We are back! The Konesco Crew arrived in Fort Pierce, Florida last Friday, June 20. Marc estimated we would arrive at 6:30 am and we sailed in at 7 am. Impressively close calculations! But let me take a few steps back to a week and a half ago…
On Friday, June 13 we dropped Marc’s cousin Kelsey off at the airport in Marsh Harbour, Abacos and less than 24 hours later we picked up our best friends the McAllisters at the same airport. We were sad to see Kelsey go but were happy to see the McAllisters. Two months ago we sent an email to two people asking if they wanted to help us sail Adagio back to Florida from the Abacos. We could have done the sail ourselves but it was a long sail with 3 kids and a few extra hands on deck would be helpful. We emailed Marc’s old racing captain, David Clark. David owns and races a sailboat on the Chesapeake Bay in Deltaville, Virginia and Marc used to be crew on his boat back from 2000-2004. We also emailed Marc’s best friend Mark McAllister who we used to co-own a sailboat with on Lake Monroe in Indiana. David immediately emailed us back to let us know that he could not make it because he was taking his wife Kathy to New Orleans for their anniversary. As tempting as it was to cruise with us, David’s anniversary trumped the sailing so he was out. Our friends Mark and Jessica have six kids and Mark started a new job a few months ago, so we thought this was a long shot. But to our delight Mark and Jess said yes. Then I threw out the idea that maybe their son Wade could come too. We were not picking favorites but Wade is our godson and is in between Joellen and Camden’s age. Again, the McAllisters said yes and within a few days Mark, Jess and Wade had their plane tickets booked to the Abacos!
Marc and Mark have been best friends since high school and it was so fun to see them reunite.
Jess started dating Mark at Indiana University at the same time Marc and I started dating at Miami University. We all met one weekend at IU and the rest is history.
It was so great to see Mark and Jess but having Wade there was the icing on the cake. Wade is one of the sweetest kids out there and is a great balance of being really calm at times and being a crazy 9 year old boy at other times. Camden loved having another boy to play with, wrestle with and of course fish with. On day two Wade asked me, “Does Camden ever talk about anything else other than fishing?” My reply was, “Nope.” Joellen liked having Wade around because he played with her too and not just Cam. Joellen also was very impressed by Wade’s jumping ability off the bow of the boat. And Maria took a real shine to Wade and kept waving to him and saying, “Hi Wade” and “Wade Happy?”
Since the goal of the week was to get back to the US, we were focused on weather more than sightseeing. But the weather forecast looked good for crossing the Gulf Stream on June 19-20 so we luckily had time to get to Hope Town, otherwise known as Utopia. We had only 24 hours in Hope Town but we squeezed in all the highlights, including of course a trip up the lighthouse at night to see the lighting.
After a quick visit in Hope Town, it was time to start heading west. We had 150 nautical miles to go and wanted to break the journey up into 3 parts. The first part was a 6 hour sail from Hope Town to Manjack Cay. We arrived at Manjack in the evening, had about an hour to explore and then the sun set and it was time to go to bed. The next morning we got up at 6 am, raised anchor and sailed nine hours to Great Sale Cay. Great Sale Cay is an uninhabited island pretty much in the middle of nowhere. It is a good stopping point before or after crossing the Gulf Stream. The weather was still looking good for a Thursday/Friday crossing so we had two days to play at Great Sale. On our way to Great Sale we caught 7 fish. That’s right…SEVEN!!! But the bad news is they were all barracuda. We thought we were so clever and named the route Barracuda Alley. Then we looked more closely at the charts and saw that there were parts of our route with official names like “Barracouta Rocks Channel” and “Barracouta Banks”. I guess we are not the only ones that caught a large number of the ‘Ol Barry on this route.
In the midst of feeling all sorry for ourselves that we were not catching anything but barracuda, we saw this. Even though our luck was not good this day in terms of fishing, at least our sailing luck was better than this guys.We made it to Great Sale Cay, dropped the hook and started the exploring. We did not hear rave reviews on Great Sale Cay and read that it is just a stopover point. But we were pleasantly surprised with this little isolated island. We have become big fans of mangroves because where there are mangroves, there are lots of critters. Crabs, fish, birds, etc. And this island has lots of mangroves. Plus there’s a beautiful beach with lots of washed up coral and shells and an abandoned missile tracking site. This island is an explorer’s paradise.
We had a great time at Great Sale and would have liked to have stayed longer but it was time Thursday afternoon to point the boat west again and make the final leg of the journey. We had a nice 10 knot wind for awhile but as we got into the Gulf Stream the wind shifted and we were pointing into the wind, which means not enough of an angle to get wind in your sails. So we kept the mainsail up, rolled in the jib and turned the motor on. We had some dark clouds and lightning behind us but it never caught up to us. Mark, Jess, Marc and I took two hour night watch shifts of 2 people on/2 people sleeping throughout the night. The seas were calm and we made an uneventful crossing, arriving in the US Friday morning. We all shouted ‘Land Ho!’ and were happy and sad to be back home. Happy that we made it safely and that we could get off the boat but sad that this part of the journey was over and that we would have to say goodbye to great friends.
When we were pulling into Fort Pierce, we realized our generator batteries were dead which meant no bow thrusters. But that Marc Konesco pulled Adagio into the marina slip like a glove. Once again I was uber-impressed by my hubby. We grabbed a rental car and headed straight to immigration at the local airport.
Immigration went smoothly and it was time to say goodbye. Mark, Jess, and Wade, thank you so much for joining our crew for a week and helping us and Adagio back to the US safely. This was a week that will forever be in our minds and our hearts.
Next Up: We are currently in St. Pete, FL visiting with Marc’s parents. They head back to Indianapolis today and my parents fly in Saturday. Marc is currently back in Fort Pierce for 3 days to clean, organize, and winterize the boat. Adagio will be put up on the hard (pull her out of the water) for hurricane season which is July through December. We will fly to Costa Rica in mid-July and be there for 5 months. We will volunteer at a foster care home for children that are not able to be adopted. We hope to have better internet in Costa Rica than we did on the boat. We will try to update our blog as much as possible once we get there. The long range plan is that in December or January we will leave Costa Rica, head back to Florida and get back on Adagio. We originally thought we’d cruise the eastern Caribbean but with three young kids it is just too many long passages for us. So next winter and spring we will head back to the Bahamas and cruise Bimini, New Providence, Eleuthera and the Exumas. Early next summer we will sail Adagio back to Fort Lauderdale and put her up for sale. We love her and she is perfect for a liveaboard boat, but she’s just too big to have for a weekend boat. We will then figure out where we will live and the whole job thing. Marc has lots of good ideas and we know God will lead us where we are supposed to be. So that’s the scoop as of today. But our plans are always changing so who knows what the future truly holds for the Konesco Crew.