Tag Archives: Christmas

Merry Christmas

Christmas 2020, the Holiday Spirit With Built in Social Distancing🎅🏻😉 – by Randy

Like families the world over, we are adjusting to the new norms in a world with COVID-19. We have limited our family gatherings, forgone the holiday parties, and avoided public places. As followers of this blog already know we have spent 5 previous Christmases aboard. This year we decided to enjoy Christmas in Florida at Caladesi Island State Park. We are attaching a short video to share some of the isolated beauty that we experienced this Christmas.

It turned out to be the perfect socially distant choice given the circumstances of 2020. We arrived at Caladesi Island on December 22 and stayed through Christmas Day. The beautiful Caladesi Island Marina (a 100 plus slip marina with floating docks) was empty, save two other intrepid cruising couples who, like us, wanted to spend Christmas afloat on one of Florida’s most beautiful and isolated state parks.

Dolphin at sunset
Dolphin at sunset
Ronan & Ryan
Ronan & Ryan

We hope everyone enjoyed their holiday and are wishing everyone all the best in the New Year! Hopefully, 2021 will give us all the opportunity to enjoy a more traditional and festive holiday season.

Cheers 2020
Cheers 2020
Beach snowman
Beach snowman

This is total BS! (Boat stuff) – by Randy

Those of you that have been regular followers of our blog may recall that we have an insurance requirement that keeps us south of 12 degrees, 30 minutes latitude during the Atlantic hurricane season (1 June – 1 November). With that constraint in mind, we have been operating under the assumption that we would be leaving Grenada to head north sometime around the 1st of November. We did have a last minute need to return to Florida so that our youngest son, Ronan could get what turned out to be routine oral surgery and as a result our departure was delayed for about a week. With Ronan’s successful procedure behind us, the crew of the Pilots’ Discretion has been tugging at the dock lines for weeks as we have watched minor routine maintenance issues, proceeding on ‘island time,’ adding a few days here, a week there to our anticipated departure date. Given that my entire professional career revolved around standards for an on time departure measured in minutes rather than days or weeks, you can imagine that my normally jovial, easy going manner is being severely tested as our crew calmly listens to the seemingly never ending “explanations” for the next delay.

Caribbean mapOur latest delay is the result of a corrupted data card (the source for the navigational information that is sent to our multiple chart plotters around the boat). When we discovered the failed data card we called the local marine electronics dealer to inquire as to the availability of a replacement card. “Easy, no problem at all mon, we have them in stock, come on down,” was the reply from the happy go lucky, local merchant. This is not going to be an issue at all, I thought. Wrong! Navionics MSDAfter taking a bus to the other side of the island, waiting in line for 45 minutes for a clerk, it was finally my turn. He happily gave me the data card that he had and I unhappily noticed that it was a CF card and not the required MSD card. He was not clear on what the difference was but after I explained that his card format was incompatible with our electronics he looked at me and told me ” this might be a problem mon.” We have tracked down the required part, it is safely in a warehouse in Trinidad, an island 80 nautical miles to our south. All systems are fully engaged at full speed to get the required part to our boat in Grenada. Meanwhile, our crew is content to continue to enjoy our unexpected additional time in our summer home. I am reminded that we truly are on “island time mon.” It is our goal to get north to Marigot Bay, St. Lucia for Christmas. We will keep you all posted on our progress via this blog. In the meantime, the crew of the Pilots’ Discretion wishes you all a Merry Christmas!