We are three weeks into our journey and continue to meet a number of new friends and cool people.
Our dock neighbors:
Ann and Dave: This couple is in the uber cool category. They circumnavigated the world on a 7 year journey and are saving money to venture out again. Both are very laid back and knowledgeable of the seas. Ann teaches professionally for MPT and Dave is a professional captain. They have great stories of families that have cruised and our kids really enjoy spending time with them.
Chip Lumb and Elizabeth: They own “Mambo” (I think Mambo IV now), a Lobster type boat they spend time on visiting the islands, with particular focus on the Bahamas. 15 years ago Chip’s family cruised the East Coast and the Bahamas on their first “Mambo”. Chip’s daughters spent 5 years of their childhood living aboard the boat and exploring the sea. In addition to having their main boat next to ours, they also have a home 10 minutes away by water. Yesterday, we went to their house for dinner via his other smaller boat and both Cam and Joellen loved driving it, as well as spending time at their lovely home. Here are the kids driving Chip’s boat. Camden even drove at night which was a first for him.
Maria was in heaven at Chip and Elizabeth’s as she got passed from one adult to another, getting a lot of snuggling. Maria found a 3 foot stuffed animal dog in one of their rooms and she carried it around all evening. Well, Chip was thrilled at the thought of getting rid of the dog and insisted strongly that Maria should take it home. I’m not sure a 3 foot stuffed animal on a boat is the best idea, but I was outvoted and the dog came home with us. Well now Maria has a pet on board. I am not sure how long the dog will last before we make the dog walk the plank since it takes up half the v-berth.
One of the other guests at dinner with Chip and Elizabeth was Jimmy Buffett’s past personal boat captain for 10 years. Chris was a fascinating guy who grew up in Rochester, New York but was drawn towards the water and ended up working for Buffett in the Caribbean.
LeeAnn, Brad and Abigail Toth: they are new friends that we met via Facebook on the group called “Kids for Sail” that is geared towards cruising families. They hail from Ottawa, Canada and are leaving for the Bahamas this week. Abigail is a 9 year old girl who became fast friends with Joellen. She ended up spending the night on our boat and Joellen had her first boat sleepover. I am sure that we will meet back up with them in the islands.
Jay, Crissy, Dylan and Mara Williams: Jay and Crissy are both from Maryland but currently live in California. Their daughter Mara is 9 and their son Dylan is 6. It was a perfect match for Joellen and Camden. They drove an RV across country to get to the sailboat they are renting out of Florida. They also were in Fort Lauderdale, then headed to Miami and crossed the gulf stream yesterday to the Bahamas! We will likely follow them on their same path to Bimini and then the Exumas. The Williams had dinner with us at our boat when my parents were in town. We also drove down and spent the day with them at the Miami Seaquarium watching “Flipper” and then having a meal on their boat.
Pastor Marcus: Marcus is a Marian University Seminarian student and someone who works in the Higher Education space. He lives in Fort Lauderdale but spends a lot of time in Indianapolis with his work and taking classes at Marian. Small world…he was just kayaking down our canal and we struck up a conversation. We ended up going over to his place to meet his wife and baby and watch some of the NFL playoff games. He has a cool ministry called Wine Study and Bible Tasting where folks gather on the beach with wine and Marcus reads some scripture and leads discussion. Jen and I haven’t done it yet but plan to as it is a family activity as well.
Jen and I were talking how much the kids are thriving and adjusting to the live aboard lifestyle and making friends fast and easy. Also, it seems that we have more carefree time where the kids can just meet up and play vs the life we lived before where everything was much more scheduled. Things on the boat seem to unfold a bit more naturally.
Till next time, all of our love, stay warm and keep dreaming big —