably a bit nervous having this rookie at the helm maneuvering our boat out of the slip and marina. The captain complimented her for being at ease – although he did remind her to breathe occasionally. Oh, while we were there, this cute Manatee popped his head up to say “Hi”.
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Generally we have been working on boat projects, eating, drinking, watching sunsets, visiting with fellow boaters, etc. On February 20 we were with a contingent of about 150 boats for the annual Blessing of the Fleet. It was a fun gathering, and simply great to get out on the water on a beautiful sunny day. We invited several other people to join us. We took the opportunity to also perform a “naming ceremony” where we officially named her “Next Dance”. IMG_5274

Friends along for the ride for "The Blessing of the Fleet"

Friends along for the ride for “The Blessing of the Fleet”

We visited our friends in Naples, Kirby and Susan Shoaf and Jean and Scott Hickey. We are looking forward to catching up again with them once we are in Fort Meyers. Jean and Scott are being very gracious and allowing us to keep our car in their garage while we are cruising this year.

My bestie, Susan

My bestie, Susan

Kirby and Pauline in his wine cellar picking out something tasty! Kirby and Pauline in his wine cellar picking out something tasty![/caption]

In January, Pauline flew out to Scottsdale to visit her friends Joanne Masica, Vicki Morgan, Doni Mathis and Bonnie Guthrie. The weather wasn’t great, but spending time with best friends certainly was!

Fun in Scottsdale!

Fun in Scottsdale!

We also had good friends Anita and Don join us for an overnight onboard. We met them while doing the Loop and have remained good friends. And why not, they’re from Wisconsin! Our good friends Barry and Fran also joined us for an overnight. And they even went out on a sunset dinghy ride with us! Who says they don’t do water! They’re even up for joining us in the Bahamas next year. Woohoo! Of course they never cease to amaze us (they are our Amazing Race friends).

Anita and Don onboard

Anita and Don onboard


our Amazing Race friends, Barry and Fran

Our Amazing Race friends, Barry and Fran

Paul Geren is a delivery captain for Kadey Krogen. He and another captain unloaded Next Dance from the container ship and then brought her up to Stuart for commissioning back in October. Paul is also makes half-hulls as a hobby and made us one of the Kadey Krogen 48 hull. It is proudly on display in our salon!
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Pauline is doing some serious provisioning prior to our trip to the Bahamas. Grocery shopping is limited there and also very expensive. So she’s purchasing dry goods and canned goods that we know we will need while there. Of course, she has also stocked up on wine, beer and liquor as well! The only thing that is not expensive there is Rum! We are hoping to catch fresh fish from time to time . . . but you know how fishing goes! Fingers crossed!

Mark is attending a course at Chapman’s School of Seamanship to get his “six-pack” Captain’s License, which would allow him to take out up to six paying customers. Not that he plans on using it as a “captain”, but it’s good to have and he really wants to see if he can still learn something new at his age and pass a test! Pauline will be working with a captain for a few days while Mark is at school to learn how to dock and handle the boat. Something she feels is important to know should there be an emergency. Actually, a great thing to know no matter what! What a feeling of accomplishment she will have to be able to dock this boat. And passing the exam would a great accomplishment for Mark as well. The exam is very difficult with a very low pass rate. Wishing him luck!

So time is winding down here for us, but we are so ready to get moving and doing what we planned to do – cruise and explore! If any of our good friends will be on the east coast this summer/early fall, please let us know and with any luck we can connect! A shout out to our old friend Len Caldwell – “we must meet you somewhere”!

Update: Mark has passed his exam for his six-pack Captain’s license and Pauline has graduated from docking and boat handling course on Next Dance, where she encountered some interesting circumstances with wind and current.
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Update: The Open House is over and a Scotch has been poured! We are leaving here tomorrow a.m. at 7:00 a.m. to begin our journey over to Fort Meyers. Exciting times ahead!
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Update: We pulled out of the slip at Loggerhead Marina in Stuart at a little after 7:00 a.m. this morning, Sunday, 3/20. The journey begins . . .

Until the next time, fair winds and calm seas. Let the adventure begin!

Pauline and Mark Masuhr

CAT TALES – THE ADVENTURES OF MING AND PEMA

Well furriends, the year didn’t start off so well for me (Ming). You won’t believe it, but my sister pushed me off of the desk and I broke my foot! I had to spend six weeks in a cast, and the first two weeks I was confined to a cage because I wasn’t supposed to be running around and jumping. Geez! What a pain (literally) that was! I felt like I was on display at the zoo. To say the least, I was pretty mad at Pema. She did feel pretty guilty though and treated me pretty nice during that time. I’m glad to report that I have completely healed and pretty much back to normal. I couldn’t walk on it right after they took the cast off, but now I can. I lost a lot of muscle and some hair, but it’s all coming back. Pema is back to being mean to me. But sometimes I put her in her place! Meow. IMG_5138

There’s been a lot of activity on the boat lately. I hear my mom and dad talking about getting ready to leave. Pema and I are actually ready for some different sights to see. We’ve been here a long time it seems. We hear that we are even going to the Bahamas! Wow! I can’t believe we’ll be in a different country. We hear that the fish TV is amazing there.

Some of you may know about Pema’s story of when she was in the dryer when she was a year old. It’s a long story . . . but after my mom and dad spent a few thousand dollars and I gave her a blood transfusion to save her life, she lived to talk about it. Well, here she is in the dryer again! At least it wasn’t running this time. You’d think she’d learn a lesson. Meow.
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We’ve pretty much just been chilling out, soaking up the sun and taking lots of cat naps. Life is purtty good.

We just finished with this Open House thing. I’m pretty social, so I didn’t mind all of the people coming on board and oohing and aahing over me and giving me lots of pets. One lady did it a little too long and I tried to tell her I was done. But she continued so I gave her a good swat and made her bleed! Meow. Pema, the chicken, hid on a shelf in the head. People didn’t even know she was there though.

Mom took us to the vet to get our Health Certificate for our upcoming trip to the Bahamas. We are glad that is over. Not that they did much of anything, but we hate car rides and were glad to get back on the boat. We are looking forward to visiting a new country and seeing that great fish TV everyone is talking about.

OMG! A crazy knitting boat lady made these Packer Hats for Cats for us. Really?? This is humiliating.
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That’s about all for now. We’ll give you an update soon on our upcoming travels!

News Flash! Our mom and dad caught us on the dock. Meow. We thought we’d have a little adventure, but they cut that plan short. We high-tailed it back on the boat pretty quickly. They have forgiven us, but we suspect that they’ll be keeping a closer watch.

Respectfully submitted,

Ming and Pema, boat cats extraordinaire!

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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

IMG_1836

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 . . .