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Last update June 15 2016
JoHo is still in Stuart, Florida the first week of May. She
is almost bare now, everything is stored. A strange sight.
Inside everything is stored as well, in the V-berth are the sails and other stuff, the aft cabin is the place for the outboards.
Secretly we have quite a lot of stuff. You only see it when you have to store everything.
On May 5th, we are leaving Stuart and enter the Okeechobee Waterway. This is the channel between Stuart and Lake Okeechobee. The first bridge we encounter is very low, 53 feet where it should be 54 feet. We done this route in 2009, then the other way around, so it should be no problem. But the water level has become higher in recent years, or that bridge has sunk (not very likely). So you see that we are experiencing the effects of climate change. Anyway, JoHo sails under the bridge without problems, our mast is 51 feet.
The further route is nice and quiet. One o'clock we arrive
at the St. Lucie Lock. The lock is openen and will go up in a few minutes. In
front of us are two motor boats trying to moor at the lock. But they fail time
after time. Because of this action we get sent out of the lock by the lock-keeper.
To avoid dangerous situations he says...
But it is difficult with our JoHo to leave the lock backwards, she is put to starboard each time we try going backwards, which is not so easy with a sailboat with a 3/4 keel and skeg-rudder. Eventually she listens to the rudder.
After attempt number six the motor boats are finally moored (twin engine and bow thruster, hellooo!) and JoHo may proceed in the lock again. The lock-keeper throws us lines that we need to catch. The difference is 2.5m, we go up. This process takes 20 minutes, then they open the floodgates and we are off again.
We decide to anchor near the lock and to continue the journey next morning. We try to find a good spot but our JoHo is a little large for this place. Finally we drop our anchor and then hear shouts from the shore. On a motorboat two people are waving. At first they are not known to us. Then a boat name is mentioned and we recognize Janice and Steve from the Caribbean. They exchanged their sailboat for a motorboat.
Around five Steve picks us up with his dinghy for happy hour (our dinghy is already stored, no motor or oars) and we enjoy a great evening with a nice chat while enjoying a drink.
The next morning the JoHo crew is up early to move on the Okeechobee
Waterway to Indiantown. It is idyllic, calm, beautiful sunrise, everywhere bird
Around eleven we arrive in Indiantown, we report at the office of Indiantown Marina. JoHo is scheduled for one o'clock. The next two hours we spend to clean up and stash the dinghy and pull a cover over the boat. At exactly one o'clock the travellift picks up our JoHo. Once she is hosed down, she is taken to her place on land. Luckily we may stay on board for just a night. In the mean time John will pick up our rental car in Stuart and I will do the last jobs on JoHo.
After a fairly cool night, which is unusual for the time of
the year, we walk once more around JoHoand then leave for Orlando where we will
stay for a week before we fly back to the Netherlands.
With our car loaded with laundry and luggage we drive through Florida's flat land. Cows are in the meadow, the meadows are surrounded by ditches. Familiar sight, could be the Netherlands if it weren't for the temperature... Halfway our drive a family Sandhill Cranes suddenly cross the road. Father in front, the little ones in the middle and Mother closes the line. What are they big and impressive.
Late afternoon we arrive at Westgate Resort in Orlando. This will be our last week in America.
After a relaxing week, we check in on May 14th for our flight
Miami - Brussels. Last week we went one more time to JoHo to bring all washed
stuff aboard before we drove to Vero Beach where we saw Penny again and for
the last time in a long time this time. Our car trip from Orlando to Miami airport
went well. Around five in the morning we checked out and then drove straight
into the morning fog. Near Lake Okeechokee lake the fog was thick, we were glad
we left early as we couldn't drive too fast. But once the sun got through it
The parting from JoHo is always heavy. When we will see her again we do not know, maybe even never as we put her up for sale. Goodbye JoHo, Goodbye America.
On May 15th, we arrive 1.5 hours early (!) In Brussels. Everything
is still closed on land. Then the temparature difference, we go from 100 Fahrenheid
in Miami to 45 Fahrenheid in Brussels. That takes some time to get used to.
Within 30 minutes we are outside with our luggage and John's parents appear
already to be waiting for us, even though we are too early, the toppers. Time
to drive back to the Netherlands.
We stay one night in Rosmalen, then we move to the home of our friend Karin. Her cat Dinges is already waiting for us. Dinges is so happy that she give us a mouse the next morning, whaaa...
We travel between Den Bosch where Dinges is waiting for us every night and Maasbommel where our house is. The tenants are already gone and the next few weeks we are going to make Maasbommel our home with our stuff. We don't have to redecorate, everything looks fine.
In the meantime, we see family and friends.
End of the month we travel to Baarn to say goodbye to Angela and Henk SY Mi Dushi. We met them with their old sailboat in the Azores in 2009. Now they have a Contest 42 and leave again towards the Carieb and USA. These are the great things of our sailing life. You meet other sailors and then after a while (can sometimes take years), you'll see each other again, Great conversations, food, drinks and we listen to their new planned adventure.
Well, we now exchanged our boat life for country life, JoHo is now also for sale. Something different, but we are looking forward to settle after wandering for years.
We will continue to update our website, although it will not be every month. But we remain connected with all those who have followed us over the years!
I finished a special photobook, about our travels 10 years JoHo's travel from 2001 to 2011.
Curious ? Then click the link.
And if you're interested in sailing the BAHAMAS, BERMUDA, MALDIVES, BONAIRE, SURINAME or ARUBA have a look at our books at SAILADVENTURES where the books are available online.
You can always mail us for more info on these cruising grounds or cruising in general, we'll gladly help you out.
John and Jolanda
on hardstanding in Indiantown Marina, USA at 27°00,5'
N - 80°26,1' W.
Our floating home and office is always ready for us to work for ourselves as writers and editors compiling cruising guides on our way.
Remember to live life to the max, it can be over before you know it. That's our motto.
John and Jolanda